AHA elects Sam Shaw for new president
November 5, 2015
Sam Shaw of Caldwell, Idaho, was announced as the new president of the American Hereford Association (AHA) during the Annual Membership Meeting Oct. 31 in Kansas City, Mo.
Sam has been has been involved in the Hereford business since birth. His family, which has been in the Hereford business for 71 years, owns and operates Shaw Cattle Co. Sam's children represent the fourth generation involved with Hereford cattle.
"It's an honor for me to represent the breed that has been my family's passion for four generations," Sam says. "Having grown up through the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) program, the Hereford breed and breeders have given me a lot of opportunities, and it is a pleasure for me to be able to give something back."
The Shaws currently run more than 1,500 cows including registered Herefords, Angus and Red Angus. Two-thirds of the Shaw herd calves in the spring with the remainder calving in the fall. The Shaws market 400 bulls in their annual bull sale and host an annual female sale in the spring marketing 200 females. They also sell bulls and females private treaty throughout the year.
“It’s an honor for me to represent the breed that has been my family’s passion for four generations. Having grown up through the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) program, the Hereford breed and breeders have given me a lot of opportunities, and it is a pleasure for me to be able to give something back.” Sam Shaw, AHA president
Sam says he believes in the value the AHA provides Hereford breeders and plans to lead the Association with that in mind. "I want to see the AHA continue to be a member-service-driven organization that provides our members with the information needed to gain back market share in their marketing area," he says. "As a Board we want to see the Certified Hereford Beef (CHB®) program continue to grow through foodservice and retail. Also, staying financially responsible is top of mind."
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The Shaws' breeding philosophy is based on their customers' needs including production, soundness and performance. They have an extensive artificial insemination (AI) program. All females are synchronized once and then heat detected for a second cycle. They also collect feed intake data using the GrowSafe program. The entire crop of bulls from their fall calving herd is placed in the program.
Growing up, Sam was active in the NJHA, serving as president of the junior board. He represented AHA at the Young Cattlemen's Conference (YCC) in 2003 and served as chairman of YCC in 2004.
He served as the Idaho Cattlemen's Association purebred council chairman from 2006-2008. Sam and his wife, Janel, have three daughters.
"The Hereford breed is in a great position in the beef industry," Sam says. "As cattlemen are looking to grow the national cow herd, there is not a better female to expand cattle operations with than a Hereford or Hereford-influenced female. Our breed can do many things to help the beef industry move forward."
Barber selected vice president
Selected to serve as the 2016 vice president was Terri Barber, Channing, Texas. Terri has been involved in the Hereford business since birth. Her family owns and operates Barber Ranch, Channing, Texas.
Founded in 1904, Barber Ranch was a 2004 honoree of the Texas Family Land Heritage Program for being in continuous family ownership for 100 years. Herefords have been the mainstay of the Barber program since the beginning, with the herd currently consisting of 200 registered females.
The Barber family uses extensive AI and embryo transfer (ET) in their efforts to offer customers the best genetics available. They host an annual bull sale in November in San Saba the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Show heifer and donor prospects are sold in special sales in the spring and fall. To increase marketing efforts, the Barbers also exhibit at the national shows.
Along with assisting on the ranch as time permits, since 2007 Terri works for Elanco Animal Health as its beef stocker sales representative for south and central Texas and Louisiana. In this role she calls on beef producers, veterinarians and academia within her territory. She has also served as Elanco's branded beef marketing associate and has worked directly with premier branded programs in the U.S.
Terri is a member of the Texas Hereford Association and is currently serving as vice president. She is also a past president of the Texas Hereford Auxiliary.
Delegates elected three new directors during the membership meeting. Peter Atkins, Tea, S.D.; Jim Bellis, Aurora, Mo.; and Kyle Pérez, Nara Visa, N.M., will serve four-year terms on the 12-member Board.
Completing their terms on the AHA Board were outgoing president Eric Walker, Morrison, Tenn.; Fred Larson, Spring Valley, Wis.; and David Trowbridge, Tabor, Iowa.
Peter "Pete" Atkins and his wife, Laura, and three sons, Scott, Craig and Paul, own and operate Atkins Herefords, Tea, S.D.
Pete was raised on a diversified cattle, hog and crop farming operation in southeastern South Dakota, where he and his wife live today. His parents, Alvin and Marguerite Atkins, purchased the family's first Herefords in 1971 and have had as many as 100 registered cows at their peak in size.
The Atkins family started collecting and reporting performance data in 1975 and has used artificial AI since the late 1970s and ET for the past 10 years.
Atkins Herefords' goal is to produce high-performing cattle with moderate birth weights that have eye appeal and will work for the commercial cattleman. Emphasis is placed on raising sound, trouble-free cattle, and udder quality in the cow herd is stressed heavily. Pete thinks it is important to use a balance of all tools available when selecting breeding stock.
Today, Atkins Herefords consists of a base herd of 30 registered cows, and it produces an additional 20 to 50 ET calves each year. Together with their good friends and partners, the Jerry Delaney family, the Atkinses market bulls through a bull sale each January, and every other year they market females through a fall production sale. In the year between female production sales, females are offered at their fall preview event, which includes a customer appreciation dinner and previews that year's calf crop along with the Denver prospects. Atkins Herefords consigns bulls and females to the Mile High Night Sale and exhibits carloads of bulls and pens of heifers with the Delaneys each year in Denver.
