Farmers Digital Solutions 1-866-668-5565 • www.todaypublicationsfd.net February 2023 Spring Special Edition 36 Pay day starts with superior Beefmaster cows. Indeed, the Beefmaster female has stayed true to her original purpose: to help ranchers in tough environments improve performance, survivability and longevity. So, if you are giving up ground in traits that matter, consider Beefmasters. The breed will jump-start your cattle and give your next calf crop a performance boost. Beefmaster is a beef breed developed in America that improves beef quality and production efficiency when crossed with any other cattle breed for commercial beef production. The breed originated in Southern Texas in the late 1800s into the early 1900s. The Lasater family originally developed a large herd of Hereford cattle carefully selected to withstand the heat and insects of the Texas Gulf Coast region, but they were still not perfectly suited to that difficult environment. So Lasater began to experiment with incorporating Bos indicus or Zebu genetics, in the form of Gyr and Guzerat bulls from India and Nelore from Brazil. While the practice of crossbreeding was virtually unheard of at the time, they immediately saw a tremendous jump in productive traits, such as weight gain and reproductive rates. This is genetic advantage known as heterosis or hybrid vigor. By the early 1930s, the ranch also incorporated Milking Shorthorn genetics, to augment milk production and carcass quality. They could immediately see that the three-way hybrid was far superior to the two-way crosses. The final composite ended up at roughly 50% Bos indicus and 50% Bos taurus (25% Hereford and 25% Shorthorn). As Lasater developed the breed, he also formed a unique selection philosophy known today as The Lasater Philosophy. The concept is to only select cattle for economically relevant traits, which he distilled to these Six Essential traits. The Six Essentials are weight, conformation, milk production, fertility, hardiness and disposition. It is the only breed in history to be selected only using pressure for productive traits, as opposed to aesthetics. In 1937, the herd was closed to outside genetics with continued internal development to cull low-performers and upgrade all traits together equally. By 1954 the foundation herd was recognized by USDA under the name of Beefmaster. In 1961, Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) was founded and is headquartered in Boerne, Texas. Beefmaster ranks fifth in the U.S. in terms of membership and is the largest of the American breeds. The association has over 3,000 members registering around 19,000 calves annually. Beefmasters also enjoy a rapidly growing international footprint, with established associations in nine countries worldwide. The breed has rapidly grown around the world and has become known as the prime maternal cow for serious commercial cattlemen that appreciate their production excellence, particularly in harsh desert or tropical environments.