Hereford HQ is a family operation in southwest Iowa (3.5 miles straight south of Diagonal). The family consists of myself (Daniel), my wife Jentry, and our two sons Dylan and Drew Graham. We raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa hay, black-baldy feeder calves, and most recently registered polled Hereford breeding cattle. Our interest in registered Herefords was sparked the very first year we had black-baldy calves born. It was very apparent, watching those calves grow the first summer that heterosis does work and it’s free. We sold calves that year 60 days after weaning. They were fed the exact same way as all previous calf crops, but they weighed more, topped the sale, and in our minds looked better. We immediately had new goals, which are to raise quality replacement polled Hereford heifers to retain in our herd and to raise quality yearling polled Hereford bulls to sell to commercial cattlemen.
Our breeding philosophy consists of two parts. First of all, we have to like the look of the heifer, cow, or bull in consideration. The second part involves EPDs. We know EPDs aren’t perfect, and there is no perfect set of EPDs, but they do work. We strive to create a balanced set of EPDs. If there are particular traits needing improvement, that is where our focus shifts. However, there are numerous Hereford bulls in the breed that can improve those particular traits without sacrificing much in other traits. Those are the sires we look for and use.
The final aspect of our cattle that we take great pride in is their demeanor. There is not a cow, heifer, bull, or calf on this farm that won’t either let you scratch their back or eat out of your hand. The vast majority will even let Drew (our 7 year-old, who is as jumpy as they come). There is something very calming about walking through the cowherd and having them stand there and look at you like you belong. That is what we expect here.
Thanks for reading this and please let us know if we can assist you in any way. That pretty well summarizes what and why we are trying to accomplish. It also explains our motto:
Balanced Genetics. Superior Demeanor.