SANTA GERTRUDIS BREEDERS INTERNATIONAL NUGEN PROJECT
The Santa Gertrudis breed, developed on the King Ranch, is and has been since 1940 a true “American Original,” having been the first breed of beef cattle developed in the United States and recognized as a distinct breed by the USDA. The NuGen project was developed and is being maintained to produce a new “germ plasm” that will improve and enhance the breed with the infusion of outstanding new genetics.
What’s It All About?
Founding fathers of the Santa Gertrudis breed and SGBI were visionary in their inclusion in the breed association constitution of the mandate that the herdbook forever remain open to the inclusion of new genetics, providing the basis for an ongoing grading-up program still being utilized today.
In February 1995, The SGBI Board of Directors approved a proposal presented by the Chairman of Breed Standards to create a new Santa Gertrudis strain or gene pool by reconstructing the original 3/8 Brahman x 5/8 Shorthorn animal currently recognized as a pureblood Santa Gertrudis. This proposal was entitled, the “NuGen” Project. Registration Number 1 in the Santa Gertrudis herdbook belongs to the King Ranch bull known as Monkey and he became the foundation herd sire for the breed, with every purebred Santa Gertrudis animal in the world tracing back to that one superior individual. The final step in the NuGen project will be the mating of NuGen cattle to registered, purebred Santa Gertrudis, in keeping the genetic tracings back to Monkey intact. The resulting calves qualify to be awarded purebred registration status and entered into the breed’s herdbook.
Initial funding for the long range project was provided by Mrs. Ann Upchurch of Grey Rocks Ranch in Selma, Alabama; and Dr. Burton McDaniel of MC Ranch in Ringgold, Georgia. Unfortunately, Mrs. Upchurch passed away in March of 1996 just days after the first NuGen F1’s were inspected at MC Ranch. Prior to her death, however, Mrs. Upchurch had given her younger partner Dr. McDaniel the charge “to keep the project alive.” McDaniel provided the day to day intense management of the project, with the supported other members of the NuGen committee. Dr. McDaniel has forged ahead, keeping the project free of impure shortcuts and moving forward under the guidelines of the SGBI Board mandate.
The NuGen committee members – Bill Barrett, Joe Jones, Richard Hood, Wylie Taliaferro, SGBI Executive Director and Dr. McDaniel – were appointed by the SGBI Board of Directors in 1995 as a Standing Committee. The committee was authorized at that time to approve the inclusion of offspring resulting from the mating of NuGen animals to registered Santa Gertrudis into the SGBI herd books and registry records.
The Current NuGen Partnership
The current NuGen Partnership combines over 175 years of ranching experience. Their goals is to develop consistent performance based cattle that meet the modern cattlemen’s demands.
Seeing Is Believing!
In 2008 MC Ranch was pleased to welcome the partnership of Wendt Ranch. Dan and Jane Wendt bring a wealth of knowledge that comes from being a fourth generation Santa Gertrudis ranching family. In apperciation of the Wendts support, the second NuGen female was bestowed the name, “Miss Jane” in honor of Jane Wendt. “Miss Jane” is the dam of NG Legend whose offspring will be featured at the NuGen Foundation Sale on April 18, 2015.
MC Ranch and Wendt Ranch were joined in partnership by Goodin Farms , owned by Berley, Terry and Jerry Goodin of Austin, Indiana in 2011. Goodin Farms’ experience with purebreed Santa Gertrudis and feed lots has been extremely valuable to the NuGen project.
Read about the Nu-Gen Project: