About Harmon Angus
2016 will mark the 100th year that this family has owned and worked this ranch. Each generation has added not only land, but also their own dedicated convictions. Like most ranches in this country we had been raising Herefords for many years. The problems in that breed prompted us to find a more trouble free breed of cattle. At that time most breeds had gone to the little short cattle. In the late 50’s and early 60’s we began working on raising our own bulls. A few neighbors liked the bulls we were producing and began placing orders. Initially we didn’t have intentions of getting into the registered business, but it kind of fell in place. We sold privately until 1976 when we held our first production sale.
From 1968 until 1985 we relied on AI for our main source of herd sires. If a bull was hot and saleable we used him. As a result of that program we lost any resemblance of a cowherd. We now limit the use of outside bulls to one or two a year, and only ten to twenty straws are used. We could see that chasing the fads was a road to nowhere. With that we have gone back to where we started.
Our program at this point is a little different than most in that we evaluate our cattle by what they do not on what they might to do. We live in an area that is consistently dry so we have worked on developing cows that can produce and reproduce in our given environment. In our advertising we use a by-line: Dedicated to the efficient production of Beef. Efficiency in every phase from conception to consumption covers a lot of ground, but we have found that it starts from the cow. We rely heavily on those cows that can get it done year in and year out. The results of stacking those cows on top of one another over a thirty-year period have been amazing. We have perimeters that we adhere to that go beyond the space allowed. A few that speeds up the sorting process: we feed only hay to our replacement heifers, anything that doesn’t settle in the first cycle go into our commercial herd. Before a yearling bull is used he must produce 100 straws of freezable semen in one collection. That is just the start from here it gets tougher.
We maintain around 200 mother cows and annually retain 30 to 40 replacements. About ½ of the cows are run as commercial, they are the cows that didn’t pass. We sell around 50 bull calves in our Annual Production Sale which is held the 1st Friday in December. We have no set program for selling females.
Harmon Angus Ranch
Steve and JoAnn Harmon
Houston and Amy Harmon and Morgan and Makenna
PO Box 25 Lavina, MT 59046