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Building on our Firm Foundation

Building on our Firm Foundation

March 14, 2018

Amy Cowan, Director of Youth Activities and Foundation It’s been an exciting year so far for the Hereford breed when you couple the enthusiasm surrounding events that kicked off the new year. To top off …

Amy Cowan, Director of Youth Activities and Foundation

It’s been an exciting year so far for the Hereford breed when you couple the enthusiasm surrounding events that kicked off the new year. To top off all the excitement, I am writing this column from the American Hereford Association’s (AHA) new office headquarters at 11500 N.W. Ambassador Drive.

Packing up an office that housed decades of Hereford history and moving from downtown Kansas City, Mo., have brought back lots of memories from inside the walls at Wyandotte. I’ve reflected on how far our breed has come and, in particular, the firm foundation that has been built for Hereford youth.

This walk down memory lane, offered a fun look back at the generations of Hereford families who make up our foundation. One thing that kept jumping out at me as I flipped through photo albums and filing cabinets was a constant theme of unwavering support of Hereford youth programs. If the walls could talk, I think they would echo that the breed’s history paid it forward — building a firm foundation from the ground up.

HYFA programs

Lots of new programs and concepts were born at 1501 Wyandotte, and the HYFA is one of which the entire breed can be quite proud. We would not be approaching the $4 million mark in net assets without this remarkable membership and group of donors.

The rebirth of the youth foundation happened in 2003 when HYFA sold the first foundation female — donated by the Coley Family in memory of the late Gary Bishop, who was the former director of youth activities and breed improvement. This was the first Harvest Gala under a big tent at 1501 Wyandotte, and we have been celebrating Hereford youth in grand style ever since. For four more years, HYFA sold the foundation female in conjunction with the Annual Meeting until Lot 1 moved to the Denver sale — where this tradition continues today.

It is with sincere enthusiasm that I report we have raised $770,000 in Denver for the Lot 1 foundation female program and another $100,000 in the years leading up to the Mile High Night. That’s almost a million dollars generated through the foundation female fund, thanks to the donors and buyers who make it happen each year. See page 72 to read about the Lot 1 in Denver.

Scholarships were HYFA’s first mission in the fall of 2004, when the first $750 Gary Bishop Scholarship was awarded. In 2005 it was followed by $4,750 with the addition of the Bob and Dolores Call Scholarship and the unveiling of the $5 million capital endowment campaign. Thanks to the late Bill and Jo Ellard, the EE Ranches, Inc., $200,000 endowment led to $18,250 in scholarships being awarded in the fall of 2006. This endowment was the beginning of great things to come for HYFA, and this fall, 11 years later, we proudly awarded $147,500 and will have awarded $170,000 after the summer scholarships have been dispersed.

This kind of growth is monumental. We have also added the Coley-Malir Leadership Endowment and all the educational opportunities that our youth experience each year through the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) and the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) Fed Steer Shootout.

Get involved

There are many ways to get involved and to show your support at all different levels. I encourage you to think outside the box and to find the best avenue that works for you to get involved this year.

The Feed the Future program, in partnership with BioZyme Inc., presents a tremendous opportunity for HYFA. It only takes a minute to text receipts to 816-383-3109. We are going to be recognizing a Feed the Future Customer of the Month each month.

The Foundation 1 Club, started by Sierra Ranches at its Western Treasures Volume 1 sale this fall is another avenue offering huge growth for HYFA in the coming years. In Denver the Coleman family presented its first check to HYFA, and I am excited to report that $15,000 has been generated through the Foundation 1 Club with 1% of proceeds from Sierra Ranches’ sale and the Ladies of the Royal and the 2018 Mile High Night sales. Please visit HerefordYouthFoundation.org to learn more about the Foundation 1 Club, and how you can be a part of this movement.

1501 Wyandotte was the office that shaped my career and welcomed me right out of college almost 20 years ago. The people who walked in and out of that building and the life lessons from 1501 are a huge part of my Hereford timeline. For me, a new space offers a fresh perspective as we look to the future and for even bigger things in store for the already firm foundation. HYFA has a rich history and, as you can see, the opportunities are endless for the next generation. It is my hope that we build on our historic past in downtown Kansas City and take the foundation to new heights at 11500 Ambassador Drive.

This article originally appeared in the 2018 March edition of the Hereford World. To view article, click here.