Until the 1970s, agriculture was the overwhelming basis of the economy outside Querétaro, Mexico. Today even though Querétaro’s economic growth is above the national average, agriculture only employs .01% of the municipality’s population. The expansion of industry and the growth of the city has made less land available for agriculture. Experiencing the squeeze of this urban encroachment, the Gonzalez Tellez Giron family of Rancho el Rincon continues to breed quality genetics with hopes of continuing their father’s legacy.
From Spanish descent, Jose (Pepe) Gonzalez Olvera, along with his wife Luz Ma, settled down outside of Querétaro over 70 years ago, moving from Hidalgo, Mexico, and building one of the highest classifying herds in the country. Passing away in November of 2018 at 97 years of age, Pepe will be remembered for his love of good genetics and his forward thinking, necessary for building the impressive family legacy at Rancho El Rincon. Today, sons Eduardo, Ramon, Leopoldo and Javier, along with Carlos’s son Jose Carlos, and 14 employees keep the dream alive at Rancho El Rincon.
The start of the Luchis prefix and the genetic legacy that has followed began in 1969 when Pepe’s late son Carlos encouraged his father to become a member of the Holstein Association of Mexico. This start into the registered purebred business along with some key purchases and some imported cattle has brought them many highlights over the years. Their list of accomplishments includes 23 consecutive years as Premier Breeder at Querétaro National show and being recognized for having over 221 homebred Excellent cows. Six main cow families have brought unbridled success at Rancho El Rincon and are the basis for this strength in breeding. “Luchis” (as it is known of affection towards your spouse and your daughter) was more than a word it was the seal of quality and guarantee that was always held up by Pepe,” said Holstein Mexico Secretary, Hector de la Lanza.
Strength of Cow Families
The only cow scored Excellent eight times in Mexico, Luchis Gitano Yara EX 8E, has maintained unbelievable type and structure while producing over 106,638 kilograms (kgs) lifetime. In the ring, their first Grand Champion, Luchis Ideal Royalta EX 3E, was the first National Champion and was Grand Champion twice in Querétaro, heading up the 28 championship titles won by the farm over the years. With one VG 2yr Old daughter and four sons in AI, Royalto, Royal Mark, Royal Chief and Magico, she continues to be one of the main lines worked with at Rancho El Rincon.
The influential son of Luchis Ideal Florentina EX 5E, Luchis Integrity Florentino EX, had four Excellent sisters including, Sunnyboy Florinda EX 3E. Florinda held a National production record with over 20,000 kgs and was a 4th generation of Excellent homebred breeding with her son Lord Lucas part of the marketing program. Current members of the breeding program include: Luchis Royal Ch Conchita EX and Luchis L Dubue Flora EX 2E, from Florentina’s Juliana daughter, Florenciana EX 2E.
The 4X Champion and 5X All-Mexico nominee, Luchis Ideal Cuca EX 4E, has two Excellent daughters and one Excellent son, Luchis Mark Coco. One of the main bulls that was marketed in the 1980s and 1990s was Luchis Simon Magnum. His most prolific daughter, Luchis S Magnum Valentina EX 2E was 2X Grand Champion at Querétaro and 6X nominated for All-Mexico. Her Elevation son, Valentino and daughter Elevation Valentina both scored Excellent and were influential in the 1990s and through 2000s.
Three Excellent Goal daughters from Luchis Magia BA Roseta EX 7E includes Luchis Goal Rosela EX. Rosela is the dam of the fourth generation Excellent, Luchis Florentino Roseta EX, the dam of two key bulls: Luchis Blitz Mambo and Luchis Bolton Bingo, and daughters: Luchis Blitz Roseta EX-95 and Luchis Bolton Roseta VG-87. Bolton Roseta’s daughter, Luchis FJG Shottle Roseta, is the dam of, Luchis FJ Man O Man Audi, a Man O Man son that combines both type and components.
Some other key families are headed up by the 10X Champion, Luchis M Thunder Juliana EX 4E. Juliana is the dam of two Excellent daughters by Tiger Cat (Julianita 2E) and Counselor (Perla EX) and two Excellent sons Juliano (Magnum) and Malibu (Counselor) have also been part of their marketing program. Luchis Astro Rey Prefidia EX 6E has three Excellent daughters by Kaiser (Adriana 4E), Royal (Perfidia 3E) and Mucuco (Perfidia EX).
