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John Hays (Talisman Dexters)

John Hays 1912 - 2004

In loving memory of John Hays

The American Dexter Cattle Association wishes to acknowledge the passing of one of the founding members of this organization. Mr. John Hays who passed away in November of 2004 at the age of 92. His wife of 60 years, our dear friend and fellow Dexter breeder Belle Hays survives him.

John was an Attorney by profession. Music was his 2nd love in life (Belle his first). He played bass trombone with the San Francisco Symphony as well as several others and was a composer of Symphonic works.

The Hays purchased their “Talisman Farm” in Comptche, California in 1973. John and Belle bought their first Dexter cattle in the fall of 1974 when he bought four cows sight unseen from a breeder in Indiana and later that year purchased a bull from a breeder in Texas. This formed the nucleus of what was to become the "Talisman" Dexter herd.

John was a key player in the reorganization of the group known as "American Kerry and Dexter Club", incorporated in 1943. This became the American Dexter Cattle Association incorporated in January of 1978, the organization that we know now. John wrote the Articles of Incorporation and the original and updated By-Laws for the ADCA from 1977 until 1989 and acted as Director for the original Pacific Region.

John took on the arduous task of compiling the information of several others and the first edition of the "Dexter Cattle" book was published in 1984. At the ADCA annual meeting at Chico, CA, in 1994 both John and Belle were made Honorary Lifetime members of the ADCA.

Active Dexter breeders, the ADCA online pedigree shows the Hay’s having registered at least 66 animals under the “Talisman” herd name. John and Belle both were strong supporters of the "Original” type Dexter; small, black, with white horns having black tips. Belle still has two of their Talisman cows but they have been retired from producing calves.

In 2004 before John’s passing, he and Belle put together the 4th Edition of "Dexter Cattle" and Belle presented it as a gift to the Association to carry John's name on in the world of Dexter Breeders. This brings the printing total of his book to1700 copies. We are truly grateful for their efforts and generosity!

John’s name will not be forgotten in the hearts and minds of many Dexter breeders. He is as much a part of U.S. Dexters as the animals themselves.

American Dexter Cattle Association 2005


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American Dexter Cattle Association

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