Foos Angus returns to the Black Hills Stock Show after a generation out of the limelight
January 28, 2016
After many years away from the show ring, Foos Angus, Nisland, South Dakota, is returning to the Black Hills Stock Show Angus show with a heifer out of the heart of their breeding program.
"We were just kids the last time Dad showed at the Stock Show," says Bryce Foos. His late father, Norman, enjoyed the time spent promoting their cattle and the competition of the show ring. Bryce isn't as keen on that, being more a "behind the scenes" man, but Bryce's wife Meghan is very interested.
"It's been about 15 years since I showed any cattle, so it's a bit different now," says Meghan, "But I look at it as a way to promote our product, so to speak."
"Our focus is on raising good females but people don't get to see our cows unless they come to the place, so this is a good way for us to show our breeding program. The heifer I'm showing is from a bull and cow that we raised with generations of Foos Angus behind her," says Meghan. "By showing one of our heifers, we hope that it will help promote our bulls."
Bryce explains "I wanted to pick a heifer that most represents our cattle. She's of moderate frame, feminine and easy fleshing. She's been pretty nice to work with though we just started fooling with her since she's been weaned."
"I am excited about showing her because it's more than just a show to us. It's about our future and our business, and that makes it way more interesting and important," says Meghan. "She has been fun to work with. I even haltered her the first time without the chute, so that was really good!"
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Foos Angus was built on solid Angus genetics with cows that have proven themselves for generations. Their annual bull sale draws repeat customers who know that the genetics offered will provide good weaning weights plus the quality females needed to do the job on the ranch. Bryce and Meghan have implemented their own ideas into the program since taking it over, and are striving to keep improving the cow herd.
The heifer that is being prepped for the Black Hills Stock Show will fit right into the cowherd when the time comes due to her proven genetics on both sides. Her sire is Foos Complete 360, a grandson of VDAR Really Windy 4097 and our of an NF Supreme 73-3 cow. She is from his first crop of calves. Her female line is a daughter of Foos Right Time 135 that is out of a CH Quantum 3330 daughter.
"Our breeding isn't from the 'hot' or trendy bulls, but bulls that are more representative of our line breeding program," says Bryce. "We are doing more of that now to set the type of our cows."
The type of cow that the Foos Angus Ranch strives to raise must fit their idea that efficiency is a necessity. Their registered cows are run along with the commercial cows and raise their calves under the same conditions. They run on grass through the summer and fall and graze fields and winter pasture until calving starts the end of January. Fertility, maternal ability and efficient growth are key requirements of every cow in the herd and the ability to convert grass to beef is the end goal.
Getting their cattle out in front of the public via the show ring is a new experience for Bryce and Meghan, but with the determined glint in Meghan's eye, the 2016 Black Hills Stock Show won't be the only time you'll see their cattle in the spotlight.
February 11 is the date of their annual bull sale at Belle Fourche Livestock, Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Visitors are always welcome and Bryce and Meghan would be happy to show you the cowherd and the bulls.