Editors Note: The following was submitted by Joyce Williams. In memory of her husband, Harold, a past ASA Trustee and lifelong member of the Iowa Simmental Association, they established the Iowa Simmental Family of the Year Award, starting in 2020.
When Harold and I purchased our first yellow, purebred Simmental bull in 1976 little did we realize the role the Simmental breed would play in our lives and the lives of our family. Harold served the association in many different capacities from running the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Simmental Association (ISA) bull tests to serving two terms on the ISA board of directors. He served as president of the board and was then asked to take on the job of Executive Secretary after the retirement of Bob Christensen.
As the association went through some hard times, the board asked him to take on the partial responsibility of clerking the Expo along with his duties of supervisor of the Iowa State Fair Open Show which he did for over 25 years. While serving two terms on the ASA Board of Trustees as a North Central Region Trustee, we traveled to the neighboring states for their state fairs and annual meetings. One event that we mentioned every year was the award given to an outstanding family in their state association. Through all the years that he assumed these additional responsibilities, it would not have been possible if our family hadn’t stepped up to take on their additional responsibilities. Harold’s lifelong commitment to the Simmental breed is why our family has decided to make an annual award to a family that exemplifies what we feel is a family endeavor in his name.
As our family sat down to fine tune this award, there were many families that were mentioned and all very worthy. Our family decided to award the first Iowa Simmental Family of the Year award to the Doug and Sue Wenell Family. Our family feels the Wenell Family is a great definition of a family-involved operation. Doug and Sue have been active members of the ISA since 1977. Since buying their first Simmental bull in 1972, they have been involved in the many activities which include his serving on the ISA board, editing the ISA Breeders Directory for publication and helping with the Iowa State Fair. The State Fair show was always a Wenell family event, even if it was Doug sitting in the chair providing the management and consultation. When you hear Golden Acres, you don’t think of one person, but an entire family. Their family continues the Simmental tradition into the next generation through their kids and grandkids. Their grandchildren are active members of the IJSA participating in various Simmental events from the county level to National Classics. Without a doubt, our family feels the Wenell family will continue to support the Iowa Simmental Association in the years to come. Congratulations to the Wenell Family from the Williams and Long families.
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