Intern Update: Junior National

Hey guys!

It is Abbey & Taylor again. It has been a little while since we have updated y’all with the latest happenings. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but we managed to survive! Hopefully each of you enjoyed Jr. Nationals as much as we did, and have caught up on all your missed sleep; pretty sure we are still working on that part! We just wanted to take a minute and share with you guys some of our favorite parts of the week and thank everyone for making the 2016 National Junior Shorthorn Shows & Youth Conference a huge success.


It is hard to believe my time in the office is starting to come to an end. It seems like just last week I was starting my first day at ASA, nervous, and excited for the summer to get started. Now, here I am a few weeks away from being done, Jr. Nationals behind me, and only KEY Conference standing before me.

Jr. Nationals was a whirlwind and one that I will always remember. A lot of inside jokes, funny stories, passionate exhibitors, and great cattle come to mind when I think back on the week. It was awesome to see the hard work and preparation leading up to the event all come together. I have a lot of favorite moments, but I think the icing on the cake would be all the friendships I made. I actually had the chance to put a face to the hundreds of names I have read over & over. I got to work with some pretty awesome Jr. Board members, go on a round up with the sidekicks, and even drink some tea with the lassie princesses. On top of it all, I got to be a part of Gwen’s last Jr. National and if you know her, you know just how special those juniors are to her. To see her pour her whole heart into these kids is something I will always admire her for.

I may be a little tired still, my feet are still sore from wearing boots for hours, and I may still have to unpack, but my first Jr. Nationals was certainly one for the books!!


I have to reiterate a bit on Taylor’s thoughts. How is it even possible that we only have three short weeks left as the ASA interns? It was so wonderful to experience my first Jr. Nationals. I know my experience working it is nothing compared to those of you that exhibited. However, y’all are absolutely awesome. Seeing so much passion for the breed from the junior members, and the enthusiasm everyone has for what they are doing was simply the best.

While it is hard to pick a favorite moment, the team fitting contest is definitely up there in my book. The way everyone (and it really was everyone) helped to move the intermediate contest into the cattle barn to keep everyone safe was IMG_1447phenomenal teamwork. Again, like Taylor said, finally putting faces to names was a great thing. For me it was being able to meet all the outgoing members that took their time to help me out and showcase them in the exhibitor folder.  I’m sitting here trying to think of something to add about Gwen, but I think we will have to write another entry in a few weeks dedicated to her. She deserves one all about her because her dedication to her job was all about you members.

I don’t think Taylor and I were really prepared for what the week would bring, we had an idea but it ended up being so much more! A big thanks to all the exhibitors, parents, volunteers and staff that helped keep the week an amazing experience



Intern Update: Favorite Show Memories

Hey Y’all,
Abbey and Taylor back again. Just two more weeks and we will be on our way to St. Paul! We are so excited for Junior Nationals to begin.
First a little update on our work. Decorations, banners, Swag bag items and more keep coming in for us to take with us. Abbey is almost done with the exhibitor folder. A big thanks to all of those that have gotten back to her with information! Be watching your email, as you should receive a confirmation packet from Taylor soon!

Today’s blog is going to be about our favorite show memories, as preparing for this event is pretty nostalgic as you might guess.

abbey_steer1I participated in 4-H for 11 years (Welcome week for college kept me from being able to show my 12th year), and never at a level higher than the county show. This was because my main goal was the carcass contest, but looking back I wish I had pushed myself to travel more and compete at a high level. Anyways, that’s beside the point. My favorite showing memory is from my first time showing at the Arkansas Valley Fair in Rocky Ford, CO.
It was my ninth year in 4-H and I had just moved to Rocky Ford from Kansas. At this point all I showed was a steer and a heifer, as my sisters were all in college and I was not about to have two of every animal. I was so far out of my comfort zone having to join a new club and had zero idea what I was up against. It didn’t help that everyone that talked to me about what 4-H was like in the area made comments that I shouldn’t get my hopes up about placing very well.

You see there was this kid that supposedly won Grand Champion Market Steer every year. He had a special designed cooler for his animals, while my mom believed that the right fan and washing my animal every day would still give my steer nice full hair. (That philosophy never failed me.)

So here I was, the new girl in the country that nobody talked to and thinking that everyone was watching to see how low I would place. My steer was in a different weight class than the other kid, and we both won our class. Then in the final drive, us first five had barely gotten our steers set when the judge walked up while giving his reasons for his Grand Champion pick and shook my hand. I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to do. But winning the overall market steer, when no one thought I had a chance, gave me back my confidence when showing and taught me that it didn’t matter where I was showing because I loved it and that’s all that mattered.




TAylor_entry3_1When I first began showing, at the age of 10, I had no idea I would fall so in love. My initial thoughts were; raise a steer, do decent at county fair, and just collect a paycheck. Little did I know I would end up spending a great deal of my time in the barn and traveling on the weekends because I enjoyed it that much.
I believe one of the most rewarding portions of showing cattle is the “show family” you make and it seemed many of our family vacations were spent in the show ring. The stories you remember, the friends you make, and the lessons you learn are somethings you will always hold dear to your heart; I know I do. My absolute favorite memory from showing dates back to 2012. My sister is the complete opposite of me: blonde hair, blue eyes, makeup always just perfect. She’s not afraid to get dirty, but I am pretty certain she will even be dressed up to play in the mud. Needless to say, the idea of her showing cattle was something never really discussed. My dad had mentioned it a time or two, but she showed no interest; that was until my sophomore year of high school. The day she came to me and said “Tay, I think I want to show this year”, just a few tears of joy were shed.

taylor_entry3_2Being able to spend time together both in and out of the ring is something I look back on now and don’t take for granted. Of course with any siblings, we had the fights regarding whose turn it was to wash or she needed to walk a few more laps, you know the typical show family arguments, but Mama always made us hug it out and we would move right on. By the way, even when I am back in Florida for a visit and there is an argument, she still makes us hug!
I am a strong believer that somethings are just priceless and quality time is one of those. No ribbons, no buckle, no money, can compare to the strong friendship bonds you make through showing livestock.

With Jr. National’s right around the corner we hope you are looking forward to making lots of memories. We can’t wait to see, hear, and be a part of this year’s show!

-Abbey & Taylor

Looking For A Promotional Opportunity? NJSS Is The Place!

Are you looking for a promotional opportunity? If so, send us your promotional items (pens, coozies, etc.) and we will include them in the Swag Bags that are handed out to juniors at the National Junior Shorthorn Show and Youth Conference. We will need at least 330 items.

Don’t have any promotional items but still want to help out the youth? No problem! We are taking donations of $100-300, where we will create an item that will a give you the opportunity to have your logo and information on an item in the Swag Bags.

For more information and to find out how you can get involved with these opportunities contact:

Gwen Crawford
Director of Junior Activities,, 816.599.7777
Shelby Rogers
Director of Marketing & Communications,, 816.599.7777

Sidekicks at NJSS 2016

We are excited to once again offer a program for the Shorthorn Sidekicks! There will be a Learning Corral and a Sidekick Roundup.

For the roundup each child will be provided with a stick cow and a bandanna, which they can keep. Sidekicks will meet Sunday & Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Youth wranglers will take the children on a roundup on their stick cows through the barns to meet youth from around the states and learn more about the Shorthorn breed.

Please click here to fill out the form to register by June 17, 2016 so we can ensure to have enough stick cows for all who want to participate as supplies may be limited. Forms can be emailed to or faxed to 816-599-7782.