Category Archives: Miniature Hereford News

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2012 State Fair of Texas Results

Pre-Junior Show

Class 1: Prospect Steers
1. Allan Leifeste with Big Tim; 2. Lane Navarre with Meatball; 3. Schertz Livestock with KAP Fletcher Scout; 4. Alli Cunningham with Tater Tot

Class 2: Prospect Steers
1. Aubree Blissard with Payton*; 2. Kennedy Kauffman with JAM Gunner’s Playboy**; 3. Schertz Livestock with KAP Fletcher Tyler

Class 4: Market Steers
1. Guy Raasch with Pete; 2. Schertz Livestock with KAP Solar Malcom

Class 5: Market Steers
1. Barrett Howe with JAM G-Man*; 2. Aubree Blissard with JAM Earl** Continue reading 2012 State Fair of Texas Results

Mineral Program for Cows on Wheat Pasture

by Dr. Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension animal scientist

Many Oklahoma cow calf producers will use wheat pasture as a major source of winter feed for beef cows. If wheat pasture is the predominant feed in the diet of mature beef cows, providing an appropriate “wheat pasture” mineral mix will be helpful in preventing grass tetany at, or after the calving season begins.
Grass tetany, caused by magnesium deficiency does not seem to be a major problem in Oklahoma although occasional cases are reported. It typically occurs in beef cows during early lactation and is more prevalent in older cows. The reason is thought to be that older cows are less able to mobilize magnesium reserves from the bones than are younger cows.
Grass tetany most frequently occurs when cattle are grazing lush immature grasses or small grains pastures and tends to be more prevalent during periods of cloudy weather. Symptoms include incoordination, salivation, excitability (aggressive behavior towards humans) and, in final stages, tetany, convulsions and death.
It is known that factors other than simply the magnesium content of the forage can increase the probability of grass tetany. High levels of potassium in forages can decrease absorption of magnesium and most lush, immature forages are high in potassium. High levels of nitrogen fertilization have also been shown to increase the incidence of tetany although feeding protein supplements has not. Other factors such as the presence of certain organic acids in tetany-causing forages have been linked with tetany. It is likely that a combination of factors, all related to characteristics of lush forage are involved.
When conditions for occurrence of tetany are suspected, cows should be provided mineral mixes containing 12 to 15 percent magnesium and be consumed at 3 to 4 ounces per day. It is best for the mineral supplements to be started a couple of months ahead of the period of tetany danger so that proper intake can be established. Because tetany can also occur when calcium is low, calcium supplementation (7 percent) should also be included. Symptoms of tetany from deficiencies of both minerals are indistinguishable without blood tests and the treatment consists of intravenous injections of calcium and magnesium gluconate, which supplies both minerals.
Cows grazing lush small grain pastures should be fed mineral mixes containing both calcium and magnesium. More information about mineral supplementation for grazing cattle can be found in the Oklahoma State University Extension Circular “E-861 Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition of Grazing Cattle.”

SOUTH OF CAPRICORN CALLING

Hello again to Miniature Hereford enthusiasts in the USA. We’ve got a crazy start to summer down here in New Zealand. A wet, cold winter was followed by a wet, cold s

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pring and now drought is threatening in some parts of the country while the others stay sodden. Our area is in between so there is plenty of grass with silage, and shortly, haymaking in full swing.
Show season is underway but at our very first show one of the cows was injured when her leg caught on the lip of a steel portable loading ramp. She’s out for the season now as the wound will take a long time to heal. We have always offloaded onto a grass bank but it was not available this time. From now on we will take some kind of protective covering in case these ramps have to be used again. The show was advised of what had happened and sent photos. I have received an apology with an assurance the matter will be taken care of for the future. No offer to help with the vet bill, though, which is going to be HORRENDOUS!
This Spring a number of cows in New Zealand have been inseminated with straws imported from Robert Watts’ Diamond S Starbuck (a polled mini) to help fast track the establishment of a polled herd. It will be an anxious wait, firstly to see if the cows are in-calf, then to see if the calves arrive safely. A New Zealand bred polled line has also be



en started with using one of my horned mini bulls over several of the smaller polled heifers we have in our regular Hereford Stud. Of the six calves born (three heifers and three bulls) five of them are polled which is a good beginning. I am now on the lookout for more polled mini bulls with some promising ones in the pipeline. The importing procedures take so long I thought it best to start hunting now!1 An advantage now is that in both Australia and the United States a test is available to determine the percentages for homozygous or heterozygous polled and horned genes. A result showing over a 90% likelihood of throwing polled calves is what I am after although with several polled mini heifers now in the country it could be hoped for 100%. Our freezing works (abattoirs) and transporters require anything horned to have the horns not extending beyond the outer limits of the ears with an eventual aim to have no horns accepted.
With the popularity of the Virtual Cattle Show growing I suggested to the New Zealand mini breeders that we run a National one as well. Maybe other countries would like to do the same. There are other breeders here who would like to go to live shows with their cattle but are restricted in different ways so doing it via the internet appeals. Hopefully everyone is stocking up on photos for next year’s VCS. It was interesting to read about the “Hereford – Champion of the World 2012” and “Hereford – Miss World 2012” competitions held in December of this year. It consisted of 80 National Champions from 32 countries and was run via the “Hereford Talk” page on Facebook and the www.herefordbreeder.net website. You can view the pictures and details on all the cattle by visiting that website. Something similar to our VCS?

