March 10, 2017
Jack Orr, Granby, Colo., was raised on his family’s ranch near Kremmling, Colo. Growing up, Jack was the right-hand man for his maternal grandfather, Fred DeBerard, and learned from him about all facets of ranching and raising champion purebred and commercial Herefords. Fred was previously inducted into the AHA Hall of Fame in 1979.
By the time Jack started high school, he was in charge of his family’s commercial herd. In 1953 Jack married Alta, and they raised three sons and a daughter, while continuing to ranch with his granddad. In the mid-1960s Jack, his father, Ted, and brother, Ted Jr., formed Orr Cattle Co. During the late 1960s and the 1970s, the ranch exhibited numerous champion and reserve champion carloads of Hereford feeder steers and heifers at the NWSS and all other major shows including Phoenix, Chicago and Kansas City.
When Orr Cattle Co. dispersed, Jack and Alta purchased the Linke Ranch at Granby, Colo., and the Eagles Nest Ranch east of Kersey, Colo., and continued raising Herefords. Jack’s accomplishments in the showring started when he was managing his grandfather’s cattle in 1956 and continued through 1985 with his own cattle.
In 1970 Jack served as the youngest president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. He continues to serve on the NWSS board of directors, a position he’s been in for more than 25 years. Jack has also served as president and board member of the Colorado Hereford Association and board member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Colorado State Fair Commission.
Jack was part of a Colorado delegation to Japan in 1969. Hereford breeder Donald Norgren explains, “Jack’s contacts culminated in the export of Hereford heifers from Colorado over several years to northern Japan.”
Jack’s eldest granddaughter, Tonya Orr-Perez, says that she and her sisters have recently gotten back into the Hereford business. “As young Hereford breeders, my sisters and I can only hope we can contribute as much to the Hereford breed as our great-grandfather and grandfather did.”
Jack has retired from real estate and resides on the ranch in Granby. He looks after summer pasture cattle, fixes fence and irrigates the meadows to pass the time.