The American Hereford Assoc Just Had Its Best Year Ever, AHA's Jack Ward Shares the Good NewsMon, 04 Feb 2019 16:12:47 CST
It is an exciting time to be in the Hereford business, according to Executive Vice President of the American Hereford Association Jack Ward. This past year in 2018 was one the best in the history of the AHA, which celebrated record growth in nearly all its various facets as an organization.
During the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in New Orleans this past week, Ward sat down with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn to discuss some the association’s recent achievements and where it has set its sights on next for the future. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
In a brief ‘State of the Association’ recap, Ward shared some of the highlights the association is touting coming off a very good 2018.
“Our registrations reached over 81,000 last year… our cow herd inventories were up 121,000+ cows, which is the most ever since we implemented whole-herd reporting,” Ward reported. “Our membership is growing - both junior and adult was up. So, we’re very excited. The association is very healthy and it’s a strong time to be in the Hereford breed.”
While the numbers themselves are impressive enough, it is worth mentioning to put things into perspective, that 2018’s total membership was a 25-year record high for the association. According to Ward, the fastest growing segment is being seen in the junior level. He says the association has recognized this and attempted to foster that growth by offering new educational and leadership opportunities to help keep junior members involved and engaged in the Hereford breed.
“(Growing our junior program) is very important. We totally understand not every junior member of the association is going to go back to direct beef cattle production,” Ward said. “But, it gives us an opportunity so no matter what career path they take, these young folks are going to be the spokespeople for our industry. So, it’s vitally important in my opinion to create new leaders and new opportunities in our industry.”
In addition, the AHA is also celebrating the best year their branded beef program, Certified Hereford Beef, has ever had. Ward announced this news as part of his association update during a media conference held in conjunction with the NCBA Convention this past week. According to him, the brand sold near 60 million pounds of CHB beef in 2018. Ward also announced some changes made to the program’s carcass specs - which now limits eligibility to quality grades of Choice or better.
“This has allowed us to position ourselves in the marketplace as a consumer-driven product that’s high-quality and very consistent,” he remarked. “So, it’s growing, and it’s really helped us position ourselves to grow exponentially. The sky is the limit. I’m very proud of what we’re doing and absolutely, we’re going to stay with our foot to the peddle.”
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