In 1952 we bought three Angus heifers, intending to produce a few 4-H Club steers. Our idea turned out to be such a good one, thanks to the quality of those heifers and the traits of the Angus breed, that we soon decided to take things a step further and the Stone Gate Farms purebred herd was born. In 1957, with numbers increasing, the herd was enrolled in a performance program through the University of Kentucky.
In today's purebred cattle world, performance programs are a given, their sophistication taken for granted. In 1957 they were new, controversial, not necessarily well accepted and relatively primitive. Even so, it didn't take us long to appreciate the value of collecting performance data and using it in the breeding decision. This data proved very valuable to our commercial bull buyers in their effort to identify genetics that would improve their commercial herds. The original focus of producing winning 4-H calves was forgotten in favor of creating and maintaining a strong market for our breeding stock, especially by commercial breeders.
In 1967 Stone Gate Farms became a member of the American Angus Association's Herd Improvement (AHIR) program. In 1974 Charles Cannon was elected to the board of directors of the American Angus Association, then became its president in 1982.
As we look over the last 60 years we have been in business, one aspect of our operation that has stayed constant is the importance of the Angus cow in our herd and as a mainstay in the commercial industry. No beef cow of any breed is as prolific as the Angus cow. Our cows are very feminine of moderate size with good fleshing ability, nice udders, good feet and legs and bred in longevity that is of utmost importance to the commercial industry. Today's herds number: 400 Registered Cows and 200 to 300 Commercial Cows.
The bottom line here is to make money in the cattle business; since this is our only means of making a living, we have been very cost-conscious. Our cows maintain themselves and breed back on grass, along with hay that we have grown on our land. We take great satisfaction in knowing that we could make a profit selling our registered Angus calves through feeder calf sales or by sending them to the feedlot. Operating in this manner gives us firsthand knowledge as to the needs of the commercial cattleman. When you walk through our pastures, it is obvious that we have maintained a disciplined breeding program. Little has changed over the years; we just keep producing more of the same.
Your are welcome to visit us at any time or attend our March Production Sale (1st Monday) which features 60 to 70 bulls and 40 to 60 females, or our October sale (last Monday) featuring registered bulls, commercial cows and commercial bred heifers.