ASA recognizes Ward Bakenhus as Builder of the Breed

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – The American Shorthorn Association Awards hosted their Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 22, 2023, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo.

Ward Bakenhus of Columbus, Nebraska was honored as a 2023 Builder of the Breed. The prestigious “Builder of the Breed” recognizes Shorthorn breeders who have shown true dedication for an extensive time and contributed to the stewardship of the Shorthorn Breed. This award recognizes their efforts in breeding and promoting Shorthorn cattle, which have added to genetic improvement of the breed. Individuals are recognized who have continuously been supporters and promoters for both the Shorthorn breed and the beef cattle industry. Builder of the Breed award winners are recognized for making a lasting impact on our breed.

Bakenhus embodies the Builder of the Breed qualifications through his commitment to the Shorthorn breed. He was born into the famous Ar Su Lu Shorthorn program and was involved at a young age in day-to-day operation of the cattle and crop farm as well as being part of the American Junior Shorthorn Association. Upon graduation, he returned to the family farm to continue the development and success of the Ar Su Lu herd.

Bakenhus led the family to exhibit annually at the National Western Stock Show Yards Show for many years, with the record of exhibiting more Pen Show Champion Pens than any other operation in the breed. The family held an annual female and bull sale for many year and their cattle became foundation animals for several other breeders. He was a major contributor in providing genetics and direction to Shorthorn herds all over the country. He has been a fixture to the Shorthorn breed, even serving a two-year term on the ASA board of directors.

The American Shorthorn Association congratulates Ward Bakenhus on his prestigious honor as being selected as a 2023 Builder of the Breed.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777


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