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Hall of Fame

The American Hereford Association Hall of Fame Award is presented annually to individuals who have influenced the advancement of the Hereford breed. These men and women are dynamic breeders who have impacted the direction of the breed, and have truly made a difference in the industry. The recipients are announced each year at the AHA Annual Meeting in Kansas City, MO.

Image of Phil and Joyce Ellis

Phil and Joyce Ellis

Lowell, Ind.

Phil and Joyce Ellis, Chrisman, Ill., are the owners of Ellis Farms (EFBeef Cattle Genetics). Phil was raised on a registered polled Hereford farm, started by his father. It was there that his love for Hereford cattle began, as he raised cattle and traveled to national shows. Joyce is a fifth-generation Hereford breeder, growing up on the Lanthus Stock Farm near Lowell, Ind.

During a trip to the Lake County Fair in Indiana, their paths crossed. After Phil gave Joyce a tour of Huber Ranch to see their national champion bull, the couple began dating and married two years later. During their 62 years of marriage, they have seen cattle change, associations merge, technology advance and markets fluctuate, but their steadfast commitment to the Hereford breed has never wavered.

EFBeef is the continuation of 141 years of purebred Hereford genetics. The farm held its 75th annual production sale in 2023, on their seven-generation, 1820 homestead surrounded by 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans and hay, along with pastures of Hereford cattle. The couple has three children, Cathy (Joe), Matt (Lisa) and Joe (Lauri), and six grandchildren. Phil and Joyce exhibited high-quality Hereford cattle nationally in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, garnering awards and making connections at national shows across the U.S.

Today, EFBeef is one of the largest contributors to the AHA database for carcass phenotypes and feed efficiency phenotypes; countless cattle have been named AHA Sires of Distinction, Certified Hereford Beef® Sires of Distinction and Dams of Distinction. The operation is heavily involved in research by utilizing the National Reference Sire Program (NRSP), with 16 of their sires completing the program. Phil and Joyce have maintained a conception-to-harvest feedout program for more than 40 years, providing access to constant feedback to track and improve carcass traits.

Phil and Joyce are leaders. Phil served on the American Polled Hereford Association (APHA) Board of Directors. Phil was a founding member of the Illinois Junior Hereford Association. Joyce was a founding member of the National Organization of Poll-ettes, a member of the APHA Vision 2000 Committee and was an APHA signatory Board member of the merger for the APHA and AHA Associations.

EFBeef is a two-time nominee of the Beef Improvement Federation’s Seedstock Producer of the Year Award, a multi-winner of the Illinois Hereford Association Breeder of the Year and the Hall of Fame winner for the Illinois Polled Hereford Association. Phil and Joyce are both involved in their community, from school boards and 4-H clubs to state beef associations and the Hopewell Friends Quaker Church.

“I feel because of their leadership, vision of the future for Hereford cattle and their true American beliefs, they deserve to be inducted into the Hereford Hall of Fame,” writes Randy McCaskill, former APHA field representative, in his letter to the selection committee. “While this would be an honor for the family, the Hereford breed would also be honored to have a family like the Ellis family.”

Image of Marty Lueck

Marty Lueck

Mountain Grove, Mo.

Marty Lueck, Mountain Grove, Mo., grew up in Minnesota and is the oldest of seven children. Lueck got his start in the livestock industry at an early age, raising game birds.

Lueck graduated from high school and moved to Springfield, Mo., to attend Baptist Bible College before transferring to Missouri State University, where he met his future wife, Vicki. They married and had two sons, Eric and Ryan.

Lueck’s introduction to the Hereford breed came from Dr. Joe Viebrock, and his wife, Gail. Throughout college, Lueck worked for the couple, assisting with Dr. Viebrock’s veterinary practice and their herd of Hereford cattle. He went on to take the herd manager position at Eagle Claw Ranch, Branson, Mo. In 1981, Lueck was hired as the Journagan Ranch manager by Leo and Jean Journagan. With guidance from Lueck, the Journagans made major changes to their herd and hosted their first production sale in 1985. Over the decades, the ranch continued to build its cow herd with Lueck at the helm.

In 2010, Leo and Jean Journagan gifted the ranch and the registered Hereford herd to Missouri State University. The donation of the ranch to the university transformed the Darr College of Agriculture; students now have access to a unique educational site and more opportunities to pursue careers in beef production or natural resources and wildlife management. The ranch hosted their 32nd sale in October. Lueck’s influence on the university runs deep, from mentoring students to maintaining one of the best Hereford herds in the country.

“I have witnessed Marty providing lectures to large classes, to visits with individuals having all expertise levels, all with the same degree of high energy and enthusiasm,” writes Anson Elliott, Dean Emeritus, Darr College of Agriculture, in his letter to the selection committee. “He demonstrates being a lifelong learner who is constantly in the process of improving every aspect of a successful ranch.”

Beyond the ranch, Lueck has judged national shows from Reno, Nev., to Harrisburg, Pa., and many state and regional shows. He has served in leadership positions for the Missouri Hereford Association, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Show-Me Select Heifer Program and Missouri Beef Industry Council. He is constantly working to improve the world around him.

Lueck was voted onto the APHA Board of Directors in 1988, and in 1995, he was appointed to the committee for the merger with the AHA. In 2009, Marty was elected to the AHA Board of Directors. He is one of the only individuals to hold a position on both Boards. Additionally, Lueck was an instrumental part of hosting the 2014 AHA Genetic Summit at Missouri State University.

For 42 years, Lueck has managed the Journagan Ranch. There’s no doubt his leadership, guidance and dedication to the Hereford breed has impacted countless lives and will be felt for years to come.

Image of Vern and Jerry Rausch

Vern and Jerry Rausch

Hoven, S.D.

Vern and Jerry Rausch have been partners in Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D., since they were 10 years old. Faith, family and Herefords are three things synonymous with the Rausch family, which now welcomes the fourth generation of cattlemen into the operation. The ranch’s Hereford roots trace back to 1946, when Vern and Jerry’s parents, along with their older siblings, sold their flock of sheep and bought their first registered Hereford cows to form Rausch Herefords. At 10 years old, Jerry and Vern both received their first Hereford heifer as a reward for doing chores and taking care of the farm animals. They earned more heifers in lieu of wages until they were 21.

The first Rausch bull and female sale was held in 1959, and in 1965, Vern and Jerry merged their small herds with their father’s and joined in the management of Rausch Herefords. Their sons and grandsons now manage the operation. This year marked the ranch’s 65th annual sale.

Jerry has been married to his wife, Vicki, for 56 years, and Vern and his wife, Sharon, have been married for 58 years. Vicki and Sharon are sisters. Jerry served in the National Guard for six years after high school, and Vern attended South Dakota State University and studied agricultural management.

Vern and Jerry are trailblazers. They were the first Hereford breeders in South Dakota to utilize sale videos and video auction services. Their father was one of the first to use scales to weigh cattle. The Rausch families have had the most cows to qualify for the AHA’s Dams of Distinction list each year since 1980, with more than 1,000 Rausch females receiving the honor. Moreover, bulls with the ‘R’ prefix have made significant contributions to the breed, siring thousands of calves.

As dedicated as the pair is to the cow herd, Vern and Jerry have served the Hereford breed and their communities in a variety of ways. Vern and Jerry both have served on the South Dakota Hereford Association board of directors. Jerry is active in the local American Legion and has been a member of his church choir for 60 years. Both have served several years on local medical and hospital boards. Vern was a member of the first newly merged horned and polled AHA Board of Directors and helped create the current bylaws. He also served on the committees to merge the separate junior programs and auxiliaries, and helped develop Certified Hereford Beef®, serving as the first chairperson. Both brothers have served on the local “Cathedral of the Prairie” St. Anthony Catholic Church board.

“Vern and Jerry Rausch have poured their hearts and souls into their family and cow herd,” writes Matt Zens, South Dakota Hereford Association president, in his letter to the selection committee. “Their attention to detail and demand for excellence is second to none. They have provided the framework for their family to place the right person in the right job for the entire operation to excel.”

Herefords are Vern and Jerry’s passion. The brothers work together, combining their own unique talents and abilities to raise and manage one of the largest registered Hereford herds in the U.S., while bringing the next generations of hard working, talented family members into the fold.

Previous Years’ Winners

2022 winners

Lloyd Whitehead has been ranching since the day he was born in Brady, Texas. Loyd’s grandfather, C.B. Whitehead, began breeding Hereford cattle in 1903. In 1958, Loyd bought Rocking Chair Ranch, and in 1963, Loyd began developing his herd of Hereford cattle. Since his initial purchase of Rocking Chair Ranch, Loyd has added ranches in several Texas counties. As of 2022, he dedicates his time to six ranches. Loyd and his wife, Carol, have two children and four grandchildren.

Loyd has committed many years of his life to service and the Hereford breed. Loyd is a past president of the AHA and served as a director. He is a former president of the Texas Hereford Association and spent 15 years as a director. His is a past president and director of the Concho Hereford Association. Loyd served on the Hill Country Hereford Association board of directors.
The Rocking Chair Ranch calves out cows in the spring and fall, and there are bulls for sale private treaty year-round. The ranch emphasizes fertility, structural soundness and udder development. The herd consists of mostly L1 Domino and Canadian-bred cows. Whitehead bulls are popular with ranchers in southern Texas utilizing Brahman cows; the bulls are proven to add value to the F1 programs. Additionally, the Whiteheads exhibited cattle for many years and had a champion at every major show in the country.

Loyd is passionate about the youth of the Hereford breed. He funded and hosted the 1985 All American Hereford Expo at his ranch in Fort McKavett, Texas, and he hosted the event again in 1994. Loyd founded the Whitehead Ranches Scholarship and served on the HYFA board of directors for eight years. He has received the Golden Bull honorary lifetime membership from the NJHA.

Additionally, Loyd is a past president and director for the American Braford Association and United Braford Association. He is a member and past president of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the American Meat Goat Association. Loyd’s Rocking Chair Ranch has won numerous awards for conservation. A true public servant, Loyd is dedicated to the Hereford breed and improving the world that surrounds him.

Odell Gelvin has spent a lifetime working in the Hereford breed, beginning when he was 12 years old working on the W.E. Harvey Ranch in Ada, Okla., before and after school. After his father’s death, he moved and began caring for the commercial herd and working in the show barn at the Colvert Ranch in Millcreek, Okla. Then, Odell worked in the Gus Delaney Ranch show barn in Ada until 1945, when he enlisted in the Navy. After his service in the Navy, Odell returned to Oklahoma and married his high school sweetheart, Kate. Odell and Kate have three children: Ron, Linda and Susie.

Odell went on to work for Edge Cliff Farms of Potosi, Mo., and Banning and Lewis in Colorado Springs, Colo. Following his work in Missouri and Colorado, he became the herdsman for Northern Pump Farms in McHenry, Ill., one of the largest Hereford breeders at the time. During his tenure at Northern Pump Farms, few herds were more competitive at national shows. Travelling the country via railcar, Odell fit and showed numerous champions, including the grand champion Hereford bull at the World Hereford Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. For years, through Odell’s skill as a fitter and showman, Northern Pump Farms attained success in the carload shows at the National Western Stock Show. Showing a carload consisting of 12 to 15 head was no small feat, and in 1961, Odell was selected as the Herdsman of the Year.

In the mid 1960s, Odell accepted a manager position with Ogeechee Farms in Fairland, Okla. Under his direction, Ogeechee Farms’ performance polled Hereford herd became a national leader. Odell was also instrumental in helping establish the Oklahoma Beef Testing Station in Stillwater, Okla. The center had a large impact on the Hereford breed, providing data on different sires. During the 20 years he managed Ogeechee Farms, Odell bred, fit and showed both the Grand Champion Carload of Bulls and the Grand Champion Hereford Bull in the same year. He also won the premier exhibitor award at the National Polled Hereford Show.

Outside of his work as a herdsman, Odell judged livestock shows. Over two decades, Odell judged national Hereford shows across the U.S. and in Argentina and Venezuela. Odell served on the American Polled Hereford Association Board of Directors and the Oklahoma Polled Hereford Association board of directors. Odell also served on the First Bank of Fairland board for many years. Odell’s passion for the Hereford breed runs deep, and his impact will be felt for many generations.

Bill King started his Hereford herd as a highschooler in 1968 with the purchase of three heifers from Marshall Sellman. After graduation from high school, Bill attended New Mexico State University. Bill then returned to the family ranch, where he began buying feeder cattle and selling fat cattle for his family’s 16,000 head feedlot. Bill has three daughters: Becky and her husband, Tom; Jenny and her husband, Josh; Stacy and her husband, Anthony, and six grandchildren: Jordan, Abby, Cash, Charli, Hayden and Lincoln.

