Hereford Hall of Fame, Merit Inductees Honored
Marvin D. Berry, Tom Dashiell and George Ochsner were inducted into the Hereford Hall of Fame Nov. 2, 2010, in Kansas City during the American Hereford Association (AHA) Annual Meeting.
The Hall of Fame honor recognizes breeders who have dynamically influenced the direction and advancement of the Hereford breed.
Also during the Annual Meeting, Robert (Bob) Call and Lovell Kuykendall were honored with the Hereford Hall of Merit Award. Hall of Merit inductees aren’t necessarily Hereford breeders but have, in their own ways, greatly influenced the Hereford breed and cattle industry.
Marvin D. Berry
Marvin Berry of Berry Herefords was a longtime Hereford breeder and cattleman. He not only produced quality Hereford cattle for decades but also inspired the next generation to continue his legacy.
Marvin began breeding Herefords in the late 1930s as a 4-H member. He, along with his father and two brothers, started the herd and by 1949 held the first “The Berrys’” production sale in a tent. The cattle were raised on a ranch that was homesteaded by Marvin’s parents in 1910. With Marvin’s exceptional eye for quality, the ranch prospered, and in the early 1970s, the sale had grown to an offering of 100 bulls. In 1980 the family sold its combined herd, but Marvin was not about to get out of the business. He started out on his own and, at 65 years young, was as active as ever, despite his son, Jay, returning home to “help.”
Marvin attended the National Western Stock Show every year except for one when he was serving in World War II. He showed many champion heifer pens and judged the carload show in the Yards.
In 2001, at 80 years old, Marvin passed away, leaving Jay and Jay’s family to continue the Berry Hereford tradition.
Jack Holden recommended Marvin for the Hall of Fame, saying, “He was a great cowman that had a tremendous ability to pick out quality cattle to improve his herd. He traveled many miles every year visiting top herds around the country to analyze their cattle and find the top individuals that could help his herd. He was a true lover and believer in the merit of Hereford cattle and had a lifelong commitment to the breed and improving the beef industry.”
Mark Cooper says he knew Marvin as a friend and a customer. “Without a doubt,” Mark says, “one of Mr. Berry’s greatest attributes was honesty. Whether it is standing by the reputation of the Berry cattle or in his dealings with the cattle industry, Mr. Berry was steadfast and non-compromising in his integrity. He was a man that I, as a young breeder, admired and respected.”
Tom Dashiell and his wife, Ardis, made great contributions to the Hereford industry through their highly sought-after genetics. Tom’s Mark Donald cow herd produced one of the most influential bulls in the industry: DH Beau Mark Dhu 326.
Dashiell Herefords, Eltopia, Wash., started in 1945 with the purchase of one purebred cow at the Northwest Hereford Breeders sale in Spokane, Wash. More and more cows were added including 10 foundation females of Old Line Beau Donald breeding. In 1959 the herd was sold at private treaty except the yearling heifers. From only 21 heifers, the herd grew again until 1968, when Tom’s illness forced a sale of all but the yearling heifers again. Dashiells grew their herd once again and in 1979 sold the entire cow herd.
Dashiell Herefords tested cattle in the Total Performance Records carcass and feedlot evaluations, proving that their genetics for marbling and other carcass traits were of the best in the country. It was during this time that DH Beau Mark Dhu 326 was produced. “326” was sold in 1968 for $7,000 at 14 years old. He sired the bull called “Sam Donald” that was the leading sire of Jack Williams’ herd in San Angelo, Texas.
Also during these dispersion sales, world-renowned Hereford operations including Colyer Herefords, Stone Hereford Ranch and TT Herefords purchased cattle, which would become cornerstones of their respective herds.
Dashiell Herefords has never shown cattle, but many show points have been accumulated by buyers. Cattle bred by Dashiells have consistently graded over 90% Choice.
Longtime AHA field representative Willard Wolf says he highly recommends Tom for this award. “Tom was a leader in the development of carcass information about his cattle along with the entire Hereford breed. Tom tested and produced more cattle that graded Choice than any other breeder in the U.S. during the development of carcass EPDs. Dashiell-bred cattle consistently graded Choice at the rate of 95%. Tom was a leader in the Hereford breed at producing genetics that put quality in our beef.”
