The Idaho Cattle Association has hired Shane Kerner as its new membership coordinator to strengthen its ranks and broaden its outreach.
Kerner grew up on the family cattle operation in Weiser that was started by her grandparents.
But, she said, she was in the cattle industry even before she was born. Her mother worked in the feedlot and rode pens while pregnant with her.
The family runs a commercial cow-calf operation and backgrounds stockers in a custom feedlot. But when Kerner was a freshman in high school, she took a leap of her own, securing a Farm Service Agency youth loan to run commercial grass calves. That laid the foundation for her own registered Angus herd.
“I’m very, very blessed to have that background of each segment of the industry,” she said.
Selling purebred Angus bulls to local commercial cattle producers not only sparked her interest in genetics but also drove home the importance of cross breeding for production from both a seedstock and commercial standpoint.
It also funded her out-of-state tuition when she transferred from the University of Idaho, where she had academic scholarships, to Kansas State University. She graduated from KSU in 2015 with a degree in animal science with an emphasis on production.
While at KSU, she served on the board of directors and as vice chairman of the National Junior Angus Association.
“That was one of the biggest blessings in my life,” she said.
Through that experience, she met so many people, made so many friends and learned so much, including the core values she carries today, she said.
After college, Kerner returned home to help on the family ranch and focused primarily on feedlot production.
“The feedlot has always been really where my interest lies because you get to see the full cycle,” she said.
Cameron Mulroney, ICA executive vice president, said Kerner has a great background in the cattle industry and ICA is excited to have her on board.
“We just really think it’s going to strengthen our team. She’s going to relate well to our membership base and send the positive message the beef industry has,” he said.
Kerner said her role as membership coordinator is all about building relationships with producers to keep ICA and the industry strong.
“My goal is to build new relationships and rekindle old ones. At the end of the day, we’re the voice for those ranchers,” she said.
Different segments play different roles in the industry, but everyone has to work together for the final product, she said.
ICA is a great organization with great people and she’s excited about projects coming down the pike, she said.
“I love the people in the cattle industry, and it is such a blessing to grow up in the industry and come back and be able to give back,” she said.