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Golden Breeders

The Golden Breeder award recognizes Hereford breeders who have stood the test of time and have been dedicated to raising Herefords for more than 50 years.

A group of golden breeders grazing in a grassy field.


2023 winners

The Williams Hilltop Farms was established in 1934 by William (Bill) and Arlie Williams near Rochester, Minn. They operated a diversified farm with a dairy herd, hogs, chickens and sheep. In the mid-1950s they added a small herd of Herefords, which evolved into a polled Hereford operation. In 1969 the Williams sold the farm to their sons, Augie and Bob. Today, they have a herd of about 70 polled Hereford cows in Rochester and Rushford, Minn. They are active in several local and state breed associations in addition to the AHA. As second-generation Hereford breeders, the Williams are proud of their long participation in the AHA and pleased to see the continual improvement of the breed through the years.

SCH Polled Herefords owner, Sam Hunter, has Hereford roots that begin as a young kid from northern Pennsylvania. He caught the “bug” for the bald-faced breed after winning a Hereford steer calf at a high school livestock judging contest. From there, his passion for livestock and the cattle industry only grew. By 1974, he found himself in Maryland to manage Huckleberry Hall Farm, where part of SCH Polled Herefords currently sits. Following Huckleberry Hall Farm’s dispersal sale in the mid-1980s, Sam had about 20 head of Hereford cattle, and SCH Polled Herefords found its home on a part of the acreage. Now raising Hereford cattle on approximately 70 acres, Sam and his wife, Linda, breed around 35-40 cows each year.

While at Michigan State University, Phil Rottman had the privilege of being a member of the winning livestock judging team at the 1967 American Royal — coached by Dr. Harlan Ritchie and Dr. David Hawkins. Upon graduation he was instrumental in starting the polled Hereford herd at the Cummings Farm in Fremont, Mich. Phil and Chris married in 1971 and began their polled Hereford herd in 1973 with the purchase of 10 bred cows and rented ground from Chris’ parents, which is now the home farm in Fremont. The couple has three children and six grandchildren.

Bob Rhyne skipped class one day during high school in 1953, and went to the North Carolina State Hereford Sale and purchased his first registered horned Hereford heifer. While he and his family already had some commercial Hereford cows, this was the beginning of his registered herd. From there, Rhyneland Farms continued to grow. Bob served as president and secretary of both the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association and the North Carolina Polled Hereford Association. He bred sought after cattle, and continued to build his reputation as a respected cattleman. Today, the farm is primarily operated by Bob; his daughter, Kim Eudy; and granddaughters, Alexis and Courtney Eudy. Bob instilled his love and passion for the breed in the girls. They currently run around 150 brood cows and continue to utilize AI and ET methods.

Leroux Herefords is owned by Mike and Ann Leroux, and their two children, Laura and Daniel. In 1965, the Roy and Lucille Leroux family began registering Hereford cattle as Leroux Herefords. In the 1950s, Roy and his children ran registered Hereford cattle with the Leroux children all being members of the junior Hereford association. The two youngest children, Linda and Mike, continued raising, showing and selling Hereford cattle. Roy, Lucille and Mike continued buying small herds. Bulls and additional cows were purchased from the Ferry Carpenter herd as well as other well-known producers. In 1976, Mike began purchasing the ranch and completed the purchase in 2008. Mike has been using AI since 1976. In 2010, Mike, Ann, Daniel and Laura formed an operating company, Leroux Land and Cattle LLC, but still register cattle as Leroux Herefords. In 2008, they sold their commercial cattle and purchased more registered Hereford females.

Ed and Rovern Hutton purchased their first registered Hereford heifers in the early 1970s. They raised registered Herefords through the years, and maintained a successful commercial Hereford herd. All five of their children showed Hereford cattle. Ed served as a past president of the South Carolina Hereford Association and served for many years as the association’s treasurer. After Ed and Rovern passed, their son, Jim, and his wife, Susan, continued to expand the herd. Currently, Jim and Susan’s sons, Houston and Harrison, the third generation, are running the day-to-day management of the ranch, which moved to Nebraska in 2021.

High Country Farm began with Claud Austin and his daughter, Claudia. Claud owned commercial cattle for several years but bought his first purebred polled Hereford cow in 1969. Claud started showing cattle in 1971 at the Caldwell County Fair and did not miss a year until the fair stopped having an open show in 2009. Claudia joined him in the showring at the age of 10. After that, Claud preferred to work the chutes and let his daughter do most of the showing. After Claudia graduated from North Carolina State University, they expanded their show circuit to include shows in eastern Tennessee and North Carolina. With only 12 brood cows, they had several grand or reserve champions at these fairs over the years. When Claudia became too old to show at junior shows, Claud lent many show heifers to juniors over the following 30 years. Claudia has continued that tradition after Claud’s passing in 2014. Claudia still maintains a small Hereford herd in the North Carolina mountains and plans to carry on High Country Farm as long as she can, fulfilling Claud’s dreams.

Harry and Betty Everhart knew if they were going to raise six children the right way, they should invest in Hereford cattle and put the kids to work. In 1968, Harry bought a bull and two heifers at the Indiana State Sale. Even though they raised commercial cattle and hogs when they were first married, these were the first registered animals the couple ever owned. In 1971, Harry and family became lifetime members of the AHA and each of their children showed their Hereford heifers at state and national events. The cattle were an important part of utilizing less productive Indiana soil not suited for record-breaking state corn production and giving responsibility to their children. Betty and Harry consider their children, Katrina, Bruce, Chris, Cindy, Diana and Tim, to be their greatest accomplishments. A lifetime of Hereford friends continue to follow their family and herd as their legacy lives on with Hereford cattle and through their 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

As a junior high school student in the early 1960s, Mike Owen and his father, Don, started Double OO Herefords in Eugene, Ore. Mike began raising Hereford steers and heifers as 4-H projects. After graduating college in 1969, the operation expanded with the purchase of more property. Mike began working with Willard Wolf from the AHA to find and purchase herd bulls. When his children, Jessica and Jed, were growing up, he became a 4-H leader of the same club he belonged to as a youngster. He has mentored countless kids, taking pride in ensuring there were quality Hereford steers in the club each year. As demand grew for Double OO’s bulls, Mike began taking them to the Red Bluff, National Western Stock Show and Klamath Falls bull sales. Mike is still a consignor at Klamath Falls today, having exhibited many champion pen and halter bulls. Mike has been honored as Consignor of the Year as well.

C&L Hereford Ranch began with Charles and Lorna Folkman. The couple built their cow herd with daughters of the RWJ K9 bull from Calderon Curran in Grass Lake, Mich., and female purchases from regional state shows and sales. They shared herd sires with Arnold Jorns, who ran his herd alongside theirs. The Folkman family’s first exposure to AI was purchasing six packages of semen of the breed icon Enforcer 107H. Eventually, the ranch began exhibiting at state and regional shows, and relocated its cattle to the ranch’s current location in Ixonia, Wis. Steve Folkman currently operates the ranch, and has served the Hereford breed in multiple capacities. Jill Folkman, Steve’s wife, served on the National Hereford Women (NHW) board. The most important aspect of the ranch is family. Steve and Jill’s children, Nicky, Ali, Curtis and Austin Folkman are involved in all aspects of the daily operation.

B&C Cattle Company is a dual-purpose operation located in Miami, Texas, specializing in registered Hereford cattle for both the commercial cattle ranchers and seedstock producers. B&C Cattle Co. is owned and operated by Bill and Edie Breeding, along with their son, Chad Breeding: grandson, Austin; and wife, Abby; Blayke, Wyatt, Lillian and Blair. B&C Cattle Co. has been raising registered Herefords since 1957 and has accomplished many milestones along the way, including numerous national champion titles at the National Western Stock Show and Cattlemen’s Congress.

Previous Years’ Winners

2022 winners

The Snedden family began ranching in Kern County, California, in 1867. Snedden Ranch has been running a primarily Hereford-based commercial cow herd for more than 100 years. As progress was made in developing cattle, Snedden Ranch began to see demand from local producers for its bulls. Snedden Ranch closed its herd almost 40 years ago to develop the desired quality and consistency. Today, Richard and Susie Snedden are partners with their son, Austin, and his wife, Sarah, in the ranch operation. Austin and Sarah’s four children are also part of the ranching operation.

The Reed Farms operation was started by Jim Reed while he was in college in 1962. After Jim and his wife, Linda, married in 1965, they continued their passion for the breed in Green Ridge, Mo. The family operation is now 60 years old. Jim and Linda have two sons, Brian and Craig. The Reeds spent a lifetime dedicating themselves to the Hereford breed. They have helped other breeders host successful Hereford sales and market their Hereford semen and certificates, all while raising polled Hereford cattle.

