Originally starting the ‘Lenth Herefords’ operation were Elden & Bea Lenth, along with son Doug and daughter Barb. Elden & Doug were the key builders of the herd, maintaining both the crop and livestock sides of the operation, even throughout the struggles of the 1980’s when some farmers were forced to fold. Doug & Barb spent several years ‘on the road’ on the show circuit, showing bulls and females across the country, especially during the summer Junior show seasons. Barb married Matt Reynolds, and together they operate Reynolds Herefords at Huntsville, Missouri to this day. Elden & Bea believed in promoting their product, and were active members of the Iowa Hereford Breeder’s Association, American Hereford Association, the Winneshiek County Cattlemen’s Association, and the National Hereford Women’s Association. Over the years they were honored with many awards, including the Iowa Hereford Breeder’s Association ‘Hall of Fame’ award, and the ‘Pioneer Award’ from the Winneshiek County Cattleman’s Association. Although Elden passed in 2010, Bea currently resides at the Good Samaritan’s Society home in Postville.
Over the years, the operation transitioned to Doug and wife Marilyn, who also grew up in a beef cattle family operation. Today, Doug focuses on the crops, feed, and equipment side of the operation. Marilyn focuses on the cattle, marketing and record keeping sides, including maintaining her customized database which allows tracking of literally hundreds of fields of data on each animal. Detailed records allow for analysis of EPD’s, bloodlines, herd health, feed costs, calving records and histories, rate of gain histories, and more. All this helps to continually improve the herd AND match prospective buyers with the cattle that may best fit their goals and needs. The genetics in the herd are continually analyzed as well, to keep the herd progressing forward with the right type of cattle that will keep up with the industry, and meet the needs of the customer base. Doug & Marilyn continue to support local and state beef organizations, with Doug being a past IHBA Board member, and Marilyn has served two terms on the IHBA Board, including two years as the President of the Iowa Hereford Breeders Association.
We were very honored to be named the "2018 Iowa Seedstock Producer of the Year". The award is presented annually by the Iowa Cattleman’s Association and the Iowa Beef Breeds Council to one purebred seedstock producer in the state of Iowa. The presentation was made at the Iowa Beef Expo in Des Moines. As described by the Iowa Cattleman’s Association, "The purpose of the Outstanding Seedstock Producer award is to honor outstanding cattle producers in the seedstock industry. Each Purebred Breed Association is given the opportunity to nominate one candidate for the award. Applications are reviewed by a Seedstock Committee, which gives careful consideration to producers programs in their entirety, including record keeping, industry participation and leadership, merchandising programs, selection criteria and herd improvement over time." Thanks to all of our customers and friends who have helped us continue to work in this business that we love and have a passion for, for all of these years.
4R Herefords started as a family business when Alissa & Tanner Rose purchased their first Hereford heifers from Lenth Herefords for 4-H projects in 2015. More heifers have been added each year, replacement heifers have been retained, and by the end of 2019 the family herd has grown to 12 registered Hereford cows, 6 bred heifers, 4 replacement heifer calves, 3 fall calves, and 4 head of registered Herefords ‘For Sale’. Alissa and Tanner, along with parents Mindy and Duane, have built their herd primarily from strong Lenth genetics, along with key purchases from other reputable sources. They A.I. breed their females, followed by running Lenth sires for clean-up. In 2019 they expanded to have both spring and fall calving females. A true ‘partner’ with the Lenth Herefords program, the 4R cattle can be found at the Rose farmstead or in the Lenth pastures. Their bulls and females are managed under the same documented herd health program, and bulls and heifers ‘For Sale’ are grown and fed along with the Lenth cattle being offered. You can find photos of the 4R females on the Cow Herd page, noted by the 4R logo, and their cattle are marketed right along with the Lenth Herefords offering. We are excited to have the Rose family as a key partner in the Lenth Herefords program
We bought our first registered cows in the mid 60’s (25 cows and 31 heifers) from Richard Alkire at Lemmon, SD. Our first herd bull was BHR Yellow Designer 16 by Yellow Designer, and bred by Baldhill Dam Hereford Farm in North Dakota. ‘Designer 16’ bred 30 cows naturally when he was 13 years old.
In our early years in the Hereford breed, we were line breeding our horned herd with the best producing sons out of the most consistent Herd Bulls that we purchased. Having a fat cattle packing plant 3 miles from home took most of the ‘guess work’ out of deciding which Sire and sons to use! A 33% prime load shipped to CHB in 1997, followed by a 27% prime load in 1998, are just a couple of examples of what our cattle have done in the cooler. We have traditionally been a female producing herd. Only five females from the Oxley dispersions were brought into our herd in the first 40+ years. In the past 5 years, a few select females have been added from select reputable herds, to expand our polled bloodlines.
Our foundation Herd Sires included: BHR Yellow Designer 16 in the 60’s, Great Northern 7215 in the 70’s, AGA 10S Standard 131W in the late 80’s, OXH Classic 1008 in the 90’s, JJ L1 Homebuilder 706 in the 2000’s. We retired Homebuilder in 2006 with a broken leg. His son, LH DSIGNR 444 ‘Burley’ stepped into his sire’s place in the herd, breeding both Spring and Fall calving cows. Working year round, he still maintained a 2700+ pound frame. We first moved some Polled blood back into our program in 2003 with TS Webmaster EM 22L, followed by J&J M33 Marshall T111 in 2007. Marshall became a dominant polled sire for us, and reached ‘Sire of Distinction’ status in 2017. Another polled sire that left his mark on our herd was TH 18U 719T VICTOR 31X that was purchased from Topp Herefords in North Dakota in 2011. Victor 31X, a son of the top rated A.I. sire Victor 719T, was a low BW high growth that sired outstanding females. We have retained over 30 of his daughters in our herd. Since 2012 we have focused on using only polled sires, purchasing impressive sons of the popular A.I. sires Redeem, SHF York, Cracker Jack, Trust 100W, Revolution 4R, and Hyalite OnTarget 936. With several strong bloodlines, we are able to continually offer outcross options to both our new and repeat customers. The maternal base of the herd has held strong over the years, with 15 cows reaching Dam of Distinction level, the highest honor for a cow in the American Hereford Association. Today, 9 of those cows remain active in the herd, along with countless decedents of theirs.