Thank you for visiting the River Ranch web site. My name is Rick Friedrich and my wife is Tracey. The ranch is located at 2381 Friedrich Road, Fredericksburg, Texas. I am proud of my German heritage, but I never learned to speak the language. Both of my great grand parents were fluent, but the only words my brother and I picked up as kids - of course were the words we were not suppose to use. Friedrich Road was named after my grandfather (Lonnie Friedrich) and his brother (Charles Friedrich) whom had neighboring ranches on Rural Route 163 before it was named Friedrich Road. My dad and his brother (along with four sisters) were also raised on the Lonnie Friedrich Ranch located on Friedrich Road. The first and second pieces of property I owned (and still own) were passed down to me from the two original ranches. It was 77.5 acres and it has always had live water on it. In 2001, I added 1,100 acres to it and later sold 519 after developing the Silver Wings Fly-In Ranch. It was right after I finished developing the flying community as my neighbor that I decided on the Flying F brand. The River Ranch name came into use because the Pedernales river runs through the north end of the ranch.
My folks live next to the ranch. My mom and dad help me out a lot in the day to day operations of ranching. They have their own ranching operation as well, but they have always been their to help me when I needed it. Whether it is buying feed, organizing some hired help or just giving advice - there is no end to their help. Some of ya’ll that are in the ranching business already know that “loving what you do” is a huge asset. Longhorn cattle have become our passion. My folks even have their own longhorn herd now.
Our operation is dedicated to raising cattle with the best combination of horn, temperament, genetics, color and conformation. It is not an accident that I listed horn first. After I sold my first trailer load of steers in 2003, the sale results left a lasting impression on me. The steers with 70" horns sold for $1,750 and the steers with 45" horns sold for $350 with all other details being the same. Some of the folks that bought the bigger steers even called me and ask questions about the steers. I could tell from the questions that the steers were not bought by commercial buyers.
After learning that horn is what drives the longhorn market, I have laid out my pastures with cattle pens to be accessed from each pasture. Each set of pens is designed for measuring horns as well as working or loading cattle. From that time forward, if an animal did not have above average horns or project to have them, they were not kept around the ranch for very long.
My calves go to a heifer or bull pasture until they are old enough to tell what kind of horns they will have. When the heifers are two years old, they are A.I.ed or pasture bred to the best available matching bull. When the bulls are two years old, they are put into service or sold. I started with a 60" TTT minimum as a standard for a brood cow or a service bull. I guess that there are exceptions to every standard, but for the most part - the standard is increasing. Currently, a cows horns need to be or project to be 65" TTT before we will put her into the breeding program.
My seven cattle pastures (five deeded & two leased) average over 170 acres each. I try not to have more than fifteen mature cows in a pasture. I use the same “space per animal” concept that I use with my wild deer herd. More space per animal equates to more available feed and better quality. My Dad and I work the cattle ourselves. One of our requirements and the only one we put ahead of the horns - is not to have cattle that are wild and hard to handle. They need to come when they are called and be easily penned for measuring, worming, spraying, weaning or what ever is on the list every month or so. We tag the calves when they are born and the tag number becomes their PH (private herd) number when they are branded for registration.
Our long term goal is to breed and sell quality longhorn cattle. We are members of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association, Texas Longhorn Marketing Alliance, International Texas Longhorn Association, Texas Longhorn Breeders Gulf Coast Association and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Thank you again for visiting our web site. Make plans to come visit the ranch some time and we would be happy to give you a tour.