Origin of breed
In the late 1960s a few cattlemen experimented by combining Simmental with Brahman, these crosses soon evolved into the breed Simbrah. Originally developed in the hot, humid areas of the Gulf Coast, Simbrah have shown they can thrive in the Northwest and Northeast regions of the United States where temperatures may range 115 degrees in the summer to 25 degrees below zero in the winter. The Brahman was chosen for heat and insect tolerance, hardiness and excellent foraging ability, as well as maternal calving ease and longevity, and the Simmental for early sexual maturity, fertility, milking ability, rapid growth and good beef characteristics. These two cattle breeds have been used in cooperation to produce Simbrah. Simbrah offers a rare balance of superior fertility, maternal weaning weight, and lifetime productivity with unequaled environmental adaptability. Purebred Simbrah are defined as 5/8 Simmental and 3/8 Brahman, but the association has also acknowledged mixes of up to 3/4 Simmental and 5/8 Brahman. In today’s beef industry, they are valued for their ability to produce a lean, high quality beef product.
The Simbrah are a moderately framed and are usually red with a bit of white on the face or black with a bit of white on the face in color. They have a slight hump above the neck and have slightly larger ears than European beef breeds.
Simbrah have been developed to be as functional and trouble free as possible. Breeders stress structurally sound underlines, large scrotal size and a well-attached udder with small teats on the cows. They live long, productive lives, with bulls still breeding and cows still bearing past age 10. This quality is complemented by the breed's rapid and efficient growth. Their excellent maternal traits, hybrid vigor, lean high quality beef and longevity are some of the breed’s strengths. Simbrah can thrive in various extreme temperatures and environments, hot or cold. They have inherited the hardiness, easy calving and grazing ability of Brahmans along with the rapid growth, early maturity and superior milk production of the Simmental. Their pigmented eyes, from the Brahman, resist diseases of the eye, including cancers, along with the Simmental's placid and manageable disposition. Simbrah reach puberty early and have high fertility, further boosting herd profitability. They boost productivity while retaining the adaptability traits.
Development in America
The American Simmental Association was founded in 1971 with the start of its first herd book. The Simbrah breed was officially recognized almost two decades from the initial breeding. In 1977, the American Simmental Association incorporated the Simbrah breed into its mission, initially registering 700 animals. The American Simmental Association maintains the Simbrah herdbook.
There is great interest in the Simbrah breed worldwide. These cattle are being developed in many areas where Zebu breeding is common, as well as other areas where Simbrah’s blend of features is desired.
Registry and Improvement Programs
The Simbrah Breed is managed by the American Simmental Association, which is headquartered in Bozeman, MT. The Association provides registrations, transfers, performance data, sales and member services as well as a junior program, shows and scholarships.