Beefmaster & Santa Gertrudis Breeds are unique in that they perform exceptionally well on the native grass and forage diet found in the temperate pastures of Central Florida. Beefmaster, as the name suggests, are known for yielding exceptionally lean and tender beef. Santa Gertrudis (originating from the King Ranch in Texas) and Beefmaster are well suited for the Florida climate.
The name of the Santa Gertrudis breed is from Rincon de Santa Gertrudis, the name of the original land grant purchased by Captain Richard King from the heirs of Juan Mendiola. This land grant is where the first headquarters of the King Ranch was established. In 1940, the United States Department of Agriculture recognized the Santa Gertrudis as a purebred.
Modern Santa Gertrudis cattle are approximately five-eighths Shorthorn and three-eighths Brahman. A deep cherry-red color has been established in the breed. The breed shows a relatively high degree of both heat and tick resistance. Their characteristics include ease of calving, good mothering ability and abundant milk supply. They also show very little evidence of a hump and have improved beef quality over most purebred Brahmans. Santa Gertrudis steers are noted for their ability to achieve high weight gains on pasture grass.
The breed is recognized as a “Dual Purpose” breed, meaning Beefmasters blend strong maternal traits with excellent growth and carcass abilities. The cattle are heat, drought and insect resistant. They are moderate in size, and while there is no set color pattern in the breed, they are generally light red to dark red and some will have white mottle on their faces.
The females are excellent mothers, raising a heavy calf each year, and the bulls are aggressive breeders. Beefmasters are intelligent, gentle cattle that are truly a pleasure to work with. While all these traits make Beefmaster cattle pleasurable and profitable to work with, perhaps the thing about them that has most driven their enormous popularity throughout the world is their ability to do well in a variety of difficult environments with a minimum of attention. As Dr. Jim Sanders of Texas A&M said: “Beefmaster are the all-purpose breed.”