The Shaw name is rich in cattle history! It all began in 1946 when Tom Shaw returned to his home in McCall, Idaho, after serving in the Navy and, as promised, was given a belated graduation gift from a neighbor: the pick of the heifers from his herd. With his new bride Mary, at his side, Tom chose the heifer that would be the foundation of the Hereford herd and the start of Shaw Hereford Ranch. In 1959, Tom and Mary purchased the current “home place” near Notus, Idaho, and moved from the original Shaw homestead, along with their three children. As Tom and Mary grew their herd, performance was at the forefront of everything they did.
Over the years, Tom became well known in the Hereford breed and was a pioneer in many aspects of the cattle industry. Tom started the first Performance Bull Test Center in the Northwest in cooperation with the University of Idaho in 1969. Cattlemen from all over the Northwest and Canada enrolled bulls in the program. Tom was also instrumental in developing the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF), setting the standard for beef cattle performance. He served on the founding BIF board from 1977 through 1980. Tom served on the National Beef Board, National Cattlemen’s Association Board, Idaho Cattlemen’s Association(ICA) Board, and the American Hereford Association Board (AHA). He also served as president of ICA and AHA. Tom was inducted into the American Hereford Association Hall of Fame in 2009.
Tom and Mary’s youngest son, Greg, “officially” joined the operation after graduation in 1968, and he and Cleo were married in 1970. Eighteen years later, in 1988, the cows were split into three herds: one for Tom and Mary, a second for Greg’s brother and family, and the third for Greg and Cleo. Greg and Cleo remained on the original home place and created Shaw Cattle Company. It is here that they raised their three children, Tucker, Sam and Jaime, and carried on the tradition of raising reputable performance cattle.
In 1990, Greg and Cleo took the opportunity to diversify and purchased registered Red Angus cows to raise along-side the Hereford cattle. In 1996 Black Angus cattle were added to the herd. Today Shaw Cattle Company maintains over 1,500 registered cows encompassing all three breeds.
Greg has followed in his dad’s footsteps, continuing to raise performance cattle that are known throughout the country, while also taking the opportunity to improve the industry as a whole. Greg has served on a number of boards including the Idaho Cattlemen’s, Idaho Purebred Council, and the American Hereford Association where he also served as president. While serving on the AHA Board of Directors, Greg was influential in developing and implementing “whole herd reporting”.
Greg and Cleo’s two sons and their families have both returned to the ranch. Sam returned in 1999 after graduating from the University of Idaho. He and his wife Janel are raising their three girls on the ranch. Tucker returned to the ranch with his wife Angie in 2003. Tucker and Angie are raising their five children on the ranch. Greg and Cleo’s daughter Jaime, husband Kelly, and two girls live in Eugene, Oregon but enjoy helping out on the ranch when they can. Family is important to us and we are proud to have our fourth generation of “Shaws” on the ranch, learning the craft of raising cattle just like Great Grandpa Shaw!
We lost the cornerstones of the ranching family in the fall of 2010 with the passing of Grandpa and Grandma Shaw (Tom and Mary). Their dedication to each other, their family, and the cattle business is the “stuff” legacies are built on. We miss their day to day presence, but look forward to carrying on the ranching tradition they started and passing it on to the next generation.