Bradley 3 Ranch, Memphis, Texas, was recently named the 2013 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Seedstock Producer of the Year during the 45th annual BIF Research Symposium and Meeting in Oklahoma City. This award is one of the most prestigious and historical awards presented annually in the beef industry.
Nominated by the Texas Angus Association, Bradley 3 Ranch owners / managers were recognized for their long time commitment to performance in their registered cattle operation. After receiving the award Minnie Lou Bradley commented, “We are honored to receive this award. I have admired many of the previous winners and it is humbling to be considered in these ranks.”
Bradley 3 Ranch was started in 1955 with the purchase of 20 registered Angus cows. Today, the herd is one of the few Angus herds in the country that has maintained more than 200 registered Angus cows for more than 50 years. Located in the southeast part of the Texas Panhandle, much of the ranch is rough with canyons, draws, mesquite and cedar trees. Bradley 3 Ranch is currently home to 400 registered Angus and 30 Charolais cows, and is managed by Mary Lou Bradley-Henderson, Minnie Lou Bradley and James Henderson.
Early on, the Bradleys were committed to a disciplined approach to performance. As one of the first members of the American Beef Cattle Performance Registry, they maintained an emphasis on performance that is still the foundation of the herd today.
In 1986, the Bradleys started B3R Country Meats. In the next 16 years, they built the all-natural meat company to a 125-head-per-day harvest facility that harvested more than 30,000 head in 2002, the year it was sold. Customers were both beef producers and beef consumers. The beef producers were part of one of the earliest value-based marketing systems in the U.S. Their experience in the meat business lends to an emphasis on muscle in their herd today.
In one of the letters of support that was submitted with the ranch’s nomination, Bryce Schuman, Chief Executive Officer of the American Angus Association wrote, “It is indeed an honor to recommend Bradley 3 Ranch for the Beef Improvement Federation’s Seedstock Producer of the Year Award. Each year this award recognizes those in our business who advance innovation and integrity in the science of seedstock production. Bradley 3 Ranch is a true embodiment of both traits, and serves as an important inspiration to those striving to produce industry-relevant genetics to the commercial cattle industry.
The philosophy of the ranch is simple; they’ve maintained discipline and commitment to produce genetics that benefit each segment of the beef industry. Since its establishment in the mid-1950s, Bradley 3 Ranch has concentrated its breeding efforts on the beef industry’s most basic traits — fertility, calving ease, fleshing ability, soundness, high performance and carcass value — while employing the latest technologies. That dedication to technology is just as evident today as it was in the early years of the ranch, when it was among the first in the Texas Panhandle to employ EPDs in selection decisions. As an early adopter of performance testing and Integrated Ranch Management Records, the operation also embraced DNA technology as early as 1994. Today, the ranch is an aggressive user of DNA technology and obtains samples on every bull to further its parentage testing and use of genomic- enhanced EPDs.”
Each spring, Bradley 3 Ranch hosts their annual bull sale at the ranch, east of Estelline, TX. At their sale demand is strong and bulls are sold from Oregon to Florida.