Black, white, and headed to the Royal

Ken Padilla is a first-generation rancher and owner of Flying Diamond K Ranch in Fort Collins, Colo. His operation, which started as commercial, is headed to the American Royal this fall with the first 99% purebred Black Hereford bull.

Padilla’s cattle herd started small, eventually transitioning to registered Black Angus cows. Padilla said he wanted to move in an innovative direction and began to seek out Black Hereford females. He purchased three Black Hereford females and 12 embryos, using his Angus cows as recips. In 2018, Padilla added a 2-year-old Black Hereford bull that put together the traits he was looking for — homozygous black, homozygous polled, high percentage Black Hereford, and calving ease. He added a Hereford cow from Coyote Ridge Herefords, a Mr Maternal daughter, to use as a donor cow to make 95.5% embryos.

Padilla said he continued to add registered Black Hereford females and eventually purchased, in partnership with Kroening Black Herefords, a 98% Black Hereford bull he calls FDK Spinel Max 879 JRK, or Max.

His Coyote Ridge “Ms Maternal” was bred to Max, and in March of 2020, his first 99% purebred Black Hereford bull calf hit the ground. FDK Spinel Max Factor 1 is consigned to the American Royal, sold full possession and 50% semen rights. Padilla said the bull, which he affectionately calls a 99er, is the greatest unique accomplishment in the Black Hereford breed.


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