The Oaks Farms Brangus and Genetic Partner Bull & Female Sale

Friday-October 30th-6:00 pm est
100 Elite Registered Brangus Females
Pairs, 3-n-1 Splits, Proven Donors, Bred Heifers & Open Heifers.
Saturday-October 31st-10:00 am est
170 Performance Registered Brangus Bulls
147 of the bulls will be 2 years of age or coming 2 years
Over 60 calving ease bulls.
Only 24 Yearling Bulls (12-15) months
200 Commercial Females
For more information or to request a catalog visit

TBBA Miss America Sale

TBBA Miss America SALE Soars!

1 Herd Sire Prospect grosses $5800 to average $5800
2 Fall Pairs gross $9500 to average $4750
9 Spring Pairs gross $40,400 to average $4489
7 Fall Bred Females gross $21,450 to average $3065
16 Open Heifers gross $51,300 to average $3207

35 Total Lots gross $128,450 to average $3670

Brangus breeders and enthusiasts gathered in Salado, TX for good cattle, fellowship and food at the annual Texas Brangus Breeders Association weekend.  Friday night was the annual membership meeting and social followed on Saturday with the TBBA Miss America Sale.

Texas Brangus Breeders gather for the annual membership meeting and social before the sale.

Texas Brangus Breeders gather for the annual membership meeting and social before the sale.


Thirty five head representing 18 breeders across Texas sold on a beautiful day and were well received by the buying public.  53 buyers representing TX, AL, MS and MO were on hand to evaluate the offering.  The high selling lot was Lot 8, CB MS Blanda 415X5 with an LTD bull calf at side, consigned by Cavender Ranches and purchased for $7,250 by Rancho Los Pinos of Hempstead, TX.  Following her was another spring pair, Lot 7, MS HLC Next Step Pathfinder 381Y2 with a Captian Jack heifer calf at side consigned by Hodde Land and Cattle bringing $6,000 to Genesis Ranch, Columbus, TX.

The high selling open heifer was Lot 27, a Black Gold granddaughter consigned by Triple Crown Ranch and selling to Myles Hackstedt of Needville, TX for $6,000.  The second high selling open heifer was lot 34, a Jethro daughter sold by Schoenig Land and Cattle to McMurtry Farms of Troy, TX for $4,000.

The high selling fall pair was DCC Ms Blackhawk News 2 T2 consigned by Dillard Land and Cattle, selling for $5,000 to Donnie Dippel of LaGrange, TX.  One herd sire prospect was consigned by Indian Hills Ranch and sold for $5,800 to McCreary Farms of Evergreen, AL.

A donation lot consigned by Skyhawk Brangus, Lingg Brangus and JLS International sold for $3,700 to Triple Crown Ranch, Angleton, TX.  This lot was sold for the benefit of the TJBBA.

Volume buyer Larry Franke and his daughter of Karnes City, TX with Sale Chaiman, Joe Dillard (left) and TBBA President, Russ Williamson (right).

Volume buyer Larry Franke and his daughter of Karnes City, TX with Sale Chaiman, Joe Dillard (left) and TBBA President, Russ Williamson (right).

Volume buyers include Las Tres Hermanas, Larry Franke, of Karnes City, TX; Doguet’s Diamond D Ranch of McCoy, TX; and Genesis Ranch, Mike & Gloria Weathers, of Columbus, TX.

SVF Spring 2013 Bull Sale and Customer Appreciation Sale

Buyers from 12 States Power Salacoa Valley Brangus Female and Bull Sale

3 Brangus Donor Cows Grossed $15,400 to Average $5134
10 Fall Brangus 3N1s Grossed $40,650 to Average $4,065
7 Fall Bred Brangus Females Grossed $19,500 to Average $2,786
21 Spring calving Brangus Females Grossed $47,750 to Average $2,274
20 Open Brangus Heifers Grossed $41,250 to Average $2,063

61 Brangus Females Grossed $164,550 to Average $2,700

52 Brangus Bulls Grossed $187,800 to Average $3,612
4 Commercial and Ultrablack Bulls Grossed $10,650 to Average $2,663

117 total Lots Grossed $363,000 to Average $3,103

79 buyers from 12 states were on hand to snap up the offering from female consignors and friends of Salacoa Valley, and the good Brangus bulls of SVF.

