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AHA Announces 2012 Dams, Sires of Distinction
For 2012, 2,469 Hereford cows from 729 Hereford performance herds in 42 states earned the honor of being named a Dam of Distinction by the American Hereford Association (AHA). The number of dams qualifying for this prestigious honor jumped 184 head since last year.
For the 32nd consecutive year, South Dakota Hereford operation Rausch Herefords owns the most Dams of Distinction honored at 112 head, and leads its state to the top of the list with 349 cows recognized.
The 2012 Dams of Distinction list honors the Hereford breed’s cows who meet the highest standard of production and recognizes the cattlemen who produce them. In order to be named a Dam of Distinction, a Hereford cow must meet all the job requirements for an ideal cow. She should produce a healthy, growthy calf every year; she should calve as a 2-year-old, and she should cause her owner absolutely no problems. A Dam of Distinction is the standard by which all Hereford cows can be judged.
The cow must do her job, but also her owner must manage the herd correctly to give her the opportunity to excel. Only a small portion of active cows is recognized. All heifers have the potential of being a Dam of Distinction, but only a small percentage fit the job description of an ideal cow year in and year out.
In order for a cow to be named a 2012 Dam of Distinction she must have:
1) Weaned a calf born since Jan. 1, 2011.
2) Produced at least three calves.
3) Initially calved at 30 months of age or less.
4) Had an interval between the first and second calves of no greater than 400 days. In addition, a 370-day calving interval must have been maintained after her second calf. The longer initial calving interval allows breeders to calve 2-year-old heifers prior to the mature cow herd.
5) Every calf produced that was born before June 30, 2012, must have weaning records submitted to the Hereford performance program.
6) A progeny average 205-day adjusted weaning weight ratio of at least 105.
For more information about the Dams of Distinction Program visit, click on “Records/TPR” and select “Recognition Programs.” Females attaining the Dams of Distinction status are recognized with “DOD” after their names on the AHA website.
Also recognized are Sires of Distinction. The Sires of Distinction program recognizes superior Hereford bulls. Initiated in August 2007, the program recognizes Hereford bulls that sire efficient, fertile and productive females. To be honored as a Sire of Distinction a bull must have produced daughters that have received at least seven Dams of Distinction awards.
Bulls attaining the Sire of Distinction status are recognized with “SOD” after their names when doing an animal or EPD inquiry at           
An article reviewing the 2012 Dams and Sires of Distinction will be published in the April issue of the Hereford World magazine. The top 20 states and breeders of Dams of Distinction are listed below.
Top 20 States
Rank            State            No. of Dams
1            South Dakota            349
2            Nebraska            273
3            Kansas                        222
4            Montana            154
5            North Dakota            146
6            Missouri            139
7            Idaho                        105
8            Wyoming            95
9            Minnesota            89
10            Texas                        79
11            Illinois                        78
12            Wisconsin            73
13            Iowa                        70
14            Oregon                        55
15            Oklahoma            48
16            Colorado            47
17            California            41
17            Indiana                        41
19            Washington            37
20            Virginia            32
Top 20 Breeders
Rank            Owner            No. of Dams
1            Rausch Herefords, Hoven, S.D.            112
2            Journagan Ranch/Missouri State University, Mountain Grove, Mo.            30
2            Shaw Cattle Co. Inc., Caldwell, Idaho            30
2            Van Newkirk Herefords, Oshkosh, Neb.            30
5            Monahan Cattle Co., Hyannis, Neb.            27
6            Alfred Schutte & Sons, Guide Rock, Neb.            23
7            Upstream Ranch, Taylor, Neb.            21
8            MM Ranch, Alexander Mih, Chanute, Kan.            20
8            Oleen Bros., Dwight, Kan.            20
8            Ridder Hereford Ranch, Callaway, Neb.            20
8            Mrnak Herefords, Bowman, N.D.            20
12            Jeffrey Boehnke, Kramer, N.D.            19
12            Elkington Polled Herefords, Idaho Falls, Idaho            19
12            Duvall Polled Herefords, Lockwood, Mo.            19
15            Thorstenson Hereford Ranch, Selby, S.D.            18
15            Feddes Herefords, Manhattan, Mont.            18
15            Fawcetts Elm Creek Ranch, Ree Heights, S.D.            18
18            O.D. Perkes, Etna, Wyo.            17
19            Springhill Herefords, Blue Rapids, Kan.            16
19            Helbling Herefords, Mandan, N.D.            16


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