Tom and Lois Ames one of three honored by the American Junior Angus for dedication to youth activities.
—American Angus Association
Tom and Lois Ames, Spruce Mountain Ranch; Eddie and Connie Sydenstricker, Sydenstricker Genetics; and Ram Sims honored at 2013 National Junior Angus Show.
Tom and Lois Ames
Tom and Lois Ames of Spruce Mountain Ranch Larkspur, Colo., have made it their mission to support Angus youth and future agricultural leaders. Whether it’s by supporting their local 4-H organization or hosting the annual Leading Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) conference, the Ames family believes that investing time in the next generation should be a number one priority.
Because of the support they have graciously shown for Angus youth and the Angus Foundation, the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) chose to induct Tom and Lois Ames into the Honorary Angus Foundation during the 2013 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in Kansas City, Mo.
"Tom and Lois are very deserving of the prestigious Honorary Angus Foundation recognition for all they’ve done for the Angus Foundation and NJAA in recent years," says Milford Jenkins, Angus Foundation president. "Benefactors like the Ames, have encouraged and inspired other Angus breeders to join them in supporting the Angus Foundation’s efforts to advance education, youth and research."
The Ames family has shown much hospitality to the American Angus Association in hosting the 2012 LEAD participants for dinner, as well as hosting the Angus Foundation’s Angus Night on the Mountain fundraising events the past two years during the National Western Stock Show in Denver. In addition, the Ames family has also purchased live auction items with proceeds supporting the Angus Foundation and donated gifts for other fundraising events, such as the 2010 "BLACKONTRACK" event at Churchill Downs.
Tom and Lois Ames both got their start in the cattle industry while growing up on dairy farms. They also shared an interest in raising beef cattle, so in 1999, they jumped at the opportunity to purchase Spruce Mountain Ranch. With the help of their general manager, Mitch Rohr, they decided that Angus cattle would be the best fit for their ranch. Their ultimate goals are to sustain a purebred Angus seed stock operation, as well as create a distinct landscape and resort-like atmosphere for family, guests and potential customers to enjoy.
Rohr says since he has known the Ames, they have always enjoyed giving back to youth and helping them get involved in the agricultural industry: "They are always supporting local youth programs and continued their support into the Angus Foundation due to the opportunities that are given to the youth. This award means a lot to them because they’re always trying to make a difference in the next generation."
Eddie and Connie Sydenstricker
Eddie and Connie Sydenstricker of Sydenstricker Genetics, Mexico, Mo., have devoted their lives to improving not only the Angus breed and National Junior Angus Association (NJAA), but also the entire agricultural industry. To recognize their loyalty and commitment, the NJAA chose to induct the Sydenstrickers into the Honorary Angus Foundation during the 2013 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in Kansas City, Mo.
"Loyal supporters of the Angus Foundation long-before I first met them in 2004, Eddie and Connie are always interested in knowing and learning how they can help us," says Milford Jenkins, Angus Foundation president. "The Sydenstrickers do not just recognize they have a responsibility to give back to the Angus breed that has been a major part of their lives and Eddie’s late father Ralph Sydenstricker, they also take action by making a difference in the lives of Angus youth and their fellow Angus breeders through their support."
Long-time supporters of the Angus Foundation, the Sydenstrickers have donated the heifer for the 1993 and 2012 Angus Foundation Heifer Package, contributed numerous gifts for fundraising events and most recently purchased the "Aberdeen Angus" wine barrel in support of the 2013 NJAS being hosted by the Missouri Junior Angus Association.
Eddie Sydenstricker was involved in forming the first-ever statewide junior Angus Association in 1956, and he served as its first president. He also served the Missouri Angus Association as treasurer for many years and gave three years of his time to the American Angus Association® Board of Directors.
The Sydenstrickers got started in the Angus breed in 1952, when Eddie’s father, Ralph, founded Sydenstricker Angus Farms. With the help of loyal employees, Eddie and his wife have expanded the business to focus primarily on providing customers with predictable Angus genetics that supply economically important traits. They currently calve about 800 head of cattle each year, with 20-25 percent being embryo transplant calves. The herd is maintained on 2,500 owned and 750 leased acres.
Longtime employee Ben Eggers says the family has been one of the strongest supporters of the junior Angus programs: "Through the years, in countless ways, Eddie and Connie’s support of the Missouri juniors and NJAA has been unwavering and substantial."
Also honored at the 2013 NJAS was Ray Sims and family. Few names are more recognized in the Angus business than Ray Sims. The famed cattle auctioneer transformed purebred cattle auctions from simple events to fast-paced, entertaining productions that generated profitable results. Ray passed away in 2012, but his legacy lives on in the Angus breed through the Ray Sims Angus Scholarship Endowment Fund and all of the lives he has touched.
To honor the Sims family, the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) chose to induct Ray and Melva into the Honorary Angus Foundation during the 2013 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in Kansas City, Mo. Angus Foundation President Milford Jenkins says Ray’s focus on people is what truly set him apart from other individuals.
"Ray Sims will be held in high regard for his auctioneering at Angus sales, but he will be remembered far longer for his genuine interest and compassion in the well-being of the Angus breeders and their families that he developed life-long friendships with, and frequently auctioneering for the second and third generation in those Angus programs," Jenkins says.
During his career, Ray traveled throughout the United States, selling for both large- and small-livestock breeders, including U.S. senators and three U.S. presidents. It’s estimated that he conducted more than 7,000 auctions, which were mostly registered Angus sales.
In 2010, Ray Sims became the first auctioneer in more than 50 years to receive the prestigious Saddle and Sirloin Club’s Portrait Award. Once expenses were covered for Ray’s portrait now on display in the Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Collection in Louisville, Ky., the Ray Sims Portrait Committee donated the remaining funds of more than $20,000 to the Angus Foundation to establish the Ray Sims Scholarship Endowment Fund for Angus youth scholarships.
Traveling to the NJAS to present the scholarships was always a special occasion for Ray and Melva. They enjoyed meeting and getting to know the outstanding Angus youth selected to receive the scholarship. The recipients of the Ray Sims Angus Scholarship will help carry his legacy into the future and will always owe a debt of gratitude to Ray for his impact on the Angus breed and cattle industry.
Chris Sankey, American Angus Association board member, says the couple believed the Angus Foundation was a natural organization to be involved with, because they both felt this was a place where they could make an impact for youth.
"I know this means a lot to Melva and the Sims family," Sankey says. "Not only to honor the memory of Ray, but also as an opportunity to carry on his legacy and develop that passion in young people for generations to come."
For more news and information from the 2013 NJAS, visit www.ANGUS.org to find contest results, awards, scholarships and show photos.