Rausch Herefords earns Heritage Award | TSLN.com

Rausch Herefords earns Heritage Award

Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D., was presented the American Hereford Association (AHA) Heritage Award for registering more than 10,000 head Oct. 31 in Kansas City, Mo. Pictured seated (l to r) are: Vicki, Sharon and Mary Rausch, Hoven, S.D. Back row (l to r) are: Craig Huffhines, AHA executive vice president, Kansas City, Mo.; Nick, Jerry, Vern, Harlan and Burt Rausch, Hoven, S.D.; Eric Walker, 2015 AHA president, Morrison, Tenn.; and Steve Lambert, 2014 AHA president, Oroville, Calif. Photo courtesy American Hereford Association

Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D., was presented the American Hereford Association (AHA) Heritage Award for registering more than 10,000 head. Rausch Herefords is the fourth Hereford breeder to be recognized for reaching the 10,000 registrations milestone.

The Rausch family received the award commemorating this unprecedented level of commitment to the Hereford breed at the AHA's Honoree Reception Oct. 31 in Kansas City, Mo., during the AHA Annual Meeting.

The Rausch Herefords headquarters is located near Hoven in north central South Dakota. Jerry and Vicki, Shannon and Sue, Vern and Sharon Rausch, and Joel Rausch operate the sale headquarters today, with plenty of help from their children and grandchildren.

Harlan and Mary Rausch, Rick and Linda Rausch, and Gary and Twila Rausch operate separate ranches and provide additional animals to the headquarters for marketing.

Rausch Herefords has topped the list for the most Dams of Distinction each year since 1980. To date, more than 600 Rausch cows have been named Dams of Distinction.

To qualify as a Dam of Distinction a female must produce a healthy, growthy calf every year; she should calve as a 2-year-old, and she should cause her owner absolutely no problems. A Dam of Distinction is the standard by which all Hereford cows can be judged. The cow must do her job, but also her owner must manage the herd correctly to give her the opportunity to excel.

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Founded in 1946, Rausch Herefords was started when William and Alice Rausch helped their oldest children sell their 4-H sheep and purchase registered Hereford heifers. At that time it was called Wm. Rausch & Sons. In 1959 the family hosted its first annual bull and female sale.

More than 200 bulls and 300 females are sold each year in the February sale at the ranch plus the ranch has private treaty offerings throughout the year. Each year only the top-third of Rausch bull calves are marketed. Those remaining are finished as steers and carcass data is collected to track and improve ribeye and marbling expected progeny differences (EPDs).

The Rausch breeding program annually utilizes more than 50 herd sires plus artificial insemination (AI) to constantly make genetic progress. They have been performance testing since the late 1950s when portable scales became available and have remained on the cutting edge in collecting data as more technology is developed. They were one the first Hereford breeders in America to utilize live Internet bidding in production sales.

In 2007 Rausch Herefords was named the South Dakota Hereford Association Seedstock Producer of the Year.

Each Rausch generation has been actively involved in Hereford association activities. William Rausch was inducted into the AHA Hall of Fame in 1986. Four of his sons — Duane, Harlan, Vern and Jerry — served on the South Dakota Hereford Association board. Three of his granddaughters — Cindy, Kay and Jodi — served as South Dakota Hereford Queen.

Jerry and his wife, Vicki, served as South Dakota junior advisors. Vern served on the American Hereford Association board and in 2001 was elected the first President of Certified Hereford Beef LLC. Vern's wife, Sharon, served on the former American Hereford Women board.

Also involved in the South Dakota Hereford Women were Janice, Sharon and Vicki who all served on the board as officers. Many of the grandchildren were officers in the South Dakota Junior Hereford Association and two of the grandchildren, Joel and Nick, served on the National Junior Hereford Association board.

–American Hereford Association