Lemley Longhorn Ranch
Joel & Shirley Lemley
Blackwell, Texas

Located in Nolan and Coke Counties in West Central Texas, the Lemley Longhorn Ranch sits in the middle of the Steam Boat Mountains, which are the Far West foothills of the Texas Hill Country. The Ranch sits between Abilene and San Angelo, Texas, along the Texas Fort Trail where Fort Concho, Fort Chadbourne, Fort Phantom, and Fort Griffin lay in a line of less than 120 miles from each other. Located in the Colorado River brakes, the Ranch has varied vistas of creek bottoms, canyons, and cover of Mesquite, Live Oaks and Cedar.

When the extreme drought that began In 1995 caused commercial cattle to be removed, the Ranch went dormant for livestock, to help save what foraging was left. When approached in 1997 to run 7 head of Registered Longhorn cattle by friends that lost all of their grass, Joel and Shirley decided to take them in for a year to not only help out but to keep their Agricultural exemption for tax purposes. This started an immediate love affair with Texas Longhorn Cattle. The difference in pasturing commercial cattle versus Longhorn cattle was the deciding factor in going with a breed that was more durable and easier to run during extreme drought conditions.

Joining the TLBAA was the beginning in the leaming process of Longhorns, attending sales and shows, visiting other Longhorn breeders and just immersing themselves into every aspect of the Longhorn Community. Select purchases of the best females that were affordable and the ongoing search for an impact herd sire were the program direction that Joel and Shirley began with. Even with "Horn" dynamics being paramount to most buyers of Longhorns, they realized early that other characteristics are necessary for a consistent breeding program. Although "Horn" is an important breeding feature, a search for large frame females and genetic qualities also put the program in the right direction. Collecting data for Longhorns is not commonly used in many programs, but they directed their select breeding program following guidelines used by many commercial cattlemen, utilizing milking, weaning, and birth weights in their planning.

The program then made its mark when the impact herd sire they were searching for was found. A partnership was formed when an embryo transfer bull was purchased using the sire Emperor and the dam Cherry 803 as a foundation for, hopefully quality and performance. Since the bull'Tri-7 Southern Emperor" is still a relatively young animal the jury is still out on whether he is the "Performance" bull they were searching for. At 5 years old, he is 68 3/8" tip to tip and stands at about 60" at the hip and weighs apx. 1700lbs. His progeny are large framed, big horned and colorful animals that fall into the programs direction.

With 2 herds being developed today on 4 sections of land, the Lemley Longhorn Ranch is in full swing as a quality breeding program with performance in mind, combining beef cattle dynamics and the best Longhorn characteristics available today.

 


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