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

1. Ideal Color Markings

  • The ideal color markings of all Hereford breeding hogs eligible for registration shall be red, light or dark however, deep red is preferred with a white head, ears, and 4 white legs; whether the underline of the animal is white or red is breeder preference. Ears must be at least broke forward.

2. Breed Definitions

  • Splash or drip of white- small spot if white not connected to any other patch of white on the body.
  • The face of the animal- starting at the top of the forehead extending down to and including the nose, mouth, eyes, and jaw bone line.
  • Blaze Face- small narrow strip of white running in between the eyes.
  • White foot- 1” Above the hoof with the white extending over that entire area at sale or show age. The white must go all the way around the foot.

3. Minimum and Maximum amount of white allowed for breeding stock registration eligibility with the intent to be shown or sold as a show or breeding animal. Body shall be at least 2/3 red, there shall be no white over the back beyond the shoulder blade with exception of a splash or drip, with no connecting belt anywhere on the body. This does not include the neck. Herefords fitting this category must also have white on at least 2/3 of their face, ears broke forward and possess at least 3 white feet.

  • 3.1 – Marking and Other for breeding animals. Other disqualifications are more then 5 black spots larger a U.S. minted .50ct piece on any part of the animal or and 1 black spot larger than 4 inches at any point of measurement, erect ears; or where an animal shows evidence of an extra dewclaw, boars with one testicle, less than 6 functional teats on each side of underline, permanent deformities of any kind.

4. Hereford Market Animals. Market animals shall be eligible for registration as off-marked with these requirements: At least 50% of a white face, at least 50% red body, at least 2 white feet. This will be known as the”50-50-50 rule”.

  • Off marked boars must be registered as barrows. No off marked males are permitted for breeding purposes of marking purebred swine.
  • Off marked females must be registered with an OM in front of the registration # or animals name.
  • 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.
  • Off marked females must be registered as market animals. Thus, these market animals must be declared at the time of registration and will receive a pedigree stating. “This animal is a Purebred Hereford Hog meeting minimal requirements governed by The National Hereford Hog Record Assn. to be shown or sold as a market animal only and is not eligible for breeding or breeding swine shows as a purebred Hereford Hog.” Due to ineligible color markings or other purebred breeding swine classifications.

5. Reporting of belts and black spots in breeding animals offsprings. Belts and black spots do appear occasionally. It is the job of the breeders and members to do their best to eliminate this from their herds. The National Hereford Hog Record Assn needs to be informed of any swine producing belted or black spotted offsprings.