I now wish you all a happy festive season and hope the winter weather is kind to you.

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Chater Valley Farm

Lesley and l were introduced to miniature Hereford cattle about four years ago by an article in The Times describing the growing popularity of these little beasts in North America. We only had a 40 acre farm so they seemed to be just the ticket, and an ideal addition to a farm focused on pedigree native breeds of sheep and pigs.
Our only problem was knowing how best to start our herd of minis. We looked into importing livestock but it seemed impossible without the stock first having to be transported via Canada where they would have to stay for six months or more. So we went down the embryo route and imported fertilised embryos from a contact we had been given in Canada. We decided there was something right about using standard size Herefords as the surrogate mums, and initially bought 10 pedigree maiden heifers for the implant programme. We prepped the heifers on a diet of high protein calf rearer and sugar beet, upping the rate over a month, until we had them all on a rising plane of nutrition. Meanwhile we used prids to get them cycling all at the same time, and when they were ready, the technician came to implant the 10 embryos. Six weeks later, a scan showed that five had taken. We didn’t have enough spare embryos to re-implant so we got the remaining five in-calf to a standard bull. Nine months later we had our first mini Herefords – two heifers and three bulls. There’s obviously more to implanting embryos than l have described here, and if there’s a desire to know more l can follow up separately to those that are interested.
Three years later, we now have five mini Hereford bulls and four mini heifers on the ground. The original two heifers are now in calf to Gulliver, our first bull, and due to calve in February, and we’re all set to implant a further eight heifers in the New Year. It’s a slow process of course – with an embryo success rate of only 50-60%, and a normal ratio of bulls to heifers, you only get about two heifers per 10 embryos. So we decided this year to send a couple of our best bulls to a stud in Kelso, Scotland, where they collected both sexed and unsexed semen. The plan now is to artificially inseminate the mini heifers and flush sexed embryos for implanting into the surrogate mums.
We bought out the entire stock of embryos from our Canadian supplier – which she had built up over 20 years – so we’re now very happy that we’ve now got a good variety and quantity of embryos, and this along with the semen means we have good protection for our small gene pool.
The are only two other breeders of miniature Herefords here in the UK to our knowledge, with only about 20 animals on the ground, including our herd. We recognise that it is something of an experiment to start a herd of minis in the UK, but hardly a week goes by without someone contacting us expressing an interest to buy. We’re trying hard to protect the pedigree gene pool and we will only sell our spare bulls to people who are prepared to wait for a mini heifer to breed with.
All of our minis are pure blood pedigree Herefords. The UK’s Hereford Society recognises stock from Canada, although they do insist on conducting DNA tests on the tail hairs before they let them into the Breed Book.
We’re very happy with our growing herd of minis – we look forward to having a closed herd of about 20-25 breeding heifers and maybe three or four bulls, and then selling the calves each year. We’ve had a couple of farm visits from serious beef producers but as we tell them, livestock will be in such short supply for several years that we suspect the few offspring we have will go to petting farms, and smallholders who had ruled out owning cattle because of lack of space. Our little cattle are showing all the commendable traits of the Hereford breed, notably docility and a good appetite for grass and hay. The only other real option to the mini Hereford in the UK are the Irish bred Dexter cattle, but as they are a dual-purpose breed, some argue they don’t do either very well. We’ve heard mixed reports about their behaviour too. Another breeder has directly imported some Lowlines from Canada, but the Aberdeen Angus Society doesn’t seem to want to recognise them as an Angus breed which may put some people off.

There is much more information we’d be happy to share across the Pond regarding grazing, diseases and the like. Please see our website www.chatervalley.com for contact details.

Region 8

Show season is winding down here in the Pacific Northwest as we are all beginning our winter weather preparations. I wanted to take a minute to thank the following individuals for their dedication to the Mini breed: Lacey Allen for spearheading this years Silent Auction effort at the PNW Regional show, Cynthia DuVal for coordinating a very smooth 13th annual PNW Regional Miniature Hereford show at the Oregon State Fair, Erin Eldridge for gathering the prizes for the 5th annual Jr. Showmanship contest at the PNWR show, Terri Potter and Peggy Potter for their participation in judging the first Cow Olympics competition at the Oregon State Fair, as well as Wayne Brokaw for organizing a terrific first Mini show at the Spokane County Interstate Fair. I am very excited by all the new and continuing exhibition opportunities for us in this region—and by the prospect of new shows beginning next year. Congratulations to all of our breeders/exhibitors on a wonderful show season!
My email inbox is always open and I would be glad to hear from my Region 8 membership regarding suggestions/articles for my “Moosletter” publication, individuals to add to our regional informational email list, recommendations for shows to pursue, or simply to chat and answer any questions. Happy Holidays!!!

