National Reference Sire Program
The American Hereford Association (AHA) National Reference Sire Program (NRSP) is a program that allows Hereford breeders to test young sires in real-world commercial settings.
Benefits of the program include, 1) Obtaining high accuracy carcass expected progeny differences (EPDs); 2) Obtaining performance data compared to other sires tested in herd contemporaries; 3) Opportunity to market semen as a reference sire in the NRSP after nominated and selected; and 4) Opportunity to test sires next to the top Hereford genetics in the breed.
Responsibilities of test herd:
- Select from nominated bulls.
- Contact bull owner for semen shipping instructions.
- Breed 55-60 cows at a random mating across genotypes.
- Breed 30 cows to one reference sire that has been tested in previous years (at the cost of the test herd, semen and shipping at a commercial rate).
- Provide complete data on NRSP forms.
- Breeding data: Cow ID, specific breed makeup (based on percent), age of cow at breeding time, date bred and sire used
- Birth data: Calf ID, date of birth, weight and calving ease score
- Weaning data: Calf ID, date weaned and weight
- Interim data: Calf ID, date, weight
- Carcass data: Calf ID, carcass weight, marbling score, fat thickness, ribeye area, internal fat and yield grade
- Test herd must provide at least 55% conception rate.
- Test herd must retain ownership or partnership at 50% or greater on cattle until they have been harvested.
Test herd cost:
- All costs will be covered by test herd.
- Test herd will pay for the reference sire semen for the 30 cows, and shipping semen will be priced at a commercial rate, data collection will be paid by test herd on all cattle.
Responsibilities of bull owner:
- Nominate bulls for test sire.
- Nominate bulls to AHA by March 1 each year.
- Furnish 75 straws of semen and pay shipping cost to test herds.
- Pay fees as required.
Bull owner cost:
- Semen and shipment of semen.
- Pay the test herd fee per bull tested when semen is shipped — contact Shane Bedwell for details.
Responsibilities of American Hereford Association:
- Receive data and report all data back to bull owner and to test herd. (There will be no cost to the test herd or the bull owner for the data reporting done by the AHA.)
Midland Bull Test is a proven program that measures genetic performance potential of individuals or sire groups. Consignors receive objective and accurate reporting and reap the benefits of aggressive marketing and promotion. MBT has consistently topped the sales across the U.S and is proud of its elite list of MBT Graduates. MBT offers breeders the opportunity to performance test herd sire prospects and progeny groups in an optimal bull test environment. For more information on Midland Bull Test, contact Sheila Hildebrand at 406-322-5597.
The Hereford Youth Foundation of America is honored to have the support of Barber Ranch, Channing, Texas, who will donate the Lot 1 Foundation Female to lead off the Mile High Night Sale Friday, Jan. 13 during the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, Colo.
The American Hereford Association partnered with Allflex to release Tissue Sampling Units as a new method for producers to collect herd DNA samples. TSUs can be used at any point in an animal's life, but offer a reduced-stress option since the procedure can be done while tagging, rather than adding an additional step to pull blood or hair. A TSU can be purchased from the AHA for $2. A customizable five-digit alphanumeric Allflex tag and TSU unit can also be purchased together for $3.75/unit.