James Wolf

James Wolf

Family: Wife: Elaine
Children: Debra, Susan, Jay and David


James Milton Wolf was born on September 14, 1921, in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from East Denver High School and then attended Michigan University. He received his A.B. from Harvard University in 1943 and his LLB. from Harvard Law School in 1949. Jim and Elaine were married in 1949 and have four children. Both daughters graduated from Colorado College while their two sons graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, They also have nine grandchildren.

In 1910, with headquarters in Albion, the Wagonhammer Cattle Company began with Belgian and Percheron draft horses. During World War 1, the company went from the draft horse business into the cattle business. Wagonhammer started their cattle business by sending trainloads of steers to Albion. This feedlot continued to expand to a 2,000 head capacity, one of the largest of its times.

Jim joined the Wagonhammer Cattle Company after World War II. In 1959, Jim converted the ranch from growing steers to a cow-calf operation. In 1965, he established a registered Angus herd. In the late 1960's, the commercial cow operation evolved into a crossbreeding enterprise with the introduction of continental breeds. Over the years, the crossbreeding system has stayed as a major part of the Wagonhammer ranch's operation.

Today's ranch consists of 36,000 acres of Sandhill's pasture, 1400 commercial cows, 400 registered Angus females, and 75 Charolais females. Approximately 1,900 calves are born each year, with about 200 of those being born in the early fall. Of these calves, some are sold to youth for market beef projects, some are put into the 4,000 head capacity feedlot, and others stay within the herd.

With the diverse nature of the operation, a great deal of key employees are required. The Wagonhammer employs seven people on the ranch and eight on the feedlot and farm. Many of these individuals have been working as part of the Wagonhammer Cattle Company for several years.

Jim has been active in the ranching and livestock industry for over thirty years, and has played a vital role in the beef industry. He became a leader in the field of performance testing cattle. He believes that not only is visual appraisal important but so is measurable performance data, on live as well as slaughtered cattle. Much of this data is part of the American Angus Association's data base for providing Expected Progeny Differences.

Jim has received many awards and recognitions since he became part of the Wagonhammer Cattle Company. He was named Beef Improvement Federation "USA Seedstock Producer" of the Year in 1979; received the Ak-Sar-Ben Agricultural Achievement Award in 1985, and was elected to membership in the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement in 1994. These are just a few of Jim's many accomplishments.

Jim has served on a variety of committees and areas throughout his career. He served on the Board of Directors for National Beef Improvement Federation, as President of Ideal Beef Systems-Performance People and was a member of the Consumer Relations Committee for the National Cattlemens Association.

Besides national livestock organizations, Jim has also been very active in his community, not only to the youth and livestock, but to everyone. For many years, he supported Boy Scouts and 4-H. He and his wife have also helped organize and donate funds for the construction and equipment for the Boone County Fitness Center in Albion.

Within the community, Jim as served as a member of the school board and past chairman of the Wolf Memorial Center Advisory Board. He has also been an active member of the Albion Kiwanis and Masonic Lodge.