2023 Interns

Welcome to our 2023 American Shorthorn Association Interns. We are looking forward to their arrival in May!

Jana Owen is a junior at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she is majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Agricultural Communications. Jana grew up on her family’s Shorthorn farm in southern middle Tennessee. As an alumna of both 4-H and FFA, she enjoyed exhibiting cattle and goats and competing in multiple judging, quiz bowl, speech, and portfolio competitions. At UT, she loves staying plugged in with the agriculture industry through organizations like Block and Bridle, TN Ag Communicators of Tomorrow, Dairy Club, Livestock Judging Team, and Collegiate 4-H & FFA, where she serves as Vice President. Outside of these activities, she enjoys going to church, UT games, concerts, and thrift stores. Jana is passionate about the Shorthorn breed and is ecstatic to learn more about the association this summer!

Kaylee McInvale is currently a senior at Tarleton State University pursuing a degree in Animal Science and a minor in Agricultural economics. Kaylee wants to pursue a master’s and take a path into animal nutrition or reproduction. She is very active on campus as she is a Tarleton State Block and Bridle club member. She serves as the scholarship chair for the Alpha Zeta chapter of the Sigma Alpha Sorority. As well as she is currently serving as a Residential Leader for the Tarleton Housing Department. Kaylee has been raising and showing livestock all her life. She has raised Chianinas, Simmentals, and Herefords. She has helped her parents run cow operations like Circle M Farms and Foster Brothers Farm, registered Simmental and Angus farms. Kaylee served in various positions as a Texas State Junior Director for both Horn and Polled Associations. She was in various royalty roles for the Polled Association. Kaylee served as the 2020-2021 National Hereford Queen, leading her to where she is today. She is currently serving on the National Junior Hereford Board of Directors. She was elected to the board this past summer. Kaylee is looking forward to meeting and working with all of you this summer. Kaylee will be serving as our Junior Activities Intern.

Anna Bonnet is a junior agriculture media and communications major at West Texas A&M University. She is from Karnes City, TX where she grew up helping her family on their Brangus cattle ranch and showing cattle for many years. Throughout college she has had the opportunity to intern for several national livestock shows, growing her passion for the stock show and cattle industries. Anna is very excited to be joining us in Kansas City for the summer as the communications intern.

Farewell From the Interns

It’s our last day in the office (we know, we’re sad about it too). We just wanted to take some time to reflect on our summer and give a final farewell in our last blog post. Thank you, ASA, Juniors, and parents, for an incredible 2021 junior nationals, it was a memory we won’t forget.

My time at the ASA has come to an end, and I’m truly going to miss this office atmosphere and the amazing ASA staff. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity provided to me by the ASA. This internship was truly rewarding, and I was able to gain so much from this. I got to get exactly the experience I had hoped for, and I gained knowledge I am going to use for the rest of my college career and I’m my future job. Shelby, thank you for being such a great supervisor. I honestly don’t think that this internship would be the same if you weren’t the one in charge. If you are a communications student, and you need an internship experience, this is an amazing opportunity, and you should definitely apply for summer 2022! I can’t wait to see where the future takes me!

As my time working for the American Shorthorn Association comes to a close, I want to say thank you to the ASA staff for being so welcoming and helpful. I have loved my time getting to know the staff, breeders, and juniors involved in the shorthorn breed. This summer has truly been a great learning experience; about the breed, myself, and putting on a junior national. I hope to see many of you again in the future; don’t be a stranger! While I am sad to leave the association after a wonderful two and a half months, I am excited to see where my future takes me.

As I finish my last day being the Youth Activities Intern, with the American Shorthorn Association, I want to take the time to thank the association for being so great. The people, the atmosphere; all of it has been a blessing in more ways than I can describe. I will forever cherish the last two and a half months: the connections I have made, and the friendships I have developed with my fellow interns! I am sad to leave but am excited for my future endeavors. Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity to work with such great breeders, youth, and staff. I hope to see everyone sometime in the future; if we cross paths, don’t be a stranger, as I always enjoy a little small talk! 

