West Texas Hereford / Curly Hays Memorial Scholarship

Curly Hays, late husband of Jean Hays, died in 1987. Curly was the farm and ranch representative for West Texas Utilities. His work with 4-H, stock shows and local football touched many young lives. Because of his agriculture ties, the West Texas Hereford Association named a scholarship in his honor in 1988. This scholarship was transferred to the Community Foundation in 2005. His work as a long-time referee for sporting events in Abilene was recognized posthumously in 2006 by induction in the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame. Curly Hays was probably the best-known football and basketball referee in the history of the Abilene chapter, working middle school, high school, and college games up until the time of his death. The state award for the top football official is named for Curly Hays.


  • Graduating High School senior
  • Exhibitor of livestock, particularly cattle (Preference is given to a student who is a member of the Junior Hereford Association)

West Texas Hereford / Curly Hays Memorial Scholarship
$2,000.00 single award
Supplemental Questions
  1. Are you a member of the Junior Hereford Association?
  2. Have you been an exhibitor of livestock?
  3. For how many years?
  4. Please submit an essay (250-300 words) illustrating a lesson you learned through participating in stock shows or through the Texas Junior Hereford Association that will benefit you as your begin your education at college.
  5. Provide the name and email address of a teacher/professor who knows your character and is willing to submit an online reference on your behalf (No relatives).