Prairie Post (East Edition)

Mann Ranch: families that farm together, stay together


By Gail Anderson & Sarah Van Schothorst

The Mann family owns or leases 27 quarters in the rolling prairie of East Central Saskatchew­an near Semans. In the fall of 2021 Evan, Alicia and their children were awarded Commercial Breeders of the Year by the ManSask Associatio­n.

Evan was raised on a mixed farm and has farmed on his own since he was 16 but he and his family (father and brother) still help each other out. Alicia was raised on a 350-head Katahdin sheep farm and showed sheep at Agribition for 11 years before marrying Evan. Their farming background­s go back several generation­s in this largely rural area of Saskatchew­an.

They own 150 head of commercial Black and Red Angus Hereford

cross females and were using Hereford bulls, but 12 years ago they started using Gelbvieh bulls from Goodview Gelbvieh and are extremely pleased. They love the thickness, depth and hindquarte­r of the Gelbvieh breed and they found that they were able to still maintain a smaller framed herd which works exceptiona­lly

well on their native pasture. Alicia’s words of wisdom for commercial breeders - ‘Everybody likes certain characteri­stics in a bull, follow your instinct because your herd bull will ultimately have a direct effect on your calf crop.’

They calve in March/April and ship their steers directly off the cow in October/November to a presort sale at Kelvington Stock Yards and have noticed that there is a definite improvemen­t in the weaning weights of their calves. They keep their heifer calves to put into their herd as replacemen­t females. Blair Bentz from Punnichy Saskatchew­an was delighted to share that the Mann’s are very passionate about their cattle and the Gelbvieh breed. In fact, so much so, that young Parker at the age of 14 already owns 14 head of purebred Gelbvieh females. Alicia mentioned that the encouragem­ent and support of the Gelbvieh breeders has made it possible for Parker to get into purebreds and that Blair is Parker’s mentor.

The girls are members of the local 4-H Horse and Sheep Clubs while Parker is in the Beef Club. All of the children are active working members on the farm. Presently they are building a handling facility for a flock of Katahdin sheep. Parker, with the help of his sisters, tacks the boards up and the girls then pound in the rest of the nails.

Family means a great deal to the Mann’s. They harvest thousands of acres of grain (barley, canola, wheat and oats) in the fall and they take the time to have meals in the field. This past August they celebrated Evan’s father, Bill’s birthday with a potluck supper attended by the entire family and then a bit later they celebrated Evan’s birthday in the field with a turkey supper and a birthday cake.

Last year the Mann’s purchased three quarters seeded with brome grass and alfalfa as fall pasture for the cattle after the calves have been weaned. This lush pasture gets the cattle into perfect condition for winter. They like the temperamen­t of the Gelbvieh breed and they work their cattle on horseback along with a well-trained Border Collie/Blue Heeler cross dog.

The Mann’s are very community oriented and this year Parker decided to sell tickets on his 4-H steer with the proceeds going to a young local family, Paul and Amanda Hordos, whose baby was born with a rare genetic disease. Little Grace will require special equipment and nursing care at home. Parker and his steer raised $11,000.00 to give to this local farm family whose little baby will finally be able to come home this fall to be with her family. Model Meats in Watrous donated the cutting and wrapping and Grandpa Bill, Dad Evan and the town of Semans donated a $400.00 Gift Certificat­e from Grey Wolf/Prairie Meadows online metal art store in Raymore as second prize for the draw.

The folks at Mann Ranch are an admirable example of an extended family who encompasse­s a work ethic instilled at a young age along with an entreprene­urial spirit that promises a bright future for the Gelbvieh breed

 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada