As a fifth generation Hereford breeder the red and whites are all I know. From a very early age I was attending junior nationals, annual meetings and P.R.I.D.E. Hereford events were my family’s jam! This summer I had the opportunity to travel to several other breed events and cattle conventions across the country. While I have loved all these new experiences one thing rings true — there are just some things that only HEREFORD people understand!
1. The red vest.
Proudly sported by anyone entering the show ring at a Hereford major. From Kansas City to Louisville; and Reno to Denver it is easy to spot Hereford show day by all the sharp dressed Hereford breeders rocking their red vest.
2. Wooden show sticks.
I will never forget the first time I was handed a wooden show stick and sent in the ring…..my arm nearly fell off! These one-of-a-kind show sticks are as heavy as they are essential. Handcrafted by breeders across the country, these can be seen in the Hereford show ring at any time.
3. The art of bluing shampoo.
Remember the first time you thought you were the wash rack king/queen? And then you left the bluing on too long and sent one back to the stall with a light pink/purple head? If you’re like me, you did that ONCE and then the verbal abuse was enough to teach you the perfect amount of and proper timing for using bluing shampoo.
4. The one in all white.
There’s no question the National Hereford Queen is always dressed to impressed. Dressed in all white, the National Queen serves as a role model, advocate, cattlewoman and symbol of the Hereford breed.
5. 30 minutes to win a national title.
This is said to be the longest 30 minutes of a NJHA members’ life. Chutes, product, extension cords and the Top 10 seniors make their way into the ring at the end of the showmanship day during JNHE in hopes of fitting their way to a championship. Once the announcer says “you may begin” the timer is set for 30 minutes and the top youth in the breed begin a battle for the title of Champion Senior Showman. (Shout out to this year’s winner Melissa Grimmel, one of our Ranch House designers!)
6. The coveted golden bull.
The inspiration behind one of the best ring decorations at this year’s JNHE, a golden bull is one of the highest honors to receive. The mark of a retiring junior board member, the Golden Bull Scholarship recipient and show bull of the year, the golden bull is a highly regarded piece of hardware.
7. The art of working hair.
This is not a breed for the lovers of double blowers that go any which direction, people who think brushing is overrated or those that think hair is worked without a comb.
The location where the American Hereford Cattle Breeders Association formed and what my dad still claims to be one of the best national Hereford shows. Chicago has a special place in the heart of Hereford breeders.
9. The honor of owning a Bud Snidow painting.
I was 18 when my mom presented me with a Bud Snidow original of my favorite show heifer for Christmas. To this day that painting hangs as a centerpiece in my house. The legacy of Bud Snidow lives on in Hereford family’s homes across the country today. Owning a painting or print with that legendary lower right hand signature is a true honor of all Hereford breeders.
10. The Hereford family.
Just when I feel I understand the true meaning of “Hereford family” I am surprised by the love, caring and compassion of those that make it up. This past week at JNHE I witnessed the Hereford family in action. Whether it was donating to the “Kiss a cow 4 Nathan” project hosted by the National queen, purchasing a “show for Nathan” bracelet, or donating to the fire relief fund, members of the Hereford family came out in full force to help my home state of Wyoming. Words don’t do justice to how thankful I am to be part of this group that I am lucky enough to call family.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Ranch House Designs Account Manager Ashley Fitzsimmons.
If you liked this blog post, you’d probably like our others too!
Each week, our team at RHD publishes informative and fun blog posts about the agriculture industry. Join our mailing list to make sure you never miss a post! If you’d like to learn more about our services, visit our website or fill out our free price quote form today!