CITY, Mo. — At the conclusion of the 2008 VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) it was announced that Drew Perez, a 4th generation Hereford breeder from Nara Visa, N.M., was voted on by his peers to win this year's Herdsman of the Year Award and coveted belt buckle.
Perez has been very active in the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) along with 4-H and FFA, and was the recipient of his local FFA chapter's Beef Production Entrepreneurship Award. He was most recently named the All-American Individual in junior college livestock judging for a successful judging career at Butler County Community College, El Dorado, Kan.
This year, five junior members were selected as finalists for the Herdsman of the Year Award. Finalists were chosen by a committee of national advisors and the winner was voted on by the junior membership.
“I love working with Hereford cattle, but this award means so very much to me because I am being recognized by my peers,” Perez said. The award is even more special for Perez as his older brother, Kyle, won the same honor in 2004
Perez's exhibition of market and breeding cattle extends from the local to national level. He won reserve intermediate showman at the 2004 JNHE and this year placed among the top 10 senior finalists. In addition to being honored with the Herdsman of the Year Award, Perez also received the Ed Bible Memorial Scholarship, Poll-ette Founders Scholarship and the Hereford Herdsman Scholarship. Perez recently earned his associate degree at Butler Community College and will continue his education this fall at Texas Tech majoring in agriculture economics and plans to compete on the livestock judging team.
The 2008 VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo was sponsored in part by Biozyme Inc., St. Joseph, Mo.; Fort Dodge Animal Health, Overland Park, Kan.; and UMB Bank and the RC Kemper Charitable Trust, Kansas City, Mo.
The NJHA is one of the most active junior programs in the country with approximately 3,000 members. The NJHA's mission is to create and promote enthusiasm for the breed while providing opportunities through leadership, education and teamwork. For more information about the NJHA, visit www.jrhereford.org.