History of the STLA
Longhorns in the Beef Industry

The STLA conducted its first bull test in 1988 under President David Karger, with the bull test Committee: Chairman, Marshall Frazier, John T. Baker, Alan Adams and Ernie Storms. The test was performed at the Luling Foundation Farm in Caldwell County under the direction of Dr. Stewart Fowler. Initially, the test called for two hundred bull participants intended to go all the way through the feed process to learn carcass characteristics of breeders' herd sire progeny. Plans were to castrate and cull the lower fifty percent to assure the nonproliferation of inferior genetics and prevent needless expenditures during the feed conversion phase of the test. Results of the test could then be used in advertising seedstock and marketing bulls to commercial cattlemen. Points of measure included: average daily gain, hip and shoulder heights, scrotal circumferences, and ribeye area and fat thickness. There were thirty-five participants in the first test. A herd sire prospect sale was held upon its conclusion.

Tired of Longhorn breeders being the laughing stock of the cattle industry, Marshall Frazier armed with years of his own research and the results of early bull tests, launched into a bold venture that supplied grain-fed Longhorn and Longhom-cross beef (with no hormones or antibiotics), to the Texas beef market including Jim Jamail's fine food market in Houston. Marshall compiled over the years an impressive resume of carcass characteristics for the Longhorn breed that place its beef superior to other breeds. He and Shirley visited every feed yard in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado searching for the perfect yard to handle their cattle. They promoted Longhorn beef at the Texas State Fair and even the Angus Association envied their quality product. They gave seminars to area agricultural groups and demonstrated through photographs how they had achieved a Prime 1, Yield I carcass with Longhorn genetics—a perfect carcass never before performed by any breed. Texas A&M University has mountains of data substantiating the highly desirable Longhorn carcass traits, yet still today breeders continue to meet prejudices against our breed at auction bams, State sponsored agricultural events, and within public consumer perception.

Similar bull tests were repeated throughout the following ten years with participants including: Carl Bohls, Charles Graham, W.C. Fendley, Bernard Hruzek, Don Jackson, Joe Kercheville, Eldred and Evelyn Kunkel, Mary Lindner, Dr. Ross Rost, Walter Scott, Blaine Schorp, Barby Brunken, Scott Dolan, M. Vollette, Bob Coffee, David Swarts, Tom Brundage, Tom and Mary Beth Peoples, Mack McKinney, Bill and Anita Wappler, Robert and Katheryn Simpson Jimmy Jones, Randy Hoke, Carroll Shores, Alton Mitchell, Wes Cole, Greg Briney, Morris Dean, Virginia Boyles, Gordon Ellis, Shawn Mikesky, Bob Dube, Larry Mahan, John T.L.Jones, George and Cindy Dennis, Wilton and Carolyn Wilton, Cal Monger and Pat Beach, Don and Debbie Davis, Lonnie Shan, W.A. Buntin, Ross and Twila Plant, George Gillispie, and Rick and Danelle Hager.

During the Presidency of Wilton Wilton, the STLA experimented with the idea of pooling cattle from its membership to create a supply of beef to be marketed to Mauro Carmelo's and other Austin area restaurants. As always, consumers' reception of the Longhorn product was favorable, but the group ran into obstacles of limited supply complicated by individuals' inability to produce a quality product at an economical rate. Home feeding of retail purchased grain proved to increase the cost of our end product past feasible restaurant procurement.

Shortly after STLA's dance through the marketing arena, a new game entered onto the field, the Cattlemen's Texas Longhorn Beef Cooperative (CTLBC). This group aimed at the same goals on a much larger scale. STLA supply and marketing data was made available to the CTLBC and STLA members were invited to participate in more research to compile data for a business feasibility study. This business stayed in the planning stages for several years and at present is still very much alive but struggling with funding. It is hoped due to the efforts of a few of the above mentioned breeders, through the Co-op, soon the Texas Longhorn will be permanently placed into the forefront of the health-food industry where it rightfully belongs.

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