In 1992, Don Pepe received the Presidential Medal of Livestock Merit. The Holstein Mexico Association also awarded him with the medal “Alfonso Soto Estrada”, which is given to those who have given a lot to the development of the Holstein breed. “Pepe will always be remembered among his friends for his career and achievements, but above all that his passion for the Holstein cow,” said Hector de la Lanza, Secretary Holstein Mexico.
“My father always said he was a farmer with breeding ambitions not money ambitions,” said Javier. Profiting off a lifetime of genetics from these great cow families have provided the opportunity to surpass all expectations and market their own bulls in Mexico. Leopoldo heads up the division handling all marketing and semen sales. Selling over 30,000 doses of semen each year the AI program continues to grow, with sales from Holstein, Brown Swiss and Girolando (Gyr x Holstein) bulls.
“My father’s philosophy was always to provide the customer with what they wanted which also has meant moving with the times,” says Leopoldo. “The importance of balancing production with type and strong pedigrees remains important. Even though we are not focused on genomics we certainly have shifted a lot of focus onto health traits. The Gyr crosses have also given us the ability to provide longevity along with heat and disease resistant animals.” Benefiting from some of their original imports over 30 years ago, one of their current top Holstein bulls, Luchis Alexander Jaguar, is an Alexander son from Luchis Lucas Lalis who goes back to a cow imported from Canada. “When we first started into the purebreds we were lucky to have the friendship and guidance of Robert and Dick Mayer from Wisconsin, help from John Walker and his family from Canada, as well as Rodolfo Martinez,” said Javier.
Using bulls like McCutchen, Planet, Goldwyn, Bolton and Shottle in the past has afforded them top genetics to work with on both the male and female side. Today the family continues to use 90% of their own Elite bulls that includes 85% young sires. The large majority of their heifers are bred with sexed semen and cleanup bulls are used when necessary on the herd. One of the first to use embryo transfer and IVF in Mexico, the farm averages approximately 30 flushes per year to help accelerate their genetic program. The sale of 60 Holstein, 20 Brown Swiss and 30 Girolando bulls for natural service each year has also provided added income.
Even though the farm stopped classifying in 2012 because of shortage of help around the farm, they continue to register all
animals and continue to concentrate on the strength of pedigrees in their breeding. Javier overseas the overall farm management and is the person who makes the breeding choices. Milk recording and information from Holstein Mexico allows him to make effective breeding and management decisions.
Pepe was also a pioneer of the industry when it came to new innovations and cow management, installing the first rotary parlour (10 cow) in Mexico. Cow management falls on Ramon who is a veterinarian and is responsible for all herd health and reproductive aspects. Eduardo, the oldest of the sons manages all the finances and administration. Jose Carlos works with a nutritionist to balance rations and is in charge of feeding along with all of management of the crops at the farm. Installing a new parlour at the time of our visit Jose Carlos mentions, “we are at a point where we have to decide if we are going to move away from or stay at this location. It is a very difficult decision for all of us because we see this as our legacy and something my grandfather built. Even though he told us to do what was best it is difficult to think about leaving.”
The importance of family was evident in our interview and with the recent loss of their father the discussion of how he built their family legacy was emotional for everyone in the room. “The most important thing our father taught us was the importance of family. His goal was for his family to make history in Mexico and I think he has already accomplished this goal,” said Javier. Ramon adds, “ our father had a vision for us to ranch together as a family. He was a proud man who worked hard and built this farm for his family and we want to continue that legacy.”
• 500 Milking Cows – 440 Holsteins, 40 Brown Swiss, 15 Girolando (Gyr x
• DHI Average 10,150 kgs 3.8%Fat 3.3% Protein
• 221 EX Cows Bred by Rancho El Rincon
• Crops in Summer – 320 Hectares of Corn and 80 Hectares of Forage. In Winter-
320 Oats, 80 Hectares Barley
• Calves fed pasteurized milk for 4 months along with corn, soybean, wheat
and salt and minerals
• Heifers fed corn silage, fresh oats and leftover cow feed
• Cows fed corn, soybeans, brewer’s grain, alfalfa and corn silage
• Sires used Montross, Mogul, (genius) Atwood, Supersire, Emilio, Baily Chen,
Written by Lexi Wright