Assuming a national leadership role of an organization of more than 10,500 youth from across the country is a big responsibility. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to sharpen your leadership skills, improve your communication skills, and develop decision-making skills that will help you the rest of your life. You’ll also work closely with a team of other talented individuals that may become some of your best friends for life. Serving on the NJSA Board is an awesome experience…it’s also an experience that we want you to take seriously so the members of our organization are served by the best leaders possible. Before you turn in your application, read through the enclosed excerpts from the NJSA Board of Director Handbook and consider the following traits below that make an outstanding NJSA director.

Director Application



Junior Board Applicants must be between the ages of 17-21 as of January 1 of the current year.

What traits make a great Director?

Servant Leader

Servant leaders put the interests of others before their own and look for ways to help others. Servant leaders consider how their decisions and actions will affect the membership they serve. For example, as a first-year NJSA director, you will be eligible to participate in NJSA shows. However, during your second year on the board, we expect you to devote yourself to making the NJSA events a success by serving and leading the NJSA members – not competing against them. This will be your opportunity to stand out and serve as a leader to the best of your ability.


Leaders should be open-minded to the ideas of others. They should also be able to share their viewpoint with others in a way that will help others expand their own horizons without forcing an opinion upon them.


Considerate leaders can sense and share another’s feelings. They think about how their decisions and actions can affect others.

Good communicator

The best junior boards know how to communicate – both on a professional and a personal level. Because the junior board has leaders from coast to coast, it makes team communication a bit of a challenge. So, be prepared to pick up your cell phone, send out regular e-mails and do whatever it takes to keep yourself in contact with the team and director of junior activities.


As a national director, you will be expected to meet high ethical standards. Many of our members are under 12 years old and an outstanding director will simply do the “right thing” in order to be a good role model to the membership. While serving your two years on the board, you will need to be aware that wherever you go, your title will go with you and eyes will be upon you. It’s simple…just make wise choices!

What do Directors do?

The primary responsibility of the National Junior Swine Association board member is to serve the NJSA in local, regional and national activities in a way that will educate, motivate and inspire current and potential NJSA members, swine breeders, parents, civic and community leaders, teachers, and leaders in business and industry to achieve the aim and the purposes of the organization and the goals of the national organization.

  • Participate in training, orientation, continual self-improvement and evaluation of activities as directed by the Events & Education staff.
  • Serve as a consultant to the NSR Executive Committee as needed.
  • Strive to constantly execute the NJSA program of activities.
  • Participate in making visits to NSR and other industry events.
  • Represent the NJSA at all times as scheduled by the Events & Education staff.
  • Help plan and conduct all events and activities as assigned by the Events & Education staff.
  • Prepare and submit, in a timely fashion, an expense report and other reports as requested by the Events & Education staff.
  • Keep up to date with all correspondence.
  • Plan, prepare, read, study, listen, review and practice to continually improve public speaking skills.
  • Stay informed of industry and other agricultural news.
  • Develop positive relationships with NJSA members, NSR staff, sponsors and the general public, and project a positive image as a leader among youth.
  • Opportunity to develop leadership skills as ambassadors of the NJSA through committee work, leadership conferences, and communication with junior members across the nation.
  • The NJSA board responsibilities enhance directors’ verbal and written communication skills.
  • NJSA directors have the opportunity to meet and work with industry leaders.
  • NJSA directors have the opportunity to travel throughout the country while representing Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire genetics.
  • NJSA directors gain valuable friendships with NJSA directors along with other juniors across the nation.

Director expectations

As a director, you will receive many benefits and a great opportunity to represent the NSR at a national level. However, you also have a responsibility to be a positive influence on all NJSA members. As a director, you will have the opportunity to gain as much as you contribute.

  • A term on the NJSA board is a two-year commitment. You are expected to attend all meetings unless excused by the Events & Education staff.
  • All NJSA directors serve as specific members of a team that require extra time throughout the year.
  • NJSA directors are reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses incurred when attending meetings and shows at which time they are designated official NJSA responsibilities.
  • If a NJSA director is assigned to work an event, he or she must give first priority to all NJSA duties.
  • As an NJSA director, one can expect expenses for meals and communication (postage, phone calls, time, etc.)
  • NJSA directors are invited to compete in the National Junior Summer Spectacular and regional shows when they are serving the first year of their term as a director. However, because of the important role NJSA directors play in carrying out shows and events, directors are not allowed to compete in the NJSS and regional shows during the second year of their term.

