HEREFORD breeders in west Wales will be celebrating 40 years of the Dyfed society at the end of the month.

To mark the important occasion a 40th anniversary dinner has been organised on Friday, March 31, at the Royal Ivy Bush Hotel Carmarthen – the venue where the Dyfed club was originally formed.

In 1977, Mr Bruce McKay who was a livestock officer with the Ministry of Agriculture and now lives at Martletwy, called a meeting of local Hereford breeders at the Ivy Bush.

It had long been felt by breeders in west Wales that they wanted a closer association with each other and an organisation to promote the interest of the breed in the area.

The Hereford Society director addressed an enthusiastic audience, and at the meeting Mr J B Griffiths of Ambleston, a well known breeder, was elected president and Mr W E Thorne Studdolph was elected chairman, with Mr W I N Williams, St Clears, as vice-chairman and Mr Bruce McKay as secretary.

Within eight weeks the first bull sale was held at Carmarthen with 23 bulls forward selling to an average of £435. Many sales were held during the next few years.

In the 1980s there was the growing problem of bull hiring and the rate as low as £1 a day and many of the bulls of doubtful pedigree, the spreading of diseases and also a huge influx of continental breeds.

Things improved in the 90s with the emphasis on increasing the size of the Hereford and making sure there was good confirmation.

The Hereford today is very popular with membership of the society increasing at a tremendous rate and premiums on Hereford sired cattle a real boost.

The Dyfed club has kept active over the 40 years holding many successful events including the 150th anniversary of the society in 1996 at Studdolph Hall, Milford Haven, attended by 500 people. The club were delighted when Mr George Thorne was elected breed president in 2003.

Club members wish to invite anyone with any connection with the club during these years to come along and join in the celebrations. Please get in touch with the secretary Liz Roderick (01792 390389) or the treasurer Ionwy Thorne (01437 890240).