Pete has served as a board member and president of the South Dakota Hereford Association. He is a board member for the John Leibel Memorial Scholarship and has been the chairman of the Sioux Empire Farm Show Hereford sale committee since its inception 15 years ago. He has served as a voting delegate at the AHA Annual Meeting and is a former field representative for the American Polled Hereford Association (APHA).
He is also a board member for the 4-H Livestock Industry Trust Fund of South Dakota and a member and past church councilman of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Tea.
Hereford breeder Jim Bellis, Aurora, Mo., got his start in the business 46 years ago as a high school freshman. His interest in genetics and breed improvement began early in life.
With a career in agriculture education, he grew his cow herd slowly, utilizing AI when affordable. He participated in the former APHA young sire testing program. For the existence of the program, the Bellis herd sampled young sires in comparison with proven reference sires.
Jim operated Missouri's only Gold Performance Bull Test, cooperating with breeders from four states in feeding up to 50 bulls each season. He was diligent in keeping both the bull and heifer calf crops together as contemporary groups to maximize the use of data utilized to calculate expected progeny differences (EPDs).
He was one of the first breeders to put EPDs in his sale catalogs. The Bellis family first cooperated with other breeders for 14 annual or semiannual sales prior to starting its own production sale in 2005. It has also been a regular participant in the AHA's National Reference Sire Program.
Working to breed low-birth-weight and calving-ease bulls that don't sacrifice the growth and carcass traits needed for top-performing cattle, the Bellises sell up to 60 Hereford bulls per year. They calve approximately 150 purebred females per year also, using mostly purebred females as recips for their ET program.
Jim has been named purebred breeder of the year by the Missouri Beef Industry Council, as well as seedstock breeder of the year four times by the Missouri Hereford or Polled Hereford Associations.
He has served as president of Missouri Cattlemen's Association's seedstock committee and is a past president of the Missouri Hereford Association.
Professionally, after six years as a high school agriculture teacher, Jim began work for the state supervising Missouri high school agricultural education and FFA programs. He worked 24 years providing leadership to Missouri's ag education programs with statewide enrollments more than doubling during his tenure.
He then transitioned to Missouri State University's (MSU) School of Agriculture in 2009, where he now serves as assistant to the director for MSU's Darr School of Agriculture in Springfield. Leading MSU's recruitment efforts, in five years the agriculture enrollment has grown from about 380 to almost 700 this fall.
In late 2013, Jim's right leg was amputated below the knee due to clear cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. He describes the experience as a serious time of faith building, but prayers continue to be answered as regular scans show him as cancer free. He now wears a prosthetic.
Jim and his wife, Carla, have two grown daughters Jamie Johansen and Joanna Wilkinson and a son, Jonathan, who is a senior at MSU.
New Mexico Hereford breeder Kyle has been involved in the Hereford industry since birth. Kyle and his dad, Michael, manage Pérez Cattle Co., formally known as C&M Herefords, on the ranch belonging to Kyle's grandfather, Don Kuper, where they began raising Hereford cattle in 1945.
Today Pérez Cattle Co. includes 550 registered and commercial mother cows that are managed on 22,000 acres. The Pérezes' registered program is designed to raise quality seedstock that will advance both commercial and registered operations. Through the extensive use of AI and ET, the Pérez family is able to offer its bull and female clients the most modern and progressive genetics.
The family sells females through Internet sales and registered yearling bulls by private treaty.
Pérez Cattle Co.'s commercial cow herd is a combination of both Hereford and Angus genetics, with the primary goal of raising quality F1s. The operation markets 400 commercial calves annually, and for the past three years, its calves have been sold through the GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), Age and Source, and All Natural Verified programs.
The area demands a low input cow that can survive in a harsh environment, so Kyle and his family continue to improve their cow herd by placing emphasis on efficiency, udder quality, fertility and performance along with visual appraisal. The Pérez family is committed to expanding its local bull market and family members pride themselves on showing their best range cattle that perform both in the pasture and in the showring. The Pérez family has exhibited cattle at national shows across the country and has had several national champions and reserve champions.
This past fall the Pérez family was honored by the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association as the 2014 Ranch Family of the Year.
As a youth, Kyle served on the NJHA board. During his junior career, he was named Junior Herdsman of the Year and National Champion Senior Showman. He was also awarded the John Wayne Memorial Award, the Future Cattleman's Award and the Golden Bull Achievement Award. A graduate of Kansas State University, Kyle was a member of the livestock judging team and honored with the F.W. Bell Livestock Judging Award.
Kyle is currently a member of both the New Mexico and the Texas Hereford Associations. He has attended the AHA Young Guns Conference and has served on the AHA nominating committee. In 2009 he was named the AHA Herdsman of the Year.
He is a director for the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, serves as his local county fair beef superintendent and is a member of St. Anne's Catholic Church.
Kyle and his wife, Tonya, have two children Peyton and Libby.