February 17, 2017
The late Guy Shull graduated from Oklahoma A&M College in 1949 and began his career in the purebred livestock industry as a fieldman for the Oklahoma Farmer-Stockman. He also operated Shull Hereford Farm, a family enterprise in Elgin, Okla.
“He incorporated the top genetics into his breeding program and strived to raise cattle that fit the livestock industry, avoiding extremes, while concentrating on birth weight, fertility, udder quality, fleshing ability and disposition,” says Warren Sidwell, president of the Oklahoma Hereford Association. “He was practicing 40-plus years ago what we as an industry are focusing on today.”
Guy held several successful production sales and promoted his cattle at state and national Hereford shows. Among the highlights was exhibiting several class winners at the NWSS.
He not only promoted his Herefords, but others as well, serving as secretary-fieldman for the Oklahoma Hereford Association for 27 years. Through his leadership and marketing efforts Oklahoma Herefords became recognized as a seedstock source on the national level, and Oklahoma breeders during his tenure exhibited several national champion bulls and females. Guy also continuously demonstrated his support for Hereford youth.
For the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), he served as a committee chairman and helped to organize and conduct the annual OCA summer ranch tours. After his purebred dispersion in the late ’60s, Guy continued to run a commercial operation until his retirement.
Later in his career, Guy diversified and became a purebred livestock auctioneer. Colleague A.J. Smith of the Oklahoma Cowman tells that Guy had a “seventh sense,” knowing exactly what a bidder was willing to pay for an animal. He utilized this sense while crying sales from the early 1960s to the mid-’80s.
“Guy not only strived to breed and market the right kind of Hereford cattle that would positively impact the Hereford breed, but constantly promoted these values to anyone who would listen,” Warren says.
Long before the merger of the horned and polled national Hereford associations, Guy made it known that his pet peeve was the separate promotion of horned and polled animals. He emphasized the need for a unified breed. He also encouraged Hereford breeders to focus on maintaining Hereford purity to provide the most genetic kick in a crossbreeding program.
Warren says, “Although I only became acquainted with Guy late in his career, he gained my respect as he was an individual who may have been very direct with his answers and advice, but was always accurate and to the point.” Warren credits Guy’s knowledge of Hereford cattle and the livestock business, as well his many friends and business associates, as the reasons for his success.