Again, thank you to everyone that helped us throughout the summer. We appreciate every single one of you, and we hope you all have a great rest of the summer. We are going to miss the office, but we hope to see everyone sometime in the future!

Potluck Lunch

Today in the office, we decided we would put together a potluck lunch. The interns selected a recipe from the 2021 junior nationals Beef Cook-Off Contest, and everyone else brought a side dish/dessert to enjoy along with it!

The recipe that we selected from the cook-off was actually the champion recipe. It was presented by the state of Indiana and is called Philly Cheese Steak Quesadillas; the recipe is provided below! As for everyone else in the office, they opted to bring a side dish of their choosing. Wade made for us a Sassy Salsa and cheese dip. Shelby made us some Frito Corn Salad, Heather made some Spanish Rice, Montie “made” us some Waldorf Salad, and Cassie brought a homemade S’mores Cheesecake for a dessert!

Philly Cheesesteak Quesadillas


  • 2 Medium Tortillas
  • ½ lb shaved Ribeye
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ diced red pepper
  • ½ diced green pepper
  • 6 oz. diced mushrooms
  • 1 T light olive oil
  • 3 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • 2 t mayonnaise


  • Cook shaved ribeye with 2 t oil, salt + pepper, in a skillet. Once fully cooked, remove from skillet.
  • Sautee onion, peppers + mushrooms in the same skillet until tender. Adding 1 t of oil if needed
  • Add Ribeye + Garlic into skillet.
  • Spread mayo on tortillas
  • Add filling to ½ of each tortilla, top filling with provolone + fold the tortilla 
  • Place tortilla in a skillet with oil over medium heat. Sautee until the cheese is melted + outside is golden + crisp, flip once. 
  • Slice, serve & enjoy! 

It was a great day for those of us here at the ASA office to spend some time together and enjoy good food and good conversation. We loved these Philly Cheese Steak Quesadillas, and we are excited to see what everyone comes up with for next years Beef Cook-Off Contest with the new cut of meat!

Achieving Our Goals

Goal setting is an important part of life. When you make a goal, ultimately you would like to achieve it. There are different types of goals, short-term goals, and long-term goals. How we choose to reach these goals is dependent on who we are as a person and what helps us to stay organized and keep us on track. Since our time here at the American Shorthorn Association is coming to a close, we (the interns) thought that we would tell you a little bit about our goals over the next year.


What are my goals for the year to come? That is a loaded question. The next year is going to be a big step, in terms of school and work. My plan as of now is to be graduating from Oklahoma State University in May with my Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Communications and hopefully starting my very first full-time job. If anyone reading this is new to college this year, I definitely recommend taking advantage of clubs and other activities going on, on campus. They are a great way to meet new people and make friends that you will likely have even after you graduate. Among the goals I have this year is to excel academically. I plan to do this by keeping organized and having a schedule that includes study time. The second important goal for me is to find a job that will essentially kick off my career. Tools that will help me to achieve that goal are to gain experience, and that is one thing that this internship has no doubt provided me. I am so glad to be returning to a fully opened university this fall, now that we are somewhat pandemic-free. I will be sad to leave Kansas City and all of the amazing Shorthorn staff but I am glad to have met everyone and to have had this experience.


My goals and aspirations throughout the course of the last year and a half have not necessarily changed, the only thing that has truly changed is the course in which it is taking me to reach them. I am very excited to start my fall semester back at Kansas State University, with all in-person classes. As a young college student, it has been very difficult to get everything out of, not only my education but my whole college experience with the troubled times we have faced in the last year and a half. However, like many other students my age, I have made the most of it: still applying myself to create opportunities for my future by getting a job within the university, applying for internships, and landing this one, as well as becoming involved with clubs, amidst the pandemic. The past year has taught me more than any other year combined. It may not have been materialistic lessons, but it has been lessons worth more than any academic degree ever could. It has taught me to never take time for granted, to never underestimate anything, additionally, it has taught me to never give up on anything, no matter the journey. That being said, my goals for the future are to continue my journey at Kansas State University and continue the path that He has carved for me. I have many goals to reach for within my major, within the clubs I am active in, as well as personal growth goals for myself. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer and takes the time to spend time with their loved ones!


