It’s been more than 30 years since Melvin Moorhead started introducing Angus cattle to his herd at his Bar C Ranch near Maple Creek, slowly replacing the Herefords that he had been raising since the 1950s.
Three decades of using Black Angus genetics has proved to be successful for Moorhead who runs the ranching operation with his son, Clay.
“The ran now runs 400 Black Angus. They’re high-producing, low input cows,” said Moorhead. “Angus are the lazy man’s cattle because they calve easy and look after themselves. I just do what a rancher does, I raise cattle.”
The Saskatchewan Angus Association thinks Moorhead is doing something right, too, as he has been honoured with the association’s 2020 Commercial Producer of the Year award and was featured in the Spring, 2021 edition of Angus Edge.
“I found out last summer about the award and normally the award would have been handed out at Agrimation,” said Moorhead, adding that he will receive his award at the Shortgrass Bull Sale taking place this spring.
Moorhead, a fourth generation rancher and son Clay run the Bar C Ranch along the Cypress Hills, near Maple Creek. The ranch was first homesteaded in 1885 by his great-grandfather, who was a Northwest Mounted police officer.
The ranch started with a Hereford herd and Moorhead received his first cow from his father, Lloyd. In 1958, he purchased his first purebred Herefords, a breed he stuck with until the 1980s. It was then that he bought his first Angus cattle at Cowtown Livestock Exchange.
“That’s when I started moving away from the Herefords,” he said.
Of the award, Moorhead said it’s an honour to be recognized by the Saskatchewan Angus Association for his work raising Black Angus cattle, but he doesn’t want to take all the credit.
“The ranch has been in the family a long time and the kids and grandkids help out too. I’m not into the new technology, so they do all that for me.”