Hard work pays off for junior Angus herdsman
The Junior Herdsman of the Year Award is devoted to the recognition of a National Junior Angus Association member in their last year of eligibility who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and character, both in and out of the show ring. Each year, an exhibitor who exemplifies a strong work ethic, commitment to the breed and outstanding preparation of their cattle is chosen by their peers at the National Junior Angus Show.
Cale Hinrichsen, a fourth-generation Angus breeder of Westmoreland, Kan., is the recipient of the 2020 Junior Herdsman of the Year Award. He is a senior at Oklahoma State University, where he majors in agribusiness with a minor in marketing. Hinrichsen plans to attend law school to pursue a career in ag law and also intends to continue being involved with the Angus breed. His connection to the breed has been evident since the day he was born, when his aunt purchased a junior lifetime membership to the American Angus Association in his name.
“This breed has given me so much,” said Hinrichsen. “It’s shaped so much about me; I don’t see myself ever walking away from it.” He intends to continue giving back to the breed and hopes to serve as a mentor for young people the same way countless others have for him.
Hinrichsen explains this award illustrates the impact he’s been able to have on his fellow juniors, pointing out this is an honor one doesn’t apply for. He feels fortunate for the network he’s built and the lessons he’s learned during his time as an NJAA member. From exhibiting at shows across the nation and participating in contests and conferences, to even serving as the 2018 American Angus Ambassador, Hinrichsen has truly defined what it means to be involved and how to make the most out of one’s time in an organization. He emphasizes the importance of staying humble and working hard through it all.
“I’ve always tried to remember the motto: ‘stay humble, stay hungry’,” said Hinrichsen. “You might not always be at the top of the class, but you have to keep working hard to get there. When you do have success, it’s important to maintain that humility and know it could easily be someone else.”
The 2020 NJAS took place in Tulsa, Okla., where nearly 700 exhibitors entered more than 1,400 head of cattle. Hinrichsen’s successful week serves as a testament to the years of hard work that led him to his final NJAS.
“We can’t be discouraged by failures; we just have to constantly work even harder — it will eventually pay off.”
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