For 2014, 2,499 Hereford cows from 724 Hereford performance herds in 42 states earned the honor of being named a Dam of Distinction by the American Hereford Association (AHA).
For 34 years Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D., has led Hereford breeders with the most cows qualifying as Dams of Distinction. With 401 cows recognized, South Dakota is the top state again this year.
The 2014 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 2014 Dam of Distinction she must have:
1) Weaned a calf born since Jan. 1, 2013.
2) Produced at least three calves.
3) Initially calved at 30 months of age or less.
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 2-year-old heifers prior to the mature cow herd.
5) Every calf produced that was born before June 30, 2014, 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 visitHereford.org/seedstock/dams-distinction. Females attaining the Dams of Distinction status are recognized with “DOD” after their names on the AHA website.
Also recognized are Sires of Distinction. The Sires of Distinction program recognizes superior Hereford bulls. The AHA 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 Hereford.org.
An article reviewing the 2014 Dams of Distinction will be published in the April issue of theHereford World magazine. The top 10 states and top 20 breeders of Dams of Distinction are listed below.
Top 10 States
Rank State Dams
1 South Dakota 401
2 Nebraska 287
3 Kansas 234
4 Montana 160
5 Missouri 151
6 North Dakota 123
7 Idaho 103
8 Texas 80
9 Illinois 77
10 Oregon 71
Top 20 Breeders
Rank Owner   No. of Dams
1 Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D.   140
2 Van Newkirk Herefords, Oshkosh, Neb. 35
3 Upstream Ranch, Taylor, Neb.   29
3 Shaw Cattle Co. Inc., Caldwell, Idaho 29
5 Monahan Cattle Co., Hyannis, Neb.   25
5 MM Ranch, Chanute, Kan.     25
5 VJS Polled Herefords, Hays, Kan.   25
8 Fawcetts Elm Creek Ranch, Ree Heights, S.D. 24
9 Duvall Polled Herefords, Lockwood, Mo. 23
9 Journagan Ranch/Missouri State University, Mountain Grove, Mo. 23
9 O.R. Perkes, Etna, Wyo.   23
9 Richard & Shirley Thomas, Gold Creek, Mont.   23
13 Harrell Hereford Ranch, Baker City, Ore. 22
14 Elkington Polled Herefords, Idaho Falls, Idaho   21
14 Thorstenson Hereford Ranch, Selby, S.D. 21
14 Oleen Bros., Dwight, Kan.     21
17 Ridder Hereford Ranch, Callaway, Neb. 20
18 Beery Land & Livestock Co., Vida, Mont. 17
18 Alfred Schutte & Sons, Guide Rock, Neb.   17
18 Feddes Herefords, Manhattan, Mont.   17
Source: American Hereford Association