The Hereford breed is one of 34 registered breeds of cattle in South Africa and, in order to remain relevant to commercial beef production, breeds need to evolve continuously and meet the needs of the commercial farmer’s requirements or risk becoming irrelevant in the country’s beef production. The Hereford breed has been doing this for 106 years now in South Africa and is one of only 7 breed societies to offer Genomic based EBVs which have been running since June 2022.
The South African Hereford Society has a stable core of registered breeders, (approximately 35) who are committed to supplying the genetic needs of our commercial farmers. Hereford bulls are a good choice in these commercial cross breeding programs given the purity of the breed and its genetic distance from popular local female lines. Popular local female lines would be the Zebu or Indigenous African breeds in the warmer climates and British Beef or Composite types in the temperate climates.
The adaptability of the modern-day Hereford, bred to survive in the harsh African climate is the cornerstone for our breed’s success. These cattle demonstrate a remarkable ability to thrive in a diverse range of climates across the country, from areas with as little as 200mm of annual rainfall to the wetter climates boasting annual rainfalls in excess of 1000mm.
The South African Hereford Society had the opportunity in 2023 to host the first National Championship Show in more than 6 years, with previous attempts being halted either by COVID or Biosecurity risks. On the 3rd and 4th of May 2023 the National Show took place in Bloemfontein and our fellow countryman and globally renowned judge, PJ Budler, was tasked with sorting through the various entries and selecting our champions. Although the entries for the National Show were slightly down on previous years, the quality of the animals exhibited was of an exceptional standard, and an absolute credit to the breeders who exhibited them. May this be a stepping stone to making the following National Show an even greater success.
We wish all our overseas associates a wonderful festive season. May 2024 be a phenomenal year for Herefords world-wide!