Vavra named American Gelbvieh Junior Association Ambassador |

Vavra named American Gelbvieh Junior Association Ambassador

Carlee Vavra of Nisland, S.D., was named the 2013-14 Junior Ambassador of the American Gelbvieh Junior Association (AGJA). Vavra is the 10-year-old daughter of Eve and Brent Vavra and has a true passion and unique enthusiasm for the Gelbvieh breed, making her an outstanding ambassador of the breed.

“I was born a third generation Gelbvieh breeder,” said Vavra. “My first heifer was waiting for me the day I came home. My grandparents gave every grandchild a heifer to start their own herd. I currently have two cow-calf pairs, two heifers and a bull.” Carlee, and her older sister Taylor, along with their parents own and operate BV Ranch, which consists of nearly 100 Gelbvieh and Balancer® cow-calf pairs.

Vavra is a member of the American Gelbvieh Junior Association, the American Legion Auxiliary and Butte County 4-H. She attends Belle Fourche Elementary where she has been on the honor roll, the student council, and has been named student of the month.

The ambassador competition was held during the AGJA national junior show the “Northern Lights Classic” held June 30 through July 5, in Rochester, Minn. The AGJA ambassador program has two age divisions. The Junior Ambassador must be 8 to 11 years of age. The Intermediate Ambassador must be 12 to 15 years old.

Jake Lammers of Lexington, Neb., was chosen as the 2013-14 AGJA Intermediate Ambassador. Jake is the son of Ricky and Karri Lammers.

The AGJA created the ambassador program to encourage youth involvement in the breed’s activities. The ambassadors represent the AGJA at Gelbvieh functions throughout the year including Gelbvieh and Balancer shows held at the North American International Livestock Exposition and the National Western Stock Show, along with many state fairs and other events. “The role of the AGJA ambassadors is to carry the Gelbvieh message to others and spread the word about our junior programs,” said Dana Stewart, AGJA staff advisor and American Gelbvieh Association director of member services.

The ambassador candidates are judged on their notebook, an oral interview, a speech given at the AGJA annual meeting and overall conduct during the annual junior national show. The notebook includes information and photographs on activities, awards and organizations as well as an essay on the candidate’s background and experiences with the Gelbvieh breed. A committee is appointed to conduct the interviews and select the AGJA Junior and Intermediate Ambassadors.

“I started helping my grandparents at their annual bull sale by visiting with people about Gelbvieh. I really like to share what I know about the breed. I am not shy when it comes to promoting the Gelbvieh breed with everyone who is willing to listen and see for themselves,” added Carlee.

“Research has demonstrated that Gelbvieh-influenced females have increased longevity, more maternal milk, smaller mature cow size, greater fertility, and more pounds weaned per cow exposed,” commented Dr. Jim Gibb, American Gelbvieh Association executive director. “For the feeder and the packer, Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics offer feed efficiency, optimum gain and carcass cutability. Additionally, crossbreeding with Gelbvieh and Balancer is smart and easy.”

The recent Gelbvieh junior national show is the highlight for many AGJA members. The week-long event is filled with more than 20 leadership and skills contests and concluded with the cattle shows. A total of 254 Gelbvieh and Balancer animals were exhibited by more than 150 junior members from 16 states.

“This event is more than a cattle show. Throughout the week, AGJA members are challenged in various contests designed to build their skills as future beef industry leaders. Just as important, AGJA members have an opportunity to meet other members from across the country and build lasting friendships and networks,” Stewart said.

The American Gelbvieh Junior Association serves more than 500 members nationally. The vision of the AGJA is to unify, educate, and develop leaders of the beef industry. The American Gelbvieh Association is a progressive beef cattle breed association representing 1,500 members and approximately 40,000 cows assessed annual in a performance-oriented total herd reporting system.

Since Gelbvieh arrived in the United States in 1971, the American Gelbvieh Association and its membership have strived to meet the demands of the commercial cattleman. Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle excel at the two things that drive profitability on the cow-calf side of the beef business: maternal superiority and crossbreeding.

To learn more about Gelbvieh or the American Gelbvieh Junior Association visit or call 303-465-2333.

–American Gelbvieh Junior Association