HISTORY OF THE BRAFORD BREED
History of the Braford Breed
Brafords, like most recognized breeds, were born of necessity – the necessity to consistently and efficiently produce a uniform quality product in challenging production environments.
Working with a base herd of Brahman cows that were primarily Partin and Hudgins breeding, Alto Adams Jr. began using Hereford bulls on his St. Lucie County, Florida ranch in 1947. The resulting steer and heifer calves were outstanding, but, the Hereford bulls required to produce those calves had extreme problems with feet, eyes and general livability.
Adams quickly realized that because they were not adapted to his conditions, Hereford bulls just did not provide an economically feasible alternative. He began experimenting with various percentages of Brahman-Hereford crossbred bulls. Eventually, he was able to identify Braford bulls that were producing the calves that met his needs and market demands. He used these bulls and their offspring to form what is recognized as the Foundation Herd of the Braford breed in the United States.
By basing bull selection on weaning and yearling weights and allowing natural selection to eliminate calving problems, Adams Ranch Brafords improved through the years to the point that they began to think of breed development and recognition.
The International Braford Association (IBA) was chartered in 1969 to begin registering Brafords. The IBA operated an office in Fort Pierce, Florida, until moving it’s headquarters to Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1991. In 1985 the American Hereford Association formed a second Braford organization, the American Braford Registry (ABR).
The emphasis in the ABR was to produce 3/8--5/8 Brafords based on modern Brahman and Hereford bloodlines. ABRA breeders also concentrated on producing Brafords with full pedigrees. The ABRA eventually moved its records away from the Hereford association, during this time the International Brangus Breeders Association processed the Braford records, the organization was known as the American Braford Association (ABA). After many successful years of registering and promoting Braford cattle in the United States and foreign countries, the International Braford Association and the American Braford Association joined forces on June 1, 1994, to form the United Braford Breeders (UBB).
In 2007, the UBB entered into contract with the American Beef Records Association (ABRA), a subsidiary of the American Hereford Association, to process herdbook records. UBB registrations are still being capably processed by the ABRA in Kansas City, Missouri. The software being used by ABRA is the ILR2 system developed and supported by the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) of Australia. ABRI is the world leader in livestock registry software providing registry systems for more than 120 breed associations in 15 countries.
The first Braford association office in the U.S. was the IBA office housed at Adams Ranch. The IBA eventually moved its office into the city of Fort Pierce, Florida. In 1988 the IBA established a satellite office in Nacogdoches, Texas and eventually moved its entire office to Nacogdoches in 1991.
The original ABR work was done by the American Hereford Association in Kansas City, Missouri. The ABA records were processed by the Brangus Association in their office in San Antonio, Texas.
When the UBB was formed in 1994, the office continued to be the Nacogdoches, Texas office previously occupied by the IBA. This office, maintained by the UBB, has recently moved back to the east coast to Northeast Florida after the departure of our long time Executive Director Dr. Rodney Roberson.
Today, the UBB registration work is processed in Kingsville, Texas, by the Small Registry System and the Braford genetic evaluation is handled by Livestock Genetic Services in Woodville, Virginia.