Twin Cedars Cattle Co.
Hello friends, we are Sam and Heather Bray, and our twins are Hadleigh and Caleb. Sam is a Lieutenant over the Special Investigations Unit at Danville City Police Department. Heather is an art teacher at the local middle school. Sam is an Army Airborne Veteran, and Heather was in the United States Air Force. We have a strong love for our country and a deep faith in the Lord.
We can’t believe how far we have come in just a few short years. We started this journey in 2015 when Heather had the strong urge to move back out to the country and close to where she had grown up. At the time our twins were only two years old but we knew that they would soon be needing the wide open space that living in a cul de sac wouldn’t provide.
The farm we fell in love with was a rolling 25 acres in Chatham, Virginia only miles from Heather’s family and equipped with fencing, waterers, several outbuildings and a home that had been built in 1905. We spent a daunting year renovating and expanding our “new” home. The farm was still being leased to a local angus cattle farmer and we weren’t in a hurry to add any livestock at that time. Heather only had plans on adding horses when the time came anyway and never really thought about raising cattle. She had grown up on a horse farm where they raised, trained and showed Tennessee Walking Horses.
October 2016, we started to entertain the idea of adding a horse or two. Heather had heard that there was a stockyard not far away that would sometimes hold horse sales. We set out one warm fall day to the livestock market with no plan in mind. We were just going to check things out. When we got to the stockyards it was clear that they were not hosting a horse sale that day and it was mainly beef cattle with a few goats and sheep. While walking the catwalk and giving the kids the full “livestock sale” experience Sam noticed a pretty tri-colored longhorn cow and said, to Heather’s complete surprise, “I always wanted a longhorn when I was a kid”. We looked a little longer and noticed there was another young red and white longhorn heifer in the pens below so we decided to stay and watch the sale. When the first red and white heifer entered the sale pen the bidding started and to be completely honest, neither of us understood the bidding increments. Sam looked at me and said “what do you think?”
Well it was all down (or up, depending on how you look at it) hill from there. We were the winning bid on that heifer and the pretty tri-colored cow too. We went to pay for our purchases and were surprised at what we had spent. We quickly realized how unprepared we were since we had not planned on actually buying anything. We didn’t have a trailer and weren’t really sure how we would get them back to the farm. We drove the hour back home, making phone calls along the way to ask the favor of anyone we knew that had a trailer. We ended up talking with the man that was leasing the farm and he agreed to let us borrow the trailer. I can only imagine what he said after he hung up the phone that day.
So the next day we hooked up the trailer and headed back up to the stockyard to retrieve our purchases. Our plan was that we would just let the cows out in the back pasture that was adjacent to the other farmers' angus cattle. The fencing was three strands of high tensile and barely waist high. When we opened the trailer the cattle eased off and immediately put their heads down to graze. We looked at each other and I know we both thought, well that was easy enough. But, no sooner than had the thought crossed our minds, things took a turn for the worst. The bigger tri-colored cow walked over to the fence line and jumped, completely clearing the fence like a world champion Hanoverian. The little heifer was not far behind and there they went as we watched in utter surprise. We felt a little relief in the thought that they just wanted to join the angus herd next door. We started to feel complete panic when we realized that they were not slowing up and settling in with the other cows. Those two marauders were on a mission and it was to get as far away from our farm as they possibly could. The search for the two missing cows was a dramatized two weeks long. We made posts on Facebook and posted flyers to which every cattle farmer in the area was shaking their heads. Finally we got a call from someone that had seen the post on Facebook and was friends with the local Amish farmer who lived 10 miles down the road who had found the two cows in his pasture and was able to coax them into a barn to keep them contained. My brother-in-law and a friend went to collect our cows for us while we were working and took them back to a corral area at a farm up the road from us. Meanwhile we feverishly started building our own corral area so we would be able to keep them contained until we could make adjustments to our fences. We were finally able to get them home safe and sound a couple days later.
Those two cows were the start to our love for this beautiful breed, even with the climactic story behind it. We were able to tame those two cows enough where they will now eat out of our hands and the little red and white heifer will let me give her scratches. They became a joy to look at and tend to. We started to entertain the idea of adding a few more so we started to research and learn more about the breed over the next couple years. We made the decision to get serious about this new found passion and start our own Registered Texas Longhorn herd in 2019. The rest is history!
We are still researching and learning everyday about these magnificent creatures and are very committed to producing cattle that have an all around superior quality. We strive to make breeding choices through the use of AI and natural service that will better the breed. We are focused on producing colorful cattle with a strong, correct build, and great mothering ability. We have an affinity for lateral twisting horns, but we also strive to keep up with our fellow breeders focusing on tip to tip horn measurements. Our breeding strategy is to match the best bulls in the breed to our foundation cows and offer the best of those breeding's to you!
We love our Longhorn Family and the many friendships we have made the past few years. We look forward to meeting and talking more with anyone that joins in this passion with us and are excited you have stopped by. We hope that we will be able to help you find the perfect addition to your farm and family or just help you in your journey!