8/3/2013 7:00 AM
By Rebecca Long Chaney Special to Lancaster Farmer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than 1,100 Herefords were exhibited here recently by 660 juniors from 40 states at the Junior National Hereford Expo.
Craig Huffhines, executive vice president of the American Hereford Association, said one of his favorite events is the peewee showmanship contest for children ages 7 to 9.
Debuting this year was the pre-peewee showmanship classes geared for ages 5 to 7. More than 200 young Hereford enthusiasts competed in peewee and pre-peewee showmanship divisions.
“I like the peewee showmanship,” he said. “I like to see little kids get excited about what breed of cattle we have and the future they will have in the organization.
“I’m impressed with the leadership skills from older kids and how much knowledge they have at an early age,” Huffhines added.
One of those outstanding junior breeders was Aleesha Howe, 18, of Wagontown, Pa., who networked during the exhibition by giving out Hershey chocolate bars for her bid running for the National Junior Hereford board of directors.
She is no stranger to leadership responsibilities and is co-chairwoman of the 2014 Junior National Hereford Expo to be held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa.
“I’m so excited about hosting the JNHE next year in Harrisburg,” she said. “My dad is the chairman and we are working with Herefords breeders from Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia.”
If Howe wins her bid to become a national junior board member, she hopes to use social media to increase Hereford interest.
“We are the largest youth organization and have the most kids and cattle exhibited at any Junior National Show,” she said.
East Coast juniors did well with their Herefords. Sarah Carter of Cannan, N.H., exhibited the combined reserve champion Division IV bred and owned heifer. John Thomas Heyl of The Plains, Va., exhibited the combined champion progress steer.
The first-place spring yearling polled heifer was shown by Matt Powers of Allison Park, Pa., and the first-place junior yearling polled heifer was shown by Ashley Rodenheaver. Kaylie Shelton of Frederick, Md., also exhibited a class winner in the polled senior yearling heifer show.
During the final awards banquet, an outstanding junior from each state was recognized. In this region, they were Kyle Lemmon, Maryland; Kurtis Pepin, Connecticut; Philip Clair, Maine; Anna Fredrickson, New Hampshire; Chase Billing, New Jersey; James Held, New York; Nigel Howe, Pennsylvania; and Olivia Williams, Virginia.