The 2020 edition of the Iowa Hereford Breeders Association annual tour will feature several diverse stops providing something of interest to all attendees, regardless of their connection with the breed or the cattle industry. This year’s tour is scheduled for Aug. 30, in west-central Iowa.
The tour will start at 8:30 a.m. at Wiese & Sons Herefords, 31554 Delta Ave., near Manning. With one of the best-known herds in the state, this family operation was established in 1912 and has seen five generations carry on the family tradition. Today, the Wieses run approximately 400 registered Hereford females and market about 100 Hereford and Angus bulls annually.
At 10 a.m., the group will have the opportunity to tour the brand-new Templeton Rye Distillery at 209 E. 3rd St. in Templeton. The award-winning rye dates back to the Prohibition era and has been enjoying increased popularity nationwide. All ages are welcome on the tour.
Note: If the distillery stop is canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tour will begin at 10 a.m. at Wiese & Sons. Itinerary changes will be posted on the Iowa Hereford Breeders Association’s Facebook page.
Hereford breeders annual meeting
For the next stop on the tour, attendees will travel to the Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park Reception Center, 130 Heritage Drive, Manning. A Dutch-treat meal will begin at approximately 11:45 a.m. The Iowa Hereford Breeders Association will hold its annual meeting here, during which association members will elect four new directors.
The cost of the roast beef lunch is $15 per person, and reservations should be made by Aug. 16 with Chance Wiese at 712-210-6893, or email email@example.com.
The first afternoon stop, at approximately 2:15 p.m., will be hosted by Wilkerson Farms & Embryo, 20912 Beaumont Ave., near Linden. This farm has developed a fully indoor embryo recipient facility. The Wilkersons provide state-of-the-art comfort and care for their recipient cattle to best maximize conception rates for their customers.
The tour will conclude with a 4:15 p.m. visit to Brenton Feedyards, 21905 Xavier Ave., near Grimes. This is a 6,000-head-capacity custom feedyard that offers a retained ownership program of modern cattle feeding. Many Hereford-influenced cattle are finished here. Also on display will be cattle from Simpson Polled Herefords at Redfield, and cattle from 2AM Cattle at Grimes.
Advances in breeding programs
You will learn about the latest advances in breeding programs and other aspects of the cattle businesses by attending this tour.
For example, the small but select Simpson herd has been developed over the last 50-plus years with performance as the top priority. The main focus of the Simpson breeding program is calving ease, lower birth weights and high growth rates. The bulls sold from Simpson’s annual calf crop consistently rank in the top 30% or better of the Hereford breed for nearly all performance traits, as measured with genomically enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs).
The 2AM Cattle farming operation has excelled in raising high-quality show cattle and bulls for many years. The operation currently runs roughly 25 registered Herefords, and it heavily uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) breeding practices. Sires are selected for both calving ease and performance, and most of its bulls go to commercial cattle farmers. 2AM Cattle also offers a cattle buyback program which not only benefits their customers, but also the Brenton Feedyard by feeding out Hereford-influenced genetics.
Preregister for meal by Aug. 16
“We invite you to spend the day with us on the tour in west-central Iowa. Or, if you can’t attend the entire tour, you can choose a stop or two. You’ll see some awesome Hereford cattle and learn about the latest in beef cattle management techniques,” says Becky Simpson, administrative secretary for the Iowa Hereford Breeders Association.
To preregister for the meal on this Aug. 30 tour, send your RSVP by Aug. 16 to Chance Wiese; call 712-210-6893 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. “You don’t have to preregister for the tour, just the meal,” Simpson says. “If you want to attend the tour but not the luncheon, you don’t have to preregister.”