Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program Graduate


Zane Troxtel of Geraldine graduated from the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program (YCLP) Class V on Saturday, February 16 at the 76th annual Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (ACA) Convention and Trade Show Awards Banquet. He was part of a class of 22 students.
The YCLP, sponsored by the Alabama Beef Checkoff Program and in partnership with the Auburn Department of Animal Sciences, exposes young cattle producers and industry partners ages 20-40 to the many facets of Alabama’s beef cattle industry while exploring their leadership potential. Students of the program tour cattle farms across the state, participate in immersive leadership and team building exercises and explore the legislative process, all within a year’s time.
Zane grew up in Alabama’s northeast corner. His great-grandfather and father ran a small farm together, so from a very young age he loved being around cattle. He loved it so much, in fact, that he got his first job at eight-years-old helping his neighbor in chicken houses just to save money to buy cattle. Several years later, following his 12th birthday, he bought his first pair. Shortly after, at age 13, his father decided to get out of the business, so the young cattleman purchased a few of his dad’s cows and rented pastureland from his grandmother. With the help of neighbors with chicken litter and hay, Zane ran his own herd from the time he was 13-years-old until age 19 when he sold out to pursue higher education at Auburn University. He spent five years in the college town as he earned a Bachelor of Science in Poultry Science and a Master of Science in Agriscience Education, worked at several Angus operations and met a girl who would one day become his wife, Elaine.
Post-graduation, he taught agriscience education for a year and moved back home to Geraldine where the newlyweds planted roots and started Troxtel Farms with just two commercial cows in 2011. Over the next couple of years, they were fortunate enough to change career paths to expand the farm to the 180-head operation that it is today. With the help of family, the team at Troxtel Farms artificially inseminates (AI) around 45 registered Angus cows and places embryos each year in their commercial herd.
“I am very fortunate to live my dream every day while maintaining a job with a construction company as a project manager,” he said.
A lifelong member of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, the young cattleman is the current president of the DeKalb County Al Cattlemen’s Association where he said he enjoys every minute of leading the 200-strong group. His leadership role is what guided him to become part of the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program Class V.
“I always love learning about different aspects of cattle farming, so I knew through the program I would get to see how others farm,” he explained. “I also was told of the relationships my friends made through the program and wanted to network with other younger cattleman around the state that had the same interests as me.”
For more information or for those interested in learning more on the program, visit
The Alabama Cattlemen’s Association is a service based non-profit organization founded in 1944 and headquartered on Capitol Hill in Montgomery. Producer and member driven, the ACA’s mission is to enhance the business climate of the state’s beef cattle industry, promoting a positive image while educating consumers that beef is a safe, wholesome, nutritious and convenient food product. The Association has county chapters in all 67 counties and represents 10,000 members statewide. It is also the qualified state beef council of Alabama.