July 23, 2010

 

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Harsh Named NJAA Outstanding Leader

            Bailey Harsh, Radnor, Ohio, was announced as the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) Outstanding Leadership Award winner July 16 at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in Denver, Colo.          

“I was really excited to win the award,” Harsh says. “I am so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had here with the Association, so it meant the world to me to get this award.”

            As a lifelong member of the NJAA, Harsh says her allegiance to the Angus breed is about more than her love of Angus cattle.

“The biggest reason I devote so much time to the NJAA is because it’s really focused on family and friends,” Harsh says. “Everyone says going to the National Junior Angus Show is about the friends you get to see and not about the contests and how you place in class.”

            She says the contests and cattle shows add to the overall family experience and provide juniors the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills.

“I think it’s funny how it’s the ‘Outstanding Leadership Award,’ but leadership is the biggest thing any of the juniors get out of the Association,” Harsh says. “ You meet kids here [at NJAS] who take what they learn back to their state. They’re leaders in their state. They’re the ones going out and making the Association a better program for everyone involved.”

            Harsh serves as the 2010 Ohio Junior Angus Association (OJAA) president and has held many different leadership roles at the state level. She credits her NJAA experiences for successes in other activities.

“I would say leadership skills help you in school or any career that you may have down the road. People are looking for the decision-makers who can rally people together and make a cohesive unit,” Harsh says.

            Those closest to Harsh say she’s a natural leader.

            “Although she has served in many leadership positions, her approach and knowledge have allowed her to easily become a leader among her peers,” writes Jamie King, OJAA co-advisor, in her recommendation letter. “No matter what kind of day she is having, she always takes time to greet her fellow members with a smile and ask them how their day is going.”

            The Outstanding Leadership Award is presented to juniors who also exhibit leadership in their community and school activities.

            Harsh credits her mother, Elizabeth Harsh, for providing a positive leadership example while encouraging her to take on leadership roles within the OJAA and in other activities.

            Harsh says King has also been an influential example of a leader in the NJAA.

            “She was a past National Junior Angus Board director, and she grew up raising Angus cattle in Ohio,” Harsh says. “I’ve known her ever since she was a junior. She was a mentor to me when I was just starting out in this program, and I’ve really tried to model myself after her and to be a mentor to all the younger juniors in my Association.”

            Harsh says working with younger members has been one of her most gratifying experiences as a leader.

“I would say the most rewarding part is seeing younger juniors in my association begin to take on their own leadership roles,” she says. “It’s about just helping along someone else when they’re younger to get a foot in the door and understanding how the association works and all the different things that they can be involved in. I enjoy helping them take full advantage of that and charge head first in everything there is to do here at the national show and with anything within the Angus breed.”

Harsh says the NJAA offers opportunities to junior members to grow as individuals and says she is proud to be a part of it.

            Harsh will be presented with a cash award and a sculpture at the American Angus AssociationČ’s annual meeting this fall in Louisville, Ky.

            The Fred Smalstig family established the NJAA Outstanding Leadership Award in 1994 in memory of Barbara Smalstig and her support of the NJAA.

 

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