Three men standing next to cattle in a NRSP pen.

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.

A group of people standing around a bull ring, observing and engaging in the thrilling NRSP activities.

Benefits of the Program

  • Obtaining high accuracy carcass expected progeny differences (EPDs)
  • Obtaining performance data compared to other sires tested in herd contemporaries
  • Opportunity to market semen as a reference sire in the NRSP after nominated and selected
  • Opportunity to test sires next to the top Hereford genetics in the breed

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.)
A herd of cattle standing in a pen at the NRSP farm.

Responsibilities of American Hereford Association

  • Receives data and reports 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.

Responsibilities of Test Herd

  • Select from nominated bulls.
  • Contact bull owner for semen shipping instructions.
  • Breed 70 cows at a random mating across genotypes.
  • 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.