As my time at the American Shorthorn association is coming to an end, my academic career isn’t far behind. I will be a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this upcoming year, finish up my degree in Agricultural Communications. Being a senior, I have started to think about my future career. I hope to get a job post-graduation working in outreach and education for an agriculture company. This will require networking and communication throughout the next year. I am so excited to see where my future goes. I have learned a lot about adaptability and perseverance this last year and a half. As a college student, my world was turned upside down when my university closed due to COVID, as well as most classes switching to online for this past school year. But it gave me the skills and initiative to work on my own, get things accomplished, and accept change with grace. My main goals for the near future are to continue my education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, graduating with a B.S. in Agricultural Communications, and continue to be resilient in all of my future endeavors. I hope everyone enjoys these last few weeks of summer!

Post Junior Nationals Reflection

Hey everyone! We hope you all had a blast at the 2021 Shorthorn Safari! Junior nationals have come to a close, and we wanted to reflect on our week and share with you!


The 2021 National Junior Shorthorn Show and Youth Conference is over, but I am so glad I was able to see so many smiling faces throughout the week, and I hope everyone is getting some much-needed rest. My week consisted of photos, photos, and more photos! I really enjoyed being able to watch the juniors as they participated and showed off their skills in contests, and especially the shows on Friday and Saturday. I am thankful for the opportunity to experience Shorthorn Junior Nationals, especially the behind-the-scenes and how much it truly takes to put on a national junior show of this size. It put things into perspective and makes me truly appreciate all the people who dedicated their time to put together the junior nationals that I was able to attend as a junior exhibitor. Juniors, be sure to thank your parents, and thank your breed associations, whether it be shorthorn or something else, for all the hard work they put in for you to be able to do what you love because without those people you would not have that opportunity.


To reflect upon this past week, overall, this was a great experience. I had a blast getting to know the junior board and candidates better, along with meeting the future of the Shorthorn breed. Being around the youth who are passionate and excited about the future of the Shorthorn breed, brings me joy to be able to empathize with them. Even though I was in the office much of the week, when I would venture out, I thoroughly enjoyed everything I saw. The highlight of my week was getting to see the State Cook-Off/Tailgate happen in conjunction with the cornhole tournament. It was exciting to see all the unique foods each state brought, as well as see everyone come together for a little friendly competition. All in all, I will never forget all the great people I have met through this journey and will always cherish this wonderful opportunity the American Shorthorn Association has given me to work for them.


This past week was definitely an experience I will never forget. I loved getting around to meet the juniors and creating relationships with the junior board members! Working as the registrations intern, most of my work was completed prior to leaving for NJSS; this allowed me to be able to help with many different contests. Prospector team salesmanship was my favorite contest to help out with for the entertainment factor 😉. The kids were all awesome and I loved being able to watch them make their sale. Friday and Saturday, most of my time was spent writing down and posting results for the show; it was great to be able to watch and support all the juniors. Overall, the past week was an amazing event to be able to partake in and assist with. I am so thankful for the people I met and the ability to work with the American Junior Shorthorn Association!

Preparing for Junior Nationals

Hey everyone, it’s the interns again! Less than a week until we see everyone at Junior Nationals, and we could not be more excited here in the office. This week, in honor of Junior Nationals coming up, we thought we would tell you a little bit about our favorite livestock show activities, and maybe help you to remember some items that we have a habit of forgetting when packing!


