Gene Improving Technology Helps Hereford Breed Increase Sustainability by Making More with Less

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Jack Ward about new technology pushing the Hereford breed to new heights.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back talking with the Executive Vice President of the American Hereford Association, Jack Ward. In this episode of Beef Buzz, Hays and Ward talk about new technology pushing genetics in the Hereford industry above and beyond.

As the beef cattle seed stock business continues to utilize cutting-edge technology, Ward talked about how gene editing may be the next big thing.  

“We do have some very general rules in place in terms of how a gene-edited animal would get registered within our system, and what our board is comfortable in allowing,” Ward said.

Gene editing, Ward said, will be a great tool moving forward, but there are still many aspects to look at.

As the world population increases, Ward said, beef consumption increases with it because it is a high-quality protein that fits well into a healthy diet. Because of genetic improvement, the quality of beef has increased, Ward said, aiding in the popularity increase in beef products in the U.S.

“With this population growing, we as producers are going to continue to do more with less,” Ward said.

The beef cattle industry is unique, Ward said, because beef on consumer plates is raised in a variety of conditions across the U.S.

“It is a challenge as we market and try to make genetic improvement in the breed with the tools we have because it is always easy to maybe say more is always better, and that is not necessarily the case,” Ward said. “I challenge, and I think our members do a wonderful job of identifying the customers and the environment that their customers fit in and making genetic selections to benefit their customers.”

Regarding the Certified Hereford Beef program, Ward said he is pleased with the quality of that program but is looking forward to continued growth.

“There are so many components to what we can do here, and it has got a component for the commercial industry, the feedlot industry, the packer, the consumer, and so we have got a great product that has a tremendous story behind it as well,” Ward said.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.