Marion Meno (ctr.) and her two daughters, Peg Stanczak (left) and Barbara Henry (right) accepting Hall of Fame Recognition for Marion, her father J.R Henderson and her grandfather J.B. Henderson.
CDC North Central Director Jeff Poynter presenting Mrs. Jayne Grant with the Hall of Fame recognition for her husband, Donald A. Grant.
Marion Henderson Meno
Marion Meno, Hudson, IA served as the Continental Dorset Club’s Secretary from 1974-1998. A great limb on the family tree, Marion grew up in the Dorset office making Marion a natural to continue the family tradition of being a great Dorset breed secretary and promoter.
The job became bigger and tougher with ever increasing registrations and transfers as they topped out during her tenure in 1990 with 19,531 head registered and 12,620 transferred. She managed with the same integrity and attention to detail that was demanded.
Marion carried the association through its very special 100th Year Centennial Celebration during 1998 and assisted with the development of the “History of the Continental Dorset Club and Dorset Sheep” book, which remains an important part of the Dorset sheep story here in the United States.
Marion’s attendance at shows and sales across the country was always a bright spot. A true Dorset icon.
James J. Meno
Jim, originally from Carlinville, IL, bred Dorset sheep from 1950 to 1979. He was on the CDC Board of Directors for 7 years and served as President from 1963-1964. Jim went to college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL where he graduated in Animal Science and as a student there Jim managed the university farms. When Jim and Marion relocated to Hudson, IA in 1972, he served as the Area Extension Livestock Specialist for Iowa State University. Jim loved agriculture, livestock and teaching, which he did expertly for many years. He took pride in teaching young boys into becoming farming men.
Jim’s Dorset breeding program produced the champion ewe “Lady Bird”, at the Chicago show in 1963 and had many other numerous champions at other state fairs, shows and sales including the Illinois Dorset Sale, the Ohio Dorset Sale, the Oklahoma Black & White Sale and the Midwest Stud Ram Sale.
He was also a judge at numerous major livestock shows across the United States. He was dedicated to the Dorset breed and sheep were a big part of his life. He was a perfectionist that set high standards for all that he knew.
Accepting the honor for Jim was his wife Marion and daughters Peg Stanczak and Barb Henry, who made the trip from California.
Donald A. Grant
Don was the person most responsible for the development and long life of the University of Connecticut’s Dorset flock. Don was a native of Wethersfield and graduated from the University of Connecticut around 1950. He was employed as Livestock Superintendent, overseeing the Morgan Horses, Yorkshire Swine and Hereford and Angus cattle as well as the Dorset, Shropshire and Southdown sheep. While he enjoyed working with all the species, the sheep were his favorite.
Don developed the Polled Dorset flock from a homed base using polled rams from North Carolina State and Oklahoma State. The most influential early stud ram however, was Mills 155, purchased from the Taunton Hill flock. Don purchased a Warren Brannon ram at the 1969 Eastern Stud Ram Sale and later Steve Myers and Stony Point rams were used to maintain the quality of the flock. The UConn Dorset sheep were always successful in competition in New England and in the late 60’s and through the 70’s won multiple championships at the Eastern Stud Ram Sale, Keystone and New England Sales as well as the Midwest Sale. They were also the sheep to beat at Eastern States and the Keystone International and when the North American Livestock Exposition opened they showed there competitively through the 80’s. Later, after Don’s retirement, the emphasis on purebred sheep was greatly reduced at UConn and valuable genetics were lost to the breed.
Don Grant was by nature a teacher and many people of various ages learned from him and benefited from his knowledge. He was open minded, patient and allowed other people to follow their own ideas. While Don’s job was to oversee the herds and flocks of livestock at UConn he was actively involved in sheep extension and was instrumental in the development of Friday night extension meetings that drew people from four New England states and ran for a number of years.
Don worked closely with the New England Sale for years. He also was President of the New England Sheep and Wool Producers and developed a yearly market lamb sale held each fall in the Stock Pavilion at UConn to allow youth to sell their lambs at a fair price. Don and his wife, Jayne, were also long term leaders of a very active 4-H Sheep Club. In addition, Don served as a director and president of the Continental Dorset Club from 1986-1987.
Don Grant was a unique individual who could breed, develop and show purebred sheep successfully and who earned the respect of many people with his ability to teach and lead people and associations.
Accepting the honor for Don was his wife Jayne, who came with their daughter Deb Hopkins, from Storrs, CT.
J.B. Henderson, Burgettstown, PA was a member of the founding executive committee of the Continental Dorset Club. He was very instrumental in the establishment of the CDC and served as its President for three different terms in three different decades as his terms were from 1906-1907, 1911-1912, 1921-1922.
Funded by his father, a civil war veteran, he traveled to Europe to secure cattle. The Dorsets caught his eye so 6 head were bought and brought to America. The Henderson Family imported 300 head from England and the Isle of Wight from 1887-1891 and was an impact flock in the Dorset breed in America. J.B. Henderson organized the breed book, incorporated the bible verse “Feed My Lambs” into the corporate seal and led the organization the remainder of his life. A true pioneer.
J.R. “Raymond” Henderson, Hickory, PA was the Secretary of the Continental Dorset Club from 1923-1974, over 50 years. He saw and served 39 different Presidents of the CDC, a feat probably unmatched in any other purebred livestock breed registry in the United States. With this stability in the Dorset association, it was made into a very strong breed registry. It was during his tenure that the Polled Dorsets were accepted into the breed records, a transition greater than some that have almost destroyed other breed associations.
The Henderson Dorset flocks, Locust Grove/Valley View existed for a period of 93 years. The Valley View flock was instrumental in supplying breeding stock and outstanding rams to many other breeders. J.R. Henderson showed the flocks at many major shows, traveling by rail car, all over the country including Chicago Internationals and World Fairs. One of the last shows for the flock was the World’s Fair at Treasure Island, San Francisco in 1939. J.R. showed both Champions and Flying Horse Farm, of Maine had both reserve champions. The champions received trophies and the reserves received $100 in cash, J.R said he could have used that $200.00.
J.R Henderson was a man of high character and rigorously promoted the Dorset breed. He always took time and talent to help youth across the country. Certainly, a man not to forget.
Monte Forster and his son Jed Forster of Tangent, OR accepting the hall of fame award from CDC Director Mike Wight honoring Bud Forster
CCDC Vice President Johnnie Johnson presenting Harlan Wagner's hall of fame recognition award to his son Ken Wagner, Petaluma, CA
Harlan A. Wagner
Harlan was born, raised, and died, at the age of 59, on the family’s Stony Point Ranch in Petaluma CA. Raising, breeding, showing, and selling sheep was his life-long passion. As a youngster, he was a member of the local 4-H club and later, Petaluma High School’s FFA Chapter. While in FFA, he raised Hereford steers, winning Grand Champion three consecutive years at the county fair, and started his purebred, prize-winning Suffolk flock. He graduated from the University of California, Davis CA. Married to his wife, Edwina, for almost 40 years, they raised three sons and one daughter—all of whom had 4-H sheep projects. Besides managing the ranch, he worked as a construction superintendent.
He started the family’s Dorset flock in 1964 as son Ken had chosen Dorsets as the breed for his 4-H project. Harlan felt the Dorsets would fit in with the already-established Suffolk and Hampshire flocks. The whole family fell in love with the Dorsets’ naturally calm nature and easy breeding and lambing. Harlan insisted that the new brood ewes must be large and hardy in order to raise yearling rams that would be useful to the coastal commercial breeders. Most of the ewes were bought from older breeders in Humboldt Co., in upper CA.
He was a 4-H sheep leader for over 15 years and was voted County Outstanding 4-H Leader. He served as president of the Sonoma Co. 4-H Council and was chairman of many county livestock events. During the year, Harlan enjoyed hosting week-end judging days on the ranch for 4-H Clubs, FFA Chapters, and college teams. He also coached winning local 4-H judging teams.
Every year he sold between 60-100 yearling range rams at the California range ram sales in Bakersfield, Sacramento, Dixon, and Willows. Harlan served as the long-time sales manager of both the Bakersfield and Willows ram sales. The Purple Circle Show and Sale, with his encouragement, added Dorsets. He helped start up the Reno All-American Show and Sale and also promoted adding Dorsets; then worked to bring the National Dorset Show and Sale to Reno. He was elected to the board of directors of many local, state, and national sheep organizations. He judged at sheep shows and sales, both local and out-of-state. Harlan was also entrusted with evaluating and purchasing breeding seed stock at many sales for various breeds.
The Stony Point Dorset flock went on to produce many show and sale champions across the nation. Harlan’s Stony Point ram was the first ever Dorset ram to be awarded Supreme at the Midwest Show and Sale. He was proud that his seed stock also produced show champions and sale high-sellers for other breeders. Morehead’s Stony Point Golden Bear and Anderson’s Stony Point California Kid, champion and reserve at Cow Palace and sold private treaty, went on to sire even more show and sale winners for their new owners. Stony Point 36J was the prominent stud ram at the University of Connecticut’s flock in the late 1970’s that brought their flock to prominence. Green Mountain Dorsets’ Stony Point Sundance, purchased at the Ohio Show and Sale, was later Champion ram at Louisville. Through the years, Harlan’s Stony Point flock produced six National Dorset Show and Sale champions—3 rams and 3 ewes.
Because of failing health, all the sheep, but the Dorsets, were sold. Harlan continued show and sell and care for his beloved Dorset flock until his death, from cancer, in 1992. The Stony Point Dorset flock continues today with his son Ken still raising sheep in Petaluma.
Here with us today to accept this honor for Harlan is his son Ken and
Bill Harland and his wife Joann, lived on a farm near Rickreall, Oregon, and had Dorsets for many years, first Horned, and then switching to Polled. Bill's farm enterprise was a rye grass farm, on which he grazed his Dorsets during a period of time during the rye grass growing season, this was wonder pasture and his Dorset ewes and lambs thrived on this pasturethere was no need
for much grain supplement when the Dorsets were pasturing on the rye fields. Bill was not interested in showing sheep other than occasionally at local fairs; but his sheep business would
be considered a very successful commercial operationhe had a great market for his rye grass
fed lambs. His ewe flock was totally a registered flock and he purchased top-notch rams to use on his flock.
Bill Harland was the first Dorset Director from the West Coast....he was appointed in 1972, to the board prior to the method of District Director Elections was put in place. Through Bill, the C.D.C. learned about the strong organization in Oregon called Oregon Dorset Breeders. Following Bill's appointment to the Board, the C.D.C. was invited to have several National Shows on the West Coast both at the Pacific International and the Oregon State Fair. Bill and his wife were gracious to host the C.D.C. meeting at their beautiful home on the ranch near Rickreall, and we always had an attendance of 100 or more at Bill's home for a lamb barbeque. Bill was a very honest, level¬headed, director and was particularly concerned about the purity of the Dorset sheep and their genetics and the integrity of the Dorset Breeders. When visiting the Harlands, it was always a special treat to go to their ocean front home at Pacific City within in view of Haystack Rock.
Here is a hand written letter of Bill’s showing off his great sense of humor;
“About 1970, Kenneth Young of Ohio, stopped by the farm to see my sheep, he was nice to visit with and stayed overnight. Later on he wrote me asking if I’d serve on the Continental Dorset Club Board of Directors, as there were none west of the big river. Of course I would! I got to fly east to the annual meetings, which was quite heady and it introduced me to flying “United”. I soon discovered it helped to a couple of coke-hi’s in your belly when flying as it eased the nerves!”
“By now Marion Meno, J.R. Henderson’s daughter, had replaced him as secretary of the club; she was efficient, quite likeable and cute! In 1973, I became president and had the Annual meeting in Salem, Oregon, which was well attended. I assured the easterners “The Indians were well under control.” Five years later farming started going to absolute hell and I had to get out. The only thing I still miss on the farm is my horned dorset sheep.”
Bill’s son, Ronald Harland, was unable to attend as he sends his regrets but really appreciated this honor being bestowed upon his father posthumously.
Lloyd “Bud” Forster
August 27 1923-December 3, 1995
Bud Forster, lived in Tangent , OR all his life, except for 2 years from 1978-1979 when he served as superintendent of Deschutes County Fair in Redmond. He was the last of a well-known trio of sheep men from the Tangent-Shedd area that married the McKenzie trio of sisters from central Illinois, Art Ohling, (Polled Dorset & Suffolk breeder) and Glen “Sadie” Hawkins (Suffolk breeder)preceded Bud in death.
A farmer and dairyman, Bud was livestock superintendent for the Oregon State Fair for 25 years. He was also a rodeo announcer and a Northwest cutting horse judge. He served on the Tangent City Council and Tangent School Board, and was a member of the Linn County Sheriff’s posse. Bud was also an avid fan of the University of Oregon Ducks, and he was known for his support of youth programs.
Bud was committed to livestock and agriculture all of his life, especially purebred livestock. Bud was a livestock man that knew all the phases of the livestock industry and he judged all the large species: horses, beef & dairy cattle, sheep, goats and hogs. Bud was named Oregon Agfest Contributor to Agriculture in 1992 and was honored with the Linn County Outstanding Farmer Award. Bud was elected to the Continental Board of Directors and served as President from 1976- 1978. He was also a director of the National Jersey Club, and past presidents of the Oregon Dorset Club, Oregon Purebred Sheep Breeders Association, Linn-Benton Jersey Cattle Club and the Linn County Livestockman’s Association.
The Forster Dorset flock continues on to this day under the tutorage of his son, Monte Forster. The Forster flock featured both horned and polled Dorsets that was sold and shown all around the country.
It is an honor to induct Bud into the Dorset Hall of Fame and to have his son Monte here today to accept this honor for his Dad.
2014 Hall of Fame Inductees
Saint Paris, OH (from Wisconsin, via Woodbury CT, Sherburne VT, Lafayette IN and Powell, OH)
Dave Harmann has been involved in the Dorset breed since the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when the Harmann family had started a small flock of Dorsets to complement the Van Vleck Farm Hampshire flock in Woodbury, CT, of which Dave was shepherd and outright owner after owner Natalie Van Vleck’s passing. Dave was also a great asset and partner to the Univ. of Conn sheep flocks as he hauled their sheep all around the country to many sales and shows. When the Green Mountain flock was purchased by Skip Sheldon in Sherburne, VT from Rick & Jean Beck, Dave went to professionally shepherd the flock in 1990. Dave was there for seven years working with fellow flock tenders Tom Kelly, Sara Kuykendall and Kyle Thayer, as Skip Sheldon also had an influential Suffolk flock and developing Texel flock. When the Dorset flock was sold to Mithoefer Dorsets in Lafayette, IN, Dave went with the flock as shepherd. Under Dave’s watch, the Mithoefer flock became a nationally recognized flock that stayed competitive long after Dave’s departure in 2001. When Dave left Mithoefer Dorsets, he accepted a job from Riverwood Farms in Powell, OH and for the next ten years helped to expand the Riverwood Flock into a dominating flock that excelled at the top of the Dorset breed. Throughout his years of involvement with Dorset breeding programs, Dave also became a sought after judge for many major sheep events including National Shows as his opinion is obviously highly respected by many breeders throughout the sheep industry.
