ORIGINS COME FROM DEEP IN THE HEART OF DIXIE
The idea for the South Poll's origin was based on a desire to combine four maternal Bos Taurus breeds together to form a more heat tolerant animal, that had a gentle disposition and tender carcass qualities.
We wanted to start with a Hereford/Angus base, but since only a small percentage of the overall population in Hereford and Angus are slick haired we
Fertility and longevity account for the number one and number two position on a chart of economic importance for the commercial cattleman.
The further we go into this, the more convinced I am that the small, highly productive, low maintenance, grass-fed cow is the secret to the cow-calf industry.
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SOUTH POLL GRASS CATTLE ASSOCIATION
started looking for two other breeds that would compliment the maternal abilities of the Hereford and Angus.
At that time we purchased a set of Barzona/Hereford females that went on to impress us with their overall hardiness and easy keeping ability off our high moisture grasses.
So Barzona became the third breed we chose. Barzonas are a composite themselves that was developed by the Bard family in Arizona, bred to excel in the tough and mountainous high desert country of Arizona.
The fourth piece of the composite we chose was Senepol, a heat tolerant breed developed on St. Croix, Virgin Islands during the 40's and 50's by breeding the native N'dama cattle to Red Poll bulls. The Senepol are very slick haired and according to University of Florida research are the most heat tolerant breed they've tested.
We started crossing Barzona/Hereford and Senepol/Red Angus around 1990. These two half-bloods were then mated together to produce the four-way cross South Poll.
Fertility and longevity (good udders are a must) account for the number one and number two position on a chart of economic importance for the commercial cattleman.
So, in a mama cow-herd these are the only two traits in which we as seed-stock breeders should reach for extremes. That's not to say we can't make progress in the other traits as well, but only to the extent of never sacrificing fertility and longevity. Increased selection for growth in a cow-herd leads to larger frame females that are too big to be efficient as cows.
Selection for larger and larger ribeye cattle will eventually affect fertility. (Mother nature will usually eliminate the cattle that aren't matched to their environment.) Yes, let's look at all of the other measurable traits we can that relate to the economic and effecient production of beef but only to the point of not affecting fertility and longevity.
The environment limits the amount of size (framescore) as well as muscling a cow can carry and still raise a good calf and breed back. Because of the high moisture and low quality grasses here in the southeast our mama cows have to have a lot of heart girth (guts).
Northern cattle that are genetically thick haired won't work down south because of the time it takes for cattle to aclimate and the high percentage of females lost due to the stress of heat. The best tool we have in the commercial production of beef is to take advantage of heterosis (the mating of unrelated breeds that produces hybrid vigor).
A dozen years ago in the heat and humidity of the southeast we set out to build a better beef composite for our part of the country. The foundation for the South Poll was built on the very best purebred cattle from each individual breed (the ones that calve year after year with a calving interval of less than 365 days).
The South Poll Association and breeders will try to never lose sight of the big picture. Though we are breeding and documenting every aspect of the South Poll just like it was another pure breed, its total purpose is to provide the commercial cattleman with fertile mama cow genetics that are adapted to the south.
We will always work hard to make the South Poll breed gentle, efficient, moderate birth weight, adequate growth, acceptable carcass (without excess fat), consistency, produce aggressive libido bulls, conduct our business operations honestly and assume a leadership role in the natural production of quality beef.
In 1999 we have put together a group of Co-Op breeders who are all dedicated to breeding South Polls or parts thereof.
Our first sale of South Poll bulls was Monday November 2nd 1999 by our Southern Maternal Bull Sale held at Bent Tree Farms, Fort Payne, Alabama.
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History of the South Poll Cattle