Mrnaks inducted into Hereford HOF |

Mrnaks inducted into Hereford HOF

Marlene and the late Jim Mrnak, Bowman, N.D., were inducted into the Hereford Hall of Fame Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Pictured (l to r) are: Joe Van Newkirk, AHA Board member, Oshkosh, Neb.; Eric Walker, 2015 AHA president, Morrison, Tenn.; Andy Mrnak, Bowman, N.D.; Carla Coplan, Watertown, S.D.; Terry, Marlene and Wayne Mrnak, Bowman, N.D.; Connie Hurlbut, Sturgis, S.D.; Robyn Mrnak , Bowman, N.D.; Loren Mrnak, Whitmore Calif.; and Sam Shaw, 2016 AHA president. Photo courtesy AHA

Marlene and the late Jim Mrnak, Bowman, North Dakota, were inducted into the Hereford Hall of Fame Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Marlene was recognized at the Hereford Honoree Reception during the American Hereford Association (AHA) Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Mo. The Hall of Fame honor annually recognizes breeders who’ve dynamically influenced the direction and advancement of the Hereford breed.

Jim, who passed away in 2010, dedicated his whole life to the Hereford breed. He and Marlene were married for 57 years and raised their five children in the Hereford business.

Jim was born on the family ranch near Bowman. After graduating from high school he purchased five registered Hereford heifers and began to realize his dream of being a Hereford breeder. He also raised wheat, barley, oats, corn and alfalfa. Jim and Marlene married in 1953 and they made their life together breeding and selling Hereford cattle.

Mrnak Herefords embraced technology along the way. They enrolled in performance testing programs, used artificial insemination and embryo transfer.

Each February for the past 47 years, Mrnak Herefords has hosted a bull sale and has been successful in the showring as well. At the National Western Stock Show in Denver, the Mrnaks exhibited the champion Hereford female in both 2001 and 2003.

But possibly the couple’s biggest accomplishment has been raising their children —Connie, Wayne, Terry, Loren and Carla — with a love for the breed. Each has stayed involved in the cattle business. Wayne and Terry, along with Marlene, operate the original ranch at Bowman. Loren owns and operates Mrnak Herefords West in Nevada and California. Connie and her husband have a Hereford-based commercial operation and Carla and her husband ranch in South Dakota.

The entire Mrnak family is involved, led by Jim and Marlene’s example. Roger Stuber of nearby Stuber Ranch recommended them for this honor. He said, “They have both given their leadership skills and advice to the Hereford industry in many ways. County and state fairs, many Hereford tours, state and national leadership, along with many other endeavors. Both have given time and support to many other local and state activities.”

Fellow Hereford breeder Bill Bennett summarized their stamp on the Hereford breed nicely in his recommendation letter. He said, “The Mrnaks epitomize the quintessential Hereford cattle family. Jim and Marlene have dedicated their entire lives to the betterment of the Hereford breed. Their cattle have always been distinctive competitors within any arena the Mrnaks have chosen to place them.”

–American Hereford Association