City, Mo. Kathy Storey Kohlbeck, Bozeman, Mont., has been named the 2006 American Hereford Women (AHW) Woman of the Year.
Kathy is a third-generation Hereford breeder. Her grandparents Wilbur and Hilda Storey started in the registered Hereford business in 1935, making Storey Hereford Ranch one of the oldest Hereford operations in Montana.
Actively involved in the Hereford business her entire life, Kathy is a true promoter of Herefords and Hereford youth. In 1996 she was elected to the AHW board of directors. While on the board she served in numerous officer positions, including Feedbox editor, historian, parliamentarian, director and president-elect. In 2001 she served on the transition Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) board. From 1999-2002 she chaired the strategic planning committee, which was a joint AHW/National Organization of Poll-ettes (NOP) committee. Kathy is also a past president of the Montana Hereford Auxiliary.
While growing up, Kathy was involved in the Park Gallatin Hereford Association, which at one time boasted having 35,000 head of registered Herefords in a 30-mile radius. Kathy's grandmother Hilda started the first Hereford auxiliary in the U.S.
Kathy's parents Jim and Betty Storey were active in the Montana Hereford Association and Auxiliary; this involvement opened the doors for her to participate in many Hereford activities.
In 1963 Kathy became a charter member of the Montana Junior Hereford Association (MJHA). A member of the MJHA board from 1967-69, she served in many officer positions. She also served on the American Junior Hereford Association board from 1969-71, the first Montana junior elected to the national board.
After graduating from Montana State University (MSU) with a degree in ag production/animal science in 1972, Kathy worked for the Farm Credit Bank in Spokane, Wash., as public relations coordinator. In that position she won several national awards for advertising.
Since 1983 she has worked as MSU's Strand Student Union marketing manager. She has served as Park Gallatin Hereford Association secretary since 1988, the first woman to be elected to the board. Kathy also was a member of the 2001 Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) planning committee, when Montana hosted the JNHE in Billings.
Kristi Bishop, who was MJHA president during the planning of the 2001 JNHE, says, She was always the juniors' biggest promoter and advocate. Kathy was always there backing us up one hard workin' woman.
After meeting him at a bull sale, Kathy married Chuck Kohlbeck and returned to the ranch in 1982. They continue to operate Storey Hereford Ranch LLP with Kathy's father at the original headquarters near Bozeman. Kathy is involved in the day-to-day operation of the ranch and does all the promotion and ad layouts.
Chuck and Kathy have one daughter, Katelyn, a junior at Bozeman High School. Katelyn is an eight-year 4-H member, showing steers and heifers at open and MJHA events around the state.