K7 Herefords started in 1968 as a 4-H project. K7 Herefords began in a small Wisconsin town, before moving to southeast Iowa, where carcass traits and customer needs are at the forefront of the herd focus. Today, K7 Herefords runs 100 cows and hosts a production sale every March. Run by Tom Heidt with the love and support from his wife, Jo, and their three children, K7 Herefords strives to keep up with the beef industry’s ever-changing wants and needs.

Mill Creek Ranch, owned by the David and Diane Breiner family, is located at the northern edge of the Flint Hills near Alma, Kan. Mill Creek Ranch purchased its first Hereford cattle during the spring of 1972. The budding herd featured Mark Donald, Line 1, Tiberius and Don Blanchard bloodlines. In the late ’70s, David became the managing partner and owner. Over the last half-century, an extensive AI and embryo transfer (ET) program was used to produce moderate birthweight, high performing seedstock with excellent carcass traits for registered and commercial producers.

2021 winners

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

2020 winners

Lenth Herefords started with Elden and Bea Lenth along with children Doug and Barb. Over the years, the operation transitioned to Doug and wife, Marilyn, who operate Lenth Herefords today. The original 25 Registered Hereford cows and 31 heifers were purchased in the mid 60s, coming from Lemmon, S.D. The herd has evolved over the years and consists of 80 females today. The cow herd is deep with 10 active Dams of Distinction (DOD) and over 30 daughters and granddaughters of DOD’s. The Lenth family enjoy promoting high quality seedstock through their website to drive private treaty sales where they market 40 bulls and 30 females annually.

The Lenth family has been very engaged in local and state cattlemen associations and enjoy giving back. Lenth Herefords was honored to be named the “2018 Iowa Seedstock Producer of the Year.” Over the last 50 years, bloodlines and cattle body types have changed but many things have remained the same. They have adapted with the times and are still passionate about the Hereford business 50 years later.

Darold Bancroft’s parents bought 10 Hereford heifers in 1964 and let Darold and his brother both pick a favorite. From this pick came Miss Lassie Dom 8 that was born in 1968. This heifer went on to be named grand champion multiple times at several local fairs. Darold joined the Michigan Hereford Association (MHA) in 1982 and held multiple officer roles with the association. Darold holds dear his time as director and officer of the MHA, as it gave him the opportunity to meet many people and make many friends. Darold comments, “Although I’m a smaller breeder, I still believe in the Hereford breed and the people that make up the membership of this association.”

2019 winners

Wooden Shoe Farms, as it is known today, is owned and operated by Neal and Shelly Ward, Bradley and Britany Ward, and Steve and Alicia Billman. Wooden Shoe has roots dating back 75 years with two different cattle operations — one in Idaho and one in Washington. In college, Neal interned for the original Wooden Shoe Farms in Washington, which began 50 years ago when Jack Powell and Dick Frank purchased a tulip and daffodil farm and added cattle shortly after. In southeastern Idaho, Neal’s grandfather, Zeke Ward, operated LZ Ranch, which reached a point where it needed to be divided in 1976. At that point, Zeke kept LZ Ranch, and Neal and his father, DeLoy, started Timber Creek Ranch.

In 1992, when Wooden Shoe Farms in Washington dispersed, Neal and DeLoy purchased the entire herd and moved it to Blackfoot, Idaho, merging it with Timber Creek Ranch. The operation now consists of registered Herefords and Angus with an extensive embryo transfer program. 2019 marks 75 years in the Hereford industry for the Ward family, which now has five generations that have been involved in raising Hereford cattle. The Ward family looks forward to continuing its legacy of raising quality stock.

While serving as a vocational agriculture teacher in Anamosa, Iowa, Ron Beaver decided he wanted to start raising Hereford cattle. He headed to the Stanley Vance Dispersal Sale in Traer, Iowa, and with the purchase of two registered cow-calf pairs, Ron established Ron Beaver Herefords in September 1965.

Ron Beaver Herefords has continued to cultivate its herd of Herefords by focusing on selecting sires to improve the herd and only retain high-quality heifers. Ron’s wife, Cheryl, and their four children have been an essential part of the operation’s success over the years. Ron and Cheryl are blessed with four wonderful grandchildren and hope they will continue with the family’s Herford legacy.

