2018 National Western Show Honoree
Bakenhus Shorthorns had their beginning in 1929 when Ward’s grandparents, Art Sr. & Olga Bakenhus received a purebred Shorthorn heifer from Uncle Fred Buss for their wedding gift. Adding a few more females in the next years, the herd has proven the value of this breed for 89 years. With the selection of production minded herd bulls that sired animals with greater weaning and yearling weights, a uniform herd is being maintained. AI was introduced in the 70’s and embryo transfer shortly after. The herd grew to over 240 purebred cows. Bakenhus Shorthorns held production sales for many years through the nineties until 2008 at the farm in Columbus, NE. In 2008, a dispersal was held cutting the herd size. Currently Ward and family are rebuilding the herd.
This past fall, Bakenhus Shorthorns held a production sale once again at the farm. We included several other Shorthorn breeders and friends in the sale. We will be holding a production sale again next year including cows, bred heifers and select show calves.
Through the generations, the Bakenhus men all have held offices in the NE state association. Art Jr. and Luke received the Builder of the Breed Award from the ASA in 1985. Ward was elected to the ASA Board of Directors in 1999 and served for 2 terms, retiring from the board in 2005. Likewise, the women have been involved with the Lassie organization since it’s beginning. Ruth, Shay and Macy have been board members both on the state and national levels. Ward’s daughter, Macy, was chosen as the 2016 National Shorthorn Lassie Queen. Shay is the current president of the National Lassie Board and Macy serves as the Publicity Director.
Bakenhus cattle have been shown at the NE State Fair for over 45 years and hold the record for the most years shown consecutively. At the Platte County Fair, Bakenhus Jr exhibitors have shown homebred Shorthorns since 1942. Ward and Shay’s youngest, Macy, just finished her final year of showing at the fair, capping off a 24 year consecutive streak of having their children show at the county fair. Joshua, their oldest, won the title of Reserve Grand Champion Heifer at the Jr. Nationals in 1995. Earlier in that same year, Bakenhus Shorthorns won the Grand Champion Heifer show at the Denver Stock Show with AR SU LU Lace. Jacob won 3rd overall Showman at the Ak_Sar-Ben Livestock Show, Supreme Champion many times with his Shorthorn steer, Superstar and many times British Breed Champion at the NE State Fair. Levi is the only exhibitor on record at the NE State Fair to win the Supreme Heifer Over All Breeds twice – once in 2004 and again in 2012.
Bakenhus Shorthorns of Columbus, NE has won a total of 26 Grand Championships in 16 years at the NWSS. They have been unbeatable in the Pen of 5 Bulls category, winning Grand Championships 15 out of the 16 years, while also winning 8 Grand Champion Pen of 3 Bulls in the same time span. They also have 2 Grand Championships in the Appendix class. There are also many Reserve Pen wins. At the 2006 National Western Stock Show, the Bakenhus Family was honored for exhibiting more Champion and
Reserve Champion Pens of Bulls than any other breeder of any breed in the 100 year history of the National Western Stock Show Pen Bull Competition. Bakenhus Shorthorns still holds this record.
Ward and family would like to thank the ASA Board and members for this honor. We have made many friends throughout the years. Also, Art Jr. and Luke who stayed home and did the chores to allow us to share our genetics by exhibiting our animals at many state and national shows that led breeders to use our genetics to develop their own herds. We truly consider this a legacy award. We are truly touched by this recognition.
2017 North American International Show Honoree
Doug Schrag from Marion, SD was a third generation Shorthorn breeder following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. In an operation that has spanned over 100 years, there have been many milestones that have had major impact on the Schrag herd and the Shorthorn breed. Herd sire selection was the highest priority to Doug. Through the 60’s and 70’s several herd sires were imported from Canada from the Kenebar program. And in 1994 Doug was instrumental in importing Dunbeacon Venture from Australia. This was the first importation of a live Shorthorn bull to North America in over 30 years. Cow families were also a major focus to the operation. Over the years cow families such as Marion’s Delight, Jealousy Par, Revival, and the famed Augusta Pride family originated and were propagated at Schrag Shorthorns.
In 1966 Doug and his father Paul started an annual bull sale marketing bulls to commercial and seed stock producers across the country. In 1987 the first production sale “Impact for the eighties” featuring progeny from AF Dividend’s Impact was started. AF Dividend’s Impact lead the ASA in number of registrations, weaning and yearling EPD performance and recieved several sire of the year honors through the eighties and early nineties. Doug was honored as builder of the breed in 1988. He also served several terms on the American Polled Society board of directors and 2 terms on the National board of directors.
The operation is currently managed by his son Cory and wife Melissa and their two children Sammi and Jaxon. They are both very active in the operation and the Shorthorn breed. Sammi is currently a member of the AJSA board of directors. And Jaxon can found at the chutes on show day. Doug credited much of his success from strong family support. His wife Candace and daughter Tammy, her two children Ashlyn and Tyce, along with Doug’s two sisters Judy and Mary and brother-in-law Jim are in attendance representing the entire Schrag family.
Doug left us way to soon, but the legacy and passion for the Shorthorn breed will survive for generations to follow. If Doug were today he would no doubt like to thank the many dear friends and fellow breeders who worked so hard together to make the breed what it is today.