March 25, 2019
Bayers Hereford Ranch was established in 1918 by Art and Elizabeth Bayers in Lavina, starting the family’s 100-year journey in the registered Hereford business. In the early to mid1930s, the family moved to a ranch near Twin Bridges which came with a beautiful, three-story round barn famous for raising Montana’s only Kentucky Derby winner, Spokane. Years later, the barn became just as famous for raising and selling registered Herefords.
In 1953, Art and Elizabeth’s son, Byron, married Pauline Oberg and they raised three children — Rich, Kathy and Jill — who were all actively involved in the ranch through the 1980s. In 1997, their daughter, Jill, and her husband, Marc, along with Byron and Pauline formed the publication Hereford America.
Byron served on the AHA Board in the 1970s and was elected president in 1976. He attended World Hereford Conferences in Canada and Uruguay and went to Hungary to act as an AHA consultant in selecting Herefords. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Canadian Hereford Ambassador Award, and was inducted into the Hereford Heritage Hall of Fame in 2017 — an honor for the entire family.
During its history, the ranch produced more than 25,000 purebred Herefords, selling cattle to buyers from 38 states within the U.S. as well as to Mexico, Canada, Hungary and Zimbabwe. Bayers sold much of the herd in 1990 but eventually built a herd of about 100 cows. The majority of this second herd was sold a few years ago, but once again, Byron hung onto a few head and rebuilt.
Sadly, Both Byron and Pauline have passed away, but the family continues to carry on the ranch and its traditions. The family still owns a small herd of registered Herefords and small herd of commercial Hereford cows.