Dale took an interest in cattle at a very early age under the tutelage of his father, Ralph, who was an accomplished herdsman who managed the 250 polled Hereford cows on their farm in Stith Valley. Dale attended cattle shows and sales with his father beginning at the age of six. His early interest in the cattle business sparked a lifelong, passionate career in the Hereford breed.
Dale would work long hours on the family farm, and then groomed a show string of cattle. He would load his string into a gooseneck trailer and show across the state of Kentucky. He showed at as many as 14 county fairs each summer, including the Kentucky State Fair, where he won many awards. Dale and his father had a keen eye for evaluating and selecting top genetics in the Hereford breed.
Dale is the oldest of three children. He graduated from Meade County High School in 1970, where he was president of the Meade County FFA chapter. He was later elected Kentucky State FFA President. Dale attended the University of Kentucky, where he was president of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, active in the Block and Bridle Club and a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa senior honorary. He graduated with bachelor’s degrees in animal science and agricultural education in 1974. Upon graduation, Dale returned to the farm where he continued building the family’s purebred Hereford herd. However, he was eager to expand his horizons beyond his family’s herd.
Dale is a master marketer and has been a passionate promoter of the Hereford breed for most of his life. Dale’s original post-graduation plan was to teach high school agriculture classes. However, when one of Dale’s mentors, A.W. “Ham” Hamilton, was preparing to retire, he encouraged Dale to attend auctioneer school. The class was two weeks long and Dale graduated in January of 1975. He auctioneered for the first time at the Kentucky Hereford Association’s annual meeting, selling directory advertisements.
In the years following, Dale spent his time selecting cattle, auctioning cattle, photographing cattle and assisting breeders. His loyalty to the Hereford breed, cattle marketing skills and cow sense would propel him to become one of the preeminent auctioneers in North America.
Dale has three children and seven grandchildren. He currently resides on a 50-acre farm in Mays Lick, Ky., with his partner, lover and friend, Elizabeth. Dale is involved in his community and was a magistrate on Meade County’s fiscal court. He also served many years as the Meade County Fair Board manager. Dale has worked with Hereford breeders big and small from coast to coast and all across Canada. He is a mentor and friend to many and has an unmatched passion for Hereford cattle.