Our story starts pretty much the same as many commercial cattle producers, dad was looking for a bull that would complement our predominantly Hereford commercial cows. He was looking for a red hided breed that would look after white udders on the Hereford cattle and Red Angus was a relatively new breed in Canada. Dad had heard of a gentleman in Southern Alberta, Mr. Gary Conrad, who had imported Red Angus from the United States, he went and looked at the cattle and purchased a yearling bull from Gary. After the first calf crop dad was convinced that Red Angus would be the breed of the future and as there were so few Red Angus cattle in Canada he decided to head South in search of more Red Angus genetics and as they say “The Rest Is History”!!
In 1971, dad, Dave Glaister, Dave Wildman and Earl Watson toured Idaho, Washington and Oregon visiting red angus herds and came home with the foundation for new red angus herds.
In September of 1972, along with other interested red angus enthusiasts, a field day was held at Valley Cattle Company followed by what turned out to be the inaugural meeting of the yet unnamed Canadian Red Angus Promotion Society. This meeting was held at the ranch in Millarville and dad was nominated President.
In the Fall of 1973 the Millarville red angus breeders started the first breeder group operated yearling bull performance test. This test evolved into the Red Angus Breeders of Canada Test which at one time had 32 consignors and held 4 bull sales in Alberta and 1 in Kamloops, British Columbia.
In the Spring of 1975 Dave Glaister, Wayne & John Sibbald, Joe Lukacs and dad bought from Jim Leachman a red gene black bull (Dynamite 561) which led to the formation of the Canadian Dynamite Breeders group. The Dynamite herd was built through purchases such as Larkabell, a red gene carrying half sister to Dynamite and the Grand Champion at Agribition in 1975. While these men had their own herds they each maintained a portion of the Dynamite herd as well. The proceeds of the Dynamite herd, which at times numbered over 25, were used to promote and market the Dynamite herd, their individual herds and Red Angus in general.
In 1982 the Dynamite Breeders had enough bulls to have their own test and sale in High River, Alberta expanding to another sale in Brooks, Alberta in 1987 with Gleddie Ranches.
1993 was a year of change in our lives with the sale of the Millarville property and the purchase of the ranch in Warner. Ironically, it was discovered that Gary Conrad's parents owned this ranch. This move gave me the opportunity to join dad and mom as a full partner. With our move to Warner and the Glaister family having already moved to Waterton the dissolution of the Dynamite Breeders occurred. The Sibbald's took over the High River sale, Glaister's held their own sale at the ranch and we partnered with Lyle Gleddie having our sale in Brooks until 2002. We then sold with Lyle's son-in-laws, Kerry Kurtzweg and Jerry Steeves until 2007. Both Kerry and Jerry have since sold their cattle and are pursuing other interests. It was truly an honor working with these gentleman!
In 2013 we decided to move the sale from Bow Slope Shipping Association in Brooks, Alberta to Perlich Brothers Auction Market in Lethbridge, Alberta. This has brought the sale closer to home and made things simpler for us.
The bull calves have been on test at South Slope Feeders in Rainier for 24 years now. We very much appreciate what the Graham family have done for us over the years. Those gentlemen know the benefit of growing bulls out versus just selling feed.
RANGE RAISED FOR RANGE USE
Our cow herd is run like commercial cattle with very little interference. Cows are brought in from pasture mid February, calved out and returned to pasture as soon as possible (usually mid May). We DO NOT trim feet and we DO NOT creep feed. The calves are allowed to develop on their mother's milk and on grass ONLY!! We sell very few top end cows or heifers allowing us to cull very hard. We background our own heifers targeting 1.5 to 1.75 lbs/day gain, 50% of the heifers are kept for replacements and are bred for 35 days.
We put a lot of bulls on test but only the top make it to the sale so you have the ability to buy the very best of our program. As a side note, for those of you that are interested in feed efficiency, on the 102 bulls on test in 2016 they converted at 6.5 lb feed/1 lb gain being fed 30% ration consisting of 8.6 lbs barley. We have a good selection of bulls to fill your needs . If we can help in any way please just give us a call.
Dad's philosophy was easy calving, good performance and conformation with strong maternal traits. We will strive to maintain this in his absence.
Our sale will be dedicated to my dad and business partner Michael Gustav Rodgers. For those of you that are unaware dad passed away July 21, 2016. In my mind the Red Angus Fraturnity has lost one of its most dedicated enthusiasts. His life was dedicated to the progression of red angus in Canada. After buying his first red angus bull from Gary Conrad in 1969 he felt confident that Red Angus would be the breed of the future and through hard work and promotion dad and my mother Ellamae have developed a very successful program. They started with a small select group of cattle in 1971 and now have a herd of 325 this year; a great accomplishment! Dad was not one to hide his opinions, he was honest and to the point. He raised the type of cattle that he liked and always said he hoped that others could find value in them too. He was never one to chase trends and was not a big proponent of the show ring, but knew its importance in the advancement of the breed. Dad believed that Red Angus were meant to be performance driven cattle without compromising their maternal traits or calving ease, meaning that you could breed them to heifers and get a highly marketable steer or heifer.
Ellamae won Honorary President for the
Alberta Angus Association for 2019
This pic shows Shawn & Ellamae Rodgers
along with Laura Baxter & Blake Morton.