March 30, 2022
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Twenty National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) members were selected to accompany seven NJHA Board of Directors as they recently attended the first Building On Leadership Development (BOLD) Conference at Desdemona, Texas, March 24-27. This elite leadership retreat was hosted at Hi Point Ranch owned by Gary and Kathy Buchholz of GKB Cattle.
BOLD was created by the NJHA Board of Directors, who wanted college-aged junior Hereford members to expand their leadership skills beyond the Faces of Leadership conference that is held each summer. With an age range of 18-22 years, BOLD is geared to the college and career focused junior members, providing them with a more personalized learning experience, focused on improving their leadership, providing career opportunities and cultivating life-long relationships.
“BOLD was proven to be well worth the effort, and I am overjoyed with the reactions and feedback we have already been getting following the first conference,” said Lauren McMillan, NJHA Leadership Chair.
Junior members spent the first evening participating in team building activities. On day two they were welcomed by Gary and Kathy Buchholz to Hi Point Ranch, followed by an inspirational message from keynote speaker Kelly Barnes, a panel filled with industry representatives with careers in ranch management, education, food science and association employment. Following the career panel, Shannon Worrell, Ag One Source, led a workshop on understanding personal strengths and assisting attendees on building their resumes to highlight personal strengths and show themselves off to future employers.
The final day was spent with sessions focused on intra vs. inter personal communication, emotional maturity and building connections, led by the NJHA Board of Directors leadership team. Tours of the different GKB Cattle operations were held both days, along with a closing night chuckwagon steak dinner and a dance under the Texas stars.
Building was the underlying theme of the BOLD event and junior members were challenged to build their networks while growing their leadership skills. National Hereford Queen, Lauren Gatz from Kansas attended the inaugural conference. “Thank you to GKB Cattle for opening up their ranch to us and sponsoring this once in a lifetime opportunity,” Gatz said. “Being able to learn from Gary and Kathy Buchholz was a highlight of the trip. I am very excited to utilize the knowledge I gained this past weekend to continue developing myself. This was a special conference that I would encourage every junior member to apply for in the future.”
Attendees left the three day conference energized and ready to take the next steps in their leadership journeys. Megan Underwood, BOLD participant from Kentucky and graduate student at Kansas State University said after the conference, “I’m excited to take the knowledge learned and friendships created to make a bold impact while living my dreams.”
BOLD will be held annually in March, as an elite leadership opportunity, with an application process necessary to attend. The 2022 Faces of Leadership Conference is scheduled for Aug. 3-6 in Billings, Mont., and registration will open in May.
The National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) is one of the largest, strongest and most active junior cattle programs in the country. Over the years, members of this association have gone on to earn international and domestic respect as models for youth organizational success. The NJHA, through its extensive educational programs, continues to lay the foundation for the beef industry’s future leaders. The traditions of the past coupled with the energy of today’s board of directors have created a progressive approach to further develop a meaningful and educational association focus.