Is it practical for the Gentlemen Farmer to raise a Small, practical Beef Steer? YES!
DANTRE RANCH is a modest 5 acre homestead, and is located 5 miles south-east of downtown Brentwood, Northern California, which is approximately 60 minutes East of San Francisco, and in the heart of the Delta and Prime Agricultural Farm Lands. From the ranch house we have a spectacular view of Mount Diablo and the surrounding foothills.
In our area, property like ours seems to be the trend; all of the large farm lands are being subdivided into small estate lots. When we purchased our plot of land it was bare. Both Teresa and I were raised to be self sufficient in case of hard times or disaster. So, the first thing we did was start our fruit and nut trees. While our thirty fruit trees were getting established we started construction on our house. We chose to build it from the ground up. Once we were settled into our house we started our barn. We didn’t leave anything out, stalls, paddocks, tack-room, electrical and plumbing. A four rail fence was built around the pasture and barn. For extra protection against the coyotes, we lined the fence with no climb horse wire. We are fortunate to have a local irrigation district so we set up our pasture for flood irrigation. This has been a project from the heart. Our four children have helped out along the way and we couldn’t have done it without them.
Teresa and I have raised livestock in the past and we wanted to raise a small herd of purebred cattle for beef and show purposes, but what type of cattle to specialize in? It did not take much research to realize that our future in the beef industry was with the miniatures. After thoroughly researching all the various breeds of established miniature cattle, the Miniature Herefords were selected. I had raised Herefords in the 1970’s and was familiar with their strong points.
HOW WE STARTED: Because this is a small parcel of land we knew we could only have a few animals and we now try to keep our numbers at just ten animals. The decision was made to purchase two high quality Miniature Hereford cows, and a superior Miniature Hereford bull to build the herd through natural breeding.
Our first purchase was a cow named Kate. She was shown at the Cow Palace in San Francisco on the 4th April 2002 and rewarded us with a Reserve Grand Champion win. Talk about getting us hooked! We continued to show, and purchased more cattle to improve and expand our little herd of Miniature Herefords.
The business plan was right on track and by the end of March 2005, our registered herd consisted of 2 bulls, 3 bred cows, 2 heifers, 1 bull calf and one steer. In addition to the registered herd, we purchased a Miniature Hereford cow that spent her life in a petting zoo, she was suppose to have been open, and come to find out she had been bred to a Scottish Highlander bull, so we ended up with a free steer.
RANCH PHILOSOPHY: Our philosophy is simple; Raise the best Registered Miniature Hereford cattle conceivable, in the most natural and humane methods possible. While the philosophy is simple, implementation is much more complex. We did a lot of research on breeders to ensure our ranch started out with good foundation stock with the realization that I did not have a lifetime to improve and alter the breed to meet my desired standards. Calves are dehorned for safety reasons and they are gradually weaned and halter broken to reduce stress on the both the calves, cows and us.
OUR GOAL: To breed SMALL, superior, beef-producing animals. Combining the quality and genetics with show-winning conformation, and prove our results both at the dinner table as well as the show ring. We have AI breeding projects in the works, and will be using semen from some awesome bulls.
Thanks for visiting our site, and please contact us if you have any questions.