| Jan 26, 2016
The August 2015 issue of the Texas Longhorn Journal featured our customer Chase Vasut, of Rockin AF Ranch. His passion for the breed is evident to everyone around him. He has not only had an influence on his family’s interest in Longhorns, but also plenty of others involved with the industry. He recognizes the need of learning from experience breeders while inspiring interest in the next generation who will carry the Texas Longhorn herds forward. Learn more about the program he has developed at Rockin AF Ranch by visiting the website.
Rockin’ Our Way To The Top: Rockin AF Ranch
By Laura Patterson
Chase Vasut and Kallie Maddox.
Although he grew up around cattle in Texas, Chase Vasut thought his plans were set in stone. His career path included moving to Virginia to attend law school after graduating from Charleston State in Stephenville. But something held him back.
“I had been hauling full trailer loads of cattle across the country, and I had started to AI,” Chase says. “I just saw more immediate business with cows.”
He attended AI school at Bovine Elite and began AI’ing for his own cattle. Little by little, the business grew as he reached out to help other breeder friends, and he settled into his new career.
The family business at Rockin AF Ranch started in the 60s with Chase’s great granddad. Even though the breed focus back then was on Charolais and Red Angus, the ranch still had the desire to produce great show calves and quality cattle. However, when a family friend gave the Vasuts two heifers in summer 2011, their attention turned to a different direction.
“By January 2012, our ranch became just Longhorns. That’s the first time we bought at a sale, and that’s when the addiction set in, and I’ve been screwed ever since,” Chase says with a laugh.
It didn’t take much convincing for Chase’s dad, Bert Vasut, since he is a UT graduate. The entire family, including Chase’s parents, Bert and Chana; grandparents, Bubba and Sheron Morrison; brothers, Landri and Colton Vasut; and sister, Lindsey Guillory, all jumped on board to begin their new breeding program with Texas Longhorns. Their focus is simple – breeding the best Texas Longhorns by using the best genetics possible.
“We are pretty excited about where we are headed,” Chase says. “We are using great animals like Drag Iron, Tejas Star, WS Jamakizm, and RM High Hopes, who all have a great production record, so they fit where we want our program to go.”
Chase has focused on a lot of AI work, which he mostly does himself, in order to bring the characteristics he is striving for into his herd of about 50. Obtaining the total package is key.
“Horns are a plus, but I want color and twist with great disposition and conformation.” Fairly new to the breed, Chase jumped right in, becoming involved with shows and sales. He reached out to other breeders and began showing how serious his passion for the breed truly is. In May 2015, Chase was appointed the position of Operations Director for the Texas Longhorn Marketing Alliance. In this position, he will be responsible for
planning and producing TLMA events, supporting marketing and promotion efforts, and assisting with member services.
“I have a lot to learn, but as an audience member of what people have seen, I can put a new twist on things and give it a breeder’s perspective.”
Along with his passion and enthusiasm Chase wants to get more people involved by positively marketing the breed especially to the younger generation.
“Younger breeders and couples coming in can start their program and can see it evolve by seeing it through. But coming into this breed, you have to love the animal. Age is just a number, but if you are serious about the breed, you can learn a lot from the old-timers. You have to build up a good relationship with trust and respect.”
Chase recently made the decision to become a TLMA Founding Member. His hope has been to solidify the point that Rockin AF is for the betterment of the industry.
“It shows we are for unity and a better industry,” he says.
Part of the improvement of the industry means marketing the breed as a viable beef breed as well, according to Chase. “It’s not just a hobby. It’s the most productive breed out there.”
Although he loves breeding Texas Longhorns, Chase loves his fiancé, Kallie Maddox, a little bit more. She even convinced him to breed rabbits.
“Kallie likes rabbits, so we decided to start breeding California Giants.”
Chase and Kallie met through family friends and instantly hit it off. Kallie grew up in Longview, Texas, and has quickly become a significant part of the Vasut family.
“She has fallen in love with the Longhorns,” Chase says. “She is right there with me, fixing fences and palpating cows. We get to spend a lot of time together, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Kallie will be attending dental hygiene school in the fall, but her first priority is making sure her wedding plans are finalized by August 22.
Chase’s outgoing personality has enabled him to find a lot of success in the business. One of his favorite parts of the industry includes meeting new breeders and discussing genetics with everyone. But all of his success with life, his breeding program, his family and health can be attributed to his significant amount of faith.
“If you don’t believe in God, go look at a pasture of Longhorns.”
To find out more about Rockin AF Ranch in Elgin, Texas, visit:
Kallie’s favorite Longhorn of their herd: AF Iron Annie.
Posted with Permission from the Texas Longhorn Journal.