EDMONTON — Justin Morrison ranches on the dry, hard grass country of southern Saskatchewan and has produced Angus cattle that are among Canada’s top performers.
He and his wife, Tawnie, own Brooking Angus and have been showing successfully since they started in 2012.
He showed the grand champion bull and female at Farmfair International held in Edmonton Nov. 6-10. The female, named Brooking Countess 7077, was sold to Dusty Rose Cattle Co. earlier and is managed by Morrison at his Radville ranch. The cow went on to be supreme champion at Farmfair, earning Morrison accolades and a brand new Dodge Ram truck.
His grand champion bull, Brooking Gold Coin 8069, was sold for $50,000 to ZWT Ranch in Tennessee, and Morrison retained show rights. Both champions will appear at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina next week.
The bull was sired by the home-raised Brooking Bank Note 4040 and also won at the Prince Albert Exhibition in Prince Albert, Sask., earlier this year.
“We just halter broke him this summer,” he said.
Morrison worked for Soo Line Cattle Co. until he and Tawnie started their own ranch near the former village of Brooking, where only a grain elevator marks the spot.
Their business is cattle and they have an online female sale in November and a bull sale in March. They sell about 75 bulls a year through the sale and by private treaty.
They have lived with drought for the last four years, but this year the weather turned around.
“It’s not the easiest place at times for a cow to live, but you know we have good hard grass and cattle can do well on it. But we need some rain,” he said.
He is building the herd and researches pedigrees to find the next good bull.
“I try to understand the genetics in our entire breed,” he said.
He has introduced new females to the herd and uses artificial insemination.
“Everything at our place is AI’d for one cycle and then the bulls run for two cycles. We are trying to transition to where most of the AI are bulls we own or have purchased or raised,” he said.
The show ring raises the ranch profile.
“The competition is fierce. Sometimes it is better to win a show that is hard rather than one that is easy. It makes the reward greater,” he said.
“Any time people can recognize you more, it makes things easier to sell. If you do well your name gets associated with high-end quality. All we do is make a living off our cows. These things help us have successful sales.”