Seed Stock Functional Angus Beef
Mark DeBoo is a third generation DeBoo raising functional Angus cows. It all started with his grandfather and grandmother (Charlie and Mary) in the 1950’s. At that time, Charles was the only registered Angus breeder in the Golden Triangle area of Montana. In the early days, he owned a bull called Pattern of Wye. Pattern of Wye was instrumental in shaping the future for DDA. In 1972, his grandfather’s life was cut short after hip replacement surgery. He died less than 24 hours later.
Mark's dad and mom (Don and Janet) were married in 1957 and started raising cows on shares with his grandparents, on a small ranch 10 miles southwest of Valier. His Mom and Dad raised 7 kids on this small operation. Needless to say, everyone needed to learn how to work and be very thrifty and efficient. That also included the cows.
In 1962, his Mom and Dad bought their first registered Angus heifers. They continued raising commercial cattle during those times. Due to the influence from Pattern of Wye, his Dad learned that all cows were not created equally. In the 1960’s, most cattle were very short and blockie; they would have been a frame score of 1 or maybe in the negative figures. The Wye cattle were the larger framed cattle for the time period. The industry trend changed in the late 60’s and early 70’s to larger framed cattle and the Wye cattle became very popular. There were a lot of very functional cattle at that time. The trend continued to go larger and larger framed in the late 70’s and 80’s. Mark's parents tried to follow the trend until the early 1980’s.
Thankfully for Mark, at that time his parents knew what a really good functional Angus cow was like. It did not take them long to understand the direction the industry was headed and this was not the path they wanted to be on. Due to the influence of the Pattern of Wye bull in the early 70’s and the direction the whole industry was headed, Diamond D Angus knew they didn’t want to follow this route. They decided with the knowledge of the old Pattern Bull, they would once again go to the Wye herd for their genetics. His parents spent many years selling bulls private treaty to repeat commercial buyers.
After working 6 years as a mechanic for John Deere, Mark moved back to the ranch in 1988. They had their 1st production sale in the spring of 1989 in an old barn. Looking at it today, he still wonders how they did it. At that time, they were selling about 50 bulls at the sale. Perhaps their competition was averaging more per bull than they were, because it was the start of the big EPD race.
They continued to line breed for functional, maternal and efficient traits. This was not a popular or easy path to be on at the time. Mark was 100% convinced it was the proper path to take.
In 2006, they had their first fall production sale where they sold long yearling forage developed bulls. Mark would challenge any registered breeder to forage test their bulls if they really want to know what they are made of. This has proven to be a very good change for DDA. In recent years, they are selling their genetics all over the US, Canada, and Argentina.
They now sell about 130 bulls every fall and about 100 bred females at their production sale.
About 10 years ago Mark had a visit from Dr. Allen Williams on a scouting expedition for Tall Grass Beef. With the information from Dr. Williams and the interest in their herd from Tall Grass, Diamond D moved effortlessly into the grass fed beef industry. The long standing philosophy and genetic traits of Diamond D Angus fit hand in glove with the grass fed beef industry and Diamond D has been involved in the industry ever since.
Today Mark DeBoo shares about their history and philosophy at Diamond D Angus and some of the secrets they have used to become successful in the seedstock business.
You will enjoy this educational interview with Mark DeBoo of Diamond D Angus.