The Foundation

The Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) was established in 1986 and is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated exclusively to scholarship and educational support of youth in the business of raising Hereford cattle. The Foundation is governed by a board of directors who are heavily involved in the Hereford industry and who have a vested interest in educating youth, developing leadership, and encouraging young people to return to production agriculture.

People directly involved in production agriculture account for less than 2% of the United States population, yet a strong agriculture economy insures the national security, well-being and independence or our nation trough the production of the safest, least expensive and highest quality food supply in the world. The Hereford Youth Foundation of America’s goal is to recruit, support, educate, train, and identify future leaders that will appreciate and extend our nations position as the bread and protein basket of the world.

The Hereford Youth Foundation of America is a national foundation and does not discriminate among youth from different regions of the country, race, gender, physical capabilities or religious beliefs.


The Hereford Youth Foundation of America was originally established in 1986 to support the educational needs of those young members of the National Junior Hereford Association, a membership organization that was formally established in 1965 as a young cattlemen arm of the American Hereford Association. The National Junior Hereford Association is one of the largest, strongest and most active agriculture youth programs in the country.

However, in 2000 as a result of the amalgamation of the two youth foundations including the American Hereford Youth Foundation and the American Polled Hereford Youth Foundation, Inc., the new Hereford Youth Foundation of America was established. After blending the two foundations $218,000 worth of assets were reported in the new foundation. There are a host of individuals that are responsible for raising such monies over the years including much work from the two women’s groups. These sources of income include organized silent auctions, heifer donations, transfer of assets from the American Hereford Women, tremendous breeder support from individuals such as Mrs. Tyssowski and the Vanier Family and many other individual contributions that are too numerous to name.


Scholarships were Hereford Youth Foundation of America’s (HYFA) first mission in the fall of 2004, when the first $750 Gary Bishop Scholarship was awarded. In 2005 it was followed by $4,750 with the addition of the Bob and Dolores Call Scholarship and the unveiling of the $5 million capital endowment campaign. Thanks to the late Bill and Jo Ellard, the EE Ranches, Inc., $200,000 endowment led to $18,250 in scholarships being awarded in the fall of 2006. This endowment was the beginning of great things to come for HYFA, and 12 years later, HYFA proudly has awarded $173,000 after the summer scholarships have been dispersed.

This kind of growth is monumental. Highlighting HYFA’s activities this last year was the establishment of the Cottonwood Springs Farm Educational Endowment gifted by Tim and Nancy Keilty of Cedar, Mich. This $250,000 gift will propel education to the next level with the sole purpose of providing financial support for educational programs and contests at the annual Junior National Hereford Exposition.

In recent years, the foundation has also added the Coley-Malir Leadership Endowment and HYFA will contribute $50,000 to the Faces of Leadership Conference this year. In addition, junior members experience various other educational opportunities in and outside of the showring each year through the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) and the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) Fed Steer Shootout. As HYFA surpasses the four million dollar mark for total net assets, here is a quick glance at how the foundation is giving back and the programs that are being funded:

HYFA Programs at work in 2019

  • Youth Scholarships — $170,000
  • JNHE Educational Support — $60,000
  • Faces of Leadership Support — $50,000
  • NJHA Fed Steer Shootout — $20,000
  • Total Support in 2019 — $300,000