CITY, Mo. — A leader, volunteer and Hereford promoter, Amber Schmidt of Pipestone, Minn., has been crowned the 2007 National Polled Hereford Queen.
Schmidt competed against nine other state queens for the 33rd national title, which was announced prior to the selection of the grand champion polled Hereford bull Jan. 13 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
First runner-up and Miss Congeniality went to Katlin Mulvaney, Opelika, Ala., and second runner-up to Kelliann Blazek, Bangor, Wis.
The queen program is administered by the National Organization of Poll-ettes. Donors and sponsors, some of which have been with the queen program since its inception in 1974, allow it to continue and flourish.
Candidates are evaluated on their Hereford involvement, behavior, attitude, appearance and interaction with producers, as well as on their resumes and interviews, explains program chair Dianne Peebles.
“I can see a love for the breed and enthusiasm in our new queen, Amber,” Peebles says. “She has a beautiful smile and always a positive attitude. She has grown up in the breed and will be a great ambassador for polled Herefords.”
Schmidt will represent the breed and its breeders at shows, sales and other
events throughout the U.S. “This is the perfect opportunity to give back,” she
says, referencing the opportunities she's had because of her Hereford involvement.
A member of the Minnesota Junior Hereford Breeders (MJHB)
for 13 years, Schmidt has proudly exhibited her Herefords in not only Minnesota,
but also North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. She shared this experience
in the showring and her knowledge of the breed with other Minnesota juniors as
a MJHB director for six years. She and her older sister, Jenna, are now
organizing the first Midwest Classic Show to be held in Pipestone in July. The
sisters hope the event will be approved as a regional junior Hereford show.
“It is because of my family that I have such a love for the breed,” Schmidt says. Her employment throughout the years has consisted of working with her parents, John and Joyce, and Jenna on their registered Hereford ranch and grain farm near Pipestone.
Schmidt also keeps busy with school and community leadership activities. This year, she is president of the Pipestone County 4-H Leaders Council and her local 4-H club, and vice president of the FFA chapter and National Honor Society at Pipestone Area High School.
While it seems there would be no openings in her schedule, Schmidt still finds time to volunteer. Among many of the projects she helps with is Ag Awareness Days, where she explains to fourth grade students without agricultural backgrounds the significance of beef products in their daily lives. Schmidt has also been trained as a peer helper. In this capacity, she meets with a struggling child once a week to help foster a positive, trusting relationship.
Schmidt is a senior at Pipestone Area High School and is also taking general courses at Minnesota West Technical and Community College. After this year, she plans to attend a four-year college to major in animal science and to eventually pursue a career in veterinary medicine.