October 30, 2019
by Luke Daniels, NJHA Director
What a tremendous week the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) had in Kansas City for the 2019 American Royal. As we journey through fall and the end of the year, you could’ve expected some cooler temperatures over the course of the week, numerous red- and white-faced cattle throughout the barn and the laid-back atmosphere of the American Royal that has consistently endured year after year. What started 120 years ago as a Hereford show has stood the test of time, and will continue to provide numerous learning opportunity for years to come.
Some of the highlights of the week included the educational forums and annual meeting hosted by the American Hereford Association (AHA). Through these activities, Hereford breeders young, old and in-between had the opportunity to learn something new while gathering in fellowship and obtaining information regarding the upcoming year. New AHA Board members were elected, Hall of Fame nominees were inducted and national show honors were awarded. On the junior side, scholarship winners were announced, Fed Steer Shootout awards were presented and even a new queen, Melanie Fishel, was crowned.
Perhaps though, I think my favorite part of the week was the time spent growing our leadership skills as a board. On Wednesday and Thursday, the NJHA board of directors had the privilege to meet and work with Kelly Barnes, a keynote, workshop and personal development speaker. On Wednesday evening, we participated in an activity where we wrote the five most important things in our lives down on tennis balls. Thursday morning rolled around and we jumped right back into action. Of everything we learned about being better people, more effective team members and working more efficiently, two things will stick with me. The first is an acronym, abbreviated T-COIN, standing for “Take-Care-Of-It-Now.” As many, like myself, tend to procrastinate at times, this is such a good saying to have down on hand for a little bit of motivation. Whether it be school work, personal health or barn time with your animals, take care of it now.
The second piece of advice Kelly left us with is, “You are the combination of the five people you are with the most.” This is something you might not think about, but this saying itself says so much about each and every one of us. Lastly, Kelly had us reflect on our tennis balls and suggested we use them as a reminder at any time.
The 12 of us board members enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Kelly and grow closer over the course of a fun week in Kansas City. I know the skills we took away from the week were extremely beneficial in helping us work closer as a team. I challenge each of you juniors to keep those ideas in mind. Taking care of your matters in the now truly allows you to do what you genuinely love. On top of that always remember that you are a combination of the five people you hang out the most with. It isn’t much, but it is enough to make a significant difference, and provide a place to start if nothing else. And always keep in mind too, that these qualities of betterment can always be capitalized on to work towards the ultimate goal of being the best person you can be.