Thu, 15 Sep 2022 09:00:16 CDT
Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, got the chance to visit with Chief Operating Officer and Director of Breed Improvement for the American Hereford Association, Shane Bedwell, talking about the state of the Hereford breed.
“We have seen great demand here in the last few years,” Bedwell said. “The breed has flourished, and we are seeing renewed interest in heterosis and crossbreeding in the nation’s commercial cowherd. Folks have really understood and realized that they need a shot of power, they need a shot of growth, they need a shot of fertility, and Hereford really brings that and delivers that to these cattlemen.”
The Hereford breed, Bedwell said, is valuable because of its inherent docility and soundness, which is what cattlemen want.
“We have seen great demand for bull sales here in the last two years throughout the breed,” Bedwell said. “As feeder calf price has gone up, so has Hereford bull sale price, and we have stayed at a pretty neat pace relative to that ratio and well above industry standard when that comes.”
Bedwell said more Hereford bulls have been marketed in the last two years than ever before and the demand has been strong.
“I attribute that to our breeders and what they have been able to do,” Bedwell said. “They have focused on genetic improvement and using the tools available to make the cattle better and bend the curves that we need to in an ever-demanding beef industry.”
The Certified Hereford Beef program, Bedwell said, continues to see demand and interest in what it provides to serve the consumer.
“It’s great pull-through demand for our bull sales and seed stock business and we look to grow that,” Bedwell said. “We have some really neat projects in play right now where we are looking at overall sustainability and efficiencies of this industry and we have got some great research projects that are underway that are going to be consumer focused to totally connect the dots and show the beef industry and show most importantly our consumer how efficient and how sustainable we can be.”
Bedwell also talked about the Junior National Hereford Expo which took place in Louisville, Ky. in July.
“That show had over 750 youth from 40 states, so it was an excellent display of what our junior membership is all about,” Bedwell said. “We have contests of all kinds. Of course, the show and showmanship, but it is amazing when you get 1200-1400 head of cattle all under one roof and you see the youth that accompanies these cattle.”
There are many other programs for juniors, Bedwell said, such as the National Junior Hereford Association Fed Steer Shootout in Scott City, Kan.
“We are really excited about the future of our breed,” Bedwell said. “The association and its youth foundation have really supported the juniors really well. We will give out more than 200,000 dollars worth of scholarships this fall for those young people because we believe in them so much and we know that they are the future of our breed.”
Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Ron Hays and Shane Bedwell talking about the latest in the Hereford industry.
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