The Youth Heifer Program is designed to help youth in 7th or 8th grade get started in the beef cattle business by awarding bred heifers to recipients chosen based on merit, future goals and ability to care for heifers. When submitting applications for the program, the participants were required to list their goals for the program, their future, give descriptions of how they would promote it within their communities, and submit three letters of recommendation. Of the sixteen students who submitted applications, four were selected, each were awarded with three bred heifers.
The four Youth Heifer Program Recipients received their bred heifers on January 23, 2016. The recipients were: Paige Heesch (Seymour), Benjamin Moffitt (Indianola), Noah Offenburger (Chariton) and Jenna Tlach (Prole).
Paige Heesch attends Seymour Middle School; she has been a member of the Franklin Farmlands 4-H Club for the past five years showing cattle, pigs, sheep and her dog Max. Paige is a member of the Seymour FFA and has been involved with the FCCLA for two years. Paige’s parents have taught her how to field cultivate, disk and run the auger cart, although most of her time is spent brushing, washing and feeding her cattle.
Benjamin Moffitt attends Indianola Middle School and is a member of the Shooting Stars 4-H Club and the Iowa Junior Shorthorn Association. At school, he participates in chorus as well an extracurricular math program called Math Counts. He has played football for four years and soccer for eight years. He is involved in the youth program at Farmers Chapel Church. Benjamin has been an active part of his family’s farm whether it’s his passion for working with cattle, running calves through the chute or showing cattle which he started doing at the age of 5.
Noah Offenburger attends Melcher-Dallas School. As a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, he is active in Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and has belonged to their youth group since the beginning of 7th grade. He has been a member of the English Strivers 4-H Club for the past five years. During this time, he has shown beef cattle, swine, a cow/calf pair and his dog. He also participates in photography, woodworking and mechanics projects. Ever since Noah was a Clover Sprout in 4-H, he has been involved in the judging contest of the fair animals. In 2014, Noah achieved his goal of being awarded the Grand Champion Home-raised steer.
Jenna Tlach attends Indianola Middle School. She has been active in the White Oak Climbers 4-H Club for the past three years. During this time, she has been elected as reporter and is currently serving as the treasurer for the next two years. Her time spent participating in the American Maine-Anjou Association and serving as their National Princess in 2014 has provided her with many opportunities in the show ring by being a ring steward and handing out ribbons to the winners. Jenna is active in her school by playing the trumpet in the band and playing intramural sports including volleyball and basketball. Jenna’s favorite part about agriculture is raising and showing cattle. She helps with her family’s cow herd along with their seed business.
“We are pleased with the enthusiasm from these individuals who were chosen for this new program,” said Tony Kaska, Midwest Heritage CEO & President. “This is the beginning of establishing a foundation herd and gaining financial self-sufficiency for these motivated students who were chosen to participate in the Youth Heifer Program.”
Recipients must maintain accurate records of income and expenditures during the five years, submitting records plus a brief summary of activities annually. At the end of five years, the recipients will pay back the Midwest Heritage Youth Heifer Program, in cash, the equivalent value of three heifers so more can be purchased for the next year’s recipients. Midwest Heritage is excited to work with the recipients and we are eager to watch students increase their knowledge and interest in agriculture.
If you would like additional information on the Midwest Heritage Youth Heifer Program, please contact Allison Henry at 515-343-5893.