            Hey everyone! I hope you are all excited for next week, we have been working hard in the office to get everything prepared! When it comes to shows, one of my absolute favorite pastimes is spending time with friends that I don’t get to see very often. Showing livestock opens doors to friends across the country that you may not have known otherwise, and I am always excited to spend time with my show family (oh, and also eating some very good food). I like to think that I am a strategic packer, however, there is always one thing that I manage to forget and that is my belt! Something else that I have learned over the years is that you can never pack too many socks, I always manage to soak my feet when I wash my livestock. The countdown to Junior Nationals is almost over and I cannot wait to see everyone there!


Hey there! Only a few more days in the office, until we head out to Louisville for the event we all have been waiting for! My favorite part of being at a show is honestly just spending forced family fun with my parents and siblings. It is what we all work for and even though we may bicker like cats and dogs at times, we tend to get along (for the most part), while at a show. It is where we come together and work as a team and not against one another. A show day setting gets very stressful for everyone; each one of us has a mindset of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, before arriving that day. We all get things done when they are needing to be done (sometimes with a friendly reminder ;-)). Another thing that excites me is being around other livestock enthusiasts. I have been gifted many friendships through showing livestock and I would not trade any of them for the world. 

            With packing for junior nationals, don’t forget your soap for those sudsy, early wash rack mornings. That seems to always be the one thing that I forget in terms of equipment. Otherwise, I always seem to forget my belt or boots for show day (only the necessities apparently). With everything else going on and being a little stressed for packing, think about this blog, and don’t forget these little things that might slip your mind! 

            Safe travels to all of you attending the NJSS, and I am so very excited to see everyone’s smiling faces come Monday at check-in!


            Hi guys! As junior national is quickly approaching, I should probably start to think about what I’m going to pack. I always remember the crucial things (pants, shirts, etc.); but there are a few things I can never seem to remember: boot socks, my belt, and hairspray! Hopefully reading this week’s blog will help you remember the little things while packing 😉.  My favorite part of shows is definitely the time I get to spend with some of my best friends. I have created a large network of friends in the livestock industry, and they have become some of my favorite people. Any chance to see them and create memories is time well spent! I hope everyone is excited to get to junior nationals and create those memories in less than a week!! Catch ya’ll in Louisville 😊

L-R: Bella, Amelia, Michelle

How did we get here?

Hello! It’s the interns again! Today we thought that we would give you a little background on ourselves, and what lead us to be where we are today, and why we want to be involved in the agricultural industry today and in our futures. We hope you enjoy learning a little more about our backgrounds today!


I grew up in a farming community in a rural Illinois town, in a family that raises cattle and farms corn and soybean crop. I have a passion for the agriculture industry that is never going to burn out, and it is because of the people around me who used their passion to ignite mine. This is an industry that is a huge, nationwide family, and advocating for the industry is important now more than it has been. I want to be an advocate for this industry and help young people like myself to find their passion and grow future generations of agricultural advocates.

Agriculture has played a huge role in my life. I owe everything I have accomplished to the agriculture industry because, without it, I do not think that I would be where I am today. I wasn’t born into agriculture, but when my mom re-married, I was thrown into it headfirst. As soon as I was old enough to participate in 4-H, my stepdad, Donnie Brandenburg bought my first set of pigs to show at the county fair, and from then on, I was hooked. I got to grow up showing cattle, swine, and goats at local, state, and national levels. From day one, he has been my number one supporter and has given me everything I needed to succeed and more. He did not have to do the things he did for me, but he chose to anyway and I will forever be grateful to him for staring me on the path I am on. I truly owe where I am today to him. He taught me responsibility, leadership, and respect by giving me the opportunity to do what I spent 14 years loving. If I had to give any advice to a young showman in the industry it would be don’t blink, because the summers of showing truly do go by faster than you think.


I grew up raising and showing sheep on my family’s acreage. My dad grew up raising and showing just about every species possible and wanted his kids to be able to have that experience as well. Raising sheep is what began my interest in the livestock industry, as well as the agriculture industry as a whole. I give so much credit to my parents for giving me the opportunity to be involved in this industry at a young age and for always helping me throughout the last 21 years.

