History of Windy Bar Ranch

Windy Bar RanchOn September 11, 1858, my great, great grandfather, Christian Klein, registered his cattle brand at the Gillespie County Courthouse in Fredericksburg, Texas. He called this brand the "half-moon K." A modified version of this brand, which is the "half-moon K" with a circle around it, serves as the holding brand and logo for Windy Bar Ranch.

 Although my ancestors have been raising cattle in Gillespie County since the late 1850s, we only started raising registered Angus in 1983. In November 1983, we bought our first twenty heifers from W.A. Seidel at Golden Spurs Ranch in Knippa, Texas. At the time, south Texas was in a severe drought. When the group of heifers came into the pen for my Dad and I to inspect, they started eating the stinkweed that was growing in the pen. They seemed glad to have it. We figured any heifers that looked that good eating stinkweed should do pretty well on our Kleingrass in Gillespie County. So we picked out twenty head and, with the help of Edward Meier, hauled them to Stonewall. Mr. Seidel was eighty-nine years old when we bought those heifers from him. He was so pleased to make the sale, he threw in a bull for free. Those were the only bred heifers I ever bought.

In 1987, I made my first trip to the Wye Plantation in Maryland. That’s when I bought our first Wye-bred bull and cow. But more importantly, while I was at the sale, I met some other Angus breeders from Comfort, Texas: Robin and Carol Giles. That was the beginning of a long and treasured friendship. One of many I would make in this business.

We bought our last group of outside females in 1989. Those were eight bred cows we bought from Texas Tech University, through Dr. Bob Long. Those cows made a tremendous contribution to our herd. Since that purchase, all our females have been bred, born and raised right here at Windy Bar Ranch. We have not built this herd with trader cattle, but by careful selection and relentless culling for desired traits.

Although twenty-five years as an Angus breeder may seem like a long time, I feel like I just now know enough about the genetics of my cattle to call myself a registered Angus breeder. It has taken a quarter century of patient observation and meticulous record-keeping to discover the genetics that are truly valuable in these cattle. Now, with the assistance of genetic testing for marbling, tenderness, and feed efficiency, we can make even quicker genetic progress. It has taken a tremendous investment of time, effort and money, but our customers are the ones who stand to benefit.

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