The 2022 VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo was held July 16 to 22 in Louisville, with nearly 800 youth entering. Participants came not only to show cattle, but exhibit their skills in educational and leadership events. The array of contests and opportunities at the JNHE makes the event unique while promoting leadership and education.
In addition to contests, the 2022 JNHE held the annual Bridging the Gap college and career fair. Juniors of all ages were encouraged to speak with representatives from colleges, universities, and industry professionals to practice networking skills, learn about higher education, and set career goals.
Judging and Fitting Contest
Steve Austin and Corbin Cowles helped facilitate the judging contest, with more than 500 juniors from across the nation participating in the educational contest sponsored by Central Life Sciences. The team from Illinois won the senior team judging contest with a score of 970 points and included Dellana Muck, Morgan Hutchins, Emma Richardson, and Reid Allen.
At the night’s end, state associations sent in their best junior fitters to go head-to-head in the relevant contest sponsored by Sullivan Supply. Each team consisted of one senior, one intermediate, and one junior or peewee exhibitor. The teams were allotted 40 minutes to fit their animal. When the adhesive settled, a team from Oklahoma reigned supreme. The Oklahoma team included Quaid Mcintyre, Wyatt Mcintire, and Kenna Silas.
The contest’s objective is for NJHA members to create a resume based on authentic work experiences, education, etc., which they can use for future career and scholarship purposes. Resumes were judged before the JNHE, and the top five resumes competed in an in-person interview round. Seniors competed in a mock job interview, and intermediate members competed in a mock scholarship interview.
The winner in the senior division of the future professionals contest, judged by Bridging the Gap professionals, was Molly Biggs, Illinois. Biggs highlighted her internship with the Illinois Hereford Association as a membership services intern, where she expanded her skills in content creation for print media and journalism, and editorial writing. The IHA has a bi-monthly insert, the Illinois Hereford Bulletin, in the Illinois Beef Magazine, for which she was tasked with creating editorial content.
New to the list of contests at the JNHE and sponsored by the NJHA, the sales academy allows intermediate and senior division contestants a glimpse at real-world sales, including communication and marketing, before the live sale with an understanding of performance and pedigree information. Contestants submitted marketing materials for their animals before the JNHE and gave a sales pitch to a panel of judges at the event. Madison Sifford of Virginia won the senior division, and Kade Boatman from Illinois won the intermediate division.
The primary objective of the Hereford bowl is to provide an opportunity for NJHA members to demonstrate their knowledge of Hereford beef cattle. The Hereford bowl competition allowed contestants to demonstrate good sportsmanship, and it is hoped that this contest will provide an educational experience for both participants and spectators. The Junior winning team was from Texas and included team members Aubrey Lockhart, Kinleigh Guidry, Gage Creamer, and Jarrett Worrel.
The Senior winning team was from Illinois with team members Molly Biggs, Morgan Richardson, Kira Sayre, and Nick Torrance. Junior High Individual Written Test winners were Jarrett Worrell from Texas and Ella Bane Towanda from Illinois, who tied in the contest. Nick Torrance of Illinois took the senior high point.
The National Hereford Women sponsored speech events. The extemporaneous speaking contest is designed to encourage interest in promoting the beef industry and projecting Herefords in a positive image through public speaking.
The Illustrated Speech junior division winner was Cierra Collins, Oklahoma. Extemporaneous speech winners were Taylor Marrs, Oklahoma, in the intermediate division, and Megan Underwood, Kentucky, in the Senior division.