C. Garnett Jones and his wife, Elinor, started their Hereford operation, River Bend Farms, in 1946 after receiving a horned Hereford bull and cow as a wedding present. River Bend Farms is located along the Flat Rock River near Waldron, Ind.

The Joneses’ children, Leslie and Carl, began showing in 4-H in the 1960s and 1970s. Leslie and her husband, William Doig, a lifetime Association member, passed their passion for raising Hereford cattle down to their son, Bill. Bill has been very active in state and national junior organizations over the years and served as a director for the National Junior Polled Hereford Council from 1998 to 2000. Bill and his wife have continued the tradition with their two daughters, Ava and Bremley, who love spending time checking cows with their grandmother.

Ridenhour Herefords was first established by Leonard Fred Ridenhour, who became a lifetime member of the AHA in 1961. Leonard passed the operation down to his son, Freddie, who operates the ranch today with his wife, Cheril.

Currently, the Ridenhour herd consists of approximately 75 head of registered polled Hereford females. Freddie’s love for the Hereford breed is apparent by his dedication to producing quality cattle that have acceptable birth weights, sound udders and good carcass merit for his customers. Leonard always said, “If you are going to run a cattle operation there are two things you must have…a good pair of fencing pliers and a Hereford bull.” Freddie feels these two necessities still hold true today.

Jerome and James Ollerich of Ollerich Bros. Herefords bought their first eight registered Hereford heifer calves in November 1969 from Bones Hereford Ranch for $1,210. Jerome and James showed Herefords through their local 4-H and junior Hereford association. In 1978, they moved the operation from Sioux Falls, S.D., to Clearfield, S.D.

Since then, they have raised Hereford bulls for commercial breeders and have sold all of their breeding cattle by private treaty sales. Over the years they have sold cattle to producers in 13 states and three foreign countries. Jerome has served as a member and president of the South Dakota Hereford Association board of directors. For the past two years, Ollerich Bros. has hosted the South Dakota Junior Hereford Association field day in Winner.

Jack R. Meyer owns and operates JMAR Farm with his wife, Loreta, in Long Lane, Mo. In 1969 Jack joined the AHA. Over the years, Jack has served as president of the Wisconsin Hereford Association and the Jefferson County Beef Association and has been a 4-H beef leader for almost two decades and coached three of his four children with their beef projects.

As a result of half a century in the breed, Jack has met countless influential individuals who have become family. He is blessed to have crossed paths with so many great Hereford people and would like to thank those special friends for their help and support over the years.

JBB Herefords began in 1967 when John Bryan bought three yearling Hereford heifers as an anniversary gift for his wife, Beverly. From there, they grew their registered Hereford herd to more than 100 head and have sold bulls and females across the country. In 1991, John and Beverly’s daughter, Dawn, and son-in-law, James Anderson, partnered in the ranch, which became JBB/AL Herefords. Beverly still registers cattle under JBB Herefords to signify where the genetics began.

John passed in 2013 and until the very end was very proud of the family’s work in the Hereford industry. He and Beverly are also proud their grandchildren, Bryan and Jae Anderson, are very involved in the ranch and have Hereford cattle of their own. John and Beverly appreciated the support and advice given to them along the way by other Hereford breeders and the AHA field staff.

In 1977, Theodore Jackson acquired his family’s 107.5-acre farm, in White House, Tenn., originally purchased in 1862 by his great grandfather, John Moss. Theodore and his wife, Margaret, and their son, Billy, began raising hay and registered Hereford cattle at the farm. Jackson Farms operates a progressive Hereford operation and the family strives to produce cattle with great disposition, great mothering ability and ones which do the best job of converting grass to beef.

Theodore and Billy are the current owners of the farm where four generations of family reside, including Billy’s son, Cory, and his two children. Billy and his wife, Trudy, have been married for 45 years and have been in the Hereford business for 60 years. They look forward to passing on the legacy of their operation to the next generation.

Ira Haught has been raising Hereford cattle since his grandfather, Denver Goff, of A. Goff & Sons, gifted him and his brother, Barry, a cow in 1965. They registered their first Hereford calf in 1969, which officially established Haught Brothers, Harrisonville, W.Va. Ira worked more than 30 years off the farm practicing law and during the evenings and weekends spent time working on the operation. The Haught brothers strived to center their cow herd on easy-keeping, easy-calving and long-lasting females.

