Humble, hardworking, and committed to the Angus breed: these qualities easily make the Connealy family deserving to be awarded as the 2021 inductees into the Honorary Angus Foundation. For two generations the Angus cow has supported Jerry and Sharon Connealy’s family in the Sandhills of Nebraska, and because of it they are passionate about giving back to the breed, and specifically, the next generation.
“There is no question that both Jerry and Sharon are extremely deserving of being inducted into the Honorary Angus Foundation,” said Mark McCully, chief executive officer of the American Angus Association. “Their dedication to pushing the breed forward and their service from a time perspective to the breed is truly invaluable.”
“Our family has made their living off of Angus cattle for two generations, and with that being the case, I feel the need to try and give back to the Association and the breed for allowing us to make a living doing what we love to do — and that is raise Angus cattle,” said Jerry Connealy back in an interview in 2014.
Jerry Connealy embodies the essence of the American rancher — respected but modest, honest but kind and generous to his community, school, and church.
Connealy Angus is a familiar name throughout the Angus industry and Angus family. From the time the land was homesteaded in Whitman, Nebraska, to when Jerry Connealy’s parents, Marty and Dorrie Connealy, purchased the first set of 25 registered Angus cows in 1960 — they could have never known that would be the start of a nationally recognized operation. In the words of Dorrie Connealy, “It has been a love for the business and a love for Angus cows.”
Today, Jerry and Sharon’s children Jed, Hannah, and Gabriel all play a role in the success of their business; while their son Ben serves as a strong advocate for the beef industry and his family’s livelihood. The family and their valued employees manage 2,000 head of Angus cows while serving the commercial bull buyer and the purebred buyer.
Jerry and his family have always assumed a philanthropic posture, but have done so very quietly. In 2014 the family donated the Angus Foundation Heifer Pick that was sold at the National Western Stock Show and raised $110,000 to benefit the mission of the Angus Foundation. In addition to the donation of the heifer pick, the Connealy family has consistently donated monetarily to the Angus Foundation to support the future of the breed.
Beyond supporting education, youth, and research, Jerry has donated his time, knowledge, and talents to serve on the American Angus Association Board of Directors and various committees. He currently serves as the vice president and vice chairman of the Association Board as well as the chair of the Angus Productions, Inc. (API) Board. He previously served on the boards of Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB®), Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI®), and the Angus Foundation.
For the Connealys, education has always been paramount within their family, and complacency has never been an option. It is through that belief that they have proven their dedication to providing opportunities to move the breed forward.
For information on how to nominate someone for the Honorary Angus Foundation award, go to https://www.angus.org/Foundation/GetInvolved/Events/HonoraryAngusFoundation.