Burke Teichert is a well-known and highly respected ranch management expert in the beef cattle industry (watch his video on creating a profitable ranch – link). Last year he contacted me by phone to discuss my novel operation after perusing through my website and reading some of my articles. In May of 2017, Burke paid a personal visit to see my Star cattle and to discuss my management practices. I believe that he was impressed by the clear signs of adaptation of the cattle and how annual production costs have been maintained at approx. $300 per cow. Burke mentioned that he had friends in Missouri that were seeking genetics for heat tolerance and carcass quality (fat on grass) as they were shifting towards a grass-fed production system. He requested that I hold a few good Star bulls to ship later in the fall. Bob and Ann Demerath operate Clear Spring Ranch, Inc., a cow/calf and stocker business located in the beautiful Ozark region near Mountain Grove, Missouri. In Ann’s words: “We are running a mixed herd of black and red Angus/Hereford X with a few A-Beef heifers and some Braford”. Last October, three Star bulls, ranging in age from 1-1/2 to 3 years, were shipped to Clear Spring Ranch. They were turned out a month later on 300 cows for about 90 days. Bob and Ann noted the following: “We had seen a LOT of activity to start and that is slowing down now that most of the cows are bred. We are breeding for 90ish days, but we sell everything that doesn’t calve in a 60-day window… the bulls seem to be hard workers, self-sufficient and adaptive”. Below are a few photos of these bulls and their cows.
Billy Griffin is a retired NRCS specialist who now runs a commercial cattle business near Brackettville, Texas. In 2014, he purchased a 1-1/2 year-old bull (LR Wally) whose breed composition is 65.6% Red Angus, 6.3% Senepol, and 28.1% Tuli. His sire was PCC R2R Simon (Red Angus) and his maternal grand sire was Honey Bear (Tuli). Last year, Billy shared this story when Wally was 2-1/2 years old:
Just thought I would send you a quick note concerning the bull 24-13 that I purchased from you. His first calves were born this spring starting in early May. Very happy with the way they look. All were born with no troubles and were healthy and active as newborns. They show good thickness and muscling. Of the 4 Tuli cows that I own, 3 of them had heifer calves and one bull calf. These STAR calves look really good and looking forward to retaining and adding these heifers to my herd. I just took Wally 24-13 in for a Breeding Soundness Evaluation this past Wednesday, July 20th. After over 6 weeks of no rain and 4 weeks of temperatures in the 100 to 103 range every day, he passed his fertility test with no problem. At just over 30 months old, his scrotal circumference was 38 cm, sperm morphology was 85-90% normal and sperm motility was 60%, with all three parameters well above the minimum threshold. His disposition is outstanding! I put in him in pens and load him in to a trailer all by myself with no effort or fuss. In about a week I will put him out with 12 mature cows and 24 yearling heifers, looking forward to see how he handles his job and next year’s calf crop. I am attaching a picture of some of his calf crop from this year plus a couple of pictures I took of him just last week.
Update – On 11 January, 2018, Billy sent in a photo of Wally (photo below). Last year he purchased LR Grey Bull (also shown below) who was used for several years on LR Ranch and is distantly related to Wally. This winter both bulls have maintained great body condition only on stockpiled mature forage with mineral supplements. Last August, Wally’s daughters (most being out of purebred Tuli cows) were bred to LR Grey Bull and will calve next May. Half of these calves are expected to be slick (a gene from the Senepol breed). The breed composition of these calves will be 22.7% Red Angus, 14.1% Senepol, and 63.3% Tuli. The high blend (77%) of Senepol and Tuli will instill both heat and drought adaptation qualities.
Gerry and Janelle Shudde operate a cow-calf operation in Sabinal, located in the central hill country of Texas. They have a very informative website: http://www.shudderanch.com. For years they have used Longhorn cattle to produce all-natural, grass-fed beef. They sell their calves as grass-fed stockers to Parker Creek Ranch, which is managed by Travis Krause. The grass-fed beef is sold directly to customers. Last year in their first visit to Lukefahr Ranch a tour was provided of the Star herd. The Shudde’s were given steaks and hamburger from a Star grass-fed steer. A few days later, Gerry called me to say that the beef was great and that he wanted to purchase a Star bull to cross with their Longhorn cows. Their breeding objective is to produce a grass-fed crossbred beeve that has heat tolerance and greater meat yield. In December 2017, Travis Krause, collected their new Star bull (LR 2-17) and four stocker steers. Below are several photos:
Stephanie May runs a grass-based ranch operation (“Cou Rouge Natural Farms”) in Junction City, AR. Her breeding objective is to have a herd with the right genetics to produce quality beef on pasture without grain. In March 2016, Stephanie purchased a yearling Star bull. Calves are now being born. In a recent email, she provided photos and a few comments about being very pleased with the small calves at birth from her first-time heifers.
