Cattleman raises prize-winning Herefords
Doug Hall of rural Fruita is a master cattleman.
Hall was recently honored by the American Hereford Association, with four of his cows earning the Dams of Distinction Award. The awards are issued every year and recognize the best of the breed, recognizable by their characteristic white faces and red bodies.
“I don’t strive to have cows of distinction. I just work on having calves that birth easy,” the modest, 66-year-old Hall said. “It is quite an honor.”
The award is more impressive when one considers Hall manages a small herd of 35 head. Across the nation, there are 108,000 Herefords. Of those, 1,938 were recognized as Dams of Distinction.
“So less than 1 or 2 percent out of all our cows are Dams of Distinction,” said Angie Denton, editor of Hereford World Magazine.
Hall has 11.5 percent of his herd named to that list.
“For over 10 percent of his herd to be given that recognition is actually pretty good,” Denton said.
The recognition is heaped on Herefords that show certain qualities.
“In order to be named a Dam of Distinction, a Hereford cow must meet all the job requirements for an ideal cow,” according to the Hereford Association. “She should produce a healthy 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.”
Hall said he raises his cows and bulls at the Doug Hall and Family Registered Herefords ranch for breeding purposes.
To get the desired qualities, he artificially inseminates his cows and strives to bring out the finest aspects.
“It is hard work ... not everybody is willing to do that,” Hall said. “Sometimes when you are out there at 4 o’clock in the morning checking one, and it’s 10 below zero, you wonder why you do it.”
But Hall is retired, so he has the time and, most importantly, he has the temperament.
“I enjoy doing this. I am a retired teacher and coach, and I don’t have to make a living at it,” he said. “You wouldn’t do all this stuff if you didn’t enjoy doing it.”