July 7, 2021 | Vol. 14 : No. 6

Retallick-Riley Named AGI President

American Angus Association chooses Kelli Retallick-Riley to lead AGI.

The American Angus Association recently named Kelli Retallick-Riley president of Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI). With a lifetime of experience in the cattle business, Retallick-Riley will lead the company’s genetic evaluation technology and research programs.

“Kelli has a unique ability to share complex animal breeding and genetics topics with cattlemen in an understandable way,” says Mark McCully, CEO for the Association. “We are excited to have her progressive, energetic mind leading our innovation at AGI.”

Kelli Retallick-Riley

Retallick-Riley has been an asset to AGI as the genetic and genomic programs director, where she coordinated research and application strategies for genetic and genomic technologies. Her education in animal breeding and practical cattle experience give Retallick-Riley a unique skill set and perspective to strategically advance AGI and the tools it provides to cattlemen.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to further advance AGI’s mission of providing the best tools and information possible for today’s breeders,” she says. “Innovation is happening at a rapid pace, and AGI is poised to lead the industry.”

A Wisconsin native, Retallick-Riley did her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She earned a master’s degree in animal breeding from Kansas State University and is currently in the final stages of completing her doctoral program, also from Kansas State University. Before coming to work for AGI in 2016, she worked for the American Gelbvieh Association.

Growing up in the Angus breed, Retallick-Riley was on the National Junior Angus Association Board of Directors. She is a frequent presenter on cattle industry programs; has been actively involved in the Beef Improvement Federation, serving on its board of directors; and has served as the past chairman of the Ultrasound Guidelines Council.

“Kelli has a passion for genetic improvement and the success of Angus breeders,” McCully says. “The future of AGI is in good hands.”

Retallick-Riley took the helm of AGI June 28 as former AGI president Joel Cowley resigned to accept the CEO role of Calgary Stampede. Cowley previously served in various leadership roles, including president and CEO at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Editor's note: Holly Martin is the director of communications for the American Angus Association.