The American Black Hereford Association (ABHA) board has announced Brian T. Chism as the ABHA's executive director.

We are excited to have Brian to serve as the first executive director for the American Black Hereford Association," said Tim Tarter, ABHA board president. "He has a unique mix of skills and experiences in the livestock industry that will allow him to provide the leadership and vision needed for ABHA, as we establish our official headquarters in Kentucky."

As executive director, Chism will take the lead in the establishment of the ABHA headquarters in Kentucky, the oversight and management of the association’s operations, and serve as the lead liaison between the board and its members.

"The beef industry has been a passion of mine from a young age growing up showing cattle on the family farm,” said Chism. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with an innovative board that recognizes the potential for the Black Hereford breed and the boards desire to expand the operations of the organization to meet its growing membership needs.”

Chism is a native of Brandenburg, KY and a graduate of Western Kentucky University. He has been active in agriculture all his life. During college Chism served as the Kentucky FFA State President, worked as an intern for the Kentucky FFA Foundation, and a marketing intern for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Chism has been apart of his family’s beef operation since childhood. He grew up working on the farm, showing livestock, and now plays an active role in overseeing the cow/calf operation.

"Growing up on a farm, I understand the commitment it takes to run a successful operation, there are no days off,” said Chism. “The same level of commitment is needed to run a successful organization, I look forward to helping establish the first headquarters and growing the membership of the American Black Hereford Association."

The ABHA is a growing producer organization with farmer members across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. To learn more about the ABHA, the Black Hereford breed, or the Association’s move to Kentucky contact the ABHA at

Welcome to ABHA

The American Black Hereford Association was officially organized in 1994 by the late John Gage as a not-for-profit corporation. The purpose of the breed, according to its founder, was to eliminate red-baldie calves in a Hereford / Angus cross breeding program. In the past, black-baldie calves have topped the market at sale barns while red-baldies of the same cow herd are culled off and sold at a discount. The benefit of using Black Herefords is to obtain Hereford heterosis without the financial disadvantage of Hereford discounts.

In 1997, the first registered Black Hereford bull was born on Gage's Blue Jacket Farm near Eudora, Kansas. The bull was named BJH Balder 7504 and carried the Black Hereford registry number HB000001. Before forming the Black Hereford organization, John Gage was a polled Hereford breeder. It was his belief that balanced EPDs were important and he carried this belief to the Black Hereford breed he created by insisting that only the highest rated Hereford bulls could be used . Black Hereford EPDs were first calculated in 2005; with the 2013 analysis of performance data, this first Black Hereford bull, BJH Balder 7504, had the following EPDs:

BW: 1.6 WW: 55 YW: 86 Milk: 10 M+G: 37

This first bull and his progeny have served the new breed well by providing outstanding growth, low birth and moderate milk.

When John Gage became ill in 1998, Joe and Norma Hoagland, J&N Ranch, Leavenworth, Kansas purchased most of Gage's cattle and received the corporation papers on the American Black Hereford Association. They used the cows and bulls in their commercial herd for a few years and noticed that they didn't get any red-baldies. It was at this point that the Hoagland's dispersed their registered Hereford and Angus cowherds and started raising Black Herefords. Interest in Black Herefords increased. In 2005, the ABHA consisted of 14 breeders in nine states. Today, mid 2014, there are 145 adult members and 15 junior members from 31states.

The primary purpose of the American Black Hereford Association is to register and transfer Black Hereford seedstock as well as maintain records of pedigrees and performance in the Black Hereford herdbook. The ABHA promotes the Black Hereford breed and produces promotional materials for the association as well as member breeders as a service to the ABHA membership. Herefords have always been known for their docile temperament and feed efficiency. Angus have always been known for lighter birth weights, good growth and outstanding carcasses. The combination of these two breeds produces an outstanding animal with the benefit of the black color - "the color you can count on"!

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