 I was exposed to agriculture on both sides of my family and was always eager to learn more about the different segments. My paternal grandparents raise donkeys and feed out cattle, while my mom’s sister and her family raise Angus cattle. Being from Nebraska, the cattle industry is something that I continue to learn about and peak interest in.

After joining FFA my freshman year of high school, I was intrigued by the disconnect between consumers and producers. As I went through my four years of high school, I knew that I wanted to be involved in helping educate people about agriculture and bridge that gap. FFA is truly when I found my passion in the agriculture industry and the reason I went into agricultural communications. My FFA advisor, Kris Spath, helped push me to better myself professionally, personally, and as an agriculturist. I learned a lot from her throughout my time in FFA, and still am today.

Agriculture has been in my life since I was young, and it will be my future as well. I am so thankful to have grown up in this industry and can’t wait to see how it grows and adapts in the upcoming years. 


How did I get involved in agriculture? Both of my parents grew up showing livestock, but I feel my passion came from their parents’ love for it. My dad’s parents raised commercial sheep and goats, while my mom’s parents raised registered Limousin cattle. It was not until I was in kindergarten when I started showing lambs at the county fair, and third grade when I showed my first string of cattle. I owe Val Wasinger, a Shorthorn and Simmental breeder of Winnebago, Minn. the credit for my passion for the livestock industry. I grew up showing cattle for her, as she grew up showing cattle for my grandfather. She has mentored me since I was 11 years old, and I still go to her for everything and anything. Additionally, I owe my passion for the agriculture industry to the National FFA Organization. I have gained many friendships and networking opportunities through that great organization. Between going to different camps to state and national convention, I have gained different qualities I never thought I could.

As I have grown into the person I am today, I have been able to know right from wrong through my parents raising me, however as I have moved far away from home first for college, and now for my internship, I have taken all that they have taught me about livestock, life, and perspective with me. I have been able to continue to grow even when they are not watching my every move. You may not choose your family, but I would pick them a million times over. Every part of your life happens for a reason, good or bad. You need to learn from your success and failure to grow.

This may be a lot, but that is how I have grown a passion for agriculture, and I would not change it for anything. In today’s world, each agriculturist needs to be an advocate. With the bridge between rural and urban becoming larger, we need to continue to show the rest of the world what agriculture and livestock industries are truly like and not what the outsiders view them as. One day there will be no outsiders and we will all be educated.

Get to Know the Interns

L-R: Michelle, Amelia, Bella.

Hey guys, it’s Amelia, Bella and Michelle, your 2021 ASA interns. It is week three in the office, and we are getting closer to the National Junior Shorthorn Show! This week, we thought it would be fun to do a little “get to know the interns” with some fun questions.

What is your favorite movie snack?

A: Peanut M&M’s and popcorn

B & M: Regular M&M’s and popcorn

What is your favorite safari animal?

A: Quokka

B: Giraffe

M: Monkeys

Any hobbies?

A: Tennis

B: Golf

M: Painting and Crocheting

Three bucket list items:

A: To live in Australia for a year, to travel across Europe, and to show in Canada.

B: To go on a mission trip, to visit every state, and to own my own business of some kind.

M: Travel to Amsterdam and across Germany visiting historical sights, travel across the United States, and to have a career in the livestock industry.

What is your favorite Podcast?

A: Beyond the Ring

B: The Keeper Pen

M: Crime Junkies

What is your favorite color?

A: white

B: light pink

M: purple

If you were a food, would you be sweet or spicy?

A: sweet

B: spicy

M: sweet

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?

A: George Strait in Kansas City

B: Garth Brooks in Louisville

M: Parker McCollum at Calf Fry in Stillwater

What show are you currently binge-watching?

A, B, & M: Reba

Do you have any phobias?

A: chickens

B: Dachshunds

M: snakes

We are staying busy finalizing all the plans for NJSS. There is a record number of entries and exhibitors this year which is exciting for the Shorthorn breed. We are looking forward to meeting everyone in just a couple of short weeks!