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Angus Operation Grows With Family
“When my husband Bruce and I began raising registered Angus with a bred heifer and a cow, a well-known breeder told us that ‘overnight success in this business takes 20 years,’” says LeeAnn Waugh of Goodhue, Minn. “Over time I’ve learned that what he said was true and there are no shortcuts,” she adds.
It’s now two decades later and their business is better than ever thanks to strong family ties. Bruce and LeeAnn along with their son, Taylor, operate Cannon Valley Ranch (CVR), raising a herd of 100 registered Angus females. Another son, Aaron, uses his skills and connections in the restaurant business to market their premium beef direct to food industry customers. And their daughter, Lindsay, and her husband, Shane, have used CVR stock on their North Dakota ranch and have marketed meat through the family company as well.
“We’ve been very fortunate to grow this business as a family operation,” says LeeAnn. “When the kids were young, they had club calves and we were raising Simmental and Chianina cattle. Bruce studied different breeds and we decided that Angus offered a greater opportunity with its extensive breed data and research. We sold some of our commercial cows and started in with a bred heifer that we determined could be our future donor cow.”
They grew the operation by selecting and raising a cow herd with high-quality and balanced traits, using artificial insemination and embryo transfer to accelerate their genetic base. “Our goal has always been to raise cattle that are physically or structurally sound, with high-performance traits and the correct phenotype. We want them to calve easily and have a quiet disposition,” LeeAnn says. “These are the type of cattle that meet our customer’s needs.”
Those customers now include producers and breeders who buy their registered bulls, cows and heifers, as well as local consumers and restaurants who buy their high-quality Angus and Wagyu beef.
Their direct-to-market business began with Aaron, who works at a Rochester, Minn., restaurant. LeeAnn says, “He invited the chef and business owners to our ranch, showed them our cattle, our facilities and how we operate, and then cooked them a delicious CVR Premium Roast Beef dinner. They went home with ground beef and have been using our products ever since.”
LeeAnn says high-quality meat that consumers want starts with premium genetics and animals raised on healthy diets. Taylor has become a major part of their genetics program through his work with ABS Global and in vitro fertilization. He also works at a local meat processing operation and owns a farm adjacent to theirs. Income earned by CVR from in vitro fees on a per-head basis helps the bottom line.
Recently they added purebred Akaushi (Wagyu) beef to their ranch and will also look at branding their CVR beef.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Cannon Valley Ranch, 14495 390th St., Goodhue, Minn. 55027 (www.cannonvalleyranch.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #2