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William Harper Pew | 1937

Recognized as the promoter and breeder who started eighteen Angus herds in Dutchess County, New York, founded the Dutchess County 4-H beef club, and sold labeled Briarcliff Angus beef.

1883-1935 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)



Impact & Accomplishments


Although his father was a prominent industrialist, William H. Pew aspired to pursue livestock farming as a profession. After attending Ohio State University, he received his degree at Iowa State College in 1907 and was immediately selected to head the Animal Husbandry Department at New Hampshire State College.


In 1909, he returned to Iowa State as professor, and in 1912, as department head. Six years later, he left academia to establish Shorthorn cattle and Poland China hog breeding operations on his father’s Ravendale Farm in Ravenna, Ohio.


For nine years, he was manager of Briarcliff Farms in Dutchess County, New York, the nation’s largest Aberdeen Angus herd. A director of the American Angus Association, Bill Pew initiated 4-H Club Baby Beef work in New York and contributed much to improved beef cattle production in the Eastern states.


In demand as a judge, Pew served at the Philadelphia Exposition (1926), the American Royal, the International, and many other shows and fairs.


Did You Know?


As a student at Iowa State, Pew applied for a chance to live in the swine barns and help care for the college hogs. He got the job and made good in a big way.


Pew is known as the promoter who started eighteen Angus herds in Dutchess County, New York, founded the Dutchess County 4-H beef club, and sold labeled Briarcliff Angus beef. He was a director of the American Angus Association and a beloved leader of his community.



As an ex-college man Pew readily appreciated the importance of interesting the boys and girls in beef cattle production work. He helped organize and soon became the leader of the 4-H Club Baby Beef work in New York and the adjacent states. He interested the various State Fair officials and the managers of the great Eastern States Exposition in this work, thus good classifications with liberal premiums were provided at these shows for Baby Beef exhibits.


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