George Ochsner is a lifetime cattleman. He and his wife, Ruby, head the Hereford operation George Ochsner and Sons along with three of their children and their families: Rod and Deb Ochsner, Blake and Chrissy Ochsner, and Steve and Dixie Roth. Their eldest daughter, Tena, and her husband, Elden, run a commercial cattle operation of their own.
In 1913 George’s parents homesteaded a ranch near Torrington, Wyo. George was literally born into the operation in the family’s home in 1933. When George was only 12, his father passed away, and shortly after, his older brother left for the military, leaving George to look after the ranch, his mother and two sisters.
In 1955 George married Ruby Arnold, and the next year they purchased their first registered Hereford cows. As early as 1966, George began using artificial insemination (AI) to improve his genetics and the operation continues to use AI today. As George and Ruby’s children returned home to join the operation, it grew exponentially. It now includes a feedlot, an irrigated farm and heifer development and registered cattle operations.
George is an active member of the Wyoming Hereford Association and was honored with the Breeder of the Year Award at the Black Hills Stock Show in 2003.
Jason Hoffman, a fellow Hereford breeder, says he truly respects George. “He lives and breathes the family ranch. I have never known a more progressive man his age,” Jason says. “He is a man that has lived the American dream, from starting with nothing to building an empire. George and Ruby are truly my heroes and are very deserving of this honor.”
Dale Micheli says, “I believe George and Ruby’s most important contribution, besides cattle, is the tremendous family they have raised.”
Bob Call and his wife, Dolores, own and operate CBY Polled Herefords in Cushing, Okla., and for many years have donated time and resources to the Hereford breed. More than 40 years ago, Bob entered into the Hereford business. Bob’s day job was that of a certified public account for the Call, Barrick, Ethridge and Webb firm until his retirement.
Bob stepped up his Hereford involvement considerably in 1999 when he assumed the duties as secretary/manager for the Oklahoma Hereford Association. He was instrumental in organizing the first-ever Junior National Hereford Expo in 2000. It was the first year the polled and horned junior shows were combined. Also in 2000, he was elected to the AHA Board of Directors. During his four-year term, he served on the publications committee and as chairman of the finance committee. He assisted in establishing and supporting the PRIDE (Program Reaching Individuals Determined to Excel) Convention and other youth programs. Bob has also served as president of the Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA), working on projects like the gala during the American Royal National Hereford Show.
“Bob Call did not create the HYFA, but he did lead the charge to reform, revitalize and refurbish a stagnant organization into a dynamic, energetic team of individuals committed to the development of youth,” says Lyn Chastain, past president of the American Hereford Women. “He has broken down barriers of self-interest and self-promotion and allowed individuals and groups to find a way to work together for the common good.”
Fellow breeder Norman Durham says, “Bob Call’s tireless efforts and commitments to the Hereford breed have significantly increased and raised the standards of Herefords in the local, national and international beef industry. Few, if any, individuals have given so much to the Hereford breed in our times of need.”
Lovell Kuykendall devoted the vast majority of his working life to the AHA, working in one way or another to benefit the breed for 35 years. Lovell started at the AHA in 1965 as the Association’s assistant director of the youth division, but over the years he would serve the Association in many roles. Two years after being hired, he was promoted to the junior activities director position and then director of field services. In 1973 he took a brief hiatus from the Association to work at a bank but returned about a year later as the director of marketing. He served as director of marketing for about 14 years, working closely with the Genetic Outreach Program and the National Reference Sire Program. In 1987 he was hired as the executive editor of the Hereford Journal. In 1995 after the merger of the horned and polled associations, Lovell was named director of marketing for Certified Hereford Beef LLC and was responsible for the Association’s commercial marketing efforts. He served in this position until his retirement in 2000.
An article written by Hereford World staff thanking Lovell for his service at the time of his retirement in the July 2000 issue says, “One could say Lovell has done it all around here, when you stop and think just how many different parts of the Association he has impacted. Lovell has seen many new faces get their start here and has played a big part in shaping their careers and helping them excel.”
Lovell left the Association to continue the Kuykendall family tradition of raising Herefords in Texas.