Farming/ranching comes with its fair share of ups and downs.
The American Hereford Association members weathered some lows in 2018, but overall, came out on top. An American Hereford Association representative reflects on this past year and looks forward to what is yet to come.
AUDIO: Shane Bedwell, American Hereford Association
Shane Bedwell represented the American Hereford Association (AHA) at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bedwell, who serves as chief operating officer and director of breed improvement, says American Hereford members captured success in 2018.
“Across all segments of the business, we were up. We’re proud to say that’s a testament to our breeders (and) the market share we’re gaining in the commercial cow herd. Registrations, cow inventories (and) pounds of Certified Hereford Beef sold was up. Our memberships are growing, both our junior and adult program. It’s exciting to see,” Bedwell said.
Bedwell admits, “We have challenges ahead.” However, he fully anticipates American Hereford to maintain its momentum.
“Of course, Mother Nature is giving us some fits right now (and) prices are ever-changing. The one thing we can do as an association is guarantee genetics and take the guesswork out of it. Having a genetic evaluation (and) branded beef program that’s reliable, consistent and can be counted on is one of the things our producers, breeders,and commercial segment shouldn’t have to worry about. Hopefully supply guides us in the right path. Beef demand had an incredible year in 2018, and I look to see that again in 2019,” Bedwell said.
The American Hereford Association plans maximize the potential for Certified Hereford Beef. The organization also plans on promoting the importance of maternal heterosis.
“The gain from that first cross of putting Hereford genetics on British cows has always been there. The pounds of weaning you gain, hybrid vigor (and) health advantage are a big leg up that Hereford has. But as those guys are looking to retain those females and keep back daughters of production, maternal heterosis plays a big part. The advantage we get and add to that first cross on those females is fertility, pregnancy rate, docility and efficiency of that female and her ability to last for those reasons is substantial,” Bedwell said.
For more information about the American Hereford Association, visit www.hereford.org.