Earl Jones believes in Braunvieh cattle. Since he purchased his first Braunvieh bull in 1996 to use on his commercial herd, his main goal has been to add pounds of beef to his commercial herd using Braunvieh genetics.
“These Braunvieh cattle out-perform anything I've ever owned, and I have tried them all,” Jones says. “They milk well, gain well and are extremely gentle. I like everything there is to be said about a Braunvieh cow and bull.”
That is why after purchasing a second Braunvieh bull in 1999, Jones decided he wanted to add some females to his breeding program. The problem became finding any Braunvieh breeders in close proximity to his farm, located 20 miles east of Knoxville, Tenn.
In 2002, an advertisement in CATTLE TODAY led him to CharMax Farms owner Charles Hooks in McKenzie, Ala, and since then, with Hooks' assistance, Jones has built his herd of Braunvieh to over 100 head.
Jones' initial purchase was a herd of 25 females and three bulls from a breeder in Louisiana. These cattle became the foundation for his Braunvieh herd and are still being used in the breeding program today. Since then, Hooks has helped him locate cattle from breeders in Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. Today, his bull battery is made up entirely of Braunvieh herd sires, as well.
Jones has been slowly adding Braunvieh cattle to his operation, and plans to continue this process until his entire herd is made up of Braunvieh.
“As I replace other cattle, they definitely will be replaced with Braunviehs,” he explains. “Two years from now, I hope to have 100 percent Braunvieh cattle in my herd.”
Because Jones' focus now is on increasing the size of his herd, he has been keeping most of his halfblood females and all of his fullbloods. But he has found a market for his bulls and has been pleased with the response he has received from his bull customers.
“I have sold about 18 of my bulls to seedstock producers,” Jones says. “The producers that I have talked to that have these bulls are just overwhelmed with the calves they are getting. That kind of backs up my philosophy.”
Jones can't say enough about the performance, fertility and disposition of his Braunvieh herd.
“I've never seen anything that will perform like Braunvieh cattle,” he says. “They are very fertile, they breed well, and more importantly, they breed back after calving so quickly.”
Another economic advantage he sees is their disposition. “It doesn't take a real expensive fence to control these cattle,” he explains. “They know where home is and we don't have any problem with them trying to tear out….”
“Personally, with the expense of producing a pound of beef today, I don't see how anyone can do it without Braunvieh in their herd,” Earl Jones says. “They are that good!”