GENETRUST partners share passion for Brangus cattle, beef industry

Unique alliance strengthens quality, selection, and consistency for established breeding programs.

By Mark Parker

The drive to maximize genetic outcomes for Brangus cattle cut a fresh trail in 2009 when 10 successful registered Brangus operations decided they could be even stronger by working together.

GENETRUST is a unique genetic and marketing alliance that includes Cavender Ranches, Jacksonville, TX; Chimney Rock Cattle Company, Concord, AR; Suhn Cattle Company, Eureka, KS; The Oaks Farm, Newnan, GA; Cross F Cattle Company, Hearne, TX; Genesis Ranch, Columbus, TX; Johnston Farms, Letohatchee, AL; Double W Ranch, McComb, MS; Schmidt Farms, Texarkana, TX; and Draggin’ M Ranch, El Dorado, AR.

Combining genetic resources with the cumulative cattle savvy of more than 100 years in the Brangus business puts GENETRUST on track to offer customers proven, practical and predictable genetics, according to the group’s president Vern Suhn.

“Commercial cattlemen demand — and deserve — more quality, more data and more selection,” he explains. “We concluded that, collectively, we could breed and develop cattle at a higher level and with more efficiency than any of us could do individually. We share a very similar genetic philosophy and we all have a very positive vision and passion for Brangus cattle and for the beef industry.”

Although each of the 10 operations is unique and autonomous, they share a foundation of Brinks Brangus genetics. Suhn and Marketing Director Craig Green guide all mating selections with input from each ranch owner. Along with proven cow families and elite donors, GENETRUST partners own, or have produced, some of the breed’s top sires such as Next Step, LTD, Alydar, Affirmed, Blackhawk, Csonka, 607L11, Unitas, Patton, Guardian, Abrams, Singletary, Newt, Chisholm, Landau, North Star, Onstar, Swift, Hombre and many more. Additionally, the alliance continually evaluates, analyzes and samples young sires within both the Angus and Brangus breeds which they feel will have a positive impact on the beef industry.

GENETRUST pursues a genetic pathway directed by its customers, Green says. “It’s all about listening to customers,” he explains. “Our goal is to provide what they need at the highest possible level. We run the numbers constantly and we’re seeing steady improvement in all areas. At the same time, we recognize that not all operations have the same needs so we strive to offer an outstanding selection of Brangus and UltraBlack cattle and semen that will excel anywhere in the country and internationally.”

Elite genetics alone, Green adds, is not enough to earn a growing group of repeat customers. The “trust” part of GENETRUST is equally important, he says: “We stand behind these cattle. We call a spade a spade and we’re not going to back up.”

All GENETRUST bulls are developed at one of three sites — Suhn Cattle Company, Eureka, Kan.; Cavender/Neches River Ranch, Jacksonville, Tex.; or Chimney Rock Cattle Company, Concord, Ark. Each location utilizes the same development protocol and similar rations designed to maintain condition after turnout rather than attaining maximum gain. The diverse locations also help bulls acclimate to different environments to better meet customer needs.

More than 85 percent of GENETRUST bulls are either AI-sired or are ET calves and all are balanced-trait selected to positively impact customers’ herds. Each bull meets exacting health standards, including individual state health and trichomoniasis requirements before shipping. All bulls must test negative for PI-BVD, bovine leukosis, and Johne’s Disease. Additionally, all bulls must pass an above average semen test.

Although GENETRUST’s annual bull offering is growing, founding partner Joe Cavender says the alliance is not numbers driven. “Our aim isn’t to be the biggest,” he says. “We’re driven by two things — consistency and quality.”

Extensive use of AI and ET — while constantly measuring the traits important to customers — moves GENETRUST forward, guided by the shared philosophy of its founders. As committed as the partners are to taking advantage of the latest technologies, Bill Davis of Chimney Rock Cattle Company says solid cow sense is a critical ingredient.

“Vern Suhn and Craig Green have a vast knowledge of the industry and it’s a tremendous opportunity to be able to benefit from that,” he says. “They are top-notch cattlemen and they’re in herds all over the country. They see thousands of cattle and thousands of matings and they bring that experience and knowledge to GENETRUST and our customers.”

Davis adds that a tremendous increase in data, as a result of the alliance, provides the tools for building better Brangus cattle. “It’s a win-win,” he explains. “It’s good for us and good for our customers.”

Four sales are held annually at three locations:

•First weekend in November, Brangus and Ultrablack bulls, registered Brangus females and commercial females, Chimney Rock.

•First Saturday in December, Brangus and Ultrablack bulls and commercial females, Cavender Ranch.

•Fourth Tuesday in March, Brangus and Ultrablack bulls, Suhn Cattle Company.

•Fourth Saturday in April, registered and commercial females, Cavender Ranch.

As proud of he is of the cattle GENETRUST offers today, Suhn is quietly confident that tomorrow’s GENETRUST bulls and females will be even better.

“We’re constantly evaluating and researching to better produce a product that will fit the growing needs and demands of our industry.” he concludes.

For more information on GENETRUST visit their website: