Oktibbeha farmer welcomes family cattle
They're some of the best of their breed, and now they're moving in just down the road.
Dudley Waldrop and Pam Waldrop took a delivery of 70 head of brangus cattle to their Oktibbeha County farm Friday. The herd arrived from the White Ranch in Floresville, Texas around noon on Friday. The White Ranch was operated by Pam Waldrop's aunt Carolyn White and her late husband Eric White. After Eric's death in March, Dudley Waldrop purchased the herd.
“They belonged to my wife's uncle and aunt,” Dudley Waldrop said. “It's a herd of registered brangus that they started and expanded and improved the genetics. They used to have sales where they would sell breeding bulls, and one of their bulls was over $75,000. Other bulls they collected semen from, and the semen was up to $100 a straw. The White Ranch is known all over Texas for their quality brangus cattle.
Dudley Waldrop said he had retired from farming four years ago after decades in the dairy and beef industries. However, when the opportunity to purchase the herd came along, he jumped at the chance.
“I've admired these cattle since '02, as my wife and I visited their farm,” Dudley Waldrop said. “I never thought I would have the opportunity to own such quality cattle, but as (Carolyn and Eric White) got older, and Mr. White's health deteriorated, they reduced the size of their herd. They chose the best of the best to keep, and we bought them. We were fortunate enough to buy them.”
The Waldrops plan to grow the herd over time.
“We'll keep all of our heifers, and we will sell bulls to farmers for breeding stock, and we plan to increase this herd every year,” Dudley Waldrop said.
The Waldrops will sell some bull calves, but keep the best examples on their farm for use as breeding stock.
“The best of the best, we will keep and market to other farmers to improve their genetics,” Dudley Waldrop said.
The herd arrived at the Waldrop farm in two 18-wheelers after an overnight journey. At its new home, the herd will initially be kept in 200 acres of pasture.
“We're going to unload them into this feedlot, let them cool down, drink water, eat feed, and then gradually drift out onto the pasture,” Dudley Waldrop said.
Brangus cattle are a cross between Indian brahman cattle and American angus. The breed keeps the best traits of both, the quality beef of an angus and the brahman's ability to thrive in hot weather.
Carolyn White discussed her and her husband's involvement with the cattle, which they purchased in 1992. She said at its biggest, the White Ranch was 1,500 acres, before she and her husband began downsizing in the months prior to his death. Prior to the Whites' purchase of the ranch, the property was owned by Texas businessman and philanthropist Clayton Williams, who launched an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 1990.
“It was for sale, and we had bought some cattle from (Williams), so we went down there and looked at it and bought it cattle and all, and it was brangus,” Carolyn White said. “That's how we got into the brangus business.”
She said was glad the herd was staying in the family. She plans to come see the cattle at their new home later this year.
“I didn't want to just sell them to anybody, and I didn't want to send them to the market, because that's something you don't want to do with something that's part of your heart,” Carolyn White said. “Like I said Pamela Sue (Waldrop) was down here, and she spoke to Dudley, and that's how she ended up with the cattle.”
She said she knows Dudley Waldrop will take good care of the herd.
“We're very excited that we have the opportunity to grow this herd, to have this herd coming to our farm,” Dudley Waldrop said. “We're just thrilled.”
Dudley and Pam Waldrop took delivery of 70 head of brangus cattle to their farm in Oktibbeha County. The cattle originated from White Ranch in Texas, formerly owned by Pam Waldrop's aunt Carolyn White and late uncle Eric White.