Junior Shorthorn Leaders Encourage Youth

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

The Junior National Shorthorn Expo has made Grand Island their home this week, but it's been a week about more than just showing cattle.

While it's every exhibitor and critter for themselves during the show part of the Expo, Director of Junior Activities Gwen Crawford says part of their week includes activities like team fitting and quiz bowl where kids work together.

"A lot of team atmosphere, but then there's a lot of stuff that's individual for example like the speech contest, photography, and posters and graphic design," says Crawford. "It's just an experience for them to try to get out of their box and do new things."

The American Shorthorn Association is actually headquartered in Omaha, but this is the first junior nationals in Nebraska since 1988.

Officials say the breed is growing, and that's why junior members say it's important to cultivate young producers.

"We really look at trying to bring people from out of the industry in to come see what we're doing, all the junior activities we get everyone involved in and how we are a big family as a whole as the shorthorn breed," says AJSA Public Relations Officer Karl Miller.

Miller says it's important that they be ag advocates in and out of the show ring.

Junior President Emily Moore says the junior board wants to mentor and encourage their youngest members.

"I just enjoy watching all the juniors interact, especially the younger kids that's their first junior national, I love seeing the excitement in their eye," says Moore. "I just hope while I'm here and being on the board I inspire them and help them make their dreams come true."

This year's Shorthorn Expo involved nearly 400 kids from 29 states and Australia.

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