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National Hereford Queen Program

In 1955, the first white boots graced the Hereford show ring representing the breed, industry representatives and producers from across the country. Since the first young lady was crowned, the National Hereford Queen program has grown and evolved with the breed. Today, the National Hereford Women is proud to organize and support this development program for the young women of the Hereford breed. 

Each year, state queens are selected from across the country to represent their respective state with the goal of being selected as the National Hereford Queen. In each state, the queen attends events, shows and sales along with attending the Junior National Hereford Expo presenting awards and assisting with ring presentations. The official competition for the title of National Hereford Queen takes place each year during the American Royal. 

The National Hereford Queen is an icon of breed queens as she is dawned in a white dress, boots, statement sash and classic crown. The National Hereford Women are proud to support this program and the legacy tied to the breed.

Queen’s Scholarship

The National Hereford Queen devotes a great deal of time promoting our cattle, attending shows and sales, educating individuals and using the platform to be a spokeswoman for our association.  The NHW understands how much time and effort she puts into this program and we set forth to increase the scholarship she would receive.  The NHW worked very hard in our fundraising and joined with Hereford Youth Foundation of American (HYFA) to fund our National Queen with a $10,000 scholarship upon the completion of her reign.  This scholarship is housed in HYFA and is paid directly to the college, technical school or trade school which the Queen is attending.  We are extremely blessed to have the support of our breeders and HYFA to make this available to our National Queen.

Meet Our 2022 Queen

Lauren Gatz, Kansas

Lauren is the 18-year-old daughter of Taylor and Jennifer Gatz. She is a freshman at Kansas State University, majoring in Agricultural Communications. Lauren is active in Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Collegiate Cattlewomen, Block & Bridle and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. She remains an active 4-H member and was in FFA in high school and served as the Northeast District Treasurer. She is an 11-year member of the National Junior Herefords Association (NJHA). Lauren has attended Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) for 10 years and has been active in the Pen-to-Pen Program, future professionals contest, livestock judging, team sales, photography, Certified Hereford Beef Grill-off and the speech contest. She is also a junior board member for the Kansas Junior Hereford Association.

Past National Hereford Queens

  • 2022 Lauren Gatz, Kansas

  • 2021 Kaylee McInvale, Texas

  • 2020 Melanie Fishel, N. Carolina

  • 2019 Emily Meinhardt, Kansas

  • 2018 Abbygail Pitstick, Ohio

  • 2017 Annah Dobson, Wisconsin

  • 2016 Taylor Belle Matheny, Kentucky

  • 2015 Katie Nolles, Nebraska

  • 2014 Brooke Jensen, Kansas

  • 2013 Whitney Andras, Oklahoma

  • 2012 Amanda Bacon, Arkansas

  • 2011 Bethany Nolan, Texas

  • 2010 Katie Killian, Texas

  • 2009 Kirbie Day, Texas

  • 2008 Lindsey Bielema, Michigan

  • 2007 Amber Schmidt, Minnesota

  • 2006 Cassie Bacon, Arkansas

  • 2005 Crystal Hooks, Georgia

  • 2004 Clara Crays, Nebraska

  • 2003 Margeaux Firestine, Pennsylvania

  • 2002 Brandi Bolte, Nebraska

  • 2001 Precious Atlas, Texas

  • 2000 Katie Staples, Kentucky

  • 1999 Shellie Moore, Kansas

  • 1998 Jackie Irwin, Washington

  • 1997 Amy Woolfolk, Tennessee

  • 1996 Heather Hicks, Alabama

  • 1995 Nicole Benedict, Illinois

  • 1994 Rachel Lourdeaux, California

  • 1993 Jenny Hartzell, Oregon

  • 1992 Jennifer Dorrell, Kansas

  • 1991 Jana Sittler, Nebraska

  • 1990 Crystal Kirby, North Carolina

  • 1989 Katy Beckett, Wisconsin

  • 1988 Suzanne Boyd, Kentucky
  • 1987 Jenifer Loewen, Oklahoma
  • 1986 Shannon Coley, Georgia
  • 1985 Diana Everhart, Indiana
  • 1984 Jocelyn Smith, Kansas
  • 1983 Kim Shanks, North Carolina
  •  1982 Tammy Gosnell, Oklahoma
  • 1981 June Humble, Texas
  • 1980 Teresa Russell, Mississippi
  • 1979 Sandra Williams, Georgia
  • 1978 Sheila Bruce, Kentucky
  • 1977 Lillie Kitley, Indiana
  • 1976 Cody Shain, Wyoming
  • 1975 Kolynn Pitts, Montana