Third-generation Florida ranch builds better cows with Beefmaster genetics
Story and photos by Laura Conaway
A Beefmaster believer, Walton Cowart needs no convincing.
The third-generation cattleman, near Bunnell, Fla., has seen breed trends come and go; even tried a few himself. Now, with five years of Beefmaster bulls under his belt, he’s found the breed to keep.
The soft-spoken rancher isn’t one to push his opinion on another, though. In a room of opportunity, by choice his voice won’t carry.
“I think riding out here, looking at them says a lot more than I can say,” Cowart says, placing the burden of proof on the cows that graze his land. “Take a look and you’ll see what they [Beefmasters] can do in a cowherd.”
A June afternoon spent doing so reveals the rancher’s modest nature. In the house he designed by hand, overlooking the land he’s managed well, he prefers his successes show off without him.
By Jeralyn Novak, Communications Coordinator
Value-added programs are on the rise in the beef industry as input costs increase and margins remain tight. Enterprising beef producers are exploring new ways to improve their return on investment and open doors to new marketing avenues. Beefmaster Breeders United offers a value-added program through the Beefmaster E6 Commercial Female. The BBU Essential Commercial Female Program is a prime example of expanding the market for Beefmaster cattle. The program, referred to as the E6 program, focuses attention on the strong maternal traits of Beefmaster cattle and helps commercial cattlemen develop stronger markets and greater value for their Beefmaster and Beefmaster cross heifers. The word “essential” is included in the name because of the six essentials upon which the breed was founded – weight, conformation, milk production, fertility, disposition and hardiness.
While attractive, hearty bulls are often known to steal the spotlight, the modest hero of this […]
Story and Photos By Tahlia Warrick
reprinted with permission from Glades Electric Cooperative
Fisheating Creek winds through wetlands, prairies, hammocks and woodlands as it makes its way through Highlands and Glades counties to reach Lake Okeechobee in south central Florida. It is the last natural tributary to the lake.
Through the years, the creek has inspired recreation, conservation, art and adventure. Most recently, the creek and its surrounding lands inspired a new author.
Dr. Richard Karlson, a Glades Electric Cooperative member from Lake Placid, published his first book this summer. “Impossible Quest: One Man’s Journey for Adventure on the Last Frontier” details accounts from Richard’s life as a conservationist, hunter and rancher along the creek’s basin outside Venus.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Richard moved to Pompano Beach as a young man to open an orthodontic practice. An avid hunter and pilot, he frequently took to the skies in search of new places to […]
By Chel Terrell, The Beefmaster Cowman
Growing demand for Beefmaster genetics in the commercial industry has skyrocketed in recent years as seedstock producers strive to develop genetics that not only meet customer demand, they exceed their expectations. Gaining this kind of traction in the commercial realm doesn’t happen overnight – it takes years of diligent work, making tough decisions with patience and fortitude to mold and develop a program into a premier operation that ultimately achieves this purpose.
Derek Frenzel, Temple, Texas, and Larry Meacham, Cat Spring, Texas, two of the leading breeders driving efforts to expand the commercial market for Beefmaster genetics, combined forces in 2009 and established F&M Cattle Co. (FMC). Their forward-thinking partnership has led to growth in Beefmaster sales across the country thanks to their continued focus on utilizing performance data and strict culling practices to improve their breeding program while eagerly helping other breeders achieve success and […]
Modern day Lonesome Dove happens twice a year, just outside the quiet fishing town of Matagorda, Texas. Can you picture it? It is a sight straight out of the Old West, but with a 21st century spin; iPhones in the shirt pockets belonging to sweaty cowboys and motorboats assisting swimming calves. Even with modern technology, this century-old tradition still takes place for the Huebner Brothers Cattle Company of Bay City, Texas. For over 100 years, this ranch has been driving its cattle from their winter pastures located on the 30-mile Matagorda peninsula, which runs from the mouth of the Colorado River in Matagorda to the Port O’Connor ship channel, to their summer pastures located at the Huebner headquarters south of Bay City. The ranch runs approximately 700 cows, primarily Beefmaster and Beefmaster influenced cows that are bred to registered Beefmaster bulls.
Keith Meyer, a member of the Huebner family and an […]
Andy Boudreau, a young 83-year-old, met life’s challenges head-on, but he could not overcome an aggressive lung cancer and its side effects no matter how hard he fought. Andy lost his final challenge and passed away with close family and friends at his side on May 24, 2018.
Andy was born on December 18, 1934, in Beaumont, Texas. He attended parochial schools with his siblings, commuting from their rural Lumberton home. During his teen years, he participated in all sports, excelling in football, basketball, and baseball. He attended Wharton County Junior College, and then Andy, a mathematics wizard, went on to receive a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lamar University. Relocating to Houston in the mid ‘60’s and later to Richmond in 1979, Andy spent his professional career constructing gasoline plants all over the world, retiring from Mustang Engineering three years ago.
During the mid ‘80s, Andy discovered his true passion when […]
Huebner Brothers Cattle Company of Bay City, Texas has been crossing their cattle across the Colorado River, from their winter pastures on the 11-mile Matagorda Island that runs from Matagorda to Port O’Connor, for over 100 years. The part where the cattle cross the river is about 200 yards across and 15 feet deep, just at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico.
Before the cattle are driven across the island and across the river, the cowboys rope the smallest calves and load them in a trailer so they can ship them across on a river barge. Most of the calves can make the swim across the river, but we were on boats prepared to help the calves that struggled with the swim or got confused and swam the wrong way. No cows or calves were lost from the drive or swim.
On April 3rd I got to experience this cattle drive […]
By JENNY KELLY, The Weekly Times
Story Originally Published by The Weekly Times
Traveling around South Africa, it quickly becomes apparent that staffing levels and people management are the eye-opening differences between farming here and in Australia.
Labour is so cheap that the classic Aussie story of multiple council workers leaning on a shovel to fill in a pothole is more like 20 people over here.
Soon after arriving here the tour bus ran into roadworks and, on my count, it took three people to move a little gate across the road like a stop/go sign.
And then you visit farms and find out details about labour and wages and the reaction is … “seriously?”
A dairy farm at Dundee milking 850 cows had 100 permanent employees.