Rancher Watt Matthews Casey, DVM, of Shackelford County, Texas, turns 90 on Aug. 11. For 62 of those years, he has been with Casey Beefmasters, which he founded in 1948.
After his many years of experience in the beef business, Casey, along with wife Dosia, whom he married in 1949, can relax nowadays, while their four children carry on the ranching operation. Their son Watt M. Casey Jr. is actively involved in the day-to-day work, continuing to strive for excellence in the purebred Beefmaster cattle.
The elder Casey, who was nicknamed “Palo” by his late uncle Watt Matthews, gives credit to others, especially his brother-in-law Tom Lasater, who founded the Beefmaster breed.
• Casey has spent 62 of his 90 years in Beefmaster business.
• Casey and his family started Beefmaster cattle in Texas.
• Strong demand for the cattle is found in U.S. and abroad.
When Casey graduated from Texas A&M University with his doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1943, he already was in the U.S. Army. So instead of doctoring cows or horses, he found himself in the thick of World War II, much of it as a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne Division.
After more than three years in the Army, Casey returned to civilian life to practice veterinary medicine and work as a cowboy until 1947, when he began his own ranching venture.
In the fall of 1948, Casey began using Lasater Beef-master bulls. Impressed at the Beefmaster’s ability to convert grass to beefy muscle, he soon added Lasater females.
Casey says Lasater bred cattle for six essentials — disposition, fertility, weight, conformation, hardiness and milk production — which cattle need to achieve in the real world, while not being over-pampered.
“You can pamper your cattle too much,” Casey Jr. adds. “Dad always said you need to keep some pressure on your cattle.”
“Since 1977, the breeding season for all females, ages 14 months and older, has been 30 days,” the elder Casey notes. “Those that do not conceive during this breeding season are later exposed to our top herd sires for about 45 days, and offered for sale when safe in calf.”
Beefmasters have performed well for the family at the Albany, Texas, headquarters, and at Laredo, Texas, and Kiowa, Colo.
Customers come from 14 states and many foreign countries. The Caseys even sent Beefmaster cattle to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1974, introducing the first Beefmaster animal to Africa.
Learn more at www.caseybeefmasters.com. Or send e-mail to Casey at email@example.com or Casey Jr. at Watt50@sbcglobal.net.
master breed: Watt M. Casey Jr. and his father, Watt, a veterinarian, regularly inspect the purebred Beefmaster operation at the Albany, Texas, headquarters. The cattle have a docile disposition and are known for their fertility, weight, conformation, hardiness and milk production.
This article published in the July, 2010 edition of THE FARMER-STOCKMAN.
All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.