Preservation of the Texas Longhorn
Nestled in the corner of Atascosa County is a little town Pleasanton, TX. We stumbled across a museum, once owned by the Rancho of San Jose Mission. Little did I know my perception of the longhorn will forever be changed.
Introduced to North America from Spain the explorers brought them to us. With the longhorn's long legs and thick hide, they thrived. Using their "longhorns" to regulate their temperature, they were almost indestructible, till man. Surviving drought, going days without water and able to withstand the rough terrain they became plentiful.
By 1865 about 5 to 6 million longhorns resided in Texas. After the Civil War ended the Union Army had used up the supply for beef in the North therefore increasing the demand. The beloved cowboy drove the longhorn herds up North to help encourage the meat-packing industry which encourage meat consumption.
Decreasing in popularity due to their horns not being able to fit in railcars and taking up space in feedlots, population began to decrease.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has gone through great measures to protect and preserve the breed. With a great acknowledgment to Oklahoma, the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge has helped with the repopulation of the breed.
I highly recommend stopping by this quaint little town and seeing this museum for yourself. With this bundle of history, it holds the largest collection of longhorn horns in the world. Which in itself is something to be respected.