Brangus seedstock demand continues to build across the country. Salacoa Valley Farms “We Run the Numbers Sale” saw perfect spring weather and a torrid and steady demand for registered Brangus Females and Bulls. 79 buyers from 12 states were on hand to snap up the offering from female consignors and friends of Salacoa Valley, and the good Brangus bulls of SVF.

The day’s top selling female was Lot 41, Ms Brinks Csonka 468T47 and her Singletary bred heifer calf at side, consigned by Cuevas T3 Brangus, Purvis, MS. This Csonka daughter ranks in the breed’s top 1% for an impressive 5 EPD traits and sold to Draggin M Brangus, El Dorado, AR, for $9,000.

Lot 7, SVF Ms 535R40 and her Csonka bull calf at side, was the second high selling lot. This Transformer sired female was AIed back to the $55,000 New Concept herd sire. The Oaks Farms, Newnan, GA, paid $5,250 to own this outstanding consignment from Clover Ranch, Marietta, GA.

Selling for $4,750 was Lot 63. This outstanding open ET heifer sired by Patton, posted EPDs of .66 REA and .23 IMF. She was consigned by Charlie Israel, Birmingham AL, and sold to Lake Majestik, Flat Rock AL. Also selling for $4,750 was lot 36, HF Miss Lead Gun 535T. This 3N1, with a fall Bodine heifer calf at side, was safe back to Something Special.. She was consigned by Haynes Farms, Ashland AL, and purchased by Phillip DeSalvo, Center Ridge, AR. Cold Creek Ranch, Marietta, GA consigned Lot 39, Cold Creek Ms Newt 1302X with her spring bull calf sired by 331X78. Draggin M Ranch, Eldorado paid $4,70 for this pair.

Charles Crochet, buyer of the high selling bull, pictured with (from left) David Vaughan, Susan Vaughan, Charles, Tommy Barnes, Mark Cowan, Chris Heptinstall.

Charles Crochet, buyer of the high selling bull, pictured with (from left) David Vaughan, Susan Vaughan, Charles, Tommy Barnes, Mark Cowan, Chris Heptinstall.

The top selling bull of the day, at $22,000, was purchased by Crochet Cattle Co., Lafayette, La. This big ribbed, deep sided, heavy boned herd sire is by Patton and his dam is the $18,500, 23 T721 donor now owned by Lake Majestik. He posts EPDs in the breed’s top 3% REA, 4% WW, 10% YW and 30% IMF.

The second high selling bull of the day was Lot 114. This powerful and clean made R532 son boasted negative BW and one of the biggest REA EPDs in the sale. He was purchased by WET Farms, O’Brien, FL for $6,000.

The third high selling bull was Lot 100 for $5,750. Shoestring Ranch, Roxton, TX purchased this super complete Blanda son with the 78 lbs birth weight and big growth numbers. His dam posts top 2% of the breed WW, YW, SC and REA EPDs.

Volume Buyers for the day included, Watkins Citrus and Cattle, Avon Park, FL, Three S Farms, Social Circle, GA, Draggin M Brangus, El Dorado, AR and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Miller Spring 2013 Sale Report

Brangus Demand Great in the “Vol” State

 Pick of 2012 Heifer Calf Crop Grossed $15,000.00 to Average $15,000.00
2 Donors Grossed $9,000.00 to Average $4,500.00
17 Fall 3N1s Grossed $52,700.00 to Average $3,100.00
35 Spring Calving Cows Grossed $89,400.00 to Average $2,554.29
4 Fall Bred Cows and Heifers Grossed $7,300.00 to Average $1,825.00
12 Open Heifers Grossed $21,450.00 to Average $1,787.50

 71 Brangus Female Lots Grossed $194,850 to Average $2,744


Warm hospitality, cold temperatures and a hot offering greeted 43 buyers from eleven states gathered in Waynesboro, Tennessee, as Miller Brangus hosted their second annual female sale featuring “Cattle You Can Count On”. Owners, Bert, Doyle and E.D. Miller, manager Bart Pope,  their families were host to an ever increasing crowd of enthusiastic Brangus breeders as well as friends and guest consignors.


