We come from a family of homesteaders. In the 1920’s my family settled on the edge of the Red Deer river valley in Drumheller, while Sherry’s grandparents pulled up to their new quarter section, in the heart of the Alberta prairies, with nothing more than 12 chickens, 1 milk cow and 3 horses.
Both families farmed the land and ran mixed farms with commercial cattle, which is what Sherry and I started with in the summer of ’91 when we purchased 20 heifers and our first Red Angus Bull named Moses. We always joked that Moses; much like the man he was named after, would lead us to the promise land.
In 1995 we transitioned our herd to pure bred Red Angus. While running our commercial operation, we had noticed that the Angus calved easy, the babies were eager to get up and as they got older, they had no problem steadily gaining weight. The mothers had great disposition and it was common to see a cow, upon just giving birth, turn around and encourage the calf to nurse. This made the choice to raise Red Angus a simple one.
In addition to running Anchor Ranch, we both enjoy our side projects. Sherry has been raising and training horses since she was 13. Her dad Paul ran the Rosemary Roping Club and the two of them team roped competitively for many years. To this day she is still an active member of the rodeo circuit, and in 2012 she place first in the Central Alberta Rodeo Association Finals for barrel racing. Sherry offers private lessons to teach the art of horsemanship. Her lifetime of knowledge and passion for riding is shared one on one with her clients and their horses.
I recently launched a grain and hay hauling service out of Anchor Ranch. I’m a certified driver with all the necessary equipment to take loads within 100-150km radius of our ranch. One of the things that I love the most about hauling feed is being able to travel the countryside and meet with other ranchers and farmers in my community. When I’m not hauling, I love following up with our bull customers. I’ve been over endless prairies, through the Rockies and found myself in a float plane over the Pacific Ocean in pursuit of re-connecting with our buyers. There’s nothing finer than a seeing a bull you raised now a Herd Sire in a field full of cows.
Sherry and I have a couple shared skills and hobbies as well. We both have a keen interest in genetics and obtained A.I certifications from Olds College. We also love to dance, and together we teach western two-step classes in Drumheller.
Our Ranch Anchor Ranch sits on the edge of a coulee. The basement of our house has been cut into a hillside and from our back door we are no more than a couple feet from where our cattle graze.
When we decided to expand our operation into purebreds, we came across this piece of land just outside of Carbon Alberta. Two big coulees; flanked by farmland, rolled for miles. The hills were carved by a running spring water stream which eventually pooled into a small pond. The hills were covered in natural grasslands and above, there were pieces of flat land to grow a crop of hay.
We purchased the land, and set up a barn. Next we built the house, the corrals, and new fencing for our pasture. With hard work we built Anchor Ranch from the ground up. Back then, every board was put in place by hand and on long summer days, you could see our kids out painting the fences till sun down.
I designed the corrals for efficiency and to provide shelter. The configuration of corrals, were set up to make the process of treating, weaning or transporting our cattle easier. Creating a place where our cattle could hide from bad weather was important to us as well. The coulees provided a natural shelter for when they were out to pasture, and when they came in, we had created calf shelters, storm fences, and a warm barn for calving. We recently completed our bull pen in 2012, which also serves as a pre-sale day viewing site for prospective buyers.
We run our cattle on some rough terrain. They’ve become accustom to walking through shale, up and down hillsides, and across prairie creeks, which results in a herd of strong, agile and healthy animals. The mothers are instinctual and the bulls are conditioned.
Anchor Ranch is the place where we run our business, but most importantly it’s our home. We are fortunate to be able to raise our family and our cattle in such a beautiful place.
Our Passion The goals for our purebred operation are simple. Produce solid maternal cattle, offer a premium selection of Red Angus bulls, and maintain a healthy herd of livestock, with excellent disposition.
Only good producers stay in our herd. When selecting our cattle, we look for females with high capacity that are fertile and calve easily. The calves must be vigorous and eager to live and the cows must be able to feed and protect their offspring. Our cow-calf pairs are low maintenance and conditioned to handle all types of weather and terrain. Come spring, the females are ready for breeding and the bulls are excited to get out to the pasture.
In April we host our annual Red Angus Bull Sale. Our bulls have eye appeal and the pedigree to benefit a commercial cattleman’s herd. Over the years we have focused our breeding efforts on producing curve bender, calving ease, and performance plus bulls. We like low birth weight calves that are able to grow and develop naturally into high weaning weight yearlings.
We love working with our animals. True to the Red Angus reputation; our cattle are a pleasure to herd, feed, treat and calve out. During calving season, the task of bringing in a newborn is as simple as loading it in the wheel barrel and walking it to the barn with the cow close behind. You can stroll through our bull pen, and each year without fail, we somehow end up with a couple pets in need of a good back scratch. The ability to get up close with our animals makes it easy for us to take care of them. Injuries and illnesses can be identified quickly and treated, which overall makes for a happy, healthy herd.
We are passionate about Ranching. The simple things like new calves in the spring, a great meal from the garden or having a coffee with a fellow rancher make this life, the best one.