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2020 Hereford Herdsman of the Year Candidates

2020 Hereford Herdsman of the Year Candidates

December 20, 2019

During the 2020 National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Hereford exhibitors will submit their votes for the 2020 American Hereford Association (AHA) Herdsman of the Year through an online survey. A link for voting will be …

During the 2020 National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Hereford exhibitors will submit their votes for the 2020 American Hereford Association (AHA) Herdsman of the Year through an online survey. A link for voting will be sent to the email address submitted with the original entries to the NWSS prior to arriving in Denver. Exhibitors are allowed one (1) vote per email and votes must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17. Exhibitors are highly encouraged to submit their votes early. The winner will be announced prior to the selection of the supreme champion Hereford, Saturday, Jan. 18.

Serving on the 2020 Hereford Herdsman selection committee are Bobby Singleton, chairman; Matt Scasta, Buck Cattle Co.; Eric Eldridge, Colyer Herefords and Angus; and Jeremy Reno, Brumley Farms. The AHA thanks them for their time putting together a great group of candidates.

2020 Herdsman candidates

Alyssa Fee

Copeland and Sons Herefords LLC, Nara Visa, N.M.

Holding the title of herdsman for more than five years at Copeland and Sons Herefords LLC, Nara Visa, N.M., Alyssa Fee has been instrumental in the operation’s success. Alyssa came on board at Copeland and Sons after graduating from Tennessee Technological University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a concentration in animal science. She has since managed and helped with numerous division winners and reserve and national champions at the NWSS, Fort Worth Stock Show (FWSS) and Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE). Her skills in managing and fitting show cattle were made evident by the outfit being named premier breeder at both the NWSS and FWSS in 2015 and again in 2018. At the ranch, she is responsible for all artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transplant (ET) setups, and calves out 100 heifers and 500 cows every spring.

Growing up on her family’s small farm in Jackson, Tenn., Alyssa always had a passion for being with animals — particularly cattle, horses and dogs. She began showing Angus cattle early on and was mentored by Woolfolk Farms, Jackson, for many years. She ended up showing Herefords and hasn’t looked back since.

Alyssa has also been involved in numerous professional organizations, and served as the state vice president of the Tennessee FFA Association and as the vice president of the Tennessee Junior Polled Hereford Association. She was named JNHE state junior of the year in 2013.

Her drive and attention to detail exemplify the true makings of a herdsman, and the Copeland family is proud work alongside Alyssa on the ranch and in the show barn.

Robyn Kelley Samsel

Barber Ranch, Channing, Texas

Robyn was born on the end of a halter and has never looked back. She grew up on the show road while her parents, Ted and Ethel Kelley, owned and managed Rainbow Cattle Service.

Robyn was tied across the aisle from a young man from Indiana one year at the junior nationals and several years later the same young man proposed to her at the junior nationals. Ryan and Robyn Samsel were married in 2007 and live in Cloverdale, Ind., where they own and operate Samsel Cattle Company.

Robyn splits her time between Indiana and Texas. She has helped prep and show cattle for the family business, RCS, and has helped prep national champions for KLD Show Cattle, Rockin W Ranch, Coyote Ridge, Rocking Chair Ranch, Worrell Enterprises and numerous others. She has continued at Barber Ranch, where she has been the showbarn herdsman for the past four years. During Robyn’s time at Barber Ranch, the operation has exhibited some impressive national champions, most notably two-time supreme champion bull, BR Belle Air 6011.

“We have been very blessed to have Robyn work with our cattle and kids,” says Mary Barber, matriarch of Barber Ranch. “She has such a passion for both. We have appreciated how she cares for and loves each of them as her own. Plus, she always goes the extra mile to attend to every little detail.”

Robyn is always searching for the newest techniques to make sure cattle are presented to their individual perfection. She works passionately with junior exhibitors, and her trademark advice is telling them to have fun right before they go into the show ring. Robyn enjoys being with people who love cattle as much as she does and is the quintessential Hereford herdsman.

Zach Wells

Hoffman Ranch

While black may run in his blood, Zach Wells of Thedford, Neb., has broadened his horizon and has taken to the Hereford breed in a big way. Now working on his seventh year with Hoffman Ranch, this Texas native was a natural in the show barn, learning from his father, Tom, a past Angus and Chianina herdsman of the year.

Starting with his first Angus Junior National in Tulsa, Okla., in 1999, Zach exhibited Angus and Red Angus heifers at Texas majors as well as at national events throughout his junior career. In 2004, Zach’s bred-and-owned heifer was selected champion Angus female at the NWSS.

An expansive program, Hoffman Ranch has exhibited many national champions with Zach’s assistance. In his time at Hoffman Ranch he has helped earn over 20 National Champion titles.

Zach spends his days in the show barn, but he also is a vital part of the Hoffman operation in helping with herd health, gathering and working cattle outside of the show barn. Zach wears a lot of different hats around the ranch which helps make the operation run smoothly.

Zach has a quite demeanor around not only the cattle, but also anyone he encounters which includes the Hoffman Ranch crew, customers and people within our community. He is always respectful and works diligently to showcase the cattle to the best of their ability.

Jacob Wolfrey

Grimmel Girls Show Cattle, Jarrettsville, Md.

Jacob Wolfrey of Jarrettsville, Md., owns and operates Grimmel Girls Show Cattle with his wife, Michelle, newborn son, Andrew, and sister-in-law, Melissa Grimmel Schaake. He grew up raising and showing Angus cattle and went on to assist many large Angus and Hereford operations at nationals shows across North America before joining Grimmel Girls in 2010.

Jacob has led the Grimmel Girls program to win many national titles including the NWSS, NAILE, JNHE, KILE and, most notably, the 2016 NWSS grand champion polled female; along with several show heifer and show bull of the year awards.

The Grimmel operation utilizes intensive ET and IVF programs in both their Maryland and Kansas locations, where they breed, raise and market genetics through online sales every fall and spring. Since their first online sale in March 2016, they have sold cattle and genetics to customers in more than 25 states and several Canadian provinces. The Grimmel Girls online sales are some of the highest averaging Hereford online heifer sales in the country. Jacob takes pride in raising and selling Hereford cattle that are not only successful in the show ring, but more importantly in production. He thoroughly enjoys working with their customers and providing a great and successful experience.