Shawn, Stacey, Jayse and Kadin make up the SW Cattle operation. Shawn and Stacey are both 3rd Generation Albertans whose Grandparents where both involved in farming and ranching with the focus in raising beef cattle. Jayse (24) and Kadin (21) both share their parent's love of cattle and sports. Shawn and Stacey along with Shawn's parents purchased the farm at Strathmore in 1994 and were married in 1995.
Shawn has worked in the cattle industry since the early 90's first with Calgary Stockyards-TEAM for 13 years as a fieldman. In 2006 he was hired by Tyson Foods- Lakeside Packers as a buyer of feeder and slaughter cattle. In 2009 Shawn left Lakeside/XL to join Gateway Livestock as the Feeder Cattle Procurement Coordinator. The summer of 2013 Shawn joined ZOETIS (formely Pfizer Animal Health) as a Territory Manager in South Central Alberta. In May 2019 - Shawn stepped away from his full time off farm employment to focus more of his time towards the Sask Ranch and seedstock operation. Shawn currently does some contract work for Phibro Animal Health as their Ruminant Account Manager - Western Canada.
Stacey grew up on a ranching operation in Rockyford, AB where her family continues to run 700+ mother cows and grow irrigated forages. Stacey has been a co-owner in Bangles Hair Studio & Spa in Strathmore since 1993.
Jayse just started as the Western Canada Cattle Territory for Huvapharma Animal Health. He plays a key roll in the happenings around the Ranch.
Kadin keeps busy with guiding spring & fall for his outfitting business Wilson Waterfowlf. He also plays a pivotal role with calving duties in Alberta and summer duties at the Sask Ranch.
This is the link to the boys Outfitting business
History of our Program-
Shawn's parents Bill & Judi have owned and operated Wilson Stock Farm since 1972 in which they purchased their first Maine Anjou females. 2022 will mark 50 years for the family raising Maine Anjou genetics - unfortunately this past September Mom (Judi) passed away after a brief illness. Since the early 1970's the Wilson family have been noted for raising top quality Maine Anjou and Mainetainer breeding cattle. In the late 90's the cowherd was around 40 - Since the early 2000's Shawn has continued to grow those numbers to the present as we will calve 225+ Maine Anjou or Maintainer females in 2022. The majority of the cowherd are all home raised / 1 Iron - something that we are proud of.
Our emphasis is to breed cattle that suit the needs of the ever changing industry. We have focused on calving ease, fertility, maternal capabilities, performance, feed effiecency, grading quality, marbling, temperament and soundness. We continue to test all herdbulls and donor cows for DNA genetic profiles. As well all calves are weighed at birth, weaning and as a yearling. We also try to stay on top of the data from offspring of our genetics on the grading and performance data from our customers calves whenever possible.
We focus on adding top outcross herdsire/herdsires from some of the the top operations from across North America every year to our bull battery with these key selection guidelines -
- maternal based power
- calving ease
- structural integrity
- genetically clean TH/PHA/DD freee
We refuse to chase showring success and continue to run our cowherd in the same manner of our commercial customers as they do in their operations. That is the main reason we have stepped away from exhibiting @ shows - we wanted no bulls or heifers receiving special treatment compared to their herdmates. Our cows graze to mid/late December on stubble and native fields then come home and are fed hay as calving season starts early Feb and ends in late March. Cows and calves are then vaccinated and sorted into breeding fields and are trucked 500 miles to the Sask Ranch pastures the 1st week of May and the bulls are turned out. Cows are with bulls until late June (55-60 days). The bred heifers run with bulls from Mid April until late May (42 days).
Cows and calves run on native dryland pasture until mid September when the bull calves are weaned. Heifer calves and culls are weaned early October. Calves are never fed creep as we believe it is hard to judge the value of the cow if we are supplementing her calf in measuring performance data (weaning/yrlg weights). Currently all the calves are trucked back 500 miles in the fall at weaning to our Alberta place.
Bull calves are backgrounded at home for +/- 45 days on a rolled low energy ration and hay then moved to Schunicht Farms to be backgrounded on a silage based/limit fed grow ration until sale time and delivery after the bull sale. Replacement heifer calves are pastured at home until December on native pasture and long stem hay until being moved to Schunicht Farms and backgrounded until late May when they are turned out after being bred.
We are proud of what we raise and have the utmost respect for nature and try to do our best in working with landowners in rotational grazing and managing our pasture conditions to enable us to turn out early in the spring. As well we care for our cattle with the guidance of Cow/Calf Health Management (cowcalfhealth.com)- Dr Troy Drake-Dr Waylon Wise along with Dr Oliver Schunicht in maintaining regular vaccinations and care of our cowherd. The Wilson herd is on the Zoetis SelectVac Gold + (Plus) Herd Health program.