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Give Thanks, Get Joy

November 9, 2021

by Lauren Jones, NJHA Director

Fall is upon us and with that comes one of my favorite holidays… Thanksgiving. There is nothing better than sitting down at the family dinner table filled with all your favorites. And now that I am eleven hours away from family, not only am I longing for a home-cooked meal but I am also looking forward to sharing time with family, spending the day reflecting on what we are thankful for and appreciating all of our blessings.

At my house, after we pray and before we eat, we go around the table and write down what we are most thankful for in that year. We then take turns sharing and telling stories, reminiscing and just being in the moment. We take the opportunity to revisit those special times, special people and special relationships that impacted the past year. Then my mom brings out our “Blessings” jar and pulls out a few of those little slips of paper from years past, bringing up memories from Thanksgivings gone by. Finally, we add this year’s blessings to the jar, preserving those moments for future years. I enjoy this tradition because it always reminds me just how lucky I am.

Within the NJHA, we all have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the dedication of so many within the organization to improving our youth. Growing up in the NJHA I have learned leadership skills, communication, and the value of hard work. These skills were nurtured through contests, faces of leadership, and other events. I am grateful for the NJHA and all the breeders and sponsors that are helping so many young people grow.

As I reflect upon my week in Kansas City at the American Royal I am overwhelmed by the many times the generosity and caring of others has impacted our junior organization. Thank you to the Hereford Youth Foundation of America for awarding more than $160,000 worth of scholarships to deserving Hereford junior members. Those funds support the hopes and dreams of so many and directly impact future Hereford breeders. Thank you to the Jensen family of Jensen Bros Herefords for donating the proceeds of a Gemstone flush in their The Chosen sale back to HYFA. Thanks to Springhill Herefords, Blue Rapids, Kansas for their support and the purchase of that flush. We are also extremely grateful to Chapman Land and Cattle of Nunnelly, Tennessee, who purchased the “Choice of Champions”and street sign, Lot 1 package in the Ladies of the Royal Sale. Their sponsorship will tremendously support the NJHA’s effort in planning the 2022 JNHE, Banners in the Bluegrass, in Louisville, Kentucky. We also thank all the buyers, bidders, donors, and all involved in the Sale of Champions auction. Over $20,000 was raised to make Banners in the Bluegrass truly exceptional.

Not only should we thank the people who support the Hereford youth but also the people who help us every day. Give thanks for parents, mentors, siblings, friends, or anyone who has helped you along the way. I challenge each of you to text, email, or even SnapChat three people who have helped you get where you are today and thank them. Let them know they are appreciated for the impact they have had on your life.

Thanksgiving is a day to count your blessings but thankfulness brings joy all year long.