Longtime Baker Valley cattle rancher Bob Harrell Jr. has been inducted into the Hereford Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri.
Harrell, who is the fifth generation of his pioneer family to live in the valley, was inducted Oct. 23 during the American Hereford Association’s (AHA) annual meeting and conference.
He was one of four to be inducted, along with Jim Courtney of Alzada, Montana, Lawrence Duncance of Wingate, Indiana, and Dale Micheli of Fort Bridger, Wyoming.
Harrell said he was “very surprised” to learn of the honor.
“It’s very humbling,” he said.
Harrell said he considers the honor a recognition of all the work that his parents and other family members, along with their employees, have done over the decades.
“It’s more of a ranch award, the way I look at it, rather than an individual award,” Harrell said. “There was a lot of people who worked awful hard over the years.”
“We congratulate these four men for the impact they have made on the Hereford breed,” Jack Ward, AHA chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Their dedication to the breed is inspiring, and I am honored to induct them into the Hereford Hall of Fame.”
Harrell’s ancestors traveled the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon in 1870.
His parents, Edna and Bob Harrell, started the Harrell Hereford Ranch along Salmon Creek, northwest of Baker City, in 1970. The family’s 80-acre home ranch has expanded to include several ranches and a herd of 400 registered Hereford cows, 400 black baldy commercial cows, a 1,000-head feedlot and 25 quarter horse broodmares.
The Harrells’ cattle run on 8,000 acres of native range.
Edna Harrell continues to help at the ranch along with Bob, his wife, Becky, and their daughter, Lexie.
Bob Harrell Jr. graduated from Baker High School in 1979, attended Oregon State University for two years then transferred to Kansas State University where he competed on the livestock judging team and earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science.
Harrell served on the board of directors for the American Hereford Association from 2006 to 2010. He also served as chairman of the organization’s marketing committee.
In 2009 the Harrell Hereford Ranch was honored as the Beef Improvement Federation’s Seedstock Producer of the Year.
The Harrells’ annual production sale, the first Monday in March, brings ranchers from across the country to bid on registered Hereford bulls, heifers and two-year-old quarter horses.