Brantley Ridge Farm - 229.314.9219 - Marion County, Georgia



The Pineywoods is a landrace breed which means that it was shaped by natural selection of survival of the strongest and smartest in a natural environment.


The Holt Strain is  the only surviving strain of Pineywoods cattle that is native to Georgia. Raised by the Holt family of the Pulaski and Wilcox area of central Georgia, it is a small stocky strain well suited to grassy terrain. Jim Holt is reported to have once said that these were General Oglethorpe’s cows. While there is no evidence to support this, there is evidence to support generations of ownership by the Holt family. There is also no doubt that the Holt cattle are descended from the Spanish cattle held by Georgia’s Spanish missionaries and Native Americans.  During the colonial and formative period these cattle would have roamed throughout much of the state providing food to its westward moving settlers.

As settlers such as the Holts began to assemble their herds and establish their preferences in cattle, distinct characteristics in  the cattle began to develop. Generations of being held as a closed herd by the Holt family ended in the late 20th century. there is evidence that a Barnes bull was introduced by Jim Holt and that the current holts have some percentage of Barnes genetics. Soon afterwards Jim Holt began to disperse his herd. Documented sales were made to ____ ____ ____ and ____.

At BRF we take the position the Holt strains needs to preserved in its current state. Whether or not there is Barnes genetics in today’s pure Holts does not erase the fact that these animals are the purest Holts remaining. They are an important part of Georgia’s history and distinct genetics that are important to the future of Georgia’s agriculture. For purposes of our research and agriculture production process we consider the animals sold by Jim Holt and their descendants with not other strain as pure Holt..

When we made the decision to establish out Holt preservation project we realized that we would  need to take a three-prong approach. These three prongs were genetic consolidation, genetic preservation, and genetic distribution.

Genetic consolidation s was obviously the first step. In other words how many pure Holts remaining, how many percentage Holts that are registered either as Pineywoods or Florida Crackers remain and where are these animals. Our oldest son Bryan Wells conducted a census as part of a 4-H project where he contacted as many growers as he could locate with Pineywoods or Florida Cracker. The results were both informative and alarming. In addition further research has shown that some of the registration were erroneous. One cow was registered as a pure Holt when in fact she is ¾ Holt and ¼ Bayless and her offspring are…


Brantley Ridge Farm



©2010 Brantley Ridge Farm - Jay P. Wells - - 229.314.9219 - Marion County, Georgia