Gustin Land & Cattle is a small family owned registered Angus operation located in Gloucester Virginia.
My interest in cattle developed early in my life during long visits to my grandparents’ farms. One set of grandparents had a dairy farm in eastern Kansas and the other had a small beef operation in eastern Nebraska. In addition to row crops, there were some work horses, hogs, a few sheep and poultry. However the beef cattle always attracted my attention.
During college at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska, I received a no option RSVP free ticket to a place called Viet Nam. Army life appealed to me and that was the beginning of a 22 year career. About two thirds of the way through the Army career, I bought a Hereford bull and kept him on a close friend’s farm in western Kansas. After the Army, I bought land in eastern Virginia and in 1991 bought 3 registered bred Hereford heifers. I experimented with Angus cross Herefords and in the late 90s began the transition to registered Angus. The Angus Association filmed a segment of “I am Angus” out here in 2010. Click here to learn more about what we do and how we got here.
Cattle breeding started as a hobby but quickly morphed into a passion. Building a better bull intrigues me to no end. In his “Up Front” monthly column of the Angus Journal, John Crouch quoted a statement by Alvin Sanders from 1915 “There is no higher form of art than that which deals with the intelligent manipulation of animal life; the modeling of living, breathing creatures in accordance with the will and purpose of a guiding mind. It rises in its boundless possibilities to heights that are fairly God-like…. The world of human endeavor presents no nobler field of action, no realm of thought demanding a higher order or ability.” I agree with this statement 100%. One of my biggest frustrations with a small operation is not being able to try more genetic combinations. With limited opportunity to try multiple sires, I agonize over which bulls to use and make my own projections as to the EPD numbers that the resulting calf will inherit.
I believe in knowing all you can about a cow and using tried and proven bulls. DNA testing seemed like a no brainer to me. Just like using proven sires, I wanted to know everything I could about the cows we are breeding or flushing. AI and DNA testing are some of the biggest enhancements available to a small operation. My philosophy on breeding and incorporating DNA testing into the equation is included in the article at: (New Frontiers, Angus Journal December 2013)
Jerry Gustin of Gustin Land and Cattle, right, and his wife, Karen, accept the Virginia Angus Association Cattlemen/Seedstock Producer of the Year Award from Peter Henderson, Secretary of the Southside Virginia Angus Association.
The use of ET has also been responsible for our genetic advancement. Relationships with Primus Genetics, Edgewood Angus and Miller Farm have netted us with high end calves that have taken their place on the list of mama cows that we AI to build better bulls. Being involved in the bigger BEEF industry helps me maintain perspective on the type cattle we are breeding and what the industry is demanding. I have been active in the Virginia Angus Association, serving as the 2010 president and also in the Virginia Beef Industry Council, serving on the board of directors.
I do everything I can to be the type of bull seller that I would want to buy from!
Family picture from left to right: Lucia Mendoza, Brian Gustin, Ethan Gustin, Leia Gustin, Jerry Gustin, Karen Gustin, Jade Gustin, Julia Mendoza, Scott Gustin, Heather Gustin Mendoza, Anna Mendoza and Sergio Mendoza