Building with Beefmasters
Jerad and Brandi Gentry were looking for a breed of cow that would make money, and be gentle enough to have their two young children around. They got that with Beefmaster, plus much more.
“We took an interest in venturing into something registered,” Jerad said. He bought his first registered Beefmaster bull from a friend. He wanted a breed that “would put more gain on our calves.” He was already running a commercial herd on Gentry Family Farms and was pleased with his decision to expand his program to include Beefmaster. “They grow good, they milk good and have good calves,” Jerad commented.
The Beefmaster is a combination of three breeds: 25 percent Hereford, 25 percent Shorthorn and 50 percent Brahman. The breed was initially used to produce cattle that were more economical in the harsh climate of south Texas. Despite the name, Beefmaster, is not only used for beef, but is a dual-purpose animal that can be used for milk as well.
Also, by not choosing a single registered breed, there is more diversity with the different traits offered by the three breeds that make up the Beefmaster.
“I think if you have just a single trait you will sacrifice a trait for something else,” Jerad explained.
Beefmaster are also know for a docile disposition and that was very important to the Gentrys, who wish to share their love of cattle farming with their children, Nova, 7, and McCoy, 2.
“I like the temperament (of the Beefmasters),” Brandi commented.
Gentry Family Farm runs approximately 250 commercial head and 35 registered Beefmaster, with 11 additional Beefmaster bulls. They acquired the bull Rydin Easy in 2015. The bull was the 2015 Houston Junior Champion Bull and 2015 National Beefmaster Bull Senior Champion.
Jerad does AI using all registered Beefmaster bulls, but this year he also experimented with embryo transfer, hoping to increase their registered stock numbers. Despite the higher cost, he believes it is the fastest way to increase his registered numbers.
Jerad hopes to eventually generate more of his own bulls and become a big player in the breed, and to be known for seedstock for other breeders and their programs.
“I want the best cattle I can get and the best way to do that is to do it myself,” he said.
This year was also the first year Gentry Family Farms opted to take some of their Beefmaster steers to a feedlot obtain carcass data. Jerad wanted to see if the Beefmaster bloodline was increasing the quality of the meat of his cattle.
Showing Beefmaster was another reason for his selection of the breed. Jerad, who began showing steers in his teens, would like to see his children do the same, but do it with cattle they raised.
The Gentrys run stock on approximately 650 acres across Texas County, primarily near Houston, Mo. For the past three years, they have participated in the Precision Program through MFA, where soil samples are taken, analyzed for content and then, based on the findings, specific minerals and nutrients are rationed out to each area of land.
Since participating in the program, Jerad has seen a drastic increase in hay quality and yields. Normally, Jerad will put up between 500 to 600 round bales annually.
Jerad is no stranger to the trials of farming. His grandfather, Dean Gentry, also raised cattle, and it is his land Jerad acquired to continue his dream after his grandfather passed away. Whether he is at his daytime job of being a site supervisor at his family’s construction business or out in the fields with his cattle, he’s happy.
“I don’t know no different,” he said with a smile.