Angus veteran Jim Shirley announced April 20 his retirement from the American Angus Association, effective July 31.

“He’s been a great asset to this organization for 24 years,” American Angus Association CEO Bryce Schumann said. “We want to recognize and applaud that service. We’re going to miss him. I’m going to miss him.”

Shirley currently serves as vice president of industry relations and director of activities. In that position he has overseen administration of activities, junior activities, industry and member communications, and the regional manager field team. He has played a major role in the development of AngusSource as a USDA Process-Verified Program and in furthering member communications through vehicles such as the Outreach Seminars and Cattlemen’s Boot Camps.

The Southern Iowa native was promoted to his current position in May 2004 after serving 19 years as a regional manager for Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. He was honored with the Top Livestock Marketeer Award by his peers at the 2001 National Western Stock Show in Denver.

Shirley says he has enjoyed working with Angus members and assisting in the progress they have made during his tenure, noting a marked increase in the quantity and depth of quality in the breed that is available today.

“You used to see a few good Angus bulls that could combine phenotype with the data to back it up,” he said. “Today you can find those really good Angus cattle all over.”

He attributes that fact to members’ willingness to embrace and adopt new tools. “Angus breeders have always been accepting of technology, and they weren’t afraid to use data as the driving force in their selection programs,” he said.

A true servant of the membership, Shirley says he’ll miss that interaction the most as he leaves to explore other opportunities that will afford him time to become more involved with family and in managing his home farm near Hamburg, Iowa. Jim and his wife, Linda, have two children, son Matthew and daughter Megan Jewett, and a new granddaughter, Madalyn Jewett.

Before joining the association field staff, Shirley was an advertising salesman and events reporter for the Farm and Ranch Guide. He also served as the executive secretary for the American Shorthorn Association and as an area coordinator for the American Polled Hereford Association. Shirley obtained his bachelor’s degree from OklahomaStateUniversity and attended graduate school at New MexicoStateUniversity.

Source: American Angus Association news release