Lambert Elected American Hereford Association President
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Steve Lambert, Oroville, Calif. was announced as the new president of the American Hereford Association (AHA) during the Annual Membership Meeting in Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 2.
Steve is a second-generation Hereford breeder, who was active showing cattle as a youth on the state and national levels.
“It is an exciting time to serve as AHA president,” Steve says. “We have a great Board of Directors that represents a solid cross section of the industry and the country. The breed is heading back toward larger market share and desirability. Having grown up in a Hereford family, it is important to me to see the Hereford breed return to and maintain its rightful place in the beef industry.”
Steve’s family owned and operated Creekside Ranch, which was one of the largest Hereford cattle operations in California. Today Lambert Ranch is a diversified enterprise, growing high-quality grain, hay and Hereford and Angus cattle. A Gold TPR (Total Performance Records) breeder, Lambert Ranch has bred several Dams of Distinction.
“This coming year I will strive to make Hereford a brand that is synonymous for high quality and the rancher’s choice for added profit,” Steve adds. “This will be achieved by a strong marketing campaign, dedicated staff and product placement. The breed continues to improve through genomic research and our members’ will to drive the demand for Hereford seedstock. I truly believe we are poised to be the great genetic resource we once were. We need to keep our eye on the prize so our future will be golden.”
Steve has served as a director of the California/Nevada Polled Hereford Association since 2002. In addition, he has been very active in local government and other community organizations, including serving as mayor of Paradise and being Butte County Supervisor.
Steve has three children.
Selected to serve as the 2014 AHA vice president was Eric Walker, Morrison, Tenn. Eric inherited the love of the Hereford breed from his father, Sam Walker, who was a weighmaster at the local stockyard and raised commercial Hereford cattle.
In 1981 Eric purchased his first registered Hereford, and now, 32 years later, he owns and manages a herd of 125 registered Hereford cows along with his family — wife, Rhonda; son, Cody; and a stepson, Casey.
The Walkers have utilized artificial insemination (AI) since 1982, embryo transfer (ET) since 1989 and collected ultrasound data since 1999. The farm has hosted 17 production sales since 1986, selling Walker genetics into 32 states as well as Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
The Walker cow herd utilizes approximately 500 acres of Eric’s total 1,100-acre farming operation. The remaining 600 acres are used for the production of shade and ornamental trees and shrubs that supply products for Walker Nursery Co. Eric is the sole proprietor of Walker Nursery Co., and he sells and markets his products to the landscape and retail green industry, shipping to 35 different states.
Completing their terms on the AHA Board were outgoing president Cliff Copeland, Nara Visa, N.M.; Marty Lueck, Mountain Grove, Mo.; and Dale Micheli, Ft. Bridger, Wyo.
Delegates elected three new Directors during the membership meeting. Terri Barber, Austin, Texas; Dave Bielema, Ada, Mich.; and Joe Van Newkirk, Oshkosh, Neb., will serve four-year terms on the 12-member Board.
Terri Barber, Austin, Texas, 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 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/donor prospects are sold in special sales in the spring and fall. Due to the severe drought in their area, they have enlisted cooperator herds to take advantage of raising more embryo calves, thereby increasing the number and quality of cattle produced. To increase marketing efforts, the Barbers also exhibit at the national shows.
Along with assisting on the ranch as time permits, since 2007 Terri has worked 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.
Michigan Hereford breeder Dave Bielema got his start in the Hereford business when his daughters began showing 4-H cattle.
Today, Grand Meadows Farm, Ada, has grown to 50 registered Hereford spring calving cows along with a dozen fall-calving recipient cows. A family operation, with no outside help, the Bielemas transfer about 30 embryos per year and have a strong AI program.
In 2009 Dave started Great Lakes Hereford Beef (GLHB) to pool Michigan Hereford-influenced feeder calves and to provide price support by selling cattle to feedlots on a grid and to offer an entry point for Michigan cattle into the Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) program. GLHB purchases the feeder calves from local breeders, and after a short backgrounding period, the cattle are hauled to a Kansas feedlot. GLHB retains half ownership and at harvest collects carcass data, which is provided back to the breeders.
The Bielemas also have a produce farm that direct markets locally grown produce to more than 100 customers.
Dave is a member, as well as a previous board member, of the Michigan Hereford Association. He is also currently serving on the AHA online systems development test committee.
Along with managing the farm-related businesses, Dave is an orthopaedic surgeon and a partner in Orthopaedic Ventures LLC. He is and has been a member of various hospital and orthopaedic boards and committees.
Dave and his wife, Jill, have three daughters — Lindsay (Gandy), Kara (Loney) and Kristin. All three daughters have been active in the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA). Kristin, his youngest daughter, is currently serving on the NJHA board. Jill just retired from serving on the National Hereford Women board.
Joe Van Newkirk
Nebraska Hereford breeder Joe Van Newkirk, Oshkosh, Neb., has been involved in the Hereford business his entire life. The ranch was established in 1892 by Joe’s grandfather, L.D. Van Newkirk. Joe’s father, A.J., started the registered operation in the 1940s.
Van Newkirk Herefords is managed much like most commercial ranching operations in the Nebraska Sandhills. The cow herd grazes Sandhills’ grass and crop residues nine months a year. The calves are weaned and wintered on the ranch.
Sale bulls are summered on grass and offered for sale at the Van Newkirks’ annual bull sale in January. The Van Newkirk family calves out approximately 450 registered Hereford cows each spring. They usually raise enough feed along the North Platte River to sustain the cow herd and calves.
They have used AI since the early ’70s, using predominately their own herd sires’ semen. To ensure accurate comparison between cows, the Van Newkirks have never creep fed their calves. Complete performance and ultrasound data are taken on each calf crop.
This year will be their 41st annual sale. They will be selling 120 2-year-old bulls, 50 yearling bulls and about 100 heifer calves. Most of the sale bulls and heifers are sold to area commercial ranches.
Joe’s objective in his breeding program is to raise practical cattle that will thrive in their climate — cattle with substance and good-doing ability to handle the extreme weather swings of western Nebraska.
He is a member of the Nebraska Hereford Association (NHA) and served on the NHA board in the 1980s. He is also a member of the Sandhills Cattle Association and the Nebraska Cattlemen.
Joe and his wife, Cyndi, have three grown children.
The American Hereford Association, with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the largest U.S. beef breed associations. The not-for-profit organization along with its subsidiaries — Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC, Hereford Publications Inc. (HPI) and American Beef Records Association (ABRA) — provides programs and services for its members and their customers, while promoting the Hereford breed and supporting education, youth and research. For more information about the Association, visit Hereford.org.
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