Buyers evaluate the cattle penned on a beautiful hillside at Miller Brangus near Waynesboro, TN.


A full crowd fills the tent to begin the auction.


Van Hardin, Black X Ranch, Rome, Georgia paid $15,000 to own Lot 1 in the sale, the pick of the Miller Brangus 2012 heifer calf crop. His choice was MB Hannibal 75Z3, a big performing, balanced trait daughter of Hannibal out of the growth trait leader, Revelation.

Lot 29, MB Ms Lead Gun 302U5 and her Eligido son, were the second high selling lot of the day at $5,600. Barnett Brangus, Clarksville, TN was the purchaser of this big performing female who balances growth and carcass to a high degree. Her heavy boned, well balanced, bull calf at side made her one of the most attractive packages of the day, and this 3N1 was safe back the same way. She was consigned by Miller Brangus.

Blue Ribbon Farms, Mark Snowden, Pachuta, MS was the purchaser of the third high selling lot. He paid $5,300 to own lot 15, another Miller Brangus consignment, MB Ms Real Deal 329U and her spring bull calf sired by Great Basin. This deep sided, heavy milking cow ranks in the breed’s top 3% WW, 5% YW, 4% Milk and recorded 2 @ 111 WR.

The Miller family oversees a successful sale.

The Miller family oversees a successful sale.

Black X  struck again as they paid $5,000 to own Lot 27, the proven donor, MB Nimitz 129T9. This powerful female records 3 @ 109 and ranks in the breed’s top 1% for Milk EPD. Truitt Brangus Farm, Auburn, AL, also paid $5,000 to own Lot 2B, the pick Lot, MB Ms Tank 000Y14 and her Lead Gun heifer calf at side. She ranks in the breed’s top 1% WW, 2% YW and 4% REA and her dam is a full sister to Bear Bryant and New Direction.

Volume buyers included Kim Dunn, Apopka, FLA, Green River Farms, Waynesboro, TN and Barnett Brangus, Clarksville, TN.

The Value of the American Breeds

Joe C. Paschal

Over the past several months I have written about the history, performance and importance of the  American breeds to the US beef industry. These breeds include any breed or cross that has Bos indicus (generally American Brahman) genetics used in its creation. The most popular breeds usually included in this designation include the Beefmaster, Braford, Brangus, Red Brangus, Santa Gertrudis and Simbrah (the American Brahman was created in this country by combining several Bos indicus breeds and with these six is considered one of the Eared breeds). Of course there are other American breeds, perhaps not as widely used but very useful in the environment they were created.

One breed that comes to mind is the Charbray (5/8 – 13/16 Charolais and 3/8-3/16 Brahman). This breed was developed after F1 crosses made in the 1930s (using Charolais cattle imported from Mexico) were found to be faster growing, more heat tolerant and tick resistant, and better grading (in terms of overall carcass composition) in tropical and subtropical environments they were bred and raised. Charbray cattle were fairly widespread in the Gulf Coast areas and even in some areas of the west but never as numerous in either number of cattle nor in number of breeders as the other Eared breeds. The Association was merged with the American International Charolais Association in the 1960s and is responsible for the registry. I have seen a lot of Charbray cattle in Central and South American (in Brazil the Charbray are called Canchim) and the breed is fairly well represented in Australia. In the US the breed tended to be larger framed and later maturing than the British breeds (even though they were fast gaining and efficient on grass and in the feedyard) and when those breeds began to moderate their frame and move towards improved carcass merit, many Charbray breeders were no longer in business. However there are still a few Charbray breeders and cattle around and their bulls are in demand by the folks who know their value.

So what is the value of an American breed?

So what is the value of an American breed? First there is the genetic value of the breeds used in the cross. Many times when my colleagues talk about crossbreeding, this is sometimes glossed over in favor of emphasizing hybrid vigor or heterosis. As my good friend and mentor Dr. Rodney Robertson, Executive Director of the United Braford Breeders Association once said to me when we were graduate students “Heterosis is just the icing on the cake, the ingredients (the breeds used) are what makes the cake taste good. If the ingredients aren’t any good the icing won’t make it taste any better”. It doesn’t just apply to the breeds but to the genetic value of individuals involved in making the breeds as well. In the original foundation animals of these different American breeds there weren’t any EPDs or adjusted weights or contemporary groups, just outstanding individuals based mostly on physical appraisal. For traits high in heritability this was good enough (it had to be) to ensure some accuracy in selection response and once the progeny were on the ground further culling based on their performance could be continued.

