About Us ~ Lowline History
"Great cowherds are not purchased, they are built!" ~ Unknown
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J & K Livestock, owned by T. Jarrod & Krystal Stenger, is a 200 year old beef cattle operation, located in western Kentucky, that is currently focused on raising Lowline, Tarentaise and composite cattle that excel whether out on pasture or in the show ring. While J & K Livestock raises Lowline and Tarentaise cattle, our goal is raising elite composite cattle. We mostly utilize combination's of the Lowline Angus & Tarentaise breeds. However, our #1 objective is selecting for traits rather than breeds, so we have some influence from other breeds in some of our cattle. Our genetics have been bred to yield lean, tender meat that will grade choice or better, while being finished on forage. This has created a high demand for our composite steers. J&K Livestock is an active member of the American Lowline Registry, they are a founding member of the Eastern Lowline Angus Association & the Stenger's have been longtime members of the American Tarentaise Association, using the name, "Bluegrass Tarentaise".
TJ is a 7th generation Cattleman who has been actively involved with beef cattle his whole life. He initially grew up around small black cattle. However, in the early 1980's, his family began to make the shift from raising mostly traditional English type cattle towards raising the larger Chianina cross cattle. During his years as a youth exhibitor, TJ was a junior member of the American Chianina Association and he showed cattle in 4H & FFA. However, it wasn't long before the Stenger's discovered that bigger wasn't better. The Stenger's began to quickly move back the other direction, purchasing moderate framed Angus, Hereford, black baldy & Tarentaise cattle. They also began using Tarentaise bulls on their very best cows to produce smaller sized replacement heifers. The Stenger's to begin raising purebred & composite Tarentaise cattle in the late 1980's. In the 1990's, TJ ran a cattle management, cattle fitting and cattle marketing service. He displayed Tarentaise cattle at the National Western Stock Show for 6 straight years, representing 5 owners, including his families own Tarentaise cattle. During that time period, his family bred and raised cattle that won a National Champion banner, two Reserve National Champion banners, Grand Champion A.O.B. Heifer at the KY State Fair and Grand Champion 4H Steer at the KY State Fair. Also, they raised, bred, and exhibited 4 class winning steers at the KY State Fair Steer Show, a class winning steer at the Duquion State Fair in Illinois, and they had numerous division winners at the National level & Champions at the county & regional level in Kentucky & in Illinois. Fast forwarding to the fall of 2007, 2 Lowlines that TJ bred and raised, J&K Superman and J&K Hot Senorita, won Grand Champion Percentage Lowline Bull and Reserve Fullblood Lowline Heifer Calf Champion honors, at the 2007 American Royal Lowline Show, in Kansas City, MO. Just a few months later, TJ won Reserve Champion Lowline Herdsman at the 2008 Houston Stock Show. At the 2008 NAILE Lowline Show, TJ exhibited 2 Grand Champion Calf Cow Pairs & the Reserve Grand Champion Fullblood & Percentage Females. Recently, TJ assisted his cousin with her Reserve Grand Champion KY A.O.B. Female at the 2009 KY Beef Expo.
Not only have our cattle won banners at Denver, Kansas City and Louisville, they also have done extremely well in Forage Grazing Tests, as well as, National Feedlot & Carcass Contests. Two years in a row, in the mid 1990's, our pen of steers competed extremely well in the Great Western Beef Expo Feedlot and Carcass Test, held in Sterling, Colorado. At that time, the Great Western Beef Expo was considered to be arguably the most prestigious feedlot & carcass test in the entire United States, with several pens of cattle from around 20-25 different breeds competing in it every year. One of our steers had the 2nd highest overall rate of gain and that same steer also had the highest carcass value at the Great Western Beef Expo. We also had a top 10 pen for feed efficiency, the only carcass to grade prime with a yield grade 2, and an entire pen of our steers graded 100% choice with no yield grades over 3.0! Speaking of carcass quality, several Tarentaise females that TJ's dad sold to Cody Ice, Iceway Farms, in southern Missouri, tested homozygous for tenderness traits on the now popular genestar test. However, that is not all. A Tarentaise bull, that TJ's dad sold Pharo Cattle Company (Bluegrass Energizer), sired the top gaining bull in a Pharo Cattle Company Forage Test, gaining over 3 lbs. per day on summer grass, according a Pharo Sale Catalog! This was no accident, not only had we selected Tarentaise genetics that would excel on grass, for centuries, Tarentaise have grazed the steep mountain slopes of the French Alps where grain can not be grown! In summary, carcass quality, tender meat, feed efficiency, forage conversion & more, are traits that our herd has been known for, for over 2 decades.
Since we have been using genetics that are proven to produce high quality beef and excel on grass, we believe that our genetics are going to be some of the most consistent genetics that you will find anywhere. Why? Because we didn't start off by crossing Lowlines on BIG COWS or cows that weren't strictly selected for generations to excel on grass alone. Our biggest cows were already around 400-600 lbs. smaller than several cows that we've seen or that we've heard about that have been used as foundation stock for other Lowline herds. Our genetics are loaded with the most desirable traits, deriving from animals who for decades, even centuries, have been raised to be small or moderate framed, with the ability to thrive on grass. How many other seedstock producers can honestly say that?
At J&K Livestock, we are not some "fly by night operation." We are a 200+ year old family operation with stacked genetics that are proven to work. We have a lot of combined livestock experience & TJ himself has been selecting & breeding for superior carcass quality & superior forage efficient cattle for over 2 decades! As someone once said, "great cow herds are not purchased, they are built!"
Want to produce highly marbled, grass-fed beef? Want to lower birth weights? Want to increase fertility? Want to reduce frame size or increase stocking rates while obtaining weaning weights ratios around 55-60%, without supplemental feed? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then J & K Livestock's Lowline & Tarentaise Composite genetics will work extremely well for you!
ABOUT LOWLINE ANGUS CATTLE...
Lowline Angus Cattle are 100% pure Angus Cattle. Lowlines originated as the result of several experiments conducted by the Trangie Research Center in Australia. Way back in 1924, the Trangie researchers began with a goal of producing superior Angus cattle that were very efficient, muscular, functional and attractive. With these characteristics in mind, the first Angus seedstock were imported from the Glencarnock Angus Herd in Manitoba, Canada. After only allowing a handful of genetics to enter the herd, in 1956, the Trangie Angus herd was closed to all outside genetics. Then in 1974, the Trangie Angus herd was divided up into 3 groups. The smallest animals in the Trangie Angus herd became known as "Low Lines", and they were permenantly seperated from the rest of the herd. Then in the early 1990's, Australian Lowline Cattle were "officially" recognized as a new beef breed. In 1996, the first Lowline Angus were imported into the United States. At first, a few of the original importers referred to Lowline Angus Cattle as "Loala" cattle, but in 2001, the American Lowline breeders voted to register their Lowline Cattle as "American Lowline Cattle". Lowline Angus breeders see tremendous value in raising small, exetremely feed efficient Lowline cattle. Lowlines are ideal for small acreage beef production and they can even help commercial operators to lower their inputs and help them to begin to rely solely on forage, instead of expensive grain supplementation. Although Lowline Angus are fairly new in this country, Lowline cattle have nearly 80 years of government research and breeding behind them!!For more information about Lowline Angus cattle, please visit our Lowline links page.