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.

The San Pedro has always been committed to the principle of selecting for functional efficiency. Mr. Fitzsimons Jr. applied these practices to his Hereford herd with the help of Dr. Jan Bonsma, who visited the ranch on several occasions and assisted in establishing a successful breeding program. In 1992, Mr. Fitzsimons’ son and daughter continued this discipline by combining Dr. Bonsma’s principles of functional efficiency with strict adherence to Tom Lasater’s Six Essentials of Beefmaster breeding. Rigid and ruthless culling has yielded a Beefmaster herd highly adaptive to harsh environments and capable of efficiently converting grass to a well-muscled meat carcass.
Beefmaster cattle are the first American composite breed (combination of three or more breeds). Inn 1931, Tom Lasater developed the Beefmaster breed in southern Texas. Then in 1954, the Beefmaster breed was recognized by the USDA. Currently, Beefmaster Breeders United is the fifth-largest breed registry in the United States.

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.

The San Pedro was one of the original investors in L-Bar 5502, and we have continued to emphasize his remarkable genetics in our herd by retaining many of his top performing progeny. We have augmented his outstanding characteristics of gentleness, fertility, weight gain, and muscling, by introducing such fine Beefmaster lines as Lasater, Nolan Ryan, Ranger’s Pride, Levi, Casey, Tres Hijos, Frenzel, and our own San Pedro Beefmaster bulls. Our herd is therefore not closed, and each bull, whether San Pedro raised or purchased, is held to the highest performance standards of the industry as well as our own criteria for “range readiness” under real world conditions. As long as we can find a bull better than the best bull we raised the previous year, we will buy him and improve our herd. We never let pride get in the way of performance. Our Beefmaster herd sires must acclimate quickly and perform well in rugged terrain and in an unpredictable, variable climate. Bulls are fertility tested on an annual basis.
San Pedro Beefmaster bulls enjoy an excellent reputation for soundness, hardiness, dependability, and fertility. Following weaning at 8 months, bulls are shipped to Sonora to begin an 8-month Isa performance test on range conditions. During this time the bulls develop frame and athleticism required to perform in difficult environments. Bulls also undergo and ultrasound exam for IMF and REA measurements. Bulls are then finished on a 50-day gain test on a low-energy ration designed to show genetic differences in gainability. Raised in a sometimes harsh environment and accustomed to varied terrain and conditions, these bulls are “range ready” and eager to work. Our customers across the U.S. can attest to the “range readiness” of our bulls. As believers in sustainable agriculture, we feel it is important to raise animals which provide excellent, lean protein – converting sunlight, water, and grass into a delicious food source.
San Pedro Beefmaster cows produce spectacular female offspring who, like their mothers, are expected to produce a calf every year, during a 45-60 day breeding season. Just as importantly, they are carefully selected for milk production, disposition, hardiness, and the ability to nurture the calf safely through weaning.