Hereford show at National Western Stock Show in Denver showcases the breed |

Hereford show at National Western Stock Show in Denver showcases the breed

Samantha Fox

— Finishing top in a class wasn't as important during Thursday's Hereford show as it is in other National Western Stock Show events.

It was definitely a bonus, but the exhibitors' main goal was to show off their breed in hopes of making new connections and attracting customers. That's a huge reason why a lot of these exhibitors make it a point to come to the stock show year after year. There are many exhibitors who have attended and showed at the National Western for years, and when Jason Hoffman's oldest son shows in his first show next year he'll be the sixth generation.

Hoffman had 23 Herefords this year in hopes of continual promotion of his herd.

"I do it for the promotion and competing against the nation's best," Hoffman said.

At his ranch, genetics and bull sales are the main focus, selling semen and embryos to Australia, Uruguay, Canada and South American countries.

But showing at National Western helps build that customer base.

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"There's long-term dividend for coming here," he said.

Brian McMahon from Ayr, Neb., said the stock show is an important show for any cattle breeder to attend since "all the premier breeds come."

McMahon's family got into the Hereford business about 70 years ago because of his dad, Stanley.

McMahon's dad really liked the breed because of the fertility, the ease of working with them and because the cattle industry is really accepting of them.

McMahon said National Western is a must for his business.

"It's the best way to reach out to fellow breeders and the commercial industry," he said.

For McMahon, there was no questioning whether he'd continue to work with the Herefords. It's not just the type of cattle that keeps McMahon's interest. It's the way the industry works.

"It's still a people business," he said. "That's what's really a draw. It's great people in the cattle industry, but there's something even greater about Hereford people."

McMahon's ranch focuses on commercial bulls with an artificial insemination and embryo program.

"Just being able to have success at the National Western says a lot," Hoffman said.

His family has had a number of successes over the years. His side of the family started exhibiting Hereford in the 1970s, but his wife, Caysee Orr Hoffman, can trace back her family's involvement in National Western more than 100 years ago.

While his kids will begin next year with showing — they'll have cattle and horses — they're already getting exposure to the business side of exhibiting that not all 4-H or FFA kids do.

"(The Hereford show) is a great showcase for your (cattle's) genetics," Hoffman said.

— Samantha Fox is a reporter for The Fence Post, The Tribune's sister publication. She can be reached at (970) 392-4410 or on Twitter @FoxonaFarm.



» 8 a.m.: Angus female ROV show

» 8 a.m.: Hereford pen of heifers show

» 9:30 a.m.: Hereford pen/carload bull show

» Noon: Denver national Maine-Anjou/MaineTainer pen show

» 1:30 p.m.: Pro rodeo

» 2:30 p.m.: Colorado Angus Association Foundation female sale

» 4 p.m.: Hereford sale cattle display

» 6 p.m.: Collegiate livestock judging awards banquet

» 6:30 p.m.: “Mile High Night” national Hereford sale

» 7:30 p.m.: Pro rodeo


» 8 a.m.: National Hereford female show

» 11 a.m.: Pro rodeo

» Noon: National Charolais pen show

» 3:30 p.m.: Pro rodeo

» 4 p.m.: Junior market lamb showmanship

» 5 p.m.: Western elite female sale

» 5 p.m.: Wild West Show

» 8 p.m.: Pro rodeo


» 8 a.m.: Charolais junior heifer show

» 8 a.m.: Simmental pen of bulls show

» 9 a.m.: Junior market lamb show

» 1 p.m.: Charolais sale

» 2 p.m.: Pro rodeo

» 4 p.m.: Wild West Show

» 6 p.m.: Junior market lamb champion selection

» 6:30 p.m.: Pro rodeo