Currently, Ira is enjoying his retirement from law and spends most of his days on the farm. Ira’s son, Derek, manages the Haught Brothers’ herd along with his own operation, Five Star Polled Herefords. The two herds consist of 150 brood cows and both have been recognized as Gold TPR Breeders. Ira and Derek look forward to hosting production sales at the farm and continuing their family legacy.

After making his first and only purchase of 18 Hereford heifers in 1957, Dick Gfeller has been raising horned Hereford cattle near Junction City, Kan., for 62 years and counting. No other females have been purchased, but the herd has grown to about 100 registered cows and 200 commercial cows. Dick’s son, Kenny, got his start in the business right out of high school in 1974 by purchasing all of Dick’s heifer calves and receiving a gift of 10 cows.

Now Kenny and his wife, Debby, own the majority of the cows. Kenny’s mother, Earlene, was an influential part of the operation until she passed in December 2015. The Gfellers operate a nearly closed herd, raising bulls in the registered herd to use in the commercial herd and only purchasing when an outcross is needed. They have a unique operation in that they are involved throughout every part of production. After the calves are weaned, they graze until they go to the family’s feedlot and then are harvested at National Beef in Dodge City, Kan.

Donato Ramos was born in Laredo, Texas, and has lived there his entire life, with the exception of his years in high school and college. His involvement with cattle started at the very young age of 7, when he helped his grandfather and great aunts on their cattle operation.

Donato started his Hereford herd in 1964 after asking his family to buy him a registered polled Hereford bull for his high school graduation. His family bought a registered polled Hereford bull from longtime polled Hereford breeder E. E. Vogt, San Antonio, Texas. At the time, Donato had a few Brahman cows, and he started an F1 breeding program. He soon learned Brahman cattle did not have the best disposition and returned to Vogt to purchase three registered polled Hereford cows.

Over the years, Donato was very active with the Texas Polled Hereford Association, where he served as president and later was elected as a board member for the APHA. He is the longest-termed board member of both associations, serving from 1994 to 2001 and from 2000 to 2001 as vice chairman. Donato has consigned cattle to regional sales and has had four production sales in Laredo.

Diamond J Farms is located in Beaver County, Okla., and is owned and operated by MC and Becky James. MC is 86 years young and bought his first Hereford when he was 16 years old. His first wife, Bonita, worked by his side in this venture for 47 years and was a large part of the operation. Becky met MC in church and began helping him on the farm after Bonita passed. They were married in 2002, and she has now been working with MC to improve the breeding program for 19 years.

Their cow-calf operation consists of approximately 100 head of registered polled Herefords, and MC has 70 years of selective breeding experience. The Jameses also farm and grow much of their own feed for the cattle and continue to offer bulls and replacement heifers for sale private treaty.

Doug and Jane Banks, Ada, Okla., started their herd with four registered polled Hereford heifers in 1966 and in 1968 became lifetime members of the AHA. As an early adopter of the American Polled Hereford Association’s (APHA) guidelines program, Doug has been an avid believer in collecting performance data, which has earned his operation the honor of being a Gold TPR Breeder multiple times.

The longtime Buckeye fans recently relocated to Oklahoma to expand their Hereford operation and to grow the demand for Hereford genetics in the commercial market. Doug is an active member of multiple youth boards at both the local, state and national levels. He and Jane have two children — a son, Brian, and a daughter, Amy (Tony) — and two grandchildren.

2018 winners

The late Marshall Walker was born to nonfarming parents in Oroville, Calif. He was passionate about horses and cattle and acquired experience through ranching jobs in his youth.

He joined the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict but was discharged due to a service-related injury. He took a job in Red Bluff, Calif., where he met his wife, Linda, and they had two kids — Laurel and Scott.

When the Wilson Brothers, Orland, Calif., dispersed their registered polled herd in 1966, Marshall came home with his first registered cows. He raised bulls for local commercial herds and consigned bulls to several sales in the area. He used AI and studied pedigrees to see which bulls would work best on his cows, with DR World Class 517 10H being his final AI bull.

He was a director of the Tehama County Farm Bureau, a past president of the Northern-Cal Appaloosa Association and the director of the Tehama County Cattlemen’s Association.

