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Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship Provides Unique Opportunity for Youth

Ferguson, second from right, won the 1st place scholarship in 2015.

Haylee Ferguson of Rutherford County, Tennessee was fortunate to win the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association & Farm Credit Mid-America Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship in 2013 and 2015. In 2013, Haylee received the second-place award and purchased an Angus heifer. In 2015, Haylee received the first-place scholarship and purchased a Limousin heifer.

“This award allowed me to expand my beef operation,” said Haylee. “It also allowed me to incorporate new genetics within my herd.”

Although it has been seven years since Haylee first won the Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship, she still continues to see the benefits of the program. Like most cattle producers, Haylee’s ultimate wish was for her females to produce nice, heifer calves that she could put back into her operation. As luck would have it though, the Angus female Haylee purchased through the scholarship program, only had bull calves during the entire time that Haylee owned the female. However, in Haylee’s situation that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing…

Haylee raised and sold this steer from the Angus heifer she purchased with her scholarship.

In 2019, Haylee exhibited one of the Angus female’s calves as a prospect steer at the Tennessee Junior Beef Expo. After the Tennessee Junior Beef Expo, Haylee’s goal was to sell this steer to another exhibitor as a prospect for the 2020 show season. Several people looked at Haylee’s prospect steer but time and time again she found herself with a lot of lookers but no takers. That was until she registered the steer calf with the American Angus Association. He then sold to the Cowles family in Kentucky and went on to win Champion Steer at the Angus Eastern Regionals and Champion AOB at the Kentucky State Fair.

Haylee is a prime example of how former Youth Beef Heifer Scholarship recipients can continue reaping the benefits of the scholarship program. While Haylee was disappointed, she never had heifer calf out of this female, it confirms that youth are able to take one scholarship heifer and continue raising good cattle for years to come.


For the tenth year, the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association and Farm Credit Mid-America are offering the Youth Beef Heifer Scholarships. Six deserving youth will be awarded either $2,000 or $1,000 to purchase a heifer of their choice, for a total of $9,000.

There are three categories of winners: Junior (4th and 5th grades), Junior High (6th, 7th, and 8th grades), and Senior High (9th, 10th, and 11th grades). Each of those categories will have a first and second place award. Applications for this scholarship are due by December 1, 2020, and can found in this issue of the Tennessee Cattle Business. Applications can also be found on TCA’s website: Contact Director of Youth Programs & Outreach, Melinda Perkins, if you have any questions: or (615) 896-2333.

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