HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES OF
THE OLBA AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE TO BREED DEVELOPMENT
by Dan Wedman
It is my pleasure to reminisce with you some of the great moments
in Limousin history made possible by Oklahoma Limousin breeders and the OLBA.
The OLBA was conceived in the living room of the late Fred DeMier home east of
Miami, Oklahoma. While the DeMier home and the ranch it sat on were both elegant
and expansive, the organization formed that day in May 1971, was quite small
with little more than hope and halfbloods holding it together.
It was strong self-giving men like Fred DeMier and Burwell Bates of Konawa,
Oklahoma, who not only started and nurtured the OLBA but who were very
instrumental in moving our national organization forward. Both of these men were
the first from Oklahoma to serve on the NALF board.
Many firsts for the Limousin breed happened in Oklahoma. Countless other firsts
for the breed happened due to the efforts of a strong core of Oklahoma Limousin
Every decade or so the NALF has held a breed symposium. In just over 30 years of
its existence, the Limousin breed has held three. Two of the three have been
held in Oklahoma. The first one, Limousin Crossroads in 1979, and two Decembers
ago, Focus 2000 was also held in Stillwater.
The first World Limousin Futurity, which evolved to the show we know today as
Limousin’s All-American Futurity, was held in Tulsa in 1974. This show has been
held annually in different states since 1974 but its birthplace is Oklahoma.
From that 1974 Tulsa event sprang up another very important organization, the
national Limousin ladies auxiliary, later to be known as the Limouselles. Born
in Oklahoma, its first president was Bonnie Booth. Bonnie is now the wife of
Ernie Tullis and they breed Limousin north of Welch, Oklahoma.
The first fullblood female to sell in the breed sold in Fort Worth. She sold in
Texas, but the buyer, seller, handler, auctioneer and sale manager were all from
Oklahoma. Buyers at $50,000 were Rick and Sharon Dobson, Budrick Farms,
Mannsville, Oklahoma and the seller was the late Raymond Hefner, founder of
Canadian Valley Ranch, Seminole, Oklahoma.
Mr. Hefner also hosted the breed’s first all fullblood sale in Oklahoma City. He
was a Limousin giant for nearly 30 years and was named the OLBA’s first Lifetime
Achievement Award winner seven years ago. Canadian Valley Ranch continues the
legacy he started through his son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Lisa Hefner.
It is most fitting that this first of its kind — “Heritage in the Homeland”
Limousin Auction — be held at the historic Canadian Valley Ranch.
Space does not allow us to mention all of the breed firsts with Oklahoma breeder
connections. But it is important to mention some of the key individuals who made
a marked difference in the early development and success of the first, most
prolific and most enduring state Limousin association in the country. Men like
Charlie Moore of Boise City, Oklahoma, who was one of the first to use Limousin
bulls on a large commercial scale back in the mid-70s. He not only used Limousin
on a large scale, he encouraged cattlemen all through the years to try Limousin
H.A. McCoy and Wayman Jackson of Miami, Bill Jacque of Norman, Charlie McCollom
from Roosevelt, Jack Vanbebber and Charlie Somers both from Lindsay were
powerful breeders of Limousin and avid promoters of the carcass breed.
Mr. McCollom, Mr. McCoy, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Vanbebber and Mr. Somers were also
some of the early propagators of polled genetics in the whole country. Their
influence in the breed is enjoyed by a majority of the breeders today.
The late Hal Courtney of Madill, a true gentleman, who to my recollection was
the first car dealer we ever had in the Limousin business. He was a cattleman
first and a profound leader. Hal served as OLBA president and president of the
NALF as well.
Fred and Janelle Spitz from Oklahoma City had one of the most legendary Limousin
programs in the history of the breed. They started out pretty green like most
everyone but Fred was a visionary. By the mid-80s cattlemen were clamoring for
the Spitz breedings. The Spitz program produced a Triple Crown bull and female
in the same year—1986. The female Spitz Special Effort is the first and only
Triple Crown female in the breed.
Professional preparation for show and sale of Limousin cattle also began in
Oklahoma. Glen Spafford, Bill Bridges, Alan Petzold and Jimmy Linthicum. There
are others but these four gentlemen beginning with Glen were the early pioneers
in the breed for getting the cattle ready for show and really putting the
meaning of show in the Limousin show ring. The extra effort these guys put into
getting cattle ready for show and sale made everyone else take notice.
Ken Holloway, Sonny Booth and Bruce Brooks, all three OLBA Lifetime Achievement
Award winners, brought professionalism to marketing Limousin seedstock. Without
these guys creating and maximizing the market for an untold number of breeders
across North America, Limousin would not be one of the largest breeds of beef
cattle in America.
And last but not least, the Oklahoma juniors. From the mid-70s to present,
Oklahoma kids have shown the best junior cattle in the nation. The McKowns,
Linthicums, Spitzs and Holloways got it started and throngs of others since have
carried the tradition on. In 1991, Jary and Marsha Douglas, Dean McKee, Coy
Heldermon and Kathy Brooks challenged the OJLA and all the parents to bring it
to a new level. With their help and that of many others, the OJLA became the
best all-around state junior association in the country. No one, not one state
in this great nation can claim more accomplishments in the past decade at the
National Junior shows than these Oklahoma kids. It is to the credit of the OLBA
that these young ones continue to keep the standard of excellence for the entire
For more information go to
the North American Limousin