By Pat Ratliff
Dunn County Herald
The 21 Angus Ranch is a family operation owned by the Wolf family.
“We sold 146 bulls at an average of $4, 835 per bull,” Anne Wolf said. “That’s up about $200 from last year.”
With bull sales starting all over the region, most sellers are seeing higher prices due to a shortage of cattle, but those prices are not a short-term trend.
“This market has been getting stronger for the last eight to ten years,” Larry Snow, one of two owners of Stockman’s Livestock Auction in Dickinson said.
He said the recent loss of cattle in South Dakota has affected the western North Dakota market some, but not the nationwide market.
But the prices the Wolf family got for their bulls at the 21 Angus Ranch are the result of factors other than just a cattle shortage.
“That’s a very good price,” Snow said. “It’s more a result of good cattle management.
“The market moves the market. It’s supply and demand. But it’s not a ‘premium’ price.”
That “good cattle management” that 21 Angus Ranch provides is the result of hard work and a large family operation that puts a lot into the never ending work of farming and ranching.
During the sale, everyone pitches in to help.
“I handle the advertising, husband Mark (Wolf) handles all the genetics, mother-in-law Diane handles the food (she really shines at that), father in law Archie feeds the bulls and even the kids all play an important part of getting the sale ready.
“I had four of my siblings, their spouses and children all helping during the sale.”
But the sale is just a small part of the entire operation.
“Every member of the family plays an integral part of the operation,” Anne said. “Our children John, Jake and Mollie all help year around.
“We deliver the bulls in March and April, and in March we also AI (artificial inseminate).
“June and July we hay and then wean in September.”
That’s on top of the day-to-day chores of running the ranch. But there’s always more to do.
“Just this morning (Wednesday, Jan. 29) we had our first calf of the year,” Anne said.
And delivering the bulls is a big job also. During the sale the Wolf’s sold bulls to ranches in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana and Utah.
Mark Wolf and father Archie Wolf put up all the hay and there’s a lot of work just handling the cattle.
“The cattle are handled a lot to keep the weights for the Angus Association,” Anne said.
The Angus breed and brand is important to the 21 Angus Ranch, and their extra work is evident in both the ranch and the cattle.
“The beauty of the Angus breed is that the calves are born small but then grow like weeds,” Anne said. “They finish sooner than many other breeds.”
But probably the best part of seeing the 21 Angus Ranch sale and operation is just seeing a family working together.
“I feel really fortunate to be able to be in a business as a family, to be able to work together,” Anne said. “You have to love what you’re doing though – ¬ it’s a big commitment.”