During the early part of the 19th century, a strain of hogs whose color markings resembled to a great extent the red and white marking of Herford cattle was developed by Mr. R.U. Weber of LaPlata, Mo. Little is known of his exact matings, hence his progress was extremely slow.

About twenty years later (1902 to 1925) a group of hogs in Iowa and Nebraska by cooperative effort and under the leadership of Mr. John Schulte of Norway, IA, developed a strain of swine they, too named Herefords.

These men had definite goals in mind as to type, color, conformation, superior feeding qualities and other favorable characteristics to develop in their foundation stock. Both Duroc and Poland China bloodlines were used to a considerable extent in a judicious program of crossing, inbreeding, and selecting to develop superior foundation breeding stock.

In 1934, sponsored by the Polled Hereford Cattle Registry Association located in Des Moines, Iowa, the National Hereford Hog Record Association was organized. About one hundred selected animals from the herd of Mr. John Schulte of Norway, Iowa; Mr. A.J. Way of New Sharon, Iowa; Mr. Henry Weimers of Diller, Nebraska; G.P. Rue of Nickerson, Nebraska; and P.W. Mitchell of Van Meter, Iowa; were selected as foundation stock for the original registry.


The life blood of our Hereford breed of hogs is its breeders. Breeders progress and prosperity depends on the kind of hogs raised. The modern-day Hereford hog is not only futuristic but also performance and production driven. Breeders have done an excellent job of matching phenotype differences to develop the 21st century “modern” look combining muscularity, structure, soundness, with their noted carcass traits of meat quality. This gives everyone a profitable and enjoyable experience with Herefords.

Welcome to the exciting world of the Hereford swine.

Breed Guidelines

Breed Classifications

Section 1. IDEAL COLOR MARKINGS. The ideal color marking of all Hereford breeding hogs eligible for registration shall be a deep red or light red with a white head, white ears and four white legs. Ears must break forward.


  • 2.1 Face. The majority (51%) of the face must be WHITE; both skin pigment and hair. The face starts at the top of the forehead, extending down to the back of the jawline to include the eyes, mouth and nose.
  • 2.2 Ears. The ears may be white or red but must break forward.
  • 2.3 Legs. The animal must have at least three white legs where both skin pigment and hair encircle the entire leg above the hoof.
  • 2.4 Body. The body must be at least two-thirds RED; both skin pigment and hair. The body starts at the front of the shoulder and extends back to the rump, excluding the legs. There shall be no white touching the spine of the animal from the back of the shoulder blade to the ham-loin junction.
  • 2.5 Underline. All breeding animals must possess at least six functional teats on BOTH sides of the underline. Pin nipples and inverted nipples are not considered functional.


  • 3.1 Belt. There shall be no connecting belt anywhere on the body. An occasional spot, splash or drip of white is allowed as long as the two-thirds RED body requirement is met. Belt is defined as a connecting white band that encircles the top and two sides of the animal. It is only considered a belt when red hair is on both sides of the white band and continuously encircles the animal.
  • 3.2 Ears. Erect ears will be disqualified. 
  • 3.3 Black Spots. Black Any animal having five black spots larger than one inch in diameter, or any one spot exceeding three inches in diameter will be disqualified.
  • 3.4 Skin Pigment. Skin Yellow skin pigment and hair, as well as a predominately roan color pattern and gray/silver hair on the body will be disqualified.
  • 3.5 Underline. Any breeding animal that does not possess six functional teats on BOTH sides of the underline will be disqualified. Pin teats and inverted nipples are not considered functional.
  • 3.6 Extra dewclaw. Extra Any animal showing evidence of an extra dewclaw; boars with one testicle, or any other deformities will be disqualified and are ineligible for registration.

Section 4. ALTERING NATURAL MARKINGS. Altering natural markings of a Hereford animal in any way, including but not limited to the use of paint, dye or freeze branding to make an animal eligible for registration is prohibited. If proven, violators are subject to expulsion from exhibition, sales, events and removal of the pedigree of said animal in question. Decisions made by the NHHA Directors are final and not open for appeal.

Section 5. HEREFORD MARKET ANIMALS. Market animals shall be eligible for registration with these MINIMUM requirements: at least 50% of a red body, at least two white feet, and must have traces of white on its face.

The face starts at the top of the forehead, extending down to the back of the jawline to include the eyes, mouth and nose.

  • 5.1 Off-marked boars must be registered as No off-marked males are permitted for breeding purposes or to produce purebred swine.
  • 5.2 Off-marked females are only allowed in market swine classes where females are permitted and are in no way eligible to be shown in purebred breeding classes.
  • 5.3 Off-marked animals and market animals must have ears that break forward. 

Section 6. DISQUALIFICATIONS AND PEDIGREE SUSPENSION. Any Hereford breeding animal possessing a short underline, belt, erect ears, a solid white or red color pattern, or that does not meet minimum market animal requirements (outlined in Section 5) will be disqualified and pedigreed papers will be terminated.

All other off-marked females meeting the market requirements (outlined in Section 5) that are disqualified at CPS events and shows will have their pedigrees suspended until the said animal is of one year of age. This will disqualify them from any further exhibition.

Section 7. DIAGRAM. The NHHA Board of Directors has created a diagram to help members and non-members properly identify qualifying animals for registration and exhibition. Said diagram is attached hereto and may be used as a reference. The diagram may be amended by the Directors at any time by a majority vote.

Section 8. IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. No litter or animal in any herd shall be eligible to record unless each pig in the litter is distinctly ear notched at farrowing time for litter and individual pig identification according to the NHHA litter-pig system, also known as the 1- 3-9-27 system. This means each litter shall be ear notched in consecutive order as farrowed and with no repeating of this order in less than six months or during any one farrowing season. The six-month period shall start January 1 and July 1 to begin with litter number one (1). A key to this litter-pig system is as follows: a pig’s right ear is on its own right and the left ear on its own left. Notches in the pig’s right ear serve as litter identification while notches in the left ear serve as individual pig identification. Picture the ear as divided into halves when placing notches, thus providing four sections to place notches, as well as the tip of the right ear. Never use more than two notches in any one section and never more than one notch in the tip of the right ear. Place notches carefully in each section as each notch in a particular section has a point value. These values are added together to identify the litter or pig number. In herds farrowing more than 161 litters a season, special permission for use of the inner and upper half of the left ear as an additional litter number notch may be granted upon request. If and when a person applying to record a litter ear-notches said litter incorrectly due to ignorance of required system, said litters and pigs may be accepted for registration at the discretion of the Breed Secretary/Board of Directors, provided said party can provide acceptable proof that said litters and pigs can be positively identified.