2002 Seedstock Producer Award Nominees
Circle A Ranch
Dave Gust, Sr. & Family
The Circle A Ranch is headquartered in Iberia, Missouri with satellite operations in Stockton, and Huntsville, Missouri and Lineville, Iowa. The ranch headquarters was established 12 years ago and is home to 700 registered Angus and Red Angus females, in addition to 1,800 commercial Angus cows. Circle A's second ranch, near Huntsville, Missouri was acquired eight years ago and is home to approximately 2,000 head of commercial Angus cows and the third location at Stockton, Missouri has another 2,200 head of commercial Angus cows. The fourth ranch in Lineville, Iowa serves as the main heifer development facility for the three other ranches. Approximately 2,100 head of fall and spring replacement heifers are developed and bred at the Lineville facility before being shipped back to the respective cow/calf operation. The Lineville operation has been in the system for nearly four years. Red Angus were added to Circle A's seedstock operation to provide additional customer options. The ranches maintain both fall (September and October) and spring calving herds (December 10th - March 10th). The Dave Gust family started Circle A Ranch with two main goals: 1) Produce the best possible genetics in the beef industry, and 2) Provide service to customers in the best way possible. In their efforts to produce superior genetics, Circle A has contributed over 4,000 carcass records to AHIR from their designed progeny testing programs; established the Angus Sire Alliance; implemented economic selection indexing into their breeding program; constructed a feed efficiency research center; established a DNA repository of approximately 3,500 steer samples; produced seven clonemate families from proven sire and dam cell donors; constructed their own internet-based data collection system that ties together all of the four ranches; computed within-herd EPD's twice each year for the commercial operations; and are continually investigating new technologies that may be implemented into their breeding programs. To better service customers, Circle A has held seedstock female and bull sales for ten and eight years respectively; hosted an annual Customer Appreciation Sale; hosted four feeder-calf sales each year that highlight genetics from their customers; and employ a full-time staff member with commercial marketing responsibilities.
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Click here to visit the Circle A Ranch Web site.
Click the link below to read articles printed in the Angus Journal about Circle A Ranch.
The Quality Code
Predicting Progeny Profitability
Lloyd, Mark, Brett, Joe and Cathy DeBruycker
DeBruycker Charolais has ranched in the Choteau Montana area for 38 years. The ranch consists of approximately 56,000 acres including both owned and private leased land and is home to 1600 purebred spring and fall calving cows, a small herd of commercial cows for evaluating herd sires, approximately 5000 head of stocker calves and a feedlot with a one time capacity of 7500 head. Approximately 13000 acres that includes irrigated barley and dry-land spring wheat are harvested on an annual basis. The entire family is involved to one extent or another in the management decisions of the herd. Mark, Brett, Joe and Cathy are second generation in the Charolais and third generation farmers and ranchers. Breeding bulls and females are marketed private treaty and through auction. This year was the 18th Annual Bull Sale in which 458 Charolais bulls were sold. The DeBruycker's have been collecting performance records for economically important traits since the beginning and it has become part of the daily routine at the ranch. In the most current Charolais Sire Summary 74 bulls carry the DeBruycker prefix and 42 sires are listed with Carcass EPD, ranking number two among Charolais breeders. A small commercial herd and a customer buy-back program allows for the ranch to evaluate the performance of the DeBruycker bred bulls from the perspective of their customers. Active contributors, Lloyd, Mark, Brett, Joe and Cathy have all been directors or officers of the Montana Charolais Association while Lloyd and Mark have been national directors of the American-International Charolais Association.
Phil and Joyce Ellis, Matt and Lisa Ellis, Joe and Lauri Ellis
Ellis Farm originated as R.H. Ellis & Sons in 1948 with the purchase of Polled Hereford females and a bull to replace a commercial cowherd that had been in existence. These cows became the nucleus of a registered venture that has continued for 52 years, in the same location since 1964, just one mile from the original Ellis homestead. Today, it is still a family-owned operation with Phil & Joyce Ellis and sons Matt and Lisa Ellis and Joe and Lauri Ellis. In addition, son-in-law Joe Seward serves as veterinarian, while daughter Cathy assists in PR. The operation includes 1300 acres of row crop corn and soybeans, 200 acres of hay and 400 acres of pasture.
Initially Ellis Farms was strictly a single breed operation. However, with the construction of a feedlot and the need to diversify during the 1980's to a more complete supply of genetics for the commercial cattleman, two additional breeds were added. The first Angus cow was purchased in 1978 and the first Salers genetics were introduced in 1983. The decision of adding Angus genetics was based on the need to supply the commercial cattlemen with outcross genetics for the large proportion of Continental bred cattle that were beginning to influence the herds in our region. Coincidentally, the entire Angus cowherd descends from a single cow, and is line bred to that cow. The decision to add Salers genetics was based on carcass data observed at the Denver Stock Show, the maternal efficiencies of the Salers breed, and the desire to utilize a three-way cross of performance cattle.
