The San Pedro Beefmaster herd serves as a land management tool as well as a source for high quality, palatable beef. They are the “conversion masters”: the catalysts for transforming plant material into an edible, nutritious protein source for a hungry world. Chosen for its adaptability and reliability in the extreme South Texas brush country environment, the original Beefmaster herd came from the well-respected Cage and Denny cattle lineage. They have been genetically selected according to the Beefmaster six essentials (fertility, weight, conformation, hardiness, milk production, and disposition). To compliment the Cage and Denny females, herd sires from Lasater, Casey, Nolan Ryan, Tres Hijos, Frenzel, and our own San Pedro Ranch sires have added adaptability, fertility, strength and conformation to the herd’s genetic mix. These bulls are range hardy and ready to do the work required of them.
Beefmasters are a composite breed made up of roughly one-half Bos Taurus (hereford and Shorthorn) and one-half Bos Indicus (Nelore from Brasil, Gir & Guzerat from India). In 1937, Tom Lasater closed his herd; therefore, no outside genetics have been introduced into the Foundation Herd since that time. Over the last 70 years, intense selection for economically important traits has resulted in a homozygous beef breed that has locked in the explosive growth potential of a hybrid.
The Beefmaster breed originated in 1954 based on a 3-way cross between Hereford, Shorthorn and Brahman cattle. Our founder, Tom Lasater, selected these cattle on the “Six Essentials” of disposition, fertility, weight, conformation, milk production, and hardiness. Today’s Beefmaster breeders continue to strive for the standard of excellence expressed in these six essentials. They also select for calving ease, fast early growth, moderate frame, easy fleshing ability and longevity. Strictly adhering to the Lasater six essentials will make that success easier and faster to accomplish.
Philosophy – The Beefmaster Advantage
The breed is recognized as a “Dual Purpose” breed, meaning Beefmasters blend strong maternal traits with excellent growth and carcass abilities. Beefmasters are known for their ability to handle heat and drought, while also being insect resistant. They tend to be moderate in size, and are generally light red to dark red in color; some will have white mottle on their faces and underline.
Tom Lasater required Beefmaster cows to calve annually. The females are known to be excellent mothers and are expected to raise a heavy calf each year. Furthermore, the bulls are aggressive breeders. Beefmasters are intelligent and gentle cattle; therefore, are a pleasure to work with. While the combination of these traits make Beefmaster cattle profitable, perhaps their ability to do well in a suite of difficult environments has resulted in exponential growth of the breed across the world. As Dr. Jim Sanders of Texas A&M said: “Beefmasters are the all-purpose breed”.
For a complete history of the creation of the Beefmaster breed, please see The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising.