Birth of the Bonsmara 52 YEARS AGO After   more   than   20   years   of   careful   breeding,   South   Africa   created   a   new   breed   of   cattle,   the   Bonsmara   which,   under   the   anxious   eye   of Professor Jan Bonsma, went through its final critical test for official acceptance in 1958. Below   are   excerpts   from   a   report   on   the   launch   of   this   historic   process   from   the   Farmer's   Weekly   Issue   of   15   May   of   that   year.     After   his   return from   a   study   tour   of   the   US   in   1937,   Professor   Jan   Bonsma   took   the   lead   in   the   search   for   a   new   cattle   breed   better   adapted   than   the   exotic breeds   to   the   extensive   semiarid   and   the   subtropical   regions   of   South   Africa.      The   site   of   the   project,   the   land   on   which   the   Mara   research station   now   stands,   was   chosen   with   the   challenge   of   evolving   a   type   consisting   of   three-eight's   indigenous   blood   and   five-eighths   exotic blood.  The   first   cross-bred   calves   were   born   at   Mara   and   they   formed   part   of   a   concentrated   breeding   program   which   included   extensive   grading experiments carried out on British pedigree bulls and tribal cattle over a long period.  Nearing the end of the project a total of 60 bulls of the fixed new breed were loaned to farmers in different parts of the country. 
Detailed   records   of   the   performance   of   the   bulls   and   that   of   their   proginy   were   kept,   and   the   resulted   herds   and   their   records   will   now   be   studied   in   detail   by   Professor   Bonsma   (after   whom   the Bonsmara was named) and other officials of the department who have been associated with the development of the breed. Dr.   DM   Joubert   "a   co-worker"   who   has   just   completed   a   short   history   of   the   breed,   told   Farmer's   Weekly   that   the   future   of   the   first   modern   South African   breed   of   cattle   was   now   in   the   balance and that the results achieved with the Bonsmara Bulls loaned to the farmers would largely determine whether it merited acknowledgement or not.  In   the   event   it   did   just   that   and   numerically   the   Bonsmara   today   is   the   largest   beef   cattle   breed   in   South Africa,   and   it   is   also   unique   in   that   it   is   only   beef   breed   developed   with   the   exclusive   aid of performance tested records. RECOGNITION:  FARMER'S WEEKLY 17 APRIL 2009,  GEORGE NICHOLAS
Prof. JC Bonsma
Frits:   FIRST BONSMARA BULL  |    15 MAY 1957
Edelheer T341
2009
Dr. A Ehlers BSc. MSc. Dsc ; J H Ehlers Dip Landbou ; J H Ehlers (Jnr) Dip Landbou
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   Birth of the Bonsmara 52 YEARS AGO After   more   than   20   years   of   careful   breeding,   South   Africa   created   a   new   breed   of   cattle,   the Bonsmara   which,   under   the   anxious   eye   of   Professor   Jan   Bonsma,   went   through   its   final   critical test for official acceptance in 1958. Below   are   excerpts   from   a   report   on   the   launch   of   this   historic   process   from   the   Farmer's   Weekly Issue   of   15   May   of   that   year.     After   his   return   from   a   study   tour   of   the   US   in   1937,   Professor   Jan Bonsma   took   the   lead   in   the   search   for   a   new   cattle   breed   better   adapted   than   the   exotic   breeds to   the   extensive   semiarid   and   the   subtropical   regions   of   South Africa.      The   site   of   the   project,   the land   on   which   the   Mara   research   station   now   stands,   was   chosen   with   the   challenge   of   evolving   a type consisting of three-eight's indigenous blood and five-eighths exotic blood.  The   firs t   cross-bred   calves   were   born   a t   Mara   and   they   formed   par t   o f   a   concentrated   breeding program   which   included   extensive   grading   experiments   carried   ou t   on   British   pedigree   bulls   and triba l cattle ove r a long period Nearing   the   end   o f   the   projec t   a   tota l   o f   60   bulls   o f   the   fixed   new   breed   were   loaned   to   farmers   in differen t parts o f the country
Detailed   records   of   the   performance   of   the   bulls   and   that   of   their   proginy   were   kept,   and   the resulted   herds   and   their   records   will   now   be   studied   in   detail   by   Professor   Bonsma   (after   whom the   Bonsmara   was   named)   and   other   officials   of   the   department   who   have   been   associated   with the development of the breed. Dr.   DM   Joubert   "a   co-worker"   who   has   just   completed   a   short   history   of   the   breed,   told   Farmer's Weekly   that   the   future   of   the   first   modern   South   African   breed   of   cattle   was   now   in   the   balance and   that   the   results   achieved   with   the   Bonsmara   Bulls   loaned   to   the   farmers   would   largely determine whether it merited acknowledgement or not.  In   the   event   it   did   just   that   and   numerically   the   Bonsmara   today   is   the   largest   beef   cattle   breed   in South Africa,   and   it   is   also   unique   in   that   it   is   only   beef   breed   developed   with   the   exclusive   aid   of performance tested records. RECOGNITION:  FARMER'S WEEKLY 17 APRIL 2009,  GEORGE NICHOLAS
Frits:   FIRST BONSMARA BULL  |    15 MAY 1957
Prof. JC Bonsma Edelheer T341 2009
Dr. A Ehlers BSc. MSc. Dsc ; J H Ehlers Dip Landbou ; J H Ehlers (Jnr) Dip Landbou