Monday, July 25, 2011

First Annual National Hereford Queen's Tea!

The National Junior Hereford Exposition came fast and quick and was gone in a flash! While everyone was “Kickin it in Kansas” on Monday morning, I was preparing for the first annual National Hereford Queen’s Tea! It was a fun getting to make sandwiches, fruit bowls, and setting up all of the sweets. Luckily, I had the help from my wonderful mother, Sarah Smith (our Texas Polled Hereford Queen), her friend Riley, and Mrs. Barbara Metch. Mrs. Barbara is always there when we need her most and I truly appreciate her friendship. These very helpful ladies helped make the most delicious sandwiches I’ve ever had. I sat all lonely in the very NEW kitchen of the upstairs part of the stock show center. Thankfully, Mrs. Cindy Lambert wanted to check out what was going on in the kitchen and see what we were making. She ended up helping me clean all of the fruit. Once all the food was prepared, we had to wait to set up the ‘Queen’s Tea’ room because scholarship interviews were going on. While we were waiting patiently and placing food on the plates in particular orders, my lovely queen coordinator Margeaux Firestine and her mother joined us with helping hands! Once the room was open to decorate we all dashed quickly to rearrange tables, chairs, crowns, and food. Thanks to all of my help it looked fantastic and for our new Texas Hereford Queen Kim Wilson and her sweet mom for pitching in last minute! After we set up everything, I went and put on my queen outfit and prepared for the Queen’s Tea I had ahead of me. Once I stepped foot outside of the changing room, I ran into Miss Diane Johnson, owner of Details by Design and the speaker for our etiquette session. Ms. Johnson and I discussed what would be talked about during the etiquette session and how excited she was for my tea! Sooner than I would have imagined, people started showing up; little girls in their Sunday best with big bows following their mothers, anxious to get attention from one of the many queens. I started off the tea by introducing myself as the National Hereford Queen and giving a brief history of my travels since I was crowned in October of last year in 2010. After speaking, I introduced Ms. Diane Johnson who gave an overview to the girls about where to put their napkins and the different foods that are normally served for an ‘English Tea.’ Once the food was discussed, everyone got in line to get fill thier plates with our wonderful goodies and sat down for a little more etiquette. I then had the honor of introducing all of the state queens. They all stood up at the front and said their name and state. Finally at the end of my tea, all the little girls in attendance got an autographed photo of myself, and the chance to have their picture taken with either myself or any of the Hereford Queens in attendance. This final part of the tea I thought was really special. I felt that overall this first National Hereford Queen’s Tea was a true success! (The wonderful Arkansas girls) (The lovely Texas girls) (This picture is simply adorable!)
Immediately after the Tea, we had a State Queen’s Orientation, which in a nutshell is where we told everyone who was a queen in attendance what to expect for the upcoming week. Serving as a state queen at our Jr. National Hereford Expo is quite an undertaking with long hours in the show ring and an audience who watches you every move. It’s important to not only assist in the ring with walking in the classes of outstanding Hereford/Polled Hereford cattle, but be ready to assist in the award pictures and be a spokesperson at a moment’s notice if you are asked to be. Each girl realizes that their judges may be in the stands and they take their rolls very seriously.
I appreciate everyone who came to my tea; the over eighty-eight in attendance! I felt it was my way to give back and hold a special event for our special little girls and big girls in our association. A special thank you for my parents, Scott and Alise Nolan for hosting this event under our ranch name, Nolan Herefords. Thank you also to those National Hereford Women in attendance. And to all the girls in attendance, I hope that you one day will consider running for National Hereford Queen. It’s been an absolute thrilling experience all year to represent the best breed of cattle in the nation - Herefords!
After a long day of being with our glamorous queens, we had state pictures and opening ceremonies. I had the honor of walking in with Rossie Blinson, National Junior Hereford President, holding our American flag. Rossie and I were the first to walk out into the empty show ring with the stands full of parents and exhibitors. We made our way to the center of the arena and Rossie sang the 'Star Spangled Banner' with that beautiful voice of hers! After the National Anthem, everyone started to walk in with their state flags with exhibitors following. It took some time to get everyone in the ring, but once we did the rest of opening ceremonies began. Awards were given to those juniors exhibiting in their last Jr. Nationals and sponsors were recognized. Towards the end of opening ceremonies the National Hereford Women sponsored a raffle for a free Hereford heifer. I had the honor of drawing our lucky winner Brady Jensen of Kansas! After Brady's name was chosen, the opening ceremonies came to a close. Directly following opening ceremonies, it was time for our annual dance with kids of all ages. We always have a blast!
The first official day at Jr. Nationals will always be near and dear to my heart when I reflect back on my time as National Hereford Queen. It was a fun day filled with not only our first National Hereford Tea, but our great opening ceremonies kicking off the greatest Jr. Nationals in our great nation!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Texas Junior Hereford/ Polled Hereford State Show