For more than 100 years, the King family has been ranching in Stanley, N.M. King Ranch is a diversified operation consisting of 30,000 acres of pasture, 4,000 acres of farmland and about 1,200 registered Hereford, Charolais and Angus cows, along with 300 commercial cows. The ranch sells more than 350 bulls a year to mostly commercial producers and buys back customer cattle for finishing in the family-owned feedlot. Bill was honored as the New Mexico Cattlemen of the Year in 2010, his family was recognized as the New Mexico Ranch family of the year in 2015, and he was recognized as a Golden Breeder by the American Hereford Association in 2018.

Bill comes from a long line of public servants; Bill’s father was governor of New Mexico for three terms. Bill currently serves on the Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) board of directors and the Hereford Legacy Fund board. An advocate for the beef industry, Bill is a past president of the AHA, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and New Mexico Livestock Board. He’s a former regional vice president for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), and a past board member for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Bill served on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board executive committee for four years. One of Bill’s daughters, Becky, currently serves on the AHA Board of Directors and Bill’s granddaughter, Abby, served on the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) board of directors.

The King Ranch has been featured in the BEEF Magazine Seedstock 100 for several years. Beyond the range, Bill’s cattle have experienced success at national shows across the country. Bill is an owner of numerous grand champions at the National Western Stock Show, Fort Worth Stock Show, American Royal, Arizona National and New Mexico State Fair. He’s also an owner of several impactful bulls that didn’t step foot in the showring, like Loewen Genesis G16 ET and NJW 98S R117 Ribeye 88X ET. Bill’s impact can be felt across all facets of the beef industry. He’s been a leader, public servant and influential voice for agriculture. His passion for Hereford cattle is second-to-none.

2021 winners

Rolling grasslands punctuated with sagebrush and the Uinta Mountains serve as the backdrop to Micheli Hereford Ranch in southwestern Wyoming. In 1917, Joseph Micheli bought the family’s first Hereford cattle. Dale Micheli learned to love the Hereford breed from his grandfather, Joseph. As a little boy, Dale accompanied his grandfather each day and watched as Joseph painstakingly fed each bull a “little handful” of grain. Dale never forgot the effort and care his grandfather gave to his treasured bulls.

For many years, the Micheli Family hauled their prized bulls to consignment sales. When Dale came home from college, he was determined to increase herd numbers and dramatically upgrade the genetics of the registered Herefords. He wanted to honor his grandfather by making the purebred cattle a major business on the ranch. Dale began to study pedigrees and work on adding dynamic females to the herd. He invested in prominent sires and implemented artificial insemination (AI) and then added an embryo transfer (ET) program. In 1989, the ranch held its first production sale. Thirty years later, Dale and his brother, Ron, and their sons, Kyle and Tony, who are the fifth generation, have been successfully selling up to 50 Hereford bulls each year.

Dale graduated with honors from the University of Wyoming, where he was successful in both livestock and meat judging. He has continued to judge livestock throughout the years and has had the privilege of judging national Hereford shows at Fort Worth, Reno, The Cow Palace, San Antonio and the National Western Stock Show. For more than 25 years, Dale coached 4-H and FFA livestock and meat judging teams. His state champion teams consistently placed in the top tier nationally. Whether it is coaching state champion teams or helping a kid with a heifer project, Dale always focuses his efforts on the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

Beyond working with youth, Dale put in countless hours supporting the Hereford industry in Wyoming. Dale has always been engaged in promoting the Hereford breed and working with other breeders to promote the beef industry. He has been instrumental in hosting Hereford Field Days at his ranch, building the Hereford show at the Wyoming State Fair and finding ways to be active in all aspects of the Wyoming Hereford Association.

A major highlight in Dale’s life was serving on the American Hereford Association Board of Directors. It was an honor and privilege to visit ranches across the country and see the diversity and ingenuity of many great Hereford breeders. For three years, he served as chairman of Certified Hereford Beef, giving his leadership to impact the future.

Dale is a deeply religious man and volunteers and serves extensively in his church. The most important thing in Dale’s life is his family. Dale and his wife, Terry, are the proud parents of six children — Mandy, Kyle, Audrey, Nikki, Amber and Cami — and the grandparents of 13 grandchildren. Dale is rarely without the company of his grandkids in the tractor, where they sing songs and make frequent stops for treats.

In 1870 the ancestors of Bob Harrell, Jr., traveled in a covered wagon across the historic Oregon Trail to Baker City, Ore. His parents, Bob and Edna Harrell, established Harrell Hereford Ranch along the foothills of Baker Valley, in the high-country of Eastern Oregon, three generations later. Today, Harrell Hereford Ranch is a family run operation, managed by the fifth and sixth generation of Harrells, consisting of Bob Jr.; his wife, Becky; and daughter, Lexie. Bob was raised in Baker City and graduated from Baker High School. After graduation, he attended Oregon State University for two years, and then transferred to Kansas State University (K-State). At K-State, Bob competed on the livestock judging team and earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science.

The cattle ranch originated in 1970 with 80 acres and 100 head of Hereford cows purchased from Harold Thompson’s TT Herefords in Connell, Wash. Under Bob’s management, the ranch has grown to six ranches and currently consists of 400 registered Hereford cows, 400 black baldy commercial cows, a 1,000-head backgrounding feedlot and 25 Quarter Horse broodmares. The cattle run on 8,000 acres of high-desert, native range. With the help of six employees, the Harrells also manage 3,000 irrigated, tillable acres of alfalfa and meadow hay, pasture, corn silage, earlage and small grains. The Harrell herd has been enrolled in performance testing since its inception in 1970, and for more than 51 years, the goal has been to produce performance cattle that work under a variety of management systems and branded beef programs.

Bob was on the American Hereford Association Board of Directors from 2006 to 2010. The success of those years was largely driven by a strategic planning effort in 2005, which Bob helped lead. During that time, while chairing the Marketing Committee, he was at the center of the technology revolution, which included the explosive influence of the internet. AHA led the industry, delivering new online tools for producer data exchange. These years also brought about the advent of breeding system economic selection indexes and novel, economically relevant maternal traits.

The discovery and disclosure of genetic abnormalities evolved during this time, as well as the very beginnings of genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs), which changed the game in terms of selection accuracy of younger seedstock prospects.

For years, Bob and his family at Harrell Hereford Ranch worked with industry partners to co-host cattlemen from across the western U.S. at their annual “Cattlemen Workshop.” He has been a leader willing to educate himself and share with others ways to remain economically successful and fundamentally sustainable in an ever changing business environment. All these leadership qualities are what made Harrell Hereford Ranch a cornerstone Hereford seedstock operation in the western states. The genetic influence of the Harrell Hereford Ranch has been felt in commercial cowherds across the country. Bob’s contribution to the industry drove Harrell Hereford Ranch’s recognition as the 2009 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Seedstock Producer of the Year — one of the most prestigious recognitions bestowed upon a seedstock operation.

Born in 1935, Lawrence Duncan was raised on the family farm in Montgomery County, Indiana, where his parents raised registered Duroc hogs and draft horses. At the age of 10, Lawrence began showing Hereford heifers and steers in 4-H at the county and state fairs. After graduating from high school in 1954, he attended Purdue University, majoring in animal husbandry. He married his wife, Petzi, and they honeymooned at the Fort Worth Stock Show, during his senior year of college. Following graduation from Purdue, the newlyweds moved into his parents’ house and began farming.

In order to buy a place for him and his new bride, Lawrence held his first Hereford sale in 1958. The high-seller went for $1,200. From the beginning, he found the most difficult part of hosting sales came down to organization, particularly organizing help and all of the cattle. Lawrence learned it was necessary to improve the cattle handling equipment and facilities to make it all work. Even after 48 sales, Lawrence was still learning and improving.

Lawrence’s dad, Harvey, always said, “If you’re able to farm, you should pursue it.” While waiting in line for stalls, it occurred to Harvey that nearly everything was done alphabetically. If their name started with an ‘A,’ it would be listed first. The name Able Acres fit both criteria, so their prefix was ‘AA’ from then on. Today, Able Acres consists of 140-150 cows, along with 2,200 acres of row crops and hay. Not only has the farm expanded — so has the Duncan family. Through the years, Lawrence and Petzi welcomed five children: four sons, Lary, Gary, David and Andy; and one daughter, Caril. All five children own Hereford cattle and take pride in their involvement in the industry. There are eight grandchildren who also have connections to Lawrence’s legacy of owning and raising Hereford cattle.

Lawrence credited his longevity in the Hereford industry to two things: quality genetics and quality relationships. The Duncans have continually adopted new technologies through the years, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer (ET). Lawrence was an innovator in the Hereford breed. His peers, Ray Ramsey, Bruce Everhart and Rick Davis, credit his efforts to getting more youth involved and educated in the cattle industry. By providing opportunities to work alongside him and get involved in their program, anyone willing to listen was welcomed by Lawrence. He is remembered for doing it the right way, treating people the right way and setting the standard for others to follow. Able Acres utilizes all the tools available to provide reliable, honest and quality genetics that have been sold to buyers throughout the United States.

Lawrence and his family were early adopters of collecting performance data and have been dedicated supporters of the American Hereford Association’s (AHA) Whole Herd Total Performance Records (TPR.) program. In addition, Able Acres has been performance testing bulls through the Indiana Bull Evaluation Program (IBEP) for many years. The IBEP has provided valuable data and has helped the Lawrence family continually improve their operation through the years.

Lawrence passed in April 2020 and is being inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame. Lawrence was a dedicated grain and livestock farmer whose passion was breeding Hereford cattle. His farm, Able Acres, received six Golden Bull Awards from the AHA. Lawrence was selected by his peers to receive the Robert C. Peterson Lynnwood Farm Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. In 2019 Lawrence was inducted into the Indiana Livestock Breeders Hall of Fame.

In 1916, Jim’s father homesteaded the land in southeastern Montana that is now Courtney Herefords. Eventually, his father purchased adjoining land in 1929 right before the Great Depression. Despite the hard times, Jim’s parents raised sheep and kept the ranch together through the 1930s. Jim graduated from Carter County High School, where he met his future wife, Hazel. He was the 1950 Carter County class salutatorian, but did not go to college. Instead, he returned home to help his parents run the ranch. He continued to build his knowledge and gain insight to the livestock industry by attending many Extension classes related to sheep and cattle breeding. However, Jim credits most of his knowledge to direct experience on the ranch. When Jim and Hazel married in 1953, there was not a cow or bull on the place — just 1,000-1,500 head of sheep.

In 1957, Jim’s friendship with neighbor, Walt Crago, led to the beginning of Courtney Herefords. Walt raised registered Herefords and offered to lease 40 heifers to Jim. All were half-sisters making a solid genetic foundation for the start of the future Courtney herd. Jim leased the Hereford females for three years, retained the heifer calves and sent the bull calves to Walt. The semi-arid, Badlands grassland and limited water resources where the Courtneys reside was considered traditional sheep country since the early days of open range and early settlement. Yet, through diligent stewardship of land and water, Jim established a registered Hereford cow herd and built one of the breed’s most respected seedstock programs in this challenging environment. In both the cattle and sheep industries, the Courtney brand is recognized for outstanding quality and functional, efficient stock that fit their climate — the result of a good stockman’s eye and a continued quest to improve performance with each generation.

With more than 50 years dedicated to its breeding program, Courtney Herefords became one of the most unique gene pools in the American Hereford breed. Founded upon the Real Prince Domino bloodlines from Canada’s premier herds, Jim built his program on structured line-breeding and outcrossing based on time-proven genetics. Courtney’s range country environment and the needs of their bull customers strictly dictate the direction of their breeding plan. This is a true grass and cake outfit featuring a factory of great, problem-free, efficient mother cows that hustled, calved on the range and grazed out year round.

The Courtney brand is recognized for powerful, traditional Hereford cattle — multitrait Herefords that accentuated the breed’s long-proven strengths for soundness, fleshing ability, fertility and longevity. Loaded with quality, they were backed by the impressive Britisher, Ardmore and Standard Lad sires in North America. Courtney has a complete and thorough knowledge of Canadian Hereford genetics. He knows the cow herds across Alberta as well as any in North America, evaluating them through the eyes of an American cowman, which benefits his program and customers. Jim became the American Hereford Association (AHA) president in 1999 at a time when the Hereford breed needed him most. Jim was a fighter for his industry. Serving several turns as an officer of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and on the board of directors of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Jim is known as a man of integrity who will fight for the betterment of the industry. His no-nonsense style and straight-to-the-point attitude is, and has always been, about taking the side of the cattlemen. Deep down, Jim always knows that you have to fight to sustain an economic and political environment for ranchers. His family has depended on it. As it relates to the Hereford breed, Jim helped drive the AHA to focus on the needs of the commercial cow-calf industry.

2020 winners

Distinguished leaders John and Ginger Dudley have left their mark on the Hereford breed in the state of Texas and across the country. In partnership with multiple family members, the pair operates Dudley Bros. in Comanche, Texas, and carries on a legacy of producing commercially focused registered Herefords.

Dudley Bros. began as a three-way partnership in 1927 between John’s father and two uncles. The registered herd was added in 1938 and the operation’s first of now 59 annual production sales was hosted in 1962. John, who was born and raised on the ranch, met Ginger at Trinity University in San Antonio. He later attended Thunderbird School in Arizona and then served in the U.S. Navy for four years. Two years later, John and Ginger married and settled down in Comanche. John and Ginger enjoy spending time with their son, Gardner, and his wife, Elizabeth, along with their three grandsons Will, Thomas and Hudson.

Today, Dudley Bros. operates as a family-owned limited partnership with a limited liability company serving as the managing general partner. Currently, 14 family members are shareholders — John and Ginger Dudley, Jim and Margaret Dudley, T. J. and Kerry Dudley, Tom and Melissa Dudley, Ray and Monica Dudley, Harry and Rhonda Dudley and Julia Dudley Allison. John is the president of the Dudley Bros. LLC.

Phillip Burns of Burns Farms Herefords in Tennessee praises John and Ginger for their outstanding teamwork. He says, “John and Ginger have been the glue that has helped make the family partnership work, and the vision and strategic direction of the successful business has largely derived from their effort. Their mutual support and affection for each other is contagious.”

John and Ginger have devoted countless hours serving organizations within the Hereford breed and the cattle industry. John is a past president of the Texas Hereford Association and Ginger is a past president of the Texas Hereford Women. While on the American Hereford Association Board, John was part of the merger committee, and he considers making that initiative a reality the most significant activity he was involved with as a director. His extensive leadership positions outside of the breed include serving as president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. John previously held a seat on the executive committee for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and was chairman of the advertising committee. He was also a chairman of the Texas Beef Council.

Arthur Uhl of Powell Herefords in San Angelo, Texas, recognizes John and Ginger as “tireless advocates of not only the Hereford breed, but agriculture, conservation, culture and community as well.” The couple established the Jackson Albert Dudley Scholarship fund and were leaders in forming Friends of Historic Comanche Inc. John was also appointed to the board of regents of the Texas State University System and was an outspoken advocate for agriculture programs in the system’s seven universities. Additionally, he served as director for the Texas Agricultural Land Trust.

Longtime friend and peer Jack Chastain, executive secretary for the Texas Hereford Association (THA), says John serves with purpose and sincerity in every role he holds. “John’s passion for the ranch and for the Hereford breed has contributed not only to his personal ranching success but to the success of our Texas Hereford Association,” Chastain says. “His business and political science degrees were most helpful in shaping programs and policies of THA.”

The late Warren Brown and his wife, Isabel, 98, of Hartland, Wisconsin, are widely respected for their mentorship and leadership within the Hereford breed. The couple married in 1941, bringing together two established families from southeastern Wisconsin. Soon after their union, Warren served in WWII aboard a destroyer escort, and upon homecoming he and Isabel purchased a nursery farm in Waukesha County where they established a herd of polled Hereford cattle.

Warren and Isabel each bought a polled heifer at the 1953 Illinois State Sale and began showing cattle under the herd letters W-I-B, a prefix now found throughout the U.S. and even Costa Rica. Their three children became active in showing Herefords, and the couple naturally became leaders in Hereford youth programs. They were integral in establishing the Wisconsin Junior Hereford Association and have counseled countless youth in and out of the show ring.

The Browns helped establish the formerly named Wisconsin Polled Hereford Association and were known as the face of the association for many years. Each served as president and Isabel led the organization as the executive secretary. She was also the first president of the Wisconsin Poll-ettes.

They also worked tirelessly in their community. Among the many organizations and boards they served, the pair were dedicated to the Waukesha County Fair and its livestock show. Isabel was an active 4-H leader and organized the county’s first livestock auction to fundraise for a county beef barn and was named Honorary Fair Marshall of the Waukesha County Fair.

Jerry Huth of Huth Polled Herefords in Oakfield, Wisconsin, says, “There are few people who can match the passion of Warren and Isabel Brown for the promotion and advancement of the beef business and the Hereford breed. Warren and Isabel are a model of the people that have made this breed great — untiring and continuous support of the beef industry, promotion of national and state Hereford organizations, and their love and support of the Hereford breed and the people who call themselves Hereford breeders.”

Jim Birdwell of Fletcher, Oklahoma, who auctioneered the Browns’ production sales for several years, adds, “They were truly icons in their own way and the Hereford breed is stronger today and in the future because of their contributions given unselfishly to a breed of cattle they truly believed in.”

In celebration of their successes, the pair has been awarded Livestock Producer of the Year by the Wisconsin Livestock Breeders Association as well as Cattle Producer of the Year by the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association. In 1995, Warren and Isabel were inducted to the Wisconsin Hereford Association Hall of Fame for their efforts as “breeders who have given unselfishly to the benefit of the Hereford breed.” It is our pleasure to honor them on a national level for their commitment to keeping the Hereford breed at the forefront of the industry.

In the spring of 1956, a first-year student at the University of Tennessee with an FFA state farmer degree hitched a ride to Stillwater, Oklahoma. After leaving Selmer, Tennessee, at 9 p.m., Billy Ashe arrived at Oklahoma State University at 10 the next morning and was enrolled in fall classes and back on the road to Tennessee by 3 that afternoon. Bound and determined to be a cattleman, Billy spent his youth learning the ins and outs of the beef industry by working for many established ranches and competing on OSU’s livestock judging team coached by Dr. Robert Totusek. Billy’s love of learning has never faltered, and his wisdom extends to those young and old and coast to coast.

This lifetime resident of Selmer started his registered Hereford herd from scratch in 1963 after earning a degree in animal science and serving two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He quickly became a key influencer in the commercial adoption of Hereford genetics in the Southeast and was a driving force in establishing the Tennessee Hereford Marketing Program feeder calf sale, which set the standard for similar sales marketing Hereford genetics. He helped merge the horned and polled Tennessee state associations, and under his presidency the membership of the Tennessee Hereford Association doubled. Jeremiah Malone, president of the Tennessee Hereford Association, describes Billy as a “great champion of the breed” and a man who “gives 110% to anyone who will reach out.”

Billy is eager to credit Joyce, his wife of 44 years; son, Wesley; and daughter, Patti; and their families for their endless support of his achievements and for carrying on the Ashewood Farm legacy. His other role models include his father, William C., as well as Neil Trask, Earl Purdy and the Circle M Polled Hereford Ranch operation.

A firm believer in education, Billy is dedicated to tracking statistics and was an early adopter of performance testing and artificial insemination. He works tirelessly to help others in their quest for education and has established the W.C. and Addillia Ashe Agriculture Education Memorial Scholarship to support emerging agriculturalists.

Fellow Hereford breeders Fred McMurry, Eric Walker and Marty Lueck commend Billy as an innovative, astute cattleman who is an ambassador and lifelong learner of the breed, and Tim Dennis of Glade Haven Herefords in New York has dubbed Billy a “bubbling fountain of Hereford knowledge.”

Mark Cooper of Cooper Hereford Ranch in Montana says, “Billy truly exemplifies everything that is positive and good about the Hereford breed. His work ethic, integrity and commitment to his family’s operation serves as an example to all those wishing to make their mark in an industry full of great cattlemen and cattlewomen.”

2019 winners

Starting out with 10 cows their father purchased, the late George and Harry Tjardes of Gibson City, Illinois, began raising Hereford cattle in 1946 and built a nationally recognized herd. Harry always took a “think before you do” approach, while George was known for “measuring out” every decision for the operation.

“The Tjardes boys,” as many knew them, decided to purchase a herd bull to take their genetics to the next level, which led them to purchase Beau Aster Hervalation 14th from Leland Herman, Wayne City, Nebraska. George wanted to exhibit the offspring at local county fairs to help put the Tjardes name on the map. Despite not being old enough to drive, George strategically bummed rides to 14 different fairs.

In 1955, the dynamic duo began exhibiting at the Illinois State Fair. The brothers would go on to have a champion, or at least a reserve bull or heifer, every year until 1966. The 1958 state fair was especially notable as the duo claimed champion and reserve bull, champion and reserve female, get-of-sire and best six head — a feat still unmatched to this day. Their national show career peeked in 1975 when they exhibited the national champion female and reserve national champion bull in Kemper Arena. Outside of the showring, George and Harry hosted major successful sales averaging more than $5,000 multiple times in the late 70s, opening the door to partnership opportunities across the U.S.

George and Harry were also known for taking time to help young agriculture and cattle enthusiasts. Scott Torrance, Media, Illinois, interned for Tjardes Farms and later partnered with the brothers. Scott considered their operation the “golden standard” in Illinois.

“The system and methods of George and Harry, and their drive for perfection have had a lifelong impact on me,” Scott says. “They truly upheld the highest ideals of a man and his livestock. George and Harry were true visionaries and role models for a generation.”

They each served as president for Illinois Polled Hereford Association, and both of their wives were active in the Illinois Poll-Ettes. George attended the University of Illinois, and Harry, Oklahoma State University. George and his wife, Marilyn, and Harry and his wife, Gale, have raised their children and grandchildren to be Hereford breeders, farmers, rural bankers, veterinarians, ruminant nutritionists, accountants and engineers.

Illinois breeders commend the Tjardes brothers for advancing the cattle industry as a whole, for fostering immense passion for agriculture and, most of all, for passing those qualities to future generations.

What started as a 4-H project in Redmond, Oregon, grew Denny Hoffman into a herdsman, manager and now owner of Hoffman Herefords in Thedford, Nebraska. The operation includes Denny’s wife, Dixie, son, Jason, and his wife, Kaycee, and their children, Haxton, Kennedy and Hayden. Other family members include Denny’s daughter Stephanie and her husband Randy Myers and their daughter, Shayne; daughter Regan and her husband Curt Hain, and their kids Lilly and Logan; and daughter Jennifer Goodman and her kids Garrett and Parker.

Hoffman Herefords runs 300 Hereford cows, a herd of Angus and a set of commercial cows for an extensive ET program. The Hoffmans host two sales a year and exhibit cattle at national shows across the country, and are very involved in helping their younger buyers become successful in the showring.

With more than 60 years of active involvement in the breed, Denny began the early part of his career as a herdsman for Stone Herefords, Hermiston, Oregon, where he fit several champions both on the Hill and in the Yards at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. He also judged the national Hereford show on the Hill in 1989. He served on the AHA Board of Directors from 2006-2010 and held a position on the board for the California-Nevada Hereford Association. His extensive mentorship also includes helping several young herdsman, many of whom went on to be named Herdsman of the Year in Denver.

On a courageous leap of faith, Denny moved the family operation from California to Nebraska in order to grow and sustain the business for the next generation. Longtime customers Will and Jennifer Harrison of Harrison Livestock, note, “we do not feel there is a more fitting example of a gentleman who has built his legacy the ‘all-American’ way through hard work and determination with his family at his side.”

Beyond the Hereford breed, Denny is very active in the beef industry and the Thedford community. His passion for mentoring youth has resulted in roles as a 4-H leader, FFA advisor and Little League baseball coach. Before making the move to Nebraska, he was CEO of the Intermountain Fair for 17 years, and has since held multiple leadership roles with the Nebraska State Fair.

He is known for his personable character and is respected for his honesty, openness and integrity with customers and other breeders. “Denny is an aggressive thinker with their breeding program and is always looking for something different to help improve their genetics, their customers and the industry,” shares Marie Farr. “Denny has a lot of pride in what he does and also in his family. He once said, ‘I have failed a lot of times, but I believe you need to get up as many times as you have been knocked down.’”

Guy Colyer began his registered herd as a 4-H project while growing up on his family’s commercial Hereford ranch. In 1976, the same year he married his wife, Sherry, they purchased cattle in the Stone Hereford dispersion, BB Cattle Co. and the entire cow herd from Tom and Ardis Dashiell. Together, they built the ranch and cow herd to what it is today. Colyer Hereford and Angus in Bruneau, Idaho, consists of 300 registered Hereford cows and 75 replacement heifers. Guy’s parents, the late Ray and Bonnie Colyer, began building the Angus herd in 1993 to provide two breeds for their commercial customers.

The Colyers have been producing ET calves since 1983, and now more than 90% of their calf crop is a result of AI or ET. Always on the cutting edge, the Colyers hosted the very first internet sale in 2003 to market their females. This February, the Colyers will host their 40th annual bull sale and in October hosted their 18th annual female sale. Their main objective is to produce a volume of range bulls, but they are also proud to have produced the world-record selling Hereford bull as well as having four of the six Hereford bulls that have been two-time Denver champions.

A graduate of the University of Idaho’s animal science department, Guy helped start its “Steer-A-Year” program. He was awarded the U.S. Livestock Industry Leader of the Year in 2017 by the National Western Stock Show. Colyer Hereford and Angus was recognized as the U.S. Senate Small Business of the Month for March 2018 on the Senate floor.

Guy has represented the breed in many capacities, including serving on the AHA Board from 1992-1998 He served on the merger committee during that time and also chaired the nominating committee in 2006. He attended the World Hereford Conference in Uruguay in 2017 and went on a trade mission to Mexico in 2018. Being major proponents of Hereford youth, the Colyers have hosted the Idaho Junior State Hereford Field Day and Show for four years and the Northwest Regional Show for two years. They have also hosted the Faces of Leadership Conference, then known as PRIDE.

Guy is quick to note Colyer Hereford and Angus is a family operation with everyone working together. He, Sherry, their children, Kyle and Katie, along with Kyle’s wife, Bobby Jean, and their children, Cruz and Piper, all play an active role in keeping the operation at the forefront.

“You can find Guy driving around in his Jeep Cherokee chewing Redman while checking on cattle any given day, unless there is a Yankees game on TV,” notes Aaron Wilbourn with W6 Herefords. “All kidding aside, Guy is an example of what I think a good cowman is. His family is his priority and what a great family he has.”

Mark Cooper was raised on his family’s cattle ranch in southwestern Montana and spent his formative years digging in the soil, stretching wire and learning the true art of growing crops and breeding cattle from his father and uncles. Mark was very fortunate to “learn by doing” and has worked alongside some truly amazing gentlemen, including his father, Jack Cooper, and uncles, Les Holden, Dr. Ray Woodward and Dr. Scott Cooper. Each of these men was instrumental in shaping Mark’s life. Their guidance and wisdom undoubtedly contributed to Mark’s success as a rancher and farmer.

Mark’s love of ranching influenced him to attend Montana State University where he focused his studies on animal science and agronomy. He returned home to the ranch in 1977 and settled into the day-to-day operation alongside his father and mentor, Jack Cooper. For more than 30 years, the two worked side by side to expand their farming operation, settled in 1914, and to grow their registered Hereford operation, which Jack and his wife, Phyllis, started in 1946.

The Cooper Hereford Ranch has been a pioneer in the beef industry since its inception. As charter members of both the Montana Beef Performance Association and the AHA’s Whole Herd Total Performance Records, both Jack and Mark recognized the importance of integrating new tools and tests set forth by the breed associations and cattle industry at large. With more than 70 years in the seedstock business, the operation remains a go-to source for premium Hereford genetics.

In March of 2020, Mark and his wife, Cristy, will host the operation’s 54th annual production sale. “The Cooper Hereford Ranch production sale has been and continues to be a benchmark sale for the breed,” says Mark St. Pierre and Gino Pedretti of Pedretti Ranches. “The Coopers have produced bulls and females that have impacted the Hereford breed since the ’70s.”

Over the years, Mark has contributed greatly to the Hereford breed on a state, national and international level. He does his best to break down walls between breeds and to encourage collaboration for the betterment of the beef industry as a whole, which has earned him great respect from the agricultural community of Montana and has led to his participation on numerous boards. Many young and seasoned producers alike turn to Mark for guidance as he is always giving of his time and humble in his mentorship.

“His high level of commitment to all pursuits, his passion for the agriculture industry as a whole and his personal qualities make him a model breeder,” says Kenneth Coleman with Coleman Herefords. “It is my pleasure to have him as not only a friend, but he has become someone I admire for his immense leadership in our Association.”

2018 winners

With more than 60 years of experience, John Loewen got his start in the registered business after receiving his first registered female as a wedding gift from his father-in-law and long-time Hereford breeder, Harold V. Hunter. The two worked together running the HVH herd in Waukomis, Okla., for many years.

John and his wife, Mona, now operate the ranch under Loewen Herefords and have stayed true to raising “curve-bending cattle with carcass merit.” John is regarded as a disciplined breeder and a mentor by his peers and is recognized for his “preservation and advancement” of the breed.

His dedication to breeding Hereford cattle that fit the needs of the commercial industry is only outshined by his passion for service. John was a member of the AHA board of directors and served as chairman of the Certified Hereford Beef® Board and also served on the Hereford Youth Foundation of America Board. He currently chairs the Hereford Legacy Fund LLC Board. John has been an integral leader in the Oklahoma Hereford Association, serving as its president several times.

As AHA Vice President Joel Birdwell states in his letter of recommendation, “More important than all of John’s accomplishments professionally and in his cattle operation, John is a man of faith, integrity and honesty.”

A third-generation rancher, Greg Shaw has been a committed Hereford breeder from day one. The Shaw Hereford Ranch in Caldwell, Idaho, got its start in 1946 when Greg’s parents, Tom and Mary, selected a Hereford heifer as the foundation for the family’s herd. Ahead of their time, the family began collecting
performance data in 1963. Greg officially joined the operation after graduating college in 1968 and got straight to work in bettering the herd.

In cooperation with the University of Idaho, Greg, his wife, Cleo, and Tom started the Northwest Bull Test Center in 1969, the first performance bull test center in the Northwest. That same year, Greg enrolled the Shaw Hereford Ranch cow herd in the AHA Whole Herd Total Performance Records (TPR™) program, recording everything “by hand on good, old carbon-copy pages.”

In 1988, the Shaw herd was divided into three. Greg and Cleo ventured out on their own and started Shaw Cattle Company while raising their three children Tucker, Sam and Jaime, while carrying on the tradition of producing reputable performance cattle.

Greg’s commitment to the industry is supported by his multiple leadership roles and industry-wide recognition. He served as president of the AHA Board of Directors and was also a board member for the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association and the Idaho Purebred Council. During his time on the AHA Board, he served as chairman of the breed improvement committee when Whole Herd TPR was implemented. In 2016, Shaw Cattle Company was recognized as the Beef Improvement Federation Seedstock Producer of the Year, an honor to an outfit that “prides itself on selling commercial bulls from a real-world cow herd.”

Willard Wolf states, “As an American Hereford Field rep for the Western states, I worked with Greg 33 years. I have continued to work with the Shaw family for the past 16 years. Greg is a great guy that gives his all to the Shaw operation, Shaw family, Hereford breed and the cattle industry.”

Raising quality Hereford cattle has always been a family affair for both Clifford and Barbara. Clifford’s parents and grandfather acquired a Hereford herd in the 1940s and started what was then known as Jack Copeland and Sons Hereford Ranch. Nestled just north of Nara Visa, N.M., five generations of Copelands have since called the ranch home.

Clifford and Barbara met showing cattle at the New Mexico State Fair, and in 1959 they assumed management of the Copeland family ranch. Fast forward, Copeland & Sons Herefords LLC now has two divisions and is home to more than 500 cows. Three generations of Copelands work on the ranch today — Clifford and Barbara; their son Cliff and his wife Pat; and their son, Matt. This year marked the ranch’s 75th anniversary. Clifford and Barbara note that Cliff, Pat and Matt have been vital in preserving the family legacy.

The operation hosts an annual bull sale in the spring and females in the fall. On the ranch’s 50th anniversary in 1993, the Copelands hosted the New Mexico Junior Hereford field day and Governor Bruce King declared the day as Hereford Day in New Mexico to help celebrate.

Clifford and Barbara have devoted decades of leadership to the breed. They have both served as advisers for the New Mexico Junior Hereford Association. Barbara saw through the formation of the American Hereford Auxiliary and was a charter member of the Auxiliary.

Past AHA president, Phil Harvey Jr., says, “I’m deeply honored to nominate Clifford and Barbara Copeland as they have not only have been outstanding Hereford breeders and ranchers but untiring, enthusiastic and loyal Hereford promoters and supporters all their lives.”

There’s a saying in the Texas Panhandle that if you wear a pair of boots there long enough to wear out the soles, you’ll never leave. This has held true for Dale and Mary Barber, owners and operators of Barber Ranch, a 114-year-old operation located in Channing, Texas. Barber Ranch’s roots trace back to a commercial horned Hereford cow herd Mary’s grandfather started in 1904. Mary’s dad replaced the commercial cows with registered ones in 1950, and the family’s vision for raising the best Hereford cattle possible has remained steadfast as the industry has evolved.

Dale grew up on a commercial Hereford ranch in the Hill Country of Texas. He graduated from veterinary school at Texas A&M University and then joined the Air Force as an officer. Dale met Mary soon after graduating vet school and they got married. Shortly after, they moved to Channing to take over the ranch.

Barber Ranch was a pioneer in blending both horned and polled genetics and producing popular pedigrees. The pedigree of the program’s most influential cow, Gabrielle, can be found throughout herds all across the U.S.

Dale and Mary are also huge supporters of the National Junior Hereford Association. Their four children, Brett, Justin, Jason and Terri, have all grown up to become leaders in the Hereford business and are still involved in the ranch in some capacity.

The Barber Ranch prefix has been on countless national champions over multiple decades. The prominence of their visionary breeding philosophy continues to be a dominant force at all competitive national sales and shows.

Good friend Lloyd Whitehead says, “I could write a book on all that has been accomplished for the Hereford breed by this couple.”

2017 winners

Byron Bayers has spent almost all of his 80 years involved with the Hereford breed. Bayers Hereford Ranch was established in 1918 and is the oldest continuous running Hereford herd in the state of Montana. The original herd was primarily polled and was gradually transitioned to horned cattle until polled Hereford influence was brought back in the late 1990s.

After graduating from the University of Montana in 1952, Bayers served as an officer in the United States Air Force before returning to the ranch in 1955 after he married his wife, Pauline.

He served as president of the Montana Hereford Association in 1958, 1960 and 1970 and was elected president of the AHA in 1976. Bayers Hereford Ranch was a member of the Montana Beef Performance Association and a charter member of the AHA’s Whole Herd TPR program.

In the ‘60s and early ’70s, he judged at almost almost every major Hereford show in the U.S. including the National Western Stock Show, the Chicago International, Fort Worth, Houston and Phoenix.

Bayers was given the University of Montana’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1976 and was inducted into the Montana State Fair Pioneer Hall of Fame in 1981. In 2008 he received the Canadian Ambassador Award from the Canadian Hereford Association. In 1966 he and his family established Hereford America. The paper is currently mailed to every state and seven countries.

Lester Schafer was raised on the farm where he currently resides. He graduated from Buffalo Lake High School in 1944 and went on to serve in the military in 1945, where he was a member of the Army of Occupation in Germany after World War II. He was discharged from the military in 1947 and attended the University of Minnesota-St. Paul, where he graduated with a degree in animal husbandry.

The registered Hereford herd Schafer runs was originally started by his aunt and uncle in 1917. The farm received century farm status in 2000. Schafer purchased a scale and began collecting weaning weights on calves in 1960. When the AHA established the Whole Herd Total Performance Records (TPR™) program a few years later, he was one of the first to sign up.

Throughout the years, he has remained active in the Minnesota Hereford Association, the Minnesota Hereford Breeders and the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association. Schafer served as the secretary for the Minnesota Hereford Association for 25 years and has been inducted into the Minnesota Hereford Breeders Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Kathleen, have four children — Mary, Kala, Laurie and John. The couple have spent their entire lives farming and ranching on the same farm where Schafer grew up.

2016 winners

Jack Turner, Oklahoma City, Okla., was inducted to the Hereford Hall of Fame in 2016. Turner started his Hereford herd after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with the basic principals of keeping an eye on birth weight and keeping mature size in check while emphasizing as much end product merit as possible.

Turner bred the famed L617 bull that was used in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) carcass merit project, which let to the first tenderness expected progeny difference (EPD) in the Hereford breed, and is still the basis for the current genetic markers for tenderness.

Turner serves on the Hereford Research Foundation board and has helped guide the American Hereford Association by identifying the research projects the association should be involved with. He is very supportive of research projects going on within the AHA both financially and with genetics.

Jimmy Powell, Fort McKavett, Texas, was inducted to the Hereford Hall of Fame in 2016. After serving as a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy, Powell returned to his family ranching operation and began his registered Hereford operation. For more than 50 years, Powell has selected for scale, composition, muscling and milking ability to produce cattle that perform in the feedlot.

Powell graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Rice University. He was a member of the advisory committee for the Packers and Stockyards Administration for the

United States Department of Agriculture and was named a member of the Secretary of Agriculture’s technical advisory committee for multilateral trade negotiations.

Powell served on the National Cattlemen’s Association tax committee and the National Livestock tax committee. He was inducted into the International Stockmen’s School Hall of Fame and the Texas State Fair Agriculture Hall of Honor.

