Montana Hereford Association sponsors feeder calf sale Nov. 17 at Headwaters Livestock |

Montana Hereford Association sponsors feeder calf sale Nov. 17 at Headwaters Livestock

The Montana Hereford Association (MHA) is sponsoring its second annual Feeder Calf Sale on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 at Headwaters Livestock in Three Forks, MT, as a way to help producers market both Hereford and Hereford-influence calves in the larger numbers that are more feasible for buyers.

In conjunction with the sale, the association is holding its annual meeting on Nov. 16 with an agenda that includes the elections of board members and officers for the next year. Plans for the meeting are being coordinated by Director Della Ehlke of Townsend, MT.

Along with the business meeting and the dinner, Ehlke said the Tuesday evening program includes a presentation of carcass and gain data by Danny Herman, Ford County feed lot operator, who received cattle last year. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. with the social and dinner at 6 p.m. The business meeting follows. The association is also going to discuss the feasibility of combining the Montana Hereford tour in 2012 with the World Hereford Conference that is being held in Calgary, according to Ehlke. The banquet program also includes the award for the Hereford Person of the Year and the Commercial Breeder of the Year.

According to 2010 MHA Feeder Calf Sale committee member Jerry Gereghty of Bridger, MT, more than 1,100 calves have already been consigned for the sale which begins at 10 a.m. Along with consignments from Montana, Gereghty said calves are also coming from Eastern Idaho. He said buyers represent several midwestern states, including Iowa and Nebraska.

The bulk of the calves are age-and source-verified and meet requirements for the VAC 45 program, he said.

The sale is being aired through the Headwaters video link.

It is being supported through a Montana Growth Through Agriculture grant, as well.

As part of the marketing effort, association members have been calling producers and encouraging them to consign, attend the sale, or both. In addition, the American Hereford Association promoted the sale through the Hereford World publication.

The sale is being coordinated in conjunction with the American Hereford Association’s Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) program. American Hereford Association (AHA) presdent John Woolfolk of Tennessee continues to help promote the annual sale. In 2009, Woolfolk was given a plaque from the Montana Hereford Association in appreciation of his support in making the MHA inaugural feeder calf sale a success. Gereghty also noted that Woolfolk successfully spearheaded a Hereford feeder sale in his home state, as well.

Gereghty said that Hereford and Hereford-cross calves continue to do well in feedlots. In today’s commercial world he is seeing a lot of Hereford bulls being used on black cows because of the hybrid vigor.

“We are on an upswing as a breed because we have corrected of lot of the past problems associated with the breed,” he said.

Dale Venhuizen of Manhattan, MT, former president of the American Hereford Association, actually started the Hereford and Hereford-influence sale in the late ’90s when the livestock market center location was still in Bozeman.

“When the program started, I knew that there were a number of Hereford and Hereford-influence calves around where we needed to get the volume up so that we could line up more buyers to put together potloads of the calves,” Venhuizen said. “In this way, we found the sale was beneficial to both producers and buyers.”

Venhuizen said a lot of the branded beef programs across the country have been based on black-hided cattle and the Herefords didn’t fit into those programs.

“Our goal was to keep building the CHB brand in volume and when we have more outlets for these cattle, we gain ground,” he added. “We now accept black- and red-baldy cattle as well.”

The sale serves as an educational tool for producers, as well, he said, because it gives the association the opportunity to show producers what the market is looking for in terms of age- and source-verification of cattle and the value of the programs.

Venhuizen said a year ago the MHA took over the sale, and as a result their collective efforts could do more than he could do just marketing it by himself from his Churchill Cattle Company ranch. Venhuizen currently serves on the state’s feeder calf marketing committee along with Gereghty, Justin Wichman of Moore, MT; Bill Garrison of Glen, MT; Tom Sparks of Plevna, MT; and Della Ehlke of Townsend, MT.

editor’s note: for more information on the sale contact gereghty at 406-662-3375 or headwaters livestock auction at 406-285-0502.

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