Braford Bulls

Braford Bulls

Most of the Eared breeds (with the singular exception of the American Brahman which is a blend of Bos indicus breeds) have Bos indicus genetics blended in some proportion with one or more British or European breeds. The Bos indicus genetics supplied the valuable genetics for adaptability in tropical and subtropical environments (heat and parasite tolerance, resistance to disease, ability to digest coarser forages due to increased retention time, thicker enamel on their teeth, and increased longevity) that the British and European breeds lacked. In turn, those British and European cattle provided valuable genetics for increased gain, muscling and carcass merit. The idea was to develop a crossbred animal that blended these traits in an ideal to provide cattle that would thrive in the less than ideal environmental conditions produce a market acceptable calf and perhaps most importantly improve profitability. Profitability is what drove Mr. Adams, Mr. Lasater and Mr. Kleberg to develop the breeds associated with their names (Braford, Beefmaster and Santa Gertrudis), not the desire to create new breeds.

Tom Lasater

Tom Lasater

Originally some of these breeds used a specific “formula” to allow new breeders to breed new cattle and register them into the herd book. Offspring from these registered cattle were automatically considered purebreds eligible for registry. Later some of the American breeds that had a specific percentage cross allowed for some variation to fit specific production environments and marketing preferences which has proved useful in the long run. Some environments require less Bos indicus influence, some require more, and many markets tend to discount excessive influence (except in replacement females).

Robert J Kleberg

Robert J Kleberg

In addition to providing a desirable blend of the parental breed types, often to fit your environment and market, there are large number of breeders and animals from which to select.  These breeds (like all purebred cattle) produce their own replacements which is as beneficial today as it was 50 or 75 years ago to their founders. You don’t have to rebuild your replacements when they are culled due to nonperformance, herds can be resupplied with cattle of the desired breed percentages without rebuilding the crosses. In addition, most of these breeds have comprehensive performance testing and EPD prediction that can include ultrasound and genomic data

Another value accrued in combining breeds is hybrid vigor or heterosis. The benefits of hybrid vigor or heterosis are well known. The crossbred offspring has a gene from each of the parental breeds on every locus on each chromosome and the products produced by these genes interact to generally improve the trait in a wide range of environments. Generally the harsher the environment is, the greater the improvement can be. In most cases, this response is significant (as in fertility, maternal ability and longevity) increasing productivity 10-25%. The American breeds, with the exception of some mild inbreeding (the opposite of crossbreeding) that might have occurred to “fix” a type (coat color, white markings, polledness) have all retained some of the original heterosis created from the initial crosses which is valuable to commercial and purebred breeders alike. This retained heterosis is expressed in the straightbred cattle but is also observed when these breeds are mated to unrelated breeds.

There is a long history of using the value of using American breed females in tropical and subtropical environments and breeding them to British or European breed bulls (sometimes related by breed, sometimes not) to produce a terminal cross market calf. The American breed cow provides adaptability, fertility, maternal ability and longevity and the non-American breed sire provides more growth and marketability.  The American breed cows are often easier to find and not as expensive as most F1 females and are a valuable asset. American breed bulls are also used on non-American breed females to produce the same crosses but since the American female is more productive than the non-American one in these environments, profitability is generally lower. American breed cows and bulls are a short cut to most of the benefits of crossbreeding (use of breeds in desirable combinations and heterosis) while retaining the attributes of other purebred associations (registration, performance testing and accurate and timely EPD calculation).

The American breeds and their crosses are valuable to southern US beef production. They provide high levels of hybrid vigor, vary in percentages of Bos indicus to fit your specific environmental and market conditions, have reliable and accurate performance data and EPD for most traits, and can provide a shortcut to producing an acceptable and profitable market calf!

