Better Late Than Never—Kickin’ It In Kansas

It’s almost September, finally I am putting all my thoughts into a blog about the 2011 National Junior Hereford Expo (NJHE) in Kansas City, Missouri, July 9-16. I guess I needed some time to collect my thoughts.

I honestly compare missing Junior Nationals to missing Christmas with my family. In short, I imagine one day in the future, I might not have this feeling, until then I will be at the NJHE every July.

Zach

Zach in the Second Round of Intermediate Showmanship

Fortunately, I have several reasons to be present at the National Junior Hereford Expo for the next few years. Those reasons are the junior members from the Northwest that have I been watching grow, change and become some amazing young people. Several of those kids are pictured here, I know missed some, but I did get a few shots of some great junior members during showmanship.

The Hereford family is something that motivated me to keep showing. Let’s just say when my family and I experienced our first state show we were a bit of a spectacle. It was learning experience and one that could have easily scared me to never leave the walls of the Grande Ronde Valley again.  Thankfully, the welcome into the Hereford breed was felt by parents and my younger sister so kept us all coming back to the next show or event. I specifically want to thank the Burn’s family and the in the memory of Donald for making me laugh after a terribly embarrassing class. Also, to the Thomas Family of Y-Cross Herefords, thank you for showing me the basics and dealing with one spoiled heifer.

Kelsey

Kelsey, one of my favorites from Idaho

I am going to brag a bit, I am proud and not afraid to tell you that. I am proud of being apart of family that been a vital part of the Hereford breed for almost 130 years. Check out the Chandler Herefords history! This is my “real” Hereford family and I am so thankful they have given me so many opportunities to raise and breed cattle along with guiding my path in life.

Let’s get back to some highlights of the 2011 NJHE. First, I would like to thank Angie Denton for giving me the opportunity to help her throughout the busy week in Kansas City. I learned a lot and enjoyed working for the American Hereford Association for one of the greatest weeks for the Hereford breed.

Like I said the Hereford breed is one big family, my closest Hereford family members are somewhat random. Triple T Farms has claimed me as the fourth daughter, I am proud to say my sister Courtney was elected the National Junior Hereford Board representing the Northwest Region. Congrats again Courters! Also another shout out to Bailey from Oregon for super week in Kansas City, keep working hard! It was another week for the record books, from Kari putting the capstone on her career to watching the success of various junior truly making the difference in others lives, it was amazing.

Bailey

Bailey worked her way quietly and diligently through the day to become the 2011 Res. Champion Junior Showman

On a personal note, was so good to see so people that have impacted my life in more ways than I can describe. I think the list could get really long for all the thank yours I owe my family, breeders, friends and association staff. As a junior member I was given the opportunity to really find out who I wanted to be. I worked hard at events and home. I learned how manage show cattle at home and on the road. Being a familiar face in the ring made the transition into college easier and got me on the LBCC Livestock Judging, which was the source of seven amazing ladies who are my life long best friends.

Emilee

Emilee doing her thing!

I won’t keep rambling here, but if you are interested in becoming an active junior member or encouraging your children to be a junior member, I would say do it! Do it and it right, get involved, work hard and don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone and ask questions.

Thank you to everyone for inspiring, encouraging and helping me. Whether it was to get trailers unloaded or helping me make connections throughout the industry, I sure wouldn’t be where I am today without my experiences as a junior member of the National Junior Hereford Association.

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