April 24, 2018
by Brooke Jensen The “Hereford Family” is a phrase commonly mentioned throughout the cattle industry. Whether folks see it from the outside, or are involved personally, it’s easy to see how special this organization is. …
by Brooke Jensen
The “Hereford Family” is a phrase commonly mentioned throughout the cattle industry. Whether folks see it from the outside, or are involved personally, it’s easy to see how special this organization is. As the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) has continued to evolve and transform over the years, there have been activities added for everyone of all ages to enjoy and partake in. So this year, make it your goal to step on board and travel through the experiences offered by the NJHA. It will be your best decision yet.
Whether you’re 10 and attending JNHE for the first time or 21 and want to participate one last time, do it. Take full advantage of what this association has to offer. The more you put yourself out there — meeting others and staying involved — the more you’ll take away, including skills, courage, support, family and friendships.
“So what should I sign up for?” My answer — everything you can possibly be apart of. The Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) offers more than 20 different contests and scholarship opportunities, outside of exhibiting your cattle. You can also particiate in the newly added Fed Steer Shootout and Hereford Pen-to-Pen programs as well as the Faces of Leadership Conference, state and national queen programs, and the NJHA board of directors.
What can you get out of these events?
As a retired junior member, the first thought that comes to mind is friendship. Friends who will be influences in your life for many years to come. Not only will you grow and experience new challenges together, but you’ll learn how to be better leaders and people together. For many, the JNHE is the best week of the summer. However, many juniors would agree the Faces of Leadership Conference is a close second. A time where the competitive element is replaced by industry networking and leadership development, all while traveling the country and spending time with your best friends.
Emily Meinhardt, 19-year-old junior member from Marysville, Kan., agrees getting involved really helped her connect with her fellow Hereford juniors while expanding her leadership. “The Hereford family has welcomed me with open arms and hearts. Being a new face within the breed, I have benefited from the guidance of several individuals who have served as mentors to me. They have helped my siblings and I get more involved and shown us the ropes. I look forward to working with younger members and promoting the Hereford breed by serving as the 2018 Kansas Hereford Queen.”
Nervous? It’s okay, put yourself out there. Join a group contest with kids you may not know from your state. Attend the Faces of Leadership Conference and engage with kids from across the country. Run for your state queen or junior board, to put your best foot forward for future members while establishing a relationship with both junior and senior members.
As a 22-year-old retired junior member and soon retiring board member, I could not be more thankful for my junior Hereford experiences. I have friends from across the country, plus their families who are willing to help or encourage me in all facets of life. Now it’s your turn, junior members, step on board and get involved in the “Hereford Family.” It’s a ride of a lifetime.
See you in July at JNHE!