Harry Hart was born November 1, 1926, near Cozad, Nebraska. After graduating from Cozad High School, Hart served two years in the United State Navy during World War II. Following his military experience, he attended Nebraska Wesleyan University. Harry and his wife, Jeanne, have raised one daughter and two sons on their livestock and grain farm near Cozad. Their daughter, Pat Gewecke, currently resides in Omaha and sons Bruce and James live in the Cozad area.
Presently, Hart is known statewide as the owner/operator of an elite purebred Suffolk and Hampshire sheep flock and has been in the purebred sheep business for 38 years. His first educational experience was six sheep for his high school FFA project. In 1950, Hart purchased their first three registered Hampshires from Willard Waldo. Suffolks were introduced into the Hart operation in 1960.
Hart is a strong believer in the important of good record-keeping and performance testing. He established one of the first performance testing sheep programs in the nation and was one of the first participants in the Iowa and Nebraska performance records program.
The University of Nebraska has been a benefactor of Hart's interest in improving the quality of sheep produced. Hart has participated in research with sheep implants at UNL. In addition, he helped enact the participate in the University of Nebraska Ewe Program. Numerous collegiate livestock judging teams have used the Hart facilities and stock for contests and workouts.
In Dawson County and across Nebraska, Hart is known for his encouragement of youth in the sheep industry. Hart has been a sponsor of the Nebraska Sheep Winner's trip to National 4-H Congress and has also been a county 4-H leader for 15 years. Many 4-H and FFA members have benefitted from both Hart's experience and the quality of his flock. He maintains a program whereby he rents quality rams to 4-H and FFA members for a nominal fee, and he also guarantees his ewes to breed. Hart has judged many county and state fairs, as well as other sheep shows.
Hart has been an active and loyal supporter at the local, state, and national level. Hart served on the Board of Directors for the American Hampshire Sheep Association and the Nebraska Registered Sheep Breeders. In addition, he is a charter member of the Nebraska Sheep Council. Locally he has served as President and Secretary of the Dawson County Sheep and Wool Association and director of the Dawson County Feeders Association.
Hart is a member of the First United Methodist Church, 30-year member of the VFW and past commander, BPOE 2250, and Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include softball, baseball, tennis and he has raised and raced homing pigeons.
Block and Bridle is proud to honor Harry Hart as the 1987 addition to the Animal Science Hall of Fame.