The Hereford Timeline

Looking Back in Hereford History

It’s no surprise that the Hereford breed was borne of necessity. With characteristics  of being hardy, adaptable and efficient, these cattle have always been easily recognized.

Over 300 years ago, farmers in the Herefordshire, England area established the breed in response to demand created by Britain’s Industrial Revolution. High yields, efficient production, and solid reproduction were most important.

Mr. Benjamin Tomkins is to thank for the original design. A primary founder of the breed, Tomkins began in 1742 with a bull calf from the cow Silver and two cows, Pidgeon and Mottle.

The following illustrates the timeline of the evolution of the Hereford breed:

1742 – Benjamin Tomkins, a primary founder of the Hereford breed, starts with a bull calf from the cow Silver and two cows, Pidgeon and Mottle.
1817 – Henry Clay, Kentucky statesman, brings Herefords to the United States.
1840 – William H. Sotham and Erastus Corning, Albany, N.Y., begin the first U.S. Hereford breeding herd.
1881 – American Hereford Cattle Breeders Association is organized (name later changes to American Hereford Association [AHA]).
1899 – AHA is first breed association to hold a national one-breed show.
1900 – At the turn of the century, 125,000 Hereford cattle have been registered.
1901 – The polled Hereford breed comes into being with 11 registrations on record.
1910 – American Polled Hereford Association (APHA) is organized. Hayes Walker Sr. founds The American Hereford Journal.
1920 – The AHA is the first beef breed association to own its own headquarters; permanent residence is established at 300 West 11th St., Kansas City, Mo.
1933 – The Great Depression takes its toll, and prices drop to a low point; all 2,743 head of Herefords sold at auction this year bring an average price of $105 per head. AHA registrations also fall from 101,839 in 1929 to 87,541.
1945 – A total of 303,679 calves are registered with the AHA, a record number for any breed in a single year. APHA registrations increase by more than 9,000 head in the same year.
1947 – The first Polled Hereford World is published.
1953 – President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates second AHA headquarters at 715 Hereford Drive, Kansas City, Mo.
1953 – AHA registrations peak at 560,794.
1960 – By the end of the year, the AHA has registered a total of 10 million head.
1961 – The AHA purchases The American Hereford Journal.
1963 – APHA registrations jump to 174,575 from 111,008 in 1962. APHA introduces Guide Lines Program to encourage the use of tools most effective in bringing about herd improvement. AHA also starts measuring performance, first through the Herd Sire Feedlot and Carcass program.
1964 – AHA furthers performance efforts with the Total Performance Records (TPR) program. APHA Guide Lines Program becomes active.
1965 – APHA purchases Polled Hereford World.
1968 – APHA issues its first artificial insemination (AI) certificate. Producers who don’t own the bull can now purchase its semen to AI their cows, making the best genetics available to everyone.
1973 – AHA allows AI.
1974 – APHA surpasses its registration goal of “204 (thousand) in ’74.”
1974 – The first Junior National Polled Hereford Heifer Show and Forum is held in Nashville, Tenn.
1978 – Kansas State University hosts the first All-American Junior Hereford Show.
1986 – AHA moves to third headquarters on 1501 Wyandotte, Kansas City, Mo.
1994 – The AHA, Midland Cattle Co. and its affiliate, Mid-Ag, come together to market branded beef product, Certified Hereford Beef® (CHB).
1995 – AHA and APHA merge. CHB is officially established.
2000 – AHA forms a limited liability corporation, CHB LLC, for management of CHB program.
2001 – Whole Herd Total Performance Records (TPR™) replaces old performance measuring tools.
2005 – CHB has its first million pound week; packers sell approximately 1.3 million pounds of product to participating retail locations and food service outlets.
2007 – American Beef Records Association (ABRA), AHA’s wholly owned subsidiary began offering registry and performance recording services to five American breed associations.
2009 – Release the first Pan-American Cattle Evaluation, which included data from the U.S., Uruguay, Canada and Argentina.
2013 – A Hereford bull named C Miles McKee 2103 ET set the world record for a cattle sale, selling for $600,000.