Category Archives: Featured

2014 Denver Miniature Hereford Show and Sale!


The premier annual show and sale for Miniature Herefords!

January 22-26, 2014 in Denver, Colorado!

Show Entry deadline November 20, 2013

Sale Consignment deadline November 30, 2013

You don’t want to miss this opportunity to see the best the breed has to offer and meet Miniature Hereford Breeders Association members from across the nation!

For more information for the show and sale  go to “Events” and click on “Shows” and “Sales”. Go to January 2014 to click on the event. Additional information may be found at the NWSS website at

More questions? Contact:

Justin Grady     (303) 646-9497

Charlotte Williams    (970) 264-1014

See you in the Mile High City!



Steven R. Splitt

SPLITT-STEVEOur good friend and foundation member of the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association, Steven R. Splitt, has passed away.

Steven R. Splitt, 58, of North Platte, passed away August 15, 2013 at his home. He was born Oct. 20, 1954 to William and Dorothy (Horner) Splitt at Nebraska City, NE. Steve grew up in Nebraska City and graduated in 1973. He started his employment with N.P.P.D. in Beatrice and transferred to Sutherland Gerald Gentleman, where he was currently the operations supervisor with 37 years of service. On Jan. 10, 1992, he was united in marriage to Judy Lashley. Steve loved Husker football and the N.Y. Yankees. His passion was on Splitt Creek Ranch, where he and Judy raised miniature Hereford’s. He was instrumental in the Youth Miniature Hereford Association with scholarships and other programs. He is survived by his wife, Judy of North Platte; children, Amie Splitt of Lincoln, Audrey (Jay) Ediger of North Platte, Kily (Shaun) Brott of North Platte and Briton (Kelli) Gorley of Lincoln; seven grandchildren; a brother, Dwight (Marni) Splitt of Hastings; a sister, Sharon (Ron) Buman of Florida; and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his parents. Online condolences may be shared at In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to the Miniature Hereford Youth Foundation. Memorial services will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, August 19, 2013 at Carpenter Memorial Chapel in North Platte. Inurnment will be 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at Lewiston Cemetery near Murray, NE. Those wishing to sign the memorial book may do so from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday at Carpenter Memorial Chapel, which is in charge of arrangements.

Clay County Fair – Iowa!

Are you looking for another place to show your Miniature Herefords?


You have worked hard to get them ready for the Iowa State Fair – why not show them again just a month later?


Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA – their boast: we are the “World’s Greatest County Fair” – it is BIG and Impressive. NW Iowa – Next to the IowaGreat Lakes


May Arrive: Tuesday, September 10, 7:00 P.M.


Must Be In: Wednesday, September 11, 8:00 a.m.


Show: Thursday, September 12, 8:00 a.m.


Release: Thursday, September 12, 5:00 p.m.


Must Be Out: Thursday, September 12, 7:00 p.m.


Registrations must be in by August 1!  Just around the corner. Late entries will be taken until August 15 with a $20 late fee.


Here is a link to the Beef Cattle Handbook PDF:

(All the times, information, and registration forms are located in this handbook)


2013 Election Results

The 2013 Miniature Hereford Breeders Association election results are as follows:

President – Justin Grady

Secretary – Charlotte Williams

Regional Director, Region 1 – Bill Moreton

Regional Director, Region 4 – Julie Sandstrom

Regional Director, Region 7 – Joe Bottini


And the results for the first election for the Miniature Hereford Youth Foundation are:

President – Fran MacKenzie

Secretary/Treasurer – Sherry Robinson

Director of Grants – Pat Underhill

Congratulations to both our new and renewing board members! On behalf of both Boards of Directors, I would like to thank everyone that joined in this election. We appreciate the willingness of all the candidates to serve our organization and look forward to another productive year.


The following information may help you get to know your boards a little better!


MHBA President Justin Grady


Hello MHBA Members—


My name is Justin Grady and I am currently serving as President of the Miniature Hereford Breeder’s Association. Thank you for your nominations for re-election.


I own and operate J bar W Cattle Company in Elizabeth, Colorado.  I was born and raised on a family farm, raising cattle & hogs, near Fort Dodge, Iowa.  I started my herd in 1997 with the purchase of 2 bred cows and a bull.  Through selective breeding and purchase of out-cross bulls, I have developed the herd of 80 head I have today. I also own & have operated a successful security/alarm business for 22 years.


I have been a member of the MHBA since its beginning in 1999.  My experience includes serving as Vice-President, Show Committee Chairman, Co-Superintendent & Sale Manager for the National Western and Show Superintendent for the Kansas City Royal. I was instrumental in assisting the development of the first Miniature Hereford show at the Iowa State Fair & the American Royal.   I have been actively involved with our shows across the nation to include all 14 years at the National Western, the Houston Livestock Show, the Star of Texas Show in Austin and the American Royal in Kansa City.


I have had the pleasure of witnessing the growth of this association and firmly believe in the positive forward direction we have taken.  I want to personally thank the membership, our current and past members of the Executive Board and Regional Directors for their time, sacrifice & dedication to this cause.  I hope you see, as I do, how your efforts have made tremendous strides in the popularity and respect of the Miniature Hereford in the cattle industry.


I have a deep passion and vested interest in these cattle. I will continue to work diligently to maintain the standard of excellence we have achieved with the Miniature Hereford breed.


As President– my goals include the following:

1) Continue the positive trends & ideas that the MHBA has taken for all members

2) Encourage greater member participation in shows and expressing their ideas and concerns

3) Develop programs for greater marketing strategies for the large or small breeding program

4) To gain optimum benefit of well-produced shows to increase public awareness and education

5) Promote Miniature Herefords as a specialty, choice beef product and the benefits of raising these cattle

6) The continued expansion & growth of the Junior Program & Scholarship Foundation


I thank you & appreciate your time, consideration & support!


Thank You

Justin Grady


MHBA Secretary Charlotte Williams


Thank you for allowing me to continue as Secretary of the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association!


I have served the past five years in this office and am delighted with the progress we have made in growing our membership, promoting our breed especially through our youth programs, and increasing show opportunities for everyone. Along with other board members, we have established sound procedures for the Secretarial position for maintaining membership records, including the main databases and website information, managing the annual election, maintaining board minutes and records, responding to inquiries from members and the public, and increasing communication through the magazine, website, and direct contact. I plan to fine-tune these procedures so they can be continued easily by future Secretaries and also to work with the board as we expand services to our membership. We welcome ideas from everyone!


My husband, Steve, and I are engineers and owners of a construction company and WW Ranch in Borger, Texas, where we have lived for 33 years. We have two sons: Ben, who lives in Borger, is married to Deborah and has a one year old son, Isaac; and Eli, who lives in New York City. We have another ranch in Pagosa Springs, Colorado where most of the cows and I spend our time, near my parents.


We began raising Miniature Herefords in 1998, became members of the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association in 2000, and started showing for the first time in 2006. Most of the herd resides in Colorado now, after selling off about a third of them to help deal with the continuing drought in the Panhandle of Texas. We breed for a beef animal, with the conformation required for quality show cattle. I love the Miniature Hereford breed and am actively working to promote it by taking my cattle to shows and local activities, as well as distributing information with brochures, leaflets, e-mails, internet efforts and just talking to folks.


I hope to see ya’ll soon!


Regional Director, Region 1 Bill Moreton


We are Bill and Sharon Moreton, full time organic pasture based farmers. Here at Spring Mountain Farms in Pennsylvania we raise grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured pork, chickens and free range eggs. We raise small framed cattle because of feed efficiency and that is where the miniature Herefords come in. They are by far the most efficient grass machines we have experienced. If there is ever anyway we can help or answer any questions that you might have about the mini’s please give us a call.


Regional Director, Region 7 Joe Bottini


My name is Joe Bottini I live in Pueblo Colorado. My wife Jackie and I have two children our daughter is a Sophomore in College and attending Colorado State University in Fort Collins Co. Our son is in fifth grade and very active with sports and of course our Cattle.

To be the Region 7 Director is an honor and I look forward in helping however I can. I have been involved in showing livestock all my life and look forward to promoting the Miniature Hereford Breed and promoting the benefits within the breed. I look forward to meeting everyone and helping with any needs that you may have.

Feel  free to contact me anytime my home phone number is 719-948-4441.


MHYF President Fran MacKenzie


I have been involved with the MHBA since its beginning and was glad to be able to spearhead the formation of the Youth Foundation as a 501(c)(3) to provide an opportunity to develop programs for our youth and a vehicle for members to support our youth through charitable gifts. I am grateful to be re-elected and to have the chance to continue the work of the Foundation.