2015 winners

Jim, who passed away in 2010, dedicated his whole life to the Hereford breed. He and Marlene were married for 57 years and raised their five children in the Hereford business.

Jim was born on the family ranch near Bowman, N.D. After graduating from high school, he purchased five registered Hereford heifers and began to realize his dream of being a Hereford breeder. He also raised wheat, barley, oats, corn and alfalfa. Jim and Marlene married in 1953, and they made their life together breeding and selling Hereford cattle.

Mrnak Herefords embraced technology along the way. The Mrnaks enrolled in performance testing programs and used artificial insemination and embryo transfer.

Each February for the past 47 years, Mrnak Herefords has hosted a bull sale and has been successful in the showring as well. At the National Western Stock Show in Denver, the Mrnaks exhibited the champion Hereford female in both 2001 and 2003.

But possibly the couple’s biggest accomplishment has been raising their children — Connie, Wayne, Terry, Loren and Carla — with a love for the breed. Each has stayed involved in the cattle business. Wayne and Terry, along with Marlene, operate the original ranch at Bowman. Loren owns and operates Mrnak Herefords West in Nevada and California. Connie and her husband have a Hereford-based commercial operation, and Carla and her husband ranch in South Dakota.

“My father lived, breathed and ate Hereford beef his whole life,” Wayne says. “All of us kids were indoctrinated at a young age to the breed of cattle that we run today. Herefords have been very rewarding to our ranch and to our family.”

The entire Mrnak family is involved, led by Jim and Marlene’s example. Roger Stuber of nearby Stuber Ranch recommended them for this honor. He said, “They have both given their leadership skills and advice to the Hereford industry in many ways. County and state fairs, many Hereford tours, state and national leadership, along with many other endeavors. Both have given time and support to many other local and state activities.”

Fellow Hereford breeder Bill Bennett summarized their stamp on the Hereford breed nicely in his recommendation letter. He said, “The Mrnaks epitomize the quintessential Hereford cattle family. Jim and Marlene have dedicated their entire lives to the betterment of the Hereford breed. Their cattle have always been distinctive competitors within any arena the Mrnaks have chosen to place them.”

The Chandler family has been raising Herefords in eastern Oregon’s Baker Valley for 126 years. Currently the ranch is operated by Charles; his son, George; George’s wife, Janet; and their son, Duane, and daughter, Patti Hall, and her husband, Cliff.

“This honor means so much to us,” Duane says. “This has been our livelihood for 126 years and we plan on continuing it and raising the best cattle that we can raise and improve them every year. Hereford cattle have been very good to us and that’s the reason we’re still here.”

It was Charles’ great-grandfather who left Missouri in 1862 and headed to California to find gold but ended up in Oregon only three miles west of the ranch’s headquarters today. The family has been raising cattle there ever since.

Duane and Patti represent the sixth generation to operate the ranch. They sell registered Hereford bulls, replacement heifers and feeders. Chandler Herefords touts genetics that excel in efficiency while adding size with correct type and appealing conformation. Chandler cattle have natural depth and thickness, with consistency gained from more than a century in the business.

Two members of the Chandler family — Herbert and George — served as AHA president. In fact, during Herbert’s second term as president in 1953, he introduced President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who then officially dedicated the new AHA headquarters in Kansas City. And in 1989, the same year Chandler Herefords celebrated 100 years in the Hereford business, Charles was inducted into the Hereford Honor Gallery.

Chandler Herefords has been known for producing some of the top cattle in the country. Most notably, Herbert Chandler bred Mark Donald in the early 1940s. Mark Donald’s influence continues in the Hereford breed today.

Guy Colyer of Colyer Herefords in Bruneau, Idaho, says it is an honor for him to recommend the Chandler family for induction into the Hereford Hall of Fame.

“The Chandler family has continued to be very aggressive with their breeding program,” Colyer says. “Their cattle are known for their efficiency and doing ability. The Chandler family is rich in tradition but has kept up in the modern era and uses every modern convenience in today’s operation.”

2014 winners

Roger operates Stuber Ranch on the same land where he was born in 1940. His grandfather established the ranch there in 1909. After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1962, Roger joined his brother, Richard, and father fulltime on the ranch.

Today, the operation is run by Roger, Richard’s son, Duane, and Duane’s wife, Dana, and includes about 1,000 head of cattle, with a third of them registered. Since 1969 the Stuber family has hosted an annual bull sale on the ranch the third Saturday of April.

“Without a doubt one of Roger’s greatest attributes is his honesty and dedication to the Hereford breed,” says Mark Cooper of Cooper Hereford Ranch, Willow Creek, Mont. “Whether it is standing by the reputation of the Stuber program or in his dealings with the American cattle industry, Roger has been a very influential voice. He has been steadfast and non-compromising in his integrity.”

Roger was elected to the AHA Board in 1972 and served as president in 1977. He served on the former National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA) board and served as that organization’s president in 1993.

As NCA president, Roger initiated the formation of an incorporated, nonprofit legal-defense fund to wage precedent-setting cases of importance to the U.S. beef industry in the courts. For his instrumental role in establishing the CATL (Cattlemen Advocating Through Litigation) Fund, Stuber was recognized with the Trailblazer Award presented by BEEF magazine in 1995.

Roger served on the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association board of directors for eight years, with two years as president. He also served on the North Dakota Beef Commission and the founding board of North Dakota Natural Beef.

Roger was named Agriculturalist of the Year in 1980 by the North Dakota State University Saddle & Sirloin Club and in 2007 by the Bowman Chamber of Commerce. In 2011 he was inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

2013 winners

Truman Lawrence started as a “horseback-riding, roping cowboy in Oklahoma and Texas” according to his longtime customers, Mary and Bill Mericka, Triple M Ranch, Browns Summit, N.C., but worked his way to be one of the most well-respected and beloved Hereford farm managers in the country.

Truman managed McIntosh, Double L and Poca Dot Hereford farms over the years and then spent 25 years working for Morlunda Farms, Lewisburg, W.Va. When Truman began managing Morlunda in 1960, the farm was a horned operation that Truman was able to transition into one of the best polled Hereford herds in the country.

Dr. Donald Richardson, Crozet, Va., says he made many trips to Morlunda with his father, Warren, while Truman was manager. “Truman was my father’s favorite cowperson of all time,” Dr. Richardson said in his enthusiastic endorsement of Truman’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

“Truman was a superb fitter and shower of cattle,” Dr. Richardson adds.

While Truman was managing Morlunda, owned by the Nelson family, it won many banners for excellent show cattle. During Truman’s employment in 1968, Morlunda traveled across the country to more shows than any other Hereford farm.

Truman also gained national respect as a judge.

The Merickas have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for Truman. “Truman was a real believer in trying to improve the breed. He went to Canada and bought cattle to increase frame size. He believed in records and kept detailed ones before that became the thing to do,” they wrote in their recommendation.

Truman was also focused on youth, spending much of his time mentoring young cattlemen and cattlewomen. Bill Nelson attests to this. “All the grandchildren thought of Truman as a second father,” Nelson says.

The late Oscar Nelson, Jr., who was Truman’s employer at Morlunda, was quoted as saying, “Truman is an expert judge of cattle. He’s also an excellent salesman, but more than these things, the one thing that is dear to my heart is his ability and desire to work with young people.”

Dale Stith, an auctioneer from Maysville, Ky., has known Truman Lawrence for 35 years: “Mr. Lawrence has been a mentor and teacher to an untold number of young and old alike. It is because of managers like this that so many successful businessmen and women have had their success in our industry.”

The Stitzleins have been in the purebred Hereford business since 1963, but Conard’s dad bought the farm and the first Herefords in 1937. Then in 1953, Conard and Nancy purchased their place and raised commercial cattle until the early ’60s. At the time they kept their herd relatively small, as Conard was busy with a growing metals business and Nancy was shouldering most of the cattle work along with raising children.

In 1977 they stepped up their Hereford game by purchasing the Mountain Meadow herd. They hired professional help and started showing on a national level. After enjoying some success, they expanded to the West, as they already had a growing market for their Ohio-raised bulls. Their second ranch is called Mohican West, located near Laurel, Mont.

Although they’ve had national show success, their focus has always been developing a good, productive cow herd.

Over the years, Conard and Nancy have been involved in the Hereford industry through various leadership roles. One role was that of president of the Buckeye Hereford Association (BHA).

The BHA gave its wholehearted recommendation of the Stitzleins for this Hall of Fame induction. “Conard has been and continues to be a strong, positive influence on the Hereford industry,” Scott Pennell, BHA president writes. “The quality Hereford genetics that he has provided this region as well as the world have shown to help Hereford cattle regain the market share of the beef industry.”

Moreover, the Stitzleins have always been huge supporters of Hereford programs. Pennell adds, “They have consigned cattle to our state sale, regional feeder calf auctions as well as hosting their own events. Conard and Nancy are great supporters of our youth and the Hereford cattle they raise.”

Lou Ellen Harr of J&L Cattle Services, Jeromesville, Ohio, says that the Stitzleins have been great personal friends and friends of the breed, supporting sales and youth not only locally but across the country. “However,” Lou Ellen adds, “it’s all of the good things that Conard and his family quietly do for the breed, their community and people they are involved with that makes them such outstanding candidates for the Hereford Hall of Fame.”

2012 winners

Lilla Bell, Paradise Valley, Nev., was raised on a commercial Hereford ranch in California. She grew up showing Hereford cattle in 4-H and during college. She attended California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. She graduated in 1960 and was the first woman to graduate from Cal Poly’s animal science program. She was also the first woman on a champion collegiate judging team.

The same year, she married Woodie Bell, whom she had met in college, and they moved to Fallon, Nev., where they raised three sons: Dean, John and Dan.

They rejuvenated Lilla’s interest in the Hereford breed in 1973, when their sons joined 4-H and started breeding heifers to show. In 1976 Bell Ranch joined the American Polled Hereford Association (APHA).

In 1979 the family moved to Paradise Valley and increased their registered herd to raise bulls for commercial breeders. Ever since, the family has been breeding registered Hereford cattle with goals for high fertility and calving ease with as much milk and growth as the ranch’s extreme desert environment can support. They select heavily for good udders, pigment and structural soundness. With some of their land and customers’ land being leased Forest Service and mountainous Bureau of Land Management ground, bulls must learn to travel and get the job done in rough country. Today the Bell Ranch herd totals 110 registered females.

Lilla Bell served on the APHA Board of Directors, representing the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah, from 1992 to 1995 and was chairman of the board in 1995. She was the first and only woman to serve as APHA chairman.

Lilla also served as a director of the California/Nevada Polled Hereford Association.

All three of her sons are now married, blessing Lilla and Woodie with seven grandchildren.

Jackie Davis, Lincoln, Calif., has spent his life in the polled Hereford industry and has dedicated much of it to serving the breed.

He began raising and showing Hereford cattle in 1952, when he was in high school, and has worked for several Hereford and commercial operations over the years including Vanderhoof Polled Herefords in Woodlake, Calif.; Triangle T Ranch, Chowchilla, Calif.; and Antonio Mountain Ranch, Lincoln, Calif.

In 1979 he started his own business, Davis Cattle Services, where he consulted on breeding programs, primarily polled Hereford operations, and bred and pregnancy checked cattle of all types.

Then he went to work for one of his clients, Napa Valley Polled Herefords, as manager.

Davis has also dedicated many years to serving the breed. From 1972-1985, he was a director for the California/Nevada Polled Hereford Association and was president for that association in 1975, 1978 and again from 1998-2009. He was elected to the American Polled Hereford Association Board in 1985 and was chairman from 1990-1991.

Today, he and his wife, Chris, live in Lincoln, Calif., where they continue to raise Herefords. They share their love of the breed with their children — Cindy, Stephanie and Craig — five grandchildren and one great-grandson.

The Douthit Family, St. Francis, Kan., has been raising registered Herefords since 1935 and has exhibited cattle in the Denver Yards for 69 years.

It all began with brothers Jim and Thad Douthit, who bought Hereford cattle. Then, Jim and his wife, Helen, raised their sons — Walter, Roger and Steve — in the business. The operation’s goal was always to produce seedstock for commercial cattlemen.

The family has participated in the National Hereford Feedout for decades, always striving to produce better cattle. The Douthit family was honored with the Kansas Hereford Association Breeder of the Year award in 1986 and 2004. Several times the farm has been a stop on the Kansas Hereford Association tour.

In 2008 the brothers dissolved their partnership and split the operation into three entities: Douthit Herefords, Roger Douthit Farms Inc., and 4V Ranch Douthit Herefords.

