Campaigning on the Hill

July 8, 2019

Each year, Hereford juniors vie for a spot on the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) board of directors. Throughout the Junior National Hereford Expo, the candidates campaign as they chase the ultimate victory — to receive one of the four maroon jackets given out at the Thursday night awards presentation.

This year, eight NJHA members are in the running for a spot on the junior board. Read more about each of the candidates below.

Abbygail Pitstick is the 19-year-old daughter of Neil and Elizabeth Pitstick from South Solon, Ohio, and is a sophomore at Wilmington College majoring in animal science with a minor in agribusiness. Upon completion of her bachelor’s degree she plans to pursue a master’s degree in animal nutrition. She has earned a variety of FFA awards and will receive the American Farmer Degree this fall. She served a two-year term as vice president of the Ohio Junior Hereford Association. Abbygail served as the 2017 Ohio Hereford Queen before becoming the 2018 National Hereford Queen. Through her involvement in the Hereford breed she understands the importance of a close relationship between the American Hereford Association and the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) to continue growing the junior organization. If elected to the NJHA board, Abbygail’s vision is to “improve communication and interactions between junior members, advisors, parents, families and breeders.”

Bailey Morrell is the 18-year-old daughter of Barry and Carrie Morrell from Willows, California, and is a sophomore at Colorado State University (CSU) majoring in agriculture education with a concentration in agriculture literacy. After graduation she plans to earn an agricultural law degree. She has held a variety of offices and leadership roles through her involvement in 4-H and FFA. While at CSU she served as the College of Agriculture Sciences associate senator, the Block and Bridle Club vice president, the Collegiate Livestock Association secretary and is an Agriculture Ambassador. Earning the Junior National Hereford Expo Golden Bull Achievement Award has been a highlight for Bailey. Ultimately, Bailey desires to “help the public understand agriculture and to give agriculturalists a voice.”

Ben Jensen is the 19-year-old son of Kevin and Sheila Jensen from Courtland, Kansas, and is a sophomore at Butler Community College (BCC) majoring in agriculture business. He is currently a member of the livestock judging team. He plans to attend Kansas State University to continue his agriculture business degree and then earn a master’s degree. After college he plans to work in the agriculture industry in the following sectors: business, law and data analytics. Ben wants to continue to build his own Hereford herd and to remain active in his family’s operation. He has been an active participant and has held a variety of leadership roles in 4-H, FFA and sports. Ben is an Agriculture Ambassador and the president of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Club at BCC. He has served as a director for the Kansas Junior Hereford Association and has been treasurer for three years. When asked about his future plans Ben says, “I truly enjoy working with the youth and will continue to help my community in 4-H and youth activities such as judging camps and livestock shows.”

Luke Daniels is the 17-year-old son of Scanlon and Angela Daniels from Dalhart, Texas, and is a senior at Dalhart High School. Upon graduation he plans to attend a junior college before majoring in pre-veterinary science. Luke has been an active member of the Texas Junior Hereford Association and has been a director for the past six years. He has been involved in student council, 4-H and FFA and has held several leadership roles in each program. He is also a member of the National Honor Society. Luke’s future plans include starting a reproductive facility that engages in semen collection and both conventional and in vitro fertilization(IFV) embryology, and to also provide a weaned-calf program for Texas cattlemen. After college graduation, Luke’s dream is “to return home to assist my dad in the veterinary practice.”

Noah Benedict is the 19-year-old son of Chad and Becky Benedict from Dewey, Illinois, and is a sophomore at the University of Illinois majoring in agribusiness markets and management. Upon graduation he plans to work in the livestock feed and nutrition industry. Noah has held a variety of leadership roles in 4-H and FFA and is currently a director for the Illinois Junior Hereford Association. He earned the National Junior Hereford Association Golden Bull Achievement Scholarship in 2018. Down the road, Noah wants to pass along his family’s tradition of raising Hereford cattle to the sixth generation. He says, “I want my kids to grow up with the same opportunities that I had through the NJHA. I want to be a resource for young people in the industry like the NJHA was for me.”

Shelby Burlile is the 19-year-old daughter of Casey and Karol Burlile from Emmett, Idaho, and is a sophomore at Clarendon College majoring in animal science with minors in agriculture economics and education. Upon graduation she plans to continue raising purebred cattle and to work with youth involved in the agriculture industry. Shelby has been active in 4-H and FFA and has served on the Idaho Junior Hereford Association board of directors with leadership roles of president and vice president. Shelby was the Idaho State Hereford Queen from 2017-19. Shelby is “determined to make an impact on future agriculturists” and to “continue my involvement in the agriculture industry.”

Taylor Dieball is the 18-year-old daughter of Cory and Sally Dieball from Little River, Kansas, and will attend Butler Community College this fall to pursue a pre-veterinary degree. After college, Taylor plants to begin her own embryo transfer company and to continue expanding her herd to eventually hold a production sale. She has been involved in 4-H and FFA and has held many leadership roles within those organizations. She has served on the Kansas Junior Hereford Association board of directors and has held the vice president position. Taylor has also been involved in various activities at her church. She is a Kansas State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society and was on the Presidential Honor Roll at Hutchinson Community College. If elected to the National Junior Hereford Association board of directors, Taylor plans to “help the younger members find their passion within the Hereford breed and stand behind them to push them to be the leaders that they are.”

Wyatt Lawrence is the 19-year-old son of Bryan and Marytina Lawrence from Princeton, Minnesota, and is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities majoring in agribusiness with a minor in animal science. After graduating, his dream is to return home to work alongside his father and grandfather on the family operation. In high school, Wyatt held leadership positions in both athletics and arts. He has also been active in his church for the past 10 years. He is currently the Minnesota Junior Hereford Board secretary. His goals for the Junior National Hereford Association board fall into three categories: service, education and inspiration. Wyatt says, “I have always believed that setting goals is the key to success and feel that these goals have led me to running for the NJHA Board.”