In 1906, Jim Mrnak’s grandfather, Vincent, homesteaded the present Mrnak Hereford Ranch. They came from the East with the usual homesteader belongings and a few head of livestock. In 1944, Jim’s father, Wencil, bought him a few registered Hereford heifers. This was the foundation and beginning of the Mrnak Hereford Ranch. Since 1968, the entire cowherd has been of recorded seedstock.
Since its inception, the ranch has seen many changes in the cattle industry, from the small compact cattle, to the large framed cattle and everything in between. It has always been our program to stay with the moderate framed cattle with thickness, muscling and natural fleshing ability. We strongly believe that a highly fertile, functional and sound cowherd is a must in the Hereford industry.
Over the years, as the cowherd grew, many influential bulls have contributed to the successful marketing of our cattle. BB Selkirk Lad 3136, purchased from BB Cattle Co., Connell, WA, has left a lasting genetic mark on our cowherd. Other strong breeding sires were BHHR 4088-642, CL1 Domino 590, Dan Mischief, and many more. At present we are using a combination of Canadian and US genetics, with a home-raised foundation in the “Dakota” and “Monument” family lines. We feel that combining these foundation females with other industry leading herd sires have been very beneficial to the commercial cattlemen that purchase our seedstock.
In 1968 we had our 1st production sale here on the ranch selling 50 bulls. Over the years we have seen our bulls sell all over the United States. In earlier sales we sold strictly bulls, but in recent years the demand for Hereford heifers has convinced us to open up our market of heifers in our annual sale, and has allowed some great junior showman an opportunity to compete in the show ring with some of our best heifers.
The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th generation of Mrnaks now resides on the Mrnak Hereford Ranch. Jim and wife Marlene had 5 children; Connie, Wayne, Terry, Loren and Carla. Wayne, wife Jill and daughter Robyn along with Terry, and sons Brent and Andy currently operate the ranch that consists of registered and commercial females, a feedlot, and a farming operation that include growing wheat, corn, sunflowers, oats, barley and alfalfa hay. Over the years Jim, Marlene, Wayne, Brent and Andy have served the Hereford breed on local, state and national levels. Wayne formerly served as a director of the AHA board. Marlene was President of the ND Cattlewomen. Brent and Andy both served as directors of the National Junior Hereford Association for three years and Andy is currently President of the North Dakota Hereford Association. And most recently Jim and Marlene were honored to have the Mrnak Hereford Ranch inducted into the American Hereford Association Hall of Fame in October 2015.
One could say the family is “Hereford” through and through as they preach, “Every calf should have a white face.”