Traditional Hereford cattle breeders in the UK have won an export order for embryos from a ranching company in Argentina running 20,000 Hereford cattle. This is the first export of Hereford genetics to South America for 40 years.


Three leading breeders – all members of the Traditional Hereford Cattle Breeders Club – hosted a visit from the Argentinean cattlemen who came to the UK in search of genetics they believe now only exist in the “traditional” type of Hereford cattle.


Following herd visits the Argentinean buyers selected cows from the Albany herd (F W Cook and Son), the Llandinabo herd (Peter Symonds) and the Sheffford herd (Paul Carter) for a flushing programme to be undertaken by Bovine Genetics.


“They came in search of cattle with the qualities that we have sought to maintain in our Traditional Herefords here in the UK, said Cambridgeshire breeder Les Cook who runs the Albany herd.


“Fleshing qualities and good feed conversion rates from grass fed cattle were the traits they wanted. They were extremely thorough in the way they assessed all the cattle they saw in the UK but we are delighted they found exactly what they were looking for.”


A total of 49 embryos have so far been exported and further flushings are underway.


The bulls used were Heritage Postman, Llandinabo Zest, Llandinabo Mackie and Llandinabo Quirk.


The Traditional Hereford Cattle Breeders Club was established in 1996 to maintain a genetic pool of bloodlines of Hereford cattle of the “Traditional” type carrying no Canadian or other imported breeding and whose ancestry is traceable to the 1878 Herd Book.



David Powell, club chairman who runs the Street herd at Much Marcle, Ledbury Herefordshire, said the export order was an “important milestone” for breeders of Traditional Hereford Cattle.


“The world-wide demand for beef has never been greater, but cattle that will thrive off grass and produce the fleshing and beefing qualities that are the hallmark of Traditional Hereford means the breed is very much in the spotlight both here in the UK and abroad.


“For Argentinean farmers to travel half way round the world to buy our genetics to use in a beef ranching company on this scale is a very significant development for the breed.


“We hope this is the start of new export opportunities. We’ve already had enquiries from other countries including the USA for cattle, embryos and semen,” said David Powell.


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