|INDIANA LIMOUSIN ASSOCIATION|
The Early History of the ILA
Submitted by Leon Tucker
Sometime in the mid 1980’s, then Indiana Limousin Association President, Larry Struble, discovered there was very little archived information about the founding of the Indiana Limousin Association. The Association was formed in 1973 but the few records that were found were those dated after 1978. Although one of the early members, Larry was not a founding member, so he took it upon himself to gather and document as much history as possible from those individuals that helped create the association. What follows is a compilation of dates, names and events that shaped the early Indiana Limousin Association.
In 1968 a group of 15 cattle producers interested in promoting and developing Limousin cattle in the United States and Canada met in Denver, Colorado. It was at this meeting in the spring of 1968 that the North American Limousin Association (NALF) was formed. The first Limousin semen was available in July 1969 and the first live Limousin bulls were imported permanently into the Unites States in 1971. Most of early breeders and cattle were found in Oklahoma, Kansas South Dakota and Canada. In order to expand the breed and generate interest in the cattle, the North American Limousin Foundation encouraged member breeders to form regional associations.
Early in 1972, a small group of Limousin breeders gathered in Illinois to discuss forming a regional Limousin association that would represent Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. This association was never formed because those breeders felt that they were geographically too spread out to create a successful association. Leon Tucker of Milford, Indiana, attended this meeting in Illinois and later in 1973 was part of a group of breeders from Indiana and Michigan that met and finally did form a regional association: the Indiana-Michigan Limousin Association was established in 1973.
Dave Jonkman of Michigan was the association president in 1974. The role of president then moved to the leadership of Hoosiers: Leon Tucker, 1975, Richard Deer, 1976, Ken Johnting, 1977.
The first Indiana-Michigan Limousin Association sale for Limousin influenced and registered calves was held in 1974. The first breeding cattle sale was held on March 6, 1978, at the Claypool Sale Barn with a total of 54 head selling at an average of $655. The consignments were from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. The sales from 1974 to 1978 were all under the organization and sponsorship of the Indiana-Michigan Limousin Association.
The annual association report from 1978 shows that the annual meeting that year was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on February 4. It was at this meeting that the two states decided to separate and each form their own associations. The Indiana Limousin Association was formed in 1978 with the following slate of officers: Alan Richardson, President; Leon Tucker, Vice President; Larry Gerkin, Secretary; Larry Struble, Treasurer. Additional Board members were Richard Deer, Craig Schrader and Ken Johnting. During the next 25 years, 1978 to 2003, twelve different men served as President and only three individuals served on a one-year term.
Limousin cattle shows in Indiana began with the 1977 Indiana State Fair with 29 head of open class cattle being exhibited. In 1978, the first Limousin breed classes were offered at two county fairs: Elkhart County and Parke County. The first Indiana Junior Limousin show was held on June 30, 1979, in Daleville, Indiana. 1979 was also the first year that Limousin Heifer classes were offered at the Indiana State Fair.