We purchased the KDK Ranch, located in Llano County, in 2001 as a recreational retreat and weekend getaway from our busy life in Austin, Texas. The property had been leased for many years to a black Angus cattle rancher and was grazed by eighty cows, eighty calves, and two bulls. Due to lack of cross fencing and pasture rotation, the land was overgrazed and covered with both cedar trees and prickly pear cactus. We converted the ranch to a wildlife management program and terminated the cattle lease. We spent the next decade managing and promoting native Hill Country wildlife, such as whitetail deer, bobwhite quail, and various species of songbirds.
In 2011, one of our ranch neighbors acquired six Longhorns from a local rancher who was dispersing of his non-registered herd due to the severe drought. We were intrigued by the breed and had read about how easy they are to maintain and breed. Our neighbor decided he only needed three of his Longhorns so we acquired a large steer, who we named Goliath and is now our herd guardian; a cow, and a calf. We enjoyed our small herd immensely. We found that our friends and relatives who visited the ranch delighted in going to find the Longhorns and feed them cattle cubes. We were impressed by the gentle nature, curiosity, and easy care of our tiny herd. Consequently, in 2013, we decided to “take the plunge” and start buying registered heifers from several Central Texas breeders. We established our herd primarily through private treaty purchases over the last eighteen months. This strategy has allowed us to visit several experienced breeders, learn how to manage a small cattle operation, examine the mothers of our heifers, and hear about various breeding philosophies. We did extensive online research into pedigrees, desired Longhorn breed characteristics, horn measurement data, and genetics. We are very grateful to Deer Creek Longhorns, Stott’s Hideaway Ranch, Star Creek Ranch, and Rocking O Longhorns for not only breeding excellent quality heifers, but making them available for purchase. Our foundation cows come from such well known, proven herd sires such as Cowboy Chex, M Arrow Wow, Cowboy Casanova, Starbase Commander, and Awesome Alamo. We intentionally assembled a herd with a variety of genetics, so that we can see which crosses produce the best Longhorns and offer cattle with at a range of price points to suit the various needs of our customers.