We raise registered red SimAngus cattle commercially. We are serious, no-nonsense breeders who have patterned ourselves after a number of experienced cattlemen, including Dr. Richard Messer, who sold us our first Fleckvieh bull; Vernon Hoffman, an Independence, Iowa cattleman; Rodney and Kim Hofmann, Clay Center, Kansas; Jim Shirm, a Red Angus breeder; and Cliff Crouch, a commercial cattleman who produced a blend of Charolais, Brahman and Simmental cattle.
Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, our first Simmentals were Fleckvieh-influenced, mostly from Dr. Messer, the McGunster dispersal and Dollar’s Diamond D. Fleckvieh played an important part in adding meat, muscle and milk. We still add the proven genetics of one of our foundation herd sires, Mr. Bois D’Arcway. We didn’t go to school for any of this. We also went through the black stage, thinking that would open up some markets with the club calf and show people. We also thought that we could get some within-breed heterosis by using purebred red Simmental genetics on our remaining Fleckvieh females and it worked — because it was a total outcross. The red calves we were getting were very clearly outstanding. We felt that we had lost some quality with our emphasis on blacks, so we sold off most of them.
One other consideration figured in — the hot and humid Texas summers. We noticed that red cattle don’t absorb the heat like black cattle do. When the black cattle sought shade or were in the ponds during the heat of the day, our red cattle were often out grazing.
We wanted to add a little more sizzle to that finished product, so we looked to Red Angus, both for their color and marbling per the published MARC data report that rated them above Angus. Now, we’re members of the American Simmental Association and the Red Angus Association, who combine their data through the multi-breed evaluation system, and we are creating red SimAngus, selling 10-15 bulls annually, almost all to commercial breeders. We also have experienced a good market for our breeding females.