Dave “officially” retired in 2011 and now resides in Saint Paris, OH near his daughter Holly and her family, keeping watch on their current livestock projects. Dave and his wife Kathie, also never miss a major sheep event, keeping caught up on all the current sheep happenings and visiting with the many friends they have made in the purebred sheep industry over the years.
Even though it has been many years since Dave actually owned a Dorset himself, he has been a major influence on the Dorset genetics of the past 40 years by making major management decisions for three very influential Dorset breeding sheep flocks. But besides his expertise in sheep genetics and management, one of Dave’s greatest attributes has been his mentoring of young people in the purebred sheep industry, starting out with his own children, Wendy, Bobby & Holly; some New England Sheep kids Don & Deb Hopkins, Sara Kuykendall, Kyle Thayer; working side by side with a couple of Ohio shepherds Eric Bruns and Jeremy Etzler; and most recently working with the next generation of Dorset breeders like Michael Pope and Cruz & Trent Nichols. Dave Harmann is very worthy for induction into the Dorset Hall of Fame for all his contributions to the breed both from the sheep side of things as well as the people side.
Roger Huntrods of Collins, Iowa has been raising and registering Dorset sheep for over 50 years. He purchased his first Dorset ewes from Leonard Stewart in Kansas, in 1963. He had been using Dorset rams prior to that, but was crossing them on blackface ewes. The Huntrods operation regularly sustained around 100 to 150 head of Dorset brood ewes. At times that number stretched closer to 200 head. Roger has maintained a strong and loyal customer base of Midwest farm flock producers that were repeat purchasers of his commercial rams for decades. He was also a long time member and leader on the board of the Iowa Ram Test Association. Through the years, the Huntrods family also regularly exhibited their Dorsets at the Iowa State Fair and other local shows. When the demand for extra frame size increased in the show ring in the seventies and eighties, Roger chose not to follow the trend. He continued to raise the kind of muscular, productive sheep that both he and his customers preferred. As a result, when other breeders began to focus on raising Dorsets strictly to produce club lambs, the Huntrods genetics caught additional attention. Not only did Roger's own wethers garner wins in market lamb shows across the country, but his bloodlines are found in the pedigrees of many of the elite wether type flocks across the nation. All the while, Roger continued to provide his multitude of commercial buyers with functional, production oriented rams. Roger has been a top ten registrar of purebred Dorset sheep for several years registering over 1,000 head of Dorsets from 2000 until 2012, at which time Roger split up his brood ewe flock among his two sons: Bob operating as “Huntrods Dorsets” and Mark operating as “Huntrods Club Lambs”. In those same 12 years, Roger sold and transferred 781 head of Dorset sheep. Congratulations to Roger and his family on this award, as it is a very well deserved recognition from the Dorset breed. Roger and his family will be receiving his award this summer at the Midwest Stud Ram Sale.
Warren Squires bought his first Horned Dorset sheep from Roy Galleher in 1942 paying $35 and $27.50 each for two bred ewes. The Gallehers bought back a ram lamb from one of the ewes for $50 the next year. Warren bought ewes from some of the premier Dorset breeders of the day, Ben Willets and Harry McCabe, to establish his flock. He bought his first stud ram from another master breeder, Jake Hooks.
Warren was President of the Continental Dorset Club in 1954, the year Polled Dorsets were accepted into the association. He asked only asked one person, Alex McKenzie of Oklahoma, to speak in favor of adding Polled Dorsets to the association at the annual meeting. The Polled Dorsets were accepted by a landslide vote into the association. Subsequently, Warren turned down the chance to get one of the first Polled Dorset rams offered by NCSU. However, he did judge their 3rd show held in Raleigh, NC.
Warren went on to exhibit many champions and judge at most of the county fairs in Ohio, several state fairs, and both the Chicago International and NAILE. He met his wife, Marilyn, at KILE in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They were married in 1960 after a 5-year courtship at this sheep show.
During the 1960’s, Warren and Marilyn finally sold their Horned Dorset flock to the University of Florida to concentrate on the Polled Dorsets. For the next twenty years, they marketed sheep through the many sales including the Eastern Stud Ram Sale, Keystone Sale, Oklahoma Black & White Sale, and the Midwest Stud Ram Sale. To date, Warren has sold Dorset sheep into 42 states and Canada.
In 1960, Warren & Marilyn along with several other Ohio breeders organized the Ohio Dorset Sale. Marilyn served as the first sale manager for no pay to launch this fledgling Dorset sale. The sale was held in Mt Gilead, Ohio through the early years. Many out of state consignors stayed in the Squires “hotel”, our big house in Chesterville, including George Hunter, Curtis Mast, Oren & Newt Wright.
Warren was particularly proud of the many rams he sold to commercial sheep people over the years. He always had a pen of rams by the door to the wool room since he was a wool buyer for many years. Many commercial sheep people would come to sell their wool and end up buying a Dorset ram.
One of the most interesting sales was several groups of ewes to Case Western Reserve University. The selling point was Marilyn’s impeccable records since the sheep were used for medical research. The ewes producing twins were used multiple times to pioneer the field of fetal surgery.
The Polled Dorset flock was dispersed in the mid 1980’s to once again concentrate on the Horned Dorsets. Marilyn called this their “fun time” in the Dorset business as their flock and the entire breed has grown in both quantity and quality. Warren, Marilyn, and several other breeders organized a letter writing campaign to add a Horned Dorset junior show at NAILE. Warren continues to sponsor classes at the All-American Jr. Show as well as awards for Jr. exhibitors at the Ohio State fair.
After Marilyn passed away in 2003, Warren continued to maintain a small, select flock of Horned Dorset ewes. Stud rams are now purchased jointly with Galleher Horned Dorsets where it all began as an FFA project, 73 years ago. Warren takes care of the sheep with a little help from family and friends. One of his current advertising slogans is “Old Chester Farm-where the flock is old and the shepherd is older” since he will be celebrating his 85th birthday at the end of this month.
Richard (Dick) Kuzemchak has been a life-long breeder from the time he talked his family into letting him raise sheep on the family farm in Indiana County Pennsylvania. His focus narrowed as a student at Penn State University, working at the sheep barns under the tutorage of Carol Shaffner, to devoting his career as the shepherd for the University for 38 years.
Dorset sheep were the primary purebred breed at Penn State for many years. Dick’s career involved not only the day to day care of these sheep but the decisions of which ewes and rams to use in their breeding program. He developed a Dorset that would not only win in the show ring but also provided a good carcass for the commercial producer. These sheep became the foundation of many Dorset flocks. As important as the sheep that Dick produced, is the time and energy that he spent teaching students about sheep and the industry. Many of these students continue to be active in the sheep industry as adults.
After retirement at Penn State, Dick continues to be active in the Dorset industry as a judge and flock consultant. Over the years he has been a consultant for many major Pennsylvania Dorset flocks; helping with the management, care, showing and breeding decisions. Currently Dick is serving as flock consultant for Lauden Acres and Pine Ridge Dorsets. His influence can be seen in the sheep of many Pennsylvania flocks.
Dick has helped shape the Dorset breed as well as taught many of us to become more knowledgeable producers. Because of him we are better shepherds as he is a firm believer that we should all keep an open mind as even a seasoned shepherd can learn something new.
Dick’s nomination was submitted by Joanne Evans, a Dorset production breeder form PA and Laurie Hubbard, who work with Dick for many years at Penn State. Thank-you ladies.
Dave started with two purebred Horned Dorset ewes from Ira P. Jones too many years ago to count, but if you do it’s been 62! His passion for the breed grew as they continued to change and evolve. A solid foundation of stud ewes….great rams, solid breeding practices and exceptional integrity made Dave Birch and Birchwood Farm known Nationally and Internationally. Birchwood Farm Dorsets had many show ring class winners and topped many sale reports, but bringing out great breeding stock was not Dave’s only goal. He strived to maintain the true assets of the Dorset breed….out of season breeding, exceptional mothering ability, early maturity and great cutability, as well as show ring appeal made Dorsets the smart choice for any operation.
Dave promoted the breed at every level….county, state and national. He served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Dorset Association and Illinois Lamb & Wool Producers. He was one of several area sheep men that developed the DeKalb County Lamb & Wool Producers, as well as Dorset Country USA, Illinois Club Lamb Association and Land of Lincoln Border Collie Association. He served as President of all of them. He was honored to represent his direct as a Board Member of the Continental Dorset Club from 1980-1986 and from 1993-1999 – serving as President 1981-1986 and Vice President from 1995-1998.
Dave started breeding and showing sheep at a young age. Continued to breed, show and lend his opinion as a judge throughout most of his adult life. The move from Illinois to Missouri in 1998 changed the direction of the operation due to circumstances beyond his control. Moving his parents to keep them close proved a problem for attending show and sales. These days, the sheep operation is mostly commercial and he raises many things, His daughter Cheri, use to say everything except pigs and chicken, until the day he brought chickens home too! But his heart is and always will be with the Dorsets.
It is an honor to induct Dave Birch of Perry, MO into the National Dorset Hall of Fame.
Leon’s Grandfather brought Horned Dorsets to the family farm in Wythe County, VA in 1906. Since that time Horned Dorsets have been raised on the farm.