Salacoa Valley Farms

by:  Belinda Hood Ary


Reprinted from Cattle Today, May 15, 2010, Volume 23,  Issue 17 Modified October 1, 2012


Few people in the purebred cattle business today can match the commitment and experience of David Vaughan, owner of Salacoa Valley Farms in Fairmount, Ga. He has weathered the highs and lows, from severe drought to extreme floods, from the times of record high cattle prices to the days of rock bottom lows.  All the while, Vaughan’s Brangus operation has thrived, keeping a single purpose in mind….to produce the top Brangus females in the country.

David Vaughan (Right) visiting with Doug Williams and Jim Latham

David Vaughan (Right) visiting with Doug Williams and Jim Latham

“We have concentrated on our females for over 25 years,” Vaughan explains. “We have focused on cows that are fertile, and will not only have a calf, but raise a high performing calf, as well. That commitment sets our herd apart from many herds ”

From the beginning, SalacoaValley has emphasized how important the influence of the female is to the herd. Many in the Brangus breed are familiar with SalacoaValley’s focus through the years on 12 cow families, known as the “Dynamic Dozen.”  One of the predominant families currently being used is the “23’ cow family that goes back to the 23U cow bred by Vineyard Cattle Company in Texas. It continues to be one of Vaughan’s primary goals to get more females from the “23” family into production in the SVF herd.

“By concentrating on just a few cow families, we are able to put emphasis on uniformity in our cow herd,” Vaughan continues. “Of course, the bull is half your herd, but if you don’t have a good set of females, it doesn’t matter what bull you use. You have to start with a good set of females.”

Overseeing the cowherd and day to day operations at Salacoa Valley is general manager Chris Heptinstall who has been in that position for almost three years. Heptistall is a graduate of Auburn University, and grew up in Alabama on his family’s commercial cow calf ranch. Chris spent time over the years working with Debter Hereford Farm and Camp Cooley Ranch before coming to Salacoa Valley.

Chris Heptinstall, General Manager of Salacoa Valley Farms

Chris Heptinstall, General Manager of Salacoa Valley Farms

Salacoa Valley Farms is located in the foothills of the PineLogMountains (the last major mountains in the Appalachian Chain) near Fairmount, Ga., and has been in the Vaughan family for over 80 years. Initially, the family operated a thriving mule business, but in the 1950’s they turned to row crops, cotton and cattle. Vaughan’s love for cattle started early.  As a teenager he judged cattle on the 4-H Livestock Judging team and showed Angus steers at the Georgia State Fair where he took home the Grand Champion Steer trophy a record three times, a Georgia state record that still stands today.

Vaughan received his degree in Animal Husbandry from the University of Georgia and was a member of their judging team.  He also received his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1959 and started his practice in Cartersville, Ga.  He served as Assistant Solicitor General Cherokee Circuit for a year.  Then he was elected to the Georgia General Assembly and represented the 14th District for two terms. He served as the District Attorney for the Cherokee Judicial Circuit for two terms and has been in private practice since leaving public service.

In 1960 Vaughan took over the operation of the farm from his father, and continued to breed Angus and commercial cattle.  Through the late ‘60’s, ‘70’s and early ‘80’s Vaughan began using “exotics” and put together a purebred herd that he terms “too big to feed and breed.”

It was during that time that Willow Springs Ranch in Texas was looking for pasture to graze cattle on due to the drought, and they asked if Vaughan would be willing to bring some of their cattle over to Georgia.  “Those cattle were thin, had been fed very little hay, were eating milo stubble and they still cycled!,” he remembers. “We were wearing the wheels off the feed wagon trying to keep our cattle fed.  It was then and there that I decided that was where I needed to be with my herd.”

In 1985, he made the decision to disperse his purebred herd, and entered into a joint venture with Willow Springs Ranch, the “herd that wrote the book” in the Brangus breed. Just one year later, in 1986, Willow Springs dispersed their entire operation, and Vaughan saw this as an opportunity to start his own Brangus herd, using Willow Springs cattle and genetics as the foundation.

