Breed History

American Brahman, the first beef breed developed in the U.S., has become a common thread among other American breeds developed in the last century.

The American Brahman is an unparalleled success story.


The breed’s influence is felt worldwide. Brahman genetics today are sought after by cattlemen on every continent, bolstering their ability to raise consistent, quality beef cattle that are well suited for any given environment.


Between 1854 and 1926, a nucleus of approximately 266 bulls and 22 females of several Bos indicus types were imported into the U.S. Since that time, the Brahman breed has achieved acceptance for its environmental adaptivity, longevity, mothering ability and efficient beef production.


Bos indicus cattle have been serving man for thousands of years. Throughout their evolution they have endured famine, pests, diseases and extreme temperature fluctuations. Through natural selection, these cattle evolved to survive and thrive where other types have failed. In their expansion, the animals were mated to existing native cattle and improved beef production in every country where they were introduced.


While some 30 defined breeds or types of Bos indicus cattle have been identified in India, only a few of these breeds were selected to develop the American Brahman.


The first import of Indian cattle of any notoriety came in 1854, when sugar and cotton farmer Richard Barrow of St. Francisville, Louisiana, was presented with two bulls by the Government of Great Britain. It was a gift in return for his services teaching cotton and sugar cane production to British officials establishing these crops in the deltas of India.


Their offspring, known as Barrow Grade cattle, would achieve recognition and their fame would soon spread around the globe. Later imports would see cattle brought from Brazil, where large numbers of these Indian cattle could be found.


American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA) was established in 1924. J.W. Sartwelle of Houston, Texas, was the organization’s first recording secretary. He proposed the word “Brahman,” and so it was adopted as the new beef breed’s name.


With strict selection, guided by the Standard of Excellence developed by founding breeders, the American Brahman is recognized for its exceptional hardiness and physical stamina, its ability to profitably produce on marginal lands and live twice as long as normally expected, with unequaled performance in weight per day of age.


International marketing of the American Brahman dates back to the early 1930s when the organization was still in its infancy. Through the efforts of the founding fathers, ABBA staff and members, the American Brahman breed has become one of the most influential in the world.


As consumers shift to lean meat and lower calorie diets, Brahmans are perfectly positioned to fill the demand for a beef product that efficiently converts feed into high-quality beef, while producing a carcass free of excess fat.


With a rich history and heritage as the foundation, American Brahman cattle will continue to adapt and grow into the future, adding value to all breeds and the entire beef industry.