Our love for Hereford cattle started because of their gentle nature, superior maternal traits, good looks, and crossbreeding potential. Our operation started out with a few commercial Hereford females and has now grown to include registered females and a few Hereford/Black Angus crosses. As long as we are in operation we will own Herefords, they are just simply the best kind of cattle to raise (or at least we think so)!
History of the Hereford Breed
The Hereford breed was founded some two and one-half centuries ago as a product of necessity. Thrifty and enterprising farmers near Hereford in the County of Herefordshire, England, were determined to produce beef for the expanding food market created by Britain’s industrial revolution. To succeed in Herefordshire, these early-day cattlemen realized they must have cattle which could efficiently convert their native grass to beef and do it at a profit.
There was no breed in existence at the time to fill that need, so the farmers of Herefordshire founded the beef breed that logically became known as Herefords. These early Hereford breeders molded their cattle with the idea in mind of a high yield of beef and efficiency of production, and so firmly fixed these characteristics that they remain today as outstanding characteristics of the breed.
Beginning in 1742 with a bull calf from the cow Silver and two cows, Pidgeon and Mottle, inherited from his father’s estate, Benjamin Tomkins is credited with founding the Hereford breed. This was 18 years before Robert Bakewell began developing his theories of animal breeding. From the start, Mr. Tomkins had as his goals economy in feeding, natural aptitude to grow and gain from grass and grain, rustling ability, hardiness, early maturity and prolificacy, traits that are still of primary importance today.
Other pioneering breeders were to follow the Tomkins’ lead and establish the world-wide renown for the Herefordshire cattle causing their exportation from England to wherever grass grows and beef production is possible.
Herefords in the 1700’s and early 1800’s in England were much larger than today. Many mature Herefords of those days weighed 3,000 pounds or more. Cotmore, a winning show bull and noteworthy sire, weighed 3,900 pounds when shown in 1839. Gradually, the type and conformation changed to less extreme size and weight to get more smoothness, quality and efficiency.
To read the complete history of the Hereford breed, please click on this link: http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/hereford