The Angus business is centered on the individuals and their families who continue to dedicate their lives to the Angus legacy. To honor leaders involved with the Association's history and shaping it's future, each year the Association inducts members into the Angus Heritage Foundation. Four new additions were recognized Nov. 18 during the Association's Annual Awards Banquet in Louisville, Ky.
The 2013 inductees are: James Rentz, Coldwater, Ohio; John L. Schurr, Farnam, Neb.; Brian Halverson, Baker, Minn.; and the late Woodrow Wilson King, Rock Falls Ill.
Each inductee or a family representative received a framed Angus Heritage Foundation certificate and their names will be engraved on the Heritage Foundation plaque displayed in the library of the Association headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo.
Photos and biographies will be included in the next edition of the Angus Heritage Foundation booklet. Read more about the 2013 inductees in the paragraphs that follow.
When Jim Rentz purchased his first set of Angus heifers 61 years ago, it was the beginning of a lifelong commitment to the Angus breed and the American Angus Association. A native of Coldwater, Ohio, Rentz's Creek Side Farm has since established a strong reputation for producing high-quality Angus seedstock.
In his early career, Jim worked as the herdsman for Forest Hill Farms in Ohio before attending the Ohio State University. While at Forest Hill, Rentz fitted the 1956 All-American Angus Futurity Supreme Champion bull. Rentz went on to work 14 years for the Angus Journal as a field man traveling the midwest, and later formed his own business, Rentz Auction Company, which specialized in Angus cattle sales.
Creek Side Farm has been enrolled in the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR) program since its inception and was honored with the Association's Historic Angus Herd Award after 58 years of breeding cattle. In 1994, the Ohio Angus Association presented Jim and his family with the Ohio Angus Family of the Year Award.
Rentz recently completed his second term on the Association's Board of Directors, and is a past director and president for the Ohio Angus Association. He's also served nine years on the Ohio Beef Council and is a past officer for the Ohio Cattlemen's Association. In addition, Rentz co-founded the Ohio Beef Expo and served as chairman and manager for the first five years of the successful event.
Together with his wife, Judy, the family has three children - Sheri, Doug and Nick, all of whom were active in the Ohio Junior Angus Association and National Junior Angus Association.
John L. Schurr
John L. Schurr of Farnam, Neb., has been raising Angus cattle in central Nebraska for more than 50 years. He started in the purebred Angus business in 1962 with his brother, Jerry. Together, they founded Schurrtop Angus and Charolais Ranch in their hometown near Farnam.
Today, John and his wife, Kay, together with their sons, Marty and Ryan, continue to be committed to improving and advancing the Angus breed.The Schurr family's third son, Wayne, was also an integral part of the operation before his passing in 2011.
A firm believer in performance testing, Schurrtop Angus is a pioneer in the Angus industry as one of the first producers to catalog genetics with (AHIR), test carcass merit using the USDA carcass evaluation tags, and conduct ultrasounds for carcass traits. Collecting data, and then making informed breeding decisions based on that information, has been a core mission for Schurrtop Angus and Charolais Ranch over the years. The operation continues to focus on multi-trait selection for their commercial customers.
John served two terms on the American Angus Association Board of Directors, and was also a member of the Angus Foundation and Certified Angus Beef LLC entity boards.
A former director of Farm Credit Services, John is active in the community and has been a board member of his church and local school board, is a past director of the Nebraska Angus Association, and was a 4-H club leader for 35 years. In 2010, John and his family were recognized as the Nebraska Angus Association Producer of the Year.
Brian Halverson found his love for agriculture at an early age in Minnesota's Red River Valley. After attending the University of Minnesota for a year, his love for agriculture found him returning to the family farm in Baker, Minn.
The farm began as a certified seed potato farm in 1926, with Halverson's father. Since then, the homestead has grown into a well-known registered Angus cattle operation and certified seed potato farm.
Halverson joined both the American Angus Association and the Minnesota State Angus Association in 1973, and he served as a board member in Minnesota for 27 years, seven of which were as president. He has also represented the state as a delegate to the American Angus Association Annual Meeting in Louisville, Ky.
Halverson says he values the many friends he has made throughout his 40-year Angus journey. He and his family have hosted a number of field days at the farm, and have been responsible for establishing many new breeds and helping them acquire their first Angus cattle.
In 2002, Halverson was recognized as the Minnesota State Angus Person of the Year, among several other community, state and regional awards over the years. He is active in his church and community, and has served as a 4-H leader for 20-plus years, and in 1993 was recognized for outstanding service as alumni advisor to the Barnesville FFA Chapter. Halverson is also a member of the Barnesville School Foundation Hall of Honor for his service to the school and community
Halverson and his wife of 53 years, Joanne, reside on his family homestead where they have raised four children: Pamela, Michael, Matthew and Jayne. Halverson
Woodrow Wilson King
The late W. Wilson King, formerly of Rock Falls, Ill., bought his first registered Angus cattle in September 1945 from Lucore Angus Ranch in Arriba, Colo. The initial purchase marked the beginning of what would become Illinois' first family farm corporation - Kinglore Farms Incorporated.
Because of his affinity for the Angus breed, King was instrumental in starting both the Chicagoland Angus Association and Illinois Angus Association. He served as a member on the Board of Directors and was president of each association.
King's dedication to the agriculture industry went far beyond the state of Illinois. He worked tirelessly for American cattlemen and farmers while serving as an advisor to two U.S. Presidents, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. In this role, King served on a committee with the secretary of agriculture, where he served as a liaison between the rural American farmer and Capitol Hill.
In the early 1970s, while serving on the National Commission for Poverty in Rural America, King spent time and resources sending loads of registered Angus bulls and females into the nation's poor agricultural areas.
King raised three sons, Woodrow Woody Jr., Jay P. and David O. The family has been in continuous production since the early 1940s, and is now in its sixth generation of operation. Today, the herd continues as Sauk Valley Angus near Rock Falls, Ill., and is home to 350 Angus cows.