Treasurer’s Report

In June of this year after careful review of the state of the finances of the MHBA, I recommended to your Board of Directors that we increase the annual dues for our Family Membership to $75.00. The Family Membership covers all members of the family to show in any MHBA Open or Junior show and includes one subscription to our magazine, the Miniature Hereford News, and one vote in MHBA elections. There was wide and thoughtful discussion on this, and a further suggestion arose that we offer a Junior Membership to those young people whose families may not be invested in these cattle enough to warrant a Family Membership, but who are interested in showing in our shows. Motions were made on both these proposals and both have passed. Our new Junior Membership will cost $15.00 annually and will cover only that Junior Member to show in both Junior and Open classes at MHBA shows. This membership will not carry a vote, nor will it include a subscription to the Miniature Hereford News. It is our hope that it will allow those FFA and 4-H members and other youngsters who wish to have a great experience with Miniature Herefords to be able to participate in our shows.
This is the first (only) increase in the MHBA dues in our 13 years – while we have increased the number of shows we sponsor from one in 2000 to ten this year. Shows remain the number one response to the question “Where did you learn about Miniature Herefords?” and thus the best marketing source for our breed and our members, whether they show or not. Many buyers get interested in the breed at a show and then find a breeder from our website to start their herds. So all members benefit from these shows. Until we are able to develop other income sources – like from Sponsorships and more Cattle Sales – we depend on membership dues as our principal source for funds. Thank you for your continuing support of the MHBA!

President’s Prospective

This article opens with sadness and a heavy heart as we lost a dear friend and dedicated member of our MHBA family with the passing of Lesta Kugeler. Lesta loved the cattle and has been with the MHBA since its beginning. Lesta served as an officer, regional director and show superintendent for the National Western in Denver. Lesta dedicated countless hours to assuring the MHBA was always headed in the right direction. She and I worked closely together as show superintendents—I could always count on Lesta’s ability to make sure all the details were covered and always made herself available to lend a helping hand to anyone. I could go on and on about her but will just say that I will miss her in more ways than I can imagine. My deepest sympathy to her family. The 2013 Miniature Hereford Show at the National Western is dedicated to Lesta —in loving memory to a dear friend that can never be replaced and will never be forgotten—she will always be with us.
Congratulations to all of our exhibitors who have participated in the shows throughout the summer. Your commitment to these shows keeps our Mini Herefords in the spotlight across the country. I’ve also seen that some of our cattle have held their own when competing against full size cattle.
Welcome to Joe Bottini as our new Region 7 Director. Joe and his family live in Pueblo, CO, and have many years experience showing livestock. I look forward to working with Joe and believe his fresh approach and ideas will be a huge benefit to the MHBA .
The MHBA Executive Board and Regional Directors continue to make every effort to move in a positive direction. Some of the agenda items that we have worked on are the creation of a junior membership and raising the annual membership dues among others.
As always, please contact any Board Member or your Regional Director for any ideas, questions or concerns. Please check the website for additional information and a listing of upcoming events.

Region 5

Hello! I hope this finds everyone doing well. I can’t believe it’s almost fall! It seems like summer just started!
Congratulations to all the exhibitors at the Iowa State Fair. What a tremendous presentation of our breed. I enjoyed speaking with so many breeders both new and veteran. We have so many great people in our organization.
Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work, support, and participation in the MHBA and your dedication to the quality of the Minature Hereford.
Hope to see you all in Kansas City!

Region 6

This being my first report since the elections and I want to say that I am honored to be elected as Region 6 Representative.  I look forward to serving you in Region 6.  First, I’ve selected Laura Cole as the show superintendent for all MHBA sanctioned and/or sponsored shows in the Region.  I’ve asked her to coordinate with the respective show personnel and work toward consistency in the rules for each of the shows in the Region.  Keeping the playing field level for Region 6 members is a priority.  I don’t support rules that put Region 6 members at a disadvantage to members in other regions so, when at all possible, the rules for Region 6 shows will be consistent with the rules in other regions.  I anticipate that we will have a schedule completed of all MHBA sanctioned and/or sponsored shows near the end of the year and I will have that schedule posted as soon as possible.  Second, Mr. Eward Meier has agreed to serve as a Regional Field Advisor.  Ed has spent a lifetime in the cattle industry and is a wealth of information for both the new breeders and more established breeders alike.  We are fortunate to have someone with Ed’s character and integrity available to us.  I welcome ideals and suggestions so please don’t hesitate to drop me an e-mail if you have any.  I think it’s going to be an exciting time for our region and I look froward to working with each of you.

West Texas Fair & Rodeo

Class 2: Spring Jr Heifers
1. LK Robinson Farm with LK’s Commotion; 2. LK Robinson Farm with LK’s Maybelle

Class 3. Fall/Winter Jr Heifers
1. Emilee Munchrath with BLP Miss Peanut*; 2. Aubree Blissard with MABC Coconut Lady**; 3. Aubree Blissard with MABC Chocolate Lady; 4. Andrew Aguirre with CA Lady A

Class 6: Summer Int. Heifers
1. Dolores Jenkins with BDJ Sugarplum Oak*; 2. Charlotte Williams with WW Golden Grace**; 3. Dolores Jenkins with BDJ Silver Breez; 4. Chris Hoffman with SP Sammy

Class 7: Spring Int. Heifers Continue reading West Texas Fair & Rodeo

Rootin’ Tootin’ Downhome FUN!

