National Ranching Heritage Center presents the History of Beef Cattle Breeds

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The following is a news release from the National Ranching Heritage Center:

A new exhibit featuring the history and timeline of the beef cattle industry will open with a public reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 22 at the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) in Lubbock.

“The exhibit emphasizes the timeline of the industry over the past 300 years,” explained exhibit co-curator Julie Hodges, Helen DeVitt Jones Director of Education at the center. Hodges worked with Dr. Ryan Rathmann, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Food Science at Texas Tech University and holder of the John W. and Doris Jones Professorship.

“This exhibit is a unique collection of historic photographs, life-size models of cattle and interactive kiosks that will give our visitors a hands-on experience,” Hodges said. Funding for the exhibit was provided by the CH Foundation, and resources for educators will be available on the center’s website at

The reception will feature a short lecture and discussion led by Rathmann, whose collegiate judging teams have won seven national livestock judging championships in the last eight years and four national meat animal evaluation championships.

“While the culture that surrounds ranching has captured the hearts and minds of people from around the world, ranching at its base has always been about providing food and fiber—especially beef—for a growing population,” Hodges said.

Visitors to the exhibit will discover that Christopher Columbus brought the first cattle—Spanish Andalusian—to the Americas during his second voyage to the Caribbean Islands in 1493. In the Southwest, Spanish Andalusian cattle later became known as Texas Longhorns. Shorthorn cattle were imported to the eastern United States as early as 1783, followed by Herefords in 1817 and Angus in 1873.

Immediately after the cattle breeds exhibit, the International Cultural Center will serve south-of-the- border desserts from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for the opening of a new ICC exhibit entitled “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy.”

The NRHC is located at 3121 Fourth Street adjacent to the Texas Tech campus. The International Cultural Center is located nearby at 601 Indiana Ave. Both receptions are free and open to the public.

(News release from the National Ranching Heritage Center)

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