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The Ranch

We began buying land in 2007. The original property is bisected by Coon Creek a tributary of the

Texas Trinity River, which resulted naming the property The Ranch at Coon Holler. As  we cleared the

property an old pecan grove was located and we uncovered and old general store beneath the

undergrowth. We were later visited by some sweet ladies in 2009 that wanted to see the “old store”,

so I inquired as to how they knew its location and how they knew with was an old store? The back door

of their car opened, and Ms. Mary Ann Craig introduced herself. It was her 96th birthday, the store was

her fathers, George Stone Grocery. She shared her childhood experiences on the place, swimming in

Coon Creek blue holes, dated the pecan grove at 127 years old at the time and recalled how

George Stone bartered food with locals during the depression. The old store survived until 2021

when we demolished it to replace with a newly recreated building with freezer and shipping to support

our new beef business. You can see a lot of similarities in the new beef store and George Stone Grocery .

 

Later land purchases added several miles of Coon Creek frontage, rich bottomland, and upland pastures.

As  part of our move back to AI and our launch of Cook Ranch Beef, we designed, built and completed

state of the art cattle working and breeding facilities to protect our herd from injury, provide a safe working

and breeding environment and monitor our beef progress. The facilities are covered for all weather,

concrete non-slip flooring, music and lighting to maintain calm, and ultrasound to measure and track

each beef steers back fat and ribeye size and marbling.

 

The Genetics

                                               

We introduced cattle to the ranch in 2014 after several years of producing high quality hay from the pastures. The initial founding stock were 20 hand selected from 620 Super-Black Baldie bred heifers by our  cattle broker.  These ladies were bred to thrive in Texas’ hot humid conditions. Later we commissioned another 28 black baldies from Nebraska. The Nebraska girls took a season to acclimatize but brought strong Angus F1 genetics to the herd. Plans were made to begin our AI program later that year, but in November of 2016 I fell off a small ladder and compound dislocated my ankle which delayed our plans for almost two years. During that time, I acquired Bruno 1577 Beefmaster registered bull to keep the production rolling. His caves were all born with such ease and had tremendous weaning weights which demonstrated the power of Beefmaster genetics F1 cross with the Baldies. In 2020 T-5 Ranches offered a complete herd dispersal due to their founders untimely death and we acquire two outstanding bulls T1 & T4, a  Son of Tiger Britches. These bulls naturally bred our herd stock in 2020 with first calves born in March 2021. As part of our plan to AI and reduce herd management stress of maintain bulls, the bus were collected for future AI use and sold in 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Pastures

While the ranch encompasses nearly 400 acres, only 130 acres are used for cattle production. The pastures are

broken into paddocks for mob rotational grazing. We usually cut hay on the best paddocks early in the year while

there is plentiful grass, then graze out throughout the year. In early fall we plant winter rye to continue mob grazing

and supplement our hay supplies.

 

Mob grazing produces and incredible amount of manure which we drag into the soil each week as the cows rotate

to new pastures. Soil samples show significant organic content, water holding capacity and organic nutrients which

support amazing plant regrowth. Managing the soils and grasses has provide remarkable stocking rates. When you

look at the numbers, we carry 1 AU per acre all year long. Granted, we are able to irrigate about 30 acres of pasture

in time of drought but is have been rare. We maintain salt, minerals and liquid supplements freely to the herd at all

times. The cattle are fat and happy year-round.

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