July 9, 2019
National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) members hopped out of bed, threw on their VitaFerm® T-shirt and ran out the door for a full day of competition and fun on the Hill. Tuesday at the 2019 VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) left youth with smiles on their faces and proud parents seeking an early bedtime for another jam-packed day tomorrow.
The day kicked off with junior members evaluating cattle and marking their cards during the judging contest. Soon after, intermediate and senior members put on their professional dress to wow judges during the extemporaneous speech contest. In tandem, Sullivan Supply/Stock Show University hosted a fitting demonstration to help youth dial in for the much-anticipated fitting contest later in the day.
Just next door, another set of youth channelled their competitive spirit to take home champion titles in the Hereford Bowl final “buzzer” round. Emcee Shane Bedwell quizzed teams on their knowledge of the cattle industry and the Hereford breed during this event. While all teams had their share of correct answers, it was Illinois who had the final “buzz” in both the junior and senior divisions, taking home champion honors.
After a few minutes to catch their breath, attendees flocked to Stadium Arena for the exciting and impressive Sullivan Supply/Stock Show University team fitting contest. This contest challenged NJHA members from peewee to senior to work together in getting their calves to “12 o’clock,” all while onlooking judges evaluated their skills and teamwork. In the end, Illinois again prevailed, taking home champion honors.
Sullivan Supply/Stock Show University was not done providing fun just yet — the Summer Splash Boot Camp was still to come! An obstacle course full of relay races, dizzy bat, hula-hooping and shooting basketballs made for many laughs and lasting memories. A friendly game of tug-of-war concluded the event, and the participants were sent home packing water guns and brand-new sun shades.
The NJHA membership mixer and junior board of directors election rounded out the day. The mixer was a unique opportunity for members to learn more about their association from current and soon-to-be junior board members, while also enjoying company from members across the country.
That’s all for now, folks! See you for a big day of showmanship contests tomorrow!