The cowherd consists of a spring calving herd of approximately 100 Polled Herefords, 60 Salers and percentage-Salers, and 20 Angus females. Ellis Farms sells 60% of their offspring as seed stock replacements or commercial bulls. The 40 % of cattle not selected for replacements are fed out and merchandised through our feed yard, typically sold on an incentive-based premium grid. With this birth to harvest data collection and merchandising method we are able to collect; birth, weaning, yearling weights frame score, scrotal measurements, ultrasound data at yearling time; and carcass data at harvest.
This is a fifth-generation cattle operation and we plan to leave it in good hands for the next generation. We are constantly on the lookout for innovative ides and technologies to further enhance the lives of our customers, cattle, and the environment.
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Holly Hill Farm
Mount Sidney, VA
Holly Hill Farms has grown from a commercial cow herd initiated in 1953 by Dwight Houff and his family, to the recognized Angus seedstock operation that it is today. In the 1970's Holly Hill Farms consisted of a prominent Polled Hereford herd. Through early adaptation of performance testing, including participation in the VA BCIA Bull Test Program, artificial insemination, and National Sire Evaluation data, the herd built a strong reputation as a source of predictable genetics.
In 1982 the first Angus cattle were added at Holly Hill. Today, the herd consists of 130 registered Angus cows, and an additional 70 commercial cows that are maintained as embryo recipients. Both fall and spring calving seasons are utilized. Although the breeds have changed over the years, the focus of the breeding program at Holly Hill remains constant: designing genetics that work for their commercial customers. Holly Hill strives with intensity to analyze the tools made available by the American Angus Association and/or major bull studs, in order to select proven, high accuracy bulls meeting stringent criteria for economically important traits that will benefit the needs of their customers. Priority selection criteria for sires and their daughters include moderate birth weights, optimum milk, and accelerated growth to year of age. Holly Hill was an early adapter of ultrasound technology to make genetic improvement in carcass merit, as evidenced by the 800+ cattle measured on recent years.
Holly Hill has been a long-time supporter of the Virginia BCIA bull test program. Today, Holly Hill markets genetics through an annual bull sale held the last Monday in November. Approximately 50 bulls sell, mostly fall yearlings with a few spring yearlings. The majority of the spring bulls are marketed through a February open house and by private treaty. The bulls are developed on the farm with comprehensive performance information collected over a 100-day test. For the last six years, Holly Hill has hosted an annual female sale featuring their elite cow families and proven dams.
Click the link below to read an article printed in the Angus Journal about Holly Hill Farms.
Bulls for the Real World.
Isa Cattle Co., Inc.
Laurence, Annette and Laurence M. Lasater
San Angelo, TX
Laurence Matthews Lasater (Laurie), his wife Annette, and son, Laurence, Jr. (Lorenzo) are the management team of Isa Cattle Co., Inc., based in San Angelo, Texas.
The family's roots go deep in the cattle industry, and this plays a paramount role in how they approach their ranching enterprise. The Lasater and the Matthews families began ranching in Texas before The Civil War. Their brand, the L Bar, was first registered in 1893 by Laurie's grandfather Ed C. Lasater. Laurie's father, Tom founded the Beefmaster breed in 1931. Laurie's' book, The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising was first published in 1972, and has enjoyed 10 printings, in both Spanish and English.
Laurie and Annette spent 10 years ranching in Coahuila, Mexico beginning in 1964. They established the Beefmaster breed there, and it is now Mexico's largest breed registry. They are involved in establishing the breed in Brazil today.
The Lasaters moved to Texas in 1972, and today conduct a worldwide genetics business based on quality cattle and customer service. They run a high powered, performance operation in a hostile environment, almost exclusively on leased land. Isa Cattle Co. runs 400 Beefmaster females, 150 Charolais females and 250 sale bulls. All cows calve in a 60-day season, all heifers calve by their second birthday, and every female who fails to breed every 365 days in sold. The operation spans nine locations around Texas and the cattle are owned by three different partnerships. The family hosts an annual bull sale each October and a female sale each January.
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Jan and Frank Lyons and Family
For the past 25 years, Lyons Ranch has been an Angus seedstock enterprise located in the Flint Hills native grassland area of East Central Kansas and headquartered near Manhattan. Our operation expanded to three locations after our daughters graduated from the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University and, together with their husbands, chose to return to ranching. Daughter Debbie, husband Duane Blythe and family ranch southwest of Manhattan near White City. Daughter Amy, husband Karl Langvardt and family ranch south of Manhattan near Alta Vista. Both daughters selected their cows from the nucleus of their 4-H herds. Today, the cows at all operations trace to the original Lyons Ranch foundation females selected in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
When we started our seedstock business we marketed all cattle by private treaty and through state and local sponsored sales such as the Kansas Beef Expo and the Kansas Angus Futurity. We held our first production sale at the ranch in 1984 where we sold 110 females.
We believe strongly in performance testing our bulls. During the 1980's we tested them through the Kansas Bull Test at Beloit. Our bulls continued to grow in demand and, in an effort to offer all customers the same opportunity to purchase bulls, in 1989 we began testing the bulls at the ranch on 100-day feed trial, followed by an auction. In our 2002 production sale we sold 140 bulls and 50 females.
Approximately 500 registered females and commercial ET recipients are maintained at the three ranch locations. Our ET is program under the direction of Dr. Kirk Gray of Cross Country Genetics. We have partnered with cooperator herds in Kansas and Montana since 1995 to raise embryo offspring.
To provide an array of marketing options for our genetics customers, we have feeding and marketing arrangements with several feedyards and alliances. Our marketing partners include Harris Ranch, California; several Kansas feedyards; two local auction markets used for Lyons Ranch genetic influence sales; and many of the major alliances, including U.S. Premium Beef, Decatur Beef Alliance, Angus Gen-Net and Frontier Beef.
Our motto is "Your Source for Superior Genetics." Our mission is to produce predictable Angus genetics to meet the needs of our customers and to satisfy the eating quality demands of the consumer and the beef industry. Our operating principles are to maintain the highest level of integrity in all dealings and interactions with customers and data reporting.
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Noller and Frank Charolais
David E. Noller, Wayne S. and Judy A. Frank
The Noller & Frank Charolais operation is a classic example of the "American Dream" come true. David Noller's Grandfather started farming two miles west of the southeast Iowa town of Sigourney in the early 1890's.
The farm was passed down to his son Glen in 1918 and then on to his son David in 1946, after his stint in the Air Force during WW II. David fed cattle and raised hogs, and the farm grew to over 1500 acres of owned and rented land by 1969. Although David and his wife Jean had raised a son and a daughter, neither of them chose to follow those who had gone before them in the farming and livestock business.
In 1969 David had six employees and by that time had helped three young couples start farming. The Franks were one of those employees and from the beginning showed enthusiasm toward the farm and especially the livestock business.
By 1972 the Nollers and the Franks had formed a farming partnership which has grown to the present 1130 acres of Iowa land which includes approximately 900 acres of crop land and 230 acres of permanent pasture and woods. Wayne and Judy Frank presently own 470 acres of the farm and Noller owns the rest.
Although Noller had kept commercial cows since the early 50's and had added a few Charolais in the mid 60's, the Franks didn't get in until 1975. By 1983 the Noller & Frank Charolais program was started with the purchase of breeding stock from the Garst Company and Marvin Nichols. We had increased the herd to the point that 180 cows were bred for spring calves in 1999 within a 70-day breeding season. In November of 2000 we down sized the herd and will maintain a herd of around 50 head of mother cows in the foreseeable future.
In 1999 Noller and Frank were privileged to be the recipient of the American International Charolais Association "Seedstock Producer of the Year" award and in 2002 was awarded the Iowa Seedstock Producer of the Year by the Iowa Beef Breeds Council.
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Bill and Barb Rishel
North Platte, NE
Rishel Angus is a family-owned purebred Angus operation that has been in business since 1966. Our mission is to produce superior Angus genetics based on economically important traits that provide profit for the customers, create value for all segments of the beef industry, and ensure a satisfying eating experience for the consumer.
We were one of the very first breeders of Angus cattle to make a substantial commitment to identifying and improving carcass merit. Our belief then and now is that the real focus of Rishel Angus should be the directed toward the acceptance of our end product by the consuming public. Because of these efforts, many of the leading sires for carcass merit in the Angus breed now carry the Rishel Angus, B/R prefix. Currently, 27 proven sires and 13 young sires listed in the National Angus Sire Evaluation Summary are Rishel bred bulls.
Rishel Angus has collected and used complete performance records on all cattle since the inception of the herd. These records have allowed us to not only identify many outstanding sires, but also to identify and perpetuate numerous outstanding cow families and individual cows. The Rishel Angus herd consists of 280 Angus cows and 100 Angus heifers. For the last 20 years a female sale has been held the first Saturday in November. Rishel Angus operates on a combination of deeded and leased land with wintering and calving at the headquarters located 10 miles south of North Platte, Nebraska.
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Click here to visit the Rishel Angus Web site.
Click on the links below to read articles printed in the Angus Journal about Rishel Angus.
Believing in the Value of Angus
Running Creek Ranch
Joseph D. Freund
Running Creek Ranch has been in the cow-calf business for the past 31 years near Elizabeth, Colorado; the last 22 years of which as a producer of registered Limousin Seedstock. Due to their commercial ranching foundation, Running Creek Ranch genetics reflect practical, functional, cattle emphasizing reproductive efficiency. Mature cow size must be synergistic with the environment in which the cattle are expected to perform and excel.
Running Creek markets 225-250 registered, performance-tested bulls on an annual basis by private treaty. Repeat commercial clientele are the backbone of the Running Creek Program. Sale bulls will have undergone a stringent culling process at both weaning and yearling age, and lastly at the conclusion of the performance testing as coming 2-year olds.
Running Creek Ranch has grown steadily to become the largest Limousin producer with the North American Limousin Foundation. Running Creek currently has 1,600 mature cows in production, grazed over 27,000 acres of deeded and leased land.
Running Creek is heavily involved in customer assistance, with specific emphasis on management and marketing. Running Creek markets 6500-7000 fed-cattle annually through natural beef programs. Running Creek provides feeding performance and carcass data back to our commercial customers, and evaluate this data jointly to determine future genetic emphasis in an ongoing effort to improve commercial users productivity and profitability.
Running Creek Ranch's commitment to commercial cattlemen is illustrated through our cooperative efforts with Colorado State University and NALF on several research projects, studying the relationships between reproductive, calving ease, growth and carcass traits.
Gary and Gloria Parker
Shamrock Angus is located 25 miles west of Laramie, right at the base of the Snowy Range Mountains. After transplanting from central Montana in 1988 we have been at our present location since 1994. We are strictly a registered Angus Seedstock producer, operating on a 3,000-acre base ranch and lease another 15,000 acres of hay and pasture ground in the Laramie high plains. Our range is dry short prairie grass at 7200 ft to high mountain grass at 8500 ft. This elevation has an extremely harsh environment for cattle and can cause high pulmonary aerial pressure (High Mountain Disease or Dropsy) due to the shortage of oxygen. This has led us into developing a 650 head mother cow unit that is environmentally adapted to this elevation and climate. We have an 80-day calving period starting the 1st of February with the majority of our calves born in the first two cycles. We make two-year-old bulls out of the later bull calves and run all our heifers over to breeding the following spring. This allows us to raise and sell bulls for our high country commercial cattleman.
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Tom Stewart, Jim Stewart, Steve Gunn, and Gilman Stewart
Stewart Angus began in 1955 as a division of family-owned Stewart Seeds, Inc. in order to have cattle utilize the offal from the seed business that began in 1918. Beginning with the entire herd of 35 cows purchased from a reputable breeder, Stewart Angus has grown to 160 registered Angus cows with a three-month calving season, January through March, mainly to have somewhat older bulls to sell. The top-end of the heifer crop is synchronized for replacements while the bull calves are fed to maximize their gain potential to meet the requirements of performance conscious bull customers. A strict herd health program is followed with the herd being certified and accredited free of brucellosis and tuberculosis. Also, two years of Johnes testing has resulted in whole herd negative test. Performance records have been kept since 1962 beginning with the Purdue University performance program and moving to Angus Herd Improvement Records in 1973. Females are merchandised through joint production sales such as the Showcase Sale in Ohio and the Hoosier Heartland Classic. Bulls are advertised under the "Bulls 'R' Us' logo with sixty to seventy of them being merchandised annually, mostly through private treaty, but a few are tested and sold in the Indiana and Kentucky bull testing programs. Approximately 300 acres are used for rotational grazing and forage production. Stewart Angus is striving to produce registered Angus seedstock that will improve the quality and consistency of our nation's beef supply and thereby enhance the world's food resources.
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Triple "M" Farm
William, Terri, And Cameron Mayfield
Triple "M" Farms, located near Brent in Bibb County, Alabama has been in the cattle business for 25 years. The first Simmental calves born there in the fall of 1983, and today, that size has grown to 100 purebred Simmental brood cows. A 75-day calving period is strived for with calves being born from September 15th through the end of November. In the breeding program, A.I. is utilized for one service with leased performance proven clean-up bulls. Embryo transfer is also utilized to advance their Simmental genetics. Triple "M" Farms actively participates in BCIA Tests and Sales, and has in the past, produced some of the top indexing Simmental bulls in the North Alabama, Auburn, and West Central tests. Bulls are also marketed through Sunshine Bull Development Program and by private treaty. Females are marketed in Simmental consignment sales throughout the southeast. Carcass ultrasound is a vital piece of genetic information collected at Triple "M" Farms, with the bulls having been scanned for the past 4 years and the heifers for the past year. Triple "M" is also an active participant in the Total Herd Enrollment (THE) program through the American Simmental Association to collect total performance data for all cattle. Future production goals at Triple "M" Farms are to produce easy fleshing, black Simmental females with good dispositions and to continue to produce bulls with adequate growth, high maternal, and carcass values that will fit into today's marketplace.
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