Hall of Merit inductees aren’t necessarily Hereford breeders, but have greatly influenced the Hereford breed and cattle industry.
The AHA honored Jay George of Lebo, Kan., as the newest member of the Hereford Hall of Merit, a prestigious award which commends those who have played an avid role in shaping the Hereford breed and cattle industry. George was recognized at the AHA Hereford Honorees Reception during the AHA Annual Meeting and Conference. Described as a “true marketeer,” George has covered the entire spectrum of livestock marketing throughout his 40-year career. Raised on his family’s Hereford ranch in Lebo, George was active in 4-H and FFA showing and judging livestock. He continued to be involved in the livestock industry at Kansas State University (K-State), where he competed on the livestock and meats judging teams, served as the president of the Block & Bridle club and worked at the Purebred Beef Barn. After graduating with a degree in animal science in 1973, George worked as a fieldman for the AHA, covering the Dakotas and Upper Midwest territories. During his 10 years with the AHA, he developed skills as a marketer and photographer, and many “JG” photos have since graced the covers of breed journals, livestock publications and national ad campaigns. In 1984, he joined United Livestock Brokers, Inc., where his ahead-of-the-curve breeder marketing programs introduced the newest tools and data available for genetic selection. George served as the Tri-State Livestock News director of field services and was on the board of directors for the Central States Fair and Black Hills Stock Show. He played a major role in initiating the Black Hills Stock Show Hall of Fame, Foundation and the pen bull and commercial heifer shows. George moved back to his family’s Kansas ranch in 2008 after 30 years in Rapid City, S.D. He continues United Livestock Brokers sales management, is an active partner in the family cow-calf operation and pursues his own Santa Fe Ranch performance Quarter Horse breeding program. “George is a true believer in white-faced cattle,” Bob Harrell says. “He has committed his life to the promotion and betterment of the breed.”