July 8, 2019
A cool, Colorado morning on day two of the 2019 VitaFerm® Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) brought participants a perfect morning for the third annual JNHE 5K Race. Participants young and seasoned laced up their tennis shoes and took out across the National Western Complex. In no time at all, Jacob Reed dashed across the finish line in Stadium Arena with an impressive time of less than 23 minutes!
Next up, Hereford youth put their knowledge to the test, literally, with the Hereford Bowl written test. Stay tuned to see which teams end up on top in the Hereford Bowl final “buzzer” round tomorrow. Just a short walk away, others were utilizing their knowledge in a different way. Judges in the individual and team sales contest were persuaded to purchase everything from live cattle to fitting products and everything in between.
Meanwhile, the first ever Bridging the Gap College and Career Fair was underway. Bridging the Gap was organized to help National Junior Hereford Association members connect with representatives from major colleges and organizations. If you did not make it over today, don’t worry, you did not miss out! Bridging the Gap will be set up until 4 p.m. tomorrow, as well.
It was a sizzling afternoon with the Certified Hereford Beef® Cook-off, with 10 teams grilling it out and showcasing their knowledge of Certified Hereford Beef through creative skits. The judges were certainly challenged this year. The teams certainly brought on the heat with their imaginative twists on dishes, costumes and overall presentation. It wasn’t all for looks, though! These youth were challenged to answer questions relevant in the beef industry from the distinguished judges.
After a big meal, it was time for dessert. The Queen’s Tea and Reunion, hosted by the National Hereford Women, provided cookies, crafts and etiquette lessons for a whole room of young ladies. Diane Johnson, Ft. Worth, Texas, facilitated the event and left the girls with a message to always be kind, courteous and well-presented. In addition, five lucky young ladies were awarded the opportunity to serve as princesses during the course of the shows this week. Be sure to give them a wave as they walk alongside the National Hereford Queen in the ring.
Five o’clock and opening ceremonies were here before we knew it. After an impressive parade of states, it was time to fill the ring with Herefords. Matt Scasta, Madill, Okla., evaluated the state group classes and the produce-of-dam. Taking home state group of five honors was Texas, with Oklahoma in reserve. Georgia was named champion group of three and New Mexico was reserve. In the produce-of-dam show, Rylee Barber, Channing, Texas, took home champion honors, and Sage Krebs, Gordon, Neb., earned the reserve banner. In addition, more than 40 juniors were honored as retiring members. While this is their last year in the ring, we can’t wait to see their influence on the industry for years to come.
After the group classes wrapped up and the champions were selected, Hereford families and guests had an evening of fun at the JNHE state tailgate and a concert on the Hill featuring Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band and local talent Caitlyn Oschner. It was a jam-packed day of fun and tomorrow is sure to be just as exciting!