If you ask Kevin and Darren Blair what they enjoyed most about growing up on a mixed farm, they both would say that raising cattle had a big impact on developing their innate passion for agriculture. There is no doubt that the grain business continues to be a cornerstone of both Blair family farms and the Blair’s ag retail businesses, however, livestock production, both commercial and purebred, have always been an important part of their long term vision. With previous involvement in the Simmental seedstock business, in 2006, Kevin and Darren decided to make a start in the purebred Angus business. In the fall of 2006, Kevin and Darren purchased 38 Red Angus females from the Jackson Cattle Company dispersal and from that initial seedstock investment the herd has steadily grown and developed. Today the herd consists of 250 purebred Red Angus cows, 175 purebred Angus, 50 Herefords and 250 commercial cows. The commercial cows are used as recipient females in Blair’s extensive embryo transfer program. Kevin and Darren are quick to point out that this growth has been able to happen because of a very dedicated team of people that make up Blairs.Ag Cattle Company. While Blair’s has a base operation near Lanigan, Saskatchewan that mainly focuses on show and sale cattle, the majority of the herd is managed by Chad Haaland and the Haaland family near Hanley, Saskatchewan. Bull development, and 90 purebred Black Angus cows are all managed by Levi, Carmen and Chance Jackson of Jackson Cattle Company near Sedley, SK. In addition to these herds, Blairs.Ag Cattle Company also contracts
with a few other herds in Canada and the United States for the growth of their extensive embryo program. The Hereford cattle are managed by Tom McNeely in Alberta. In addition to the cattle management team, Kevin and Darren employ people at Blair’s ag retail businesses that also have a keen eye and passion for the livestock business and contribute to the sales, marketing and genetics decisions through a team known as the Blairs.Ag Genetics Advancement Team. This team includes Blake MacMillan, Kelly Schmidt, Craig Blair, Chris Schmidt, and Patty Smith. In addition to this team, Grant Hamilton will often be seen in a truck delivering Blair’s show and sale cattle to many places around North America, or helping out our key herdsperson at Lanigan who is Ashley Guenther. “We are a third generation family business, and Darren and I have been so fortunate to attract people to Blair’s ag retail and cattle businesses that share a real passion for agriculture and a desire to make a difference to our customers’ crop and livestock operations”, said Kevin. “Many of our team not only work at Blair’s, but have their own personal stake in agriculture through their own grain farms and purebred and commercial cattle operations, so they really understand what’s happening in agriculture”, stated Kevin.
Commercial Edition 2014 *
While there is no doubt that people have been the cornerstone of the dramatic growth and success of the Blairs.Ag Cattle Company operation, Kevin is quick to point out that they have made significant investments in assembling the best genetics from North America and abroad, that he and the Blair’s team believes will produce cattle that will perform consistently in the pasture right to the plate. “Darren and I are both shareholders in Pound-Maker Agventures at Lanigan, which is a 26,000 head integrated feedlot and ethanol facility, and currently Darren sits on the board. Our involvement in the commercial feedlot industry has given us a key insight into why consistency in cattle production is such an economically important factor in the production of cattle from the ranch to the feedlot, and from the feedlot to the consumer,” said Kevin. “It is for this reason that we have made such a significant commitment to accelerating the rate of our genetic progress and consistency through embryo transfer,” stated Kevin. To showcase and market the progeny from their embryo transfer, AI and natural breeding programs, Blair’s has exhibited cattle at many shows and fairs across North America. In addition, Blairs.Ag Cattle Co. has two major sales each year, a bull sale in April, and a female sale in October. Kevin has noticed the impact of social media on marketing cattle and genetics and has invested a considerable amount of time and attention to hosting on-line sales of semen and embryos to posting information about
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