Brad Z Ranch earns top ten Iowa Angus breeder acknowledgment
GUTHRIE CENTER – Jim Bradford doesn’t just raise Angus cattle.
He has made raising an Angus cattle herd a profession and has taken his operation beyond the pasture out in to the world, pursuing other aspects of the beef industry from serving on boards, judging and living up to environmental standards.
Bradford and his wife, Mary Bradford, own and operate Brad Z Ranch near Guthrie Center along with their son-in-law, Dale Foster; grandson Landon Foster and help from their hired man, Dalton Dorsett.
Recently, Brad Z Ranch was named one of the top ten breeders to register the most Angus in the state, according to the American Angus Association.
Allen Moczygemba, chief executive officer of the association, said Brad Z Ranch helped to contribute to the 2,192 registered Angus in the state of Iowa during the 2016 fiscal year, which ended September 30.
“Our growth this fiscal year continues to demonstrate strong demand for Angus genetics and solidifies our long-held position as a leader in the beef cattle industry,” said Moczygemba. “These results underscore our members’ commitment to providing genetic solutions to the beef cattle industry.”
Jim Bradford called the recognition “an honor.”
The Bradfords started their operation in the early 1970s when they moved to Guthrie County from his family’s farm near Fonda.
“We started on our own then, although I have been in the cattle business all of my life,” he said. “We started out on our own with 50 to 60 cows back then.”
Bradford’s family raised Hereford cattle for some time before they switched their operation to raising the Angus breed back in 1954.
“And I have kept up that tradition ever since,” he said.
The Bradfords have grown from those 50 to 60 cattle to a 350 to 400 Angus herd of seed stock.
Although their operation consists primarily of Angus cattle, the family also raises some Simmental and Gelbvieh.
Their operation has been an ideal way to raise their large family, Bradford said.
“It’s been a great place and way to raise a family,” he said. “We got them all involved and we got to work beside them and right along with them.
“And, it’s made a living.
Beef cattle seed stock from Brad Z Ranch has been sold throughout the U.S. via its annual sale and also through private treaties.
“Our goal is to provide genetics to a commercial herd to help improve a customer’s bottom line,” said Bradford. “A higher grossing animal, better fertility all the way to the end product, the carcass, providing high quality meat.
“We help provide profit for the owner and leaves a desirable end product, a quality demanded, desirable and requested product.”
During his career, Bradford has served on numerous boards, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board; was a director of the American Angus Association and has helped judge cattle shows all over the U.S. and internationally, including Australia.
Bradford said they have also been an environmental stewardship winner, and feels keeping his land in pasture for his cattle operation is one way to help preserve his land.
“We live in a rolling hills environment and, in order to help save on soil and improve on it, we feel raising cattle on the land, rather than farming that ground, is environmentally safe,” said Bradford. “Our goal is to leave it in better condition than when we took over.”
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