In 1983, Longleaf Station, (then known as Friar’s Creek Farm) was founded with pure bred Santa Gertrudis. Shortly thereafter, Black Angus Purebred Females were added due to the formation of Certified Angus Beef (CAB).
During the initial years, AI was used extensively. The results were the top performing bulls in the Edisto Forage Bull Test for three consecutive years. During this same time period, packers were displaying indications of a preference for a British/Continental cross.
After significant research and consultation with Dr. Larry Olsen and Dr. Steve Meadows (both of Clemson University), we decided to change the breed makeup of our operation. Therefore, we decided to move to an area with a sandy loam type soil with a clay or chalk strata within 18-24′ of the surface. After two years of looking at various properties, we moved to our current location, near Pinehurst, NC. The property was a longleaf pine forest which we cleared and planted Tifton 44 & 85 Bermuda hybrids. Every spring, we sell sprigs from the original plantings.
Longleaf pine straw also is a major component of Longleaf Station’s operation.
With our move completed, we gradually added Gelbvieh Purebreds. the brood cow herd currently is 100 head and we should reach our herd goal numbering 125-150 head by 2011. Gelbvieh are known as, “The Continental Breed of Choice” due to their milk, muscle, maternal and growth traits. We have continued to add Black Angus to the mix. These composite crosses are “Balancers.”
All herds are required to meet an initial 16 point quality program including homozygous black & polled. All bulls designated as potential herd sires are then ultrasound tested as well as DNA tested. Bulls which meet the quality expectations are then placed on an in-house forage gain test.
Our program has evolved into a grass-grown quality carcass and performance program for Purebred Gelbvieh and Balancer composites.
Our AI & ET programs genetics’ must meet the following criteria:
1. Initial 16 point quality program.
2. DNA marbling tenderness and marbling > breed average.
3. DNA Defect Abnormality Free
4. Ultrasound parameters > breed average
5. EPD’s parameter; must be balanced and > breed average
6. Performance Standards; meet protocols for various programs, i.e., COOL, Gelbvieh Profit Partners and Angus source dependent on the breed percentages and bulls used.
Our fertilization and micronutrient programs were a product of extensive tissue and blood sample testing. Nutritional programs, especially micronutrients, were formulated with the assistance of the NC State Veterinarian School of Medicine and our local veterinarian.
Our philosophy is first, have a live calf on the ground, (using projected calving ease and birth weights). Among cattle breeds, the Gelbvieh breed ratio of calves born to cows exposed is ranked number one by the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC). This serves as a confirmation of our live calf expectations. Secondly, performance on grass emphasizes the need for the foundation of good grass farming, and is a crucial test of our quality carcass genetics to produce highly desirable and marketable cattle
Longleaf Station produces “Grass Grown Carcass Quality and Performance”