Walking through a pasture of Texas Longhorns could be quite intimidating. Whether straight or curved, the horns are long and threatening, and the animals are huge. But then the owner calls them by their names and scratches their heads, and suddenly they’re not as unapproachable. It’s hard to be afraid of a cow named Nancy Jane, Little John, Get ‘er Done, Deadeye Dick – and the best one – Princess Margaret.
Col. David and Margaret Underwood say that their Longhorns are far more docile than typical beef cattle. Dick said, “They know exactly where the tip of that horn is. I have never had one try to horn me. They’re gentle.”
David and Margaret met many years ago in Miami, Okla. They were victims of puppy love in eighth-grade band – he played the Sousaphone and she played the oboe. David puts it this way:  “We were sweethearts in junior high, then she had poor judgment and moved to Tulsa.”
Over the course of many years, they married different people, had children, but then lost their spouses. Margaret said one day she got a call from David. He told her that she needed to marry him and move to Harmon, Ark. – she wouldn’t regret it.
The way Margaret tells the story, all she had to do was come to David’s house and look out the kitchen window. The view was so beautiful, she was sold. They married in 2003.
Since then, this city girl has learned all about registered Texas Longhorns. Together, the Underwoods run 60 head on 195 acres, 70 of which are in pasture. Two bulls normally service the herd. Crooked Creek runs through the property, plus a spring branch comes down from the north.
David didn’t have any problem deciding that he wanted to spend the rest of his life here in the Ozarks. A decorated Air Force pilot, he’s flown missions in both Vietnam and Desert Storm, as well as all over the world. In his travels, he was exposed to many different areas, but chose to return to his roots. “My grandfather homesteaded about 10 miles from here,” David said.
When it came to deciding how to stock the land, there were no questions in David’s mind. He told his wife, “I want American cattle, I want real Texas Longhorns.”
David and Margaret, members of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, are enthusiastic about their herd. David said, “Because the Longhorn went wild for about a hundred years, it has retained all of its basic natural power. When a calf is born, he’s heat resistant, tick resistant, disease resistant and he’s on his feet and going. Nobody has ever pulled a calf. You get a live calf every time. And if you’re crossing them – we have a neighbor that buys our bulls to cross with Angus – he gets the hybrid vigor. Most of my cattle are worm resistant. We don’t have a pinkeye problem.”
David and Margaret both agree that also, Longhorn meat is quite tasty. David said, “We butchered one this year. It has a much better flavor than corn-fed beef. It doesn’t have all that fat dripping out of it, and it has cholesterol almost as low as fish. If you grass feed like we do, the yellow fat is actually beneficial to your health, as opposed to the white fat in corn-fed beef. It’s got a good texture and a good flavor.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here