KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2022 Herdsman of the Year will be announced at the Cattlemen’s Congress, Jan. 8. The winner will be recognized during the selection of the champion Hereford females.
Each email that submitted entries for the Keystone International Livestock Expo, American Royal, North American International Livestock Expo, Western States Hereford Show, Cattlemen’s Congress and Ft. Worth will receive an email with a unique login and password to place a vote on the 2022 Herdsman of the Year. One vote per email will be allowed, and votes must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., Jan. 7. Please submit your votes early.
Thank you to this year’s Hereford Herdsman selection committee: Bobby Singleton, chairman; Eric Eldridge, Colyer Herefords; Robyn Kelley Samsel, Barber Ranch; and Alyssa Copeland, Copeland and Sons Herefords.
This year’s nominees are Brad and Dawn Gohr, Jeff Koch, Ty Krebs, Richie Oakes and Jacob Wolfrey. Learn more about each of the nominees below.
Brad and Dawn Gohr, Gohr Cattle
Brad and Dawn Gohr, Madras, Ore., own and operate Gohr Cattle, a 150- head purebred Hereford, Angus and Simmental ranch. The lifelong cattle breeders host an annual female sale and market 30-40 bulls private treaty each year.
Both Brad and Dawn studied animal science at Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon State University, where they were teammates on the livestock judging team.
The couple added Hereford cattle 10 years ago to diversify their operation and their bull offering. They quickly came to appreciate Hereford cattle and the Hereford community.
In that time, the Gohrs exhibited multiple national champions and bred a national show heifer of the year sired by one of their bulls. Their children, Fallon and Gunnar, have been top 10 in showmanship at the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) many times. As juniors, Brad and Dawn also competed nationally. Brad won showmanship at the Simmental junior nationals, and Dawn was third at the Angus junior nationals.
The Gohrs’ roots run deep in purebred cattle. Their goal is to continue improving and expand their market footprint beyond the West Coast, while providing personal customer service. Brad and Dawn want to help others find the success they have enjoyed.
Jeff Koch, ShowTime Cattle Company
Jeff Koch and his fiancée, Jill Blake, operate ShowTime Cattle Co., Mooreland, Ind. Jeff is involved with all aspects of the cattle business from daily chores and breeding decisions to marketing cattle and providing customer service. He runs 75 head of his own cattle and custom feeds 200. He utilizes reverse-sort in vitro fertilization (IVF) and meticulously studies pedigrees to help create cattle that are competitive in the showring, yet productive in the pasture.
Jeff attended Purdue University before returning to his family’s Hereford operation. He exhibited his first Hereford at 6 years old. As a junior member, he attended JNHE each year, and in 2003, Jeff was named the Herdsman of the Year at JNHE. Since then, he has bred, raised and sold many national champions and several show heifers of the year, as well as been named premier breeder and premier exhibitor.
Jeff enjoys the opportunity to engage, educate and empower his customers. He provides top-notch customer service along with educational sessions, which include animal nutrition, showmanship, hair care and fitting.
Like the many great role models and mentors Jeff has had, he hopes he can help build the Hereford youth and future leaders of the industry.
Ty Krebs, Krebs Ranch and Krebs Cattle Co.
Ty Krebs of Gordon, Neb., oversees all aspects of his cattle operations — Krebs Ranch and Krebs Cattle Co. — with his wife, Kaleigh, and his children, Sage, Kynsleigh and Kashlyn. The family runs approximately 700 registered cows and markets bulls through their annual bull sales each February and November. They also market cattle and frozen genetics in other regional and national sales. His children attend 12 to 15 shows annually.
Ty judged livestock in junior college before transferring to Oklahoma State University where he worked in the Purebred Beef Unit with show and sale cattle and on the range with the cowherd overseen by Cindy Pribil and Joel Birdwell. While in college, he was able to get experience working at national shows and sales.
Ty’s children reintroduced Hereford cattle to the Krebs family’s operation. Ty’s great grandfather ran the family’s first Hereford cattle. Ty and his family continued this tradition and purchased Hereford females in 2011. Since then, the family has continued to acquire top females from around the country.
He considers himself fortunate to help his kids earn several regional and national championships over the years. Ty hopes to leave the operations and the breed in better position for the next generation to be successful and enjoy.
Richie Oakes, Vanderwork Herefords
Richie Oakes, Taloga, Okla., owns and manages Vanderwork Herefords with his wife, Marylu. Richie oversees sire selection and artificial insemination (AI), and he also manages the show string. Previously, he and Marylu also ran a cattle fitting service and exhibited nationwide.
Richie graduated from the agricultural education program at Oklahoma State University, where he was a member of the livestock judging team. As a former agriculture teacher in Yukon and Clinton, Okla., Richie has always had a passion for preparing cattle for the showring and youth for life. Richie also involves himself with many aspects of national and Oklahoma cattle shows. For the last 20 years, Richie has been the beef superintendent for the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE). He has also been the general livestock superintendent for the Oklahoma State Fair and the steer superintendent for Cattlemen’s Congress.
Richie is the president of the Oklahoma Hereford Association (OHA). He has raised the national American Hereford Association national show bull of the year, was named OHA breeder of the year twice, was named the OYE show honoree by the Sirloin Club of Oklahoma, and is a past president of the Oklahoma Angus Association. Richie has also judged numerous national shows.
He hopes to keep building, fitting and grooming better cattle each year.
Jacob Wolfrey, Grimmel Girls Show Cattle
Jacob Wolfrey of Jarrettsville, Md., owns and operates Grimmel Girls Show Cattle with his wife, Michelle, son, Andrew, and sister-in-law, Melissa Grimmel Schaake.
His love for cattle started at a young age as he grew up raising and showing Angus. He went on to assist many large operations at national shows across North America before joining Grimmel Girls in 2010.
The Grimmel operation utilizes intensive AI, embryo transfer (ET), and IVF programs in both their Maryland and Kansas locations, where they focus on cattle that perform in the show ring and in production. They have sold cattle and genetics to customers in more than 25 states and several Canadian provinces, with their sale being one of the highest averaging Hereford online heifer sales in the country.
Jacob is extremely gifted when it comes to cattle selection, management, fitting and clipping. He has led the Grimmel Girls program to win numerous national titles, including the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), North American International Livestock Expo, JNHE, Keystone International Livestock Expo, and, most notably, the 2016 NWSS grand champion polled female, along with several show heifer and show bull of the year awards.
Jacob enjoys working one-on-one with customers by sharing his knowledge and talents to provide them with a superior experience. His dedication and passion for the Hereford breed is what sets him apart.
–American Hereford Association