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Angus Producers Claim Annual BIF Honors

12 May 2009

CALIFORNIA, US - Angus producers were honoured with top producer awards at the recent Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Research Symposium and Annual Meeting, April 30-May 3 in Sacramento, California.

BIF named the JHL Ranch, Ashby, Neb., the 2009 Commercial Producer of the Year. Two producers were announced the co-winners as the Seedstock Producer of the Year — Champion Hill, Bidwell, Ohio; and Harrell Hereford Ranch, Baker City, Oregon. BEEF magazine sponsors the awards.

Paul Hill and Marshall Reynolds of Champion Hill manage 220 breeding-age registered Angus females and 630 mostly half-blood Angus females used as recipients on 4,000 acres of owned and leased land in southeastern Ohio. Each year, the operation sells 300 females in two production sales and 200 bulls through a genetic partnership.

Reynolds owned the land and, in 1993, formed Champion Hill, naming Hill as its president. Their philosophy has always been to breed the kind of cattle that will perform in the showring and make a positive contribution to the beef cattle industry. The team at Champion Hill has selected females from the top cow families in the Angus breed to use as foundation donor cows to consistently produce the quality of cattle their customers have come to expect.

“Paul Hill is one of the best promoters of seedstock in the Angus breed. He should be complimented on what he has done to advance the breed,” says Darrell Silveira of Silveira Bros., Firebaugh, Calif., and member of the American Angus Association® Board of Directors. "Paul is very deserving of this honor. He has come a long way since the first time we met in 1975 when our reputations were so great that we were stalled together near the wash rack during the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo.”

“We are honored to have been chosen as the Beef Improvement Federation’s 2009 Seedstock Producer of the Year,” said Paul Hill. “Lynn and I accept this award on behalf of our partner, Marshall Reynolds, and the entire staff at Champion Hill. We would also like to thank our genetic partners Kelly and Martie Jo Schaff of Schaff Angus Valley, Saint Anthony, N.D.”

Hill, who served as president of the American Angus Association in 2008, adds, “We are indebted to the Beef Improvement Federation for providing the guidance to the breed associations in order for them to provide the tools necessary to advance our herd.”

Champion Hill was nominated for the award by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. For more information, visit

JHL Ranch, Ashby, Neb., is the 2009 Commercial Producer of the Year. The family has grazed cattle in the southwest corner of the Nebraska Sandhills since 1885. The JHL brand is reputed to be one of the oldest used in Nebraska, having been legally registered in the state in 1920.

Ranch owners Art and Merry Brownlee, along with their son Ethan, accepted the prestigious award. The ranch was nominated by the Nebraska Cattlemen and the Braunvieh Association of America, both based in Lincoln, Neb.

“There is not a more deserving recipient of the commercial producer of the year award than the JHL Ranch,” said Harlan Doeschot of Golden Link Braunvieh, Firth, Neb. “Art and Merry have tested their cattle and built a tremendous herd based on the data they have gathered.”

The Brownlees took the reins of the operation in 1995 and have spent the past 14 years working toward their goal to apply research and analysis principles to ranching. The ranch stocks between 1,300 and 1,400 Angus- and Braunvieh-cross cows, utilizing 80 paddocks in an intensive, managed rotational grazing system on approximately 30,000 acres.

The spring-calving operation has been driven by the complete tracking and analysis of two end-products — replacement females and carcass merit. These actions have been made possible by the computer-based use of DNA, ultrasound and linear measurements, as well as expected progeny difference (EPD) technology.

The majority of the cows are bred through artificial insemination (AI), and calves are weaned at 150 days of age. The calves are backgrounded and supplemented on grass at the ranch and then custom-fed with ownership retained to the rail. The ranch has marketed a USDA source- and age-verified product since 1995.

“We are honored and blessed to be named as this year’s commercial producer of the year,” said Art. “For the past decade, we have had the guidance and counsel of past recipients and individuals here today, as well as the Beef Improvement Federation Guidelines to develop our program and take it to the next level. We are a testament that change is possible and change can be profitable,” he added.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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