Hereford eNews
Hereford Highlights | Industry Insight | Market Update Volume 3, Issue 5
Welcome{IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE ", " END IF} {IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE [Name] END IF}{IF NOT ISEMPTY [Name] THEN ", " ELSE " " END IF} to Hereford eNews, your source of the most current news affecting Hereford breeders. We aim to focus on news worthy events pertaining to the Hereford seedstock industry. Sponsored by the American Hereford Association (AHA). Information sent to subscribers comes from material available on or authored by AHA, Hereford World and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC staff.
Hereford Highlights

Calgary Bull Sale: Herefords Included in Ranching Event

The 106th Annual Calgary Bull Sale will be held at Stampede Park in Alberta, Canada, March 1-3. This year’s sale has evolved into a complete ranching event with the addition of the Premiere Ranch Horse Sale, as well as a judged stock dog trial.

Herefords show March 2 at noon, and sell March 3 at 10 a.m. For more information, visit

WCA/WSU Bull Test: 80-Day Progress Report

The 13th Annual Washington Cattlemen’s Association/Washington State University (WCA/WSU) Bull Test has issued a progress report for the first 80 days of their 120-day feed test. The horned and polled Herefords have posted an average daily gain (ADG) of 3.22 lb., with a weight per day of age (WDA) at 3.11 lb.

Twenty head of Herefords (polled) are led by a March 10 son of MCA Mission 120L consigned by Mast Herefords of Benton City, Wash. He posted a 4.29 lb. ADG and also recorded the highest WDA of 3.72 lb. Next came a Feb. 5son of KT Top Secret 1020 consigned by Linton Polled Herefords of Prosser, Wash., recording an ADG of 4.18 lb.

The highest ADG for the 22 head of Herefords (horned) was 3.58 lb. on a March 22 son of WH Mr. Paradise 978 consigned by White Cattle Co. of Burns, Ore. This bull also tied for the top WDA at 3.40 lb. The second highest ADG of the Herefords was 3.53 lb. on a March 19 son of CX Advance 108 consigned by Ottley Herefords of Quincy, Wash. He met the 3.40 lb. to tie for WDA.

The WCA/WSU Sale is scheduled for March 22 at the WSU Research Center in Prosser, Wash. Only the top 75% in each breed will sell. Test data can be viewed online at

A social hour and forum will be conducted before the sale on the evening of March 21. The featured speaker is Craig Huffhines, executive vice president of the American Hereford Association. His topic is “Proof Will Matter More and More.” Huffhines will be discussing source verification and the value of documented bulls.

High Altitude Bull Test: Craig Hereford Ranch Comes Out Ahead

The Four Corners Beef Cattle Improvement Association began the 56th Annual High Altitude Bull Test on Nov. 7, 2005. One hundred eleven bulls representing seven breeds were weighed on test. The bulls were fed to gain between 3.25 and 3.5 lb. per day in order to express genetic differences without producing overweight bulls.

The Hereford bulls averaged 3.46 lb. per day. The high gaining Hereford bull is a son of HR Robin Hood 52F bred by Craig Hereford Ranch of Phippsburg, Colo. He (25-3) gained 4.91 lb. with a gain ratio of 142. The second high gainer is a polled son of Huth Enhancer 2D belonging to Doug Hall Registered Herefords, Fruita, Colo. He (26-1) averaged 4.77 lb. of gain with a gain ratio of 125. The high gaining sire group was three sons of HR Robin Hood 52F consigned by Craig Hereford Ranch. The three averaged 4.14 lb. per day.

These and other top Hereford bulls will be available at the 56th Annual Sale held on April 1 at the San Juan Basin Research Center, Hesperus, Colo.

Industry Insight

Consolidation is Driving Change in the Beef Supply Chain
Dr. Greg Lardy
North Dakota State University Animal and Range Sciences Department

As the title says, this article is about consolidation, but I wasn’t sure if it should read “Consolidation Driving Change in the Beef Supply Chain” or “Beef Supply Chain Change Driving Consolidation.” It’s not to say consolidation is either good or bad, but it does help to be aware that it is occurring. Eventually you, as Hereford seedstock or commercial cattle producers, are likely to be affected by it, in one way or another.

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Wal-Mart is the largest grocery retailer in the U.S. Last year it sold more than $79 billion in grocery items and had a 17% market share in the retail grocery business. In all likelihood, you are living in areas that have either seen Wal-Mart Supercenters for some time already, or will see them shortly. When they move into an area, they change the complexion of the retail grocery business dramatically.
  • Recently, Albertsons agreed to be acquired by Supervalu, a smaller regional grocery chain based in Eden Prairie, Minn., for $17 billion in cash and stock. This will make Supervalu the nation’s second largest grocery retailer. Supervalu operates under a number of retail brand names including Cub Foods, Hornbacher’s, Save-A-Lot and Farm Fresh.
  • Consolidation is prominent in the distribution sector as well. Sysco Foods is the largest food-service distribution company in the U.S. They continue to acquire specialty steak cutting operations (primarily in urban markets on the East Coast and in the Midwest). In fiscal year 2005, Sysco did $30.2 billion in business.
  • In the packing sector, Rosen’s and American Foods announced a merger in 2005. This makes American Food Group LLC the sixth largest packer in the U.S. with a daily capacity of approximately 6,100 head. They operate plants in Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
  • In the feedlot sector, the formation of Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding LLC was announced in 2005. This is a joint venture between ContiGroup Co. and Smithfield Foods. This operation has a one-time capacity of 811,000 head in 10 feedlots in Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Idaho. To put this in perspective, they are larger than the next two competitors combined. These two competitors are Cactus Feeders (Paul Engler family) and Caprock Cattle Feeders (Cargill).

