Bill Travis confesses a rancher's life is finite; he's "just passing through." But he and wife Jane have spent three decades dedicated to a project - a very specific and unique line of cattle - that he hopes will be important for generations to come. At Pine Ridge Ranch near Athens, Texas, a breeding program has slowly but soundly evolved over the past 40 years to generate an ultimate hot-weather cow whose calves will produce preferred carcasses with every bit of efficiency bred into the production system.
"The animal we are producing now did not exist 40 years ago," he says. "Jane and I set out on a 40-year plan back in 1981 and we are in the 40th year of that plan. Our goal was to raise heart-healthy, tender beef out of the most efficient animal for hot areas. We are doing that now."