“Once we started dealing with the Brangus cows, we really fell in love with them,” he remembers.  “We wanted our own Brangus herd….they work really well for our area.” Building on that base, SalacoaValley’s influence and respect has grown as they have increased both numbers and quality. Recognized by the International Brangus Breeders Association as the Breeder of the Year in 2006, Vaughan has served two terms on the IBBA Board of Directors and in 2008 completed a term as President of the association. He is also a member and past president of the Southeastern Brangus Breeders Association and a member and past secretary/treasurer of the Georgia Brangus Assoc.  Vaughan’s wife, Susan, has also been an active supporter of the breed, and is a past president of the International Brangus Auxilary.

Almost 25 years after starting the building process, the SalacoaValley herd is one of the largest and most respected purebred Brangus programs in the country.  Before the major drought in Georgia a few years ago, the SVF herd numbered over 800 head.  Today, they are calving around 500 head of momma cows all under the age of 7 years of age. Vaughan says his goal for the future is to build the herd back up to their pre-drought numbers while keeping it young.

Over the years, additions to the herd have been made through outside purchases and growth from within.  In the early years, major influences came for the addition of WSR Firecracker, GLC Mainline, Special Addition of Brinks, and SVF Pine Log.

Today, Salacoa Valley is injecting new genetics to the herd by having an extensive AI and embryo transfer program.  This year’s offering at the October 26, 2012 sale, will include the first offspring of a joint venture embryo program with Three Trees Ranch.

Salacoa Valley Farm and  Three Trees Ranch partnered on flushing and collecting a battery of 20 of the most superior genetically identified donors in the Brangus breed.  Three Trees purchase of these ELITE cows in the 2008 Camp Cooley Ranch dispersal, cornered the market on the top 10% of carcass x growth cows in the Brangus breed.  “We were very fortunate to have a chance to collect these breed changing cows like Ms. Brinks Brightside 209L11.  We feel this will continue in securing Salacoa Valley’s genetic commitment to the pasture and the plate,” Heptinstall  commented.

“We have an extensive artificial insemination program here at Salacoa Valley.  All 500 cows and 200 heifers receive a straw of semen.  Over 80% of our calves will be either AI sired or ET,” explained Heptinstall.

Bull buyers will have the opportunity to see the reward of this intensive breeding program in the Salacoa Valley Fall Bull Sale, which will be held October 26th at the farm.

Salacoa Valley will also host a tremendous female sale October 25, 2012 the evening before this year’s bull sale.  This year’s female offering will include everything from top proven donors, to cutting edge genetic open heifers. Also, they are excited on offering  full possession and ½ interest in their senior herd sire DDD-UC Gentelman 804S21.  Gentleman as they call him is the #2 trait leader in the entire Brangus breed  for REA, #11 for SC and #23 for IMF!   He is the most powerful son of  Uppercut of Brinks 14J8 and out of the high marketing value, SG Fancy 804H33 cow.

The breeding program is centered around one goal – to construct a cow herd capable of producing predictable, high quality range bulls in volume and superior genetics for the Brangus breed.

Their bulls are also conditioned to work from an early age. “Our development of these bulls is to not singly geared to establish performance measurements. We believe our ultimmate success is in how these bulls hold up and perform when turned out on cows.” Heptinstall explained.

All bulls produced on the farm start a 140 day growth test the day. Bulls are kept on green grass continuously and rotated traps, where the terrain is steep and rugged. “Feet and leg problems are weeded out early around here,” Heptinstall explains, while looking down into a 300 foot deep rock filled canyon the bulls travel up and down daily.

“We condition our bulls to go to work,” Vaughan adds. “They are raised on grass and required to walk and climb to feed and water while on test.”

That conditioning for the extreme climate changes is what makes the SVF bulls so popular with buyers and why Vaughan chose to raise Brangus cattle almost 25 years ago.  The success he has seen with the Brangus breed has made Vaughan quick to recommend Brangus bulls to potential commercial bull customers.

“First of all, producers looking to buy bulls should purchase a Brangus bull,” he says. “Our bulls are conditioned for this area.  You put them out and they go right to work. They have no problem adjusting to the extremes of this climate.  Brangus can handle the heat as well as the cold.”

