Benedict Hereford possesses a rich heritage in five generations of Hereford breeders. The focus of the program has always been the finished product - a palatable cut of beef on the dinner table, while striving for economic efficiency at every step.
In 1944, Ralph Benedict and son, Cecil, purchased their first Hereford bull from R.A. Cullinan and Sons. This bull was used on commercial cows, as well as a few select Hereford females that were purchased within the state of Illinois. It wasn't long before the commercial cows were dispersed and fifty head of registered cows were maintained. During the late 1950's and 1960's, Benedict Herefords successfully exhibited steers and females in state and national shows. After showing at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago, in 1965, Larry, Cecil's son, was privileged to be asked by the USDA to take his steer to West Berlin, Germany. Larry proudly represented the United States with his steer at the Greenwich Agricultural Fair.
In the 1960's and 1970's, our herd was increased to between sixty and seventy registered Hereford cows. A functional, finished product continues to be the goal of the program, utilizing the show ring as a means to display our quality animals. We raise cattle with structural integrity and eye appealing design. Larry and Julie's children, Chad, Nicole, and Kimberly, have exhibited numerous local, state, and national champions. Supporting a herd of twenty of our very best Hereford cows, Benedict Herefords now maintains an outstanding breeding program with an emphasis on embryo transplants. This is the future of our operation, along with the fifth generation of Benedict Hereford breeders, Noah, Caleb,and Faith, children of Chad and Becky, and Rylee, Bryden, and Aidyn, children of Nicole Barber.
Besides improving our own herd, our family has worked to promote the Hereford breed statewide and nationally. We have been active in the local, state, and national Hereford organizations. Some of our roles have been president of state junior and senior associations, 25th Junior National Committee, three national chairpersons, and a national queen. Hereford cattle have not only been our livelihood, but our way of life. It is our goal to continue this rich tradition and share this heritage with our future generations.