For 2011, 2,285 Hereford cows from 707 Hereford performance herds in 44 states earned the honor of being named a Dam of Distinction by the American Hereford Association (AHA). The number of dams qualifying for this prestigious honor jumped 340 head since last year.
For the 31st consecutive year, South Dakota Hereford operation Rausch Herefords owns the most Dams of Distinction honored at 127 head, and leads its state to the top of the list with 368 cows recognized.
The 2011 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 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. 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 2011 Dam of Distinction she must have:
1) Weaned a calf born since Jan. 1, 2010.
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, 2011, 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 “Records/TPR” and select “Recognition Programs.” 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. Initiated in August 2007, the program recognizes 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 atHereford.org.
An article reviewing the 2011 Dams and Sires 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 ― 2011 Dams of Distinction
Rank State Number of Dams
1 South Dakota 368
2 Nebraska 276
3 Montana 162
4 Kansas 158
5 North Dakota 121
6 Idaho 99
7 Missouri 97
8 Wyoming 94
9 Minnesota 76
10 Texas 74
10 Wisconsin 74
12 Illinois 71
13 Iowa 68
14 Oregon 59
15 Oklahoma 46
16 Indiana 37
17 Colorado 36
18 California 29
18 Georgia 29
18 Michigan 29
Top 20 Breeders ― 2011 Dams of Distinction
Rank Owner No. of Dams
1 Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D. 127
2 Van Newkirk Herefords, Oshkosh, Neb. 30
3 Ridder Hereford Ranch, Callaway, Neb. 25
3 Fawcetts Elm Creek Ranch, Ree Heights, S.D. 25
5 Shaw Cattle Co. Inc., Caldwell, Idaho 24
6 Upstream Ranch, Taylor, Neb. 22
6 O.D. Perkes, Afton, Wyo. 22
6 Marvin Feddes & Sons, Manhattan, Mont. 22
9 Duvall Polled Herefords, Lockwood, Mo. 20
9 Bar JZ Polled Herefords, Holabird, S.D. 20
11 Ft. Keogh Livestock & Range Research Station, Miles City, Mont. 19
11 Alfred Schutte & Sons, Guide Rock, Neb. 19
13 Helbling Herefords, Manidan, N.D. 18
13 Monahan Cattle Co., Hyannis, Neb. 18
15 Alexander Mih, Chanute, Kan. 17
16 Elkington Polled Herefords, Idaho Falls, Idaho 16
16 Lloyd Brown, Powell, Wyo. 16
16 Jeffrey Boehnke, Kramer, N.D. 16
19 Thorstensen Hereford Ranch, Selby, S.D. 15
20 Larson Hereford Farm, Spring Valley, Wis. 14
20 Oleen Bros., Dwight, Kan. 14