Marshall died on April 6, 2017, at age 82 after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. His brand, the MW bar, is on his headstone. He is survived by his wife, Linda, of Los Molinos, son Scott of Pleasanton, Calif., daughter, Laurel of Los Molinos, and three grandchildren.

Baker Polled Herefords, Elkhorn, Wis., has been home to Paul and Sylvia, and their children Bob, Mike and Bev, since 1963. Bob and Mike purchased the family’s first registered heifers as 4-H and FFA projects in 1968. The Bakers showed at local, state and national shows, and Bev served as the Wisconsin Hereford Queen.

The goal of Baker Polled Herefords is to raise seedstock that will work in and adapt to any environment. Their herd consists of 25 registered brood cows which are enrolled in the Whole Herd Total Performance Records (TPR™) program. Several generations of offspring have been recognized as Dams of Distinction out of their home-raised RB 29F 002 Right Now 630S herd sire. AI bulls are used to complement their bloodlines, and stress is placed on structural correctness, balanced EPDs, longevity, calving ease and disposition. The family also raises replacement females and breeding bulls and finishes their steers for quality beef.

Mike McDonald, Jane Lew, W.Va., has been raising Herefords since he was 9 years old. His father, William P. McDonald Jr., and his grandfather, Paul, purchased the operation from the in 1967. They registered their first calf in 1968 and the WPM prefix was born. Mike began showing 4-H Hereford steers later that year and has been active in the breed since.

The McDonald family has always enjoyed promoting the breed. Mike’s father was active in starting the West Virginia Polled Hereford Association in the late 1960s, and as a current board director, Mike continues to help the association. He dedicates a large sum of his time assisting many local breeders in marketing their Hereford-influenced calves. He also supports the Certified Hereford-Influenced Feeder Calf Sale in Stanford, Ky., by getting a pot load of calves each year.

Mike and his companion, Becky, love helping the grandkids get involved in the Hereford business. They enjoy teaching them the everyday activities of beef cattle farming and have assisted them with participating in the last five Junior National Hereford Expos.

Kevin and Kathy Stork are owners and operators of KLS Farm, New Richmond, Wis.

Kevin received his first polled Hereford steer in 1965. He showed him in 1966 and sold him that fall for $0.25/lb. Kevin’s dad bought him two registered bred heifers and that was the start of the herd. Kevin recalls that when the APHA changed the AI rules so that breeders could register five calves per year by AI in 1968, he was afraid AI would wreck the bull market.

In 1973, they showed the grand champion bull at the Wisconsin and Minnesota state fairs. The bull, Banner Diamond, elevated his show career by being a class winner in Denver with four Beartooth Ranch bulls in competing in that class. That was the highlight of Kevin’s early show career. Today KLS Farm has 40 registered polled Hereford cows and 30 Angus cows. Many things have changed, but good, productive, functional cows that are eye appealing are what they seek.

Since the purchase of his first polled Hereford cow in 1952, Robert Morgan of Morgan & Morgan Polled Herefords, Alvaton, Ky., has consistently raised quality purebred polled Herefords in south-central Kentucky.

Throughout the years, he and his sons, Shannon and Nathan, have competed in local, regional and statewide shows. They have raised Dams of Distinction and have marketed and sold thousands of polled Hereford cattle across Kentucky, Tennessee and several other states.

Nearly 66 years later, the cow-calf operation currently consists of nearly 200 head of purebred polled Herefords.

Scott McGee, Fairbury, Neb., has been raising Herefords for as long as he can remember. Scott and his wife, Judy, own and operate Valley Creek Ranch (VCR), a family-run operation that spans five generations.

VCR has exhibited on the local, regional and national levels for many years. The ranch utilizes artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer and the McGees welcome visitors to stop by and view their breeding operation anytime.

Bill King, Moriarity, N.M., started his Hereford herd in 1968 as a junior in high school with the purchase of three heifers from Marshall Sellman. Over the years he has grown his herd to more than 400 head of registered Hereford cattle, along with an extensive Charolais and Angus seedstock herd.

He sells 400-500 registered bulls annually through private treaty nationwide and internationally. He is a past president of the AHA Board of Directors and currently serves on the Hereford Legacy Fund LLC board. Bill has served the cattle industry on many other boards. He was president of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and the New Mexico Livestock Board, was on the executive board of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, and was a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association regional vice president. In 2016, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appointed Bill to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, on which he is still serving. Today, he and his family continue the business and hope to stay in the cattle business for the next 100 years.

