Joel Pecha, Meno, Okla., stands in the middle of the Gary Bishop family whom the $2,500 named scholarship is awarded in honor.
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.
The Gary Bishop Memorial Scholarship given on behalf of HYFA is a $2,500 scholarship in memory of Gary Bishop. The Oklahoma native first began working for the American Hereford Association in 1973, serving in the capacities of assistant director of Total Performance Records, director of feedlot and carcass programs and director of field services. He also served as director of youth activities, which was a job he held in high esteem throughout his life. He dedicated much of his energy to working for the betterment of Hereford youth organizations. The scholarship is awarded to a deserving member of the NJHA to continue financing their college education.
Joel Pecha, Meno, Okla., is a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, majoring in animal science and minoring in ranch management. He is the seventh generation on his family’s beef operation in northwest Oklahoma and is excited to return to the ranch upon graduation. Growing up, he was impacted by mentors in the industry and wants to become that mentor for other younger members as they grow.
The scholarship fund is the cornerstone of HYFA and countless youth are the 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.