Walter, along with his daughter Megan Downey and her husband, Chuck and son, Carter, operates Douthit Herefords. The rest of the family — Walter’s other daughter Teresa and her son Grant, along with Walter’s son Chad, wife, Tanya, and their son, Oliver — helps out when they can, although they don’t live in St. Francis. All are active in community and church organizations.

Megan says that her family’s passion for Hereford cattle and loyalty to the breed has helped them be successful. Every year they strive to produce real cattle for the real world. They produce registered bulls and purebred Hereford females as well as black baldie replacements for commercial cattlemen.

Roger Douthit Farms Inc. is a commercial operation. Using a three-breed rotation of Hereford, Angus and Red Angus bulls on Hereford cows, they strive to keep an F-1 momma cow. Heifer calves that aren’t retained in the herd are primarily marketed as replacements while steers are sold as feeders, this year through Superior Livestock.

The operation includes Roger and his wife, Myra, and their son, Jared and his wife, Candi, along with their daughter Olivia. Roger’s son Jason and his wife, Teresa, and their children, Jacob and Isabella, live in Kansas City but enjoy helping out on the farm when they visit.

Jared has served on the Kansas Hereford Association Board of Directors. He says that although the brothers are no longer in partnership, Herefords have been such a big part of all their lives for so long that it’s hard to separate the three’s accomplishments as individual breeders.

Steve and his wife, Melva, and their children — Ana Enfield and husband, Tyler, and their son, Zarik; Erica Gattshall and her husband, Matt, and their children Quade and Cadence; Margo; Courtney; and Thomas — make up 4V Ranch Douthit Herefords. Steve has served as president and is a board member of the Kansas Hereford Association. He is currently on the selection committee for the AHA Board. The whole family is active in church and community organizations. They produce Hereford bulls and females for commercial cattlemen.

Steve’s children say it’s a family-oriented business. Together, they’ve worked through tough times and appreciated the good times. They couldn’t have made it this long without having good cattle.

Fellow Kansas Hereford breeder Dean Davis commented that the Douthit commitment to Herefords can be proven by the fact that the Douthit breeding program has sired more than half a million Hereford calves.

Gene Wiese, Manning, Iowa, represents the third generation of Hereford cattlemen and farmers on the gently rolling hills of west-central Iowa. Since 1912 the Wiese family has been building and sustaining a reputation for top-quality, efficient and profitable beef cattle.

Nowadays, Wiese is joined by his wife, Jean; their son and daughter-in-law, David and Diana, and the Wieses’ daughter Helen working on the farm. Also, David and Diana’s three boys — Chance, Shayne and Trey — represent the fifth generation of Wieses in the Hereford and farming operations. Another daughter, Kathryn, and her son, Kieran, live in Hawaii.

Wiese & Sons, as it is called and has been for generations, offers commercial cattlemen Hereford and Angus bulls. The headquarters operation includes 350 registered cows, but generally 175 yearling and 2-year-old bulls are sold each year by private treaty, thanks, in part, to additional cooperator herds. Wiese & Sons is a progressive herd with extensive use of artificial insemination (AI), embryo transfer and ultrasound, and in-depth records are kept.

A 1951 animal science graduate of Iowa State University (ISU), Wiese was an American Hereford Association director from 1966-1972, serving as president in 1970-1971. He has also served as director and president of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Hereford Association.

Because of his dedication and commitment through the years, he was named an Iowa Master Farmer, received the AGR Century Award and was recognized as an ISU distinguished alumnus.

Very conservation minded, Wiese believes in making an effort to improve the land for the next generation. He was honored in 1996 with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Region III Environmental Stewardship Award for his commitment.

2011 winners

The Sidwell name has a rich Hereford history. Harold Sidwell’s grandfather, G.A., bought their first registered Hereford cow in 1908 from England. In 2008 the Sidwell family celebrated a century in the Hereford business and at the same time Harold celebrated his 50th year as a Hereford breeder.

Harold, Carr, Colo., got his start with a 4-H heifer when he was only 10 years old. Harold was active in youth programs and continued raising and showing Herefords on the local, state and national levels.

Harold married Marlene in 1958 and they have raised four children. The eldest, Warren, and his wife, Jolene, are in the Hereford business in Oklahoma. Daughter Cheryl helps out on the ranch, and son Bryan and his wife, Linda, are in partnership with Harold in Sidwell Herefords.

Marguerite Gies, Eaton, Colo., says, “Harold and his wife have worked in earnest to follow in prior generations’ footsteps. Harold is a survivor in the Hereford business.”

Gino Pedretti, El Nido, Calif., and family are the owners and operators of Pedretti Ranches, which has been producing top-quality Hereford seedstock for decades. Gino served two terms as a director on the AHA Board.

His cattle are well respected by commercial cattlemen and Hereford breeders alike. Joe Brazil of J-B Herefords in Merced, Calif., describes Pedretti as a pioneer Hereford breeder and role model for generations of cattlemen in the industry.

TJ Verquer, Tom & Pat Verquer & Sons Herefords of Trinidad, Colo., praises Pedretti. “He is a hard-working, ordinary gentleman who is extraordinary in his ability to see and breed cattle, run a successful business and be a tremendous influence on his family and community. He’s a positive asset to his region and a wonderful example of dedication and influence to improving the Hereford breed.”

The Pedretti program is built on economic values for commercial cattlemen. “Gino Pedretti is a breeder that anyone would be proud to emulate,” says Guy Colyer of Colyer Herefords, Bruneau, Idaho. “He has tremendous integrity, stands behind his product and has built one of the strongest, most performance-oriented herds in the nation.”

Today, the Pedretti ranching family includes Gino and his wife, Mona; their son, Gino Jr.; their daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Mark St. Pierre; their daughter and son-in-law, Chris and Randal Brinlee; and their grandsons, Gino Pedretti III, and Nick Brinlee.

Marvin and the late Ella Meek were in the Hereford business for more than 60 years. For 20 of those years, the pair managed the 26 Bar Ranch in Arizona.

“The 26 Bar Ranch will be remembered as one of the most prominent and successful Hereford operations in our lifetime,” says Glynn Debter, Debter Hereford Farm. “The leadership, talents and dedication Marvin and Ella contributed to the many achievements for the ranch and the promotion of the Hereford breed.”

Debter adds, because of Marvin’s knowledge of mating selection, the 26 Bar Ranch herd was unmatched for its environment. Supplying quality Hereford bulls to top, large-scale commercial herds kept commercial cattlemen confident in the 26 Bar program and the Hereford breed.

Hereford breeder Cliff Copeland of Nara Visa, N.M., worked for Marvin and Ella and says it was truly a unique opportunity. “Marvin was a man of moral character and approached everything with integrity, honesty and fairness. Ella was always by his side through thick and thin and, along with raising a family, helped Marvin tremendously. They were totally devoted to each other. I cannot think of a better tribute to the Hereford breed than Marvin and Ella Meek.”

Earl Forrest, Saluda, S.C., first entered into the Hereford business in 1941 when he bought a registered polled Hereford cow from Clemson University. This purchase started a lifelong passion for Hereford cattle.

Throughout the years, Earl has raised Hereford seedstock noted for moderate frames, efficiency on grass and mothering ability.

Earl has also given back, serving in various capacities as a member of a number of community and cattle organizations, including chairman and vice chairman of the American Polled Hereford Association Board of Directors.

His wife of 59 years, Marie, passed away in 2008. The couple raised five children, of which Brad has become a full partner in the cattle and farming business.

Associate Dean at Clemson University Extension Steven Meadows says he has known Earl his entire life and has always regarded him as an excellent Hereford breeder and person. “His unbridled enthusiasm for Hereford cattle and quest to always find and use the best genetics to improve both the purebred and commercial cattle industry throughout the Southeast is exemplary.”

The South Carolina Hereford Association nominated Earl for this honor because of his dedication to the Hereford industry. Secretary Donnie King writes on his behalf, “(Earl) was instrumental in the organization of our state association and has represented the breed well for almost 70 years. He will make an excellent addition to the Hall of Fame because of his contributions to the breed and high moral character.”

Harold and Pat Carswell, Osborne, Kan., are part-owners and operators of Carswell-Nichols Herefords, along with their daughter, Carol, and her husband, Jim Nichols. Grandsons Brock and Ryan are also active in the family business.

The Carswells have been in the Hereford business since 1928, when Harold’s father, Jay Carswell, partnered on a registered Hereford herd. Pat and Harold were married in 1950 and together have raised top-quality seedstock ever since. In 1985 they moved to Osborne, and Carol and Jim Nichols and their sons moved to the ranch. However, Harold remains an active part of ranching and farming on a daily basis.

Harold and Pat are active in the Hereford community. Pat has served as a director of Kansas Hereford Women and was a charter member of the American Hereford Auxiliary. She also served as director and president of American Hereford Women. In 2001 she was named Outstanding Hereford Woman.

Harold has served as president and director of Kansas Hereford Association. He was awarded the Hereford Breeder of the Year by the Kansas Livestock Association.

The fifth generation of Carswells in the Hereford business has begun as Brock and his wife Carolyn’s children Avery, Emma, Zoe and Coy are interested in the family operation.
“Along with being a tremendous asset to the Hereford breed for many years and their dedication to making the Hereford breed better than it has ever been, they have applied those same principles to their personal and family lives,” says Tom Granzow, secretary of the Kansas Hereford Association, on behalf of its membership. “Through hard work and dedication to the improvement of the breed, they built a Hereford legacy that is a model for others to follow, and their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren are doing exactly that.”

Charles (Charlie) Boyd, Mays Lick, Ky., is the third generation at Boyd Beef Cattle and has inspired his children and grandchildren to be a part of the operation as well. Today, Boyd Beef Cattle is managed by Charlie and his wife, Martha; their son, Charlie Jr. and his wife, Paula, and their children, Blake and Logan; and their daughter, Suzanne, and her husband, Andrew Matheny, and their children, Austin and Taylor Belle.

After Charlie returned home from earning his degree at the University of Kentucky in 1964, he dedicated his life to the improvement and advancement of the Hereford breed, according to Kentucky Hereford Association Secretary Earlene Thomas. His cattle have earned numerous awards in the showring and 17 Boyd bulls are in AI (artificial insemination) studs in the U.S. and Canada.

Charlie has served the Hereford breed as a director of the American Polled Hereford Association and president and director of the Kentucky Hereford Association.

Bruce Layne of BBL Beef describes Charlie with admiration: “He is on the move and making good things happen in the Hereford industry. The closer you look at his contributions to the industry and the breed, no one deserves this tremendous honor more than Charlie Boyd.”

Thomas writes on behalf of the Kentucky Hereford Association directors and membership that Charlie’s accomplishments, involvement and influence on the breed make him worthy of such an honor. She writes, “This is a small way to reward him on the lifetime commitment that he has made to the Hereford breed and the cattle industry overall.”

2010 winners

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.”

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.”

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 the 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 his 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.”

2009 winners

Jack Orr, Granby, Colo., was raised on his family’s ranch near Kremmling, Colo. Growing up, Jack was the right-hand man for his maternal grandfather, Fred DeBerard, and learned from him about all facets of ranching and raising champion purebred and commercial Herefords. Fred was previously inducted into the AHA Hall of Fame in 1979.

By the time Jack started high school, he was in charge of his family’s commercial herd. In 1953 Jack married Alta, and they raised three sons and a daughter, while continuing to ranch with his granddad. In the mid-1960s Jack, his father, Ted, and brother, Ted Jr., formed Orr Cattle Co. During the late 1960s and the 1970s, the ranch exhibited numerous champion and reserve champion carloads of Hereford feeder steers and heifers at the NWSS and all other major shows including Phoenix, Chicago and Kansas City.

When Orr Cattle Co. dispersed, Jack and Alta purchased the Linke Ranch at Granby, Colo., and the Eagles Nest Ranch east of Kersey, Colo., and continued raising Herefords. Jack’s accomplishments in the showring started when he was managing his grandfather’s cattle in 1956 and continued through 1985 with his own cattle.

In 1970 Jack served as the youngest president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. He continues to serve on the NWSS board of directors, a position he’s been in for more than 25 years. Jack has also served as president and board member of the Colorado Hereford Association and board member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Colorado State Fair Commission.

Jack was part of a Colorado delegation to Japan in 1969. Hereford breeder Donald Norgren explains, “Jack’s contacts culminated in the export of Hereford heifers from Colorado over several years to northern Japan.”

Jack’s eldest granddaughter, Tonya Orr-Perez, says that she and her sisters have recently gotten back into the Hereford business. “As young Hereford breeders, my sisters and I can only hope we can contribute as much to the Hereford breed as our great-grandfather and grandfather did.”

Jack has retired from real estate and resides on the ranch in Granby. He looks after summer pasture cattle, fixes fence and irrigates the meadows to pass the time.

