B&H Herefords featured in Meet the Producers exhibit

Dec 21, 2015

A family that has been raising Hereford cattle in New Mexico since 1924 is featured in the “Meet the Producers” exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

“Meet the Producers” is a wall exhibit in the Museum’s Horse & Cattle Barn that changes every few months to feature individuals and families in New Mexico who produce food and fiber.

B&H Herefords is operated by Phil Harvey Jr. and Jim Bob Burnett. Harvey followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather when he began working with his family’s herd of registered Hereford cattle in 1973. Throughout his career, he has served on the American Hereford Association’s Board of Directors from 1989 to 1995, and served as president in 1994. One of the major achievements of the Board during his tenure was the foundation of the Certified Hereford Beef Program.

Burnett grew up in Lovington, N.M. After graduating from NMSU, he worked for Harvey Herefords as their herdsman. Burnett has served as president of the New Mexico Hereford Association, on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, and as the Chairman of the New Mexico Beef Council.

Charles M. (C.M.) Harvey arrived in El Paso in 1911 from Oklahoma and soon began buying ranches in New Mexico. His first New Mexico ranch was in Ancho and was followed by land purchases in Carrizozo, Cloudcroft, Hill, and Alamogordo. In 1924, he purchased his first large herd of Herefords, along with the TR brand from Thomas Fortune Ryan of Three Rivers, NM, and soon followed with several other livestock purchases. By 1938, C.M., along with Paul Harvey, and C. M. Harvey Jr. formed the Harvey Hereford Ranches and purchased a membership in the American Hereford Association. After the death of C.M. Harvey in 1952, his youngest son, Phil Harvey Sr. assumed management of the family farming and ranching operations. Phil Sr., and his ranch manager Mozaun Calentine, focused on bull production for the commercial market. They worked hard to improve range and water management and ranch infrastructure at the Carrizozo and Cloudcroft ranches.

In the early 1970s, Phil Harvey Jr. began upgrading the registered cow herd and the breeding program to more modern bloodlines. By the mid-1980s, the Harvey operation had increased to more than 200 cows and was selling more than 100 bulls annually. In 1996, the Harvey family had grown to include five generations, and they made the decision to disperse the Harvey Hereford Ranches herd and sell all the ranches.

The dispersion sale took place on May 11, 1996 at Roswell. At the time of the sale, Phil Jr. and Burnett, who had worked for Harvey Herefords as their herdsman for 13 years, formed a new partnership and purchased 24 cows and 20 bred heifers from the Harvey Hereford bloodlines. The men called their new operation B&H Herefords, and they moved the herd to ranches owned by Burnett’s family in Lovington, NM. They later leased land in Hope and Piñon, New Mexico. B&H Herefords is also involved in a partnership with Dr. Mark Cox of the San Augustine Ranch at Organ, NM.

The B&H Hereford herd is operated on sound, conservative ranching practices. Cows and bulls are raised in the same way a commercial herd would be, and are developed for soundness and the ability to perform under harsh arid southwestern range conditions. Bulls are marketed at leading consignment sales in the Southwest and at private treaty. Harvey and Burnett have been able to continue the superior breeding program that began more than 70 years ago.

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For information contact Craig Massey at craig.massey@state.nm.us.