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Here’s the Beef: Hereford, Texas!

April 7, 2023 Texas, Member Spotlight

The Texas city of Hereford has proudly been known as the “Beef Capital of the World” since 1890 thanks to the namesake Hereford cattle brought over from England in the 19th century by local ranchers, and more recently because of the large number of cattle feedlots that dot the landscape.

“Cattle feeding began to flourish in the 1960s and has continued to grow. In the late 1980s, the county led the state and oftentimes the nation in this category. Hereford also has a rapidly growing dairy industry,” says the City of Hereford.

Nobody Has to Ask “Where’s the Beef” in Hereford

You never have to ask “Where’s the Beef” in Hereford as the Hereford Economic Development Corporation says that the area annually feeds more than 1 million head of cattle in feedlots which equates to over 1 billion pounds of beef produced and over $1 billion dollars in cattle sales.

“Hereford helps to produce enough beef every year to feed 65 million people,” says the Hereford Economic Development Corporation.

When it comes to cattle in Hereford, it’s more than just beef they can brag about, as the area produces enough milk annually to supply supermarkets with:

  • 125 million gallons of milk
  • 100 million pounds of cheese
  • 47 million pounds of butter
  • 125 million gallons of ice cream

Hereford offers the benefits of rural living while also sitting at the crossroads of major air, rail, and highway shipping routes: within minutes of I-27 and I-40; situated on the BNSF main East-West rail line; and a short drive from international airports in Amarillo and Lubbock.

Hereford: A Town by Many Different Names

Hereford, located in the heart of the Texas Panhandle, is a city of just less than 15,000 that has gone over the years by many names including Blue Water when it was founded in 1898, as well as “Windmill City” and “The Town Without a Toothache”.

The origin of each name:

o   Hereford's "miracle water" was brought to national fame in 1941 when Dr. Edward Taylor, State Dental Officer, told the American Dental Association that tooth decay was almost unknown here. This ideal situation had been discovered by a local dentist, Dr. George Heard, originally from Alabama. In a cross-section survey, dentists found that few local people had dental cavities. Hereford's mineral-rich water and soil are thought to prevent tooth decay. Demand arose for Hereford water to be shipped all over the U.S. and to foreign nations.

In 1974 Hereford would become known for something else, becoming the first city to join what is known today as the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool.

Activities to Enjoy In and Around Hereford

There are plenty of activities to enjoy in and around Hereford including:

  • Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge: About 20 minutes towards Canyon from Hereford is this wildlife refuge that was established in 1959 after Buffalo Lake was created in 1938 with the building of the Umbarger Dam. Wildlife watching and photography, birding, hunting (big game by permit only Migratory and grassland bird by permit only), hiking, camping, and picnicking can all be enjoyed on the 7,664 acres of dry lake. In total, there are 2,100 miles of trails and boardwalks.

  • John Pitman Municipal Golf Course: The City of Hereford owns and operates this 18-hole that has been recognized by Golf Digest as one of the 'Places to Play' in Texas.

  • Hereford Aquatic Center: Located at 400 E. 15th Street in Hereford, this is where residents go for a respite from the West Texas heat, and in the winter a dome covers the facility to allow for year-round water fun!

  • Deaf Smith County Historical Museum: Learn about the area’s pioneer past at this museum which is open Monday through Friday (10 a.m. to noon; 1 to 5 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m. to noon; 1 to 3 p.m.) Admission is free with donations appreciated. Exhibits include recreations of an early general store, bedroom, and kitchen plus a one-room schoolhouse.

  • Cattle Axe: This indoor axe-throwing facility in Hereford offers axe-throwing sessions with a certified throwing coach, two pool tables, shuffleboard, air hockey, foosball, corn hole, and darts.

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