Williams Ranch Company and Brangus cattle have a history of almost 50 years together. The Clayton and Modesta Williams family, has been strong promoters, supporters, believers of Brangus cattle. For many of those years they have been registered Brangus cattle breeders and have always utilized Brangus genetics in their commercial herds. From the beginning, they described their Brangus as the “Good Kinda Cattle™” and that continues to fit today. Meeting the “Good Kinda Cattle™” description is the goal with each herd addition, mating and breeding selection and sale lot offered.
As they near a milestone of 50 years in the cattle industry, The Williams remain committed to the Brangus breed and producing the “Good Kinda Cattle™”--a standard Clayton and Modesta set from the beginning.
As husband and wife, Clayton and Modesta purchased their first Brangus females in 1973 and started a small herd in Fort Stockton, Texas. The breed quickly made a favorable impression on them. Some of the most desirable attributes Brangus bulls added were calving ease, hybrid vigor and extra pounds to their West Texas commercial cow/calf operations.
In 1976, they made a purchase that would put their program on the map and impact the breed greatly. WSR Rocky Joe 650 was purchased in partnership with then Granada Land & Cattle from pioneer breeder, Willow Springs Ranch, Burton, Texas. The bull would become one of the most influential bulls in the breed’s history and propel Williams’ program to prominence.
A decision in 1978 to hire Gary Bruns and his wife, Gwen as managers of the registered operation not only moved the program forward but also became a life-long partnership. Gary continues to serve as cattle manager of the registered program and has spearheaded their “Breeding Up To Brangus” program. He has always been involved in the bull selections for the Williams commercial programs and continues to be the face of the operation.
In the early 1980’s, the Williams Brangus sales saw some of the highest averaging sales of the breed. Their cattle, carrying the Claydesta name, gained acceptance across the southern tier of the country. Their hospitality became a standard for others to follow at their sales and Clayton’s antics and personality always provided entertainment.
The Williams’ bulls quickly gained a favorable reputation with cow-calf operators. Clayton and Gary always selected genetics with the commercial industry in mind. They realized it was key to successful seedstock production. In 1980, Gary began selecting lines of Brahman and Angus genetics to establish their own genetic lines of purebred (5/8 x 3/8) Brangus. With all the growth, a ranch location was added in 1983 to create a more central point to showcase the cattle in Floresville, Texas.
In 1985, the decision was made to disperse the herd. A three-day event was held and 1,027 head of cattle sold for an average price of $4,877. They maintained 300 pregnant recipients and continued to raise registered Brangus cattle on a smaller scale. The Floresville ranch and Brangus herd were sold in its entirety in 1995, but Brangus genetics continued to be used in their commercial herds. Gary stayed on to serve as consultant for the family’s cattle operations.
Fast forward to 2013, the historic Steiner Ranch, in Bastrop, Texas was leased by Williams Ranch Company and Gary and Jeff, Clayton and Modesta’s son, began building the current program. Select purchases were made and in 2018 the JLS Ranch Brangus herd was purchased at private treaty. Just like before, a Breeding Up To Brangus segment was initiated with a powerful set of Angus females out of South Dakota along with top Brahman bloodlines. Today, the herd numbers close to 800 females and all the registered cattle are at the Bastrop location.
Jeff serves as the general manager of all the Williams Ranch Company cattle operations.
As for Clayton, who just turned 88 and Modesta, they continue to love the cattle business. In addition to the registered outfit they have a registered Quarter Horse program near Alpine, Texas that is under Modesta’s and Jeff’s direction, a commercial hay operation in Fort Stockton, three West Texas locations for commercial cattle, plus a large commercial herd in Bastrop that focuses on raising replacement females.
This is the first public offering of cattle since 1995 and the bulls have been picked just like Clayton, Jeff and Gary would select for their operation’s commercial herds. They value calving ease, pounds at weaning, carcass data and disposition. Hybrid vigor is also important and has been one of the driving forces in establishing new genetics lines. Gary believes this is one of the strongest advantages of the breed and has been something he has stressed to offer through their bulls.
In 2016, Clayton and Modesta received the International Brangus Breeders Association Pioneer Award for their work in growing the breed, developing new bloodlines and Clayton’s openness to visiting with new breeders about cattle and the business end of ranching. In addition to the top genetics tied to their name, generosity has also been a mainstay. Clayton and Modesta have always supported the International and Texas Junior Brangus Associations (TJBBA), the Texas Brangus Breeders Association, other regional associations and the International Brangus Auxiliary. This past summer they donated a heifer to benefit the TJBBA.