Kansas City, Mo. – For 2010, 1,945 Hereford cows from 638 Hereford performance herds in 43 states earned the honor of being named a Dam of Distinction by the American Hereford Association (AHA).

For the 30th consecutive year, South Dakota Hereford operation Rausch Herefords owns the most Dams of Distinction honored at 102 head, and leads its state to the top of the list with 308 cows recognized.

The 2010 Dams of Distinction list honors the Hereford breed's cows that meet the highest standard of production and recognizes the cattlemen who produce them. In order to be named a Dam of Distinction, a Hereford cow must meet all the job requirements for an ideal cow. She should produce a healthy, growthy calf every year; she should calve as a two-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.

The cow must do her job, but also her owner must manage the herd correctly to give her the opportunity to excel. Only a small number of active cows are recognized. All heifers have the potential of being a Dam of Distinction, but only a small percentage fit the job description of an ideal cow year in and year out.

In order for a cow to be named a 2010 Dam of Distinction she must have:

1) Weaned a calf born since Jan. 1, 2009.

2) Produced at least three calves.

3) Initially calved at 30 months of age or less.

4) Had an interval between the first and second calves of no greater than 400 days. In addition, a 370-day calving interval must have been maintained after her second calf. The longer initial calving interval allows breeders to calve two-year-old heifers prior to the mature cow herd.

5) Every calf produced that was born before June 30, 2010, must have weaning records submitted to the Hereford performance program.

6) A progeny average 205-day adjusted weaning weight ratio of at least 105.

For more information about the Dams of Distinction Program visit Hereford.org, click on “Records/TPR” and select “Dams of Distinction” under “Recognition Programs.” Females attaining the Dams of Distinction status are recognized with “DOD” after their names on the AHA Web site.

An article reviewing the 2010 Dams of Distinction will be published in the April issue of the Hereford World magazine.

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