This commitment to producing top notch bulls for the commercial market has kept SVF bull buyers coming back on a regular basis to make their bull purchases.  Through the years, buyers from all across the Southeast, especially Alabama, Georgia and Florida, have added the SVF genetics to their herds, and continue to come back to make their bull purchases.  Salacoa Valley has also tapped into the growing international market, making a big splash with their highly sought after genetics on the world stage.

Without question, the focus on excellence and customer satisfaction has made Salacoa Valley’s annual Bull and Female Production sale a huge success. Brangus producers and commercial producers across the country have been able to add some of the elite Salacoa Valley genetics to their herds in the past, and this year will be no different.  Salacoa Valley’s “BUY THE NUMBERS” Sale will be held October 25th and 26th at the farm in Fairmount.

Obviously, David Vaughan has made a lifetime commitment to the cattle business, and more recently to producing some of the best Brangus genetics money can buy. By setting definite goals and a purpose for his breeding and management decisions, Vaughan has positioned Salacoa Valley Farms as one of the elite programs in the country.

SVF Brand

SVF Brand

For more information on Salacoa Valley Farms or their upcoming “BUY THE NUMBERS” Bull and Female Sale, visit their website at

Some Reflections on Fall Meetings and Crossbreeding

Joe C. Paschal

I missed the opportunity to include my thoughts last month in The Ear and I regret it. September through November are busy months for me as there are many Extension educational programs in the 37 counties in South Texas I am responsible for plus several others. Some of these educational programs have a long history going back to the early 70’s and even in the 60’s. In addition I had the opportunity to speak at three “eared” breed associations educational programs at their national meetings (this in addition to my regular duties and of course the ranch where we began calving in mid-October). This month I’ll cover some of the things I picked up at these meetings and then wrap up with some comments on a white paper currently making the rounds about crossbreeding.

In many of these meetings the most often discussed topic was about the ongoing drought and whether or not some rebuilding of the cowherd should occur if rain had fallen and pastures were returning to normal. I was “googling” some drought information and came across numerous NBC affiliate stations up in the Illinois area with a video clip about a farmer named Ken Wiseman in Golconda, Illinois who had been raising Angus until a few years ago when he decided that he would switch to Brangus and breed his Angus Cows to Brahman bulls. In his own words: “The Brangus cows that we have, they will stay out on top of the hill in the hot sun and keep eating. The others go to the shade or to the pond,” Wiseman said. “The breed,” he said, “developed a natural tolerance to heat and drought. If they’re out eating, they’re putting on weight and that’s money in the farmer’s pocket.” Wiseman said the hardier animals “are engineered to survive – and even thrive – in this weather.” You can’t pay for an ad like that even if it is in Illinois! I emailed it to Dr. Joe Massey, Executive Vice President at International Brangus Breeders Association, tweeted it on my Twitter account (#Joe_Paschal) and was immediately picked up by Certified Angus Beef. I guess they wanted to know what I was up to!

Mr. John Ford, the Executive Vice President of Santa Gertrudis Breeders International held a Mexican Cattlemen’s Field Day in Kingsville, Texas to present new data to potential buyers of Santa Gertrudis cattle on the maternal ability of the Santa Gertrudis cow and the potential of Santa Gertrudis and Santa Gertrudis cross feeder calves. John had really done his work; he had current data from various sources that indicated the current level of performance and particularly the performance of Santa Gertrudis crosses, both maternally, in the feedyard and as carcasses. I reviewed the Texas A&M Ranch to Rail Program that we conducted from 1991 until 2005 and presented feedyard, carcass and financial performance of percentage Bos indicus crosses and specifically Santa Gertrudis steers, including some tenderness data. John had a large international as well as a domestic group of breeders and the meeting was very successful.

In mid October I was asked by Dr. Tommy Perkins, Executive Vice President of Beefmaster Breeders United, to speak and judge at their National Beefmaster Convention in Branson, Missouri. Tommy had a terrific crowd at his “Meet in the Middle” meeting and in addition to working I got a chance to ride (and drive) one of the DUKWs that we toured on one afternoon. During World War II these were used to ferry troops from the ships in the invasion forces to the beachhead and then onto land. The top speed in the water was about 5 mph and the bottom and sides were made of pretty thin metal that might stop a BB pellet. My hat is off to anyone who rode them in under fire but that day it was strictly for fun! But I digress. Tommy had set up an excellent educational program to discuss ways to prevent cattle theft (seems to be a big problem in every state!) and I gave a talk on animal ID methods and we demonstrated freeze branding to a large crowd of folks! One thing that impressed me was that the quality of the cattle and the locations of the cattle in the Open and Junior Beefmaster Shows. There was a significant contingent of good cattle from Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and more northern climates as well as Texas and other warmer states.

