KANSAS CITY, Mo. ¬¬¬— Bill Kuehn, Heartwell, Neb., was honored with a Hereford Innovator Award by the American Hereford Association for his commitment to the Hereford industry and the Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) program. Bill, co-owner of WRK Herefords Inc., and Kuehn Feedlot, Heartwell, Neb., and Sweetwater Cattle Co., Kearney, Neb., was presented with the award at the National Western Stock Show Hereford Carload and Pen Show in Denver, Jan. 14.
Bill has been in the Hereford business his whole life. Now 69 years old, Bill bought his first Hereford heifer when he was a freshman in high school as an FFA project. He’s been hooked ever since.
Now, he operates WRK Herefords, along with his son Chris, which includes 180 Hereford cows, of which about 100 are registered. He and Chris, along with Bill’s brother and his son, own a small feedyard (about 1,500 head capacity) where they background Hereford and Hereford-influenced cattle, both their own and those they purchase from others.
Bill also recently bought into Sweetwater Cattle Co., which is a 14,000 head feedlot in nearby Kearney. All in all, Bill purchases and feed about 6,000 Hereford and Hereford-cross calves a year. All of the cattle that qualify are sold to National Beef Packing Co., for the Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) program. Bill has been participating in the CHB program since its inception.
Bill says he prefers feeding Herefords. “Their cost of gain, the way they gain, their handle-ability, temperament, all those things make a difference,” he says. “There’s many, many people I know in the Hereford business and I love them all. God bless each of them. I feel totally honored by this award.”
Bill and his wife of 44 years, Kay, have three sons Chris, Larry and Billy, and three grandchildren.