The Beefmaster Breed Of Beef Cattle The name of
Beefmaster cattle is highly respected among ranchers and other beef industry experts. The Beefmaster Breed of Beef
Cattle was originally created in Texas by the Lasater family that operated a Ranch bearing their surname. This line
of cattle was the first American breed that utilized 3 distinctively different bovine species. Although this breed
is still relatively new, these animals can be found in the US, South Africa and South America.
At the beginning of the 1900s, Ed Lasater bought a number of
expensive, well pedigreed Brahman bulls, and brought them to his Texas ranch. He first planned to introduce
the Brahman bulls to his own Hereford and Shorthorn herds and see what impact the new bloodlines had on his herd.
The milk production for the herds was a chief priority of Ed Lasater. He was always searching for ways to
crossbreed his animals and improve the volume of milk his cows were producing.
The 3 lineages of these new bulls had impressive credentials. Each animal
could have its ancestral heritage documented and it could be traced back through one of these bloodlines:
The Lasater Ranch had already expanded their own unique Hereford line that featured
prominent red circles around the eyes. This newest project was embraced enthusiastically by the Lasater family who
dreamed of being able to create a better breed of cattle with the qualities they desired.
After the death of the elder Lasater, it was his son Tom who took charge of the
operations at the ranch. Tom Lasater continued the breeding of Brahmans to Herefords, but he also brought in some
Shorthorn bulls. Soon he was able to develop healthy, hardy offspring from the pairing of both a Brahman-Hereford
and a Brahman-Shorthorn.
This was the beginning of the Beefmaster breed. Exact figures on percentages of
bloodlines are not known and can only be estimated. It is thought that today’s Beefmaster cattle are less than 50%
Brahman and that more than 25% of the lineage comes from Hereford and Shorthorn stock.
Improving The Beefmaster Line
In order to elevate this line into the superior breed that they sought, the
Lasaters initiated a strict testing and culling process. The cattle were subjected to a wide variety of
environmental conditions to see which of the animals would excel. There were also other selection processes
that dealt with factors such as temperament, meat production, fertility, size, and weight, conformation to breed
standards and even milk production. Of all of these traits, the one most emphasized was the ability of the animal
to produce beef.
Why Beefmaster Is Known As The “Profit Breed”
From a practical, business-minded view, the best cattle would need to quickly,
efficiently, and economically pack on muscle and weight. This is why the Lasater family concentrated only on the
characteristics that directly impacted the animal’s ability to gain and maintain weight. There was no consideration
given about any external appearances such as color and horns as long as they did not impact the production of meat.
This is one of the reasons that these animals are known as “The Profit Breed”.
Qualities of Beefmaster Cattle
Today the Beefmaster beef cattle breed is known for possessing
• Excellent maternal instincts
• Rapid growth
• Little carcass waste
• Resistance to insects
• Amazing abilities to withstand the hottest, driest
conditions, including long periods of drought.
In addition to these traits, the cattle are moderately sized, clever and have a very
quiet and patient temperament. Female Beefmaster cows can raise a large calf each year and twins appear on a fairly
regular basis. The bulls are excellent breeders and can perform their servicing duties well into later life.