This short article is meant to give you a glimpse of what is happening in other sectors of the beef supply chain. Some of these changes will have minimal effect on your operation, while others may have a larger effect. The important thing is that you remain aware of the business climate that is occurring in other segments of the industry. Good luck with your spring production sales!

Mexico Opens Market to U.S. Bone-In Beef

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced on Feb. 1 that Mexico has resumed trade in U.S. bone-in beef from animals less than 30 months of age. In 2003, $40 million in bone-in beef products were exported to Mexico.

Participate in Checkoff Discussions from Afar

If you aren’t in Denver this week for the 2006 Cattle Industry Convention, but want to know what’s been happening in checkoff meetings or offer your input on checkoff issues, you can do so via the Internet.

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board launched a new Internet Web log that offers producers ready access to agendas for checkoff meetings and reports from these meetings, as well as minutes of the last meeting of each committee.

A reply option allows producers to send messages to Beef Board leaders or committee representatives immediately before, during and after the meetings.

“We’re trying to get information out to the producers to let them know exactly what’s happening at the Convention and encourage them to have input back in to the committees, so that all of the people who pay the checkoff will be part of the process,” says Jay O’Brien, Beef Board vice chairman and Texas cattleman.

To access the Beef Board log, visit To submit comments, scroll to the bottom of any committee page, enter your comment in the “Leave a Reply” section and click on “Submit Comment” at the bottom. The site will be monitored regularly, and comments will be forwarded to appropriate checkoff representatives upon receipt.

Meet NCBA’s Incoming President Mike John

Mike John is assuming his one-year term as NCBA president this week at the 2006 Cattle Industry Convention in Denver.

John is part owner and manager of John Ranch Inc., a retained ownership cow-calf operation in his hometown of Huntsville, Mo. He also serves as director of MFA Health Track Beef Alliance, a source and process verification program that helps cow-calf producers nationwide maximize the value for their calves and breeding stock through verification programs.

John has been a member of the NCBA since 1980 and has served on the organization’s food policy, ag policy and membership committees. He also led the organization’s Animal ID Commission before the announcement this month that management of the initiative has been turned over to the U.S. Animal Identification Organization.

Consumer Demand Decreases Slightly

Consumer demand for beef dipped slightly in 2005, but the Beef Demand Index remains up more than 20% since reversing its 20-year decline in 1998, Cattlemen’s Beef Board Chairman Al Svajgr announced at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention on Feb. 1.

“We had such a stellar growth year for demand in 2004 that we didn’t top that mark in 2005 even though we continued to enjoy terrific strength in the market, including strong prices for cattle throughout the year,” says Svajgr.

The index decreased 3.6% in 2005 compared to the record growth in 2004, according to preliminary year-end results. The Beef Demand Index reflects several specific factors, including per capita consumption and consumer retail spending for beef, but does not account for wholesale beef prices.

Extra Hay? Share with Your Friends in the South

Ranchers in the drought-stricken areas of Oklahoma and Texas are looking for hay. Producers with extra hay can sell or donate by calling the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (800) 580-6543, or the Texas Department of Agriculture (877) 429-1998.

Merial Announces Tool to Select for Tenderness

Merial has introduced IGENITY™ TenderGENE™, a tool for predicting tenderness potential in all breed types of cattle, including Bos indicus.

The new IGENITY TenderGENE profile analyzes multiple DNA markers associated with both calpain and calpastatin genes – all with a proven effect on Warner-Bratzler Shear Force, the most common method of measuring beef tenderness.

For more information, visit

Mid-South Stocker Conference, Feb. 16-17

"Taking It to The Next Level" is the theme of the 2006 Mid-South Stocker Conference, Feb.16-17, at the Holiday Inn in Clarksville, Tenn.

The conference will start Feb. 16 with a tour of successful stocker operations. An indoor program featuring nationally recognized cattle specialists will follow on Feb. 17. Economical feeding, electronic identification, branded beef and the future of the beef industry are some of the topics that will be addressed.

The registration fee before Feb. 9 is $95. After this date, the fee increases to $145. For more information, visit
Market Update

Cattle Outlook
Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain
University of Missouri-Columbia

Grimes and Plain offer market updates for the week past each Friday afternoon. To view this information, visit

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