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  • Writer's pictureThe Show Circuit

American Chianina Associations Adds New Staff

Heather Counts- Director of Shows & Activities/ACJ Editor

The ACA is happy to welcome Heather Counts back to the ACA family as the Director of Shows & Activities and the ACJ Editor. Heather previously worked for the association in the exact same role from 2002-2012, leaving her position to focus on her growing family and business. Heather and her husband, Buck, own and operate Buckeye Acres Produce, a small fruit and vegetable farm near Warrensburg, MO. They have three daughters; Addison, 10; Kaelyn, 8; and Reese 5.

“Heather brings a wealth of experience, including 10 years of serving on the ACA staff and coordinating 8 consecutive National Junior Heifer Shows,” says ACA Board Chairman Ken Culp. “In her first two weeks Heather has already made remarkable progress in updating the website and coordinating advertising efforts. Welcome home Heather!”

Heather adds, “I am excited to return to the ACA and work with the members again. This breed and its members have a special place in my heart and I am humbled by the chance to work for the organization again.” Heather can be reached at or by phone at 517-214-0927.

Dustin Hurlbut- Director of Sales/Marketing - Western Field Representative

Dustin Hurlbut, along with his wife, Jeana, and daughter, Bayler, own and operate Hurlbut Cattle in Raymond, SD. They, along with Dustin’s parents, run an Angus & Simmental based cowherd, selling show heifer prospects each fall and hosting a bull sale each spring. Dustin began his career with Chianina breeder Deiter Bros., Faulkton, SD, immediately after high school graduation and remained with the Deiter operation until their dispersal.

“I’m excited to work with the American Chianina Association and its membership,” says Dustin.

Dustin will serve ACA members located west of the Mississippi River. Dustin can be reached at or by phone at 605-380-8052.

Ryan Robb- Director of Sales/Marketing - Eastern Field Representative

Ryan brings a variety of experience to the ACA as the Director of Sales & Marketing/Field Representative – East Territory! He holds a Master’s in Ruminant Nutrition with additional Master’s work in Agricultural Education. He has experience teaching junior high and high school and extensive work with 4-H and FFA. As Professor of Agriculture at three Illinois community colleges, Ryan has taught Animal Science courses and a variety of AgriBusiness courses. In addition, he developed marketing/promotional materials, worked trade shows and hosted events to recruit agriculture students.

Ryan has been an ACA member and Chianina producer for several years. We feel his experience in performance/carcass data collection in addition to owning/showing cattle of several breeds will be “Chi” in moving our association forward.

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