Kansan inducted into American Gelbvieh Association Hall of Fame
Roger Gatz of Hiawatha, Kan., was the 2012 inductee into the American Gelbvieh Association Hall of Fame. Created as a means to recognize those who have made a lasting contribution to the growth and development of the Gelbvieh breed through the influence of the cattle they have bred, breed promotion efforts or leadership provided to the AGA, the prestigious Hall of Fame award is given annually to a deserving individual.
An avid promoter of the Gelbvieh breed and a distinguished list of accomplishments more than qualify Roger to join the nearly 30 other individuals or couples who have a permanent place on the AGA Hall of Fame at the AGA headquarters.
Gatz's 25 years of continued service to the Gelbvieh breed began in 1983 with a publication called "Gelbvieh U.S." Targeted to commercial cattleman, many Gelbvieh breeders credit the publication with generating interest in using Gelbvieh bulls on predominantly British-based cows in the 1980s. In 1986, Gatz began working for the American Gelbvieh Association as a fieldman. Soon after, he helped the AGA produce its first in-house, association-owned publication "Gelbvieh World" in July/August of 1986. Gatz has continued to provide his services to the association by providing breed promotion photos, contributing to "Gelbvieh World" ad sales and providing marketing expertise.
In his role as a fieldman, Gatz saw a need for a sales management firm within the Gelbvieh breed. In 1988 Gatz began Cattleman's Connection to promote and manage Gelbvieh only sales throughout the U.S. Five years later, Gatz expanded Cattleman's Connection to include semen sales of only Gelbvieh bulls. While business has expanded to include additional breeds, Gatz continually promotes Gelbvieh.
When elected to the AGA Board of Directors in 1997, Gatz contributed his marketing expertise to co-manage the National Gelbvieh Sale. Two of the three sales he co-managed were the top averaging sales of all breeds during the National Western Stock Show. For the past two years, Gatz once again took up the management role and provided his services to manage the National Gelbvieh Sale. With a total gross of $212,000, the average for the 2012 sale was a 20 percent increase over last year's sale, and a 75 percent increase from the sale two years ago.
Further proof of Gatz's commitment to the American Gelbvieh Association has been his attendance at 24 of the last 25 AGA annual conventions. Moreover, he can make the same claim regarding his attendance at the American Gelbvieh Junior Association's junior national show held each summer.
Gatz is also an active leader outside of the American Gelbvieh Association. He is a member of the Kansas Livestock Association and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. He is a founding member of the Hiawatha FFA chapter, where he still devotes many hours of his time. As well, Gatz is a member of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Hiawatha where he is also an usher.
In a letter of support for Gatz's nomination into the Hall of Fame, Judd Ranch, Inc., of Pomona, Kan., stated, "Gatz Gatz has been the Gelbvieh breed's No. 1 ambassador and promoter for more than 25 years. His cattle knowledge combined with his belief in, and commitment to, the Gelbvieh breed is unparalleled and has influenced numerous individuals to become seedstock producers and an untold number of commercial cattlemen to incorporate Gelbvieh genetics in to their program."
The American Gelbvieh Association Hall of Fame induction took place during the 2012 AGA "Blazing New Trails" annual convention held Jan. 4 to 7 in Denver, Colo. Gatz Gatz's contributions, promotion and dedication to the AGA and the Gelbvieh breed are remarkable and deserving of a place in the American Gelbvieh Association Hall of Fame.