Standards of Conduct

Your term as a director is a tremendous honor and a great educational opportunity. Because you serve as role models for other members, you bear an extra responsibility to set the best possible example. The following guidelines are presented to help you with this part of your duties and to ensure that all board members begin their term with a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

  • Observe the rules and requirements set forth for NJSA members for each event or activity.
  • Strictly forego any use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, profanity or other questionable language.
  • Maintain a professional and friendly relationship at all times with other national board members, national staff and volunteers. This means addressing any of these individuals with the proper respect for the positions they hold and the duties they perform.
  • Relationships with NJSA members should remain on a personable, yet professional level at all time. Having “favorites” or making a point to give more attention to one junior or another is discouraged.
  • Romantic affiliations with any NJSA member should be kept in tow. Romantic advances made by any NJSA member should be handled in a personal, yet professional manner.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the Director of Junior Shows, Director of Education & Outreach and other staff members.
  • Refrain from “back-stabbing” anyone. Stamp out gossip!
  • Accept invitations as outlined and approved by the Director of Junior Shows and the Director of Education & Outreach.
  • Follow accepted standards of behavior and etiquette in public places.
  • Refrain from reckless operation of motor vehicles.
  • Plan ahead for activities, be self-reliant and resourceful.
  • Observe all the above standards of conduct anytime, anyplace. A national board member is a national board member 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Keep an accurate schedule or calendar.
  • Call any concerned parties when you must be late or cannot make an engagement.
  • Keep the Director of Junior Shows and the Director of Education & Outreach informed concerning any problems you encounter or mistakes you make.
  • Request supplies from the Director of Junior Shows and the Director of Education & Outreach if you expect the NJSA to pay for them instead or ordering or purchasing such supplies on your own.
  • Always let the people in charge of an event know you will be attending the event and that you are willing to help make it a success.
  • Upon arriving at the event, report to the person in charge to let them know you are there and ready to work.
  • Accept feedback, suggestions and criticism in a mature way.

Frequently asked questions

  • At what age can I run for the Junior Board?
    • To be eligible to run for the NJSA Junior Board of Directors, candidates must be between the ages of 17-21 as of January 1 of the application year.
  • How do I apply for the Junior Board?
    • To apply for the junior board, candidates must fill out the Junior Board of Directors application and mail it to the NSR office.
  • Once I have completed the Junior Board application, what’s the next step?
    • Once you have submitted the application, all candidates will be required to participate in an interview that takes place after the completion of the National Youth Leadership Conference.  After the interview is completed, the selection committee will narrow down the candidate pool. The remaining candidates are required to come to the National Junior Summer Spectacular (NJSS) to work for the week. The new junior board will be announced on Friday night at the NJSS.
  • How is the board selected?
    • There is a selection committee in place that will interview candidates at the National Youth Leadership Conference. This same committee will also be at the National Junior Summer Spectacular where they will be watching the candidates interact with the current junior board. On Thursday night of the National Junior Summer Spectacular, the selection committee will meet again to make selections for the new junior board.
  • When do I find out if I made the Junior Board?
    • All candidates will be aware if they made the junior board on Friday morning at the National Junior Summer Spectacular.
  • How do I get to all of the shows/events that would be required of me?
    • The new junior board will meet for a retreat in either July or August following the announcement of the junior board. At this time we will decide who will be attending what shows and events throughout the year. The NJSA will cover your travel expenses. If you are flying, you will work with the Director of Junior Shows to book your flight. If you are driving to the event, you will be required to pay for your gas upfront, but you will be allowed to turn in your receipts and an expense form within thirty (30) days of the event.
    • Your hotel room and meals will be taken care of by the NJSA while you working the show/event.
  • What shows and events will I be required to attend?
    • During the junior board retreat, we will decide who will be attending what shows and events throughout the year. We look at your fall and spring schedules to plan who will be able to make it to each event. Generally we look at your proximity to the event when deciding who will be going to which show. 
    • Please keep in mind that you may be have to miss out on fun weekends at your school, and missing a football game is not a valid reason for you to not come to a show. However, if you are involved in a school club or judging team, we will work with your schedule.
  • Besides attending shows/events, what is required of me as a Junior Board Member?
    • Junior board members play a huge role in the success of the NJSA. Besides attending shows/events, junior board members are also required to make sponsorship phone calls, sell drawing tickets, write youth spotlights, and write blog posts. Although this may seem overwhelming, your responsibilities are spread throughout the year so it won’t interfere with your work or classes.
  • How much work is it to be a junior board member?
    • Reading through the responsibilities (i.e. sponsorship calls, youth spotlight write-ups, blog posts, etc.) that you have throughout the year may seem like a lot or a little overwhelming; however, these are spread throughout the year so it won’t interfere with your work or classes.
  • How long is a junior board member term?
    • Each junior board term is 2 years long. The term starts and ends on Friday night of the National Junior Summer Spectacular.
  • What are the offices on the Junior Board and how is it structured?
    • During your first year on the junior board at the National Youth Leadership Conference, you are given the opportunity to apply for one of the following officer positions: President, Vice President, and Secretary. 
    • When you hold one of the titles above, you are given more responsibility with getting on the microphone more, keeping the junior board communication up between the group, managing/creating the junior board Facebook group, and occasionally writing additional Seedstock Edge articles or blog posts.
  • Can I still show while being on the board?
    • Junior board members are still allowed to show during their first year on the junior board. However, second year board members are not allowed to show at any NJSA events. This does not include: American Royal, NAILE, Arizona Nationals, or National Western Stock Show.