Donated by J & A Charolais
Jeff, Angela, Shade & Breeze Bunker of Sparta, Wis. on behalf of the
Minnesota/Wisconsin Charolais Association
J & A Charolais was founded in 1995 and is a registered seedstock producer of purebred Charolais cattle. Their operation is owned and operated by Jeff & Angela Bunker and their two daughters, Shade and Breeze. The operation consists of approximately 35 purebred cows. In 2014, the Reserve National Champion Charolais Bull was raised by J & A Charolais. The Bunker family strives to raise quality Charolais cattle that are easy fleshing and structurally sound. They produce cattle that have strong performance and eye appeal.
The Bunker family has long supported youth in the livestock industry. Since Shade was able to show at her first Junior Nationals at the age of 8, the family has been committed to take the trip to Charolais Junior Nationals each year. The Bunkers have enjoyed show ring success at the local, state and national level. But the main purpose of the J & A Charolais program is and will continue to be producing offspring that thrive in the commercial industry. The Bunker family is honored to work with a recipient of the MYBEP program to continue to promote the next generation of the beef industry.
Donated by Double-H Charolais
Harlin & Sue Hecht and family of Paynesville, Minn., on behalf of the
Minnesota/Wisconsin Charolais Association
The Hecht’s Charolais story began in the late 1950’s when Harlin was reading The Farmer magazine and saw an article featuring a new breed that had entered the United States, Charolais. Harlin was impressed with what he read. Then in 1960, his father, Herbert purchased three ¾ and 7/8 Charolais cows, and Harlin observed how fast their calves grew compared to the Angus cows he had. His thoughts at the time were “this is the breed of the future.” A few years later, Herbert purchased a Charolais bull, Flores, who traced back to original Mexican bulls such as El Jefe, Titano and Wee 58.
Harlin and Sue were married in August 1967, and lived in an apartment in Evansville, Minnesota, where Harlin was a vocational agriculture instructor, and Sue worked as an extension economist. One day Harlin saw a newspaper ad for a Charolais dispersal sale. The Hecht’s purchased what they thought was the best cow in this sale, DE Lora and her bull calf. Thus, the foundation for their Double-H breeding program was born. Lora’s first calf for the Hecht’s, Double-H Laura, a 1969 daughter of Ali Baba Bramard, is historically significant as she became the first AICA Sterling Dam of Distinction—her mounted head hangs in the AICA office today. The Double-H program has produced seven AICA Sterling dams in its history. Soon after, Harlin and Sue purchased additional females including a purebred heifer that they showed at the Minnesota State Fair. The Hechts are proud to say that 2021 will mark the 53rd consecutive year that they have shown Charolais at the Great Minnesota Get Together.
The first few years in Charolais were a financial struggle, but the Hecht’s persevered and started showing cattle around the nation. An interesting fact is that the Minnesota Charolais Association was organized in their kitchen. They had good and bad days, but they always enjoyed and found inspiration in the Charolais people.
Over the 50 years Harlin and Sue, and their sons, Howard, Mark and Dale, have been actively involved with the Charolais breed, they have accomplished many worthy achievements. Harlin served as the AICA President from 2011-2012, and he was an Area Director beginning in 1983 when the AICA headquarters was relocated to Kansas City. Today he remains active serving on AICA committees. In 2006, Harlin was recognized as the AICA Herdsman of the Year at the 37th National Show in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the National Western. Harlin was the first Charolais breeder to be inducted into the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame in 1996. Sue has been active in Charolais Dees, serving as President. She has been an active member of AICA committees and participated in planning past AIJCA JUNIOR Nationals hosted by Minnesota. In 2018, Harlan and Sue Hecht were inducted into the American International Charolais Association Hall of Fame. Sons Howard and Mark are past Presidents of AIJCA, and Dale was a director and honored as Junior Herdsman of the Year. During their AIJCA careers, the sons exhibited countless class winners and even earned Bred & Owned Champion Heifer. Currently, the Hecht grandchildren have continued the Double-H tradition of competing at Junior Nationals.
Today the Double-H Charolais program is heavily involved with embryo transfer and was the first AICA member to utilize the new CharAuctions.com technology. Harlin and Sue were honored as the 40th National Show Dedicatees at the 2009 Fort Worth Livestock Show recognizing their achievements in and for the Charolais breed. Since founding the Double-H program over fifty years ago, the Hecht family has strived to produce quality performance Charolais cattle with the right look. Double-H Charolais will proudly maintain an active leadership role in guiding the Charolais breed into the next generation by providing a heifer for a MYBEP youth.