KDK Longhorns

Janet Harman & Kent Mayes
Llano, TX

www.kdklonghorns.com


We are newbies to breeding and raising Texas Longhorn cattle. After several years of trying to develop a quality program on our own, we realized that the learning curve is too steep, the vital information required too hard to obtain, and the trial & error process too time consuming. We needed to find a consultant with decades of pedigree knowledge, years of experience, and the skill set to move our herd to the next level. Eastwind Cattle Company was the obvious choice!

Kent and Janet live in downtown Austin, Texas and have a beautiful ranch in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, ten miles southwest of Llano. They are both “city slickers” - Kent grew up in Houston Texas and attended University of Texas. Janet was born and raised in the Boston area and attended Cornell University. Little did they know growing up that they would meet later in life, fall in love, get married, have a blended family of two son and two daughters, and start breeding Texas Longhorn cattle! Kent retired from a long career in the fitness world running gyms, training triathletes, and doing personal training. Janet spent years working as an electrical engineer, raising children, and volunteering in the Austin community. Now they spend most of their time at their ranch.

Our ranch started as a recreational retreat for friends and family. While visitors thoroughly enjoyed hiking, ATVing, fishing, hunting, and biking, we continued to look for additional activities. When our neighbor acquired several Texas Longhorns from a friend during the prolonged Texas drought in 2011, we jumped at the chance to own of couple of these beautiful, majestic, curious, and historic creatures. Our first steer was a gentle giant we named Goliath, who we could hand feed and pose with for photos. Guests loved trying to locate the several Longhorns on a few hundred acres. Once we discovered how low maintenance, healthy, and interesting these cattle are, we just had to have more! In 2013, we started purchasing registered Longhorns from several Central Texas breeders. It did not take long to learn there is a big difference between powerhouse genetics and average genetics. This realization, coupled with Janet’s math and statistics background, inspired us to study pedigrees/measurements/sale prices and launch our quest to become quality Longhorn breeders. Our goal is to raise fine examples of “total package” cattle with great conformation, long horns, balanced horn set and body size, and gentle demeanors. We have progressed from no trailer, no working pens, and one pasture with 1900 era barbed wire handmade fencing to seven pastures, two sets of excellent working pens, and lots of useful equipment. We have come a long way from trying to round up our first bull calf via ATV (which does not work well, by the way…) to learning how to move cattle with cattle cubes and controlling water sources. We have transitioned from leasing a bull to owning a single bull to having several bulls and making extensive use of AI to take our herd quickly to the next level and take advantage of longtime experts in the breed. We are currently using semen from Dickinson Cattle’s Cowboy Tuff son Reckon So, TCC Houdini, and two Cowboy Casanova sons: CV Call of Duty and Casanova’s Magnum. We have favored Jamakizm and Cowboy Chex genes in developing our herd. Our plan is progressing extremely well - our main herd sire KDK Valiant (a mix of Drag Iron and Cowboy Casanova lines) is 73” TTT at 2.5 years, tracking to be 87” TTT at maturity! We have lots of promising, colorful, well-built heifer calves and young cows.

One of our favorite aspects of being Longhorn breeders is the wonderful people we have met and continue to meet at various Longhorn events, futurities, and sales. Everyone has been so welcoming, friendly, and eager to share their expertise with us. We love learning and enjoy improving our herd. Hiring Bear is the next step in our journey towards becoming a noted and respected longhorn breeder!
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