Beefmasters are completely unique in that they are the only beef breed with a guiding production philosophy. These principles are called the Six Essentials, and they give us road map by which to maximize production efficiency and improve our cattle. We talk about the Six Essentials a lot, but what do they really mean?
Disposition—Gentle cattle are cheaper to manage, sell better, breed better, feed better and calve easier.
Fertility—This is the first among equals and the cornerstone of the philosophy. Cows that do not have a calf every single year are not economically viable.
Weight—Of obvious importance—ranchers sell pounds. Weight is another highly heritable trait. We select for cattle that produce optimum (not necessarily maximum) weight with minimum input.
Conformation—This refers to the visual appraisal of a live animal with regard to carcass merit. We select for long, trim, well-muscled bulls, and smooth, feminine cows that meet industry demands.
Hardiness—It is critical for cattle to be able to thrive under tough conditions. Beefmasters excel in calf livability, low death loss, low maintenance costs and resistance to disease and parasites.
Milk Production—Next to genetics, milk production is the single most important factor in weight. When asked to describe the perfect cow, Tom Lasater said, “She’ll look like a cow that gives a hell of a lot of milk.”
Breeders sometimes ask, “Why Beefmasters?” It’s an important question because these wonderful cattle often don’t get enough credit for all the subtle things they do so magnificently. Following are a few of the things that make Beefmasters truly unique in beef cattle production.
On the Ranch
If you are a grass-based rancher who likes thrifty cattle that raise profitable calves in any climate with a minimum of attention, Beefmaster is the breed for you!