Frank Rodgers of Frank Rodgers & Sons Polled Herefords, Buhl, Idaho, got started in the Hereford seedstock business in 1948 near Denver. He and his wife, Margaret, would raise cattle there until moving to southern Idaho in 1973. In 2008 Frank and Margaret sold their last set of bulls in February and dispersed their herd in December.

In addition to showing in the NWSS pen show, the Rodgers’s collected carcass data every year to prove their herd. Until 2000 Frank fed out one-third of their calves to study each animal’s carcass data. After 2000, they began utilizing ultrasound. Frank made the carcass data available to buyers because he thought their having the data was important.

Frank and Margaret are active in their community, as well as breed and industry events. They support 4-H and FFA programs and the Idaho Junior Hereford Association.

Fellow Idaho Hereford breeder Greg Shaw of Shaw Cattle Co., says, “I have known Frank for many years and have always found him to be an enthusiastic and passionate supporter of Hereford cattle.”

Scott Holt, Caldwell, Idaho, was a young man when he met Frank. “Frank has helped shape my career in the livestock business,” Scott says. “Frank’s work ethic and spirit were constant reminders to do things right. He’s unwavering in his loyalty to the Hereford breed, and his integrity is without question. The Hereford Hall of Fame would not be complete without him.”

Frank and Margaret have raised two sons, two daughters and countless Hereford calves during their 56 years of marriage.

Tom Shaw, Caldwell, Idaho, started in the Hereford business when he received his first registered heifer as a graduation gift in 1944. He joined the Navy but returned to the family farm in 1946 with his new wife, Mary, and they started their Hereford herd with that first female.

Performance testing has always been a big part of the Shaw program. Tom started the first performance bull test in the Northwest in 1969 in cooperation with the University of Idaho. He also helped start the Idaho beef improvement program. Since 1969 the Shaws have collected carcass data, and more recently ultrasound technology has also been utilized.

In 1988 Tom partially turned the business over to the next generation when the cow herd was split between Tom and his sons Greg and Tim.

Tom has also made it a priority to be involved in the breed leadership and represent Hereford breeders’ interests in the industry. He served from 1978 to 1985 on the American Hereford Association Board of Directors, with one term as president. He also served on the board of the former National Cattlemen’s Association, Beef Improvement Federation, Idaho Cattlemen’s Association, Idaho Beef Board, Idaho Hereford Breeders and the Eastern Oregon Hereford Breeders Association. Tom and Mary also support local 4-H clubs and are involved in church activities.

“The level of respect and acceptance of Tom Shaw as a cattleman and leader in our industry is phenomenal,” says Washington cattle broker and auctioneer C.D. “Butch” Booker. “In my mind, the most significant contribution Tom has made is how he has inspired sons and grandchildren to stay involved in the Hereford breed and be active as leaders in the cattle industry.”

Ken Bieber operates K&B Herefords with his wife, Bonnie, in Onida, S.D. Bieber’s father, JC Bieber, started raising registered Herefords in 1945. Ken married Bonnie in 1959, and they joined in partnership with Ken’s father and brother, Jerry. In 1983 Jerry dispersed his herd, but Ken and Bonnie, along with their sons, Brooke and Kirk, and daughter, Brenda, continued under the name K&B Herefords. In 2005 Ken and Bonnie passed the reins of the operation to their sons and moved into Gettysburg.

The Biebers have been using artificial insemination for more than 40 years and have been showing cattle at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) since 1976. Through the years they’ve had numerous champions on the Hill, as well as in the pen and carload shows.

K&B Herefords was honored with the South Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association Producer of the Year AWARD in 1992 and with the South Dakota Hereford Association Seedstock Producer of the Year Award in 2008.

Bonnie was a member and officer of the South Dakota Hereford Women’s Association and served as secretary of the American Hereford Women. Ken continues to serve on the South Dakota Hereford Association board of directors. They also support the state junior association and help with fund-raisers, sales and other events.

Fellow South Dakota Hereford breeder Vern Rausch says, “Ken and Bonnie have not only been leaders in the showring but also in performance testing, herd management and in DNA testing to find genetic defects within the Hereford breed. The K&B prefix has been held in high regard on pedigrees for decades.”

2008 winners

Pat Wilson, Frostproof, Fla., started his Hereford seedstock operation, Crooked Lake Ranch, in the 1960s and continued to produce top-quality cattle until his death Oct. 14, 2008. He began his program by purchasing a group of cattle from the R.W. Jones (RWJ Polled Herefords) program, a well-known performance-based operation. He purchased outcross bulls over the years, but his herd is still predominately linebred Victor Domino.

In the past 40 years, Pat never hosted a production sale and has been able to retain the top cattle from each calf crop to constantly improve. A firm believer in performance testing, Pat also used his commercial cattle operation to evaluate his seedstock breeding program.

Pat and his wife, Patricia, were honored in 1973 with the Beef Improvement Federation’s (BIF) Commercial Producer of the Year Award, just the second producer ever to be honored with that recognition.

Pat did not exhibit his cattle in the showring but, rather, used performance testing to evaluate his cattle. Thomas “Fred” Stokes observes that, “The Crooked Lake herd consistently achieves exceptional performance on grass alone in the inhospitable climate of central Florida.”

Bob Crane of Rock Hollow Farm, Alachua, Fla., is another fellow cattleman who believed strongly in Pat’s ability. He says, “Pat Wilson’s cattle have stood the test of time. Many times, he has forsaken immediate profit for the long-term best interests of his herd of cattle. He has never been detoured by short-term fads or fancies.”

Pat also dedicated time to serving the industry by supporting state and national Hereford associations, as well as county, state and national beef associations.

Mark Cooper of Cooper Hereford Ranch, Willow Creek, Mont., says, “Pat has been a good friend and inspiration to me and many other livestock producers across America, and he has been a very influential voice for the American producer.”

James Bennett, a 2007 Hereford Hall of Fame inductee says, “Pat Wilson’s breeding program, influence and service as a Hereford breeder make him most deserving to receive this honor.”

Doug Bennett, Echo, Ore., has been a Hereford breeder for more than 40 years. Born into the purebred Shorthorn business, he got his start in the Hereford business after graduating from Washington State College in 1960 when he began managing Lehn Bros. Herefords. He spent three years at Lehn Bros. before going back to school.

After earning his master’s, Doug stayed in the Hereford business, working as manager of Stone Hereford Ranch. In 1970 he partnered with his brother, Don, and Howard Stone on a ranch called High Meadows Cattle Co. near Wallowa, Ore. The trio developed a top-notch herd before selling in 1976. In the same year, Doug managed a record-setting dispersal sale for Stone Hereford Ranch.

Doug and Don then purchased Stone Hereford Ranch and developed it into Oregon Hereford Ranch.

In 1979 Doug headed south to Texas to partner with Sam Friedman and develop Lone Star Hereford Ranch. He returned to Oregon in 1998 to Oregon Hereford Ranch where he started a backgrounding operation. Then last March, Doug began selling part of his Hereford herd and says he is now “semi-retired.”

Doug has been a longtime leader in not only the Hereford industry but the entire cattle industry as well. “His accomplishments at Stone Hereford Ranch, Lone Star Hereford Ranch and Oregon Hereford Ranch are legendary,” says Dale Venhuizen of Churchill Cattle Co., Manhattan, Mont.

Doug has also benefited the industry through serving in various leadership roles. He has served on the AHA Board, as president and director of the Oregon, Washington, N. Idaho Hereford Association (OWNI), as president of the Breed Improvement Federation (BIF) and as executive committee member of the Texas Hereford Association.

Jack Evans, EE Ranches, Winona, Miss., says of Doug, “Whether managing the cow herd, feeding, fitting and showing Denver champions, or handling merchandising and production sales, Doug Bennett is one of our greatest all-around cattlemen.”

2007 winners

Rob Hooper, Springerville, Ariz., was introduced to ranching in 1945 after he returned from 47 combat missions as a gunner in World War II. His wife, Mary, had grown up on a commercial Hereford operation in Oregon. They worked for her parents at first and then, with still very little experience, started their own small commercial ranch in Nutrioso, Ariz. They added to their outfit in 1953, when they purchased a nine-section ranch in Springerville. Although the ranch needed some work, they built a herd of well-bred Hereford cattle and, thus, began in the registered cattle business.

Since then Rob has produced quality horned and polled Hereford seedstock for 54 years on the Hooper Hereford Ranch. Throughout the years the Hoopers continued to expand and grew to encompass 31 sections in Arizona and New Mexico.

Fellow Hereford breeder, Lee Hutchens, Fallon, Nev., says since Rob started in the business, “He has never wavered in his devotion to the Hereford breed and has been tireless in mentoring, promoting and encouraging others.” He has done this through being active in the Arizona and New Mexico Cattle Growers Associations and serving as president of the Arizona Hereford Association and advisor for the Arizona Junior Cattle Growers Association and the Arizona Junior Hereford Association.

He and Mary helped with countless 4-H, FFA and junior association field days and activities. They helped start the Arizona National Junior Heifer Show and Sale. Because of his involvement and dedication, Rob was named Arizona Cattleman of the Year in 1999.

Hooper Hereford Ranch was named premier exhibitor at the 1985 and 1997 Arizona National Stock Show. Its success spanned decades; its cattle topped sales and won shows in Arizona and New Mexico and around the country starting in the ’60s. Although the majority of the cattle now belong to his grandson, Daric Knight, Hooper still keeps about 20 head to stay involved.

Rob and Mary’s children and grandchildren are involved in the cattle business thanks to their leadership in the industry. Their eldest daughter, Roxanne, and her husband run a Hereford-based commercial operation in Springerville and their sons, Daric and Lance and their wives, also raise cattle and help Rob. The couple’s son, Steve, and his wife continue to raise registered Herefords at Hooper Cattle Co., Quemada, N.M. And, although their younger daughter, Sharyl, lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., she returns often to visit the ranch.

James Bennett, Red House, Va., operates Knoll Crest Farm (KCF), which has long been known for its performance-based genetics. KCF consists of more than 500 registered cows in south central Virginia.

The Bennetts have been in the seedstock business since 1944, when James’ father bought his first polled Hereford cattle. In 1963, after getting their feet wet in the business, they started collecting performance data and tracking beef improvement.

Not only have James and his wife, Barbara, strived to improve their herd, but they have also worked to help others test their cattle. In 1972 KCF started a bull test station for the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association, which served breeders for 25 years. James became involved in BIF and in 1973 was elected to the board of directors. He served as BIF vice president in 1974 and president in 1978.

He was also involved in the American Polled Hereford Association, serving on the board of directors from 1983-86 and as chairman in 1987. His dedication to improving his herd and the Hereford breed is evident as KCF was named a spring 2007 Gold Total Performance Records (TPRTM) breeder.

James Bennett has represented the Hereford breed well. KCF was awarded BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year in both 1978 and 1998.

Despite all the awards won and leadership positions served, most importantly, James is a true cattleman, says Don Trimmer, Accelerated Genetics beef genetics manager. “James is a true gentleman in the cattle industry. His friendly smile and firm handshake greet everyone he meets, whether they are an old friend or new visitor,” Trimmer says.

James is also a family man. He and his wife, Barbara, have a daughter, Beth, and four sons, Paul, Jim, Brian and Jonathon. Fellow cattleman Sid Rogers, Rolling Hills Farm, Winchester, Va., says of Bennett, “Those who know James can attest to his outstanding character, love of family and church, and devotion to producing performance-improving cattle.”

Bill Bennett, Connell, Wash., was born into the purebred Shorthorn business. After he attended Washington State College (now University), he married Norma Marsh, and they started their own Shorthorn business in western Washington.

Then in the mid ’50s, they sold the Shorthorn business, and Bill went to work as the herdsman at his alma mater. During this time he contributed to a beef science book and showed cattle for the university.

By the time Bill moved to Connell, Wash., he and Norma had four children. They relocated to become partners in a registered Hereford operation, TT Herefords. They immediately became involved in performance testing their cattle and enrolled the entire herd in the AHA’s performance testing program. In 1969 their partner’s poor health forced them to liquidate much of their herd, and although they bought out his portion, they were left with only 15 head.

Although it started small, Bill and Norma’s own ranch, BB Cattle Co., quickly grew in size and reputation. Cheryl Thomas, now an Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho Hereford Association (OWNI) director, says even as a young girl she was very impressed with Bill. Cheryl says, “BB Cattle Co. produced bulls and heifers that were an enviable tribute to him, his work ethic and his knowledge of the breed.”

His hard work paid off; the ranch now consists of about 1,000 acres of irrigated cropland and 5,000 acres of grass. BB Cattle Co. consigns cattle to national sales and hosts an annual bull sale of its own. Through the years BB Cattle Co. bulls have won the Jack Owens Ideal Range Bull Award three times and the ranch has shown numerous National Western Stock Show champion and reserve carloads. Bill was also awarded the Beef Improvement Federation’s (BIF) Seedstock Producer of the Year Award in 1988.