First, to Charlotte Williams … you are so correct when you say the International Virtual Cattle Show is a fun new cattle show concept! Thanks again for encouraging us to participate! It was a hoot! (Part of the fun was meeting the VCS organizer Janet Poole of New Zealand … she too is a truly delightful lady like yourself … you are a matched pair!)
Hello People are you paying attention?! Join in and enjoy yourselves too! The whole “showing process” here is quite simple. It’s all based solely on the animal itself, with each entry anonymously identified by a number only. You simply send in 3 pictures (front, side, rear) of your bovine. No training, washing, clipping, fitting, showing, traveling, time-consuming stress required! OK, maybe there’s a little “anticipation stress” involved!
The entries are sorted in to the standard gender and age appropriate classes (this year had 59 entries; from Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and USA).
Entry pictures are posted online and an International Panel of Judges decide the actual Class Placings. There is also a “Viewer’s Choice” category, where anyone anywhere in the world can vote.
“Live Shows” by their nature require the judge to make a “snap decision,” but our judges were able to take more time to analyze the merits of each animal. To top it off, this Panel of Judges explained in writing the basis of their decisions. So very educational as well! Just go to www.amhbn.com and you’ll see what we’re tallking about!
So come on everyone, lighten up, grab your cameras and join in the fun! They’re already starting to plan the 2013 Show!
Finally, on a personal note, many thanks to everyone involved: entrants, judges and the voting general public. We’ve enjoyed knowing other folks also appreciate our little guy “Duke” (1st in Class and 1st in Viewer’s Choice… Awesome! What an honor! ) We’re proud this little fellow has represented the Mini Hereford breed and the USA so nicely!

Virtual Miniature Hereford Show

This year’s Virtual Cattle Show for Miniature Herefords attracted almost double the entries we had last year and more have indicated they would like to take part next time. With four countries participating – Scotland and America in the north and Australia and New Zealand in the south – there was a good representation of Miniature Herefords from a wide variety of environments. This shows their versatility in coping with different climates, terrain, pasture and management.
The Judge this year was a Dexter breeder but also an All Breeds Judge. She took on board the requirements for judging Miniature Herefords and her in-depth comments for every entry were very much appreciated. For her part she thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we are grateful for her participation.
There were some new entrants this time and one of them managed to win both its breed class and the Viewers’ Choice. This was the yearling bull, IBA Duke of Ireland exhibited by Bob and Joan Massengale of Iti Biti Acres in Colorado. The Judge’s comments for this entry were:
“Attractive masculine head. Level top-line with square tail-set. Legs at four corners, wide and clean through brisket although front feet toed out slightly. Tight sheath, scrotum showing ligament definition and tilting back slightly. Good body length and spring of rib. Nicely balanced bull.” Our congratulations to them for their first effort.
By providing the three views the Judge was able to make a comprehensive analysis and readers will be able to see these reflected in her comments. For the future we encourage all exhibitors to spend time getting these three views as it gives a better profile of their animal.
There will be some slight adjustments for next year’s rules, one of them being changing Class Twelve (poll vote) to a favourite photo rather than be chosen just from the breed classes as there was not so much interest in the poll voting this year. This photo can be one already presented in a class or something quite different. These will help attract viewers to look at the particular appeal of the exhibit. For example, this photo (opposite page) ranked second in the poll yet was unable to be placed in breed classes owing to the very young age of the calf which meant its attributes were yet to develop.
There was a good selection of entries in each of the classes so that first to fourth placings were able to be made in almost all sections. It is proposed that Certificates for placings be made and possibly prizes for winners if appropriate sponsors can be found in each country which enters.
Many competitors are getting out their cameras now so that when the next VCS approaches they will have a good number of photos to choose from. New competitors are also encouraged so those who have already taken part may like to spread the word about it. There is not room in this article to display more photos but full coverage of the VCS can be seen on both the MBHA (www.mhbaonline.org) and AMHBN (www.amhbn.com) websites.
Here I would like to express my gratitude to Julie Stott (Australia) for her website recordings of the event and thanks to all competitors who took part. I had a wonderful time sorting the photos into their respective classes and enjoying the sight of so many Miniature Herefords from different places yet all with the distinctive features that are the mark of this smallest variety of Hereford. Congratulations to place getters and all who entered – you have worked well.
Photos top to bottom: VCS Champion IBA Duke of Ireland side view, front view, rear view submitted by Iti Biti Acres in Howard, Colorado, USA. Opposite: Reserve Champion Viewer’s Choice.

8 Months

The search for a permanent home for 7 Ranch and my herd of Miniature Herefords had been long….very long….but at long last had come to pass! I was full of plans and even more excitement. The first order of business was fence repairs. I attacked the fencing project with a laser focus! Finally, after 2 weeks, it was completed and the Minis were moved to their new home.
All went well on the new ranch…. for the first 3 days. There was peace and tranquility in the herd. I was happy. Little did I know that this idyllic scene was abruptly about to change. On day 3 however, first calf heifer, Fancy, went into labor. I knew the delivery would be dangerous. This heifer had been bred to a full sized Red Angus bull renowned for throwing large calves. I’m talking 70 – 80 pounds. The discovery of this breeding came too late to initiate any methods of terminating of the pregnancy. My vet, Dr. Harry Baxtrom, had been alerted that Fancy was in labor. Immediately Doc was in route to the ranch. I began moving the heifer towards the barn. Fancy was nervous. The calf’s feet were visible. I sensed that the heifer, along with rest of the herd, was growing nervous. Nostrils were beginning to flare. Ears were forward. The cattle were all on red alert. The heifer was beginning to pick up speed in the pasture. Oh no! All of a sudden the whole herd broke into a run. My vet had just driven in and had parked at the barn. He jumped out of his truck in an attempt to head off the stampede and try to get the heifer in the barn. The herd was now stampeding at breakneck speed. They busted through every new fence on the ranch at least twice…sometimes 3 times….then the stampede changed direction and headed north to the line fence with Todd McMenimen’s 100 acre hay field which was bordered on the north side by….you guessed it….thick, deep Rocky Mountain timber….and…wait for it…the mighty King Irrigation Ditch which runs fast, deep and wide. There was no stopping these cattle. It was now an old fashioned, wild west stampede! Meanwhile, back at the barn, we managed to get the calving heifer in the barn plus had captured Rayna Sampson’s heifer calf. We would use Rayna’s baby to lure Rayna back to the barn (being an outstanding Momma) and hopefully she would bring the rest of the herd with her. This plan worked…..well…sort of.
Delivery of the calf was horrific. Dr. Baxtrom needed some serious manpower to deliver this calf and save the cow. Neighbor Bernie Gurule, and other neighbors I did not yet know, had heard about the Mini stampede to the woods and showed up to help. Bernie was assisting Dr. Baxtrom with the delivery. It took both men to deliver this calf! At one point I had gone to my truck to get my gun. I was prepared to put the heifer down to spare her more agonies and terrible pain.
The calving drama in the barn was still at fever pitch, but under control with Doc Baxtrom’s considerable skill and Bernie Gurule’s capable assist. At the same time other neighbors heard about the stampede and they also hurried over to help. This kindness and generosity to a new neighbor they did not know was and continues to be so very humbling. Some were on 4 wheelers. Some were on foot. Others came over to offer horses and skills with roping. The hunt was on and in high gear to capture these cattle. Many of the folks on the 4 wheelers would roar up with an encouraging “No worries ma’am. We’ll get ’em”, or “No worries ma’am. That ditch will stop ’em” or “No worries ma’am, they’re Mini’s ….how far can they go?!” Well…pretty far so it turned out and no, the ditch didn’t stop them.
Back at the barn the calf had been born. First believed to be dead I saw the faintest little movement of the white eyelashes. The other eye had red eyelashes. The calf lived! Wonders of wonders! My daughter and I started drying and stimulating the little fella until he stood up on his own. The neighbors had spread out like a flood of ants around the 100 ac. hay field, were scouring the woods, searching up and down the King ditch, going from house to house of surrounding ranches alerting ranchers, asking for their help or to put the herd in their corral in event they showed up, or just to let me know if they were seen. My name, phone numbers and description of the Minis was spread up and down these county roads. Most of these folks had never heard of Miniature Herefords before now!
The great Miniature Hereford hunt evolved into groups. There was the ‘4 wheeler brigade’ headed up eventually by Bernie Gurule. Then the ‘On Foot Trackers/Trappers’ headed by Troy Yates and his sons Austin, Tristin, Cole along with other good hearted neighbors, and the ‘Cowboys’ with horses and ropes which included Austin Yates and his cowboy friends. But there was one cattleman/cowboy in particular, a true professional cow man, with fast trained cow horses, smart savvy cow dogs that finally out witted, and out smarted the wiley Minis!
Barn drama with the heifer and the calf was continuing. Momma was not having anything to do with her new baby. So bottle feeding the little guy, now named Norman, began with life giving colustrum from a bottle. Norman, of course, liked all of this attention and had seriously imprinted with our voices. When we called his name he responded with a gusty Bwaaaah!
During the night though Rayna Sampson had swam back across the King ditch, crossed back over the 100 acre hay field then proceeded to turn barn door into a pile of splinters and took off with her calf to parts unknown. So, as you see, the calf hostage plan worked….with adjustments for cow ‘thinking.’ For the next many, many days, that stretched into months, we all searched, walked, 4 wheelered, horsebacked, and foot tramped through the woods everywhere imaginable trying to find the cattle. We talked, telephoned, called authorities, brand inspectors, ran ads and offered rewards. Word would be sent from somebody that the cattle had been seen here, or there, so we loaded up, rushed to the spot, only to find they were no where to be seen. The band of escapees would drift in and out of the woods to nibble in the hay field, then would drift out of sight into the woods again. Then I received a call from neighboring rancher, Dean Cundiff. The cattle were at his place hanging out with and visiting his mules. Dean opened up his corrals so we could push the cattle to them. We rolled in to Dean’s ranch excited about putting an end to this fiasco. We eased up to the herd. Heads shot up, nostrils flared, and they took off again like they had been shot. Only this time, they didn’t break through Dean’s fences….they jumped the things like Thoroughbred horses. Those big bodies on top of those short legs sailed over those fences with that to the ‘side crooked cow kick’ as they launched themselves airborne. They were feeling pretty darn cockey about themselves. They knew they were giving all of us a run for our money! Dejectedly we packed up our gear and headed back to the ranch with an empty stock trailer.
Sometime later my phone rang again. It was a resident of a subdivision named Twilight. The lady told me that a funny looking Hereford was hanging out on her front yard with her calf and they might be what I was looking for. It was Rayna Sampson and her calf. She was 5 miles from the barn. Now we know just how far a Mini can travel! Apparently, being the good momma that she is she did not take her calf back across the ditch but traveled to the green, lush and manicured yards of the residents of Twilight Subdivision and settled in. Smart girl!
By the time Rayna and calf were brought home to the ranch, all the other cattle had been rounded up except for 3. Those 3 would elude capture for another 7 months. The ring leader of the group was a cow named Easter. (Yes, that’s the day she was born. Yes, I know how un-creative that name is). Number 2 was a bull named Mr. Magoo. Number 3 was a heifer calf #46. The gang of three had hooked up in the woods with a black, Longhorn Bull that belonged to local Chiropractor, Dr. Andy Lake. Dr. Lake had told me that his bull had been loose in the woods for 2 years and he had never been able to catch him. My heart sank on this bit of news.
All during the next 7 months we attempted to catch, lure, shoot with dart guns, whatever might work, baiting with sweet feed, drive, track, rope, run down, anything anyone could think of to catch the last 3. In the meantime, I had learned that the Minis had made themselves all comfy and ‘to home’ at the ‘Bob’s John’s Port-a-potty’ storage lot. They had opened doors, nosed around, and just generally helped themselves to whatever tickled their curiosity! I was getting desperate to end this bizarre adventure and at one point I seriously considered taking my rifle and shooting the 3 in the woods myself. Finally though, logic and a wee bit of reason prevailed and I hired locally renowned cow man/cowboy, Dave Thomson, his cow savvy, fast horses and his cow savvy, fast dogs. The Minis put that cowman to the test challenging his considerable skills! Dave though was more than up to the task. And the Minis had met their match for sure. One by one he and his 4 legged team tracked the Minis down. One by one they were roped and dragged, stiff legged and resisting, into the stock trailer. It took several days and trips into the woods to catch them. After a short cooling off period (in secure pipe corrals of course) the 3 were returned to the ranch and the herd. They were examined by Doc Baxtrom and pronounced to be in remarkably fine condition. It turned out however, that Easter was carrying a calf of an unknown papa who could be a Miniature Hereford OR a Longhorn! I got a wierd visual image of a Miniature Hereford born with huge long, curved horns and got a big knot in the pit of my stomach. But otherwise things were returning to normal on the ranch and in due course Lucky Lady was born a perfectly attractive and lovely, purebred Miniature Hereford heifer!
As I ponder about all of the events of the several months of the Mini’s escape, their escapades, eventual capture and return, I am struck at how a ranching community, with no knowledge of Miniature Herefords except to point fingers and chuckle at them, is now taking a second look at these very special animals. The great escape of the Minis provided a crash course for me in my new environment, a crash course in introductions between neighbors, and of course, a crash course in Miniature Herefords to a large section of the county and livestock officials! Oh yes, Norman went to the LaPlata County Fair last year. He was ably shown by my 6 year old granddaughter Gracie in the Bucket Calf Class. He ignited a flash mob of fair spectators who just wanted to touch the little guy! Perhaps it had something to do with that winsome face with the foot long white eyelashes on one eye and red eyelashes on the other. My Miniature Hereford ‘Cinder’ was named Reserve Grand Champion of the Show against really powerful competition from other breeds. It was a significant achievement for the Miniature Herefords, especially considering it was won in a land of hard core big cow ranchers. The ‘Great Miniature Hereford Escape’ did more for awareness of the breed locally than any advertising campaign I could have dreamed up. It promoted an awareness that these short legged Herefords are a legitimate part of every ranching community. I am, and will forever be, grateful to all who worked, helped and encouraged me so tirelessly and generously to bring the herd home. Thank you.

