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50 and 100 Years Strong in the Hereford Breed

October 29, 2021

In celebration of 50 years in the Hereford business, 10 Hereford breeders were honored as Golden Breeders for their commitment during the American Hereford Association (AHA) Annual Membership Meeting and breakfast in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 23. Two Hereford operations were recognized as Century breeders during the event for their commitment to the breed for 100 years. 

This year’s Century Breeders are:

  • Noack Herefords, Rockdale, Texas
  • Smathers Ranch, Llano, Texas 

 This year’s Golden Breeders are:

  • Atkins Herefords, Tea, S.D.
  • B&D Herefords, Claflin, Kan.
  • Blume Herefords, Frankfort, S.D.
  • Circle Y Farm, West Liberty, Ohio
  • Neilyne Genetics, Pine Island, Minn.
  • Parker Bros. Polled Herefords, Bradyville, Tenn.
  • Prestwood Beef Cattle, Lenoir, N.C.
  • Schuette Land & Cattle, Highmore, S.D.
  • Windmill Acres Farm, Barnardsvile, N.C. 
  • Y Cross Herefords, Bonanza, Ore. 

“As a cattle producer, 50 years and 100 years in the business is a great accomplishment,” Shane Bedwell, AHA chief operating officer and director of breed improvement, said. “The AHA congratulates each of these Golden and Century Breeders and their families for their passion and commitment to the Hereford breed.”

Century Breeders

Noack Herefords
Noack Herefords, Rockdale, Texas,  was established in 1921 by E.H. Noack, who registered the 7- brand. When E.H.’s only son, Leon, returned home from Texas A&M, his graduation was rewarded when he was named the cow herd manager. After E.H.’s untimely death a few years later, Leon assumed full responsibility for the ranch and made it into the operation it is today. Leon spent countless hours studying pedigrees and collecting performance data. Noack Herefords was an early adopter of the Total Performance Registry Program. The operation focused on creating the ideal mama cow, improving birth weights, milking ability and longevity. Leon spent time working as a meat grader, which taught him the value of consistently producing delicious, tender meat. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2000 and lost the battle in 2015. Today, the family ranch consists of three separate cow herds that cooperate on genetics and marketing. Noack bulls are guaranteed to work for four years. Noack Herefords firmly believes form follows function, and the most functional cows are also the most profitable. They have been tremendously blessed and hope to operate another 100 years.

Smathers Hereford Ranch
The Smathers Hereford Ranch, Llano, Texas,  was established in 1886 by James Jefferson Smathers in the heart of the Texas Hill Country in Llano County, Texas. James purchased about 500 acres shortly after he married Harriet Spinks, and he purchased his first Hereford cattle shortly after. Over the past 135 years, the ranch has passed from father to son for five generations. The Smathers Ranch has evolved from 500 acres of raw pastureland to a highly managed, improved grasses, cultivated fields and rotational cell-grazing operation, which maximizes herd production and capacity. Initially, Smathers Herefords was a commercial herd marketed through on-farm production sales. However, as times have changed and fifth-generation heir, Slade Smathers, showed interest in raising, exhibiting and marketing his own show cattle, production progressed into an AI/embryo system targeted for registered Hereford cattle and show calf sales. Today, the Smathers Ranch continues to grow and evolve under Rick’s strong belief and commitment to leave things in good working order for future generations. 

Golden Breeders

Atkins Herefords
Atkins Herefords is located near Tea, S.D., on the home farm. The Atkins maintain a select cow herd and utilize AI and embryo transfer to leverage those genetics. Through their partnership with Delaney Herefords, cattle are marketed in two annual production sales — a bull and female sale in late January and an online female and embryo event in October.  With the Delaneys, the Atkins have been blessed to show cattle successfully at the National Western Stock Show, in Denver, Colo., and the Cattlemen’s Congress, in Oklahoma City, including a national champion pen of heifers and carload of bulls. Pete and Laura have three sons: Scott and his wife, Sarah, and their children: Isla, George and Elouise; Paul and his wife, Sarah, and their son, Theodore; and Craig.

B&D Herefords
Settled in the heart of Kansas, B&D Herefords and Angus, Claflin, Kan., was founded in 1969. B&D Herefords hosted its first production sale in 1985 at the rodeo grounds in Odin, Kan. For 36 years, they have held annual production sales each March. Five years ago, B&D added the Fall Classic sale. These sales have focused on performance and production with cattle built to excel in the pasture. The ranch is now owned and operated by brothers, Craig, Gerald Jr., Kevin and Terry Beran. Gerald Jr.’s son, Matt, returned to the ranch full-time, and Craig’s daughter, Bridget, is closely involved as well. Today, B&D runs approximately 800 cows spread across central Kansas. The ranch utilizes an extensive amount of AI and is committed to DNA testing the entire cow herd and each bull marketed in the sales to ensure the most accurate information is available.

