PRINTERS' PASTIMES -- Outside the Lines
"We got to enjoying her calves so much we started looking more in-depth into the breed. We discovered that longhorn cattle have as much as three times the life expectancy of most breeds."
Womack did some quick math and realized that this equates to more offspring to sell. Longhorn steers also have such small birth weight calves, that they rarely ever have problems at calving time, he says.
"That suited us well so as not to give up our day jobs," Womack relates. The family has had as many as 50 head of longhorn steer at one time, but with Texas drought conditions in the past few years, the herd has been kept down to 20 to 30 head. Womack has formed a co-op with another breeder and has been artificially inseminating the cows for the last three years.
"That allows us to utilize a more diverse breeding program than we could afford ourselves," he points out. "We not only raise steers, but heifers and bulls also. The steer is what draws the most attention. He puts all his attention into growing horns, not chasing girls."
Together, the co-op has approximately 500 acres of improved grass land and crops grown for feed. An aggressive pasture rotation system of grazing has been implemented. Womack actively shows the cattle at stock and long-breed shows. The ranch also supports local and national youth activities.
There are some other benefits to owning the longhorn herd, Womack says.
"Longhorn beef has been USDA-lab certified to be higher in protein and lower in fat and cholesterol than skinless chicken," Womack notes. "We have clientele who are able to buy our beef after the doctor has taken them off red meat following a heart attack."
Complete Printing & Graphics
Tony Khoury is a good example of a printer who knows he can't live ink and paper 24 hours a day. Although printing is his chosen profession, he has more than ink running through his veins; there is some high-octane fuel in him, as well.