Bonsmara Cattle Breed

Smith Bonsmara LLCMany cattle breeders, seedstock producers, and commercial cattle operators are finally talking about producing functionally efficient cattle.  While they talk about producing functionally efficient cattle, Dr. Jan Bonsma invented them when he created the Bonsmara Cattle Breed.  Dr. Bonsma started his research in 1936 at the Mara research facility.  In 1956, Dr. Bonsma introduced his composite animal to the world.  The cattle were named after Dr. Bonsma by taking his surname (“Bonsma”) and combining it with name of the research facility (“Mara”) where the research was conducted.  This resulted in the modern day Bonsmara Cattle Breed.

Now, sixty years later, there is nothing better to cross with your English cattle with than Bonsmara. Smith Bonsmara LLC has raised full blood Bonsmara cattle since 2005.  In addition, Smith Bonsmara has used Bonsmara herd sires on Angus females since 2006.  This has resulted in retained females ranging from 1/2 blood Angus/Bonsmara up to 7/8 Bonsmara and 1/8 Angus.  Thus, Smith Bonsmara has the experience and history to provide you with the data confirming the functional efficiency of crossing Bonsmara bulls with females from English breeds of cattle.  Bonsmara,  a Bos Taurus animal, will provide your commercial herd with the hybrid vigor and functional efficiency it deserves.

Combine Bonsmaras’ calving ease, weight gain (weaning and yearling), stayability, heifer pregnancy rate, docility, residual feed intake compared to average daily gain, and improve the genetics of your herd. The resulting heterosis will provide your herd with more profit than other beef cattle breeds can provide.  This is especially true when comparing Bonsmara (“Bos Taurus”) to the Bos Indicus breeds currently used for heat tolerance. Bonsmara was developed with heat tolerance being a prime objective.  But Bonsmara cattle will provide you with much more than heat tolerance.  Bonsmara is a favorite for breeders and producers across the nation and around the world. Currently, Bonsmara influenced cattle make up more than 80% of the cattle in South Africa. As Bonsmara cattle breeders, we offer functional efficient beef solutions and support breeders in viable business undertakings. American Bonsmara Association strives to make a positive contribution to the beef cattle industry by promoting a balanced, environmentally sustainable, and functionally efficient solution for cattle producers in the United States.

Leading Bonsmara Cattle Breeders

Smith Bonsmara LLCOur mission is not only to supply superior, market-related breeding seed stock to the industry, but also to offer producers the world’s most functionally efficient cattle. First developed between 1936-1956 by Professor Jan Bonsma, this Bos Taurus breed is not only able to withstand warmer climates but even thrive there. Bonsmara cattle are highly productive and adaptable in harsh climates and drought conditions, making them excellent for the regions of the United States below the 40th parallel or roughly the southern two-thirds of the country.  Due to Dr. Bonsma’s exclusive method of scale photography, Bonsmara is the only cattle breed in the world that boasts a pictorial genealogy from the very start of the breeding until the new breed was established.

About the Bonsmara Beef-Cattle

Improve the quality of the cattle you produce by adding Bonsmara genetics from Smith Bonsmara LLC. This the only breed in the world that has a well-documented crossbreeding program, as well as objectively recorded performance data. Further, Smith Bonsmara  collects DNA samples on all their cattle.  The breeding of these animals has been efficiently managed to encourage rapid advancement of favorable breed characteristics.  Bonsmara is especially efficient for producers serving the grass-fed market.  With tenderness DNA markers exceeding those of the contemporary English breeds, Bonsmara will deliver consistently tender beef to all markets, including the ever growing grass-fed market.

Moreover, at the consumer level Bonsmara beef offers significant benefits when compared with other beef in the industry. Bonsmara has 10% lower cholesterol, 63% less saturated fat, and it is 45% more tender than the typical beef sold in the United States.  In fact, studies conducted by Texas A&M University evidenced only 1.9% of the beef from 155 Bonsmara tested in South Africa were classified as tough.  Texas A&M also found that 161 Bonsmara x Angus steers feed at Cattletown feedyard resulted in: 0% tough; 4.3% moderately tender; and 95.7% as tender.  Think about being able to guarantee that 95.7% of Bonsmara beef will be tender.

