Origin of Breed
Around 1990, the idea for a breed to suit our changing climate was in the works. Teddy Gentry, of Fort Payne, Al. was driven to create the idea breed to suit the future. The South Poll, a maternal composite combining four maternal breeds: Angus, Hereford, Senepol, and Barzona, is a moderate framed, slick haired cow designed for hot, humid environments. Gentry crossed a Barzona with a Hereford and then a Senepol with a Red Angus, and then these two offspring were bred resulting in what we know today as the South Poll breed. The idea for the South Poll's origin was based on a desire to combine four maternal Bos Taurus breeds together to form a more heat tolerant animal, that had a gentle disposition and tender carcass qualities.
South Polls are red or red and white in color. South Polls are slick-haired, small-framed cattle that weigh around 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.
South Poll cattle are bred for their fertility and their longevity. They are very heat tolerant, allowing them to finish in different types of climatic environments. South Polls also have a very gentle disposition, which makes them easy to manage in the pasture or in the feedlot. These cattle have excellent carcass traits are have very lean and tender meat. They have a high calving ease and have strong maternal instincts. Their main emphasis placed on high fertility, longevity, and calm disposition. They have great udders and have a high-milking ability. They are also easy fleshing due to their small frame and design. South Polls are bred to excel on a grass based grazing system. Ultrasound and actual carcass data on the South Poll tells us that they are as tender, or more tender, than straight bred English cattle.
Development in America
In 1999, a group of Co-Op breeders came together who were all dedicated to breeding South Polls and created the South Poll Grass Cattle Association. The popularity of South Polls has grown significantly since then, becoming more popular in the Midwestern and Southeastern parts of the U.S.
In addition to their relatively low maintenance costs, South Poll cattle produce excellent tasting beef. Health conscious people love to eat grass-fed beef. In addition to being lower in calories and fat than grain-fed beef, it is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and lower in cholesterol. It is also rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which make it the perfect source of protein. Containing roughly the same amount of fat as a lean piece of chicken, South Poll meat is as nutritious as it is delicious.
Registry and Improvement Programs
South Poll Grass Cattle Association is headquartered in Fort Payne, AL. The Association provides registrations, transfers, performance data, sales and member services.