March 11, 2020
Born and raised as the fourth generation of his family to live in Green Ridge, Missouri, 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, Missouri, Jim and Linda formed Midwest Cattle Service in 1975 to manage polled Hereford and Simmental sales throughout the United States. 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. Jim has worked with breeders to hold successful production and consignment sales, organized small groups of breeders to host joint sales, and has screened cattle and managed major sales throughout the country.
Jim has been a trustful 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.”