Ole Farms - An Historical Perspective
In 1911, Alfred Olson homesteaded on the yard across from today's Ole Farms central location. His farm consisted of one quarter and he used oxen to work the land. In the early years he grew very good grain crops, but by the 1930's he found his yields dropped off, and he began rotating with sweet clover, thus gaining a dramatic increase in production. His most profitable years were spent raising sweet clover for seed in the 40's. Seed was used as a plow-down crop in the U.S., prior to the use of commercial fertilizers. Alfred expanded his business into dairy, selling cream to support his wife and 4 sons. In 1952, the farm was sold to his son Carl, and his wife, Mary, which by then included 3 quarters. Carl further expanded the farm to 8 quarters by 1974. His mixed farming operation included some beef cattle, grain farming and hogs. He and Mary sold 4 of their quarters of land to Kelly and his wife, Anna in 1975.
In 1979, Kelly and Anna built a 1200 head feedlot, to compliment their hog and grain farm. In the 1980's the main focus of the farm was feedlot, pasturing and custom feeding. In 1992, Ole Farms Ltd. was incorporated, and in 1996, they purchased 100 cows and diversified the farm to include a cow/calf operation. In 1998, Ole Farms launched a program to include registered Angus Cattle, with the bulk of the purchase taking place in 2004, when 300 head of purebred cows and heifers were purchased from Crowfoot Cattle Co.
Currently, Ole Farms still has the feedlot along with 1350 Commercial females exposed, and 700 Registered Black and Red Angus breeding females. Ole Farms now produces cereal, forage and pasture crops. Ole Farms Ltd. is currently operated by Kelly and Anna and their two sons, Graham and Travis, and several full and part-time employees. At our Annual Family Day Sale, you will likely encounter other family members – Travis’s wife, Vanessa, Graham's wife and sons Leslie, Ace, and Carl! Numerous other family and friends combine to make the event a success.
At Ole Farms our motto is "Sharing in the excitement of agriculture". We print this on our business cards and in our Family Day sales catalogue because we believe it! You must believe in your product, and be excited about creating it. We believe that the family farm/ranch provides a great lifestyle, is a wonderful place to raise a family and that our lives are enhanced because we are able to do what we love, and be profitable at the same time.
With profitability as our goal, we believe that in the current economic climate, the aim should be to develop cattle that can be sustained on low cost maintenance rations ie: grazing. We need to have cattle that can graze most of the year, even during our -30 conditions, with 2 feet of snow on the ground. If you try to do this with a cow geared for "maximum" production, you will have less longevity and significantly less fertility. The goal should be "Optimum” production - a cow that fits the ENVIRONMENT. To us these “Optimum” cattle are moderate and hearty, have sufficient back fat to get through our difficult winters while grazing and are capacious as well have the sound traits that are a necessity in a low management operation ie: sound feet, sound udders and mothering ability.
In our breeding program we strongly believe in the power of line breeding and large sire groups. Just like in any commercial program constancy is important and with using similarly bred cattle we find ourselves with very consistent calf crops year in and out.
In our black program we have built our program with 3 pillars, (Rito) (Traveler) (Emulation). These 3 bulls in our opinion are the building blocks from which a trouble free herd is made. If you look threw our herd sire directory you will find that every bull (with the exception of Pinebank) has one of these three sires in their pedigree and most will have it all three times. With this level of inbreeding compounded with the fact that we use our AI bulls in concentrated amounts equates to large numbers of consistent offspring.
Our Red program has been built on Ole’s Oscar and our continued use of black red carrier bulls. We have been using sons and grandsons of the black angus breed such as Rito 707, Ext, Sitz Alliance 6595 and Traveler. We have found an added benefit in both function and performance with these outcross bulls. The same as our black program we try to keep the amount of bulls that we AI with to a minimum resulting in larger more consistent groups for our customers. Bulls such as 5L Traveling Ext, Red YY Norseman 791T, 5L Crossbow, OLEF Alliance 144S, Basin Ext H695, Mogua and Red Ole Smash 115S are all bulls used in our program that are outcross black genetics. We think you will find our red bulls sound, light birth weight, heavily muscled and have refreshing pedigrees.
We first consider ourselves commercial cattlemen that happen to raise some registered cattle and our purebred are not at all pampered. Besides our AI program the purebreds are run the same as our commercial herd. Our Cattle work FOR US. Our management system allows mother nature to do much of our selecting. Large, hard fleshing cows are quickly found when pregnancy checking is done each fall and are eliminated.
Our cows calve in May, in sync with nature and we sell our bulls in February, offering a more mature product that is not pushed like so many yearling bulls are. The bulls spend their first winter on a high roughage diet with a goal of 1.7 lbs per day gain through their first winter. Then these bulls go to grass where they are ultra sounded and evaluated. The bulls that make our cut are sold in our February Family Day Sale. Our bulls at 21 months are how we would want to buy them, mature and ready to do what they were meant to.
At Ole Farms we believe in the excitement of agriculture and believe that the cattle business is a great industry to work in. Our cattle have the ability to give our operation a strong advantage in the very competitive cattle business and they likely will be able to do the same for you. Join us at our Annual bull sale family day Monday or stop in anytime for a tour of our “working stock”.
|Copyright 2006 by Ole Farms||
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