August 5, 2009
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Saint James, Missouri, Family Earns National Recognition from American Angus Association®
The Wehmeier family, owners of Wehmeier Angus Farm, Saint James, Mo., are recipients of the Historic Angus Herd Award presented by the American Angus Association. This award honors Angus producers who have maintained a herd of registered Angus for more than 50 years.
The Wehmeiers began raising Angus seedstock in 1959 when Ray E. Wehmeier purchased “the best Angus females from the herd of his father-in-law, Ray E. Thomas, Lecoma, Mo.,” Ray Wehmeier recalls.
This purchase was made at a time when many of Missouri’s rolling hills were populated with herds of other breeds of cattle. And although the decision to raise Angus was initially unpopular among their neighbors, the foresight of Thomas and Wehmeier laid the foundation for five generations of commitment to the Angus breed. Today, Missouri consistently ranks in the top 10 for numbers of Angus cattle registered with the Association.
As the beef industry progressed, so did Wehmeier Angus Farm. The females that were initially purchased from Thomas were moved to the family’s homestead near Saint James. Additional Angus were purchased from Krimendahl Farm, Indianapolis, Ind.; Hubert E. Lay, Houston, Mo., Perry Compton, New Florence, Mo.; and Wallace Angus Ranch, Eufaula, Okla.
Over the years, the Wehmeiers increased their herd to approximately 150 cows. Currently, they market bulls and bred heifers, selling 95% of their cattle through private treaty.
The family-owned business has grown by focusing on quality Angus seedstock and using industry-leading programs and technologies to improve their herd. In 1968, the family integrated performance testing for their animals and began enrolling in the Association’s Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®). They also incorporated artificial insemination as part of their herd improvement strategies. They held their first production sale in 1977 along with Dozier Angus Farm, Bland, Mo., and Schoene Angus, Vienna, Mo.
Today, all generations of the Wehmeier family remain involved with the herd. Ray Wehmeier’s son, Bill and his wife Reta, currently manage the herd and reside at the farm in Saint James, where the family has raised Angus since the initial purchase from Ray’s father-in-law. Ray Wehmeier and his wife Ruth, along with Bill and Reta’s daughter, Rebecca and her three children, Omero, Olivia and Amiah, also reside on the homestead.
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.