RAAA names Breeder of the Year
Ludvigson Stock Farms of Cushing, Iowa, and Billings, Mont., received the Breeder of the Year Award from the Red Angus Association of America at the Red Angus National Convention in Durham, N.C., Sept. 15 to 16. Craig Bieber of Leola, S.D., presented the award to the Ludvigson family.
"The Breeder of the Year Award best exemplifies the core values of the RAAA," said Bieber. "There's a lot to be said about what Ludvigsons have done for the industry as well as the Red Angus breed."
The late Lars and Joan Ludvigson founded Ludvigson Stock Farms in the early 1950s in Cushing, Iowa. The original conventional farming operation also included a farrow-to-finish enterprise and a cattle feedlot. In the 1970s they added a commercial cowherd.
The summer of 1992, however, Lars and son Park, took a trip to visit several Red Angus breeders. That trip shaped the future of Ludvigson Stock Farms and they purchased their first Red Angus females that fall.
The next spring, they were immediately impressed with the Red Angus calves' vigor, survivability and pounds at weaning time, as well as the cows' milking ability, body condition scores and their timeliness of breeding back. They went on to add more Red Angus genetics to their operation.
Ludvigsons also recognized it was important to test their bulls in large Red Angus genetic pools. They sold their bulls as a cooperator to Leachman Cattle Co. in Billings, Mont., for seven years, marketing many high-selling bulls as herdsires.
In the fall of 2002, they began testing and marketing their bulls with Neo-Sho Farms of Southwest City, Mo., in order to enhance their strong customer base that was developing in that area.
Today, Park and his wife Darla, and their children Kellen, Keisha and Kari, manage the day-to-day operations in Iowa. Park's brother Ryan and his wife, Jenny, live in Montana where Ryan manages the marketing, breeding and business planning. Ryan is also a past RAAA director. Joan continues to be active through her involvement in state and national committees.
The Ludvigsons host both a spring and fall sale to accommodate the needs of their clientele. Their genetics are recognized throughout the beef industry for their low birthweight, growth, carcass and maternal characteristics and eye appeal.
"The relationships we've made in the Red Angus breed has been a great part of our lives," said Ryan. "We appreciate the help from other breeders that have taught us a lot about the beef industry."