Vannie and Julie Collins are from McAllen, Texas. In the photo they are standing before their purchased load of nine 8 month-old Star breeding bulls. Their breeding objective is to use these bulls to downsize their herd of predominantly large-framed, heavy Beef-master cows to produce replacements that are more moderate in size and efficient in terms of biological production and land utilization.
The photos below are from the Beall family ranch which is located near Cotulla, Texas. In 2013, a yearling bull was first sold to Joe Beall (1st photo). Their breeding goal is to mate grade-type red and black Angus cows to this bull. The cross will be similar to the breed composition of STAR cattle because the bull was a 62.5% blend of Senepol and Tuli breeds. The red- and yellow-colored daughters will be saved for breeding. In the next two years, three more Star bulls were purchased as the herd expanded. In 2015, they purchased a purebred Red Angus bull, PCC R2R Simon from Lukefahr Ranch to breed to Star-sired heifers.
We have 25 calves, all colors (including a couple of paints!!) 100% calf crop with zero obstetrical events, and 8 of those were heifers!! Two old cows, one of whom is 18 also calved (whoops!). It’s been a great spring. We got about 3″ of rain over the winter, which is wonderful for us, and those little calves are quickly catching up, and all mother cows are in good condition with lots of milk. Most of the calves are red or red/yellow and slick-coated. We have one with scurs (Mama), and 6 with white umbilical/ sheath markings (like Papa). Even my four little black calves have a red cast to them. We lost Geronimo in April, right around his 18th birthday–we miss him, but Mars has certainly stepped up and taken over with no hassles. He’s territorial in relation to the property boundaries, but very easy to work with, and has learned our routines quickly. Hybrid vigor in the proportions we needed and a real pleasure to deal with. Thank you! Enjoying your new website photos and aspiring to a herd as nice as yours!
Last March, six 10 month-old Star bulls and four heifers were sold to Winecup Gamble Ranch. This is a one million acre ranch located in north east Nevada. This historic ranch runs multiple enterprises that include cow-calf, grass-fed stocker and wildlife operations. The ranch has a great website: winecupgambleranch.com. The ranch manager, James Rogers, called me one day and said that he had seen my website and had read several of my articles and wanted to purchase some Star cattle. In NE Nevada it is high desert country. Summer temperatures can be extreme while winter blizzards can be brutal. James expressed an interest in my tropically-based cattle, but requested that the cattle all be hairy so that they could cope with the winter conditions. The breeding objective is to evaluate the Star bull’s fertility and the cow’s productivity and adaptability to this harsh environment. Calves sired by Star bulls will also be evaluated for performance and quality as grass-fed calves. On March 25, the ten head were personally collected by James – following breakfast and a long discussion on cattle breeding at the local Mexican restaurant (El Tapatio) in Ricardo, Texas. Below is a photo of James holding the health certificates, pedigrees and bill of sale, and with the trailer loaded and ready to hit the long journey home. Visit James Rogers Facebook page if you wish to watch a video that shows the young bulls shortly after their arrival on a cooperator ranch in Wyoming en route to Nevada. It had snowed the night before.
Callaghan Ranch is located between Laredo and Encinal in remote south-west Texas. The ranch consists of about 88,000 acres and runs cattle mostly of Hereford, Santa Gertrudis, Brahman, and F-1 breed-types. The manager, Darrell White, is the ranch manager. Darrell is a graduate of the King Ranch Institute of Ranch Management at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. In the past two years, Callaghan Ranch has purchased 6 Star bulls with the primary objective of producing small calves at birth when bred to heifers, as well as producing a good quality market calf. Heifers calve in heavy brush pastures where they cannot be regularly checked during calving season. “It is a low-input heifer development system in which heifers are expected to calve unassisted”. To date, Mr. White is pleased with the birth of many light weight calves. Callahan Ranch also plans to save Star-sired red baldie heifers that display moderate-frame, slick-hided, and drought-tolerant characteristics. Some heifers of this same type may be later sold to interested buyers. Below are a few recent photos.
Next, bulls LR 6 and LR 22 were born in spring of 2011. Both are AI-sired sons of Honey Bear (purebred Tuli). LR 6 has Bandito Tres (purebred Red Angus) as his maternal grand sire and his great maternal grand sire is CD Nocona 03M (purebred Senepol). The dam of Bull LR 22 was sired by a son of Bandito Tres (her dam was purebred Senepol) and his great maternal grand sire is also CD Nocona 03M. So both bulls are closely related and have a high influence of African genetics. In 2012, these bulls were sold to Dr. Jim Fuller who operates a ranch in Goliad, TX. The droughts of 2009 and 2011 were a wake up call for Jim when he realized that his cows were too large and inefficient. He had to sell about 100 cows. Jim revamped his breeding objective to: breed for a more adaptable and easy care cow herd that involved use of STAR bulls. Jim is also very impressed with the gentle nature of these bulls. A recent message stated: I now have a nice cow herd of smaller framed, polled cows and heifers, mostly slick hided. Below are photos of these bulls.
