Stuart Land and Cattle Company
2007 Virginia Commercial Producer of the Year
Livestock Update, March 2007
Dr. Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech
Virginia BCIA is proud to present the 2007 Virginia Outstanding Commercial Producer Award to Stuart Land and Cattle Company, Zan and Linda Stuart, of Rosedale, Virginia. Stuart Land and Cattle encompasses 20,000 acres in Southwest Virginia’s Russell, Tazewell, and Washington counties. The Clifton Farm portion of the operation has been active in cattle production since 1774, making it the oldest continuously operated cattle ranch in the United States. Stuart Land and Cattle has a rich and well-documented history of leadership in the cattle industry since its beginning in 1884.
Currently Stuart Land and Cattle consists of 1600 commercial cows. A three breed rotation of Angus, Simmental, and Gelbvieh are utilized to capture the advantages of heterosis in both the cow herd and calf crop. Both mature cows and heifers are bred AI. Steer calves are backgrounded, and have been sold direct to the same cattle feeder in the Eastern Cornbelt for several years. This arrangement facilitates information sharing on health, performance, and carcass merit and enables Stuart Land and Cattle to make informed selection and management decisions. Genetic management and improvement has served as the foundation at Stuart Land and Cattle, with emphasis on economically relevant traits important to profitability in the large, extensively managed cow-calf operation.
Stuart Land and Cattle has been visionary in its adoption of technology and management practices. Recent innovations include utilization of unique weaning strategies, as well as adoption of improved grazing management strategies for their mountain land. The operation has been a leader in the adoption of nutritional strategies utilizing by-product feeds, such as corn gluten feed for developing heifers. Stuart Land and Cattle’s early adoption of AI in heifers helped establish the use of birth weight EPDs as a management tool. Additionally, their cooperation with Select Sires, the American Gelbvieh Association, and others in young sire testing programs was instrumental in the development of their herd and provided knowledge to the industry.
Conservation has long been a priority for Stuart Land and Cattle. A portion of the farm has been enrolled in The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Forestry Program which will provide for sustainable timber harvesting on the property, while protecting critical habitat for migratory songbirds and threatened aquatic species of the Clinch River.Zan Stuart, manager of Stuart Land and Cattle, has served key leadership roles for the beef industry in Virginia and beyond. Zan has been active in the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association, and provided service to a number of agricultural entities. Zan’s enthusiasm, vision, and experience in the beef cattle industry is appreciated both here in the Commonwealth and across the U.S.