Laurie: Hi, we’re here with Blake Nelson, the Executive Vice President of the American Maine-Anjou Association. So, tell me a little bit a bout your past and your history
Blake: I grew up in Oklahoma and came through the ranks of livestock judging and showing cattle as a youth. I didn’t show Maines, I actually showed some Chi’s and some other breeds of cattle. Then, I went through college livestock judging, at Conners State College, then Oklahoma State University. When I got through at Oklahoma State I got the opportunity to go back to Conners. There I taught Animal Science and a bunch of livestock judging teams for about 15 years. I got the opportunity when I heard that John Boddicker was retiring. John did a phenomenal job with the Maine-Anjou Association for 25 years. I talked to John and came on board. This will be my fourth year with the AMAA in August.
Laurie: We’ve enjoyed having you here. Tell us a little bit about the future and what we have to look forward to with the breed association.
Blake: Well, it’s an exciting time with American Maine-Anjou Association. We just finished up the Double Down in Des Moines Junior National. Without a doubt, youth are one of our major focuses. The kids that come on board, having an excellent youth director in Lindsey Broek, to me, that’s been one of the true highlights of this job. Getting to work with Lindsey on a day-to-day basis. In all of our activities at junior nationals, the little’s program, you guys have seen it, has been a big part of our success these past few years. Seeing that program grow, those kids getting more involved excites me knowing that our future is in good hands. The program is something that Lindsey initiated. Katie Miller, one of our past board members, that is off of the board now, teaches school and actually comes back every Summer to head that program. We couldn’t do it without her. That is a neat event.
Laurie: Our booth was next to the littles program this week. It was phenomenal. We are excited for the future, and we are excited to be in Ohio next year.
Blake: Yes! We’re going to Ohio, so were ready for that. Ohio is one of our largest junior associations here in the United States. Some great folks out there. We look forward to anytime going to a junior national, and there some of the best people to work with in the Maine-Anjou Breed.