July 14, 2021


Noah Benedict, Dewey, Illi., Kolbi Franklin, Meeker, Colo., Molly Biggs, Dixon, Illi., were the recipients of the 2021 Junior Merit Award at the 2021 Junior National Hereford Expo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Outstanding Hereford youth were awarded numerous scholarships during the 2021 VitaFerm® Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) Hereford Spectacular Awards Ceremony in Kansas City, Mo., July 8. The Hereford Youth Foundation of America and the National Hereford Women awarded $28,000 alone at this year’s JNHE, and will award a total of $200,000 in 2021 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 2021 Junior Merit Scholarship Award winners.

1st – Molly Biggs, Dixon, Ill., $2,000

2nd – Kolbi Franklin, Meeker, Colo., $1,500

3rd – Noah Benedict, Dewey, Ill., $1,000

Molly Biggs

Molly is a freshman at Kansas State University pursuing a degree in agricultural communications and animal science with the goal of a career in agriculture communications to be an advocate for the industry by increasing transparency between producers and consumers. She is looking forward to the opportunity to see an operation outside of the midwest and learn how livestock are raised in different geographical locations of the country. She looks at this trip as an opportunity to work alongside, shadow, and question breeders to learn about their life and how she can implement those traits in her own life.

Kolbi Franklin

Kolbi is a freshman at Oklahoma State University majoring in agribusiness and is considering adding a double major in agricultural communications. Coming from Colorado she continues to grow her desire of advocating for the beef industry where she can use her marketing skills to inform others on the importance of meat.

Noah Benedict

Noah is an incoming senior at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, majoring in agribusiness markets and management with a minor in leadership studies. In the future, he plans to pursue a career in sales for an animal nutrition or an animal pharmaceutical company. Noah also wants to focus on growing his family’s Hereford operation and become a reputable breeder for youth and other breeders, producing top-performing and consistent cattle.