Expanded Hereford Feedout Program

The American Hereford Association (AHA) is expanding its popular Hereford Feedout Program to provide Hereford breeders and commercial users of Hereford genetics more opportunities to discover the feedlot and carcass performance of their genetics.

“Growing interest led us to expand from one feedout each year to two, beginning with the first fall program in 2023,” explains Trey Befort, AHA director of commercial programs. “The added feeding period enables us to accommodate producers’ whose calving and weaning seasons prevented them from participating as much as they wanted with a single feeding period.”

The Hereford Feedout Program offers producers an opportunity to send a few head or entire pens to HRC Feed Yards in Scott City, Kan., where the cattle are fed. Participants receive ongoing updates about how their cattle are performing while on feed and then receive a collective summary of all cattle enrolled in the program to see how their cattle performed relative to the entire group.

Currently, 94 participants from 22 states are feeding more than 1,400 head of Hereford and Hereford-influenced feeder cattle at HRC Feed Yards. The numbers encompass the Hereford Feedout Program* and the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) Fed Steer Shootout.**

“Every year, we see increased interest in these programs from our members and their customers because of the value they find in benchmarking feedlot and carcass performance in their programs and then tracking subsequent performance relative to their benchmark,” Befort says.

All participants can attend an annual educational field day at HRC Feed Yards, which delves into various aspects of the cattle markets, cattle feeding and beef packing. This year’s event is April 15.

“These programs provide value to those who have never fed their cattle before and those who do so on a routine basis,” explains Bill Goehring, Libertyville, Iowa, AHA president — a Hereford breeder, commercial cow calf producer and sale barn owner and manager. “These programs are a convenient, cost-effective way for Hereford seedstock producers and their commercial customers to identify how their genetics perform in the feedlot and in the packinghouse. The data also adds increasing accuracy to the breed’s genetic evaluation.”

Cattle from the Hereford Feedout Program are harvested by National Beef Packing Company, which is the licensed beef processor for Certified Hereford Beef® (CHB). Cattle in the program are candidates for CHB and are marketed on the U.S. Premium Beef® Grid, ultimately providing producers access to industry-leading marketing options.

“Everyone involved in the beef industry has a role in feeding the world,” says Lee Mayo, HRC Feed Yards general manager. “If we can teach breeders and have them take ownership and responsibility for the end product, I am really excited to see the progress of the Hereford breed over the next 50 years.”

Those interested in the fall program are encouraged to enroll by May 1. Delivery to HRC Feed Yards will take place June 10–14. For more information, visit https://hereford.org/genetics/breed-improvement/feedout-program/

*Hereford Feedout Program — participants enroll a minimum five head of same-sex (steer or heifer) cattle for feeding within a designated delivery period; participants can enroll whole-pen groups outside of designated delivery period.
**NJHA Fed Steer Shootout — participants enroll individual steers or pens of three steers.
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