Marvin D. Berry
February 20, 2017
Marvin Berry of Berry Herefords was a longtime Hereford breeder and cattleman. He not only produced quality Hereford cattle for decades but also inspired the next generation to continue his legacy.
Marvin began breeding Herefords in the late 1930s as a 4-H member. He, along with his father and two brothers, started the herd and by 1949 held the first “The Berrys’” production sale in a tent. The cattle were raised on the ranch that was homesteaded by Marvin’s parents in 1910. With Marvin’s exceptional eye for quality, the ranch prospered, and in the early 1970s, the sale had grown to an offering of 100 bulls. In 1980 the family sold its combined herd, but Marvin was not about to get out of the business. He started out on his own and, at 65 years young, was as active as ever, despite his son, Jay, returning home to “help.”
Marvin attended the National Western Stock Show every year except for one when he was serving in World War II. He showed many champion heifer pens and judged the carload show in the Yards.
In 2001, at 80 years old, Marvin passed away, leaving Jay and his family to continue the Berry Hereford tradition.
Jack Holden recommended Marvin for the Hall of Fame, saying, “He was a great cowman that had a tremendous ability to pick out quality cattle to improve his herd. He traveled many miles every year visiting top herds around the country to analyze their cattle and find the top individuals that could help his herd. He was a true lover and believer in the merit of Hereford cattle and had a lifelong commitment to the breed and improving the beef industry.”
Mark Cooper says he knew Marvin as a friend and a customer. “Without a doubt,” Mark says, “one of Mr. Berry’s greatest attributes was honesty. Whether it is standing by the reputation of the Berry cattle or in his dealings with the cattle industry, Mr. Berry was steadfast and non-compromising in his integrity. He was a man that I, as a young breeder, admired and respected.”