We often get asked why we got involved in miniature Herefords in the first place. The short of it is that in 1996 we were looking to make our small acreage in the Southern Highlands more commercial with minimal effort.
We weren’t looking to make a lot of money, but we were keen to keep our primary producer status and tax deductibility of the business. We already had commercial Herefords (full sized), but weaker beef prices and the drought took the profitability out of small herds altogether.
We looked at some of the ‘new’ opportunities for small farms – olive trees, grapes, meat goats, dairy sheep – but stayed well clear of ostriches and emus!
We went to an open day at Don Burke’s Lowline stud at Wildes Meadow and decided that Burke’s (and others) theory on the future of a viable small cattle industry made a lot of sense. But Lowlines are small Angus cattle and we have always preferred the more docile nature of Herefords, and their colour and general appearance.
So we searched the Internet and discovered that there was indeed a very well developed miniature Hereford line in Texas, USA. We discovered that the line had taken 25 years to develop and many sub herds from the same bloodline were scattered throughout the USA and Canada.
We then visited a number of the American miniature Hereford breeders, stayed on their ranches, and learned as much as we could about the breed and the proven marketing efforts of the miniature cattle industry in America. We subsequently set up importation arrangements to get the best of the breed into Australia.
From this beginning, we have imported around 50 miniature Herefords (as fertilised embryos) and several hundred straws of first grade semen.
We have sold cattle in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand.