Worland youth raise mini Herefords
Worland – After Landan and Kellynne Doyle heard about miniature Herefords on the radio a few years ago, their curiosity was piqued, and it led to the pair’s 2010 county fair project, which they are continuing for this year.
“They are supposed to have high feed efficiency,” says Landan. “We researched them, and decided it was a good idea.”
The siblings, who are the children of David and Michelle Doyle of Worland, researched the cattle, which led them to KP Ranches in Tekamah, Neb. KP Ranch emphasizes that miniature Herefords are ideal for small acreages, are easy to handle and are usually docile, as well as requiring less feed and water to grow. Landan and Kellynne purchased two heifers early in 2010.
The International Miniature Cattle Breeds Registry says miniature cattle are about 25 percent more efficient at feed conversion, and production per acre is greater, and the smaller cattle provided a number of benefits for Landan and Kellynne, including ease of handling. Miniature cattle are typically between 38 and 45 inches tall at the hip and weigh between 500 and 1000 pounds.
“Mine only weight 408 last year at fair,” remembers Kellynne, emphasizing the small size as compared to a traditional heifer.
“When they try and run away, you can pull them back a lot easier,” says Landan.
The Doyles look back at learning how to show, saying their dad was really helpful. David showed cattle in his 4-H years and now gives his children advice. Landan and Kellynne start preparing to show each year by halter breaking.
“That’s the hardest part,” reflects Landan on halter breaking his first show animal.
“It’s the same as every other cow,” says Landan. “But they’re smaller. We just started with the new ones.”
Their hard work was rewarded last year with ribbons in both showmanship and breeding classes.
“I got fourth in showmanship, and we did excellent in the breeding classes,” says Landan. They won species breeding classes and competed in the overall breeding show.
This year, Landan and Kellynne each purchased another heifer for fair, and while the kids focused last year on learning how to raise and show the breeding heifers, they anticipate expanding in the near future.
“After fair this year we’ll start breeding them. Right now, though, they’re just show cows,” says Landan.
Kellynne, a sophomore at Worland High School, spends time every day with her heifers, working to get them ready for shows. She is also involved in other 4-H projects including fabric and fashion, archery and quilting. For the past several years she has demonstrated leadership as a junior counselor at the Big Horn Basin 4-H Camp.
Landan is a senior and is also very involved in 4-H, particularly as a member of the Wyoming State 4-H Leadership team. He also serves as president of the Washakie County 4-H Junior Leaders club and his local 4-H club. His other 4-H projects include foods, archery and shotgun.
Amber Armajo, Washakie County 4-H Extension Specialist, offers nothing but praise about the Doyle family.
“When you need something done, you can depend on the Doyles. They are willing to take any challenge,” she says.
Armajo continues, “Landan has great leadership skills that he has demonstrated at both the state and local level. They are both good, level-headed kids.”
Chief Washakie FFA Advisor Grace Anderson also offers nothing but praise, saying, “Landan is the current and past president of our FFA chapter, and he was involved in the state champion marketing plan and range judging teams, as well. Kellynne was also involved as a member of the state champion range judging team. She was also the Star Greenhand for the chapter.”
Landan and Kellynne both competed at the national level in their respective contests.
Their plans for expanding their four-heifer project into a breeding operation would allow Landan and Kellynne the opportunity to continue to learn about their miniature Herefords, as well as offering benefits to local youth.
“I think it would be a good project for beginner 4-H and FFA members,” says Landan. “They are small and not as much to deal with for younger kids.”
“We’re excited to start breeding and selling them,” says Landan. “There aren’t very many mini Herefords around. I’d like to see more in the state.”
Saige Albert is assistant editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.