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The Hall of Fame honor recognizes breeders who have dynamically influenced the direction and advancement of the Hereford breed. To nominate a Hall of Fame inductee, fill out this FORM.

2020 Winners

  • John & Ginger Dudley

    John & Ginger Dudley

    Comanche, Texas

    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.”

  • Warren & Isabel Brown

    Warren & Isabel Brown

    Hartland, Wis.

    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.

  • Billy Ashe

    Billy Ashe

    Selmer, Tenn.

    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.”


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