Van Newkirk Herefords named Seedstock Producer of Year by Beef Improvement Federation

The Beef Improvement Federation presented Van Newkirk Herefords, Oshkosh, Nebraska, the BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year Award during the group’s recent annual meeting and symposium in Loveland, Colorado. This national award is presented annually to a producer to recognize their dedication to improving the beef industry at the seedstock level.

Van Newkirk Herefords is a family-owned ranching operation dating back to 1892, when Lorenzo Van Newkirk started mating Hereford bulls to his Longhorn cows. In 1942, A.J. (Bud) Van Newkirk started the operation’s registered Hereford herd.

Today, the ranch is operated by the third and fourth generations. Joe and his wife, Cyndi; son, Kolby and wife, Meg, and grandsons, Barrett and Sloan; son, Nick; and daughter, Sara; along with longtime hired man Travis Kezar are passionate about breeding quality Hereford genetics.

The ranch’s herd has grown from the original five registered cows to 600 registered cows today. Center pivots and efficient use of surface irrigation have been utilized, making it possible for the Van Newkirks to produce 90 percent of their winter feed supply. Summer grazing is on native Sandhills pasture.

The Van Newkirk family is committed to gathering accurate and timely performance data. For more than 45 years, performance testing has been a high priority, and continues to evolve with technology. Individual weighing of calves started in 1969, and in the 1980s they began collecting ultrasound data. Since then cull heifers and steers have been fed out and feedlot and carcass data gathered. In the 1990s, they implemented genetic testing.

The Van Newkirk family is passionate about improving Hereford genetics and strive to strengthen the beef industry by offering superior genetics, utilizing sustainable management practices and being good environmental stewards.

The Van Newkirks will host their 46th annual sale on January 21, 2019, selling 210 bulls and 260 heifers. Demand has grown over the years, and the Van Newkirks attribute the success of their operation to repeat customers.