In January 2015, two bulls were purchased by Chuck Grimes who owns a seed company (Grasslander) and Longhorn ranch in Hennessey, OK. Chuck has a degree in Range Science from OK State and worked for NRCS for several years. He has developed and sells a native seed product that has some 90 different (sub)species of native grasses, forbs, and legumes. The two bulls purchased (#10 and 13) are sired by a PCC-R2R Red Angus bull and their STAR dams are a couple of the best cows in the herd. His breeding objective is to cross these bulls with his Longhorn cows to produce grass-fed beeves. His business goal is to leave behind for his family a sustainable and profitable agriculture business that improves the land. Below is a photo of his Longhorn cattle in one of his beautiful pastures.
In November 2014, an email message was received by Susan Jerome of Rocker Diamond X Ranch, which is located in Mule Creek, NM, an area that formerly was Chiracahua Apache territory. She had been looking for Tuli-influenced cattle for some time until she came across the website to Lukefahr Ranch. Her old bull, Geronimo, who is a purebred and registered Tuli, is nearly 17 years-old (photo below). He has produced a 100% calf crop for many years in her small herd operation that consists mostly of Tuli x Angus cows. Susan says that Geronimo takes the rough country well, produces small calves at birth, attracts very few flies and ticks (compared to her neighbor’s bulls that are mostly black-hided), and is very protective of the herd (including running off Mexican wolves). However, the local veterinarian says that Geronimo is the calmest bull in the county. Susan recently purchased STAR bull #6 (see Bulls for Sale page) whose parents are both Tuli-influenced. She received her new bull last December. Soon after the bull’s arrival it snowed (see bottom photo showing “Mars” to the left).
In the fall of 2009, David and Connie Krider took a long drive south from Seymour, MO. The Krider’s run a commercial herd of cattle (Red Angus- and South Pol-influenced) and they own the Powerflex Fence Company. Improved genetics for heat tolerance and summer fertility was desired for their herd. After an enjoyable visit and tour of my cattle operation, five head of Star calves (3 bulls and 2 heifers) were purchased. Overall, they have been pleased with the heifers that have been good mothers with easy calving ability and tight udders. David also says that they are very easy to get along with and are very low maintenance animals. Recently, he took four top bull calves from his last calf crop and placed them in a pen for a prospective buyer to pick out a replacement bull. He spent about an hour walking around the four in a pen and finally said he could not make up his mind which one was best. So he bought all four! Here is a recent photo of one of the three bulls that the Krider’s bought in 2009 that is now 5 years old.
The next STAR bull was born in fall 2009. He is a son of Honey Bear, his dam was sired by Bandito Tres, and his maternal grand dam was sired by a son of Nocona. This bull has an impressive body conformation, and his present owner, Greg Edelen (owner of Edelen Farms in Alice, Texas) really likes his gentle disposition. Greg now has several daughters from this bull and recently sold him so that he could purchase a young and unrelated bull. This was his fourth bull purchase from Lukefahr Ranch. In addition, Greg is in the grass-fed beef business with STAR cattle (http://www.shurgot.net/EdelenFarm.htm), which fatten and marble readily on grass. He sells his farm fresh products on weekends at farmers markets. Below is a photo of this bull:
In May 2013, a Jersey dairy operator out of Columbia, SC, Robert Cely, purchased 2 yearling, slick-hided STAR bulls. Nine months later, calves were being born. Robert’s goal is to add value to his bull calves (a Jersey bull calf brings very low prices at auctions) by keeping the STAR-sired bull calves and grass finishing them on his pastures and selling them when ready for harvest. In 2014 he expanded the goal of phasing out his Jersey herd and replacing them with STAR x Jersey crossbred heifers to establish a new breeding beef herd. The first two photos show some of these crossbred calves, most of which are slick-coated and well muscled. These are lucky calves indeed to have so much milk! The third photo is a Jersey cow with her crossbred heifer calf.
Bull calf LR 18-2011 (polled) has a breed composition of 1/2 Senepol, 1/4 Red Angus, and 1/8 Tuli. Bull calf LR 19-2011 (horned) has a breed composition of 1/4 Senepol, 1/8 Red Angus, and 1/8 Tuli from his sire’s pedigree. Both bulls show the double slick-coated condition, numerous vertical skin folds, and good muscling. The bulls were sold in 2011 to Chad Wright who runs a commercial beef ranch in Hawthorn, OK. The photo below was taken in November of 2012. Chad’s breeding goal is to use these small-frame, heat adapted bulls on his predominantly black, large-frame cows in an effort to reduce body size and improve cow efficiency. Chad is particularly pleased with the very gentle nature of his bulls!