MHYF Director of Grants Pat Underhill


I’m looking forward to being more involved with MHBA activities and projects.  I hope those of you who have been involved much longer than I have will point me in the right direction.  As far as background – I grew up with Holsteins and Hugh and I had a herd of Registered Holsteins for 25 years.  We did a lot of showing, embryo work, and sold cattle and embryos.  I started working with Minis in 2003 when I was asked to manage the herd for Becket School in New Hampshire.  At that time the school had 13 head and we grew to about 80 head in 2011 when we held our Becket Fall Foliage Sale and reduced the herd to 30.  Our Miniature Herefords provide many learning opportunities for our students who have learning disabilities and emotional handicaps.


In 2011 a group of Miniature Hereford enthusiasts from Australia and New Zealand got together to set up a Virtual Cattle Show via the internet for Miniature Herefords. As only a few breeders in the Southern Hemisphere are exhibiting at shows we thought this would be a good way for others to showcase their animals as well as promote the breeding of Miniature Herefords. This is especially the case for those who live too far away from any show centres or have no means of getting to one. The show is designed to be fun with no entry fees but we are aiming to have Certificates for placegetters and possibly sponsors who can donate prizes for placegetters in their particular country.

Except for three classes animals must be registered as Herefords with HAL, NZHA, AHA or any other overseas equivalent and be of a Frame Score 1 or less in order to qualify for entry. For the breed classes if the animals are not halter trained then you will not be expected to try and groom them but they are preferred to be as clean as possible so it might pay to pick the times you photograph them. The Judges will be professional people with experience in judging cattle, photography and the requirements of the competition.

The first show in 2011 had a pleasing number of entrants and this was doubled in 2012. We hope to continue to build up each year and are happy to have feedback from interested people. Show Schedules can be seen on the following websites:, and along with helpful hints for photography. Official entry forms are included and, if necessary, further enquiries can be made to me (Janet Poole) via .



Two Sections – Registered (all classes)

Unregistered (classes 10, 11 and 12 only)

To qualify for entry animals must conform to international standards which are:

  • Being a full blood Hereford (evidence of parentage).
  • Being of Frame Score 1 or under by the age of 3 years or over.


  • The competition is meant to be fun.
  • The competition is limited to one entry per class per exhibitor but you can enter as many or as few classes as you wish.
  • The exhibitor must be the owner of the animal
  • To enter, complete an entry form and submit along with three photos of each exhibit, one front on, one side on and one from the rear (see sample attached).

Each animal entered in the breed classes (1 to 9) requires an identification as:

  • Class Number entered
  • Animal’s name
  • Registration or Identification Number(indicate country e.g. US, AU, NZ, etc.)
  • Date of Birth
  • Name of sire and dam
  • If a calf is a foot then the age of the calf when photo was taken
  • Exhibitor’s name, prefix, address and other contact details
  • For Breed Classes photos must have been taken over the current breeding season
  • No place ribbons, sashes, rosettes, etc., to be shown
  • No people in photos for Breed Classes
  • Photos must not be digitally enhanced
  • E-mail photos in jpg format of reasonable size but no greater than 150 dpi
  • Photo Number

Photos for Classes 10, 11 and 12 are open to all Miniature Hereford enthusiasts, must include such cattle and be taken by the entrant. Photos to have been taken during the past two years, except for Class 12, but not be one (photo) that has been entered in a previous VCS.

Classes available – 1 to 9 are judged by a registered Show Judge.

Class 1. Senior cow 3 years and over with own calf/calves at foot

Class 2. Junior cow 2 years with or without own calf/calves at foot

Class 3. Yearling heifer

Class 4. Heifer calf

Class 5. Senior bull 3 years and over

Class 6. Junior bull 2 years

Class 7. Yearling bull

Class 8. Bull calf

Class 9. Group entry – to include males and females (do not have to be related)

Class 10. Scenic Photo with Miniature Herefords pictured – judged by a specialist photographer

Class 11. Entertainment Photo with Miniature Hereford(s) included – judged by a specialist photographer

Class 12. Favourite photo of a Miniature Hereford(s) – judged by a panel of the above Judges.

