Michigan Angus Association Celebrated 100 Years in 2014

The Michigan Angus Association was organized in 1914 with eight charter members. The late Sidney Smith, then with U.L. Clark at Hunters Creek was elected president and Alex Minty of Woodcote was elected secretary-treasurer. Annual membership dues were one dollar.

Very little record of association activities from that date until 1940 were preserved. Sidney Smith was president of the association for many years prior to 1949 when at his request and insistence, he was replaced by C.H. Reynolds. At that time a resolution was incorporated in the bylaws of the association that two consecutive one-year terms was the limit one person could serve as president. Since that date our state association presidents have been:

1950-51 Arthur Witham
1952-53 John Kendall, Clyde
1954 Dr. J. J. Hendren
1955 John Olsen, Milan
1956-57 Robert W. Williams, Rochester
1958 Robert Barger, Holly
1959 Arthur Neilsen, Rockford
1960 Dr. Leo N. Cropsey
1961 Tom Crawford, Ada
1962-63 W. L. Brittain, Williamston
1964-65 James H. Donahue, Okemos
1966 Herman Bakhaus, Plymouth
1967-68 C. Gerald Haarer, Williamston
1969 Fred Fletcher, Bay City
1970 Don Hutzel, Ada
1971 Orville Cook, Britton
1972 James Sullins, Lyons, OH
1973 John P. Rex, Fenton
1974 Steve Simmons, Webberville
1975-76 Fred Good, Charlotte
1977-78 Dr. Ron Nelson, East Lansing
1979-80 Dave Lutchka, Grass Lake
1981-83 Larry Cotton, Howell
1983-84 Nancy Diuble Thelen, Olivet
1984-85 Phil Flemming, Davison
1985-86 Pete Sweeney, Mason
1986-88 Bruce Foster, Berrien Center
1988-89 Fred Good, Charlotte
1989-91 Marvin May, Eaton Rapids
1991-93 Brian Pendleton, Rockford
1993-95 Joe Winn, Columbus
1995-97 Joe Nofzinger, Morenci
1997-99 Dan Vaassen, Ann Arbor
1999-2001 Chuck Preston, Prescott
2001-03 Dr. David Hawkins, Mason
2003-05 Steve Thelen, Saline
2005-06 Phil Tuggle, Ithaca
2006-08 Steve Fitzner, Bellevue
2008-10 Chuck Reid, Eaton Rapids
2010-11 Chuck Preston, Prescott
2011-13 Monte Bordner, Sturgis
2013-15 Merle Boehmer, Williamston
2015 Ken Geuns, Bath

100-years-poster200An important function of our association has been the sponsorship of a field day program and picnic with a breeder volunteering as host. The first such event was an “open house” held at Wildwood Farms in 1941 after an association sale in East Lansing, but was not officially sponsored by the association. The first field day, as we know them today, was held at Raona Farms in 1947 and while not held every year since then, the association has had many summer or early fall field days for the majority of the years. Hosts have been as follows: 1949, Hermel Farms, Milford; 1950, MSU, East Lansing; 1951, Raona Farms, Williamston; 1952, Grand River Stock Farms, Webberville; 1953, Witham Farms, Romeo; 1954, Great Oaks Stock Farm, Rochester; 1955, MSU, East Lansing; 1956, Newtondale Farms, Okemos; 1957, Holiday Farms, Ada; 1958, Spring River Farm, Burr Oak; 1959, MSU, East Lansing; 1960, Knobby Hills Farm, Clyde; 1961, Mahogany Farms, Williamston; 1962, Kitty Kurtis Farms Commercial Ranch, Harrison; 1963, Holiday Farms, Ada; 1964, Spring River Stock Farm, Burr Oak; 1965, Boutell Ranch, West Branch.

A few association sponsored consignment sales were held prior to 1925, but were discontinued with that year until 1940. Since their resumption, they have been an annual event. In 1945 and 1946 both a spring and fall sale were held. Some years the sale has been among the top consignment sales. They started being held at MSU, East Lansing, then the state fairgrounds in Detroit; then back to East Lansing; then to a private sale barn at Williamston, and now back to East Lansing. In 1958 we held the first futurity show and sale. This has been a very successful merchandising event for all breeders. The 1965 futurity was held during the biggest snowstorm of the century. It was the first time in history that Michigan State University closed classes.

In recognition of the Michigan Angus Association’s centennial in 2014, several special activities and programs were held. Michigan Angus trivia was featured at the 2014 annual banquet and attendees were invited to bring along Angus memorabilia to share with everyone at the banquet. The trivia quiz was also available at the Michigan Angus Futurity and was posted on the Michigan Angus website. A large poster listing Michigan’s historic Angus herds as well as breeders who have been involved with Angus cattle for more than 35 years was displayed at the Futurity, the Michigan Cattleman’s Summer Round-up, the Preview Show and the summer field day. The Michigan House of Representatives also proclaimed March 31-April 6, 2014 as Angus Week in the State of Michigan, which coincided with the Michigan Angus Futurity. Several breeders also set up information tables at the fall feeder calf sales held around the state. Our final activity was sponsoring a trip to Certified Angus Beef, headquartered in Wooster, Ohio. Sixteen members of the Michigan Angus Association enjoyed an in-depth and behind the scenes look at Certified Angus Beef (C.A.B.) as they took part in a special visit on October 3rd to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Michigan Angus Association.

CAB is a unique stand-alone subsidiary of the American Angus Association, whose mission is to increase demand for registered Angus cattle through a specification-based, branded beef program to identify consistent, high quality beef with superior taste. CAB is considered the premium beef brand in the world and celebrated its 8th consecutive year of record volumes. During the 2014 fiscal year 880 million pounds of CAB products were sold to consumers throughout the United States and internationally. CAB is currently sold in 46 countries. Approximately $50 million was paid back to cattlemen in grid-based premiums as reported by packers back to CAB.

The CAB Education & Culinary Center, opened in February 2012, was the hub of the visit. It includes industrial kitchens, multiple meeting spaces, dining areas and a meat lab. The center is capable of hosting multiple groups for hands-on learning and promotional events. Participants had a live view of a CAB carcass and perspective of the 10 science based specifications and they also had a tour of the CAB office building which displays an array of signs and posters from past marketing campaigns, original logo designs and photos of the key people behind the conception of CAB. An overview of the consumer research data driving the marketing efforts at CAB was also part of the program.

We also hope to update the “History of Michigan Angus, 1873-1973” in the future. The Michigan Angus Association greatly appreciates the hundreds of breeders and Angus supporters who have given so much to the association over the past 100 years and we look forward to the future.