Brahman History


As the first beef breed developed in the United States, the American Brahman has played an important role not only in crossbreeding programs throughout the United States and beyond, but it has become a common thread among other American breeds developed in the last century. American Brahman influence in the beef industry is felt world-wide, and their genetics are sought by cattlemen in every continent. Their development is a success story unparalled. Today’s cattlemen breed Brahmans for all the right reasons.

Originating from a nucleus of approximately 266 bulls and 22 females of several Bos indicus (cattle of India) types imported into the United States between 1854 and 1926, today the Brahman breed has achieved acceptance for their environmental adaptivity, longevity, mothering ability and efficient beef production. Bos indicus cattle have been serving man for thousands of years. Throughout their evolution they have endured famine, insect pests, diseases and extreme temperature fluctuations. Thus through natural selection these cattle came to have the ability to survive and thrive where other types have failed. In their expansion, these cattle have improved beef produciton in every country in which they have been introduced, as they are mated to existing native cattle. While some 30 defined breeds or types of Bos indicus cattle have been identified in India, only a few of these breeds were selected to develop the American Brahman.

The first importation of Indian cattle of any notoriety came in 1854, when sugar and cotton farmer, Richard Barrow of St. Francisville, Louisiana, was presented with two bulls by the Government of Great Britian, for his services in teaching cotton and sugar cane production to British officials establishing these crops in the deltas of India. Their offspring, known as Barrow grade Cattle, would achieve recognition and their fame would soon spread around the globe. Later importations would see cattle brought from Brazil, where large numbers of these Indian cattle could be found.

The American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA) was organized in 1924. J.W. Sartwelle of Houston was the first recording secretary of the Association and it was he who proposed the word “Brahman” and so it was adopted as the name of the new beef breed. With strict selection, guided by the standard of excellence developed by founding breeders, the American Brahman has been recognized for its exceptional hardiness and physical stamina, its ability to profitably produce on marginal lands, to live twice as long as normally expected, with unequaled performance in weight per day of age. As consumers shift to lean meat and lower calorie diets, Brahmans are perfectly positioned to fill the demand for a beef product which efficiently converts feed into high-quality beef, while producing a carcass free of excess fat.Bra