Hints on Taking Photos

Animals to be as clean as possible to show them to the best advantage

Choose the background so it doesn’t clash with the animal

Avoid harsh sunlight – a slightly cloudy day is better

Look at how the animal is standing, especially the placement of the legs. Front feet should be together and the hind leg furthest from you ahead of the nearer.

Make sure the animal is balanced – neither hunched up nor stretched out

A straight topline is preferred

The head can be in profile or turned slightly toward the camera but make sure the photo angle doesn’t cause the head to look too big in comparison with the body

Keep people out of Breed Classes (1 to 9)

Experiment with the zoom lens and take several photos to obtain the best ones.

Examples of photos from the Breed Classes



Ready to give it a try? Use this form to enter your photos:
[customcontact form=4]

TJLA and Texas Youth!

Howdy from Texas!                                                                                                                                                                                  TJLAlogo (2)

Big things are happening down here in the Loan Star State that you should know about.

We recently approached TJLA, the Texas Junior Livestock Association, here in Texas about letting the Mini Herefords become a recognized breed in their sanctioned shows. After much negations we reached a deal that we feel would best represent our breed and the youth that are showing these animals.

For all of you that are unfamiliar with TJLA and how it works, TJLA is a governing body that oversees a point system and a group of sanctioned shows here in Texas. A youth becomes a member of TJLA and “run points” with their animals at a series of shows throughout the year. There is honestly a show every weekend, if not more than that, which they can go to. At the end of that given year the points are tallied up, based on shows attended and placement, and the top 10 exhibitors of that breed are given a “top 10 jacket” at an awards banquet. There is a division for all the species of cattle as well and pigs, lambs and goats. As you can see this is a BIG deal to be part of, and we are so excited!

In meeting with TJLA we realized that a majority of the kids that show minis were under the age of 8, which is normally when you are allowed to join TJLA, we went to them with the idea of letting the Pre Jrs show as well. They agreed, so now we are the only breed of cattle where a child under the age of 8 is allowed to show under the TJLA banner. For the 2013 point season, there will be 2 divisions, Juniors (ages 8 and older) and PreJrs (ages 3-8), they will combine steer and heifer points in each division and come up with an overall top 5 mini Hereford in each division. There is also 2 big TJLA shows a year, Belt Buckle Bonnanza and Fall Classic. As you can see there is a huge opportunity for kids to now get involved in the mini breed here in Texas!

We are asking all the breeders that are selling minis to kids to let them know about joining TJLA and all it has to offer. Please check back on the Mini Hereford Breeders Association web site as well as the magazines, where we will keep you up to date on all the upcoming shows and feature stories about the youth showing in Texas!

If you have any questions please contact me 210.482.0420 ! You can also log on and join TJLA online!!


See you soon!

Tiffanie Ivy

New site!

This is a new site for MHBA and is still a work in progress, but  the events information in this site should all be updated and accurate.  Unfortunately, we’ve had to bring this new site online earlier than expected, because our old site is down unexpectedly.  Please bear with us as we resolve the issue.


Thank you!

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 ( and AMHBN ( 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.

Pacific Northwest Miniature Hereford Show

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the PNW Regional Miniature Hereford Show held in Salem, Oregon. The days were nice and warm with pleasantly cool evenings for our 13th annual show. This year we started our week with move-in on Monday, August 27, followed by Weights and Measures on Tuesday morning. Our tradition of coffee, juice and doughnuts continued each morning and was sponsored by Allen Family Farms, Silver Peaks Farm, and DuVal Farms.

This year the PNW Regional show sponsored a new event open for every breed in the Open Beef Barn to participate in…Cow Olympics. This event was open to anyone ages 6 thru “too old to ask” who had an animal and was willing to run through the timed obstacle course. Twenty-five individuals participated in four divisions with Miniature Herefords, Shorthorns, and Shorthorn Plus being represented. Everyone had so much fun and we drew quite the crowd of spectators. This new event was even reported in the local newspaper in a half page article–way to go Miniature Hereford Breeders, oh, and of course the Mini’s won in three of the four divisions, they may be small, but they are quick. We ended Tuesday evening with our annual no-host Breeders dinner where everyone had the opportunity to catch up and visit with old friends and meet the new breeders who attended.

