This year at the National Western Stock Show, the American Junior Simmental Association Junior Board has decided to honor one of their own members. Looking around the ring of the Simmental heifer show, you may notice a turquoise ribbon pinned to the collar of each board member’s’ jacket. Sammi Long was a senior AJSA member from Creston, Iowa, who passed away in a car accident in December.
Sammi and her family have been long-time supporters of the association. Through participation in the Simmental association, the Long family has been embraced by several other families over the years. The Long family chose to attend the NWSS this year to feel the support from their show family to help them through this challenging time and to support their fellow families in the Simmental breed.
Showing Simmental steers has offered a new definition for family. AJSA Director of Youth Activities, Darla Aegerter, said the association has started a memorial fund in honor of Sammi that has already raised more than $30,000 that will be used to support awards in her honor.
“Members of the breed have come together to support and wrap their arms around the family,” Aegerter said. “It has been amazing.”