Labraunda cattle ranch, home to the Marshall Daugherty family, is located along Panther Creek in what was the White Springs precinct in Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation. Marshall, a two time recipient of the bronze star medal for valor in combat with a Masters degree from Harvard University, retired from the Navy SEALs and came home in 2002. He returned to where five generations of his forefathers had raised cattle after leaving their Cherokee farm on Sitting Down creek in northwest Georgia. The Daugherty’s readily accepted the role of caretaker for their land. Labraunda’s rolling hills and draws form a natural setting for the diversity of wildlife to share with the cattle. Their ranch is located about 3 miles east of the Verdigris river between Alluwe and Chelsea in Northeastern Oklahoma.
Marshall named their ranch after the ancient Greek site Labraunda, symbolized by a battle axe above a bulls head.
Marshall, his wife Denise, a registered nurse and their son Lance, also a veteran of the Armed Forces and a statistician for the National Agricultural Statistics Service, work on the many facets of a complex ranching operation to bring quality beef to the dinner plate. It takes over 3 years to prepare a Labraunda steer for market. It starts with the Angus cattle breed and the right parental mix of genetic traits for each steer born on the ranch to attain a sufficient level of marbling to make it tender. The right mix of grains, roughage and vitamins fed to each steer during their 24 to 28 month cycle, from calf hood through finishing, ensures their potential for beef tenderness, flavor and color is achieved. The use of ultra sound at about 24 months of age provides a live look at the level of marbling and how much added finishing is required to optimize the marbling. The end result is to have every steer USDA quality graded Choice or Prime. Cherokee fortitude and perseverance motivates the Daugherty’s to overcome the many challenges to bring fine beef to the forks of discerning consumers.
Labraunda purchased a bull of a rare Japanese cattle breed called Wagyu, known for consistently producing prime plus beef and started integrating Wagyu genetics into their Angus herd during the summer of 2017. Research shows 85 percent of Angus/Wagyu crosses attain the USDA quality grade of Prime. They had previously taken their yearling steers to auction but the sale barn was the wrong marketplace for cattle destined to produce prime plus beef. They needed a new approach and early in 2018, initiated a “Farm to Fork” cattle operation that would use their steers to sell to local area casino’s and restaurants. Labraunda became the first Cherokee Nation TERO certified beef producer in January 2019. The Daugherty’s will initially market 15 commercial Angus steers starting in March of 2019. Their first Angus/Wagyu crosses will be ready for marketing in early 2020.
Striving for excellence is the hallmark of Labraunda Ranch. The Daugherty family’s mission is always forward thinking and ever changing to produce sustainable farm to fork prime beef. Try Labraunda beef and enjoy a pleasurable eating experience.
Marshall D. Daugherty
President, Labraunda, LLC