A new slate of young leaders takes over at the American Junior Hereford Association
The election of four new junior Hereford members to the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) board of directors was made, along with announcement of the new officer team, at the 15th Annual VitaFerm® Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) July 11 in Harrisburg, Pa.
Austin Cole, Bowling Green, Ky.; Kelsey Repenning, Mitchell, S.D.; Kelsey Stimpson, Melba, Idaho; and Jessica Middleswarth, Torrington, Wyo., received their maroon jackets as new NJHA directors during the awards ceremony on July 11. Two delegates from each state junior Hereford association voted for the individuals they wanted to represent the membership. The four retiring junior board members announced the results and passed their jackets on to the new leadership.
The 2014-15 officer team includes Chairman Brady Jensen, Courtland, Kan.; Vice Chairman Amanda Bacon, Siloam Springs, Ark.; Communications Chair Elise Hackett, Tuscola, Ill.; Leadership Chair Taryn Adcock, Assumption, Ill.; Fundraising Chair Jason May, Randolph, Minn.; and Membership Chair Kristin Bielema, Ada, Mich. Also serving on the board as directors are Cody Jensen of Courtland, Kan., and Tommie Lynne Mead of Midville, Ga.
Taryn Adcock is the 19-year-old daughter of Jim and Jan Adcock of Assumption, Ill. Taryn will be a junior at Illinois College, majoring in business and economics. Having been an NJHA member for 12 years and served as president of the Illinois Junior Hereford Association, Taryn says she believes in the opportunities that the NJHA provides to its members. She plans to encourage juniors to jump in and take advantage of every opportunity, especially Program for Reaching Individuals Determined to Excel (PRIDE) Convention.
Amanda Bacon, Siloam Springs, Ark., is the 20-year-old daughter of Craig and Debbie Bacon. A junior at Oklahoma State University, majoring in agricultural communications and animal science, she hopes to pursue a law degree at the University of Arkansas. Amanda served as the 2012 National Hereford Queen and president of the Arkansas Junior Hereford Association. She wants to give back to the association that has given so much to her and to provide the same opportunity to other juniors with new programs like the Helping Hooves service project and a junior Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) ambassador program.
Kristin Bielema is the 20-year-old daughter of Dave and Jill Bielema, Ada, Mich. She will be a junior at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich., majoring in business. Kristin has been a member of the Michigan Junior Hereford Association for nine years, where she served as director, secretary and treasurer. She has attended eight JNHEs and the last three PRIDE Conventions. As an active member of both 4-H and the NJHA, she has done well in the show ring but has also developed skills through participation in other contests and leadership roles. During her time on the board, she wants to encourage juniors to not be afraid to try new things. She says, “Always be yourself and do not let anything stand in your way of making something great out of your life.”
Austin Cole, 20 years old, is currently a junior at Western Kentucky University majoring in animal science. He is the son of Don and Katina Cole from Bowling Green, Ky. Austin is the former president and treasurer of his state junior Hereford association, and currently serving as the vice president. As a junior director, he hopes to keep younger kids active in the association from the very beginning.
Elise Hackett is the 20-year-old daughter of Dave and Marcia Hackett, Tuscola, Ill. She will be a junior studying animal science pre-vet at the University of Illinois. She was a member of her high school’s National Honor Society and Honors Choir and president of the Tuscola FFA Chapter. She has been a member of the NJHA since she was 6, and has attended multiple JNHEs and PRIDE Conventions in addition to competing in numerous contests. As a board member, she says she hopes to help educate and assist the junior members in being successful and to promote the Hereford breed in a positive matter.
Brady Jensen is the 21-year-old son of Kevin and Sheila Jensen, Courtland, Kan. After graduating from Butler Community College, El Dorado, Kan., where he competed on the livestock judging team and was named an All-American, he transferred to Kansas State University (K-State). There he will be a senior pursuing a degree in animal science and industry and agriculture economics. He has been a member of the NJHA since he was 7 and has exhibited at all but one JNHE. His honors in the NJHA range from being named Junior Herdsman of the Year to winning champion or reserve champion showman in every age group. His passion for the Hereford breed is unparalleled, and the continued positive growth of the NJHA program drove him to serve the youth as a director.
Cody Jensen is the 21-year-old son of Kirk and Steph Jensen, Courtland, Kan. A senior at K-State, Cody is majoring in milling science and hopes one day to have a milling science position in the Midwest and to continue to raise and sell Hereford cattle. In junior college, Cody was a member of the Butler Community College livestock judging team, and he is an active member of the Kansas Junior Hereford Association. As a director, he says he wants to be a role model and hopes that junior members will feel comfortable in expressing their thoughts and opinions about the association to him as a great listener who can put their requests into action.
Jason May is the 21-year-old son of Mark and Ann May of Randolph, Minn. He will be a senior studying animal science at South Dakota State University this fall. He has shown cattle for 14 years and says he wouldn’t trade the opportunity for the world. He has been a member of the Minnesota Junior Hereford Breeders for seven years and served as president in 2011-12. He spends most of his time working on show heifers. He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends at home. Jason brings a great deal of energy to the board and is always eager to lend a helping hand to Hereford youth across the nation.
Tommie Lynne Mead of Midville, Ga., is the 21-year-old daughter of Tommy Mead and Cindy Eppich. Currently a senior at Georgia Southern University, Tommie is majoring in exercise science with a minor in nutrition. Having been the president of the Georgia Junior Hereford Association for two years, she has gained many skills. She says she wants to give back to the greatest youth organization by serving as a positive influence to others, while devoting whatever it takes to keep the association moving forward.
Jessica Middleswarth is the 18-year-old daughter of Jay and Marsha Middleswarth, Torrington, Wyo., and is currently attending Butler Community College majoring in animal science and ag communications. While at Butler Community College, Jessica is participating on the livestock judging team. She says she is blessed to have the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful organization and hopes to advocate the Hereford breed and continue to get others involved with the NJHA.
Kelsey Repenning of Mitchell, S.D., is the 20-year-old daughter of Steve and Lori Repenning. She is a fifth-generation cattle breeder, and has extensive experience with the NJHA both in and out of the showring. As a newly elected director, Kelsey hopes to educate juniors on genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE–EPDs) to measure the genetic merit of cattle, as well as promote enthusiasm for advocating for the Hereford breed.
Kelsey Stimpson is the 17-year-old daughter of Danny and Katie Stimpson, Melba, Idaho. Currently a senior at Melba High School, Kelsey has been a part of the NJHA for 10 years and has attended many national junior shows. She is the current president of the Idaho Junior Hereford Association and a 10-year member. While serving on the NJHA board Kelsey hopes to help juniors follow their dreams as well as be a positive role model.
The 2014 VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo was sponsored in part by Biozyme Inc., St. Joseph, Mo. The NJHA is one of the most active junior programs in the country with approximately 3,000 members. Its 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 JrHereford.org.