November 1, 2019
KANSAS CITY. Mo. – Jack Chastain, Mineral Wells, Texas, and Jim Reed, Green Ridge, Mo., were inducted into the Hereford Hall of Merit during the American Hereford Association (AHA) Hereford Honorees awards ceremony during the …
KANSAS CITY. Mo. – Jack Chastain, Mineral Wells, Texas, and Jim Reed, Green Ridge, Mo., were inducted into the Hereford Hall of Merit during the American Hereford Association (AHA) Hereford Honorees awards ceremony during the AHA Annual Meeting and Conference, Oct. 25, in Kansas City, Mo.
The Hall of Merit award recognizes those who have played a vital role in shaping both the Hereford breed and the beef industry.
Known across the country as the face of the Texas Hereford Association (THA), Jack Chastain is considered the driving force behind the Hereford breed in the Southwest.
An admired ambassador of the breed, Jack began his storied career more than 50 years ago when he was named the executive secretary of the THA in 1973. He has spent his dynamic lifetime promoting and supporting Hereford producers at every level from purebred to commercial breeders to Certified Hereford Beef markets. His ability to effectively network with all segments of the industry has been a binding force as the THA continues to be a national leader in junior and senior memberships and registrations.
As many put it, when you think of the THA, you think of Jack. He has played a huge role in elevating the national Hereford show at the Fort Worth Stock Show and in building its prestige. The Texas membership meeting at the Fort Worth Stock Show is a true testament to the Chastain family’s passion, enthusiasm and drive to better the THA and the breed.
Jack has traveled countless hours to sales and shows across the country to keep THA and AHA members at the forefront of the industry. In fact, when he first took office, he journeyed throughout the state to meet every producer in the THA membership to study each individual’s herd. When not on the road, he can be found in the Fort Worth office organizing the THA magazine and striving to get new members for the adult and junior associations.
Jack and his wife, Lyn, are recognized as some of the most generous and proactive youth supporters in the breed and are longstanding Texas Junior Hereford Association advisors. They have operated Mockingbird Hill Herefords since their marriage in 1975 and this year added their son, Lee, daughter-in-law, Candace, and their two grandsons, Jackson and Griffin, to the operation, now called Chastain Cattle Co. Their grandsons are the sixth generation to operate the land deeded to the Chastain family in 1853, which has been home to Hereford cattle since 1930.
Together, the family has built a legacy of Hereford cattle reaching far beyond their roots in Fort Worth. Their devotion to serving the membership and progressing the THA and the breed as a whole is unrivaled. Kyle and Michael Pérez of Pérez Cattle Co. note, “When Jack finally decides to retire, there will be a hole as large as Texas in the association that may never be totally filled. There has never been anyone more deserving and dedicated to this great breed.”
Born and raised as the fourth generation of his family to live in Green Ridge, Mo., Jim Reed and his wife, Linda, began raising Hereford cattle in 1962. For the last 44 years, Reed Enterprises has been the operation’s genetic marketing arm by providing semen and AI certificates. The couple also operates Midwest Cattle Service and Reed Farms.
At the request of Mark Dempsey with the Missouri Ruralist, Jim worked his first sale as a college student for Harry and Hal Nichols in 1963. From that moment, he was forever hooked as a ringman.
Jim came on board as the Beef Superintendent for the Missouri State Fair in 1972, where he dedicated 17 years to serving fairgoers and the beef industry. One of his most memorable moments was President Ronald Reagan’s visit to the fair, where Reagan’s secret service took over the beef cattle office. Another iconic moment was the fair’s 1974 Hereford show, which featured 411 head of polled Herefords and more than 100 head of horned Herefords. Jim now serves on the Missouri State Fair Foundation board of directors, where he remains dedicated to cultivating the next generation of agriculture through preservation, education and improvement initiatives.
In partnership with close friend Bill Maerli of Owensville, Mo., Jim and Linda formed Midwest Cattle Service in 1975 to manage polled Hereford and Simmental sales throughout the U.S. Although Bill left to pursue other interests, Jim and Linda continued to grow the business as a husband-and-wife team and have helped market millions of dollars’ worth of Hereford genetics over the last 57 years. Jim has worked with breeders to hold successful production and consignment sales, has organized small groups of breeders to host joint sales, and has screened cattle and has managed major sales throughout the country.
Jim has been a trustworthy source for information and trends across the breed, and many aspiring Hereford breeders have sought his advice on sale cattle selection and production sale traditions. A testament to his commitment to Hereford breeders is his ability to remember the names, hometowns and even street addresses of his peers. He continues to serve as a consultant and ringman at sales nationwide while producing and promoting Hereford genetics everywhere he goes.
“Jim is a true influencer of the breed,” says Marty Lueck, manager of Journagan Ranch of Missouri State University. “Jim and Linda have supported our Hereford breed for a lifetime. They continue to be a catalyst for the Hereford breed and our breeders’ programs.”