Blair Brothers Angus Ranch Raising cattle that have it all
Published on Jan. 18, 2020
When it comes to genetics, Blair Brothers Angus believes cattle can have it all.
“Many breeders in the cattle business believe they have to give up certain traits in order to gain others. We disagree,” states the Blair Brother Angus website. “Our cattle excel in the pasture, feedlot and on the dinner plate.”
“We have the data to prove calving ease, maternal characteristics, adequate growth, moderate frame size, efficiency, fast gains and the ability to marble extremely well can all be put into one package,” their website continues.
A brief history
The Blair Brothers Angus Ranch got its start when brothers Ed and Rich Blair began running the family ranch, passed down to them by their father, Veldon Blair.
From the beginning, Ed and Rich knew exactly what they wanted in their herd – calving ease traits to efficiently calve more heifers and cattle that could excel in the feedlot.
However, they soon ran into some difficulty finding locally sourced bulls with the genetic traits they were looking for.
“We started artificially inseminating (AI) our heifers in 1988 because we couldn’t find the kind of bulls we wanted,” explains Rich. “Not long before, the Angus breed came out with expected progeny differences (EPDs) so there were some proven bulls identified as calving ease with good maternal and growth traits. They were exactly what we were looking for so we started AI’ing.”
The brothers’ adoption of this reproductive technology resulted in swift success and popularity.
“By the time we had calves that were two generations of AI, we had some neighbors and friends ask if we would save them some bull calves,” Rich says. “That first year, 1993, we sold 13 bulls and have only continued to grow from there.”
In fact, each year, their calf crop increases with the growing demand for their high-quality bulls. Currently, they sell more than 400 bulls a year to breeders across the U.S.
U.S. Premium Beef
In 1998, the Blair brothers had the opportunity to become founding members of U.S. Premium Beef (USPB).
“We bought shares in U.S. Premium Beef in 1998 and have marketed cattle on that grid every year since,” says Rich.
USPB is a marketing company, which provides U.S. beef producers an opportunity to retain ownership of the beef they produce from ranch to retail. The company presents members with a carcass grid and then pays producers a premium for high-quality grading cattle.
Blair Brothers Angus has proactively incorporated high-quality carcass traits into their breeding objectives.
“Carcass traits are important to the consumer and are the few traits the producer actually gets paid for that do not cost them on the ranch,” reads their website. “When killed on a grid, our offspring have achieved 100 percent Choice and 50 percent Prime. These cattle brought back $200 per head over the market price, and we want our customers to achieve the same results.”
Cattle that have it all
Today, Ed and Rich continue to own and operate Blair Brothers Angus alongside Ed’s son, Chad and Rich’s son, Britton.
Throughout the last few decades, they have strived to produce cattle that have it all.
“Calving ease continues to be a priority as well as maintaining increased feedlot and carcass performance,” reads their website. “We strive to produce functional females that work for all kinds of producers and environments.”
“Our goal is to produce possible feeder calves and low maintenance females that work for our customers’ operation and cattle they are proud of incorporating into their herds,” Rich says. “We don’t believe our customers should have to worry about dystocia, bad udders and watch their backs while dealing with a calf.”
Blair Brothers Angus continues to utilize AI technology and select and use AI sires based on their proven EPDs and DNA profiles.
“We continue to use AI sires because they are able to produce the top genetics and power in our offspring while still maintaining soundness on their feet and legs,” says their website.
The website continues, “Every bull for sale in our lot is a direct product of AI, through both its sire and dam. Because of this, the majority of our bulls are stacked five generations deep in proven AI pedigrees. We precisely built a cowherd which allows us to offer bulls in volume and are guaranteed to be the most reliable source of predictable genetics for our customers.”
Please visit blairbrosangus.com for more information.Hannah Bugas is the assistant editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.