Our Beginning​

Concerned about the rapid decline in traditional phenotype of popular horned cattle, our founders saw the need for a charitable organization devoted to the conservation of heritage Texas Longhorns where funds donated to educational and scientific programs are tax-deductible. In 2005 the Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Conservancy was formed to serve as a library of published research on criollo genetics, offer teaching curricula for educators and encourage on-going research into these valuable genetics. Geneticists worldwide are studying various attributes of criollo breeds, discovering their superior survivability traits in hostile environments.


Fred & Marijo Balmer
Detmer Longhorns
Enrique E. Guerra
Ted Lusher
James & Arleen McEachern
Sanders Land & Cattle Co.
Ben & Elizabeth Tanksley
Fayette Yates
Don & Deborah Davis
James Farr
Shelby & Alicia G. King
Jeff & Linda Mannix
Vivian Page
Frank & Louise Sharp
Schuyler Wight

Thank you to our early contributors that enabled our launch:​

Horacio & Sara Adrogué
John Balistreri
James & Carol Dildine
Frank Graham
James & Jackie Humphrey
Max Kelly
Bill Lotz
Giles & Becky Madray
Kenneth Pelt
Billy Jack Rankin
James & Belinda Salmon
Betty Lou Sheerin
Monroe & Debbra Sullivan
David & Jill Almaguer
Scott & Jacque Conrad
Terry & Janet Franklin
Rex Hollenbeck
Darrel Huston
Joe Knowles
Charles R. Luigs
Les Mallory
Robert Peterson
Jim Rohl
Arnold & Joyce Scott
A.Gerry & Janelle Shudde
Three ‘T’ Ranch

Texas Longhorn History

Texas’s first beef breed, the original Texas Longhorn is now on the Livestock Conservancy’s List of 150 Critically Endangered Heritage Breeds. Once numbering in the tens of millions, the original Texas Longhorn’s population is estimated at only 3,000 animals, worldwide. Cattleman’s Texas Longhorn Conservancy (CTLC) works closely with Cattleman’s Texas Longhorn Registry (CTLR), the only Texas Longhorn breeders group dedicated to the conservation of historically correct Texas Longhorn phenotypes, and we support the conservation efforts of The Livestock Conservancy.


Descendants of Iberian cattle imported to the Western Hemisphere more than five hundred years ago by the earliest Spanish explorers, evolved into the breed of cattle known as Texas Longhorn. These cattle played a significant role in the history of the Americas and became recognized as North America’s original taurus species. Following the legendary trail drives, the original Texas Longhorn was nearly cross bred into extinction in favor of fattier English breeds. Zebu genetics also threatened the integrity of our naturally evolved cattle as breeds were introduced from India to help the English cattle combat insect pests endemic to the southern coastal region of the USA. By the turn of the twentieth century only scattered remnants of the original cattle still existed. The Texas Longhorn was acknowledged as a national treasure by the U.S. Congress, which in 1927 established a protected herd on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. That herd persists today as one of the best resources for conservation genetics. The integrity of the conservation genome continues to be threatened by crossbreeding now for single trait selection by hobby breeders competing for notoriety. African Sanga breeds have been crossed with Texas Longhorn cattle for the last 60 years to increase horn circumference and length, while English, Continental and Indicine breeds have been crossed to increase beef conformation traits.


The Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Conservancy recognizes the value of this national treasure in its original phenotype (appearance) and genotype (genetics) and is intended to provide ongoing resources toward research and education pertaining to this naturally evolved, historic breed. Educating the public and ranching communities about the differences between naturally evolved survival traits and phenotypic traits introduced by man is of paramount importance for ensuring the survival of these invaluable genetics. This breed evolved, unincumbered by man over 300 years from feral criollo stock whose fittest descendants survived to reproduce offspring uniquely adapted to the arid, predator-infested southwest. Traits of economic importance such as mothering ability, fertility, easy calving, disease resistance, range efficiency, cunning defiance, and ability to walk great distances between watering sites are diluted when hybridized with other breeds. Maintaining the integrity of different heritage breeds ensures the future of our food security and health of our nation’s livestock industry.


Heritage Texas Longhorn cattle are also gratifying to raise. Their colors and horn shapes vary in aesthetically pleasing combinations. Their gentle, intelligent demeanor makes the breed a good choice for families. The nutrient density of Grassfed Texas Longhorn beef is superior in protein content and lower in fat and cholesterol than poultry and seafood. As agricultural production is pushed by development farther from the most hospitable climates and desirable farmlands, the hearty Texas Longhorn will once again prove its value as a sustainable protein source for a growing population in a changing climate.
2011 Science Friday program on beef and Texas Longhorn history
The Texas Longhorn portion with Emily McTavish is about 28 minutes into the program.


Linked Articles to Recognized Accomplishments

Cattlemen's Texas Longhorn Conservancy