Montana Shorthorn producer named Builder of the Breed
July 6, 2009
Shorthorn Country and the American Shorthorn Association (ASA) in the newly released July 2009 Herd Reference Issue of Shorthorn Country has named Ralph Larson of Y Lazy Y Shorthorns, Corvallis, MT, a 2009 Builder of the Breed. The Builder of the Breed award was begun in 1945 and each year honors those individuals, farms/ranches or groups which have made a significant impact on the Shorthorn breed. This year’s other honoree is John R. Hagie of Cyclone Trace Cattle Co., Clarion, IA.
When cattlemen hear Ralph Larson raises purebred Shorthorn cattle he discovers they often remember their grandfather, dad, uncle or neighbor often used Shorthorn genetics, too. Their commonly expressed sentiment is usually, “They were the best cows they ever had.”
The goal of Y Lazy Y Shorthorns is to raise bulls and replacement heifers which will benefit the commercially oriented cattle operations across North America, Larson believes he is producing genetics which 50 years from now will cause future cattlemen to reflect that “these Shorthorns and crossbred cattle have sure been good to us.”
Larson grew up on a commercial cattle and sheep operation which included Hereford, black baldy and Shorthorn and Shorthorn cross cattle.
“These maternally Shorthorn influenced calves consistently weaned off their dams 40-60 pounds heavier than their contemporaries. Those high capacity, easy fleshing cows demonstrated the ability to thrive under adverse conditions, maintain body condition and rebreed on time year after year,” Larson stated in his award application.
In the mid 1990s when Larson decided to enter into seedstock production, the Shorthorn breed was the logical choice for him. Larson’s dedication to reporting complete and accurate data and using ultrasound, performance records and sound selection practices has earned him the ASAWHR Gold Program status.
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In October 2008, Y Lazy Y Shorthorns exhibited the Supreme Champion Over All Breeds in the Pen of Range Heifers at the Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) in Billings, MT. This is a ‘range ready’ show where cattle are exhibited in their working clothes straight off pasture with no grooming, washing or fitting allowed. A panel of three judges with strong commercial ties judged the event. Over 30 pens of various breeds from some of the country’s top herds competed for this honor.
Y Lazy Y Shorthorns consists of Ralph; his wife, Nancy Jane; their twin children, Miriam and Thor; and Ralph’s brother, Daniel D. Larson. They are enthusiastic supporters of the Montana Shorthorn Association and the American Junior Shorthorn Association and a dedicated participant, supporter, and avid promoter of the ASA and the Shorthorn breed.