Producers Finding Value in Hereford Feedout Data
Information on cattle performance is key for both seedstock and commercial producers. The American Hereford Association helps progressive producers assess how their herds’ genetics succeed in the feedyard and on the rail.
Hereford producers stand behind their products by knowing their genetics. The association’s annual feedout programs provide participants with carcass information to keep their operations moving in a positive direction. American Hereford Association’s Trey Beford talks about the value of data.
“The information that the participants gain from the program really has helped them to make better decisions, whether its genetic selection or their herd health programs, the feedout programs have given them a lot of data and information so they can set a benchmark for their operations. If they need to work on carcass weight or ribeye area or marbling or any of those carcass traits, that we can directly measure, they get that information.”
The programs also generate unique marketing avenues. Feedout participants gain access to the U.S. Premium Beef grid, so cattle can qualify as candidates for the Certified Hereford Beef brand.
“To have access to U.S. Premium Beef program through National Beef is really a great benefit of the program — that’s an industry-leading marketing program that provides extra value for Hereford-influenced cattle. And I think participants can gain a lot for being rewarded for quality.”
The association offers opportunities for both adults and juniors. Adults can participate in the Hereford feedout program, and juniors—in the National Junior Hereford Association Fed Steer Shootout. All cattle entered are fed at the H-R-C- feedyards in Scott City, Kansas—and both programs offer valuable insight.
“It really gives a good opportunity for our members to gain education and experience in the cattle feeding industry and learn a different part of the industry that they might not be familiar with.”
Ultimately, the feedout helps establish the advantage of Hereford genetics in the marketplace and gives producers tools to improve their operations. Hereford’s executive vice president Jack Ward says improved genetics are moving the breed forward in all areas.
“We also see commercial producers today understanding the value of heterosis, the value of adding Hereford genetics to their cow herd, increasing in efficiency, fertility, longevity, and then, of course, you always get a great disposition as you add Hereford genetics to it.”
Enrollment information for the feedout programs is available at Hereford.org.