—After the nation celebrates the 4th of July holiday, Hereford families will load their trailers and head to the Mile High City to take part in “A Hereford Celebration” at the National Western Complex. National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) members are gearing up for the Vitaferm® Junior
National Hereford Expo (JNHE), July 7-14, in Denver, Colo.
The Western Hereford Breeders are hosting this event in which hundreds of Hereford youth will not only exhibit close to 1,200 head of cattle, but also compete in numerous leadership and personal development events. More than 3,000 spectators will be in attendance throughout the week making this event one of the largest of its kind in the United States.
“The Junior National Hereford Expo highlights the best of both cattle and kids,” says Chris Stephens, American Hereford Association director of youth activities. “This is the culmination of months of hard work and it is rewarding to see the future of the Hereford breed coming together to compete and make life long friends in an enthusiastic atmosphere.”
The week long event has something for everyone from 3-on-3 basketball competition to a white water rafting adventure. Participants not only show cattle, but also compete in educational contests, interview for college scholarships, run for leadership positions and network at social activities. In short, the event helps prepare NJHA members to be leaders in the beef industry and their respective communities.
Show ring competition starts on Wednesday, July 11 with the steer show and showmanship. There will be four showmanship divisions with Matt Sims, Edmond, Okla., and Robbie Schacher, Ft. Worth, Texas, judging the peewee and junior heats and Alan Miller, Gridley, Ill., Cathy Jones, Elmwood, Ill., and Don Yoesel, Falls City, Neb., evaluating the senior and intermediate contestants. Jeff Mafi, Stillwater, Okla., has been selected to judge the steer show.
The bred-and-owned bull and heifer shows along with the cow-calf pair show will take place on Thursday, July 12. Randy Daniel, Colbert, Ga., will evaluate these shows and Bill Conley, Clarksdale, Mo., will judge the owned heifer shows on Friday and Saturday, July 13-14.
In addition to the traditional contests such as team fitting, photography and the judging contest, youth will also have the opportunity to get creative with Certified Hereford Beef recipes as they participate in the new Great American Hereford Grill-off. The NJHA Mentoring Program also debuts this summer and will give juniors of all ages the opportunity to meet and interact with other juniors from different states and to learn about the many opportunities during the JNHE.
The JHNE entry deadline is fast approaching with June 1 being the final date to submit entries to the American Hereford Association. Complete information about the JNHE along with entry forms and rules can be viewed at www.jrhereford.org.
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.