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Russell and his wife, Felicia live in Kirbyville, TX on the family home place where Russell grow up. Russell is a fifth generation cattleman and has been working in the cattle industry for over 42 years. He has worked as a ranch manager, herdsman, custom cattle fitter & showman. While running his custom cattle fitting and showing service he produced numerous area and regional Champions, as well as World and National Champions. He works as a Herd Consultant, helping to build several successful breeding programs for a number of ranches over the years. He has an extensive background in bovine care and handling that has yielded successful results. Over the years he has put his background and knowledge to work managing the in-house embryo programs for several top Texas Longhorn herds. Russell enjoys being able to help people achieve their goals and dreams in the Texas Longhorn industry. While his primary experience has been working with Texas Longhorns, he grew up working on his family's cow-calf operation. Working alongside his father he learned how to handle all types of cattle. Russell and Felicia raise and maintain a herd of Longhorn cattle that are of the historic Butler bloodline. For Russell working with cattle is not just a job but a passion that he feels Blessed to be able to do. He also works with a number of top herds on their breeding and marketing programs through his Longhorn Round Up marketing service. Russell travels the country judging numerous Texas Longhorn shows each year including several of the major shows in the Longhorn industry. He is an approved ITLA and TLBAA judge. He has served as the Vice President and Secretary of ITLA (International Texas Longhorn Association) and served several years on the Breed Advisory Committee of TLBAA (Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America). In October 2022 Russell was elected President of the International Texas Longhorn Association.
A large number of the animals that we offer on this site will be straight Butler breeding. That is why we are providing you with additional information on the Butler line of Texas Longhorns.
The Milby Butler bloodline (also refereed to as Families) of Texas Longhorns was formed from cattle in the eastern to middle Gulf Coast region. In 1923 Milby decided to keep his Texas Longhorns pure and away from other breeds he was keeping. His original herds included duns from the Gulf Coast and white cattle with colored points from East Texas.
He occasional added good animals when he could find them. In 1931 he added a white cow from Phelps. A few of his cattle came from Esteban Garcia in Encino, Texas. One of these was Milby‘s excellent cow, Miss John Wayne, who appeared in the movie “The Alamo” staring John Wayne. The story goes that Mr. Wayne really took a liking to the twisty horn cow while filming the movie and tried to buyer her. Milby wouldn’t sell her but it is how she got her name of Miss John Wayne. A Peeler (another bloodline) bull was used for a very short while, although was killed before siring any but a very few calves.
Butler had up to 600 head of Texas Longhorns, and spent a great deal of time studying them and pairing them up for specific matings. A large portion of his herd was sold and slaughtered at the time of his death. Those genetics were lost forever but a few of Mildy’s cattle found their way into the hands of folks that would work to preserve the Bulter Longhorn genetics. The Butler line is an unique East Gulf Coast line of cattle with few bridges to the other bloodlines. Butler cattle have been the foundation of many herds. Some of these herds continue to breed the line as a pure line, while others have taken advantage of crossing the Butler line with others to generate some outstanding cattle. Milby Butler liked very long horns, and this trait persists to this day in his cattle.
The Butler Museum in Milby’s home town houses a large collection of skulls, shoulder mounts and much more related to the Butler Texas Longhorn Legacy. For the past 22 years a group of Longhorn breeders dedicated to preserving the Butler line of cattle have come together for the Annual Butler Breeders Invitational Sale featuring only cattle with a 100% Butler pedigree. Additional information can be found in the Longhorn Educational Center tab.
Texas Longhorn cattle come in hundreds of shapes, sizes, colors and horn configurations. These unique nature designed features have all been preserved by seven groups of people with seven different origins and seven different genetic bases. All seven are pure Longhorn, yet specific traits ear mark each family with a special stamp. The true connoisseurs of the breed can spot these characteristics and point with recognition concerning their virtues.
At the beginning of a Longhorn registry in 1964, a 100% visual inspection program was implemented to assure purity and type. Registered Longhorns today trace to a full ancestry verified for purity by this careful visual inspection.
The “Seven Families" were for the most part unrelated. They were named after the pioneer breeders that worked to preserve the Longhorn. They are Phillips, Wright, Butler, Marks, Wichita Refuge, Yates and Peeler. There are said to be other unrelated families, but the numbers are very small and no other groups with origins this old are commonly referred to in Texas Longhorn circles. All “Seven Families" originated in the early 1930's and before. All seven were separate from other herds with minimal exchanges of breeding stock prior to 1932. Each of the seven families introduced a blend of new genetics to avoid inbreeding after their herds matured.
These pioneer breeders paved the way for the Longhorn Producers of today. If it were not for their dedication to the breed we would not be where we are today. Today's Longhorn cattle for the most part can be traced back to one or more of these original Seven Families. We owe a large debit of gratitude to these six men and the government employees of the Wildlife Refuge that worked so hard to keep the Longhorn from being bred out of existence. More information can be found in the Longhorn Educational Center tab.