Bison scholarships awarded to 3 students

Three emerging livestock industry leaders received welcomed financial support as they were named recipients of the 2023 Throlson American Bison Foundation scholarship.
The Throlson Foundation scholarship review committee reviewed numerous applications and narrowed it down to three stand-out students. This year’s recipients includes funding from the Rich Zahringer Memorial Scholarship Fund, which supports those students who focus on agricultural business and accounting in recognition of the fund’s namesake, who was a longtime bison industry accountant and is among the pioneers of the modern bison-business. The scholarship is made possible by Rocky Mountain Natural Meats.
This year’s scholarship recipients include:Kaylee Kipp, Texas A&M University, veterinary medicine; Sam Stroup, Texas A&M University, biomedical sciences; Mikayla Lacher, Kansas State University, veterinary medicine.
The primary mission of the foundation is to annually award scholarships in bison related studies. Some previous winning students have pursued degrees in veterinary medicine (production or pathology research), nutrition (livestock or meat), animal science, and behavior science. One common theme they have all possessed is an interest in the advancement of the bison industry.
You can support the Throlson American Bison Scholarship by making a tax-deductible donation to the Throlson American Bison Foundation by contacting the NBA at (303) 292-2833, or by emailing, or by visiting The NBA also has a youth membership for individuals ages 21 and younger that are interested in learning more about the bison business. NBA youth members can access educational resources on the website, receive discounted conference rates, consign animals to the Gold Trophy Show & Sale held in Denver in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show, and receive a e-subscription to Bison World and the NBA newsletter, the Weekly Update, among other benefits. Learn more at

Kelsey Theis crowned 2022-2023 Miss American Angus
Kelsey Theis of Leavenworth, Kan., recently achieved something many young girls in the Angus breed dream of — she was named Miss American Angus. Theis was crowned at the annual American Angus Association Awards Dinner and Reception and will represent the breed as an advocate and role model in the coming year. With three older siblings involved in the National Junior Angus Association, Theis has been around the breed her entire life. 
“My first birthday was actually at nationals [National Junior Angus Show] in Denver,” Theis said. “So as long as I can remember, I’ve always been involved.”
Growing up in the industry, many of Theis’s inspirations served as Miss American Angus. She said to join the ranks of this group of female leaders she looked up to as a young girl is an honor. 
“It’s very surreal just watching other girls who have gotten this opportunity,” Theis said. “Some of them have been my biggest mentors or role models and it’s crazy to consider myself on the same level as them in that position. I’m just very excited and honored to get to do this.”
Throughout her time in the red coat, Theis hopes to serve the breed well and inspire young women to believe in themselves. She knows the responsibility that comes with the title and looks forward to taking on the role with enthusiasm. 
“I just want to do the best job I can representing the breed, and I want to make sure I have an influence on younger members so they have the same experience with me that I did with past Miss American Angus titleholders,” Theis said. “I just hope to inspire them and show them they can do anything they set their mind to.”
Theis is the daughter of Jerry and Tonya Theis and attends Northern Oklahoma College. She is obtaining a degree in animal science and is a member of the livestock judging team. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or accounting.
Look for Theis in the crown, red coat and sash during her travels this year. For more information about the American Angus Auxiliary-sponsored contest, visit