Just 130 miles north of the New York City hustle and bustle is where Phil Trowbridge, and Trowbridge Angus, calls home. Past the city skyline, the pace slows and rural life begins. In the small town of Ghent, N.Y., the Trowbridge family is now in its fifth generation of Angus breeders.
Recently elected as the American Angus Association Board of Directors President and Chairman, Phil Trowbridge has been involved with Angus cattle since 1955. That year his dad, Paul Trowbridge Sr., purchased the family's first Angus cow. It was initially a 4-H project for Phil's older brother, Paul Jr., but enthusiasm for the breed soon spread to all nine of the Trowbridge children.
Angus is one of the breeds of cattle that has become such a dominant figure in the beef industry, because of its predictability and efficiency, Phil says. If you talk to anyone who feeds cattle, they want to feed Angus because they are predictable, and that comes from the extensive database we've established in Saint Joseph, Mo.
Prior to his position as president and chairman, Phil served as vice president and vice chairman of the board. He was elected, along with five new members and officers, to lead the Association during its 129th Annual Meeting of Delegates in Louisville, Ky.
The Angus breed brings a certain versatility to our farm, Phil says. With the maternal and carcass genetic traits, it's no wonder Angus is now a household name.
Today, Trowbridge Angus runs about 250 head of cattle and hosts several sales throughout the year. Phil describes himself as an average size breeder and hopes that insight will help him guide the organization in the upcoming year.
Coming from small-scale farm in rural New York, I believe I bring a different perspective to the Association board, Phil says. I have always been extremely focused on customer service, and our Association does a terrific job with that, but there are always ways to improve by working together.
As president, Phil is responsible for leading the Association's nearly 30,000 members across the United States, Canada and several other countries. He will also advise the world's most popular beef brand, Certified Angus Beef¨. The Association Board of Directors examines topics ranging from genetic evaluation to consumer marketing, and youth programs to advertising efforts.
To set the Angus breed up for long-term success, Phil says the Association needs to continue to stay ahead of the technology curve and develop a more worldwide business plan. He predicts that genomic testing will become increasingly important in the years ahead, and that data will help the breed develop more efficient, profitable cattle.
But at the end of the day, it's all about the people: It's the passion people have for their cattle I see every day that makes me proud to be a part of the American Angus Association, Phil says. I hope we can continue to grow in our services, and have the best customer experience in the beef business.
Trowbridge earned an animal science degree from Alfred Sate College, Alfred, N.Y. The day after his graduation in 1976, he became a herdsman for Gallagher's Angus Farm in Ghent, N.Y. Since that time, Trowbridge has remained in the community and built a solid reputation for quality Angus genetics.
He and his wife, Annie, have two grown children with families, who are all involved in the farm in some way. Their son, P.J., and his wife, Miranda, have one daughter, Daisy. And their daughter, Amy, and her husband, Michael, have a daughter, Taylor, and son, Tucker. With a special smile on his face, Phil describes what it means to work alongside his family.
The best thing about being involved in agriculture is watching the next generation, Phil says. They are so smart, and are always finding ways to improve technology. There's nothing better than being outside with our family working with Angus cattle.