By Diane Alu
Ok, I confess, there is more to my owning registered miniature Herefords than meets the eye. Yeah, they’re the cute, fuzzy half-size renditions of the full size beef machine, and make excellent pasture mowers, conversation pieces, moveable lawn ornaments, ag tax exemption enablers. Wonderful for the grandkids, 4H, local fairs and national
shows. Stress relief, therapy, bragging rites and grass fed beef for my family…..but, I confess, aside from all the above reasons and probably a few I omitted, the tipping point for my investing in the registered miniature Hereford was just that….investment.
When trying to decide what to stock our small farm with, I wanted something that, quite frankly, would give me a good return on my initial investment. Many factors needed to be considered when one has a certain amount of cash to invest, and what kind of return one desires. But I think the most important factor, in my eyes, was the ability to control the desired outcome that livestock provides.
You get out what you put in. Meaning, start with quality stock, breed for quality stock, take care of your investment, and you can pretty much design your own “portfolio” and returns as you wish.
I grew up with the old time notion that there were no pets on a working farm (or very few), everyone had to pay their way. If an animal did not earn its keep, it didn’t stay.
With 10 or 12 acres to get the maximum return on, I had to choose an animal that I thought there would be demand for, not only for beef, but for registered breeding stock as well. It had to be docile, easy to handle, easy to fence, care for, feed and house. I wanted an animal with a pedigree, a history, a connection with our country. It had to be hardy, fertile, and efficient. And, most importantly, it had to produce a product that would be sought after. If not for breeding, it could produce excellent beef. And people always need food. How many animals fit that bill? In fact, almost every animal I sell and breed is sold for breeding stock to someone that desires to start a herd of their own, or add to an existing one. Those that don’t will become healthy, safe, grass fed beef. And with all the bad press and recalls the beef industry is getting these days, it is no surprise that people are looking for locally produced food for their families.
The registered miniature Hereford, as I have said before, is a safe place for my money. Why would I send my hard earned cash to some broker and wonder where my money went and what kind of return I will get, if any? I see my investment in my front pasture, I work it as much or as little as I want or need to, and, with the animals being half the size of conventional beef animals, I am able to get double the stocking rate per acre and therefore twice the yearly return per acre with a calf, that, if done correctly, will be worth at least as much or more than what I paid for its dam. And the Hereford will do it typically at 2 years of age, and every year thereafter with minimal input.
You may call that calf cute, pet, show stock or dinner; I call it my little dividend. Two years later that one calf will be having her own calf, and its dam will have had another calf as well. You get the idea.I’m sure you can think of at least one well known, famous, or wealthy person who owns a ranch or farm and livestock. Think about why they do. If you’re still not sure, pick up a Newsweek or Time magazine, New York Times or Wall Street Journal. Smart investors are informed and involved in their investments.
Isn’t it time you took control of your finances and investments? Consider the registered miniature Hereford today. You will not be disappointed.