|Frequency||20 per year|
|Founder||William D. Hoard|
|Based in||Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin|
Hoard's, as it is more simply known by its readers, was started in 1885 as a supplement to the Daily Jefferson County Union. The editor of the newspaper, William Dempster Hoard, saw the effects of the area's glacial soil on local farms. There was only a thin layer of top soil which could not support many crops. Hoard knew from his experience in New York that dairy herds could improve the farmland.
Hoard's has been a pioneer in the dairy industry since its inception. For instance, the magazine funded the first "cow census" to take place in the United States. Throughout the years, Hoard's has covered many firsts in the dairy industry. Many of its recommendations are now practiced nationwide. These include:
- 1891, First article on alfalfa published. Alfalfa is now the largest forage producing plant in the United States.
- 1892, Grass or hay silage first recommended.
- 1895, Promotion of tuberculosis eradication.
- 1912, Loose or pen housing for dairy cattle is reported on.
Cow judging contest
A popular tradition is the magazine's Cow Judging Contest, normally held annually. 2011 was the 81st year in which the contest was held. Over the course of five issues, readers are asked to evaluate four cows from one particular breed of cattle. The breeds judged are the Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Holstein, Guernsey, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, and Red & White. Each of the four cows is presented in three poses: a side view, a rear view, and an upper rear view showing the cow's back. Readers can rank cows from each class on an entry form in the magazine. The entry that comes closest to the evaluation of a panel of judging experts is the winner and receives cash prizes.
Hoard's Dairyman Farm
Hoard's Dairyman Farm was purchased in 1899 by W.D. Hoard to act as a model dairy farm and add credibility to his publication. It was first used to demonstrate effective methods of growing, preserving, and feeding alfalfa. It was also central to his fight against bovine tuberculosis.
The farm maintains the oldest continuously registered herd of Guernsey cattle in the country. The herd was long housed in the original barn, purchased by Hoard in 1899, which was enlarged several times to a final capacity of 80 cows. In the summer of 2007, the herd was moved to a new, free-stall facility and expanded to 270 milking cows.