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NJHA Directors, Officers Announced at Junior National Hereford Expo

Contact: Chris Stephens, or (816) 842-3757

July 24, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Justin Bacon, Prairie Grove, Ark.; Rossie Blinson, Buies Creek, N.C.; Jacob Metch, Bainbridge, N.Y; and Danielle Starr, Manawa, Wis., were elected to serve as directors of the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) at the 2008 Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) in Kansas City. Two delegates from each state junior Hereford association voted these individuals onto the 12-member board.

At the awards banquet on July 18, four retiring board members announced the election results and passed on their maroon jackets and responsibilities to the new leadership. After each retiring address, the board member took off his or her jacket and presented it to a new director. The retiring board members were president, Jason Ewing, Fordland, Mo.; treasurer, Nicole Starr, Manawa, Wis; as well as directors Kara Eschbach, Skiatook, Okla.; and Katlyn Howes, Taneytown, Md.

Also announced at the awards banquet was the 2008-09 officer team, chosen by the NJHA board members. The newly elected officers are Roger Morgan, Burwell, Neb., president; Roxane Gebhart, Claremore, Okla., vice-president; Kandi Knippa, Seguin, Texas, secretary; Sarah Stream, Chariton, Iowa, treasurer; and Jessica, Slone, W. Manchester, Ohio, reporter.

Other directors include Kimber Evans, Fall River, Kan.; Katlin Mulvaney, Opelika, Ala.; and Hannah Wine, Marshall, Va.

The NJHA board of directors is made up of 12 junior members from across the country; each director serves on various committees and plays an integral part in all activities associated with the NJHA. Major responsibilities include helping with the JNHE and organizing the Program for Reaching Individuals Determined to Excel (PRIDE) Convention.

New NJHE Directors

Justin Bacon is the 17-year-old son of Craig and Debbie Bacon of Prairie Grove, Ark. He is a senior at Har-Ber High School. He hopes to attend Oklahoma State University to earn a degree in animal science and apply that toward a career in sales in the livestock industry. His goal is to double the size of his Hereford herd, improving his genetics to produce high quality seedstock. Bacon has been an active member of the NJHA for 13 years, participating in nine JNHE events and competing in many of the contests, including twice being named outstanding junior for the state of Arkansas. He has also been very involved in his state junior Hereford association, serving as an officer and is involved in many activities at his high school, including 4-H, FFA and honor roll.

Rossie Blinson is the 17-year old daughter of Bryan and Beth Blinson of Buies Creek, N.C., and is a senior attending Harnett Central High School. She is planning to attend N.C. State University where she would like to earn a bachelors degree in animal science with an emphasis in agriculture communications/marketing. Blinson has been deeply involved in NJHA programs. She is a talented singer and is always a strong competitor in the “Hereford Idol” competition at JNHE and sang the National Anthem when the show was in Louisville. Blinson is active in her state junior Hereford organization where she has claimed numerous championship titles in the showring.

Jacob Metch is the 17-year old son of Bill and Sue Metch of Bainbridge, N.Y. Metch is a freshman attending State University of New York, University at Albany, majoring in chemistry. He has served his state organization as an officer and committee member. Metch is active on the national level, winning the 2000 Master Showman Award and was named outstanding state member three times. Jacob is involved in 4-H and many school activities, including captain of the golf team, starter on the basketball team and Boy Scouts where he received the rank of Eagle Scout.

Danielle Starr is the 17-year old daughter of Joe and Amy Starr of Manawa, Wis. Starr will be attending Purdue this fall with a major in retail management. She has been showing Hereford cattle for 10 years and has been deeply involved in her state junior Hereford association serving as president and was Wisconsin’s Junior Hereford Princess. Starr has served in many leadership roles in the FFA and won countless livestock awards including the Star Greenhand Award. She served on her high school’s student council, played on her basketball team and sang in the choir.

2008-09 NJHA Officers

Roger Morgan is the 21-year-old son of Ron and Kay Morgan, Burwell, Neb. He is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in agriculture. Morgan has been an active member of the Nebraska Junior Hereford Association for 19 years. During his tenure with the association, he has taken on various leadership roles such as director, vice president, winner of the 2002 and 2003 state speech contests and was awarded the state sportsmanship award in 2004. On the national level, Morgan has received multiple honors and scholarships for all of his achievements. Some of these include winning the Prospect Achievement Award, the Junior Golden Bull Award, Junior Merit Award, Ed Bible Scholarship and the Future Cattlemen’s Scholarship. He attended the World Hereford Conference in Armidale, Australia, where he was named 3rd place international youth judge.

Roxane Gebhart is the 20-year-old daughter of Richard and Susan Gebhart of Claremore, Okla. She is attending Oklahoma State University majoring in agribusiness. Upon graduation, Gebhart plans to pursue a law degree from the University of Tulsa, with the dream of one day working as a lawyer or lobbyist for U.S. agriculture. She has been an active member of the Junior Hereford Association of Oklahoma for 12 years, serving in various leadership roles such as president, treasurer, district director, delegate, state queen, princess, outstanding state member and the Golden Bull Award winner. Gebhart is also active in the Oklahoma Junior Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Club Calf Association and FFA. In the FFA, she was awarded the state Beef Production Proficiency Award.

Kandi Knippa is the 19-year old daughter of Sammy and Penny Knippa of Seguin, Texas. She is attending Texas A&M University majoring in animal science. Knippa is an active member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (COALS) Council, the COALS Freshman Leadership Experience Development Committee, Saddle and Sirloin and has been a member of the Texas Junior Polled Hereford Association for 10 years, serving as president as well as holding other leadership roles. In high school, Knippa was an All State performer in volleyball and softball. She has experienced much success in the Hereford showring, and at the conclusion of the 2008 JNHE received the premier exhibitor and breeder awards for her award winning string of cattle.

Sarah Stream is the 20-year old daughter of Rodney and Sue Stream, Chariton, Iowa. She is a senior at Iowa State University majoring in agricultural communication. Although she has been involved in the cattle industry and showing for 12 years, Stream has been active in the Iowa Junior Hereford Association for the past eight years. Stream served her state group as president, vice president, queen and princess. She is also active in the Iowa Junior Beef Breeds Association. She has had many successes in the showring, including seven-time champion or reserve female at the Iowa Junior Hereford field days and the Iowa State Fair. She was the reserve senior showman at the 2007 JNHE and placed in the top ten in 2008.

Jessica Slone is the 21-year-old daughter of Joseph Slone, W. Manchester, Ohio. She is a junior at the University of Kentucky (UK) majoring in agricultural education. Upon graduation, Slone plans to attend Oklahoma State University to receive her master’s degree in agricultural education with hopes to then become a high school agricultural education instructor. She is currently serving as president of the Ohio Buckeye Junior Hereford Association. At UK, she is an officer in CERES Sorority, vice president of the Agricultural Education Society, representative of the Agricultural Student Council and a member of the Collegiate FFA. In high school, Slone was active in 4-H and FFA, including serving as a state FFA officer.

The 2008 VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo was sponsored in part by Biozyme Inc., St. Joseph, Mo.; Fort Dodge Animal Health, Overland Park, Kan.; and UMB Bank and the RC Kemper Charitable Trust, Kansas City, Mo.

The NJHA is one of the most active junior programs in the country with approximately 3,000 members. The NJHA’s mission is to create and promote enthusiasm for the breed while

providing opportunities through leadership, education and teamwork. For more information about the NJHA, visit


For JNHE pictures and additional news releases, visit Enter “Junior08” when prompted for a password.