Wednesdays are usually a day of rest and a time to speak with all the public, but not this year. This year we had our first Mini Hereford Costume Contest. We had ten entrants with a variety of costumes ranging from a Hula Heifer, Sheriff Nate, a Lion, an Angel, a soccer coach, a Ballerina, and even the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Dorothy. The competition was held at the Livestock Showcase Stage where the general public was the judges. After leading these little cuties around the stage showing off their wonderful costumes the votes were cast with the Ballerina winning. What a wonderful experience for both the youth competing as well the public who participated in the judging.

The Open show started at 10am on Thursday, August 30, with the Junior Showmanship competition following. We had 15 participants in the Junior Showmanship, ranging from ages 4 to 18, competing in four separate age brackets; our winners are Jake Allen in the Peewee division, Emma Eldridge as a Junior, Jesse Potter in the Intermediate, and our Senior division winner, Lauren Uhde. Emma received the Overall Grand Champion Showman award–Congratulations! After the completion of the show and photographs, our exhibitors gathered for an End of the Trail Luncheon featuring sub-sandwiches, awarding Open show and Junior showmanship prizes, and announcing the results of our silent auction, the proceeds of which contribute to the Junior and Open shows.

I would also like to recognize our 2012 PNW Regional show sponsors: Platinum Sponsors: MHBA and DuVal Farms. Gold Sponsors: Abiqua Animal Clinic, Allen Family Farms, Central Oregon Ranch Supply, LE&J Cattle Service, PJ Ranch LLC, Silver Peaks Farm, Straitside Ranch, Sweet Sippin Acres, VSI, and Wooden Nichol Ranch. Silver Sponsors: Cornerstone Acres and D&A Miniature Herefords. Bronze Sponsors: Blue Raeven Farms Inc, Dawson Cattle Company, and Half-Pint Herefords.

The PNW Regional show is an excellent exhibition for anyone wanting to experience a friendly show atmosphere with plenty of marketing opportunities to the public. I highly encourage everyone to come to the OSF next year for a truly wonderful show!

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.

2012 Austin Auction Catalog

Three-in-One Combos (Bred cows with calves at side)

Lot 1
KAP Hillside Tulip
Calved 4/28/1999, Reg#: 41169981. 1 mo old heifer calf at side, sired by 05’s Handsome Herbie (42754849). Tulip is pasture exposed to Herbie again.
Consigned by: DLT Ranch

Lot 2
SS Miss Mercedes
Calved 03/22/2008, Reg#: 42927063. 3 mo old heifer calf at side, sired by SS Maximillion, bred back to 05’s Handsome Herbie (42754849).
Consigned by: Schulz Farm

Lot 3
SS Miss Esther
Calved 9/26/2006, Reg#: 42738698. 4 mo old bull calf at side, sired by 05’s Handsome Herbie (42754849), bred back to Herbie.
Consigned by: Schulz Farm

Continue reading 2012 Austin Auction Catalog

Early Weaning: Nutrition and Cost Considerations

Chris Reinhardt, Extension Feedlot Specialist
Reprinted from

The nutrition of the early weaned (90-120 days of age) calf is not greatly different than that of the normal age (~205 days) calf; however, there are several key factors to consider.

Whether or not you’ve ever fed calves, you’re more qualified to wean your calves than anyone else, provided you’ve got some quality feedstuffs and appropriate facilities. The reason? If you can simply move the calves or cows to an adjacent pen or pasture from one another, the stress of weaning is nearly eliminated. And this greatly reduces the risk of subsequent disease.

Many ranchers have instituted fenceline weaning, in which the calves are placed in a pen or pasture adjacent to their mothers, and can have nose-to-nose contact with them. Or the cows are placed in a pen and the calves are allowed to graze in an adjacent pasture. These systems have proven highly effective at reducing stress on calves. Oftentimes the cows create more noise after weaning than the calves. After a few days, the calves can be completely separated without additional stress. This speaks volumes about the nutritional needs of the calf; it needs only some occasional, short-term contact and proximity from the dam, but nutritionally, the calf is ready to be on its own.

When the calf nurses, a groove closes, shunting milk from the esophagus, bypassing the reticulum, rumen, and omasum, straight to the abomasum. But, when a calf either grazes or eats solid feed from a bunk, feed enters the reticulo-rumen and begins fermentation. Once the rumen has been ‘inoculated’ (usually very soon after birth) with bacteria and protozoa from its environment, and has been ‘fed’ through grazing, the calf is a functional ruminant—this is the normal scenario for beef calves.

