LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Outstanding Hereford youth were awarded numerous scholarships during the 2022 VitaFerm® Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) Banners in the Bluegrass Awards Ceremony in Louisville, Ky., July 21. The Hereford Youth Foundation of America and the National Hereford Women awarded $33,000 alone at this year’s JNHE, and will award more than $200,000 in 2022 to deserving junior members to aid in their academic endeavors.
The National Junior Merit Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards given at the JNHE. It was developed to encourage individual and cooperative effort, enthusiasm, leadership and achievement among youth and to develop good breeders for the Hereford breed and the beef industry. Each year three scholarships are awarded totaling $4,500 with the first place award receiving a subsidized trip to a Hereford operation in the continental U.S., in addition to a $2,000 scholarship.
The following are the 2022 Junior Merit Scholarship Award winners.
1st - Wesley Denton, Blue Rapids, Kan., $2,000
2nd - Taylor Dieball, Manhattan, Kan., $1,500
3rd - Regan Mitchem, Vale, N.C., $1,000
Wesley Denton is entering his junior year at Kansas State University, majoring in animal sciences and industry. He is a fourth-generation Hereford breeder on his family’s operation, Springhill Herefords, and plans to return to help manage the operation. He also wants to pursue a career within the animal protein industry either as a cattle buyer or beef merchandiser, and has started working towards these goals with an internship at Cargill Inc., this summer.
Taylor Dieball recently finished her junior year at Kansas State University, majoring in animal science and industry in the production management pathway. She began showing Herefords at the age of nine, and attended her first JNHE in 2011. She credits the different contests offered at the JNHE for growing and shaping her into the person she is today, helping develop her confidence and build connections for her future. Taylor would like to finish her undergraduate studies and move onto graduate school to focus on physiology with an emphasis on bovine reproduction, and eventually become certified in embryo transfer.
Regan Mitchem will be a senior at North Carolina State University (NC State). After completion of her undergraduate degree, she plans to continue with her studies and attend the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently working on the campus as a research assistant and is spending the 2022 summer riding along with a veterinarian. Regan says she has been able to grow as an individual, feel more confident in her abilities to succeed and found her intended career path through opportunities provided by the North Carolina Junior Hereford Association and the NJHA.
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.