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"Heritage” are “Native” Shorthorns

Heritage Shorthorns are exactly the same as Native Shorthorns.  Given the current interest in all forms of heritage livestock the term Heritage Shorthorns more easily captures the unique significance of these cattle.  The term "Native" is limiting, however the opportunities presented by using the expression "Heritage" Shorthorns are numerous.  Paramount is the ability to directly link Heritage Shorthorns to the heritage livestock movement. 

The American Milking Shorthorn Society (AMSS) has developed their Native program which traces Shorthorn bloodlines back to the original 1822 Coates Shorthorn herd book.   Any Shorthorn can be considered for "Native" (N) status if it's owner believes it qualifies.  This is done by applying to the American Milking Shorthorn Society and paying a fee.   All offspring that have both sire and dam registered with the "N" classification are automatically classified with an "N" on their registration papers.  This classification allows a buyer to know that they are getting a true Heritage Shorthorn.  This is important to note because, unless a Shorthorn is sold with an AMSS registration paper with the N classification, there is no certainty that the Shorthorn in question actually traces to the original Coates herd book and is truly a Heritage Shorthorn.  Unfortunately there is no comparable classification in the American Shorthorn Association (ASA), although Shorthorns registered in the ASA can be considered for Native status in the AMSS.

 Iowa St. Fair 1935

Iowa St. Fair 1935


Formation of this Society

Unfortunately for too long Heritage Shorthorns (HS) have not received the respect, promotion, or interest that they deserve.  Simply resting on their “heritage laurels” will not expand the numbers of these important cattle nor expand their usage in the general cattle industry.  This was the motivation for the formation of the Heritage Shorthorn Society (HSS) launched in January 2018.  Our goal is to have a central website where both prospective and current breeders of HS can access information, promote their herds, and connect with other HS breeders.   If HS are to grow in numbers and relevance it is imperative to create cache, breeding value, and ultimately find a niche in today’s livestock industry.  (See Why Heritage? Page).

To further enhance the utilization of HS in the commercial cattle industry, membership in HSS is also open to Shorthorn breeders who use Heritage Shorthorn genetics in their breeding programs.  Already there are many Shorthorn breeders with operations geared primarily to the commercial cattle market, who are exploiting the the value of HS genetics in their herds.  

HSS will help in the preservation, promotion, and production of Heritage Shorthorns.  We encourage anyone who has an interest in Heritage Shorthorns to become a member of this Society and to help “spread the word” about these important cattle.   Currently Heritage Shorthorns are listed on the “Critically Endangered” list by the Livestock Conservancy.  HSS intends to work with the Livestock Conservancy to publicize the importance of Heritage Shorthorns and explain how they fit into today’s cattle industry.

All proceeds generated through HSS memberships and sale of HSS merchandise will go toward the maintenance of the HSS website, and for advertising Heritage Shorthorns through brochures and targeted ads in cattle magazines. 

Website Improvement and Outreach

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We welcome suggestions to improve this website or add useful features.  Please send any improvement suggestions, or comments about reaching additional people to:    office@heritageshorthorn.org

* The Heritage Shorthorn Society would like to acknowledge and thank Mr. Stanley Ward of El Sobrante, California for furnishing many of the historical pictures that have been used on our website.  He is a founding member of the British Rare Breeds Survival Trust.