Nebraska Hereford Tour draws big crowd
September 14, 2016
A barn dance, steak fry and several ranches full of white-faced cattle gave Hereford enthusiasts in the cornhusker state plenty of reasons to smile last week.
Central Nebraska hosted the annual Nebraska Hereford Tour Sept. 10 and 11
The event kicked off Saturday at Linton Polled Herefords near Miller, Nebraska.
Art and Jean Linton welcomed tour guests to their well kept home site where Art explained that their "performance-oriented breeding program" is focused on adding value to their commercial and purebred cattle customers' herds.
Bulls and cow-calf pairs from Zero Hereford Ranch, Miller, were also on display at the Linton ranch. Zero Herefords were established in 1920 when William P. Winter Sr. purchased 10 Hereford heifers and one bull in Graham County Kansas, and continues today with the third, fourth and fifth generations still involved. The cow herd, mainly commercial, is predominantly Line One.
The next stop was Kucera's Beaver Creek Ranch east of Litchfield. Kuceras have run Hereford cows the past 50 years and the majority of the bulls used are polled with a few horned for outcross genetics. A very nice lunch was served there to tour attendees.
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The tour then traveled back to Broken Bow and the Cobblestone Inn where Trey Befort shared details about Certified Hereford Beef. Cattle qualifying for the program must be either Hereford or Hereford-British crossbred and exhibit a white face. Cattle must meet a set of strict carcass specifications to be identified as CHB. CHB continues to grow and gain market share as distribution grows throughout the nation and overseas.
The tour then continued to a pasture stop of Cain Land and Livestock west of Broken Bow. Dr. Don Cain and family welcomed guests and explained that Cain cattle are moderate sized purebred Hereford, Red Angus and F1 crossbred cows calving both in spring and fall. Performance testing was started in the 1950s. They focus on birth weight, calving ease, marbling, feedlot performance and cow efficiency.
Next the tour went cross country to a pasture stop on the Estergard Ranch east of Callaway. Richard Estergard talked about how their registered herd of Herefords was started in the 70s from 4-H heifers. Fertility, longevity and efficient production are demanded from the cow herd.
And the last stop on day one was west of Callaway at the Ridder Hereford Ranch. Ridders are best known for their carload of bulls that they take to the National Western in Denver each year. They have sold bulls private treaty and for the past 50 years sold at their annual bull sale on the ranch.
The day ended with a steak supper and barn dance at Ridders.
Day two began east of Burwell at the TK Cattle Co hosted by Trevor, Kaci and Khloe Toelle where participants could take part in a judging contest. The operation was established in 2012.
Next the tour went to Nelson Herefords. The Nelsons "strive to raise our cattle in a real world environment, with minimal supervision and feed."
The last stop was mid morning at the Taylor Rodeo Arena where the judging contest continued. Cattle from the Taylor and Burwell area breeders were penned there. Those breeders included Boothill Herefords, Greg Brown Family , Morgan Ranch, Inc., Diamond Ring Ranch and Upstream Ranch.
The day concluded with lunch at the new Taylor Community Building and results from the judging contest were announced.
Melissa McGee Buehler, Executive Director of the Nebraska Hereford Association deemed the tour a "huge success."
It was estimated that around 400 people attended throughout the two day event.