History of The American Bonsmara

Smith_Bonsmara_Logo_DP3_paintBecause of the tremendous insight of George Chapman, Bonsmara made its way into the United States in the late 1990’s.  After many trips to South Africa, Mr. Chapman became very interested in the Bonsmara Breed.  During these trips to South Africa, Mr. Chapman discovered the many positive attributes of the Bonsmara Breed.  Ultimately, Mr. Chapman had the foresight to see the need in the United States for a heat tolerant bos taurus breed that also outperformed the English Breeds of cattle across the spectrum from birth (calving ease) to slaughter (tenderness).  The American Bonsmara Breed and Mr. George Chapman are synonymous.  If not for Mr. George Chapman, the American Bonsmara Breed would not exist in the United States.  For almost 25 years, we have supplied cattle for breeders throughout the United States. However, only recently has the Bonsmara cattle been available for all beef producers (commercial and seedstock) in the United States.  The Bonsmara breed started many decades ago in South Africa. When breeders began to develop the Bonsmara breed, they adhered to strict breeding standards for fertility, milk production, growth, and adaptability. Even today, the regulated breeding process has made Bonsmara the best and most professionally administered beef breed in the world.  In the United States, we are striving to unite our breeders and initiate a formal Bonsmara Association.  Currently, we are a group of Bonsmara Breeders informally united together to bring the cattle producers in the United States up to date on the benefits of incorporating Bonsmara cattle into their herds.  Also, we want to help commercial producers and seedstock producers to recognize the benefits of the Bonsmara Breed and ultimately incorporate full blood Bonsmara cattle into their cattle operations.

Support Bonsmara Breeders’ New Beef Product

A new beef product is needed.  The new beef product must be healthful (both lean and natural), desirable (consistently tender, juicy, flavorful, and attractive), and affordable (value at minimum cost).

A new production system is required to produce this product.  The new production system necessarily consists of two components: animal genetics (for the highly heritable traits of tenderness, and naturalness) and a complementary management system (for the lowly heritable traits of leanness, juiciness, attractiveness and value).

The starting point is Bonsmara genetics.

The basic problem with beef is inconsistency in tenderness.  The Bonsmara breed has been shown to be uniformly tender when compared to the current breeds available in the United States.  As stated above, studies conducted by Texas A&M University evidenced only 1.9% of the beef from 155 Bonsmara tested in South Africa were classified as tough.  Texas A&M also found that 161 Bonsmara x Angus steers feed at Cattletown feedyard resulted in: 0% tough; 4.3% moderately tender; and 95.7% as tender.  All of these steers had tenderness values less than that reported as the average of the current most popular breed in the United States. 

The Bonsmara breed has also been shown by Texas A&M to be adapted to stressful conditions which will minimize their need for antibiotic and other medicines.  This is an important trait for animals that would be raised under the conditions necessary  to be classified as “natural” or “organic“. This trait will also reduce input costs of production thereby increasing value of the product.

The Bonsmara breed has adequate variation in growing ability to, not only facilitate individual animal adaptation to stress, but also allow the animals to reach satisfactory slaughter weights at the time they have the targeted level of fatness to maximize uniformity in portion size and retail product yield.  Retail product yield for purebred Bonsmara steers in the South Africa study was 71.1%.

How does this happen? It can only happen by incorporating Bonsmara cattle into the producers mainstream cattle operations.  At Smith Bonsmara we can provide producers with the Bonsmara cattle to crack the solution for the new beef product.  At the same time, we actively strive to encourage a balanced, environmentally friendly beef-cattle industry. These are functionally efficient cattle that are even tempered, highly adaptable, and very fertile. With their excellent breeding abilities, hardiness, and gentleness, the Bonsmara are a breed to be reckoned with and a soon to be favorite of many American ranchers.  Bonsmara is already a favorite of global ranchers.

Contact us or contact Smith Bonsmara for more information about our Bonsmara cattle. We proudly serve customers throughout the nation.