Alfred Meeks, Lance Jones inducted into Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame
for Tri-State Livestock News
Taylor, Nebraska hosted the third annual Hereford Crossroads reception in the beautiful Loup County Event Center. Taylor and Loup County have compiled an unparalleled history and tradition of prize-winning Hereford cattle, and was selected to host this year’s event.
This year’s Nebraska Hall of Fame honorees were retired veterinarian and Hereford breeder, Dr. Lance Jones of Broken Bow and Alfred Meeks of Taylor who began the internationally known Upstream Ranch. The new inductees join past honorees Sam McKelvie, Charles Warner, John Cooksley and Wilbur Drybread.
Richard Brown, lawyer and assistant clerk of the Nebraska legislature grew up on a ranch near the community, helped his family raise the proud breed with the white face, and showed many of them at various livestock shows across Nebraska.
He planted the seed for the first reception in 2015 with fellow Hereford enthusiasts, Linda Teahon of Dunning and Terri Licking of Thedford. Other committee members now include Dixie Hoffman, Thedford, Gerri Monahan, Lincoln, Ken Stephens, Valentine, and Dale Spencer, Brewster. Their end goal is a Nebraska Hereford Heritage Museum somewhere in the Nebraska Sandhills. For now, Hereford history can be seen in the Sandhills Heritage Museum in Dunning by contacting Teahon at 308-430-0786.
The committee has two ‘flagships’ that help promote their cause. The first is a metal sculpture of a prized Hereford bull of Charles Warner of Waverly, Golden Design 14. “Arlo Bray made “GD 14”, as we call him, for the Warner family back in 1975. It was taken to numerous livestock events by Warner, and then was stored in a barn for over twenty years collecting dust and rust following Warner’s death. It took Arlo one hundred hours to build it, twenty years later, it took his son, Brad, Brad’s sister, Judy and Brad’s son, Austin, one hundred-fifty hours to restore,” stated Brown. GD 14 is the focal point for reception guests, 2015 in Thedford, 2016 in Alliance, and this year in Taylor. Committee members also take him to events across the state. This year he even caught the Total Solar Eclipse in Tryon and helped educate out of state visitors to our culture and way of life.
A painting of Brandon Bailey’s of Scottsbluff showing two Hereford bulls painted from a photo taken by Linda Teahon is the other flagship for the committee. “The two bulls, one a VanNewkirk, the other a Spencer, had belonged to dear friends, Dale and Jennie Pound of Brownlee. At their dispersal sale, another friend and neighbor, Benji Fink, bought them. I caught them under the tree and when I showed the photo to Brandon, who is an artist that is gaining in popularity and loves to use Herefords as his subjects, he asked if he could paint them. I own the original. We use them on our welcome banners, on flyers and other print materials,” explained Teahon. Adding to this year’s walk-through Hereford history, were other paintings from Bud Snidow and Tom Phillips, world renown Hereford artists whose artwork spoke volumes enhancing the breed’s appeal.
At each reception ten or so breeders or area Hereford associations are invited by the committee to set up displays showing their memorabilia then share their history with the attendees during the evening. This year’s displays included Upstream Ranch, Taylor, the Borwege family from the Red Cloud area, Morgan Ranch, Burwell, Shovel Dot Ranch, Bassett, the Central NE Hereford Association, Broken Bow, the North Central Association at Bassett, the Mousel family from Cambridge, Open Country Herefords (Richard Brown) Lincoln, and the Don Clement family from Ord.
From the first reception, the committee has chosen historical breeders that played a significant role of showcasing Herefords in Nebraska to be inducted into the Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame. “When we have a museum, we will have the halls adorned with our Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame inductees,” proclaimed Teahon. The committee from the start also knew animals had to be included in the recognition. The first was Wilbur Drybread’s former National Western champion King Husker 1962, and last year’s was Golden Real 72, bred by the Hardy Brothers of Thedford. This year’s selection was an Upstream Ranch bull, L1 Domino 72006. Paintings of these bulls have been done by Nebraska artists, adding art to the historical aspect of the future museum.
Other highlights of the evening for the 77 in attendance included a proclamation read by Dale Spencer from Governor Ricketts declaring October 21, 2017 as Hereford Day in Nebraska. It also was one of the designated sesquicentennial events celebrating Nebraska’s 150th birthday.
A beef brisket meal catered by TLC Catering of Taylor capped the evening off. Master of ceremonies was Ken Stephens, KEG Herefords of Valentine. Outside the event center, a huge inflatable Hereford bull branded with the Certified Hereford Beef logo came from the American Hereford Association office in Kansas City, Missouri, greeting the guests as they came to reconnect with friends old and new for a true Hereford family reunion.
Set your calendars and save the date for Hereford Crossroads #4 at the Mullen Community Center on the Hooker County fairgrounds on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Anyone who enjoys beef and the history that made Nebraska the beef state is welcome, whatever breed they love.