The American Hereford Association recognizes the sires and dams within the Hereford breed that have achieved the highest level of beef cattle genetics.
For 2013, 2,386 Hereford cows from 679 Hereford performance herds in 43 states earned the honor of being named a Dam of Distinction by the American Hereford Association (AHA).
For 33 years Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D., has led Hereford breeders with the most cows qualifying as Dams of Distinction. With 381 cows recognized, South Dakota is the top state again this year.
The 2013 Dams of Distinction list honors the Hereford breed’s cows who meet the highest standard of production and recognizes the cattlemen who produce them. In order to be named a Dam of Distinction, a Hereford cow must meet all the job requirements for an ideal cow. She should produce a healthy, growthy calf every year; she should calve as a two-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. Only a small portion of active cows is recognized. All heifers have the potential of being a Dam of Distinction, but only a small percentage fit the job description of an ideal cow year in and year out.
In order for a cow to be named a 2013 Dam of Distinction she must have:1) Weaned a calf born since January 1, 2012; 2) Produced at least three calves, and; 3) Initially calved at 30 months of age or less.
In addition, she must have:
4) Had an interval between the first and second calves of no greater than 400 days. In addition, a 370-day calving interval must have been maintained after her second calf. The longer initial calving interval allows breeders to calve two-year-old heifers prior to the mature cow herd.
5) Every calf produced that was born before June 30, 2012, must have weaning records submitted to the Hereford Performance Program.
6) A progeny average 205-day adjusted weaning weight ratio of at least 105.
For more information about the Dams of Distinction Program visit Hereford.org, click on “Whole Herd TPR” and select “Dams of Distinction.” Females attaining the Dams of Distinction status are recognized with “DOD” after their names on the AHA Web site.
Also recognized are Sires of Distinction. The Sires of Distinction program recognizes superior Hereford bulls. The American Hereford Association Board of Directors initiated the program in August 2007 to recognize Hereford bulls that sire efficient, fertile and productive females. To be honored as a Sire of Distinction a bull must have produced daughters that have received at least seven Dams of Distinction awards.
Bulls attaining the Sire of Distinction status are recognized with “SOD” after their names when doing an animal or EPD inquiry at www.hereford.org/seedstock/sire-distinction-0.
An article reviewing the 2013 Dams of Distinction will be published in the April issue of the Hereford World magazine. The top 20 states and breeders of Dams of Distinction are listed below.
Top 20 States
Rank State Dams
1 South Dakota 381
2 Nebraska 257
3 Kansas 230
4 Montana 162
5 Missouri 143
6 North Dakota 118
7 Idaho 110
8 Wyoming 96
9 Texas 76
10 Minnesota 72
11 Wisconsin 62
12 Illinois 61
13 Iowa 59
14 Oregon 56
15 Colorado 51
16 Oklahoma 44
17 Georgia 43
18 Virginia 35
19 California 33
19 Indiana 33
Top 20 Breeders
Rank Owner No. of Dams
1 Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D. 126
2 Shaw Cattle Co. Inc., Caldwell, Idaho 35
3 Van Newkirk Herefords, Oshkosh, Neb. 30
4 Fawcetts Elm Creek Ranch, Ree Heights, S.D. 27
4 Ridder Hereford Ranch, Callaway, Neb. 27
6 Journagan Ranch/Missouri State University,
Mountain Grove, Mo. 26
7 Monahan Cattle Co., Hyannis, Neb. 25
7 O.R. Perkes, Etna, Wyo. 25
9 Oleen Bros., Dwight, Kan. 24
9 Feddes Herefords, Manhattan, Mont. 24
11 MM Ranch, Chanute, Kan. 22
12 Alfred Schutte & Sons, Guide Rock, Neb. 21
13 Elkington Polled Herefords, Idaho Falls, Idaho 20
13 Duvall Polled Herefords, Lockwood, Mo. 20
13 Thorstenson Hereford Ranch, Selby, S.D. 20
16 Beery Land & Livestock Co., Vida, Mont. 19
16 Harrell Hereford Ranch, Baker City, Ore. 19
18 Bar JZ Polled Herefords, Holabird, S.D. 18
18 VJS Polled Herefords, Hays, Kan. 18
20 Falling Timber Farm, Marthasville, Mo. 17