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.
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.
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.
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.
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.