Leon began his own registered flock as a young age with the purchase of a ewe at the Eastern Stud Ram Sale. In 2001, he celebrated 50 years of raising registered Horned Dorsets by giving a ewe lamb to a young person at each of the sales and fairs the family attended. Some of those young people still raise sheep and are still in touch with Mr. Cassell, their friend and teacher.
Leon has promoted sheep and agriculture for the many years of his working and family life as both a shepherd and public school educator. Each of his children has their own registered flock and today Paul, Mary Ann, and Diana still have registered Horned Dorsets on the family farm. Mr. Cassell’s sheep were frequent visitors to the elementary school where he was principal for over 30 years. Today grandchildren of his students tell the stories told to them of Mr. Cassell teaching about sheep and agriculture, putting on his Carharts over his dress clothes and shearing a sheep for the students and parents to see, and promoting agriculture and sheep as the vital part of the community that have always been.
Leon is a member of the New River Valley Sheep and Goat Club, Virginia Sheep Producers, several educational and community organizations, and of course he is a life member of the Continental Dorset Club. He served as director and president in the Virginia Dorset Breeders Association and on a nominating committee for the Continental Dorset Club. Cassell Horned Dorsets are a continuous supporter of the All American Junior show by donating several ewe lambs over the years to be sold to support the show.
Leon continues to promote agriculture and sheep, Horned Dorsets in particular, through attending and showing at as diverse venues as Heritage Days in Wytheville to the National Shows and Sales throughout the country. Although for paperwork purposes the name most often called out at the major shows and sales is Paul, the son; Leon, the Dad and PaPa, is still a major force in the Cassell Horned Dorsets flock., serving as the day to day farm labor and shepherd on the farm in Wythe County, Virginia.
In 2015 and 2015, Paul Cassell is listed as having registered the largest number of Dorsets, Horned or Polled, in the Continental Dorset Club. Cassell Horned Dorsets have for many years been known as the largest flock of registered Horned Dorsets in the country. Leon has played a significant role in the beginning, maintaining, and continuing to improve this most important flock of Horned Dorsets and has helped to direct the breed and breeders through his promotion of the breed and “talking sheep” to anyone who wanted to listen.
Tim Morehead, Cherry Valley, IL
Tim started his 4-H sheep flock when he was 9 years old. He started out with a very small Suffolk flock. The Suffolks only lasted for about a year and Tim's Dad got rid of them when one of the rams hurt his sister, Diane. Tim then purchased a few Dorset sheep and his flock continued to grow for 49 years.
In Tim's younger years he was a member of the Flora Producers 4-H Club and a member of the Belvidere FFA Chapter. Tim was also a pretty good baseball player. After graduation from high school Tim never attended college but went directly to work with his father farming over 900 acres and milking cows.
The very first time Tim took sheep to the Wisconsin State Fair he didn't know how to fit a sheep so, he just carded the sheep up to look like a big cotton ball. The Brockman Brothers took Tim under their wing and showed him how to fit a sheep. Tim ended up being one of the best fitters in the purebred sheep industry. Nothing was ever good enough for him and he always thought he could do better. Tim & Diane's flock of Dorset sheep grew to just over 300 head and that was still not enough for Tim's Dad as they added another quality flock of
Montadales, which would be his younger sister Donna Jo's flock.
Tim was the only fitter in the family and he always had the sheep looking top notch, including the Montadales! When Tim was in high school he would be in charge of taking over 20 head of sheep plus his sisters to shows and sales with no supervision. The sheep always came first in Tim's eyes.
The Morehead Dorsets were dominant at the shows and sales in the late 70's and early 80's, and their genetics became prominent in the Dorset breed. Tim's flock was put on the map with a stud ram he bought from Stony Point Ranch in California called "Golden Bear". Morehead Dorsets had Champion Polled Dorset Ram in Louisville for 6 years that included a five year straight run from 1976-1980. Thrown in those Ram Champions, was also Champion Ewe in 1978. Tim sold a stud ram to Steve Myers and that ram, "Emperor", was named Supreme Champion Ram at Louisville in 1983. The Morehead flock also had several National Sale and Ohio Sale Champions throughout those years. Breeders across the country bought Morehead sheep and implemented those genetics into their breeding programs.
Tim ending up selling his flock of Dorset Sheep to the Spilde Brothers in 1995. About a year after that, his niece and nephew got back in the Dorset business as Cordray Dorsets, and Tim became their silent partner. During the month of August, Tim was always busy with helping 4-Her's getting their sheep ready for the fair. Tim also drove truck for Anderson Underground and was a shepherd for Spring Dale Farms Hampshires. Tim judged a lot of county and state fairs as well as sheep sales around the country.
Today, Tim is still very much involved with the Dorsets as he guides and mentors his great niece with her Dorset flock. The Dorsets remain on Tim's farm today. It is a great honor to induct Tim Morehead into the Dorset Hall of Fame.
Gary Saylor- Belle Center, Ohio
Gary Saylor has been involved in the Dorset industry nearly his entire life. He was initially involved as part of his family's flock in 1970 and then Gary's family branched out on their own as Twin Oaks Dorsets in 1994. Over the years, Twin Oaks Dorsets has been a team effort with Gary, his wife Becky and their children Cam, Kelsey and Cole.
The motto "Quality over Quantity" certainly comes to mind when talking about Twin Oaks Dorsets. Gary has had an incredible amount of success in the past 20+ years while maintaining a flock of only 20-25 ewes. He has developed a breeding program of predictable females in this time that have performed in the show ring and lambing barn that is hard to match. Twin Oaks Dorsets has had champions at numerous shows and sales including the Ohio Dorset Sale, Midwest Stud Ram Sale and the North American in Louisville to name just a few and they currently hold the record selling price for a Polled Dorset ram going through a public auction. But maybe more impressive is the influence his genetics have had on other Dorset breeders flocks. A quick glance at the registration paper of other winning and high selling sheep, there is a good chance they have a shot of Twin Oaks genetics in their pedigree. Twin Oaks "Profiler", "Dow Jones" and "Precision" were all named sire of the year at the NAILE. "Dow Jones" actually enjoyed a three year straight run as Sire of the Year from 2009-2011.
If being a true breeder wasn't enough, Gary has contributed to the Dorset breed in a variety of other ways. For over 20 years, he managed the highly successful Ohio Dorset Sale held every March in Eaton. During that time, the breed enjoyed an unprecedented increase in popularity and prices. He continues to sell the Ohio Dorset Sale as well as most of the other major sales where Dorsets are sold, always striving to get the most for every sheep that goes through the sale ring. Gary has also served several terms as President of the Ohio Dorset Association and judged numerous national shows at Louisville. He is never too busy to take time to help other breeders and has generously given time and money to numerous junior activities sponsored by the CDC including the All American Junior Show, including judging the show last year.
Most hall of famers in any organization requires two things, longevity and excellence. Gary Saylor has demonstrated both.
2017 CONTINENTAL DORSET CLUB HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
2018 CONTINENTAL DORSET CLUB HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
2019 Dorset Hall Of Fame Inductee – Dr. Warren Brannon, Freeville, NY
Dr. Warren Brannon of Freeville, NY passed from this earth January 22, 2014. Warren grew up in America’s breadbasket and toiled as a young man with his hands helping to raise the family’s food. Graduating from North Loup High School (Nebraska), he enrolled at Kearney State Teachers College for one year. He responded to the US Army’s call just months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His three year duty included primarily the far western Aleutian Islands and India.
Returning home from the war in 1945, Warren disembarked from the troop carrier at New York Harbor and returned to Lincoln, NE where he married his wife Marion. He continued his education and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture at the University of Nebraska then earning graduate degrees (Masters – Agriculture; PhD – Animal Breeding & Genetics) from Cornell University. After a brief assignment in Burns, Oregon, he returned to Cornell and began his life’s work with the Cooperative Extension Service of New York State.
During his twenty years with the Extension Service, Dr. Brannon focused on the sheep industry through production of robust lamb meat, wool growth and the development of meat and wool markets. His laboratory was a 200 acre family sheep farm near Ithaca. And his family extended to the various New York State shepherds and 4-H families who looked forward to Dr. Brannon’s visits, bringing new practical approaches to housing and feeding market lambs.
After retirement at the youthful age of 57, he continued farming and assisting son Larry at Owasco Meat Company. He served on the NYS Beef Council and NYS Association of Meat Processers until retiring yet again in 2011, but this time at the age of 88.
Warren served as Continental Dorset Club President from 1974-1975. He dispersed his 300 head Dorset flock in January 1977 in Springfield, Ohio at the county fairgrounds. Warren selected his sires carefully and would occasionally purchase a small bevy of dams. But certainly selective breeding was job one. His mission, by example, was in always promoting a quality market lamb, and of course in the 1960’s, an important part of his mission was to carefully “breed out” the horn racks from his flock. He sold his breeding stock preferably to flocks with proper husbandry, including many universities and leading flocks of the time.
He is survived by four children Nancy, Larry, Dennis & Kenneth. They send their sincerest thanks to the Continental Dorset Club for honoring their father, as his Dorset sheep were very near and dear to his heart, and through not only his own flock but his service as NY State Sheep Extension specialist was a strong promotor of Dorset genetics in the U.S. sheep industry.
