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Interesting enough, HF genetics began with a birthday wish. On Cassidy’s 13th birthday in 2002, he asked for one thing: a bred sow. Although Cassidy and Everleigh began showing pigs in the late 90’s, having sows of their own always was something that the kids really wanted. At the time, Jimmy was farming roughly 2,000 acres of row crop right along the gulf coast in Port Lavaca, Texas. Although, he had been in and out of the commercial swine business a couple of times in his life and Paula had just returned back to school to attain her teaching degree. During that period, Gary Houser and his sons, Tyler and Reggie, were custom harvesting corn for the Hayes’s on a yearly basis. Gary is a dear family friend and his kids had just wrapped up an incredible show career themselves. If it wasn’t for Gary, the past ten years would have been completely different. Gary’s direction led them to a friend of his named Russ Baize, saying that he was looking to liquidate some sows and he thought they could attain a proven female purchase for a fair price. The next week they made a trip up to Russ’s in Stamford, TX and spend the entire day looking through sows and boars. He showed them the sows he had for sale, which consisted of a mix of crossbred and Yorkshire females. After a bit of discussion and negotiation, they were able to make a deal on not only one, but two bred sows. One was a Built for Speed daughter bred to Honky Cat and the other was a papered Yorkshire sow bred to a very popular boar at the time named Boogie Man. It was one of the most exciting times of Cassidy’s life and the passion sunk in then for good. They were able to market the first little that they farrowed locally after retaining a few select show pigs for themselves that winter. One of those hogs went on to be the Reserve grand at the county fair, while a barrow they kept to show made the Sale of Champions at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition. The next go-around they had tremendous success after breeding both sows to Vampire’s Kiss. They were able to double dip their county fair after sticking seven hogs in the top three of their classes and Everleigh’s gilt ended up winning the show.

Following that, the demand grew and Cassidy pushed to increase the size of their herd and customer base. Over the next several years, the family was able to gradually acquire quality females from a variety of breeders across the country. A great moment for them came at the Houston Livestock Show gilt show when Cassidy’s was named Supreme Champion and a home raised Yorkshire that he exhibited was declared Reserve Champion Yorkshire adding to her other thirteen champion and reserve champion titles.

That ARK Fair Warning sired Yorkshire female was instrumental for HF from a genetic standpoint. She would serve as a cornerstone within the herd for the next few years as they continued to build. In that timespan, she raised a division champion at San Antonio and a multitude of major show sale makers and county champions.

In 2008, HF Genetics consisted of roughly 20 sows and were at a point where they had to decide if all their chips were going to be in or if they needed to cut down. Cassidy had just graduated and was attending Blinn College on a Livestock Judging Scholarship and Everleigh had assumed the role of daily caretaker/expert pig puller. However, their customer base was still growing and they had discovered ways to market hogs on a national level, thanks to Jay McCormick and other northern ties. So the decision was made to get serious and they decided to invest in four Yorkshire females from Chuck Olsen (Olsen Yorkshires) and Randall Buck (Triple B Sires), an extremely unique Immortal daughter from Grant Strom and a black headed gilt from Daniel Schley. Those females became the new foundation and are highly prevalent genetically within the herd today. Additionally, they acquired the champion weanling male at Duncan from Ty Let-tow for a boar prospect, named Blackwater. They were able to use him for a couple years and build several daughters that made great sows. One of the best decisions that the Hayes’ made, genetically, was to breed several key sows to the Yorkshire boar, Bulletproof, that won the World Pork Expo for Jim Grimm and went on to stand at Jim McCoy’s. What was created was a set of Yorkshire and blue crossbred females that reshaped the herd. One of these pigs was Grand Overall at the Rio Grand Valley show in Mercedes, TX. However, the most impactive animal created was a blue Bulletproof daughter that Landry, the youngest, could jackpot. This gilt went on to have an undefeated show career, with several judges proclaiming she was a “Great One”, before retiring into the sow lot. That female has been the catalyst for most of the success that HF Genetics has had since her birth in 2009. Known simply as the blue sow, she raised a division champion and two class winners at majors. More impressively though, she has been the mother and grandmother of fourteen sale making barrows at San Antonio and Houston. Today, there are twelve daughters or granddaughters for her working within the herd and counting. Currently, the Hayes family’s intention is to continue to build females with these barrow-making genetics.

For those that know the Hayes crew, livestock judging has played an integral role in their lives with Cassidy and Everleigh. Their passion provided them with scholarships paving their way through college and competing on judging teams at both, Blinn College and Texas A&M University. Cassidy is currently wrapping up his master’s while participating as an assistant coach for the judging team at TAMU and Everleigh just finished her undergraduate career and will begin her Master’s program come spring. November 2013 was an exciting time for both, Cassidy and Everleigh, when Everleigh’s judging team captured the National Championship title at the Northern International Livestock Expo in Louisville, KY.

The distance they have traveled wouldn’t have been a possibility without the few very special people that have helped them along the way. They owe a sincere ” Thank You” to Gary Houser, Jeremy Rounsavall, Rory Duelm, Glen and Zac Blount, Josh Elkins, Mike Fischer, Kelton Mason and Daniel Schley. Without their friendship, consultation and the opportunity to utilize their genetics, none of this would have been possible. Within any competitive sport/business, it is always a challenge finding people that are willing to help you learn and try to get better at what you do. As Cassidy says, ” these guys have been as good as gold to us,” and “there is no question that these men were absolutely critical in the development of HF Genetics”. Along with that, the Hayes Family wishes to extend their appreciation to all of the family’s that have given them the chance to work with them and become part of their stock show lives. In the Hayes family’s eyes, they are still a young operation that is just beginning to make a push. They see a bright future ahead. Quality means the world to them and their motivation in this business is driven by being presented with an opportunity to be a part of making show families successful. They have had a great start to the 2014 show season and how that good things continue to happen.