The Bonsmara was bred at the Mara and Messina Research Stations under the guidance of Prof Jan Bonsma, who wanted to develop a cattle breed that was better adapted to South Africa’s subtropical climate.
The first calves were born in 1943. N310 (Frits) was one of the first bulls to play a role in the breed’s early development.
He was followed by N406 (Edelvaar), who was followed by an outstanding son – T342 (Edelheer).
The Agricultural Research Council says the Edelheer line is the breed’s most dominant and sought-after line today.
Animals can only be registered with the Bonsmara Cattle Breeders Society if performance-test results are available.
No competitive showing is allowed and a breeder must register a minimum of 30 animals to qualify as a member.
Bonsmara beef is tender, tasty and succulent, with an even cover of fat.
Source: Beef Cattle Management (ARC-Animal Production Institute, Irene).
This article was originally published in the 27 May 2011 issue of Farmers Weekly.