Abby Mahanes joined the American Hereford Association (AHA) customer service team last summer. In the records department, she is known for her contagious laugh and encouraging spirit (and she makes some great treats!). Abby will be headed to the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) to help in the Shop Hereford booth and will be available to answer any MyHerd.org questions you may have. Learn more about Abby below, and stop by and say hello in Louisville!
When did you first join the American Hereford Association team?
I first joined the AHA team about a year ago. I will be in Louisville for the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) on the actual date that I was hired on, which I think is fun because it shows the growth and development that I’ve been able to have this past year.
What is a normal day like in the office?
I usually start off my day by checking my email accounts. I have my personal email, but I also take care of the records and ear tag emails, too. I will start processing the membership applications that have come in overnight and answer any questions that have been emailed in. I also release AI Certificates for a couple of breeders too.
Once I’m done with those tasks, I move on to any mail that I still have and help answer questions that breeders call in with. I’m always doing something but love answering the phones to talk with breeders. It’s fun to get to know them personally.
What are you most looking forward to at the JNHE?
I think that I am looking forward to meeting the breeders and junior members that I have been able to work with this past year. I’m also looking forward to experiencing a big junior show like this. I didn’t grow up showing cattle and the only livestock shows I’ve experienced were in college when I helped the agriculture department with an FFA contest. So, it’s going to be fun experiencing something new and different.
I think it will also be fun to see all the hard work that has been put into getting the animals ready.
Do you have a background in agriculture/the Hereford breed?
I actually don’t have a background in agriculture or the Hereford breed. I have always been fascinated with cattle since I was a little kid and remember whenever I saw cattle I’d say “my cows”, Lord knows where I picked that up though!
I did receive my degree from Northwest Missouri State University in agricultural business and animal science. I felt like agriculture was a good fit for me and I liked that it was family centered.
I was looking for agricultural jobs in Kansas City after I graduated from college last spring. I’m extremely happy that I could obtain this job and have had an amazing year here at the AHA.
What have you learned the most about the Hereford breed since being on the AHA team?
Having my agricultural business and animal science degree with a focus on beef cattle, I would say I already had a strong grasp on the cattle industry – although it did surprise me a little that the polled gene is dominate. I was always taught in genetics that polled was usually recessive.