The rumen and the calf are both accustomed to grass and the rate of energy release from forages. So the first feed offered to the calf during its weaning transition should resemble what they’ve been consuming up to this point– that is, good quality forage. Good quality hay from either grass, grass/legume mix, or annual grains will work well. This hay should be spread out, either long-stemmed or very coarsely chopped, in the very same bunks where the calves will be fed. Provide all the hay the calves will eat in a day, which will normally be about 10-15 pounds per head per day.

It is counter-productive to train the calves to eat from a bale feeder only to later try to re-train them to a bunk, and the attraction of good quality, loose, long-stemmed hay in the bunk is the best way to accomplish this. Also, on either the first or second day after weaning, place about 2-3 pounds per head of a nutrient dense starter ration on top of the loose hay. This ration should be a mix of 25-35 percent ground hay, and the remainder made up of a blend of cracked or ground grain and a source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Byproducts such as dry distillers grains, wheat midds, corn gluten feed, and soy hulls work well to provide both energy and protein, and can be used to
replace all or a portion of the grain in the diet. With the inclusion of byproduct feeds to supply all needed protein, a commercial source of
vitamins and minerals can be used to balance the diet.

If the calves are healthy, vigorous, and eating well, the loose hay can be reduced and eliminated over a period of 3-4 days, but if
health and intake of the ration are poor, continue to place 3-4 pounds of loose hay in the bunk until health and intake improve.

Economic return from early weaning is driven primarily by ensuring future productivity of the cow herd, but proper management of the calves can contribute as well. Plan to have feed and space for these calves for at least 30 days, and 45-60 days may be even better. That will give the calves time to recover any lost weight from the weaning transition, recover from any respiratory disease they may have endured, and fully respond to the vaccination protocol given at weaning time.

Another benefit of feeding these calves for a time is that given their young age and lean stage of growth, these calves convert feed to gain very efficiently (often in the range of 4:1); therefore, the cost of gain can be very economical, compared to commercial feeding, depending on the cost of your local feedstuffs.

Based on current estimated Kansas costs of alfalfa hay, cracked corn, dried distillers grains, and a medicated mineral/vitamin supplement, calves can be fed for approximately $1/day (not including yardage or labor). If no major health challenges occur, we should expect the calves to gain at or above 2 lb/day. This results in a feed cost of gain of about 50¢/lb, while current commercial feedyards are experiencing feed costs of gain of about 80¢/lb for finishing cattle.

There are many ways to effectively manage these special calves. The most important thing is to get them the needed nutrition, preserve the cow, and preserve the range.

Use Caution When Buying Hay This Year

USAgNet – 09/19/2011

With a dry growing season this year, barns of livestock producers are going into the Winter with lower than normal stocks of hay. Challenging weather has also made the availability of hay scarce, pasture supplies short and hay prices have risen as a result.

It’s important for hay buyers to beware of the quality and weight of the hay they are buying according to Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Even though hay may look similar when sitting in a stack or in rows ready for sale, the variability in quality and weight of hay is significant,” said Schnakenberg.

Referring to large round fescue bales, Schnakenberg says a bale may range in weight from 500 to 1800 pounds depending on the baler used and the conditions at harvest. Protein levels in a bale may range from 4 to 18 percent.

Variables include the maturity of the forage when harvested, weed content, moldiness, leafiness and color. Buyers should also be cautious of the level of toxic nitrates that may exist in sorghum sudan or johnsongrass-containing hay.

Schnakenberg encourages hay buyers to test hay before purchasing it. There have been many fields of mature, first-cutting hay baled late in the season this year and offered for sale to the public.

“At the going price of grass hay these days, some producers may find a better deal buying alfalfa hay and not having to supplement to get their beef cows through the Winter. Another option may be a limit-fed program using corn or feed by-products,” said Schnakenberg.

Buyers should review the RFV (Relative Feed Value), protein levels and weights of bales they are buying and make decisions based on the quality and the price per ton. Producers are also advised to make the most of their Winter pasture in times such as these.

Schnakenberg recently calculated the current cost of feeding hay to the cost of feeding fertilized stockpiled fescue and found that a cow may be fed stockpiled fescue at cost of around $.37 per day compared to over $.80 per day to feed fescue hay.