Many people ask...who is the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association? Well, the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association was established in the state of Nebraska on November 8, 2001 as a non-profit organization led by a Board that meets bi-monthly by means of a tele-conference call. The Board holds its annual meeting in Denver, Colorado in conjunction with the Miniature Hereford World show at the National Western Stock Show in January. The Miniature Hereford Breeders Association was formed by like-minded Miniature Hereford breeders in the hope of bringing together breeders from across the US and Canada to improve the breed, educate the public on the positive aspects of owning a Miniature Hereford, as well as promoting them in the show world as an alternative to the larger breeds. The MHBA works to inform potential breeders of the benefits of owning Miniature Herefords, especially for those who own smaller acreages, are interested in farm tax deferral, and for those families who have youth that were interested in the raising, marketing, and showing of beef cattle.
I am often asked "Why should I join the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association?" The answer is easy, as a Family level member, you will receive four issues of the Miniature Hereford News magazine free of charge (4 issues per year), the ability to show in Miniature Hereford shows all across the United States, have access to special sections of the website and receive newsletters. But more than that...when you join the MHBA, you instantly become part of a huge family that shares the same interest...Miniature Herefords. Every member of the MHBA works hard to improve their genetics and expand the breed as a whole and being part of this Miniature Hereford family provides you with a vast number of dedicated individuals who have many years of experience in raising, showing, and marketing these animals. Whether you are new to the mini world or an old hand, everyone is happy to provide guidance and knowledge to those who request it. One of the benefits of being a member and part of this family is that you are able to connect easily with other members if you have questions about what to feed, calving, or even showing these special little guys. Another benefit to joining the MHBA is to be able to easily find other breeders if you are in need of purchasing that perfect bull or selling a few extra females you have. I usually find that if a fellow MHBA member doesn't have what you are looking for to purchase, they will almost always assist you in finding another member who does. What could be better...Family and cows!
Welcome to Hilltop Herefords in Halstead, Kansas. We live on a family farm that was originally purchased by Pat’s grandfather back in 1927. The farm has seen many things over the years including, old time wheat threshing, raising chickens and also registered mules. We are still raising chickens but our pride is our Horned Herefords.
We bought our first two Herefords back in 2006. We started with one bull and one bred heifer. After a rough start and almost throwing in the towel, we stuck it out and our herd has now grown to 15 head. Although we are not a large operation, we have enough to keep us busy and manage to sell meat to friends and co-workers.
We run our entire operation on a total of 80 acres. We have an approximately 30 acre pasture of the most luscious prairie hay. In fact, about 60 acres of our pasture is completely never broken original Kansas Prairie. We manage the weeds regularly and practice animal rotation by splitting up our pasture in several different paddocks. This also enables us to not over graze it in the hot summer when we are short on rain. We raise completely grass fed/finished beef. Our customers love it and we have a long waiting list always asking for more.
We are very proud to own a bull from the Deewall herd that has bloodlines from the long running Franklin Nash ranch. They are a classic Hereford ranch but fit in well with our herd. All of our current ladies have been born and bred on our ranch.
We have enjoyed raising our Herefords. We have learned to never be afraid to ask for help or guidance from others. It is hard but enjoyable work. We have made some of our best friends from the cattle industry.
Pat and Bonnie Wendling
MHBA Region 2 Director
Spring Trail Ranch began in June 2009 with an unusual event. As I was on top of the new barn's roof, for our four horses, finishing up installing the galvanized roof panels. My wife Yvonne shot down the hill screaming John, John, where are you ! Immediately I assumed something was wrong and shot up from a crawling position of installing screws into the roof panels and yelled what's wrong ! Oh nothing came from her voice. She then informed me she had just seen and copied this story on Fox TV about this man in California who had these adorable miniature cows called miniature Herefords. We'll, right then and there, I knew I was in trouble ! After finishing up the roof panels, I drug my tired body into the house to see this copied video of this guy in California and these adorable mini cows. Well I have been to California over five times in a car, with and without air conditioning in the summer time. So I was not looking forward to explaining that to my wife who was all excited. Well I did enjoy the video and said surely somebody else in the country closer to us, being in North Carolina, would have some Miniature Herefords. After researching online and talking to several breeders for a month we ended up buying our initial stock of four heifers and a bull from Nebraska. Only 1250 miles from home ! Well the rest is history after numerous more purchases of mini's we have a herd of 75 ranging in age from two weeks to our old girl, 18 year old KAP Flora Rose out of the famous KAP King Henry. Flora just had a gorgeous heifer last October and has so every year since we purchased her. Our other animals include our Bouvier des Flanders dogs that we have bred since 1974. Thru the years in showing we had 29 Champions and several group winners. But the primary purpose of the Bouvier's is the protection of our property and people. Bouvier's are herding dogs with super temperament's and unwavering unending desire to defend their territory. They originated in Belgium and as a side note during WWII the Germans had a bounty on the Bouvier's as a feared adversary.
After retiring from the insurance industry several years ago, our mini's and Bouvier's are our full time passion. I love seeing each year what breeding combination produces and how to improve what I am doing with our mini's. To me it is very interesting to see each other breeders style of mini's through out the country. You can learn a lot from each breeders efforts.
Interestingly thru the Covid 19 pandemic we have seen an tremendous upswing in the interest for mini's in the Southeast this past year. I believe since the average person is spending more time at home they have decided to put there land to work and / or they see the need to be self sufficient down the road.
It's a great time to be involved in the Miniature Herefords !
My name is Justin Grady and I am currently serving as President of the Miniature Hereford Breeder’s Association.
I was born and raised on a family farm, raising cattle & hogs, near Fort Dodge, Iowa. I also own & have operated a successful security/alarm business for 29 years. My family and I own and operate J bar W Cattle Company in Elizabeth, Colorado. We started our herd in 1997 with the purchase of 2 bred cows and a bull.
Through selective breeding and purchase of out-cross bulls, we have developed the herd of 80 head we have today
I have been a member of the MHBA since it originated in 1999. My experience includes serving as President, Vice-President, Show Committee Chairman, Co-Superintendent & Sale Manager for the National Western and Show Superintendent for the Kansas City Royal and Nebraska State Fair. I was instrumental and assisted with the development of the first Miniature Hereford show at the Iowa State Fair & the American Royal. I have been actively involved with our shows across the nation to include all 20 years at the National Western in Denver, Colorado, the Houston Livestock Show, the Star of Texas Show in Austin, the American Royal in Kansas City, the Tri-State Fair in Amarillo, the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, and the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island. I’m very proud of facilitating the first Junior Nationals for the Miniature Herefords held in Denver 2014.
I will always have a deep passion and vested interest in these cattle. My goals haven’t changed over the years as I continue to strive to produce the highest quality cattle possible and maintain the highest level of integrity for our association. As your president, I am extremely proud to have been a part of the MHBA team that consists of all breeders; those who show and those who don’t. With this team, we have created an amazing growth of the MHBA and the quality of our Miniature Herefords. As with any association, we have hurdles to overcome and as an association I believe we can conquer these hurdles. I will continue to work diligently to maintain the standard of excellence we have achieved and will continue to carry the association in a united and positive direction. My goals are not limited to shows; I want to continue to promote the marketing of our beef. I am always open for discussion and encourage new ideas on how to improve or association.
I am humbled and fortunate to have met and spoken with numerous people around the world that have a shared passion for the Miniature Hereford breed. This is an amazing group of people and I am proud to call them all friends.