“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
Imperator from the beginning…
Let’s head back to 1923-1924 to the importation that would set the foundation for what we now know as the American Brahman Breed. Brazilian cattlemen were beginning to recognize the desirable attributes of Indian cattle and began importing them from India to Brazil. The Ruffier importation was among the most significant in shaping the American Brahman breed. The American Brahman Breeders Association’s founding father, J. W. Sartwelle, met Ferdinand Ruffier at a cattle show in Mexico in 1923 and they soon became friends. Ruffier organized an importation of 90 bulls, but had complications shipping because of a quarantine in place for Indian cattle. After the cattle were rerouted through New Orleans to Mexico, J.W. Sartwelle would end up bringing 5 bulls back to Texas that would play a key role with the Sartwelle Brothers Ranch and the American Brahman breed as we know it today. Of these bulls, the most influential were Aristocrata and Imperator. Aristocrata produced the very well-known Manso. While Imperator had a short life span, he produced four sons that had a major impact on the breed: King of Kaplan, Imparistre, Imperator II and Emperor of India.
Imperator to Louisiana
In the early 30’s, Aubrey J. Marceaux, a young Louisiana cattleman from Kaplan, LA made a trip to the Sartwelle Brothers Ranch to purchase bulls for use on the native cattle of south Louisiana. A.J. Marceaux set his eyes on King of Kaplan 403, a direct son of Imperator and it is said that when King of Kaplan got to the chute, the Sartwelle Brothers argued over whether or not sell him. Lucky for us, Mr. Marceaux returned to Kaplan with a son of Imperator, King of Kaplan, and began an exceptional legacy of linebreeding pure Imperator Brahman cattle.
St.Cyr Brahman Farm Breeding Program
Fast forward approximately 50 years and yet another young Louisiana cattleman entered the picture. Larry St.Cyr from Lockport, Louisiana was working as the Beef Cattle Director for the Louisiana Animal Breeders Cooperation. Larry had previously spent several years working at Sugarland Ranch in Clewiston, Fl under Mr. Sid Crochet, so he had a keen eye for Imperator Brahman cattle.
As he was collecting bulls for the Marceaux family, he fell in love with the Marceaux Imperator Brahmans and the successful linebred genetic program A.J. developed. It was then that a lifelong friendship commenced between the St.Cyr and Marceaux families.
In 1982, Larry purchased St.Cyr Marceaux Imperator DGM 954/7 as a foundation herdsire; he was a 9th generation son of the original Imperator imported from Brazil in 1924. He also purchased 10 other Imperator females and the rest was history.
After the initial purchase of Imperator cattle, Larry moved his family from Baton Rouge, LA to Lockport, LA on his homestead to raise cattle and his family in a rural setting. From 1984 to 2008, St.Cyr Brahman Farm was located along the banks of Bayou Lafourche where the cattle roamed on land that was 4 feet below sea level and better known for crawfish farming.
In 2008, following Katrina and the decline of agricultural land use along Bayou LaFourche, Larry and his wife, Marlaine, decided to relocate to La Grange, TX for better land and to be closer to their 2 daughters whom resided in Texas.
Like Mr. A.J. and son, Duffy Marceaux, Larry devoted his life to the breeding and promotion of Imperator Brahman cattle. He focused on plan mating and linebreeding to improve the quality of his herd. Larry believed in performance testing his animals
through Brahman Herd Improvement Records and to him, geneotype was as important as phenotype. He was among the first Brahman breeders to seek out gene testing for carcass quality traits and to have tremendous success. As such, St.Cyr Brahmans have been recognized for being trait leaders in: low birthweights, ribye area, carcass weight, percent retail yield and tenderness. Larry was a true cattleman who believed that Brahman cattle were meant to produce beef and to be productive on grass, not feed. St. Cyr Brahmans are among the most linebred, genetically pure, performance proven American Brahmans that exist today.
Akerman, Joe, American Brahman, Lubbock: Slate Group Printers, 1983. Print.
Brockett, J. The Sartwelle Saga.The Brahman Journal, 114-116, 135-136.