In December of 1996, our local paper printed an article about Maudeen Marks and her life among the Longhorns. The article told of the 78-year-young cowgirl, whose life ambition was to preserve a herd of pure Texas Longhorn cattle, carrying on the tradition which her father, E.H. Marks, had begun.
After learning of Marks and her legacy, my husband and I decided to head to Texas to look her up on her ranch, the LH7, near Bandera. We were received by Marks herself in true Texas style. After a ranch tour, we knew Marks’ cattle embodied our visions for our own Longhorn herd. However, we were unable to persuade her to price any cattle that day.
Instead, we ended up at The YO Ranch in Mountain Home, TX, where I purchased my first ten registered Longhorn heifers. Still, we returned to the LH7 ranch each January for a short vacation.
Finally, in 2002 we were able to purchase a young bull from Marks. That was a happy day for us. In 2006, we purchased a second bull from Marks, Super Numero Uno, a CTLR and TLBAA registered bull (CTLR cattle are DNA tested for purity before they can be registered). In 2010, we purchased three heifers from Marks out of her older branded cows. At that point, we could get serious about our goal of breeding for Marks’ bloodline cattle, which we have been doing since.
We are building the Marks’ influence herd. We manage a breeding herd of approximately 50 cows: the majority are high percentage Marks’ influence while ten are Marks cows. As a result, most of our Marks cows are young, and we can see the Marks traits presenting more each year.
Since Ms. Marks’ passing in 2009 and the subsequent dispersal of her herd, we have had to look elsewhere for new breeding stock. In the fall of 2015, we visited the Wichita Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma and purchased two Longhorn bulls and two Longhorn heifers, one of which produced a bull calf of WR breeding. These cattle are also TLBAA and CTLR registered.
It was a blessing to meet and get to know Maudeen Marks and learn from her many years of experience with Texas Longhorn Cattle. What an interesting ride it has been!