> How do I get started raising
> longhorn cattle? There are many ways to get started. You can contact either the ITLA <A HREF="http://www.itla.com" TARGET="_blank">www.itla.com</A> or the Larger association TLBAA <A HREF="http://www.tlbaa.org" TARGET="_blank">www.tlbaa.org</A>. Or if you would like to email me i might be able to help you get in touch with Longhorn breeders in your area. I have been in the Longhorn businees for over 15 years and loved every minute of it.
Your best bet will be the TLBAA...they are larger and is the association that exhibits cattle at all the major livestock shows in the country and some in Canada....although i have nothing agaings the ITLA
Ryan gave some good advice. There are many reputable longhorn breeders. Search for some that have the cows you like and then ask lots of questions about where they get their breeding stock and how long they have had the cows you like.
....Just another idea....In July of this year the 'Trails' the magazine for the TLBAA will publish a Breeder Directory. IF you contact the TLBAA could obtain one of these when they are ready. This could help you find breeders in your area that do not advertise much.
Also under the ITLA.com site that ryan mentioned, there is a listingfor events and members.
Check out the events listing and make contact with the person in charge. I am sure you will be morethatn welcome. Attend the event and talk to the people. You will find these events attended by people with a couple of head along with people with a couple hundred head.
Call one of the persons under the member list near you.
Can't speak for TLBAA, but know many of fine people from that organization too.
Dan, I agree with the previous advice, also depending on where you live there should be some Longhorn auctions taking place throughout the year. Our affliiate (The Tennese Valley Assoc. of Longhorn Breeders) has held an annual show in Kentucky for the past two years in July. This July (the 12th) the sale will be hosted by another new affiliate of the TLBAA-The Bluegrass Texas Longhorn Assoc. It's a good place to meet many Longhorn breeders and maybe buy a few starter cattle a good prices. I'm sure there will be some auctions in your area. You can log on to the TLBAA website and go to the upcoming events for local sales and shows. Good Luck in the Longhorn business-I've been raising them for six years now and I love my Longhorns!!!
As some of the other posters on this thread have indicated, the ITLA and TLBAA have lots of good literature. Also the ITLA (at last look) has an online member directory whereas the TLBAA does not. The ITLA seems to attract more of the "traditional" horned longhorn breeders while the TLBAA seems to promote the more heavy-bodied longhorn type with less emphasis on great or extreme horn growth. Many of the better, more aggressive marketing Longhorn breeders have websites (this is not to say that those who do not have a website are any less quality). Different breeders tend to specialize in different bloodlines, type of conformation, color, and other traits. Any reputable breeder will seriously cull out any Longhorn that has a potential attitude problem or other "show" disqualifying trait. Attend some shows and talk to breeders. Ask for their brochures and literature. Or, if you are in the Texas Panhandle region, give us a call and take a tour!
The Texas Longhorn breed is comprised of various types of animals all within the breed itself. The breed was kept alive by seven different families in the early to mid 1900's-each of these families of Longhorns was bred for a particular trait-be it horn length, beefiness, milking and/or mothering ability. Today some Longhorn breeders still breed only one family of Longhorns and others breed a blend of these genetics. If you log on to the TLBAA website you can read about the different distinctions within these seven families of Longhorns. I breed a blend of these traits into my herd as do many others that I know. I am a member of the TLBAA but I know several breeders who are members of both associations. From these breeers that I know I would have to say that they do breed the traditional type Longhorn although I'm sure there are TLBAA members who are into a more beefy animal. I believe that both associations are reputable and you wouldn't go wrong by joining either of them. The Texas Longhorn is a great breed and I'm glad that they are supported by more than one association.
Thanks Roger for your response. Yes, I already am member of ITLA and TLBAA and am well familiar with the 7 Families. The post I made earlier was a bit simplistic, agreed, however I felt the person's inquiry wanted a simple answer to a rather complicated question. Yes, the vast majority of Longhorns today are an evolved mixture of the genetics of the original "7 Families"--with the exception of some of the Butler and perhaps WR and some other "purist" (if you will) lineages.