ST. JOSPEH, Mo. — Hereford producers stand behind their products by knowing their genetics. The American Hereford Association (AHA) annual feedout programs provides participants with carcass information to keep their operations moving in a positive direction.
“The information that participants gain from the program has really helped them to make better decisions,” says Trey Befort, AHA director of commercial programs. “Whether it’s genetic selection or herd health, the feedout programs have given them a lot of data and information that they can set as a benchmark for their operations. If they need to work on carcass weight, ribeye area, or marbling — any of those carcass traits that we can directly measure — they can get that information.”
The programs also generate unique marketing avenues. Feedout participants gain access to the U.S. Premium Beef (USPB) grid, so cattle can qualify as candidates for the Certified Hereford Beef® brand.
“To have access to the U.S. Premium Beef program through National Beef is really a great benefit of the program. It’s an industry-leading marketing program that provides extra value for Hereford-influenced cattle, and participants can gain a lot from being rewarded for quality,” Befort says.
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 (NJHA) Fed Steer Shootout. All cattle entered are fed at HRC Feedyards in Scott City, Kansas, and both programs offer valuable insight.
“It really gives an opportunity for our members to gain the education and experience in the cattle feeding industry and learn about a different part of the industry that they might not be familiar with,” Befort says.
Ultimately, the feedout programs help establish the advantage of Hereford genetics in the marketplace and give producers tools to improve their operations. AHA Executive Vice President Jack Ward says these improved genetics are moving the breed forward.
“We see commercial producers today understanding the value of heterosis and the value of adding Hereford genetics to their cow herds, increasing in efficiency, fertility, longevity,” Ward says. “And, of course, you always get a great disposition when you add Hereford genetics.”
–American Hereford Association