The Texas Junior Hereford/ Polled Hereford State Show is one hectic and jam packed function! We do just about everything that goes on at Junior Nationals in 4 days. Crazy, I know! The State Show was in Belton, Texas this year. This show was lead off by our Texas Junior Polled Hereford Association President, Shelby Rogers, and our Texas Hereford President, Mallorie Phelps. All of the officers, directors, and advisor's from both associations met up on Tuesday night before the show started to do an overview of what our duties were for the week and finally get to see each other and sit down and talk.

Wednesday morning came bright and early for many, as they were all trying to beat the heat of Texas to get to the barns. I got the duty of telling people where their stalls were, but truly I was basically the "Meet and Greet Committee" and did a fine job at it! Throughout the day, old friends and new members moved their tack and cattle into the barns, signed up for competitions, and visited with everyone. Luckily, at our state show we have every meal sponsored so that no one has to leave the barn. It's quite convenient! After everyone made their way into the barns and set up their stalls, there was a swimming party at a water park nearby. Kids were slipping and sliding throughout the park, while Kirbie Day, Mallorie Phelps, and I discussed our upcoming year together at Texas A&M University. The night was short lived and came to end very soon because people had to get up for showmanship the next day.

Thursday arrived with opening ceremonies at the beginning. Mallorie and Shelby gave introductions to all of the special guest that we had at our state show (including me) and introduced our theme which was "Hereford's Rock!" We took a HUGE state picture and had an Elvis impersonator sing for us. He was definitely entertaining! Once opening ceremonies had ceased shadow showmanship had begun. For those of you that don't know, shadow showmanship is for kids in the pee-wee age group or younger and they have an older mentor help them in the show ring and teach them any 'tricks of the trade.' It's a very neat opportunity for kids that don't have an older sibling to teach them. After that, showmanship had officially started. There were two separate rings and overly intense competition! I was happy to be watching rather than competing against those kids! After showmanship, there was team marketing and team fitting and then the dance! Of course the dance was full of fun and laughter with kids of all ages dancing! I had to leave a little early because I was a very tired girl and if I wanted to be alert queen the next day, I had to get my beauty rest!

Friday started off with the Bred and Owned Show, Cow-Calf Pair Show, Junior A.I., Steer Show, and Bull Show. It was a busy morning for the queens, but very exciting because I got the honor of working with my Texas Royalty! The girls were awesome! After the show, we had livestock judging and lunch out at Curtis Younts' Ranch. The lunch and judging was wonderful, but the heat was HOT! That night we had our banquet led by the officers from both associations. Scholarships, new Hereford Royalty, and contest winners were announced. I had the honor of presenting the Texas Hereford Association's new royalty with their sash and crown along with Ashley Cline the past Texas Hereford Sweetheart and Garrett Floyd who is the boy with the highest position on the officer team. It's a tradition for the Texas Junior Hereford Association's boy with the highest office to present the new royalty with their flowers. Our new Texas Hereford Queen is Kim Wilson and our new Texas Hereford Sweetheart is Hannah Schnieder. They are both past Texas Hereford Sweethearts and I know they will do an excellent job!

Saturday morning came in full blast! All of the new Texas Hereford and Polled Hereford Royalty was ready to hand out some ribbons and awards! The girls all took turns giving out ribbons to classes and who got to walk in divisions with me. At the end when the grand drive had arrived, all of the Polled Hereford Royalty stood with me in the ring, as well as the Horned Hereford Royalty did on the separate grand drives. Tyler Allen won both the polled and horned show! Congratulations Tyler! Pictures were taken after the show was over, and there were a TON taken! But no big deal, the royalty could take it! State show was a blast and definitely got everybody geared up and excited for the National Junior Hereford Expo in Kansas City! We will have Mallorie Phelps representing our great state of Texas as Director of Communications on the National Junior Hereford Board, as well as having Shelby Rogers running for National Director! I am literally counting down the hours until I get to Junior Nationals! I cannot wait to see all of my Hereford friends, the new state's royalty, and have the first annual Queen's Tea! I will keep everyone updated on the blogs and try to do them daily!