Tyler Bush joins National Junior Angus Association board of directors
August 1, 2018
"I've been showing my entire life," said Tyler Bush, one of the newest directors for the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA).
Bush got his first taste of big time livestock showing in 2006 when his older sister Brittney attended her first national show.
Accompanying her to the show had a huge impact on Bush who said "from there on, I've been hooked."
He is the son of Scott and Jo Bush and grew up on the family's registered Angus ranch near Britton, South Dakota.
"The best part of showing is the lifestyle of the industry—the people you meet and the connections you make," Bush expressed.
He said that he has made friends from all over the United States through going to national shows and conferences and through being an active member of the South Dakota Junior Angus Association.
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"I'd never guess that I'd be friends with kids from [across the country]. I probably talk to them as much as the kids that I graduated from high school with," he explained.
Bush served as the state's secretary/treasurer for four years and was a was a voting delegate for the NJAA board of directors for 5 years.
His sixth year as a delegate, he chose to run for the national board and was voted in by delegates like himself from across the United States.
Every year, six new directors from across the country are selected and added to the twelve-member NJAA board to serve a two-year term.
Bush explained that the first year is mostly helping out by assisting in planning shows and events, working the ring, and serving at the junior national show.
Second year board members specialize and fill various positions on the board such as being the chairman, director of communications, director of membership and other offices. These second-year directors focus on leading those branches of the organization.
"The opportunities they present you is incredible," he explained. He went on to say that he is excited to join the board and for all of the new experiences in the upcoming two years.
Chris Styles, junior advisor for the South Dakota Angus Association and family friend, said that one thing that will serve Bush well as a director is that he "does a tremendous job with the kids…he is very approachable and easy to talk to. There isn't any one who wouldn't enjoy visiting with him."
Styles went on to say that "[Bush] is very passionate about the industry and has great leadership skills…he's just an all-around great guy."
Bush is a sixth-generation angus breeder who appreciates the lessons he's learned from his family.
"I truly wouldn't be where I am in the industry without my dad or my grandpa. I wouldn't have learned anything without those guys," he expressed.
The family farm was homesteaded in 1880 by Joseph Bush. Later on, in the 1920s, the family bought their first cow/calf pair. Today, every female from their herd traces back to that original cow.
While they have never introduced outside females, half of their semen comes from outside sources with the other half originating from the bulls that they raise and sell at their annual bull sale.
Bush said that uniformity within a herd is important to him and his family's operation.
"I'm the kind of guy that wants to walk out in the pasture and just love every cow we've got," he explained.
Along with the cattle business, the family also grows crops.
Currently Bush is in his second year at Hutchinson community college in Kansas pursing an associate's degree in agribusiness with a minor in animal science.
Following the completion of that degree he hopes to transfer to a different college to pursue a bachelors degree and later on possibly a masters in ruminant nutrition.
"I want to use my time and get as many experiences as I can before going back to the ranch," Bush explained.
While in college, he has been active on the school's livestock judging team.
"My coach [Ben Williams] does a great job making sure we keep everything all together," he said.
The next two years will be busy for Bush as he will need to keep up with his classes, practice and participate in judging competitions, and travel for various NJAA events.
"I've always had a lot on my plate…I just try to stay on top of everything I do," Bush explained.
In high school he was involved in basketball, soccer, student council, region student council, HOBY, and church and community events. He also was a part of small school groups who focused on students who may be disconnected from school activities. Bush explained that the purpose of those groups was to "run around and have fun and help [other students] feel involved."
This focus on everyone's involvement is still present in Bush's goals for being a part of the NJAA board of directors.
"I want to make sure everyone knows they're involved and plays an important role whether its their first year showing at age 8 or their last year at 21. Everybody is a leader in the association and what I really want to do is make sure everyone knows that," he explained.
Bush values interacting with people in the cattle industry.
"It is important to have that relationship with everybody to move forward and see how they grew and progressed and changed the Angus industry," he said.