In the 1890s, farmers from the UK started bringing cattle to Texas from a town named Herefordshire in England. They settled in the area that is known today as the Beef Capital of the World, obviously due to where the cattle were being transported from. Thus the cattle-feeding industry in what is known today as Hereford, TX, began.
It is obvious why Hereford is widely referred to as the Beef Capital of the world. That town alone produces about 1 billion pounds of beef annually, which equates to more than a million heads of cattle being fed. Today, the Hereford cattle are the most prolific breed of cattle in the world. Chances are, most cattle you see driving across American highways have blood from the Hereford breed in them. This breed of cattle was the first breed of cattle recognized in England and now represents more than 5 million pedigree Herefords. Originally bred to maximize the output of beef from one cattle, this breed was made to feed on grass or grain, making it more efficient. In fact, by the early 1800s, England had been manufacturing cattle weighing up to 3,000 pounds.
The Hereford breed is well recognized, and in 2013, a Hereford bull whose name was C Miles Mckee had set the record for the most expensive cattle sale at $600,000. Hereford cattle are easy to take care of and tolerate climate conditions from arctic snow to moderate heat. These cattle mature early, have simple requirements for dietary needs, and adapt to their environments easily, making them a majorly attractive breed of cattle for ranchers. They can also produce offspring until they reach the age of 12 to 15.
Deaf Smith County has oftentimes seen the privilege of leading the nation in beef production since the 1980s and alongside has a growing and flourishing dairy industry to be proud of. With the development of the dairy industry and the consistency of the cattle-feeding operations in Hereford, it’s easy to see why the town is experiencing some steady business growth.
Hereford has some interesting history. Now known for being the Beef Capital of the world, the town was once known as “The Windmill City ” due to the vast amount of windmills pumping for miles in the area from the Ogallala Aquifer. These windmills solved the growing population of the soon-to-be farm town. With 400 more windmills in Hereford, local farmers began to grow wheat in the area in 1903. That same year, a 10-inch wide, 100 feet deep irrigation well was built and supplied 280 gallons of water each minute. The area turned into prime farmland and attracted many as a place to start their lives.
On top of the booming cattle and dairy industries in Hereford, the town also produces about 1 billion pounds of grain as well. This is in addition to the 1 billion pounds of beef and 1 billion pounds of milk produced in the town annually.
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