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For the love of Herefords

By Terri Licking
for The Fence Post

CRAWFORD, Neb. — Oct. 10, 2020 will be tattooed in the memories of the approximately 100 in attendance in the Crawford Community Center as being a great evening of meeting new and old friends to celebrate all things Hereford.

The night was a joint celebration for Hereford Crossroads #6, (HC#6) hosted by the Nebraskans for Hereford Heritage (N4HH) and the Crawford Hereford Breeders (CHB) 100th anniversary.

The first HC event was held 2015 in Thedford and was organized by six Hereford enthusiasts to help preserve the history of the breed that made Nebraska the Beef State. Two years ago, in 2018, the group obtained their 501©3 status under their new moniker, Nebraskans for Hereford Heritage.

Held annually in October, the other host communities were 2016 in Alliance, 2017 in Taylor, 2018 in Mullen, and 2019 in Broken Bow. Attendance at the first event in Thedford has never been beat, but last year and this year, each venue had 100 plus, if you count the cooks.

Linda (Clouse) Teahon, daughter of prominent Hereford seedstock producers Donal and Pauline Clouse of Purdum and charter member of the N4HH lived in Chadron prior to returning to her roots in Blaine County where she now calls Dunning home, oversaw the planning in conjunction with members of the Crawford Hereford Breeders. They had come to her prior to last year’s event in Broken Bow with the idea for a joint celebration at Crawford in 2020. “Crawford Hereford Breeders was the oldest regional Hereford association in the state. It began in 1920 and due to the age of members, we are no longer active, but maintain a bank account that assists our youth with scholarships and activities such as this, “ said Tom Lemmon, who with his brother Lon and their wives, Emily and Carolyn respectively worked closely with Teahon in making it another great ”Hereford Family Reunion,“ which was coined by someone at the first Hereford Crossroads.

The success of any event is made possible by the sponsors the committee obtained. “We could not have done it without their support, especially from Kerri Rempp, director of Discover Northwest Nebraska, who wrote the promo article and submitted it to a wide array of media,” Teahon said. Businesses in the communities of Harrison, Chadron, Hemingford and Crawford contributed financially or with door prizes and included Farmer’s State Bank, 1st National Banks, Security 1st Banks, Krieder Insurance Agency, Westco, Herrons True Value, Crawford Chamber of Commerce, Mobius, Crawford Livestock Market, Pine Ridge Service Center, Heritage Seed, White River Feed, and Sandhills State Bank. Upper Niobrara White NRD donated 50 seedlings as a door prize. Promotional monies were received through a grant from Dawes County Travel Board, a member of Discover Northwest Nebraska.

The roast beef meal was catered by Peggy Fox, cook for the weekly sales at the Crawford Livestock Market with help from husband, Jim and Dawes Co. 4-Hers. Crawford FFA members also assisted throughout the evening in serving refreshments and cleaning up after. The cash bar was run by the Legends of the Bluffs Golf course members. The Crawford Hereford Breeders gave financial donations to both youth organizations as an appreciation for their help.

Adding to the fun. Teahon had commissioned Marge Morava, Crawford, to make several centerpieces with a Hereford figurine by a simulated hay bale. The names of the figurines all began with H, and a representative from each table had to get up and concoct a genetic history of that animal, then the centerpieces were auctioned off by JD Smith, Crawford auctioneer, bringing raucous laughter from the crowd. Also auctioned off were two wine koozies made by Linda Lacy of CaLinda’s Pot Shop and Art Gallery, Ashby. One had a polled Hereford bull and the other a horned Hereford bull with both the date and CHB, N4HH, the acronyms of the hosts. Top items though were made by seventh grader Bailey Sellman, Chadron, with help from mom Jodi. Bailey made Hereford wooden planters. Her original was entered in the Dawes County fair, after which she was commissioned to make two for the Hereford celebration. N4HH treasurer, Dixie Hoffman, Thedford was the successful bidder on both, going well over $100 for each. “If I had not gotten them that night, she had agreed to make me a couple,” Hoffman said. Sellmans might have diversified their ranching business, as by night’s end, they were asked to make others, and were asked if even a horse could be made.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts wrote two proclamations for the evening that were read by State Sen. Tom Brewer of the 43rd district. The first declared Oct. 10 as Hereford Day in Nebraska, and the second congratulated Crawford Hereford Breeders on their 100th anniversary. That proclamation was accepted by Randy Tipton, last president of the CHB and he gave it to Teahon for display at the Sandhills Heritage Museum in Dunning, which is home to Blaine County history and Hereford memorabilia that has been gathered by N4HH for the last five years. “Our long-range goal is a museum of our own dedicated to our favorite cattle breed,” Teahon said.

At every HC, area breeders are invited to display their family’s Hereford history. Those having displays included E.H. ‘Bud’ Scott Purebred Herefords, V.C. Kennedy Hereford Ranch, P.L Raben Ranch, Hawthorn Ranch. CHB also had some of their history of the past century.

From the very first Hereford Crossroads, the members also initiated Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame, inducting prominent Nebraskans that had a rich history with the breed, as well as prominent herd sires that contributed long lasting genetics that have enhanced the breed over the years. This year one individual, two of his herd sires and for the first time ever, an association were the 2020 inductees.

2020 Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame inductees include Ed Belsky, who began life in Verdigree, Neb., on March 28, 1853. He married Lilla Micheed on Oct. 10, 1910. The couple had one son and two daughters.

Belsky and his family first ranched near Wood Lake from 1905 to 1913, then near Eli from 1913 to 1926. In 1926, the family moved near Merriman, where they raised 200 head of Herefords on the Pioneer Hereford Ranch. Belsky was the University of Nebraska Lincoln Block and Bridle honoree in 1956 for his dedication to the enhancement of Herefords and commercial cattle, and the encouragement of youth. He was active in many organizations, including secretary of the Northwest Nebraska Hereford Breeders Association and helped organize the Sandhills Cattle Association. He was a member of Arcana Lodge AF and AM and was active in the Nebraska Stock Growers, which in 1954 gave him the Award of Merit. He passed away on April 14, 1974, and 20 years later was posthumously selected to the Honor Gallery of the Hereford Heritage Gallery in Kansas City.

Two of Belsky’s prized herd sires were immortalized by a painting by Jack Sampson, Jr. of Alliance. The foundation sires of Belsky’s herd were Battle Mischief 7 and Pioneer. The original painting hangs at the Gordon Livestock Market. Teahon, a professional photographer, was granted permission to photograph the bulls and had them placed on metal, making seven renditions of herd sires in the Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame.

Since this was the 100th anniversary of the Crawford Hereford Breeders — the last hurrah so to speak — after years of hosting sales and shows and being the oldest regional Hereford association in the state, N4HH members voted unanimously to induct the Crawford Hereford Breeders into the Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame. The poster that will join the others, has a copy of the proclamation as well as photos from their rich history. A photo not on the poster, obtained after the poster went to print, but well documented, included the CHB assisting their area’s 4-H youth in hosting an All Hereford Show in Ardmore, S.D., in 1927 for President Calvin Coolidge.

The night concluded with Teahon announcing the location for Hereford Crossroads #7 to be in Bassett, Neb., on Oct. 9, 2021. If you would like to help Nebraskans for Hereford Heritage in their mission ‘to preserve Nebraska’s Hereford Heritage for future generations’, contributions can be sent to Hereford Crossroads, c/o Dixie Hoffman, POB 192, Thedford, NE 69166. For individual contributions of $50, you will receive lifetime membership into Nebraskans for Hereford Heritage. Families or ranches can have a lifetime membership for $250. All proceeds help fund the yearly celebrations and are seed money for their museum.


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