Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Not Enough Words to Describe This Last Month

Surprising, wonderful, eventful, are just a few of the words I could use to describe the last month! Being crowned as the new 2010 - 2011 National Hereford Queen was without a doubt the most wonderful moment in my life. That day as Katie Killian, 2009 - 2010 placed my new crown on my head and my new sash around my shoulders, I knew my life would never be the same.

For the last month, I have been busy choosing my new wardrobe. The honor of wearing white suits and white boots were a daunting task! But with the Internet in front of us, my mom and I found just the right outfits with the help of our best friend 'Google'.

I looked forward toward getting to serve as National Hereford Queen at the National American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. Tickets were bought, bags were packed and my dad and I took off on our first trip of many! Mom was a little nervous about my hair and not being with me...but felt sure dad could put in a few hair pins as needed! It had become our new family joke! You'll see a picture of my hair above!

Louisville proved to be a really great show. I can't say it wasn't really cold. I remembered showing there at a National Jr. Hereford Show, but had never shown in the 'big' ring before. Watching and assisting with the banners, ribbons, and Golden Bulls was a real honor. I guided in division after division of wonderful Hereford cattle. Standing beside them as they proudly took their class, division, and grand champion pictures made me smile from the inside out. I know the work and dedication it takes get a champion to that point and standing beside them brought back memories of my win at the Houston Jr. Livestock Show where I won Grand Champion once.

After that fast trip, it was back to high school and all my other activities. In Gilmer life in the fall revolves around football. As head cheerleader this year, I get to cheer for our defending Texas 3A State Champion Football Team. Winning district and continuing to the playoffs takes up every Saturday from November through December. This year has proven to be no exception. Just this past Saturday, our Buckeyes lost our run for state, but I couldn't have been prouder of their effort or of our cheerleaders! In the past 7 years, we have won two state titles, one of which I got to cheer for.

My second deep involvement and one that I hold right up next to my roots with Herefords is my love for the FFA. Gilmer FFA has been a constant in my life since I was in the 2nd grade. As a member of our Jr. FFA this is where I began to show Hereford cattle, hogs, and roasters. I became involved in our CDE and LDE contest each spring and fall and now serve as our Gilmer FFA Chapter President and Texas FFA Area VI Associaton First Vice President. This fall I competed for my second time in Job Interview and first time in the FFA Creed. In the last month I worked hard and practiced placing 1st at District with both contest and then advancing to area competition and then state with Job Interview. This meant a huge sacrifice was in store for me. I have found that whether it comes to football, FFA, school, or Hereford shows, schedules sometimes conflict. This case was no exception and sadly my State FFA Job Interview Contest fell on the same dates as the National Western Nugget in Reno, Nevada, my next scheduled show as queen. It's hard to be excited, but torn at the same time, but there was no other way to explain it. After much prayer and discussion with my parents it was decided for me to attend the competition, and miss Reno since it was not a mandatory show for National Hereford Queens. Adding to my decision was that I was the only person from my school to make it to the state competition. My advisers and fellow members had put a lot of faith in me to let them down now by not competing.

So as the week comes to an end I will be at Sam Houston State, not Reno. Half my heart will be in Reno, wishing I was there, but the other half will be competing, hoping that next year I can compete on the national level in Job Interview.

My month has been busy, my next year will be a whirlwind, but what a fantastic opportunity I have ahead of me. The chance to be National Hereford Queen is one I will take with me forever! Thank you to my family, and the many people who guided, mentored, and assisted me to this point. I look forward to meeting many new juniors and adult members of our associations in the next year. The opportunity to brag about our Hereford cattle, Certified Hereford Beef that I eat almost every night, and the chance to motivate and inspire juniors like myself to get involved in National Junior Hereford Association is one I will not take lightly!

Happy holidays everyone. A special hug to all the Hereford Queens I have met this last year. What a great time we had in Kansas City! And good luck if you are showing in Reno! There are not enough words to describe this last month. Thank you to everyone!

Bethany Nolan
2010 - 2011 National Hereford Queen