Blume Herefords
Gordon Blume and his brother, Gary, purchased their first registered heifer in 1964 from Gilbert Frankenstein, and that was the beginning of Blume Polled Hereford Farm, Frankfort, S.D. It continued to grow and expand until 1975 when Gordon and Gary dissolved the partnership. Gordon and his wife, Thordys, continued under the BPHF prefix until horned genetics were added. It was then changed to Blume Herefords.  In the mid-1970s, AI was implemented to better the herd. Embryo transplant was added in the late 1980s, and they continue to use both. Today, Blume Herefords consist of three generations. Gordon and Thordys, along with their son, Michael, and his wife, Becky, and grandchildren, Jayna and Rett.  Gordon and Thordys continue with the calving and feeding of the herd, but they enjoy watching their grandchildren compete in the show ring the most.

Circle Y Farm
Circle Y Farm, West Liberty, Ohio, was started in the fall of 1969 by Carl E. Yoder and family. They purchased their first polled Hereford cow at the Walnut Hills Farm Dispersal in 1970. They focus on selling seedstock and freezer beef with freezer beef clients in five different states. They are particularly proud that Alizabeth Kurtz has started showing in junior shows, becoming the fourth generation to carry on the tradition.

Neilyne Genetics
Dave Neil was 10 years old when his first polled Hereford heifer, Princess, was born on the family farm in Northfield, Minn. Princess became a 4-H beef project, which Dave showed as a fall calf in 1968 and a senior yearling in 1969. After, Dave was officially hooked on Herefords.  As a young Hereford breeder, Dave set two goals for himself: show in the National Western Stock Show and earn a championship banner at that same show. In 2012, Dave achieved the goal he had set 30 years earlier. Dave’s Hereford business, Neilyne Genetics, was established by Dave Neil and his family. They look forward to continuing their Hereford business and personal relationships with great Hereford people for the next 50 years and beyond.

Parker Bros. Polled Herefords
David L. Parker of Bradyville, Tenn., is a seventh-generation Southern farmer, second-generation Hereford breeder and operator of Parker Bros. Polled Herefords. At age 9, David received his first Hereford heifer and has lived, breathed and bred polled Herefords for 62 years. Parker Bros. held its first production sale in 1967 and continues to host production sales every third Labor Day. In 2013, the family started a retail beef sales operation, Parker Family Beef. Without a doubt, the most important thing in David’s life is his family, who all work in some capacity to support the farming operation. Paula, his wife of 47 years, is the mainstay. He has three children, Krista, Brian, and Angela, along with six grandchildren.

Prestwood Beef Cattle
Kim Yates Prestwood, Lenoir, N.C., purchased his first Polled Hereford in 1970 from the North Carolina Hereford Association Spring Sale. That same year, Kim became a junior member of the American Hereford Association. His maternal grandfather, Joseph “Guthrie” Bumgarner, had a great influence on Kim’s life and his love for cattle.  Kim has two children, Jennifer Smith of Statesville, N.C., and Kyle Prestwood of Walterboro, S.C. Both of Kim’s children followed in his footsteps as participants in the National Junior Hereford Association when they were young.

Schuette Land & Cattle, Inc.
Bill Schuette, Highmore, S.D., purchased his first Hereford bull in 1940, and Hereford cattle have run on the ranch since. By 1947, the ranch had grown to nine quarters of land and had become a commercial Hereford cattle operation. Bill and Ellen had three children: Leroy, Jim and Grace. By the time Jim graduated from high school, the ranch had grown to approximately 2,240 acres with about 180 cows. In 1961, Jim married Judy Wilcox, and they continued to live on the ranch, raising quality Hereford cattle. They raised three children on the ranch — Peggy, Sheri and Jerry. On Jan. 15, 1974, the family ranch was incorporated and became Schuette Land & Cattle Company Inc.

Windmill Acres Farm
Phil Fishel and his wife, Brenda, of 56 years, established Windmill Acres Farm, Barnardsville, N.C., in the early ’70s. They have two children, Neil and Andie, who grew up in the Hereford breed. Phil is most proud of his grandchildren, Clara, Melanie and Wesley Fishel, and their involvement in the Hereford breed, participating in local and national shows, making herd decisions and most recently Melanie serving as the 2020 National Hereford Queen. Windmill Acres Farm is still managed today by Phil and Brenda, as well as Neil and his wife, Karen, Andie and her husband, Wes Carpenter, and the three grandchildren. Their focus is to raise productive, efficient cattle that exemplify the longevity and strong maternal traits of the Hereford breed.

Y Cross Herefords
Greg Thomas has been in the purebred Hereford business his entire life. Greg, along with his wife, Maureen, raised their three sons, Rees, Zack and Garrett in Bonanza, Ore., on the Y Cross Hereford Ranch. It’s a family operation, with the boys now grown and the grandchildren coming out to help with ranching duties. Y Cross Herefords has marketed its bulls all along the West Coast, mainly by private treaty, but has also taken bulls to consignment sales. Y Cross mainly consigned to the prestigious Red Bluff Bull Sale, where it has had the champion Hereford sale bull for seven years in a row.