Herefords are part of the history of Douglas County as they were among the few breeds raised by early cattle ranchers in the area. Herefords do well on the grasslands of the west where they have been important in Colorado history. Originally developed in Hereford County, England, they were first brought to America by Henry Clay in 1817 for his farm in Kentucky. Later, in the 1850s, they were brought to America for use in the west in a much greater number.
Herefords did well on the vast prairies of Texas where ranchers, including Charles Goodnight, had been disappointed in the performance of the Shorthorn breed. Herefords were much more successful and their ease of care and production was the main cause of the decline of the Texas Longhorn as the major range breed.
Today Herefords are the second most populous breed in America. They are still thriving in the west and are a very popular breed, both for their appealing looks and their value as beef cattle.
Most commonly Herefords are reddish brown with white faces and white patches on their backs, lower legs, chests and switches (tips of tails). Herefords easily convert a forage-based diet into muscle in an advantageous time frame for the rancher. They are well known for delicious beef.
Sam’l P. Arnold, founder of The Fort Restaurant in Morrison, Colorado, and author of Eating Up The Santa Fe Trail spoke of Herefords as providing the best beef steak possible. Herefords have certainly stood the test of time and are still going strong in Colorado and right here in Douglas County.