Cato Poll Herefords is owned by Jonathan and Rosemary Moorhouse. The herd takes its name from their daughter Kate, whose nickname is Cato. Edward and Kate have taken a keen interest in their parents’ farm all their lives, though their careers have taken them in different directions. The family’s farming career began in Crediton in Devon and moved to Lower Preston Farm in Stogumber, which became home to Cato Poll Herefords in 1995.
In January 2016, the herd was moved to a new home at Cheddarmarsh Farm, just a couple of miles from their previous home; where they have settled in well and are now flourishing.
For 2018, Jonathan Moorhouse holds the very prestigious title of Hereford Breed President for the Hereford Cattle Society and his herd, Cato Poll Herefords was judged Best Herd in the South West. Jonathan is passionate about the Hereford breed and will oversee and attend a number of initiatives and events throughout the year, including judging at many of shows around the UK.
Cato Poll Herefords is registered with the Hereford Cattle Society and comprises a herd of around 40 cows and a total of 100 cattle. The herd benefits from the extensive knowledge of rearing and genetics that the Moorhouse family has gained over thirty years of working with the breed. The farm is located in West Somerset, close to the Quantock Hills, in the beautiful hamlet of Kingswood, Stogumber.
John Richmond is the resident stockman, and is responsible for the day to day management of Cheddarmarsh Farm. He has become paramount in maintaining and developing further the fantastic legacy of the farm’s first herd. He will be working with Jonathan to ensure Cheddarmarsh Farm is able to evolve and allows nature to thrive alongside the Hereford cattle.
The original purchase of heifers from Miss Anne Humbert in Stockbridge, Hampshire, make up by far the biggest part of the herd. Anne Humbert was retiring and her Kiwi Herd was such a good purchase – three families descending from her cattle now dominate the Cato Poll Herefords herd.
As dairy farmers, the Moorhouse family had always had a Hereford bull, though fashion was not with Herefords at that time. Beef production would come around to realize the merits of Hereford cattle with their easy temperament, hardiness and ability to convert grass into meat. In addition, the markings and colouring cannot be confused with any other breed so they are easily recognisable. The image of the breed has become to be as important as the beef it produces.
Cato Poll Herefords are Farm Assured and certified by the Scottish Agricultural College Herd Health Scheme CHeCS (Cattle Health Certification Standards).