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Longhorn beef producers marketing co-op launches membership drive

DENVER—The board of the Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Beef Cooperative (CTLBC), has announced the launch of its membership drive to sign up new members and raise capital needed to establish the cooperative. The board plans over the coming six months to raise $180,000 and acquire commitments for 5,000 head of Longhorn feeder cattle.

This membership drive follows extensive research conducted by three different universities on the suitability of the product for its target markets, as well as optimal feeding, processing and marketing programs.

“Properly fed Longhorn beef was tested on consumer groups for taste, smell and tenderness,” said John Guldemann, president of the CTLBC board. “It consistently met or exceeded other premium beef steaks, such as Certified Angus Beef.”

The research also showed that Longhorn beef, despite its high level of palatability, is lower in fat and poly-saturated (“bad”) cholesterol. The research was partially funded by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant.

The co-op has already been selling steaks to specialty restaurants in Texas. “Research shows there is plenty of demand out there, we just have to ensure an adequate member base in order to have enough cattle to provide a constant supply,” Guldemann said.

Guldemann, who raises Texas Longhorn breeding stock near Animas, N.M., says the breed has a lot of very desirable characteristics, such as good mothering, hardiness and the ability to thrive in arid regions. He is heartened by the research results, which show that proper feeding will yield high quality results.

This is good news for Longhorn producers, whose cattle are docked at sale or even rejected.

“The problem with Longhorn cattle in the commercial market is that they are slightly smaller framed, and they require a little extra time to grow to achieve the same carcass weight and quality as other European breeds,” Guldemann said.

Not only will the CTLBC provide a market for producers of Longhorn feeder cattle, animals meeting production and carcass criteria will receive a premium. All cattle must be at least 50 percent Longhorn, or cattle of Spanish descent, be raised naturally (no antibiotics, hormones or animal byproducts), and have hot carcasses weighing 500-750 pounds.

At this time, the cattle will be fed, slaughtered and processed at approved facilities in Friona, Tex., Booker, Tex., and Oklahoma City, Okla. As production grows, other feedlots can qualify to participate. Those wishing to join the CTLBC will pay a one-time $1,000 membership fee, an annual maintenance fee of $100, and an annual $16-per-head assessment for the number of cattle they wish to market through the cooperative.

“This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to promote Texas Longhorns and earn what is due them,” Guldemann said. “The board invites every Longhorn producer from large operators to hobby ranchers to join this cooperative.”

For more information on the cooperative, contact CTLBC board President John Guldemann at 877-655-3458 (toll free).