The original Hereford group in Pennsylvania was the Tri State Hereford Breeders, a non-profit corporation formed on May 5, 1933 in Allegheny Common Pleas Court in Pittsburgh. On June 19, 1945 the name was changed to the Pennsylvania Hereford Breeders Association after 55 members voted unanimously to do so. The new association listed Bedford as its address, with Macmillan Hoopes serving as president and Hiram Bell as secretary.
In the early 1950s there was a national rift between horned and polled Hereford breeders, resulting in the creation of the American Polled Hereford Association. This caused many states, including Pennsylvania, to follow suit. On October 11, 1954 the newly formed Pennsylvania Polled Hereford Association was incorporated in Bedford.
The national breed association landscape changed again in the 1990s. Both the AHA and the APHA saw declining income from registrations whichled to a merger in 1995. Once again, Pennsylvania followed the national trend. In 1998, the Pennsylvania Polled Hereford Association changed its name to the Pennsylvania Hereford Association to better reflect all breeders. The defunct Pennsylvania Hereford Association was closed by Terry Shearer, and its remaining funds were donated to the PA Junior Hereford Association.
At times, Pennsylvania has had a strong board of directors and leadership. At these times, the association has advanced the state of the breed and provided important services to the breeders of the state.
Pennsylvania leaders also have proudly served at the national level. Leon Falk, owner of Falklands Farm, a man with a real presence and character about him, was the Chairman of the Board of the APHA at a pivotal point for the association. Dr. Frank Perrone, owner of Five Point Pastures and a surgeon, also served on the APHA board. He was a kind and gentle man who was a tremendous benefactor to the breed. More recently, Paul Slayton, owner of Slayton’s Beardance, served on the AHA board. He has been impactful to the average cattleman in our state and a forward thinker for the beef industry.
While there has been a junior association in Pennsylvania for many years, the PA Junior Hereford Association became a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in 2004. The strength and activity of the Pennsylvania Junior Hereford Association has ebbed and flowed over the years. At times, there has been strong involvement, with our juniors proudly representing Pennsylvania at the National Junior Shows. Strong bonding between younger and older juniors has led to real camaraderie. Mentoring by older members has led to success in many competitive events, including winning the top state group in the nation on multiple occasions. Many junior breeders have developed lifelong memories through their teamwork with other junior breeders.
Traditionally, a junior preview show is held each summer.
Over the years numerous Pennsylvania juniors have served on the national junior board.
In 2014, the Howe family took the lead in bringing the prestigious AHA Junior National Show to Pennsylvania. Recently, the Howe family initiated an annual scholarship program for juniors.
Over the years, state Hereford shows have been held for our association members.In the 1970s and 1980s the PPHA hosted national Standard of Perfection (SOP) shows periodically. Some of these shows required $5,000-20,000 to host, with Pennsylvania footing the bill. SOP shows typically honored influential breeders of the time. Eugene Stockdale, Joe and Louise Midla, Dr. Robert Brown, Roy Hunt and Frank Darcy are a few of the leaders that were recognized at these shows. In 2003, the Firestine family took the lead in bringing an annual AHA National Show to Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania has periodically held sales in Bedford, Washington, Mt. Joy, Harrisburg, Quarryville, Greensburg, York County, State College, and other locations across the state.
In addition to sponsoring an annual field day to educate breeders, Pennsylvania has provided and manned Hereford displays at Penn State Ag Progress Days and the PA Farm Show. Pennsylvania sponsors an annual queen program, and provides financial support to Hereford steers at the PA Farm Show.
Pennsylvania has been and currently is a Pennsylvania Cattleman’s Association affiliate member, ensuring that all PHA members are also members of the PCA.
At various times, Pennsylvania has printed directories to share members’ contact and herd information. The last few directories were a junior project and they did a great job.
Compiled by Les Midla 2019