Mike Grant Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — An event that sounds like it came right out of the wild west happened this weekend just outside of Washington. Hoosier Longhorns annual roundup was Saturday at the ranch on CR 450S. “We had several hundred people in the for the event,” said Tracy Jones with Hoosier Longhorns.
The big draw for the celebration was the ranch’s celebrity cow Delta Lucky Lady. The four-year-old cow is a world record setter with a horn span of 84 inches from tip to tip. “She’s the cow everybody wants and nobody but us has,” says Jones. “She is the one everyone wants to see. She put us on the map.”
Delta Lucky Lady almost wasn’t part of the Hoosier Longhorn operation. The owners put her up for auction at one time, with the contingency that she would sell if she set a record price. “The record for a Longhorn was $170,000, but when the bidding for Delta Lucky Lady stopped at $145,000 we took her off the block,” said Jones. “That made us famous for the biggest sale price that was turned down.”
The Jones’ ranch in southwestern Daviess County is part of a growing trend. “Most people think all of the Longhorns are being raised in Texas, but there are thousands in Indiana,” said Jones. “We just think Delta Lucky Lady is kind of neat because she was born here in the Midwest and is beating all of the big boy operations in Texas.”
The Hoosier Longhorn Ranch got started many years ago in an odd way. “We started raising them for the family because their meat is healthier than normal beef,” explained Jones. “Then we started bringing in some breeding stock and going to shows and doing pretty well, but there is always some stock that doesn’t compete well and that winds up going into the freezer.”
The ranch now has about 60 head. Lucky Delta Lady produces calves that bring prices of $10,000 to $50,000, and she isn’t the only star on the ranch.
Another heifer named Mona Lisa is also building a reputation in her age group and winning awards. “We have won around 20 awards at the various Longhorn stock shows,” said Jones. “There are a lot of Longhorn producers with herds of 16,000 head that aren’t taking in awards like we are.”
The Hoosier Longhorn Ranch, like any other beef operation though, comes down to the production of meat. “People really need to try Longhorn meat,” said Jones. “It’s way healthier than any other beef, lower in fat and cholesterol. When you eat Longhorn you don’t get a lot of fat, you get total meat.”