I have to tell you, having lived in Texas for two years, I never thought I would find Texas Longhorn cattle in Wisconsin. I was driving one day near Wausau and minding my own business and, incredibly, came upon this Longhorn crew. I was shocked.
I have since learned that beef farmers in the state are taking note of the Longhorn. The Painted Outlaw Ranch in Gresham started in 2009. The owners say they “started raising longhorns for the grass-finished beef pasture-to-plate market.” They say the demand grew quickly.,
Interestingly, the Mast Family, the owners, says they initially got involved with the Longhorn because of their good looks, something akin to painted horses. John Kane of Concord in Jefferson County seems to agree. He has said:
“I like the horns. I like the colors. They’re really neat. They're chick magnets. Sorry, mom.”
Kane aims to keep his herd small. He seems to be in the Longhorn business more for fun than profit.
Texas Longhorns are lean, high in protein, and low in calories, like chicken in that department.
Paul Arentz, writing “Longhorns: not just in Texas” for “driftless now,” seems to have been startled like I was when he saw Longhorns in the state. He has written,
“Over the past year and a half driving through the Driftless in search of stories, only once have I passed a small herd of Texas Longhorn cattle. I thought to myself, huh, and almost did a double take. It turns out there are actually more of these bovine beauties than I had ever thought in our beautiful state.”
Spectrum News 1 reported in 2021 that “estimated the number of Wisconsin longhorn breeders has doubled to about fifty in the past five years.”