As recently as the 1960s, the Hereford breed registered more cattle than all of today’s breeds combined. Many other Continental breeds’ growth peaked in the 1980s with numerous breeds registering over 50,000 head. However, today the only breeds that reach the 50,000-head plateau are Angus, Red Angus and Hereford. Additionally, Simmental is not far behind in terms of critical mass, however, most breeds have experienced a significant decline in registrations and the revenue associated with it.
Traditionally, the services desired by breeders from their associations have included: herdbook; performance database; information technology and programming; breed improvement; research; breed marketing; promotion; commercial marketing; magazine; field staff; registry; junior program; physical plant; and comptroller.
However, the number of breeds that can maintain this full list of services is few, so associations must learn to cooperate in order to survive and remain relevant. This cooperation includes taking advantage of services offered by the National Center for Beef Excellence (NCBE) and International Genetic Solutions (IGS). Another example is the breeds Salers, South Devon and Aberdeen moving under one roof.