King Ranch

Ranching & Cattle

Like the well-known innovators in breeding and range management techniques of earlier eras, the people of 21st-Century King Ranch continue to aspire to new levels of excellence that are worthy of the birthplace of American ranching.



The ranching business remains a vital component of contemporary King Ranch operations, and is an ongoing, living link with the legendary past of Captain King’s domain. From state-of-the-art scientific breeding programs to Santa Gertrudis and Santa Cruz bull sales to top-flight feedlot operations, the birthplace of American ranching is a vertically integrated cattle enterprise that continues to thrive as a vanguard of the cattle business on the 825,000 acres of its home ranches in South Texas.

The ideas that inspired Richard King to found his ranch continue to inspire the people in King Ranch’s cattle operations to achieve higher degrees of efficiency and excellence, and better respond to the demands of an ever-changing beef cattle market.

For information concerning purchases or sales of:

Stockers and Feeders:

Jeff Jorgenson
P.O. Box 1090
Kingsville, TX 78364-1090
Office: (361) 221-0317
Cell: (361) 219-0434

Registered and Composite Seedstock:

Robert Silguero
P.O. Box 1090
Kingsville, TX 78364-1090

Santa Gertrudis

Over the course of many years, devoting many resources to the project, King Ranch, under the leadership of Robert Kleberg Jr. and Dick Kleberg, were able to develop the Santa Gertrudis breed.


This breed is recognized worldwide as being able to function productively in hot, humid and unfavorable environments. In order to accomplish this goal, King Ranch breeding experts selectively crossed Indian Brahman cattle with British Shorthorns to develop an animal which is recognized as being 5/8ths shorthorn and 3/8ths Brahman. In 1920, many years of experimentation culminated with the birth of Monkey, a deep red bull calf. Monkey became the foundation sire for not just a superior line of cattle, but for an entirely new breed. In 1940, the Santa Gertrudis breed was recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the first beef breed developed in the United States; it was also the first breed developed anywhere in the world in more than a century.

As a result of this early practice of linebreeding, Santa Gertrudis are especially adapted to crossbreeding. When ranchers and breeders use Santa Gertrudis cattle in crossbreeding programs, the resulting crosses yield high levels of hybrid vigor. Cattlemen who have used Santa Gertrudis cross females generally consider them exceptional animals.

Today, the Santa Gertrudis thrives in harsh ranching climates all over the world, and is the most prevalent breed of cattle in Australia. The development of the Santa Gertrudis breed is a testament to the vision and persistence that have characterized King Ranch’s operations from the very beginning.

Santa Cruz


King Ranch has more recently developed a composite breed of cattle that, in addition to withstanding harsh South Texas and semi-tropical climatic conditions, better responds to the changing tastes of many contemporary beef consumers.

Recognizing that many consumers desired a better marbled and tenderer cut of beef, King Ranch, under the leadership of Tio and Scott Kleberg and aided by breeding specialists, over the course of more than a decade of intensive research and development, created a new composite beef animal that reflected this shift in consumer preferences. To produce this new composite, King Ranch breeding specialists first crossed Santa Gertrudis cows with Red Angus and Gelbvieh bulls.

This initial union produced 1/2 Santa Gertrudis and 1/2 Red Angus males and females, as well as 1/2 Santa Gertrudis and 1/2 Gelbvieh males and females. These half bloods were then crossed back on each other to produce a 1/2 Santa Gertrudis, 1/4 Red Angus and 1/4 Gelbvieh composite animal, now known as the Santa Cruz. King Ranch is continually upgrading the cattle through a rigorous selection process.

The early innovations of the first King Ranch breeding specialists continue to inspire their modern-day counterparts on the ranch and the development of the Santa Cruz composite proves that this spirit of innovation continues to thrive at King Ranch.

Cattle Improvements


The inclusion of both Bos indicus (Brahman) traits and Bos taurus (Shorthorn) traits in Santa Gertrudis cattle made them uniquely adaptable to tropical and subtropical climates throughout the world.

To remain viable and competitive in the cattle industry, breeders must continue to make progress in improving animal genetics. Both consumer and industry expectations are changing, so producers must respond by making genetic changes. King Ranch is continuing to emphasize genetic progress in both the Santa Gertrudis and Santa Cruz cattle. For example, King Ranch is currently utilizing EPDs, DNA fingerprinting, embryo transfer, genomic selection criteria and AI to improve the Santa Gertrudis and to measure progress against their peers.

Today, King Ranch is one of the few operations which conducts within herd Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) calculations. These calculations allow King Ranch to continuously upgrade and improve its purebred Santa Gertrudis herd. This herd, comprising approximately 1100 animals, serves as the germ plasm herd for the introduction of new genetics and traits into the commercial Santa Cruz herds. Through the years, King Ranch genetics and breeding specialists have made certain that the changes in the commercial Santa Gertrudis herd continue to allow Santa Gertrudis cattle to thrive and produce offspring in humid climates. Using artificial insemination, embryo transfer, genomic selection, and other state of the art technologies, King Ranch will continue to provide the consumer with a product that is of the highest quality and wholesomeness.

Cattle Feeding

For more information on cattle feeding, contact:

Willie Pakebusch
King Ranch Feedyard
P.O. Box 1090
Kingsville, Texas 78364-1090
Office: (361) 595-5683
Cell: (361) 219-0409

For more information on cattle procurement, partnership arrangements, etc., contact:

Jeff Jorgenson
Stockers and Feeders Area Manager
P.O. Box 1090
Kingsville, TX 78364-1090
Office: (361) 221-0317
Cell: (361) 219-0434