City, Mo. — The National Organization of Poll-ettes (NOP) has named Kelly Owen, Ft. Payne, Ala., the 2006 National Poll-ette of the Year. For her contributions to the Hereford breed, youth and the NOP, Kelly was bestowed with this honor Jan. 13 at the 2007 National Western Stock Show. Second place was awarded to Elizabeth Wissner, Mukwonago, Wis., and third to Eva Hamman, Jacksboro, Texas.
Kelly served on the NOP board of directors from 2000-04 and was chairman in '04. “I had so much fun serving on the Poll-ette board and raising money for and supporting all the Hereford youth,” Kelly says. “The memories will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Her heart is one of gold, says Dianne Peebles, NOP past president, who praises Kelly for her efforts on behalf of young people. Katlin Mulvaney, eight-year member of the Alabama Junior Hereford Association, testifies to what Kelly and her husband, Randy, have done specifically for juniors in the Southeast. The couple has donated awards and apparel for the junior regional show, and also hauled the Alabama juniors' cattle by semitrailer to the 2001 and 2002 Junior National Hereford Expos in Montana and South Dakota. “They take any opportunity to help and serve,” Katlin says. “They'll drop everything just to help you.”
Kelly is president of the Alabama Poll-ettes and also is involved with the Hereford Youth Foundation of America, Dekalb County Department of Human Resources (DHR), Alabama DHR and Alabama Sheriffs' Youth Ranches. She also assists Randy with his charity work, including efforts on behalf of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Above all, Kelly is a wife and mother of three: Alison, Heath and Randa. In Ft. Payne she is so highly respected as a mother and advocate for family that a wing of the Baptist Medical Center is named in her honor — the Kelly Owen Women and Children's Pavilion.
Kelly and Randy made their first Hereford purchase in 1982, which included five bred heifers from Kirby Polled Herefords, Ft. Payne, Ala. Over the years, the couple's ranch, Tennessee Music River (TRM) Inc., has evolved tremendously. TRM is home to approximately 600 head of registered Herefords, along with Angus and commercial cattle. TRM cattle can be found in seedstock and commercial herds throughout the country, as well as in the national show circuit, led by Randa.
Randa is a senior in high school this year and a valuable member of the TRM operation. Alison and Heath are now living and working in Nashville, Tenn., but the whole crew pitches in to help when it's time for the annual TRM production sale titled Dixieland Delight. On May 26, the family will host its 24th consecutive sale.