Happy Herefords

NORTHFIELD, Minn. — Minnesota's Hereford breeders came together Sept. 24 for a chance to meet each other, and more importantly, to learn, at the MHB Tour.

Several cows and their calves from Neil Farms near Northfield, Minn., gather in the pasture during the tour.

NORTHFIELD, Minn. — Minnesota's Hereford breeders came together Sept. 24 for a chance to meet each other, and more importantly, to learn, at the MHB Tour.

The bus tour, featuring six local Hereford farms: Neil Farms, Neilyne Genetics, Lind Family Farms, GVF Herefords, Dose Family Herefords and Jones Farms pitched in to make the tour a good time for all.

"We want to highlight Hereford breeders in our area and show off different programs in the state," Steve Neil of Neil Farms said.

The tour is held every year in different parts of the state. Each producer discussed their own breeding practices, plus Millborn Seeds and state grazing specialist John Zinn presented.

Additionally, children came to visit the cattle and play.


"There's nothing better than livestock and kids," said Karen Koester of GVF Herefords.

That makes a lot of sense, as Koester's daughter Audra Koester Thomas began showing Herefords at the Minnesota State Fair at the age of 4.

Neil Farms (Steve, Keely, Jackson and Hannah Neil) is just outside Northfield and feature 80 cows. They recently held their first internet sale.

Doug Lind and his family have a registered Hereford and Red Angus herd. They use AI and embryo transfer to produce high quality animals that succeed in the show ring and commercially.

Neilyne Genetics began with Dave Neil's heifer calf born 49 years ago, which became his 4-H project. Neil and his family own brood cows from Harvie Ranching and GO-PHER sale consigners.

GVF Herefords is made up of 90 registered Herefords from blood lines Line One, Mark Donald and 8020. Dan and Karen Koester and daughters Audra and Barbara are some of the few remaining horned cattle breeders in Minnesota.

Dose Family Herefords have 60 cows, families that trace back to Dominette, Cassandra, Primrose and Gemini. They raise crops as well as cattle, with a rotational grazing system that allows for land efficiency.

Jones Farms is in its 38th year in the Hereford industry. Calves this year are sired by CV CMR 351 Proof Y459ET and AH JDH Red Rock 3W ET, as well as NJW 78P Twentytwelve 190Z.


Why Herefords?

- Herefords have a gentle disposition, which is good for your operation. Docile cows have higher pregnancy rates, according to studies by researchers at Oregon State University, 95 percent as compared to 89 percent for aggressive cows.

- Certified Hereford Beef sales have grown by 10 percent to retail and food service outlets nationwide in the last 5 years.

- Calves sired by Hereford bulls have a $30 per head documented advantage in feedlot profitability and a 7 percent advantage in fertility compared with Angus-sired calves, according to a three-year commercial heterosis project.

Source: American Hereford Association

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