A proud Kentucky Wildcat alum Will Blaydes has spent his life embedded in the Limousin cattle industry. From the time he was born he had the opportunity to be a part of his family’s Limousin operation. “My father and uncle started a commercial cattle operation, then they started buying Limousins and building that herd. I got to be raised around the breed,” says Will.
Will spent his junior years highly involved in the North American Limousin Foundation. As an exhibitor and serving on the junior board Will was presented with many opportunities for leadership and growth. Meeting a plethora of breeders and other junior members offered him chances to expand his knowledge and become an integral part of the future of the breed. Being active in the organization fueled his desire to pursue a career in production agriculture.
Each time an exhibitor enters the show ring it is a learning and growing experience. “Junior Nationals has to be my favorite show. It’s the longest one we go to and you get to be around other Limousin enthusiasts and the best Limousin cattle in the country,” says Will. When asked if he misses the competition aspect of showing Will states, “Yeah, definitely.” This has been his last year season showing as a junior exhibitor but Will continues to play a large part in growing and promoting the Limousin breed. “We’ve been selling heifers to juniors and their families and helping them develop their livestock and skills. I look forward to doing more of that since I’m not showing anymore,” says Will. It can be hard to move on from an aspect of life that has been ingrained since youth, but Will has taken his knowledge and skills gained and applied it to not only his education but his future and career.
Graduating in December 2019 from the University of Kentucky Will dons a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a minor in agriculture economics. Along with sitting on the junior board Will continued his participation in the promotion of agriculture by being a member of Alpha Gamma Rho, Block and Bridle, and the Kentucky Junior Cattleman’s Association. His experiences within NALF and other organizations aided in paving the way to earning his degree and becoming herdsman for a commercial cattle operation in Lexington, Kentucky. Through his network and leadership skills Will earned his way to continue being an integral part of the animal protein industry as he continues to provide quality beef for the consumers of America.
Looking to the future Will sees himself raising Limousin cattle; his focus is on the steps needed to found his own farming venture. “Limousin cattle will be an integral part of my own operation in the future,” says Will. While thinking of the future of Limousin cattle and agriculture as a whole he stresses that continuing to bring younger individuals into the industry will be crucial to it’s evolution. “Whether they be from rural or urban communities we need to focus on educating the future in animal agriculture and production so they have a better understanding of where their food comes from and how farmers use best practices in producing healthy and wholesome products for their community,” Will says. When thinking about the next generation of agriculture and it’s exhibitors, his best advice is, “You get what you put into it. Whether you’re at a show or serving on a committee or board put all your effort into it, because it will give you much more in return.”
While many youths tend to take on many responsibilities and activities, Will’s dedication has always been to cattle and agriculture. When you are passionate about something, it shows through your work, and that is exactly the front Will has presented. Knowing the importance of the industry and how it is rapidly changing he has dedicated his education and career to aid in the proper development of animal agriculture.
Limousin cattle deliver to your bottom line. With superior genetics, a simple crossbreeding plan and state-of-the-art selection tools, the Limousin breed will serve profit-minded cow/calf producers. In today’s competitive markets, taking advantage of all available opportunities is key. The Limousin breed offers a variety of options from Fullblood to Purebred to the Lim-Flex® hybrid (Limousin x Angus cross) to match your program’s needs and market goals. Crossbreeding for the right blend of muscle, maternal ability and profit is easy with Limousin seedstock.