Friday, January 20, 2023

Miniature Hereford Cattle's Growing Popularity

About 10 years or so ago, I was contacted by a few readers who asked if I would research and write an article about Hereford cattle. I was told that it would be a help to some of their children who were in the 4H and FFA. It was then that I decided to do a few articles intended to be used mainly by youngsters involved in 4H and FFA. Frankly, I really liked the idea of researching different breeds of cattle to help 4H and FFA kids. The fact is that I love it when I see kids involved in that sort of thing. After all, being responsible and having to raise a critter builds responsibility, good self-esteem, and good character traits in youngsters. 

It's probably why youngsters living in rural America are brought up with a lot more respect for others and a better work ethic. They simply don't have the same problems as youngsters who live in urban areas. While that's a subject for an article all in itself, it's safe to brag and say that about ranch and farm kids without feeling like that's stretching the truth.

As for writing about Hereford Cattle, after I put out an article on the breed, I found myself writing, for all the same reasons, about different cattle breeds, breeds of horses, goats, sheep, and even pigs. And to be honest, when I first took on the task of writing an article on Hereford Cattle, the breed, I didn't think it would be that tough. Boy was I wrong! 

I figured to do the article on Herefords with the help of the various Cattle Industry and Agriculture University websites out there. I figured I'd use those websites as source material to supplement and support what I thought I already knew about the breed. Well, what I found out was that even after me helping move and work a lot of white face cattle during a lot of gatherings and brandings, I still found that there was a lot that I simply didn't know. 

Of course, my friends, as always, just proved that we can always learn something about what we thought we knew about. In that case, I learned a lot about the Hereford breed that I simply didn't know. And yes, as far as I'm concerned, that's the biggest benefit of doing research. Whether it's doing research about cattle, horses, firearms, or about moments and events in our history, there are things that I find that I didn't know -- and find fascinating. And that, well that makes the time and effort worth it. 

As for the bottom line of the article Hereford Cattle - The Icon of the Cattle Industry, I still believe that what I wrote back in 2013 remains true today. "Herefords have demonstrated they are high-quality beef cattle in every aspect. Most ranchers will agree that Herefords are tough as nails and can almost subsist on twigs and rocks because they are excellent foragers, while also being excellent mothers, and providing a consistently excellent eating experience for consumers." 

The full article can be found here: Hereford Cattle - The Icon of the Cattle Industry

Well, it wasn't too long ago that I was contacted by a reader from the Miniature Hereford Cattle of Illinois which is an organization that was created so that owners of Miniature Hereford Cattle in that state and other interested people would "have a central location to connect." 

Their website states, "The Miniature Hereford breed was developed by Rust and Roy Largent of Fort Davis, Texas in 1970. The Largents were going against the industry trend at the time for larger, taller cattle. Their goal was to develop an efficient, smaller beef cow through selective breeding.

Difficulties plagued their early attempts but in 1981 the first true Miniature Hereford bull was born. His name was LS REAL MT 3, and he is present in the genealogy of almost every Miniature Hereford alive today."

After exchanging emails, and doing my own research, I found that the interest in Miniature Hereford Cattle is growing in popularity all across America. This new information enabled me to edit my 2013 article on Hereford Cattle to include information about Miniature Herefords. While I did include that information in that article when I rewrote the article, I'm bringing this to your attention today because a few of you have written to say that they didn't realize that the original 2013 article on Herefords now includes information about Miniature Herefords. So, if you have not read it lately, here is the additional information on Miniature Hereford Cattle:

So now, here is something more about this breed. There are Miniature Herefords. To the uninformed, those who know very little about Miniature Herefords may see them as “great pets” that are somehow genetically defective or not equal to full-size Herefords. Well, they are wrong. A Miniature Hereford is a full-blood Hereford.

The distinction between the full-size Hereford and the Miniature Hereford cattle breed is that the Miniature Hereford is simply not as tall as the normal full-size Hereford that we find throughout our country. 

While ordinary Herefords are outstanding, Miniature Herefords have their advantages.

I’ve read that the “Purebred Miniature Herefords” are free of the dwarf gene and subsequently that’s why they are registered with the American Hereford Association (AHA). Yes, just the same as their larger counterparts. As for their bloodlines, their pedigrees within the American Hereford Association can be traced all the way back to when Hereford cattle first arrived in America.

Herefords have proven their hardiness time and time again, their incredible ability to adapt to any environment, and their ease of gaining weight to produce high-quality beef. Because of these superb traits, Herefords are treasured by cattle producers. Miniature Herefords are no different.

Because of their smaller size, Miniature Herefords are much easier to handle compared to large cattle. They require less space and Miniature Herefords are excellent for children because of their docile nature. And yes, this makes Miniature Herefords the perfect 4-H or FFA animal. And really, as most of us who have been involved with 4-H and FFA projects for children, we all know very well how such projects help instill a sense of responsibility, pride, and accomplishment in youngsters.

There are many reasons to choose a Miniature Hereford. They are small and compact. They mature quicker than their full-size counterparts. They eat 30-40% less than their full-size counterparts. They adapt to a variety of environments with varying conditions and temperatures. They really have a gentle disposition. Their dispositions make them easy to handle, especially for children taking part in 4-H and FFA. In reality, Miniature Herefords make great 4-H or FFA projects.

All of these are winning factors, especially since Miniature Herefords require less acreage and cost less to raise. The advantages of Miniature Herefords for more Americans today make them the perfect cost-efficient beef cattle to raise on smaller farms. And because more and more families on small family farms today are raising beef for themselves, Miniature Herefords sound like the perfect choice for American families with limited acreage.

As with the original article, the above information has been compiled from many sources. I hope you found it interesting and useful. And please, don't forget to visit Miniature Hereford Cattle of Illinois.

Tom Correa

1 comment:

  1. Tom, if you wanna talk about cows, I've got no "beef" with you. Haha.


Thank you for your comment.