Crowd at Anderson Beefmaster Ranch Field day in October listening to brush control demonstration and helicopter spraying.

Crowd at Anderson Beefmaster Ranch Field day in October listening to brush control demonstration and helicopter spraying.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the American Brahman Breeders Association 2nd Annual Membership Convention in Galveston, Texas. Mr. Chris Shivers, the Executive Director of ABBA had asked me to talk on “Understanding the End Product” and with a little help from my colleague Dr. Dan Hale (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Meats Specialist in College Station, Texas) I put together a credible presentation using Brahman cross steers and showing how the value of a carcass is determined and what detracts from its value. Since I also assist with the ABBA’s Carcass Project where straightbred Brahman steers consigned to the program are fed at Grahman Feedyard in Gonzales, Texas and processed at Sam Kane Beef Processor in Corpus Christi, Texas I pointed out how straightbred Brahman steers fit. It might surprise you but most of these straightbred Brahman steers will fit mainstream fed beef supplies very well, mostly very high yielding (YG 2) USDA Select carcasses. Chris did discuss the ABBA F1 Certification Program. The program, begun in 1979 by then Executive Director Wendell Schronk, promoted the use of an already widely recognized and highly regarded F1 female and has seen resurgence in interest and applications for both the Certified and Golden Certified F1 Female Programs.

Crowd at the American Brahman Breeders Association 2nd Annual Educational Convention watching a chute side demonstration.

Crowd at the American Brahman Breeders Association 2nd Annual Educational Convention watching a chute side demonstration.

The idea of marketing the crossbred females of the Eared breeds may have begun with the ABBA F1 Female Program but it is certainly not new and it has been adopted by several breeds and not all of them would classify as “eared breeds”. The International Brangus Breeders Association has their “Brangus Gold” Program, BBU has their “E6” Program (which can include up to full blood Beefmaster females) and SGBI has their “Star 5” Program (which can include progeny from registered and nonregistered parents).  There is even a program begun by a NON-EARED breed to emphasize the importance of crossing it with Eared breeds to ensure a high level of productivity in more tropical climates, the Southern Balancer Program promoted by the American Gelbvieh Association. The Southern Balancer must be at least 25% Gelbvieh and can be anywhere from 6.25 to 50% Bos indicus (depending on how much you need for your environment or how much hybrid vigor you want or need to make a profit!). I am sure that there are other programs in other breeds that highlight the F1 female, especially if produced by sires or out of dams of a particular breed since the greatest benefit of the F1 is that it exhibits 100% hybrid vigor or heterosis for EVERYTHING – from the cradle to the grave – which brings me to my last topic.

A few months ago a white paper written by Dr. Nevil C. Speer, an agricultural economist from Western Kentucky University, entitled “Crossbreeding: Considerations and Alternatives in an Evolving Market”. This paper, supported (paid for) by Certified Angus Beef, LLC, made the rounds of the popular press and was either praised or cussed. I have never met Dr. Speer but I have read a lot of his stuff in many different venues and he is a logical thinker even if this is a “bought and paid for article” (some might consider mine in the same vein).  You can access the full article here:

I encourage you to read it and especially the last graphic (Figure 5: Crossbreeding Decision Maker) where he makes four important points in evaluating whether or not a crossbreeding system is useful or beneficial. First is has to be easily conducted. Second you must have readily available superior bulls for a terminal cross. Third it won’t cause you to lose money due to loss of herd size, type of cross or uniformity. And fourth, it will improve maternal performance (or not impact functional traits). If these four criteria are met then crossbreeding proves beneficial. I agree!


Dr. Paschal is a livestock specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and is based in Corpus Christi, Texas. He can be reached at (361) 265-9203 or

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: