Buckeye Hereford Association

The History of the Buckeye Hereford Association

By William H. Nolan

Updated by Leesa Beanblossom

The Buckeye Polled Hereford Association was born in 1943. It was the child of necessity which, coupled with sound organizational management, grew at a rate seldom witnessed in breed organizations.

In September 1943 an all Polled Hereford dispersal sale winding up the J. W. Williams Estate had proven to be very successful. After this success, there were several progressive Polled Hereford breeders who, wanting to develop a market, realized that it could be possible to do so through a cooperative breeder sale. The first meeting was held in Zanesville in October 1943, having been called by T. W. McGovern of McConnelsville, Ohio with some 18 breeders present.

Since the majority of the breeders came from the southeastern portion of the state, a question was posed as to whether this organization should be of several counties in that area or if possibly it wouldn’t be wise to take in the entire state. The name Buckeye Polled Hereford Association was adopted to signify statewide coverage but in a short period of time members were joining from all of the surrounding states.

In addition to Mr. McGovern, the first vice president was J. C. Thompson, Lore City, Ohio and the secretary-treasurer was R. L. Siler of Zanesville. The Board of Directors consisted of S. L. Bliss, Chandlersville; Harry R. Blume, Sugar Grove; Claire Finley, Crooksville; George H. Wilking, Zanesville; and H. Dana Williams, Wilmington.

Things move rapidly for on Friday, April 28, 1944, Ohio’s first Polled Hereford Breeders Sale was held at the B&O Railroad Yards, Zanesville, Ohio. There was a show with L. P. McCann as judge, Earl Gartin was the auctioneer and Don Chittenden was on hand representing the Hereford Journal. Don later served as secretary of the American Polled Hereford Association for many years. By this time there were 45 members and the consignor’s list totaled 20 firms with 63 head of cattle being sold in the first sale. On the back cover of the first sale catalog the following paragraph appears, which is quite interesting and informative: “Facts about Polled (Hornless) Herefords not generally known. The American Polled Hereford Breeder’s Association was organized in 1907 and in that same year Polled Rupert No. 88 was brought to Southeastern Ohio. Mated to registered Horned Herefords; 60% of the offspring was polled. Naturally local breeders became interested and started using Polled bulls. From this southeastern section of Ohio, Polled Herefords have gone to the Hawaiian Islands, Cuba, Australia and to many states. With his background, it is believed those wanting Polled (Hornless) Herefords should know they are available from dependable breeders in Ohio and adjoining states. Polled Herefords for many generations of Polled blood on both sides back of them, and with these thoughts in mind the breeders have organized the Buckeye Polled Hereford Association, and herein is the first offering in Ohio’s Finest Polled Hereford Sale, by the breeders whose names and addresses are listed inside.”

In addition to the aforementioned officers and directors some of the members appearing in the First Sale Catalog were: Bentley Brothers, Sabina; Dr. Charles E. Vidt, Blue Crystal Farm, Hilliards; A. L. Carter and Sons, Zanesville; J. L. Delarber, Defiance; Don Finley, Malta; A. Goff and Sons, Washburn, WV; H. E. Herron and Sons, Chandlersville; Ora and Chester Kline, Osborn; Hugh M. Lynch, Chillicothe; John and Frank Nelson, Crooksville; Howard Rex, Blue Rock; Curt Richardson and John Rutledge, both of McConnelsville; Edwin Schafer, Aid; Paul Shaw, Zanesville; Garfield Watson and Son, Sarahsville; S. E. Ward and Son, Lisbon and Forest Weinrich, Logan.

The second sale was held a year later at the Muskingum County Fairgrounds, Zanesville, Ohio during which 96 head were cataloged – a show with Don W. Chittenden, Eastern Representative, American Hereford Association, as judge. The American Polled Hereford Association was represented by B. O. Gammon, Secretary.

By the time the third annual Spring Sale had rolled around in 1946, membership was up to 102 members and it became necessary to also have Fall Shows and Sales.

The rapid development and importance of this area was recognized when in 1946 an Eastern National Show and Sale was held in Columbus, Ohio – a big three day affair with 300 head of Polled Herefords from 33 herds representing 15 states vying for $5,000 premium funds.

The following have served as President of the Buckeye Polled Hereford Association since its inception. In addition to Mr. McGovern in 1944, there followed in 1945 George H. Wilking, Zanesville; in 1946 H. C. Goff, Cincinnati; in 1947 H. Dana Williams, Wilmington; in 1948 Robert L. Siler, Zanesville; in 1949 H. W. Helwig, Canton; in 1950 John W. Nelson, McConnelsville; in 1951 and 1952 William H. Nolan, Chillicothe; in 1953 and 1954 Fred W. Schlichter, Hamilton; in 1955 and 1956 C. E. Knowlton, Bellefontaine; 1957 A. C. Hunsinger, Mt. Eaton; 1958, 1959, and 1960 C. E. Knowlton; 1961 A. C. Hunsinger; 1962 and 1963 William H. Nolan and 1964 C. E. Knowlton. From that time the following have served, and in some instances, more than one term: Noel Hartfield, Horace Karr, Dr. David Ayres, James Hoerner, Howard Thomsen, Jack Myers, Jerry Ballard, Robert Morrison, Conard Stitzlein, Hugh Earnhart, Doug Banks, Robert Wise, Charles Cole, Robert Morrison, William H. Nolan, Doug Banks, Keith Kauffman, Joe Zupan, Tom Morrison, Billy Joe Armstrong, Gene Kiko, Ric Lahmers, Ralph Ullman, Earl Arnholt, Richard Cope, Jeff Jordan,  Jim Herman, Jerry Berg, Gerald Flatter, Chris Helsinger, John Ostgaard, Scott Pennell, Rick VanFleet, Marsha Farno and Dr. Tim Osborn.

The Buckeye Polled Hereford Association has been particularly blessed with a roster of outstanding and dedicated secretaries. They are Robert L. Siler, John W. Nelson, Charles Gander, Guy H. Finley, Lorin G. Sanford, Lloyd Arnett, Carl Birney, Mike Bishop, Connie Peak, Pat Ballard, Sandie Engle, Connie Vance, Leesa Beanblossom and Lisa Finnegan Keets. The Buckeye Polled Hereford Association has been most capably represented on the American Polled Hereford Association Board of Directors by Hugh M. Lynch, Chillicothe, Vice President and Director 1943-1945; Adna R. Johnson, Clarksville, President and Director 1950-1952; C. E. Knowlton, Bellefontaine, Paul Deer, Springfield and Bob Morrison, Lexington for the American Hereford Association

In 1954, the National Show and Sale was held in Columbus, Ohio at the Ohio State Fairgrounds with a $10,000 premium fund. From that time on a Buckeye Eastern National has been held in Springfield, Ohio with at $5,000 premium fund, and it became known as “The Little National” because so many winners at this show went on to win at the National.

As to how good Buckeye Polled Hereford cattle are, we respectfully submit two instances of excellence. At the National in 1958, Buckeye members captured 13 of 20 blues and in 1951, three of four National Champions were shown by members of the Buckeye Polled Hereford Association. They were Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Knowlton, Champion Female; Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Haberer, New Lebanon, Reserve Champion Bull and Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Hunslinger, Reserve Champion Female.

In 1962, at the National held in Jackson, Miss., Buckeye member Leon Falk, Jr., Schellsburg, Pa., was the Premier Breeder and Exhibitor. In 1963, the following Buckeye Polled Hereford Association members stood high at the National held in Indianapolis, Ind.: Floyd Ballard and Son, Nashport, Ohio; Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.; John Watson, Sarahsville, Ohio; Mrs. Mary K. Sprague, Springfield Ohio, and Falklands Farms, Schellsburg, Pa. The winnings included Champion Bull, The New Breeder Award, and many firsts.

The Buckeye Junior Polled Hereford Association was founded in 1962 and Carl Haines was the first President. This energetic group has been a real asset in our state and represents Polled Herefords in a positive manner. The name of the association was changed in 2000 to Ohio Buckeye Herefords Association. Hazel Pinkley and Bob Crites were Junior advisors from 1985-1993. Lynn and Karen Holley were Junior advisors from 1993-1995. Jeff and Jill Hiltner were Junior advisors in 1996. Paul and Marsha Farno were the advisors from 1997-2001. More recent advisors were Jay and Becky Reed, Kym and Gene Steiner, Collin and Jessica Helsinger, Shelley Peak, Sarah and Leeasa Beanblossom.  Currently Karen Holley, Chris and Sarah Helsinger along with Betsy Pitstick are serving as the current advisors. 

The Buckeye Poll-ettes was formed by Helen Hartfield. It has been a very active membership and their accomplishments are numerous and effective. Since their formation in 1967, the following ladies have served the Buckeye Poll-ettes as President: Helen Hartfield, Edith Miller, Phyllis Bidlack, Ruby Dixon, Carol Culp, Erma Riley, Carol Smith, Lurline Smith, Karen Morrison, Kay Fiebiger, Charleen Campbell, Marsha Farno, Linda Helmke, Ann Kiester, Nancy Houser, Kym Cooper, Marsha Farno, Marie Bishop, Nikki Morrison, Shelley Peak, Tammy Herman, Lisa Levering, Karen Morrison, Lois Picklesimer, Mary Ann Berg, Denise Billman, Sandy Ostgaard, and Erika Evoniuk.

The Buckeye Scholarship Program assists a deserving Animal Science major at the Ohio State University each year. Our first recipient was John Phillips. John was associated with the Polled Hereford World for many years.

Recognized breeders who have outstanding contributions toward the development of Polled Herefords in the Ohio region and have served the Buckeye Polled Hereford Association enthusiastically are named to the Buckeye Hall of Honor: C. E. Knowlton, Bellefontaine; Paul Deer, Springfield; William H. Nolan, Chillicothe; Clyde Banbury, Danville; Paul Hurm, Hamilton; James Hoerner, Owford; Dana Williams, Wilmington; Jerry Ballard, Nashport; Claude and Denver Goff, Harrisville, WV; Frank Nelson, Crooksville; Robert Siler, Zanesville; John Nelson, Malta; James Hupman, Greenville; Robert Morrison, Lexington; Conard Stitzlein, Glenmont; Bill Bidlack, Oakwood; Lorin Sanford, Caldwell; Ernie Smith, APHA Member Service Director, Bob Crites and Hazel Pinkley, Wooster; Helen Hartfield, Johnstown; Joe Zupan, Jeromesville; Gene Kiko, Magnolia and Ullman Farms, Graysville and Rinard Mills; Paul Malina, Springfield; Bob and Marge Larson, Hamilton, Cecil Jordan, Dresden; Doug and Jane Banks, Hamilton; Dr. Norman Starr, Mason, Flatter Herefords, Yellow Springs, John & Elinor Adams,Springfield, Jay & Lois Picklesimer, Pleasantville, Dr. Earl & Cynthia Arnholt, Valley City, Jim & Beth Herman, Edgerton, Brenda & Jerry Merry, Caldwell, Steve & Leesa Beanblossom, Bradford, Jerry & Mary Ann Berg, Dalton, Jim & Rick Starr, Washington Court House, Paul & Marsha Farno, Eaton, Jeff & Jane Johnson, Navarre, and Reb & Denise Billman, Newcomerstown, Turner Herefords, Clarington, Rick VanFleet, Sarahsville, John and Sandy Ostgaard Family of Dayton and Liz Core, Rushsylvania.

The 45th National Polled Hereford Show and Sale was held in Columbus, Ohio, in December of 1967. It was a tremendous success. The Buckeye Association had prepared for this event for a period of five years. Hospitality, good crowds and exceptional cattle have never been surpassed at the National.

All Buckeye members are represented at the various shows, sales and events held in the state, region, and nation by our charming Queen and Princess. These lovely young ladies always make us proud because they reflect the spirit and enthusiasm of our State and our breed. This fine program has been serving the Buckeye Association for over 25 years. In recent years Heather Lawyer, Beth Shoff, Hillary Amos, Vicki Vance, Stephanie Ernst, Lauren Gibson, Brandi Herman and Erika Ostgaard have served as Buckeye Queens while Beth Shoff, Vicki Vance, Mary Beth Martin, Amanda Gray, Brooke Steiner, Katie Kelch, Paige Morrison, Denelle Billman and Jillian Adams were Princesses.

The APHA Standard of Perfection show held in Columbus in 1981 honored Paul Deer of Springfield while the 1993 show honored Bill Nolan of Chillicothe.

We all take great pride in the rich heritage that has come to us in a relatively short period of time. Certainly the pioneers of the Buckeye were sound in their principles and enthusiastic about the future. They set their sights high and all have served well. The members of the Buckeye feel that with our great Polled Hereford cattle, our fine spirit of cooperation and our great faith in each other we will continue to accomplish the very goals for which the Association was born.