M.R. Angus Ranch was established in 1977 at Tie Siding, WY, by Juan and Joni Reyes. The original cow herd consisted of twelve registered Angus cows with Eileenmere bloodlines. Ranching at 8,000+ feet it was quickly realized that finding a cow herd with the right genetics and conformation was of upmost importance to survive at high altitude. After much consideration, the decision was made to expand by purchasing cows from the Fairview Ranch dispersal sale. Most of which were of Canadian breeding. Today’s herd consists of over 1200 head which can be trace back to those original bloodlines.
After considerable losses to Brisket Disease we started working with Colorado State University and Joe Schamel. We started PAP testing in 1979 to minimize our loss. Since that time M.R. Angus Ranch has PAP tested over 7600 head. We have been working with Dr. Tim Holt since 1990.
PAP testing has only been one element of producing the cow herd we have today. Owning and operating a 7,000 head feedlot has taught us that feed efficiency is equally as important to us and our customers. It allows us to measure fleshing ability and feed conversion of our genetics. Custom feeding cattle for producers who use our genetics has proven to us that our bulls are passing on these important qualities. Calves that are out of our bulls have a much higher rate of gain on less feed than what our rations call for. Being able to feed our customers calves provides us with the opportunity to see what our bulls are doing for our customers all across the country. If we made this statement from only feeding our own herd, we could make it look as good as we wanted. Our customers are the ones holding us accountable.
In 2010 we made some big changes to the way we operate here at M.R. Angus. We went from a January calving operation that sold yearling bulls in our annual sale to June calving and offering 19 month old bulls. The changes happened over the course of a two year transition and we haven’t looked back. Now instead of calving through the barn in the peak of winter we send the cows out to summer pastures as soon as grass is sustainable. The cows are out there doing it on their own and working for us. Jason and his crew are in cattle every day weighing and tagging, but they receive no special treatment. When Wyoming starts to remind us, what winter can be made of we bring the pairs back to Wheatland and utilize feed stubble until it runs out. Calves are weaned in January and go back to grass as soon as Mother Nature allows us. June calving has allowed us to grow these bulls out in a way we feel is better for both the stock and the buyers. After weaning the bulls are placed on a 1.5# gain ration and are NOT pushed.
Our bulls are raised and developed in realistic range environment. The bulls summer at Tie Siding, Wyoming typically from June to October. During that time all they see is short mountain grass and mineral. The bulls are pap tested at 8,000’ the last week of September by Dr. Tim Holt. When the bulls get back to Wheatland, they are turned out on field roughage until the feed is gone. Then the bulls go on a 40 Mcal ration that is 78% roughage. The bulls are not pushed. They run in their working clothes and receive no special treatment.
Since the late 80's the Reyes family has worked closely with Keith Russell and his family. The two families have common goals and high expectations for their cow herds. In the future we hope to still be here providing high quality bulls for producers across the region, bulls that can work in any environment. We will keep striving to find the right kind of cattle to use and thus producing bulls that will benefit the commercial cattleman. I suppose the main goal would be that we can remain a family operation that is successful and prosperous. It means a lot to us all to keep this in the Reyes Family. Dad always “jokes” about the old saying, “the first generation builds it, the second generation holds it together, and the third generation pisses it away. If you make me mad, I’ll be the first guy that does all three.” Although we laugh and roll our eyes it really does hit home of what an awesome opportunity we have here and how humbling it is that we hold that future in our hands. Maybe someday we can pass this on to the next generation if the interest is there.
M.R. Angus is a pretty diverse and very labor-intensive operation. Not only do we have the Registered cow herd, but we also operate a 7,000 head (one-time capacity) feedlot where we background calves for many of our bull buyers. The feedlot is composed of mostly of customer heifers to be wintered, bred, and then go home as replacements. We do usually have about 1,500 steers we take in as well to go back to grass in the spring. This is a great opportunity for us, as we are able to see how our genetics are working for buyers. In addition to the feedlot we raise all our feed under 21 pivots in the summer. If it wasn’t for family being here and a small, hardworking crew we wouldn’t be able to do everything we do. Juan and Joni are starting to hand the reins over to their children allowing them more responsibilities and experiences. Son, Jason Reyes is in charge of all the cattle. He manages every aspect from herd health to pasture management. In the summer Jason is full time calving out the herd as well as managing approximately 1,000 yearlings on grass. Between four different summer ranches scattered across Albany, Carbon, and Platte Counties he is always on the move. He is horseback every day and between good dogs, great horses, and lots of drive he gets it done. Australian native, Mick Burr, Juan and Joni’s son in law, is in charge of all the farming, irrigating, mechanicing, and feeding during the winter months. Mick farms about 3,500 acres between corn, hay, small grains, as well as grass for pasture. Between the 21 pivots, the feedlot and all the other moving parts Mick is always busy. He has a two man crew and the three of them put in more hours into this operation than one can imagine. Daughter Jen is also on the place and bounces around between all sectors helping Mick and Jason wherever needed. One day we hope the grandkids step in and want to be part of the operation.
As always, we invite you to stop by and look at the program, see for yourself what the operation is about. It is nice to be recognized by Beef’s Seedstock 100, however making it into the seedstock top 100 isn’t that important to us. What is much more important to us is NOT the number of bulls we sell, but the quality of bulls we sell to our long term friends and buyers. The majority of our customers have been with us for nearly 30 years. It is important to us that we provided the best quality bulls we can in order to help our customers improve and continue to move forward. JUST BECAUSE HE WAS BORN WITH TESTICLES DOESN’T MEAN HE HAS TO KEEP THEM. We calve out between 900-1000 cows on average from year to year, thus retaining approximately ½ of our bull calf crop for the sale.
Juan, Joni, Jason, Jennifer and Mick