Spilde Family: Arlan Spilde and sons Kent & Dan
At about the age of 8 years old Arlan Spilde bought his first sheep which included a ewe with a ewe lamb. He showed those sheep in 4-H. That led to the purchase of his first registered sheep which at that time was Hampshires. Arlan then owned a number of other breeds before falling in love with the Dorsets. At that time, Polled Dorsets were in the beginning stages and were to expensive to acquire. So, he did what a lot of others did which was to buy Horned Dorset ewes and a Polled Dorset Ram to start breeding them Polled. He showed the Dorsets through the 1960s and into the early 1970s in Wisconsin and also some in Illinois and Minnesota. In the Mid 1970s the flock was maintained for some years with no outside blood being introduced. Then the year before his two boys, Dan and Kent, were old enough to show in 4-H, he went to the Midwest Stud Ram Sale and purchased a Morehead fall ram to breed the ewes and began to ramp things back up. They had quite a bit of local success over the next few years and from there on Arlan and his boys were hooked. In the mid-1980s Arlan purchased a Horned Dorset Ewe that had been bred by Bob Black. She had twin ewe lambs and that was the start of the Horned Dorset flock. Going forward, both the Polled Dorset and Horned Dorset flocks were shown quite heavily throughout the Midwest. This continued all the way through the 1990s. Many champions in both the Horned and Polled were won at numerous state fairs, national shows, and national sales! In 1996 the Horned Dorset flock was sold out to the Paul Cassell Family of Virginia. Arlan and his two sons continued to have great success with the Polled Dorsets, particularly at the major sales, Wisconsin State Fair, and NAILE. Now the next generation is getting involved as his grandchildren have been showing his Dorsets over the past 10 plus years. Arlan, Dan, and Kent currently have an annual online sale and consign to the Ohio Dorset Sale every year. The Dorsets continue to be shown at their county fair, Wisconsin State Fair, and the national show in Louisville. Over the years, Arlan has mentored and aided several breeders and both of his sons have continued that habit. A quick visit to the Spilde area at Louisville every November will quickly reveal the depths that they are willing to go to help other exhibitors and breeders, many of which are juniors. There are several young Dorset breeders that look up to the Spildes for their success, their willingness to mentor, and their never wavering determination to make this sheep thing a family affair! In talking with the boys, we believe it has been roughly 55 years of uninterrupted Dorset ownership for Arlan and his family and expect it will probably continue for many more years.
The Continental Dorset Club is actually also going to include Kent and Dan Spilde also in this 2-21 Hall of Fame induction as a special surprise as we could not break-up the family and could not recognize Arlan without including the Spilde Brothers-Kent & Dan. Congratulations to the whole family!
Joseph “Skip” Heeg
Joseph “Skip” Heeg has had a long association with the Dorset breed. From his youth showing Dorsets for some local families in the Finger Lakes Region of New York on the county fair circuit he has had a special bond with the breed. Later, as Shepherd for the University of Massachusetts (1966-1968) he exhibited Dorset at the BIG E to represent the University, though he admits that they were primarily research animals at the time. From there, he took a decade long active break from the breed.
It was in 1979 that Skip along with his family started Heeg’s Dorsets in Tully, NY. The foundation of this flock was based on ewes purchased from the University of Connecticut, Cornell University, and the remaining Dorset ewes from the University of Rhode Island flock. He subsequently infused the flock with select genetics pieces from such breeders as Myers, Cardinal Creek, Poynter and Riverwood Farms. As he built up this flock to a nationally recognized and winning program, he gave back to the Continental Dorset Club by running and becoming a Director for the New England Region in 1988. He then went on to become President of the CDC from 1989-1991, following in the footsteps of one of his mentors Don Grant.
Even after the children, Kenneth and Jason, left the farm until he was moved by his employer, Agway, to Pennsylvania in 1196, Skip and his wife Cheryl, continued producing high quality Dorsets, including a record high selling ewe, National Champions, as well as Sire of the Year by the name of “Double Clutch”. Certainly, the pride of the Heeg’s Dorset breeding program was this ram called “Double Clutch”. After winning his class in Louisville, Skip leased him to Green Mountain Dorsets and Riverwood Farms, which helped Skip, win the Sire of the Year Award in Louisville. Skip then sold the flock in its entirety to Green Mountain Dorsets of Vermont, where his close, lifelong friend Dave Harmann was Shepherd at the time.
Professionally Skip was a top notch livestock nutritionist that moved him from New York working for to Pennsylvania and then to Florida, where he worked for many horse, beef and dairy operations. Upon retirement Skip & Cheryl moved to Tuscon, Arizona to be closer to their sons. It was after the move that Skip lost Cheryl to her battle with cancer way too early in life.
Unfortunately just last year, Skip lost his own personal battle with cancer. Skip enjoyed his retirement thouh acting as a consultant for his youngest son, Jason, and his family’s enterprise, Heeg’s Crazy H Club Lambs out of Shepherd, Montana. He gave genetic and nutritional advice to help build a strong Dorsets, Hampshire and SHropshie breeding program, He enjoyed getting hands on whenever possible, helping with lambing as well as traveling to a few shows and sales.
Skip was once asked what his favorite type of sheep was. To this he replied, “The ones that turn the green!” While that statement was sure enough a reflection of his driven personality, the Dorset breed had the highest place in his heart. This was the breed that he chose and that chose him to build a family around, both of blood and friends.
2021 Hall of Fame Inductees