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J.M. Michels Angus receives national recognition from American Angus Association


J.M. Michels Angus of Stanley, Iowa, recently received the American Angus Association's Historic Herd Award. The award recognizes Association members who have raised Angus seedstock for more than 50 continuous years; the Michels family has been in Angus business for six decades.

Andrew Michels founded the herd in 1947 when he purchased an Angus herd from Canada, notes James M. (J.M.) Michels, herd manager and son of Andrew.

"Bloodlines included Innisfree, Alta and Dalrene," says J.M.

Over the years, the family built up the herd with Angus acquired from Burrell and Gillam Cattle Co. Inc., Waterloo, Iowa; Viewlawn Herds, Mabel, Minn.; Stock Brothers, Oelwein, Iowa; Koster Herd, Marshalltown, Iowa; and Connelly Angus, Valier, Mont.

The family's 62 years in the Angus business has evolved into a history that mirrors important changes in the beef industry. From "selling 'fats' in Chicago," to marketing on the grid, the operation has developed a reputation for quality. More recently, the Michels sold cattle to Dubuque Packing and U.S. Premium Beef, Garden City, Kan.

"The carcasses have all graded high Choice or Prime," says J.M. Michels.

Several champions at local fairs and second high-selling bull at the 2008 Iowa Beef Expo, Des Moines, are just a few other accolades J.M. Michels Angus has received over the years.

Today, J.M. Michels Angus runs 140 head along with managing crops and pastureland for the farm. The operation is still located in Stanley, and the main barn, which has experienced as much history as the herd itself, is currently listed on the Iowa Barn Foundation Register. It will be featured as part of the state's 2009 fall farm tour.

The American Angus Association is the world's largest beef breed organization, providing programs and services to thousands of commercial producers and nearly 33,000 active members nationwide. For more information on the Historic Angus Herd Award or the many programs offered by the Association, please visit www.angus.org or call 816-383-5100.

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