by Brandt Downing At the conclusion of most shows, you’re bound to hear a judge talk about the opportunities that were given to them as juniors and how it changed their lives in so many positive ways and praise young people for the industry they are a part of. The cattle industry provides many opportunities for young cattlemen and women across the country to grow, learnand meet people. As Hereford breeders, we are fortunate enough to be a part of an incredibly supportive association. I interviewed Taylor Adcock and Whitney Andras, two of our industry friends at Sullivan Supply, and learned how the Hereford association and its different programs have impacted their lives and the doors that were opened for them. Sullivan Supply is no stranger to anyone that shows livestock and we appreciate their continued support of our Hereford youth.
Below are some questions and answers from our visit:
Taylor Adcock is the content coordinator for Sullivan Supply’s The Pulse who was a past Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) Ambassador.
What did you gain from the opportunity to work with the American Hereford Association (AHA) staff during the JNHE?
Working as an ambassador during the JNHE allowed me to get involved in the livestock industry from a different perspective instead of just being an exhibitor. It allowed me to get some internship experience without having to give up one of my last summer’s showing as a junior and I am very thankful for that. The ambassador program was a chance to get to work with people that I didn’t really know and people that I hadn’t gotten the chance to work with before. I was able to build connections that I believe have helped get me to where I am today.” The opportunity I had with the AHA allowed me to realize that I wanted to have a career that allowed me to be in the show atmosphere interacting with juniors and the great people of this industry, and I get to do that now with The Pulse. The week and half I spent with Amy Cowan, Bailey Clanton and the rest of the ambassadors was an experience I’ll never forget.
Whitney Andras, manager of Sullivan Supply’s The Pulse was impacted by the AHA and was fortunate enough to be our association’s National Hereford Queen in 2013.
How did your involvement with the Hereford association help you get where you are today?
Growing up I was extremely involved in both my state associations, Montana and Oklahoma, and the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA). We were a small group in Montana, and from a young age we all pitched in and helped with all of the junior activities. Oklahoma was a much larger organization with more activities, and with the help of the senior and women’s Hereford organizations, we worked in a total team effort. So, from a very young age I learned to work with others to accomplish the efforts of our organizations. Our “Hereford Family,” as we often say, is second to none. By participating in as many state and national activities as possible, I was able to build long term friendships and make awesome contacts all while learning to work with my fellow members in these associations as we achieved state and national goals. Even though I have two older brothers, John and Geoff, who have continuously pushed me, even when I felt like quitting, to get me where I am today, there are several other people in the Hereford breed that have helped me get where I am today and without them, I’m not sure I would have the job I do now.
What did you gain from being a part of the association and being a past National Hereford Queen?
I am who I am today because of my many priceless experiences. I learned adult life skills. Being a part of the different associations and cattle industry taught me how to be passionate about our lifestyle and share the many good advantages of our breed with others. I gained the confidence to reach out to a complete stranger and enjoy an adult conversation. I learned to compose myself in uncomfortable situations beyond my control. I learned that even when you least expect it, someone is always watching your actions and how your efforts create a positive impact for others. Through the many years of participation, I was fortunate to apply for scholarships offered by the Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) that enabled me to gain an education to prepare me for my career. Being the National Hereford Queen was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Traveling across the country to represent the Hereford breed provided experiences beyond my wildest imagination. The people I met and the experiences I had were second to none and contributed to my confidence and training for my future.
What is your role with Sullivan Supply?
I am The Pulse and Social Media Manager for Sullivan Supply. To promote the many products Sullivan Supply offers, I develop the advertisement and content schedules for The Pulse and all social media outlets. Along with this, I create social media graphics and The Pulse and Sullivan Supply product advertisements.
For those that don’t know what The Pulse is, it is your source of immediate livestock news and free customer advertising offered by Sullivan Supply. We travel across the country covering breed by breed, real time, results of cattle shows.
Did you learn things through the AHA that helped you get that position?
All of the above mentioned experiences truly made a difference in preparing me to have the abilities to earn my position with Sullivan Supply. My background and education combined with learning teamwork, confidence, the ability to communicate and how to deal with a variety of personalities, environments and situations, all gave me the experiences that have truly made me who I am.
Do you have any advice for junior members looking to get more involved?
Don’t hold back! Immerse yourself in teamwork and participation. Give every activity all you have, and more. Reach out to others and constantly make new friends and contacts. Embrace the leadership training opportunities and apply the knowledge in your everyday activities. Apply all you have learned and the connections you have made to your future. Always work hard, earn respect, and respect others and the rest will fall into place. To quote a dear friend of our Hereford family, Sue Rowland, from Marysville, Kan., “Always make two new friends at every show or activity you go to.” This is the time of your life when you meet your lifelong friends. Jump in and participate in as many activities and contests as possible. Learn the skills that you will not learn anywhere else. Even if you are unable to take cattle to shows, you can still go and make new friends and get involved in the different contests. If you haven’t been to the Faces of Leadership Conference, please go. Seeing different parts of the country, different breeder’s operations and having the opportunity to listen to industry leaders is more than an education. Get involved. Give it all you have, and then some! Please look around the industry. Look at many of our respected breed and industry leaders. How many of them were able to grow through their Hereford experiences and apply their knowledge to achieve their dreams and careers? If you want to grow and achieve what they have, set your goals high and go after them.
This article originally appeared in “The Advantage” – The National Junior Hereford Association Newsletter – Spring 2018. To download this newsletter, click below.