The Hall of Fame honor recognizes breeders who have dynamically influenced the direction and advancement of the Hereford breed.
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.”
Dale & Mary Barber
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.”
Clifford & Barbara Copeland
Nara Visa, N.M.
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.”