We asked ourselves this very question, "Why are we breeding these animals"? Are we chasing the show ring or are we raising beef? What is our end goal?
We decided that we wanted to raise quality beef and if that happened to work in the show ring then so be it. We stopped breeding to every show ring champion and started to narrow our focus on quality beef. We are not interested in the all the so-called Premium or Superior Breeding stock hype. We also found that to chase success in the show ring was dependent on how much money we wanted to spend, and then add in all the politics, and it all boils down to one man's opinion on that day!
We just wanted to produce the best beef we can! So where do we start? For us it was simple, we chose to go with scientific methods. We began with what we believed was the most precise test available, one with the most DNA markers for the traits we were looking for, namely marbling and tenderness. There are many people who scoff at this testing and think that it isn't a reliable indicator of these traits. These are the same people who brag of hitting low choice and select grade with their breeding.
In all our research we came across these two traits as being the most sought after as well as the basis for the USDA system of meat grading. In reading about the Certified Angus Beef program we learned that the Angus breed was beginning to have a hard time hitting the CHOICE grade much less the coveted PRIME grade. As a matter of fact what the CAB program has been mostly looking for is marbling!!!
Most of us haven't had PRIME grade beef unless we have eaten at high dollar restaurant. Most of the beef sold today in our mega markets is SELECT grade. We believe this is due to the marketing programs of the last 30 years! Black hair has driven the price given to the rancher for his cattle. Cattle of different colors are docked this premium given for black hair. This drove other breeds to chase the coveted black hair! Black hair is homozygous and therefore dominate over other colors such as red. To solve the problem of losing premiums for black cattle, many ranchers bred their red or white cattle to a black bull which produced black calves! Problem solved!!! But, as we are seeing now the results of this is much like making a stew, with no one flavor or ingredient stronger that the rest. Basically what we have created is homogenized beef or a stew of all the traits that were once individual beef breeds.
This is where the Lowlines come in, a breed isolated on a research facility in Australia. With beginnings originating in the coveted Angus breed. Purchased is the US, and Canada in the 1920's these were championship Angus genetics, not diluted or cross bred. The herd was kept on this research facility for the next 70+ years. Soon after the dispersal of the research herd in the 1990's the Lowline breed was born. The most important part of this new breed was soon to follow mainly, DNA testing for parentage! Therefore guaranteeing the purity of this breed. There are some who contest the arrival of the red Lowlines but this cannot be a surprise when it is well documented that the Angus breed carries' the Red as well as the Wild Allele as documented on the American Angus Assoc. web site.
Lazy G Ranch - Mission Statement
We at Lazy G Ranch formerly Lazy G Lowlines are striving to promote the Lowline breed and at the same time breed better marbling and tenderness genetics. We have been blessed with some genetics that we believe will bring the Lowline breed to the forefront of beef production. We are not content to produce just select or low choice meat. We believe that Lowline beef should be a great eating experience. To make this happen we test all our bulls with a 128 marker test for marbling and a 11 marker test for tenderness. These tests were developed using thousands of feeder cattle to verify these markers. Then these tests were verified again using Angus genetics to bring in a more focused outcome. There are other tests available but they are only using 300 markers to test for 20 different traits and we believe they are just not as accurate.
We have several bulls that have very good marbling genetics, including one bull that has the second all time highest score out of these thousands of cattle tested. We also have several bulls that tested very good on the tenderness side. We are now crossing the offspring of these bulls to raise both scores into a range that will produce prime carcasses.
Isn't that what it's all about?