Tri-State Fair & Rodeo Show Results

Open Show
Class 2: Spring Jr Heifer Calves
1. LK Robinson Farm with LK’s Maybelle*; 2. LK Robinson Farm with LK’s Taffey; 3. LK Robinson Farms with LK’s Commotion

Class 3: Fall/Winter Jr Heifers
1. Aubree Blissard with MABC Chocolate Lady 1404**; 2. Cheraye Aguirre with CA Lady “A”; 3. Emilee Munchrath with BLP Miss Peanut; 4. Aubree Blissard with MABC Coconut Lady

Class 4: Summer Int. Heifers
1. Bill & Dolores Jenkins with BDJ Silver Breez; 2. Bill & Dolores Jenkins with BDJ Sugar Plum Oak; 3. Charlotte Williams with WW Kid Edwina; 4. Charlotte Williams with WW Golden Grace; 5. LK Robinson Farm with LK’s Half Pint Continue reading Tri-State Fair & Rodeo Show Results

Pacific Northwest Miniature Hereford Show Results

Class1: Spring Heifer Calves
1. Potter Ranch Herefords with PJR Royal Juliet; 2. Silver Peaks Farm with SPF Lucy Lou

Class 2: Junior Heifer Calves
1. Straitside Ranch withSSR Crystal 202*; 2. Jensen Farms with JF Holomua; 3. Sweet Sippin Acres with Blue Moon; 4. Straitside Ranch with SSR Miss Tina 205; 5. Diamond S Herefords with Diamond S Starburst; 6. Straitside Ranch with SSR Abby 203**

Class 4: Sr. Heifer Calves
1. Diamond S Herefords with Diamond S Star Rose*

Class 5: Late Summer Yearling Heifers
1. Breeanna Hafner/DuVal Farms with DF Mia’s Miracle* Continue reading Pacific Northwest Miniature Hereford Show Results

Three Musketeers

They were kind of the “Three Musketeers” at both West Texas & Tri-State. At West Texas the three were pitted against each other in showmanship. The judge was clearly dismayed at having to choose among these three friends, but no one volunteered to help him out. Someone had clearly coached Madeline to smile at the judge because she grinned ear to ear at him as if he were Santa Claus every time he glanced her way. And each time he passed her animal, she added a comment: “I like your hat!”, “What a pretty belt buckle!” But she wasn’t above helping a friend out in need; when Emilee’s calf wouldn’t walk, Madeline obligingly poked it with her show stick. Emilee won, and all three celebrated.
At Tri-State they spent all day Saturday selling back copies of our “free” MHN magazine to everyone in the barn, including the Shorthorn breeders. Barrett Howe is about their age, but quit even trying to keep up after a while. I asked them what the money was for and they told me “for the poor.” When I asked, which poor specifically? they answered “All the Poor! In China and that other place, Africa – everywhere!”
About the middle of the afternoon they came around my stalls, excited because they made a bunch of money – four $1 bills, a $5 bill, two quarters, a penny, and two fair tokens – which they told me came to a total of $17. When I asked how they were going to get it to the poor, they responded that they had changed their minds and were just going to split the money among them. Madeline had already taken her “cut” of a little over a dollar, and Emilee and Aubree asked me to help them divide the remainder. When I pointed out that I had brought the magazines, so they really had been selling my materials, they were crestfallen. So I suggested that we split it three ways, to which they happily agreed. Justin Marshall offered five $1 bills as change for the $5. So I gave one dollar to Aubree, one dollar to Emilee, and one dollar to me. We went around three times, which took care of the bills. I asked how we were going to split the two quarters and the girls each offered to take one. That left the penny for me. Ryan Evans “bought” the tokens for a dollar each, and the girls were each willing to take one of those, too. Then I suggested that, since they were members of the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association, perhaps they had been raising money for our organization? They agreed, and we decided the proceeds should go as a premium to the winner of the Pre-Junior Showmanship class the next day, where they were all entered. Excited, they ran off.
The next day the Pre-Junior Showmanship class was large, with eight kids ages three to eight in the ring. There were a couple of new-comers, but several of them were experienced and the competition was stiff. Finally the judge made his choice and walked over to Barrett Howe to shake his hand. Taking his well-earned buckle in hand, Barrett also received the premium money, which had magically turned into a twenty dollar bill overnight.

I want to be like you!

At the young age of two months old Brandon Arredondo had seen stock shows all over the state of Texas. Hot or cold, he has always been a part of the stock show world. Once he was able to walk and talk he showed an interest in show cattle, always helping dad any way he could.
Like his dad, Brandon has a passion for livestock showing. When he was just three years old he got his first Mini Hereford, and they traveled to several jackpot shows in South Texas just to “show steers like the big boys,” but that first year Brandon was too young to go to the majors due to the January 1st age requirement. The next year, in April, he was ready to get a new steer because “the first one was getting too big!”
When Lance came home the two really hit it off. Brandon started to do more with the steers, as he was already aware of what was going on in the steer business. We as parents are very proud of Brandon because of how far he has come with just one year under his belt.
When the major stock show came along Brandon was ready to go and show at the big shows. San Antonio was our first major show and he was a real trooper, early mornings and late nights and not once did he complain. Houston came and once again Brandon was ready to go, again worked hard, and never said anything about all the hard work he had to do. The first year showing at majors was not one to brag about in terms of awards, but watching Brandon growing in the show ring makes us two very happy parents.
After the Houston we brought home our newest steer, Frank n’ Beans, and those two are like peas in a pod. Brandon loves to work with him and sets him up with his show stick any time we are out at the barn.
We are so excited to have had the opportunity to start Brandon off showing the Miniature Hereford cattle at such a young age and we will continue until Brandon is old enough to show larger cattle and fat steers. Brandon’s goal is to walk into the AT&T Center or the Reliant Stadium with a breed champion one day, just like his dad did at Houston in 1997.
Showing Miniature Herefords has brought our family closer together as we spend countless hours at the show, and at the barn with the cattle. We have to thank everyone who has coordinated Mini Hereford shows around the state of Texas. At these shows, Brandon has the chance to “be like dad” and together we share many happy hours prepping for the show.
Thank you to everyone who has given us the opportunity to show! Especially Michael Poe for finding good calves for us, and the Splitts for sending calves to Texas for us to put on feed. Thank ya’ll so much for helping us make Brandon’s dreams come true!

