Melancon Receives Inaugural Mead Family Memorial Hereford Scholarship

July 25, 2022

Melancon Receives Inaugural Mead Family Memorial Hereford Scholarship

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., on July 21. The Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) 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.

Woodville, Miss., native, Rylie Melancon, is the first-ever $2,000 Mead Family Memorial Scholarship recipient. Rylie will enter her fourth and final year at Texas Tech University (TTU) in the fall, studying animal science with a concentration in production. She exemplifies her passion for community service and working with youth through her outreach within her local church, 4-H and FFA programs as well as numerous clubs and organizations on the TTU campus. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Melancon plans to move back home to assist, and hopefully one day take over and expand her family’s cattle operation. She says her time within the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) and the Hereford breed has given her so much to be thankful for, and has grown her into a better showman, cattle woman and overall individual.

Mead Cattle Enterprises in Midville, Ga., has been breeding Hereford cattle for more than 40 years. They were a part of the original Pro Performance Breeders group that supported Hereford youth in the business of raising cattle. The Mead family has been leaders in the Hereford breed with owner, Tommy Mead, serving on the American Hereford Association Board of Directors and his daughter, Tommie Lynne (Mead) Jones serving on the National Junior Hereford Association Board of Directors.

In 2020, the Mead family suffered the loss of two amazing ladies and backbone of their Hereford operation, Tommy’s mother, Hazel Mead, and his wife, Valarie Mead. In 2021, Mead family and friends rallied together to honor the passing of Hazel and Valarie with the Mead Family Memorial Scholarship Endowment, generating funds that will perpetuate over time to support a Hereford junior member from across the country and assist them as they chase their dreams and further their 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.