When the Angus Heritage Foundation was established in 1983, the American Angus Association® described the purpose as, “An incalculable debt to the many men and women who, for more than a century, have worked tirelessly and selflessly to make Angus cattle and the American Angus Association the leaders in the beef cattle world.”
The tradition continues as five new members join the ranks this year.
The 2011 inductees include Jerome “Jerry” Helgren, Lake Villa, Ill.; Anne Patton Schubert, Taylorsville, Ky.; Walter “Cecil” and Sandra McCurry, Mount Hope, Kan.; and Gary Dameron, Lexington, Ill. Lucile Rheude Patton, formerly of Earl Park, Ind., was inducted posthumously.
Inductees were recognized during the American Angus Association’s Annual Awards Banquet on Nov. 14, in Louisville, Ky. Each inductee or a family representative received a framed Angus Heritage Foundation certificate, and all names will be permanently engraved on the Heritage Foundation plaque displayed in the library of the Association headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo.
Photos and brief biographies will be included in the next edition of the Angus Heritage Foundation booklet listing inductees.
Brief biographies of inductees follow.
Lucile Rheude Patton
Breeding Angus cattle for nearly 70 years was an achievement Lucile Rheude Patton cherished. She began her cattle herd in 1938 while living on an Iroquois County, Ill., farm where she and her sister participated in 4-H. In 1941, Lucile showed the Illinois State Fair Grand Champion steer. Following the show, the dream of having Angus cattle was enhanced by A.D. Bradshaw, the breeder of her steer, when he gave her a heifer after the show.
Her cattle business expanded when she married John Patton Jr. and moved her Angus cows to a northwest Indiana farm. From that merger began Patton Farms, which continues today. Many of the original cattle came from the Bradshaw herd in Illinois, and El Jon and Wilton Farms in Iowa.
Lucile served as president of the Indiana Angus Auxiliary and was a charter member of the American Angus Auxiliary. She received the American Angus Breeders’ Futurity Pioneer Breeder Award. The herd has been recognized as a national Historic Angus Herd and as an Indiana Historic Angus Herd.
Lucile has two daughters, Anne and Mary, who continue to share their mother’s love of Angus cattle.
Anne Patton Schubert
Anne Patton Schubert has been a lifelong supporter of all things Angus. She grew up on an Angus farm in northwest Indiana with her parents, John and Lucile Patton, and sister, Mary Patton. She continues her Angus involvement today with her husband, Gordon, in Taylorsville, Ky. She exhibited her first champion heifer at the Indiana State Fair in 1957. Throughout her youth, Schubert was also involved in the Indiana Junior Angus Association (IJAA).
Today, Schubert is an active member of the American Angus Auxiliary. She has served several chairperson positions and was president in 1983. During her time of service she helped launch the All-American Certified Angus Beef® Cook-Off.
In 1996, Schubert received the American Angus Auxiliary Distinguished Woman Award and the Honorary Angus Foundation Award in 1999. She recently completed two terms as a director of the Kentucky Angus Association and serves on the Campaign Leadership Cabinet of the Angus Foundation. Schubert also helps raise funds for junior winners at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) as a member of the Sale of Champions committee.
Schubert and Gordon were also named Master Breeder of the American Angus Breeders’ Futurity.
Jerome “Jerry” Helgren
Helgren began his lifetime commitment to the Angus breed in 1952, purchasing his first Angus heifer at the Interstate show and sale in Sioux City, Iowa.
Shortly after, he began to work with the Penney and James show herd until 1954 at the International Show in Chicago, Ill. He also managed the Picket Fence Farm, Grayslake, Ill., until 1980.
Helgren had a successful career showing the 1973 International reserve grand champion female and owned several top herd bulls.
In addition to his honors, Helgren played a significant role in expanding markets for Angus cattle abroad, including Russia, Spain, Japan and Italy.
In 1977, after judging three major Angus shows in Australia, he realized the potential for the breed in that country. With his wife, they created the Picket Fence Quarantine export station in 1983, and the first shipment of cattle to Australia was in 1984. In the last 26 years, Helgren has exported several thousand head of livestock.
Walter “Cecil” and Sandra McCurry
Denoted as Angus cheerleaders, Cecil and Sandra McCurry promote the Angus breed and Certified Angus Beef® brand to all who will listen.
Cecil is the youngest of six sons of Walter and Cora McCurry. His Angus roots began in 1928, before his birth, when his parents purchased their first Angus heifer from pioneer Angus breeder, Johnson “J.W.” Workham, Cora’s brother. With their initial purchase, the McCurry Brothers Angus Ranch formed. His father’s advice, “Stay in the middle-of-the-road” when breeding cattle, is still the rule of thumb at the McCurry Angus Ranch.
Cecil and his brothers traveled to shows across the country and have exhibited several champion bulls, females and cow-calf pairs at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS).
Cecil has been active in the Kansas Angus Association for many years and was on the state board of directors in the 1980s, serving as president in 1988. He also served on the American Angus Association Board of Directors from 1995 to 2001.
Sandra, Cecil’s wife, is a lifetime member of the American Angus Auxiliary. She has served on several committees and received the Distinguished Woman Award in 2003. She was also selected as an honorary advisor to the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) Board of Directors.
Cecil and Sandra have three sons — Brad, Greg and Geoff, 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
In the past four decades, Angus cattle and activities have played a major role for the Dameron family. Gary began to purchase registered Angus females in the mid-1960s to add to his father’s commercial herd. Today, the herd consists of 200 registered Angus cows.
The Dameron program has produced three national champion bulls, 16 grand or reserve grand champions at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), more than 28 grand or reserve champions at the Illinois State Fair, as well as numerous other winners across the country.
Members of the Dameron family can be found on all levels of Angus leadership.
Gary’s children, Christy, Jay, Jeff and Julie — are all past members of the NJAA and the national junior board. Gary’s wife, Sharon, is a past Illinois Angus Auxiliary president, and Gary served two terms on the American Angus Association Board of Directors, serving as president in 1989.
For more information contact:
Carrie Gilliam, communications coordinator, 816-383-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Angus Association serves nearly 30,000 members across the United States and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.
For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association’s programs and services, visit www.angus.org.