Photo Caption: (L to R) Jessie Lowe, Adrian, Mo., AGJA Junior Ambassador; Taylor Vavra, Nisland, S.D., AGJA Intermediate Ambassador
Two junior members were selected at the American Gelbvieh Junior Association (AGJA) 2014 Barnyard Classic to represent the AGJA as ambassadors. Jessie Lowe of Adrian, Mo., was selected to be the 2014-2015 AGJA Junior Ambassador. Taylor Vavra, Nisland, S.D., was chosen to be the 2014-2015 AGJA Intermediate Ambassador.
Jessie is the nine year old daughter of Raymond and Melissa Lowe and she is excited to share her love of Gelbvieh throughout the coming year. In addition to this new role, she is very active in several other junior associations including Altona 4-H club, Missouri Junior Cattlemen’s Association, and Heart of America Gelbvieh Junior Association, just to name a few.
“I thought it would be great to help other people love Gelbvieh as much as I do,” says Jessie. “I think if people knew more about Gelbvieh and what they can do for them, more people would love them as much as I do. This is the first goal I have as Junior Ambassador.” She has even started a Facebook group page called Missouri Gelbvieh where people can post pictures and other news about all things Gelbvieh.
Jessie currently raises Gelbvieh and Balancer®cattle along with her brother, Baxter and sister, Isabel. She obtained her first Gelbvieh heifer, named Sweetheart, in March 2013 and has gone to 23 shows with her so far, including the Missouri State Fair, American Royal, and National Western Stock Show. She looks forward to going to even more Gelbvieh events in the next year and spreading her love for the breed.
Taylor is the 15 year old daughter of Brent and Eve Vavra. She is currently involved in 4-H, FFA, cheerleading, golf, community band, and has been a member of the AGJA since 1998.
“When I was first registered as a member of AGJA, my grandparents gifted me with my first Gelbvieh cow,” said Taylor. “Gelbvieh has opened many doors for me, and has helped me to meet many new people.” Taylor is also very involved with her own heard and shows her animals all over including at the National Western Stock Show, Northern International Livestock Exposition, Black Hills Stock Show, Butte-Lawrence County Fair, and AGJA junior national show. Her herd currently consists of 11 cows where she handles everything from money management to late night calving checks.
Taylor’s younger sister, Carlee, was the 2013-2014 AGJA Junior Ambassador and having learned things from her sister, is excited to promote the AGJA herself. “As the older sister, I have seen behind the scenes of Carlee’s ambassadorship and it fuels my fire,” added Taylor.
The ambassador competition was held during the junior national show, which took place June 29 through July 4 in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Junior Ambassador must be eight to 11 years of age and the Intermediate Ambassador must be 12 to 15 years old.
The AGJA created the ambassador program to encourage youth involvement in the breed’s activities. The ambassadors represent the AGJA at Gelbvieh functions throughout the year including Gelbvieh and Balancer shows held at the American Royal, the North American International Livestock Exposition and the National Western Stock Show, along with many state fairs and other events.
The ambassador candidates are judged on their notebook, an oral interview, a speech given at the AGJA annual meeting and overall conduct during the annual junior national show. The notebook includes information and photographs on activities, awards and organizations as well as an essay on the candidate’s background and experiences with the Gelbvieh breed. A committee is appointed to conduct the interviews and select the AGJA Junior and Intermediate Ambassadors.
The American Gelbvieh Junior Association serves more than 500 members nationally. The vision of the AGJA is to unify, educate, and develop leaders of the beef industry. To learn more about Gelbvieh or the American Gelbvieh Junior Association visit www.www.gelbvieh.org or call 303-465-2333.