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Black Hereford Cattle Now An Established Breed
Starting a new breed of cattle is no easy chore. In fact, Joe Hoagland of J&N Ranch in Leavenworth, Kan., doesn’t recommend it.
However, that’s precisely what he and his family did when coming up with their Black Hereford cattle. After incorporating the Black Hereford Association in Kansas as a non-profit, he began breeding them several decades ago.
“We were already raising Angus and Hereford cattle, so we already had what we needed to get started,” says Joe Hoagland. “We continued with those two breeds before switching entirely to Black Herefords in 2000.”
Their first Black Hereford production sale was in 2003, the same year that Black Herefords received the international breed designation from the National Association of Animal Breeds.
“That was a major step that allowed us to label semen as ‘Black Hereford semen’ rather than a cross-breed,” he says. “We did all the work on breed development through artificial insemination.”
While he wasn’t involved in the first cross-breeding attempts, he did buy cattle from the two men who were.
“You have to produce an original cross between the breeds, and then you breed it back to a full-blood Hereford to get a 3/4-blood animal,” he says. “You then use the 3/4-blood to get a 5/8-blood animal with black on both sides of the pedigree.”
He says that’s a simple explanation for a process that takes years, but once he got to the last step, it was time to start registering as Black Hereford cattle.
There were several advantages to establishing Black Hereford cattle. The first is a price premium based on hair color. But that was only the start.
“We also picked up quite a bit of calving ease from the Angus cattle,” Hoagland says. “There’s also an advantage with shorter gestation periods, better carcass quality with more marbling, and bigger ribeye size from the Angus.”
They also kept the docility, feed efficiency, and adaptability from the Hereford side. The advantages seem to have combined well, as the number of breeders is now in the hundreds.
“Black Hereford breeders are now in 35 states around the country,” Hoagland says. “There are also breeders in different countries, including Canada.”
They’ve sold Black Herefords to farmers in New Zealand, Europe, and multiple other international locations.
“Black Herefords are set to join the IGS, the International Genetics Solutions multi-breed analysis,” he says. “Many other breeds are involved in that and do their EPDs together, and we’re going to join them.”
J&N Ranch is a seedstock producer for other farmers and recently held their fall production sale. They sold 14 bulls for an average price of $4,325 and 58 females for approximately $3,500.
“We were thrilled,” he says. “That was a pretty substantial sale. Also, we sell about 100 bulls in the spring, and last year they averaged around $5,500.”
They ship their bulls in the spring around the country, so the Hoaglands spend approximately 4 to 6 weeks traveling and talking to customers.
“People can buy our bulls over the internet,” Hoagland says with a laugh. “We’ve sort of become the Amazon of the bull business.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joe Hoagland, J&N Ranch, 25332 Wolcott Road, Leavenworth, Kan. 66048 (ph 913-727-6446; info@jnranch.com; www.jnranch.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #6