Witte Shorthorns was established by Gary and Pegi Witte in 1995 in Fallon, Nevada, with five Shorthorn cows purchased from Jack and Joyce Barnes, also in Fallon. At the time we were looking for good Shorthorn cattle as the basis for our future herd. The fact that these five cows were considered “Native” simply meant to us that they were purebred Shorthorns, exhibiting all the desirable traits of the breed. In truth, “native” or more properly referred to as Heritage Shorthorns, are only those individuals whose ancestry can be traced directly back to the Coates Herd Book, published in England in 1722, that brings together all known breeding information of the Shorthorn breed at that time.
Fast forward to 2014. After many years of endeavoring to stay true to the traits of the Shorthorn breed, selecting bulls that represented the purest pedigrees, and retaining only the best heifers as replacements, it became evident that the breed in general was losing much of what at one time made it a world-wide choice for calving ease, maternal instincts, docility, and easy fleshing. With the opening of the herd registration in 1973 by ASA to first, cattle that carried Maine Anjou blood, then subsequently, other progeny with a higher and higher percentage of non-Shorthorn blood, the numbers of Heritage cattle had been reduced to an alarming number. It was at that time that Witte Shorthorns acquired half interest in a full blood “Native” bull, AR 157P Apache, raised and owned by Albaugh Ranch, in Fallon, Nevada. Acquired at that same time were six Heritage heifers, again bred by Albaugh Ranch. Other Heritage heifers have been added to our herd, sourced from J Bar J Shorthorns, Jack and Joyce Barnes in the past few years. Currently we raise our own bulls and have developed many excellent replacement females that remain in the herd. Though we retain about 35% of our original herd, our goal is to have a straight Heritage herd.
All of our cattle are raised on irrigated pasture, grass finished if being retained for beef, with the remainder of each season's calf crop not retained being sold as commercial calves. Bull calves and heifer calves are occasionally available to those who would like to add true Shorthorn genetics to their herd
For more information, including an excellent history of the Shorthorn breed and the newly established Heritage Shorthorn Society, go to www.heritageshorthorn.org
Nevada Heritage Shorthorn Breeders
5177 Indian Lakes Rd.
(775) 423-3361 cell (775)434-3316
J Bar J Ranch
Jack and Joyce Barnes
5711 Solias Rd.
(775) 867-3655 cell(775)464-5761
Holley Family Farm
Herman (Gary) and Pegi Witte
(775) 423-1571 (775) 217-0301