Straitside Ranch: A New Era

Since the spring of 1995 our purpose was to develop a polled miniature using the genetics of the horned cattle on polled cattle. Our desire was to develop cattle with excellent beef qualities, excellent reproduction, healthy calves, following in the path of those before us, and keeping the Hereford bloodlines pure.
The spring of 2010 brought us new challenges. I had to learn to run irrigation pumps, keeping water pressure on the main lines, Oh, of course those leaks. I learned a lot about valves, rubber seals, and keeping the pressure just right so the pump didn’t shut down. We also have a large reel for irrigation, I had to learn to move the reel (oh not too fast) when taking out the sprinkler head lining up the hose, setting the water pressure, making sure the reel is secure and brake is off so all will go well.
That summer many of our friends stepped up to help get our hay cut. One day I was raking, when from behind I heard metal against metal, and turned to discover the rake had blown itself apart. Our haying partner came upon this mess and very simply said “Well that’s farming.” Of course I was ready to sit down and cry. So the search for another rake began. I was able to borrow a ground drive (OKAY!) and I searched for a rake to purchase but not one was available. Later that fall a friend was able to repair the rake I had blown apart. Oh yes, remember those fences, many of then needed repair, again friends were there to lend a hand.
The cow herd had grown to about 70 head. So now who manages them, including shots, breeding, and preg checks. Early in the spring of 2010 our good friend Bob Watts, Diamond S Herefords, brought us two bulls for use.
We kept on with the shows as well which is another whole manager’s job: washing, clipping, halter breaking. Oh did you get those entries in? Did you remember the health papers for the show in August? There are many facets that go into getting cattle ready for a show, and it is a two person job at least. We were able to make three of our major show that year. One of them being the Cow Palace in California.
Our calving season started in December 2010 and ended May of 2011. Note to self, get hold of your breeding program – must tighten this up. Now comes evaluating the new calves. Calving season has its down turns as well. We lost several calves that year due to…what, I am not sure. One thought: maybe the cows are getting too fat because their bale feeder is way too close to the water trough. So let’s move that hay a bit further away. I was trying out some new mineral tubs. After going through six of them I was sure the cattle had developed a sweet tooth. I had to rethink the mineral issue. At the suggestion of the DuVals, we started using Wind and Rain. It is a good product, it doesn’t quite have all the cows need, but for now it is working. The cows this year are well, no retained afterbirth, calves have lots of vigor, only four pulls three of which came backwards.
The Spring of 2011 bulls were going in April 15th and out July 15th managing the 2012 calving season. I had purchased a herd bull from Bob Watts. At the same time I took two bulls to be drawn for future use. Oh yes, remember health papers as the bulls are going into Oregon. We get to the vet office and he asks for a “Trich” test. What’s that? Do I need one to go to Oregon? As it turned out much to my thankfulness the vet taking semen could do the required “Trich” test.
2011 gave us 14 bulls and 4 heifers. 2012 gave us 12 heifers and 9 bulls. May have something to do with the bull from Bob? All of us here at Straitside so enjoy the calving season we worked all year to see if our choice paid off.
Straitside has suffered no recession. I give thanks to the Lord for His faithfulness. I was able to sell 12 steers and 6 bred cows. So we now have several new breeders as well new MHBA members. Thanks to all who put their trust in our cattle.
In the summer of 2011 the baler broke down twice. Generally we put up about 110 1000lb bales. One of the breakdowns was the spline attached to one of the main reels. After searching the internet for a replacement not one was to be found. We found someone who could build a pillow block to rebuild the spline. That repair was barely completed when one of the roller shafts broke (which had been repaired before) so off to be repaired. One more learning process find a baler. Not being able to find one in my area, after talking to several people, looking on the internet the choice was made to purchase a new baler. The new baler was delivered to us this spring.
A lot of changes have occurred since Johnny’s passing in 2010. I was reacquainted with an old friend from high school. Randy Barnes came alongside me and is a tremendous help with all the equipment as well as all the other things that happen around here. Randy and I were married last fall.
Here at Straitside we are continuing with the same goals that were established early on for our cattle: breed the best Polled Miniature Herefords that we can produce. Now we are looking forward to haying season (with minor breakdowns)and a great show season for all. Meeting new people and making the world more aware of Miniature Herefords. Looking forward to next year’s calves. We have welcomed our newest addition to the herd, SS MR JAKE arrived this spring.
A great BIG thank-you to all our friend and family who have helped to keep us going: my daughters, Jayme Williams, Jeanna Geniesse and their families, as well as my nephew Jason Smith and also to all our friends in the Miniature Hereford world.

Virtual Cattle Chow – Results are In!

Originally posted at amhnetwork on August 21, 2012

The results for the Virtual Cattle Show for Miniature Herefords classes One to Eleven are included in the pdf file attached here – including photos of the winning entries and the judge’s comments for classes One to Eight.

The results for the Virtual Cattle Show for Miniature Herefords class Twelve (Viewer’s Choice) can be seen here

Our thanks to Janet Poole of Riverlets Miniature Herefords (the co-ordinator of the virtual show) and the judges for their in depth analysis of all entries. Continue reading Virtual Cattle Chow – Results are In!