One of the benefits of attending farm shows is meeting influential people in the agricultural industry. At the recent New York Farm Show, I met Ann Nogan, the president of the American National CattleWomen.
One would expect that the president of any beef cattle association would hail from Texas, Kansas or some other beef state, not Scott Township, Pennsylvania. But Ann’s dedication to the cattle industry is not limited by her geographical location. She is passionate about the beef industry.
Neither Ann nor her husband, Jeff, grew up on a farm, but she did spend many summers at her grandparents’ farm in Perry County, Pennsylvania. Along the way, Ann picked up cattle fever and strong leadership skills. The couple, along with their two sons, Dave and Ben (and Ben’s wife, Alli) manage a successful Angus calf/cow operation, which also supplies feeder cattle to Cargill and JBS Souderton. The Nogans also grow corn and soybeans for feed and cash revenue.
Ann’s name is linked with appointments at many agricultural organizations including the Pennsylvania Center for Beef Excellence (executive director); Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association (executive director); the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (committee member); and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, American Angus Association and PA Soybean Association (member of each).
Ann lives by the motto “All are welcome to the table,” a greeting she remembers her grandmother saying. Her grandmother shared meals and also encouraged everyone at the table to share their challenges and goals in life.
The cattlewomen of ANCW provide each other with that same camaraderie. They come from all over the country with a shared passion to support and promote the industry. Women from Texas farm differently than beef producers from the Northeast, but all have to address the same challenges, like water quality issues. In the end it is every woman’s goal to convert the resources they have into a quality, consistent product.
Today the ANCW gathers around the table and encourages the next generation to become effective leaders willing to participate in all aspects of the beef industry.
Ann’s two goals this year as president are to focus on women’s leadership skills and collegiate. She wants women to be equipped with the tools and the knowledge needed to take the organization and beef industry to new levels.
In today’s world it is much easier for female farm owners than it was in 1952 when the organization started. She advocates that local, state and national initiatives all need to be part of the voice. Americans are getting further removed from the farms, and it’s up to organizations like ANCW to educate consumers on the value of beef for a healthy lifestyle.
After speaking with Ann, I can tell by her enthusiasm that she is going to be an effective leader for the American National CattleWomen.
For more information on American National CattleWomen, go to http://www.ancw.org.
On a sad note, Claude J. Morin, owner of CJM Farm Equipment, passed away on March 2. Claude owned the dealership for 36 years. I had the pleasure of working with Claude for 24 years and considered him a true friend. He loved to socialize and ended all our conversations with “my dear.” It is people like Claude who make this a friendly industry. Claude, you will be truly missed, but you will no longer suffer. God bless you.