Mike and Becky Simpson, Redfield, Iowa, got their start in the Hereford cattle business at a young age. Both had the fortune to exhibit and be around several state and national champions.

Mike was an employee of the American Polled Hereford Association (APHA). His most notable achievement was developing the National Junior Polled Heifer show and forum. While working at the APHA, he met his wife, Becky, who was a writer for APHA and the Polled Hereford World.

The Simpson herd has been developed with performance listed as top priority. The Simpsons focus on calving ease, low birth weights and high growth traits. The Simpson herd has been recognized as a Gold TPR Breeder and has had several Dams of Distinction in their bloodlines.

Clarence Boettcher, Fairchild, Wis., bought his first polled Hereford in 1967 and joined the AHA in 1968. Clarence and Maryellen were married in 1972 and have four children — Tiffany, Brandon, Garritt and Michael. All of the Boettcher children participated in 4-H, FFA and junior Hereford associations, and graduated college with degrees in agriculture. All of them still own Herefords originating from their junior projects.

The Boettcher’s mission is to produce performance cattle with eye appeal, and they strive to accomplish those goals by selecting structurally correct and functionally sound cattle with balanced expected progeny differences (EPDs) with the ability to generate profits for all segments of the beef industry

2017 winners

William Norris, WCN Polled Herefords, Burkesville, Ky., has been an AHA member since 1965. His first purchase actually dates back to 1961 when he bought his first heifer as a member of the junior association. Bill has been breeding registered Hereford cattle for 56 years on the Cumberland River family farm near Burkesville in south-central Kentucky. Performance testing was initiated in the mid-1960s, and the herd is currently recognized as a Gold TPR herd by the AHA.

Jim Curry, JC Cattle Co., Norman, Ind., started in the cattle business with a 4-H heifer in 1953. After winning the Jackson County Fair two years in a row, he was hooked. Orville Kuhlman, George Ellis and Harold Younger were big influences in his Hereford operation. Jim bought Herb Bradners herd in 1968 and has utilized AI to build cow families. Jim’s advice for younger generations is start with the best heifer you can afford. He says, “Take care of your cows, and they will take care of you.”

Tom Morrison, Mt. Gilead, Ohio, grew up in the purebred cattle business. He and his wife, Nikki, operate Hot Iron Enterprises. Having a passion for fitting, exhibiting and marketing cattle led Tom down the road of a lifetime full of friendships and experiences. Tom has worked sale and show cattle for several of the reputable outfits in the industry. It is through dedication, loyalty and years of genetic innovation that Tom has succeeded as a 50-year breeder

Norman Starr, NS Polled Herefords, Shaker Heights, Ohio, purchased his first two Herefords in 1954 for $150 each, and he’s been raising Herefords ever since. Norman has a strong focus on performance and has achieved Gold TPR™ (Total Performance Records) status for several years.

Dayle Deveining, Fieldon, Ill., has been raising Herefords since 1967, and his dad and brothers have been in the business since 1947. Dayle and his wife of 50 years, Mary Lou, run Tru-La-Da Ranch and have only owned two bulls that weren’t Herefords. The couple markets cattle to the commercial sector through private treaty sales.

David Smith, Upper Sandusky, Ohio, developed a love for cattle from his grandfather. He started out showing sheep in 4-H, but he soon decided to show steers. His father told him, “if you want a good one, it’s got to be a red and white face,” and David has been with Herefords ever since. He saved money from his 4-H projects and bought his first registered polled female in 1967. To continually improve his herd, David utilizes artificial insemination (AI).

2016 winners

Ramsey Herefords

Huth Polled Herefords

Dogwood Farms

2015 winners

Bookcliff Herefords

Davis Herefords

KEG Herefords

2014 winners

Doyle Hereford Ranch

2011 winners

2009 winners

2007 winners

Woolfolk Farms

Wade Hereford Farm

Murray Herefords

Flat Stone Lick

Kuhlman Herefords

Kauflin Farms

Beacon Hill Ranch

Debter Hereford Farm

James Corbett and Son

Beery’s Land and Livestock

Bayers Hereford Ranch

Asmus Herefords