By Bruce Thomas

The stakes have never been higher to create VALUE and EFFICIENCY throughout the production system. In the past decade, Hereford has documented dramatic improvements in calving ease, weaning and yearling performance, and end product merit. The Spring 2015 Hereford Pan-American Cattle Evaluation (PACE) documents consistent improvements in all traits of economic importance. From 2004 to 2014, AHA Genetic Trends indicate a 14% reduction in birth weights, 20% improvement in weaning and yearling performance, and a 30% improvement in end product merit.

DNA testing technology continues to evolve, giving Hereford breeders even more predictive power when making genetic decisions. The AHA has taken a very scientific approach by collaborating with some of the brightest animal geneticists in the country to develop Hereford-specific genomic enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) through the national cattle evaluation (NCE). By blending pedigree, phenotypes, and now genetic information, the Association has the ability to predict the breeding value of young unproven animals with new accuracy levels that equates to an animal having between three to eight progeny on record.

Two recent, large-scale research projects have documented the value of Hereford genetics in the commercial industry. Calves sired by Hereford bulls have a $30 per head documented advantage in feedlot profitability and 7% advantage in fertility when compared to Angus-sired calves. This advantage was documented during a three-year, real- world commercial heterosis project comparing progeny by Hereford and Angus bulls when crossed on Angus-based cows. The study also documented a maternal advantage of 7% higher pregnancy rate when comparing the Hereford-sired females to Angus-sired females.

Another project with Simplot Livestock Co. proved low birth weight Hereford bulls stacked up to Angus-heifer bulls in calving ease when bred to Angus first-calf heifers. This project will continue to follow the calves through weaning, finishing, and harvest and track results of the Hereford-sired calves versus the Angus-sired calves.

There’s nothing better than a Hereford or Hereford- influenced cow. She offers fertility, longevity, adaptability, docility, and better performance – some of the best qualities in the industry.

Since 1995, Certified Hereford Beef® has been marketing this beef to American families from American families. Certified Hereford Beef® is a premium, differentiated beef brand that provides an eating experience only the Hereford breed can produce. We’re proud to work with our local ranching families to ensure the values that we started generations ago continue well into tomorrow. It’s this promise that allows us to say, Certified Hereford Beef® is Excellence Built By Tradition.™

This year the NJHA (National Junior Hereford Association) hosted the largest junior livestock event in the world. The Junior National Hereford Expo was held in Louisville, KY with 1,513 entries, 1,318 head of cattle, and 920 exhibitors from 38 states.

The AHA is excited to announce that through the Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) a total of $168,000 will be award in scholarship to Hereford youth in 2017.

The NJHA also empowers its youth through the “Faces of Leadership” Conference. The 2017 event was held in Kansas City, MO with 89 participants from 20 states. There were two motivational leaders/speakers, a visit to KSU, Jenson Bros. Herefords, and Biozyme Inc.

The AHA offers the “Hereford Advantage Program”; this program is to increase added marketing power and brand recognition with feeder cattle sired by a Hereford bull battery ranking in the top 20% for the $CHB index.

For more information, contact the Montana Hereford Association president, Tom Sparks, at (406) 778-2320, or secretary Emily Shilling at (406) 322-8541.

Join us to “Talk Hereford,” connecting cattlemen with our Allied Partners, at the American Hereford Association’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference held in Kansas City, MO, October 27-28.