South Dakota rancher selected AHA president
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pete Atkins, Tea, S.D., was announced as the new president of the American Hereford Association (AHA) during the Annual Meeting and Conference Oct. 27 in Kansas City, Mo.
Atkins and his wife, Laura, and three sons, Scott, Craig and Paul, own and operate Atkins Herefords, Tea, S.D. Atkins was raised on a diversified cattle, hog and crop farming operation in southeastern South Dakota, where he and his family live today.
The Atkins family started collecting and reporting performance data in 1975 and have used artificial insemination (AI) since the late 1970s and embryo transfer (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. Atkins 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 25 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 Atkins’ market bulls through a bull sale each year, and host an online female sale each fall. 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.
“The Hereford breed is made up of great cattle and great people. We have tremendous momentum in the breed right now and I look forward to working together with the staff and board to continue the momentum and expand Hereford influence across the beef industry,” Atkins says. “I am truly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve this great breed and look forward to the coming year.”
Birdwell selected vice president
Selected to serve as the 2019 vice president was Joel Birdwell. Joel and his wife, Bridget, and three sons, Jarret, Judson and Jhett, currently reside in Kingfisher, Okla.
Birdwell grew up on a ranch in southwest Oklahoma, where his family homesteaded over 115 years ago. In 2002 Joel and Bridget moved to Kingfisher to help expand Bridget’s family’s farming and cattle operation.
They run approximately 2,000 head of stocker cattle annually. They also have more than 400 commercial cows and utilize a three-breed cross breeding rotation of Hereford, Angus and Charolais genetics. The family’s focus is to raise bulls and females that excel in economically important traits.
Delegates elected three new directors during the membership meeting. Craig Beran, Claflin, Kan.; Bruce Everhart, Waldron, Ind.; and Andrew Matheny, Mays Lick, Ky., will serve four-year terms on the 12-member Board.
Along with his three brothers, Beran owns and operates B&D Herefords and Angus, which consists of 800 cows. Craig has been an active member of the AHA for more than 30 years and has served as a delegate for Kansas for the past 20 years.
Everhart Herefords is a 50-year purebred operation consisting of 25 head. The operation sells bulls, steers and heifers to commercial and junior members in the Midwest. Bruce recently retired after a 40-year career in ag banking. He managed an ag banking team in the Midwest with Wells Fargo Bank. Bruce is also a board member and past president of the Indiana Hereford Association.
Matheny Herefords is a 150-head operation that began in 1990. The goal at Matheny Herefords is to produce Hereford cattle that fit the demand of its customers to perform well in both purebred and commercial operations. He is a past member of the Kentucky Hereford Association board of directors as well as a past member of the AJHA board of directors from 1985-87.
Completing their terms on the AHA Board were outgoing president Kevin Schultz, Haviland, Kan.; Jim Mickelson, Santa Rosa; Calif.; and Bob Thompson, Rolla, Mo.