(Back Row Left to Right) HYFA Board members Ray Ramsey, Greenfield, Ind., Nancy Keilty, Cedar, Mich. and George Sprague, Eugene, Ore., alongside scholarship recipients JW Cox, Flemingsburg, KY.; Jordan Gatz, Fairview, Kan.; Libby Rushton, Waverly, Tenn., and Bryden Barber, Channing, Texas, next to HYFA Board members Kathy Buchholz, Waxahachie, Texas, and Bill King, Moriarty, N.M.
(Front Row Left to Right) Scholarship recipients Tar Tut, Faribault, Minn.; Megan Underwood, Campbellsville, Ky.; Regan Mitchem, Vale, N.C.; Lauren McMillan, Tiskilwa, Ill., and Trevor Johnson, Centerville, S.D.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — High achieving Hereford youth were awarded numerous scholarships during the 2022 American Hereford Association Annual Meeting and Conference in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 21. In a special awards ceremony, the Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) and its donors proudly awarded $165,000 in scholarships to 28 National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) members to help support their higher-education goals.
Ten scholarships of $10,000 are given by the Vanier family for a total of $100,000 in HYFA scholarships annually. Jack and the late Donna Vanier and family of CK Ranch in Kansas have paved the way for Hereford Youth to further their education, and this year marks a $600,000 commitment to education from the Vanier family. The Vanier family is proud of the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) members and believes the work ethic young people learn growing up in the Hereford breed sets them apart in today’s workforce.
The 2022 Vanier Scholarship recipients are:
- Bryden Barber, Channing, Texas
- JW Cox, Flemingsburg, Ky.
- Jordan Gatz, Fairview, Kan.
- Trevor Johnson, Centerville, S.D.
- Lauren McMillan, Tiskilwa, Ill.
- Regan Mitchem, Vale, N.C.
- James Brody Rogers, Hamilton, Texas
- Libby Rushton, Waverly, Tenn.
- Tar Tut, Faribault, Minn.
- Megan Underwood, Campbellsville, Ky.
Bryden Barber, of Channing, Texas, is a junior at Oklahoma State University studying animal science and ranch operations. His involvement in the Texas Junior Hereford Association as well as the NJHA have allowed him to be a successful junior member. He was recently named the 2022 Junior Hereford Herdsman of the Year, a nod to his future success and continuous dedication to the Hereford breed.
JW Cox, Flemingsburg, Ky., is a senior at Western Kentucky University studying agricultural science with concentrations in animal science and pre-veterinary science. JW currently serves on the NJHA board of directors as chairman. His involvement and love for the Hereford breed is something he hopes to continue to cultivate as he works towards his goal of following in his step-father’s footsteps as a large animal veterinarian.
Jordan Gatz, Fairview, Kan., is a junior at Kansas State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He will be graduating early and immediately pursuing a master’s degree after as he works towards his CPA license. He plans to continue the momentum of the Hereford breed as it capitalizes on sustainability.
Trevor Johnson, of Centerville, S.D., is a junior at Kansas State University after recently receiving his associate’s degree in agribusiness from Butler Community College. Trevor’s dedication to Herefords and the beef industry starts with the commercial sector and feedlot industry, where he heavily participates in the NJHA Fed Steer Shootout program and has spent his summers interning for feedyards. His goal in life is to be the youngest individual inducted into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame.
Lauren McMillan, from Tiskilwa, Ill. is a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). At UIUC, she is studying agricultural leadership, education and communication. She recently worked as a communications marketing intern with Caterpillar Inc. to continue developing her skills. The current NJHA membership chair, she is passionate about the membership and helping each junior develop through every opportunity possible.
Regan Mitchem, from Vale, N.C., is a senior in animal science with a pre-veterinary focus at North Carolina (NC) State University. She aspires to attend the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine and then return home to expand her mom’s small animal veterinary practice to include more livestock reproductive services. In veterinary school, she will focus on livestock reproduction, using her personal experience in the cattle industry, veterinary internships, practice and research experiences to meet the need for veterinary reproductive services.
James Brody Rogers, Hamilton, Texas, is a veterinary student at Texas A&M University. Along with pursuing his veterinary degree, Rogers and his siblings started their own business titled Cowhouse Creek Meat Company, where they began by selling individual cuts and then moved into selling sides of beef to individuals.
Libby Rushton, of Waverly, Tenn., is a junior at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where she studies agricultural business. She previously interned for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation as a public policy intern and this role encouraged her to use her voice for agriculture, whether in the political or public relations field. She is the current NJHA communications chair, serving her final year on the NJHA board of directors.
Tar Tut, from Faribault, Minn., is a senior at Texas A&M University, majoring in agriculture communications and with aspirations to earn a master’s degree in international communications. As a first-generation American citizen, his top priority is earning a college education. Previously a member of the North American Junior Red Angus Event board of directors, he now serves the NJHA as the leadership chair, and is excited to take on the adventures of a new year.
Megan Underwood, Campbellsville, Ky., is a graduate student at Kansas State University pursuing a degree in agricultural education and communications after graduating early with her undergraduate degree in animal science and industry. Her research focuses on the uses and gratifications beef producers experience through breed association print magazines.
The scholarship fund is the bedrock of HYFA and countless youth are benefactors of its mission. This last fiscal year, the foundation celebrated net assets reaching nearly $5 million and in total $185,000 was given back to Hereford youth to assist with their college educations.
The Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) was established in 1986 and is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated exclusively to scholarship and educational support of youth in the business of raising Hereford cattle. The mission of the Hereford Youth Foundation of America is to encourage, recognize and reward the development of life skills and values in the next generation of leaders by providing education, scholarship and leadership opportunities for Hereford Youth.