Hereford Tour Goes from Pasture to Plate
A bus load of seedstock and commercial producers, and farmer feeders spent four days traveling through South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas visiting Hereford seedstock and commercial ranches, feedlots, and packing plants, plus spent hours discussing beef industry topics and sharing knowledge. The group included producers from 16 states with a total of 14,000 cows ranging from a handful to 1,000 head individually.
“An eye-opening experience” summarized most tour participants’ comments about the High Plains Hereford tour, which covered 1,600 miles. The tour started in Rapid City, S.D., Sept. 10 and traveled through Nebraska and Kansas returning to Rapid City
“The purpose of the tour was to give producers the opportunity to see different segments of the beef industry,” said Jay Elfeldt, American Hereford Association (AHA) fieldman and tour co-chairman. “It was truly a great learning opportunity and exceeded all of our expectations.”
Darrell Ailshie, Tennessee Livestock Producers general manager, Columbia, Tenn., described the tour as “leadership in action.” He said participants were excited about the Hereford breed and were being proactive attending the tour.
The event was more than a cattle tour; participant John Woolfolk, Columbia, Tenn., calls it a rolling seminar. Between tour stops, producers had the chance to discuss different topics ranging from $Profit Indexes to Hereford Verified to DNA testing. Participants also introduced themselves, shared why they attended the tour and, while returning to Rapid City, discussed what they had learned on the tour.
Greg Shaw, Caldwell, Idaho, said what he enjoyed most about the tour was how all facets of the industry were represented. “It was a captive audience and there was great dialog,” he said.
Greg’s wife, Cleo, added, “It was neat how participants shared their ideas and then just agreed to disagree.”
A highlight was the opportunity to tour a packing plant. One group toured National Beef Packing Co. LLC while the other toured Cargill Meat Solutions “Excel.” More than two thirds of the group had not been in a large packing plant in the last 20 years.