The Herdsman of the Year Award is presented annually at the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE). The objective of the award is to recognize a Hereford junior who excels in sportsmanship, presentation of entries, work habits, honesty and knowledge about the Hereford industry. Here are the 2018 nominees for the award:
Carter St. John
Pell City, Alabama
Carter has been showing Hereford cattle since he was 7 years old. He is currently enrolled at Jeff State Community College, working towards a degree in business. Between going to school and running a full-time operation with two online sales per year, plus all the weddings he has monthly, things can get a little crazy.
His goal is to have a production sale on the farm in the next three to four years.
Nigel Howe, is the son of Doug and Jenny Howe. Nigel is part of Deana Jak Farms. They started with Hereford cattle in the 1990s. He currently works on the farm managing calving, herd health and making breeding decisions.
Nigel’s first JNHE was in 2006 and has exhibited in all of the junior national Hereford shows ever since.
Nigel was recognized as the 2017 Pennsylvania Junior Herdsman of the Year and nationally the 2016 Northeast Breeder of the Year by the American Hereford Association. When asked his proudest accomplishment, Nigel said that winning the Reserve Champion Junior Hereford Female at the National Western Stock Show in 2017 was a highlight of his showing career.
As a retiring Junior, he encourages youth to continue taking part in all activities and competitions the Hereford Association has to offer. It has taught him many lessons in responsibility, friendship and teamwork.
Lucas Stumpf and his family raise Hereford cattle and farm grain. He will be a senior at Western Illinois University and will earn a degree in ag business. He has been showing Hereford cattle since he was five-years-old.
To Lucas, Hereford cattle are more than a hobby, they are a way of life. He says:
“There is no doubt that this breed has impacted my life and I can’t wait to keep moving forward. I love the challenge of trying to raise and manage cattle to try and compete at the highest level.”
After graduating, Lucas plans on returning home to expand the cattle operation. He would like to say thank you to his friends and family that have gotten him to this point. He is humbled to even be considered.
Keayla Harr is the daughter of Jeff and Lou Ellen Harr, from Jeromesville, Ohio. She is currently a senior at Kansas State University majoring in Animal Science and Industry-Business Option with hopes to continue to graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Ruminant Nutrition and/or Meat Science.
Harr’s family owns and operates J&L Cattle Services, where they run 80 Hereford cows, custom develop heifers for other purebred clients, and get cattle ready for shows and sales. Keayla has been actively involved in the National Junior Hereford Association, Ohio Buckeye Junior Hereford Association, 4-H, FFA, and numerous other organizations. She is currently a member of the Kansas State University Meat Judging Team and was previously a member of the Casper College Livestock Judging Team.
Keayla would like to obtain a job after graduation working as a ruminant nutritionist or somewhere in agriculture related sales, with the eventual goal of returning to the family seedstock operation to continue to build their cow herd. Keayla’s ultimate goal is to make sure the agriculture and cattle industry are around for future generations and continue to get more young people involved in production agriculture.
Junction City, Kansas
Kati Fehlman has been raised around cattle and holds a strong passion for the Hereford breed. She attended her first junior national in 2008 in Kansas City with one heifer. Since then she has grown her herd to 14 cows from which she has raised and sold several bulls, and produced high quality females. She has also been fortunate to work with several ranches within the breed and also in other breeds. Working for other operations has allowed her to improve her own operation by gathering new ideas and meeting new people in the beef industry.
“It’s a very rewarding experience to follow cattle I’ve bred from feeding and fitting them for the showring and watch them become even better breeding cattle.”