The Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) stands strong and tall on its pillars of scholarship, leadership, research and education. HYFA’s newest endowment — the GKB Cattle Youth Endowment — powered by GKB Cattle, Desdemona, Texas, is a monumental gift that bolsters HYFA’s sturdy pillars and provides endless opportunities for Hereford youth to build their cow herds and develop leadership skills for a prosperous future.
Gary and Kathy Buchholz, owners of GKB Cattle, have deep roots in the cattle industry. Their generosity through the new GKB Cattle Youth Endowment will be instrumental in cultivating a pipeline of leaders through the ranks of the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA).
The bred-and-owned female show is a true highlight of the VitaFerm® Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE), and thanks to Gary and Kathy, the bred-and-owned female show now features the selection of the top five overall females, with the grand champion exhibitor winning a trailer courtesy of GKB Cattle. At the 2023 VitaFerm® Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE), “Mad Dash to the Hereford Bash,” July 12 in Madison, Wis. Maddie O’Leary, Weatherford, Texas, and OLY HZS Tommi K 278 ET, a May 3, 2022, daughter of UPS Sensation 2296 ET, claimed the champion bred-and-owned female title.
In addition to powering the bred-and-owned female show, GKB’s endowment will also fund the annual BOLD Conference, hosted at GKB’s Texas Hi Point Ranch. Additionally, the funds will assist the NJHA board of directors as they work to represent the breed at leadership and educational events across the country. The endowment will be built over the next five years and sets the stage for great things to come at the JNHE and NJHA’s leadership programs.
The BOLD Conference, now in its second year, is already making a huge difference in the lives of the young attendees. Gary and Kathy open their ranch and roll out the red carpet for young leaders.
“From the moment I got there, I was laughing and having fun with my peers, but I was also challenged to think of what my future looks like and how to achieve it,” said Lauren Jones, BOLD attendee, Darlington, Wis.
“We are truly blessed to be in this breed that gives so much support to the youth because they know, we’re next up,” said Bryden Barber, BOLD attendee from Channing, Texas.
Gary and Kathy know these young people are the next in line to lead our industry and country. The couple is quick to credit the people they are today to their leadership experiences as youth. The lessons they learned through those experiences helped build GKB Cattle into one of the most prominent multi-breed seedstock operations in the country and created unmatched passion for youth and giving back.
Gary and Kathy have a tremendous passion for helping young people succeed. Some of their greatest joys in life come from seeing the youth of the cattle industry thrive and grow — wherever their career paths may take them. Prior to building GKB to its current lofty industry position, Gary was an agricultural teacher in his early years, helping countless youth get their start in the industry. Kathy, a fourth generation West Texas rancher, grew up attending the Texas Junior Hereford Association and American Junior Hereford Shows and National Conventions with her family.
Together, the couple has served two terms as NJHA advisors, fueling a passion that is now leaving a lasting legacy. In 2014, GKB Cattle offered the Lot 1 Foundation Female at the National Western Stock Show Mile High Night Sale. This donation started the GKB Super States Award, which is awarded at each JNHE to the highest placing states in the show and the educational contests.
Kathy has since joined the HYFA board of directors. The board relies heavily on her leadership as they bring new junior programs to fruition and work to cultivate the next generation of donors.
The GKB Cattle Youth Endowment will make a difference in the lives of young people, for decades to come. Thanks Gary and Kathy for sharing your legacy with the NJHA and giving young people the opportunities of a lifetime. GKB Cattle has paved the way for success, and the journey is just beginning.