Early BueLingo History
by Russ Danielson


The request for an article describing the origin of the BueLingo breed brings a flashback of many memories.  A retrieved file box of early BueLingo history reminds me of not only the genetics utilized in the formation of the breed, but more importantly it reminds me of the inspired dedication demonstrated by the Buelings, Ostrums, Folkerts, Spitzers, Breners, Vernons, Monsons, Dickinsons, and many others in laying the groundwork for the BueLingo Beef Cattle Society.  Minutes of the Society’s organizational meeting held June 3, 1989 at the “Stake Out” in Lisbon, North Dakota recorded 34 excited belted boosters in attendance. Articles of incorporation had been awarded on December 13, 1988, and with 16 memberships, an elected Board of seven Directors, Russ Bueling as the Board Chair and myself as the Secretary/Treasurer, we charged from the start line.

The foundation of the BueLingo breed had actually originated 10-12 years prior to the first Society meeting. Russ Bueling, a respected cattle rancher, grain farmer, civic leader and “idea” man from the Sandhills of South Eastern North Dakota approached me with his “idea” to develop a unique breed of belted cattle that would be a contribution to the beef cattle industry. My faculty position at North Dakota State University working with beef cattle producers and my expertise in livestock evaluation provided the link between the two of us. The initial respect we had for each other continues.

Russ Bueling had proven to be an astute, successful cattleman. The Bueling commercial cattle operation was productive because of careful selection and attention to detail. His reason for attempting a new venture with the belted cattle is easy to remember. His words were, “I am looking forward to retirement, I don’t like golf and I don’t like fishing, I want to develop a unique beef cattle breed that will fill my senior years and be a benefit to the beef cattle industry”. BueLingo breeders should be grateful for his choice.

The first entries in the BueLingo herd book were official following the incorporation of the Society. A group of 14 commercial cows from the Bueling herd were registered as the initial foundation herd. The females were born from 1970 through 1979 and represented strong Shorthorn genetic influence. The future contribution of these females to the breed was limited.  Records indicate only two of the 14 females produced a total of five calves that were registered. Records also show the personality of Russ Bueling evident in the names assigned to the early BueLingo registrations. Unique names like; FX Band Aid Buela, FX Violynn, FX Aerio Cookie, FX Girdled Gertie and FX Damf-I-No reveal the flamboyant spirit of Flying Cross Ranch.

A significant influence on establishing BueLingo breed type resulted from the progeny of belted females acquired by Flying Cross from the Sieker, Spykerboer and Ostrum herds. Many of the acquired females were mated to FX Freightrain  BCS# 40. Freightrain was sired by Davie B of Tillamook and his dam was Vickerman Hill Supreme. Both parents were registered in the Dutch Belted Association. The influence of Freightrain on the breed was very important in establishing the consistent belting pattern as well as the growth and maternal characteristics of his offspring. His first calves were born in the Bueling herd in 1983. Subsequently, 88 Freightrain sons and daughters were registered through the 1987 calving year by the Buelings and 8 additional calves were later registered by the Monsons from Wisconsin. My recollections of Freightrain picture him as a frame size six. He possessed a long body, smooth shoulders, large testicles, a sound foot and a calm, yet independent attitude.

Understanding his genetics compensated for his dairy type muscling and angularity. The strong reproductive attributes for early puberty, minimal calving difficulty, high conception rates, tight udders and large testicles were characteristic for progeny of FX Freightrain.

It became apparent to Russ and myself during a pasture visit at Flying Cross soon after the first Freightrain progeny were born that added thickness and muscling were needed if the breed was to meet industry standards. To obtain the necessary trait, semen from a registered Chianina bull named Yuma (ACA#100643) was acquired. He was thick, moderate framed and mild mannered. One bull (Chilingo of Flying Cross) and two heifers (Yumalingo and Kikanina of Flying Cross) sired by Yuma were subsequently registered. The influence of Freightrain and Yuma set the stage for breed expansion as all the needed production and product traits seemed to be in place.

Unquestionably other breeders in later years have provided positive direction to the BueLingo breed through selective mating and necessary culling practices. However, the opportunity to play a role in the BueLingo Society during its formative years and to witness the dedication of Society members as they established standards and policy made it a privileged experience for all of us.