Bill has also been a leader in the cattle industry. He served as an AHA director from 1985-91, as well as being involved in the Washington Cattlemen’s Association. In addition, he has been active in OWNI and the Western States Hereford Association.

2006 winners

Alfred Meeks and Sons originated in 1937 in Dalhart, Texas, when Alfred Meeks bought some heifers from his father, JD Meeks. In 1955 Alfred and his wife, Mildred, and their son and daughter-in-law, Ferrall and Gloria, purchased Upstream Ranch near Taylor in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

Today the ranch is managed by Alfred’s grandson, Brent, and his wife, Robin, and owned with Mildred, who still lives on the ranch. Brent and Robin have two children — Marshall and Carlee. Alfred succumbed to cancer in 1991 and Ferrall and Gloria were killed in a car accident in 1994.

The Upstream herd includes 600 registered cows. About 500 cows and heifers are AI-bred annually and about 50 embryos transferred.

Upstream Ranch hosted its first production sale at the ranch in 1978, which has continued annually on the first Saturday of February. The ranch’s main focus is the production of bulls for commercial cattlemen.

“Alfred and Mildred laid a solid foundation for one of the best ranches in the nation,” say Ronny and Kay Morgan, Morgan Ranch Inc., Burwell, Neb. “Alfred knew his customers and knew how to market his cattle to them. Everyone was a friend to Alfred and Mildred and they returned that friendship. Ferrall and Gloria, the second generation, were no different. They worked hard at producing top Herefords and staying up with the trends of the industry. They are greatly missed, not only in the community, but throughout the Hereford families across the U.S. Brent and Robin had to step into the management role at the untimely death of Ferrall and Gloria, and have risen to the challenge. They have continued the high-quality cattle at Upstream Ranch and have shown successes in marketing their cattle that are second to no one.”

Genetically, Upstream Ranch is trying to produce cattle with balanced-trait selection. They are constantly striving for the proper balance of calving ease, growth, maternal, fertility and carcass traits. They are advocates of using expected progeny differences (EPDs) and ultrasound, but also make sure their cattle excel phenotypically and in temperament. Structural soundness and docility are critical.

In 2006 Upstream ranked third in number of Dams of Distinction, an honor bestowed on outstanding Hereford females.

“Upstream Ranch has a long-standing tradition of breeding quality, reputation Hereford cattle, both in and out of the showring,” says Valerie Simonson, Nebraska Hereford Association secretary/manager.

The family has exhibited four champion carloads at the NWSS, the 1971 NWSS champion Hereford bull, the 1972 reserve champion Hereford bull, and supreme Hereford and champion Hereford bull at the 100th NWSS in 2006, as well as the reserve champion horned Hereford bull.

“They deserve this award because they have been true to the Hereford breed for more than 50 years,” Ronny and Kay say. “They have been successful because they are dedicated cattle people who know how to raise quality Herefords, know how to market them, know how to take care of their customers, know how to utilize technology to improve their Herefords and know how to be good stewards of the land.”

Bob Schafer, Mahnomen, Minn., got his start in the Hereford business at a young age on the farm owned and operated by his mother, uncle and grandparents at Buffalo Lake, Minn. Little did folks know the influence Bob would later have on the breed.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in animal husbandry and working for the agricultural Extension service, Bob became manager of Schermerhorn Farms of Mahnomen, Minn., in 1956.

Under his management, the operation became a cooperator in the AHA’s dwarfism research, and in 1963, was one of the first to enroll in the new Total Performance Records (TPR) program.

“Nearly 15,000 head would be performance tested over the next 40 years and 1,500 head would have ultrasound carcass data collected,” says Beth Carlson, Minnesota Hereford Breeders president.

In 1965, John Oxley purchased Schermerhorn Farms and combined it with his Oklahoma-based Hereford ranch. Extensive use of artificial insemination ensued. The Oklahoma herd was dispersed in 1976, and the rest of the herd in 2003.

Bob served as manager of Oxley Hereford Ranch for 48 years. Beth says he was most astute at purchasing herd bulls, as well as semen from top sires. The effect of Bob’s careful genetic selection, she explains, is that the OXH prefix is found in many of the breed’s most influential cattle. The list of famed OXH sires is long, and the OXH females are reputed for structural soundness, heavy milk, moderate birth weight, growth and muscle — generally problem-free cows.

Oxley cattle were sold throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada and Australia. Semen made its way to Canada, Australia, Europe, Africa and South America. Oxley cattle were also exhibited various times at regional shows, state fairs and the National Western Stock Show (NWSS). Carloads of bulls were shown for several years at the NWSS.

Bob’s contributions to the breed didn’t stop at Oxley. “Bob has spent his entire life contributing to the respect and growth of the breed through his involvement in local, state and national organizations, including both industry and breed organizations,” says Mark Frederickson, Frederickson Hereford Farm, Starbuck, Minn.

Among his contributions were many years served as president of the Minnesota Hereford Association and on the Red River Valley Winter Show committee. He also represented northwest Minnesota on the Minnesota Beef Council for nine years. During this time Beth notes that he was a driving force behind the development of a hamburger and wild rice beef patty that grew to be very popular.

Oxley Hereford Ranch served as a place of education and entertainment to young and old alike through the many field days, tours, judging team practices and informational seminars held on the ranch over the years. As a respected breeder, Bob was often asked to judge state and county fairs, as well as Register of Merit shows.

“Bob Schafer is an individual whose enthusiasm and dedication to the Hereford breed is undisputed by anyone who knows him,” Mark says.

Bob, too, is a family man. He and Carol, his wife of 54 years, raised five children and now enjoy 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

2005 winners

Dan Thornton (1911-1976) was devoted to the Hereford industry and bred some of the best Hereford cattle in the world. His many honors and world records speak for themselves.

Thornton started in the Hereford business in 1937, purchasing a ranch near Springerville, Ariz., and naming it the White Mountain Hereford Ranch.

In 1941 the Thornton family moved their ranching operation to Gunnison, Colo., where they bred their Triumphant Type cattle. At its peak the Thornton Hereford Ranch included 300 head of Hereford females.

“It has been my idea to blend top individuals of the best producing bloodlines from the principal herds of America into an ideal Hereford type,” Thornton said in a 1942 Hereford Journal.

In 1945 Thornton sold two bulls for $50,000 each in Denver, the highest price paid for a U.S. beef animal up to that time according to his biography. These two bulls were the first to be displayed at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver.

In 1947 the Thornton Hereford Ranch sale generated more than $850,000 for 392 head. A crowd of some 4,000 people attended. Many consider it one of the greatest production sales in history.

Thornton also served as a Colorado senator and a two-term Colorado governor. “Dan Thornton loved Hereford cattle, was a visionary for the industry and also served the people of Colorado,” says Debra Raymond of the Colorado Hereford Association.

In 1953 Thornton dispersed the registered herd. From 1953-57 the ranch was managed as a commercial Hereford operation.

“You’d have to have met him personally and seen him ‘in action’ to properly appreciate his influence, but Dan Thornton was a tremendously enthusiastic, charismatic individual,” says Dan Green, editor and publisher of the Record Stockman. “He used that innate, God-given charm and sense of public relations to promote Hereford cattle, as few men ever have.”

Glen Klippenstein was born on his grandparents’ homestead in Saskatchewan, Canada. His father managed a Hereford farm for many years. Klippenstein’s first of many 4-H show steers was a Hereford that was champion and sold for more than $800 (when others sold in the $150 range).

Klippenstein earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Pennsylvania State University. While at Penn State, Klippenstein worked with Herman Purdy.

“When I graduated, I followed my loves and began purchasing the biggest, nicest uddered, heavy milking cows I could find,” he explains.

Klippenstein and his family moved from Pennsylvania to Missouri to form Glenkirk Farms (GK).

Klippenstein was known for his marketing savvy. He has sold cattle, semen and embryos into 49 states and 21 countries. He had three sales in excess of $1.5 million and sold more than 7,000 bulls. “Our first ad was ‘Glenkirk – a Name to Remember.’ We believed strongly in the value of promotion and advertising,” Klippenstein says.

The showring was an integral part of GK. In 1969 Canam Investor was the champion bull at the National Polled Hereford Show. GK later exhibited 18 additional national champion or reserve bulls and females.

GK also had its share of expected progeny difference (EPD) trait leaders and performance-test winners. Even today, many reputation cattle go back to bulls bred at GK.

Klippenstein served as chairman of the American Polled Hereford Association in 1983 and chairman of the Beef Promotion and Research Board in 1990 and 1991. He was a National Cattlemen’s Association director from 1984-1990.

Following the GK dispersal in 1993, Klippenstein owned and operated Klippenstein Family Farms until 2000. He served as a Missouri senator from 1993-94 and, by Presidential appointment with unanimous U.S. Senate confirmation, served on the Federal Ag Mortgage Corporation Board — Chairman Public Policy Committee.

Klippenstein and his wife, Linda, have four children — Brian, Brett, Noël and Ivan. The Klippenstein family showed at more than 18 junior nationals bringing home three championship banners.

Frank Felton (1940-2003) was an internationally acclaimed Hereford breeder and a pioneer in the use of performance testing data and genetics. He spent his life promoting the Hereford breed, traveling throughout the world speaking on livestock issues and serving as president of numerous agriculture-related organizations.

Felton was proud to be a fourth-generation Missouri farmer and cattleman. He worked tirelessly throughout his life to conserve and improve the land on which he and his family made their living. Felton was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He and his wife, Lynn, centered their operation in Maryville. There, they raised two sons, Jay and Matthew, and two daughters, Allison and Katherine.

Throughout his career, Felton received numerous awards, including the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Seedstock Producer of the Year Award and Pioneer Award as well as Missouri Polled Hereford Breeder of the Year Award.

Felton was a pro-performance breeder known for precise and exhaustive record keeping. He was one of the first cattlemen in the nation to begin collecting weaning weights in 1962. Later, in the mid 1960s, Felton took some of the first scrotal circumference measurements on yearling bulls. Birth weight measurement began in 1965 followed by pelvic measurements in 1970. All of these measurements served as tools for Felton in judging the efficiency and productivity of his cattle.

Always conscious of the end product, he worked with commercial cattlemen to improve their herds and utilized carcass data to evaluate his cattle’s usefulness in feedlots. He was equally dedicated to helping other purebred producers as they sought to improve the Hereford breed.

The Felton Hereford herd was sold private treaty to Bent Tree Farms in 2001, with Felton serving as a herd consultant. Following his death on April 16, 2003, Bent Tree Farms decided to disperse the herd. Felton had long maintained a policy of not selling females from his herd. On Oct. 30, 2003, buyers from more than 30 states and Canada came seeking Felton genetics, especially Felton females, to add to their individual breeding programs. The genetics developed by Frank Felton had a great impact on the Hereford breed.

Glynn Debter is the third of five generations operating a family farm in north central Alabama. The Debter farm has evolved from its sole cash crop of cotton to a nationally recognized Hereford seedstock supplier.

Since 1948 Debter has committed himself and his sons to making the purebred Hereford herd a priority and positioning it to meet the changing needs of the industry.

Early on, the family was involved in the Beef Cattle Improvement Association (BCIA) and Total Performance Records (TPR). Their search for higher performing and more functional cattle led to the introduction of Line Ones into their program in the early ’70s.

Artificial insemination was used to supplement their breeding program and Debter was one of the first to see the enormous potential of embryo transfer.

He was honored in 1990 as the BIF seedstock producer of the year.

The Debters have hosted annual production sales on the farm for 33 years. They consistently rank among the top five Hereford bull sales in the U.S. in the 50-100-bull category.

Debter has always made time to promote Herefords and the beef industry. He served as director and vice president of the American Hereford Association (AHA) and was elected president in 1987. During the merger of the AHA and the American Polled Hereford Association (APHA), he was selected to serve a three-year term as chairman of the merged board from 1995-1998.

“His fairness, integrity and good business sense were very instrumental in smoothing the transition of the merger,” Jim Coley, Tennessee Hereford Association president, says. “Although he is known for his diplomatic leadership during this merger, many believe that his conservative business experience, which kept the AHA in sound fiscal position, was equally important.”

Debter served in every office of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, including president. He has been honored at the local, state and national level. He has received American and State FFA degrees and the district agribusinessman of the year award. Debter was named Alabama BCIA purebred seedstock producer of the year, and was inducted into the Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame.

Fellow Hereford breeder, Bill Woodard, says, “The Debters produce sound, useful cattle and stand behind those they sell. Their breeding program has helped in the improvement of Herefords in the Southeast and elsewhere.”