Booher Brother; Still Limousin
Herbert Booher has a simple goal when it comes to managing his Limousin cattle operation.
“My objective is to raise the best Limousin I can raise and then share them with my friends,” he said.
Herbert has about 50 head of purebred Limousin on his Hector, Ark., farm, Booher Brothers Limousin.
For the retired educator, “that’s about the size of the group that I can take care of by myself.”
Herbert has been running the operation by himself since March of 2002, when his brother, Harold, passed away.
A Pope County native, Herbert grew up around livestock on his parents’ farm. But a career in agriculture was not in the cards for him. His goal was to become an elementary school principal.
“I knew if I wanted to be the kind of principal I wanted to be, I had to teach first.”
So Herbert taught school for nine years, before becoming a principal and serving in that position for 24 years. In 1985, he retired as principal of Crawford Elementary School.
His brother also was an educator, and taught high school social studies for 21 years. But the pair decided to start a small cattle operation with a commercial herd that included all breeds while they were still teaching.
“It was kind of our hobby then,” Herbert said.
In 1988, the brothers decided to improve their herd and began studying more closely different breeds.
Herbert recalled liking what he saw about Limousins.
“They were, in my judgment, the best breed to go with. They are gentle and easy to manage,” he said. “They are very lean and muscular and are good to cross breed with several other breeds.”
Herbert said the expression “Lean on Limousin” is a common one because the breed is known for producing lean, red meat.
In the last few years Herbert has stuck to purebred Limousins.
“I kept moving toward better quality and upgrading the herd. Now all I have is purebred and some of the best genetics in the breed.”
In terms of breeding practices, Herbert said he has tried some artificial insemination in the past, “but I am not an inseminator myself, so I usually keep two bulls with this group.”
He said he has a strict policy when it comes to breeding.
“I hold off breeding until the heifers are about 20 months of age. They are more well developed then.”
Herbert will then sell them as bred heifers or as cow-calf pairs. He said he does not grow bulls to breeding age and instead, sells them at about seven months of age. Typically those bulls are sold to commercial breeders and in most cases, they are breeders with whom Herbert if familiar.
Herbert is active in a number of cattlemen’s organizations. He is a member of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and is a member of the board of directors of Arkansas Limousin. Herbert is also a member of the Fullblood Limousin Alliance.
He said he plans to continue his Limousin operation going “as long as I have my strength. This gives me a reason to get up every day.”
Herbert will turn 78 on Dec. 30 and gets help occasionally from his nephews. He grows his own hay and he has help from a friend when it is time to cut the hay. The two then split the hay that is cut, he said.
And despite his years in the business, Herbert said he is always looking ahead.
“I’ve always had an interest in good cattle and I always want to improve this group of cattle,” he said.
Herbert said the gentle disposition of Limousins has been important to him.
“If they are not gentle, I’m really not interested in them,” he said.