In 1986, Grandpa Dean and Pa (John Larsen) purchase a small number of registered Angus cows from a local producer who was dispersing his herd. Less than one year later Maben was born to John and JoAnn Larsen to join the team. Twenty-five years later, Hunter Larsen was born to Maben and Skyler Larsen to make the four generations of Angus cattlemen.
There have been many cows and bulls that have come and gone over the years, but the main focus has remained the same: select for a highly maternal cow that can breed up year after year, wean a calf at a high percentage of her own weight, survive a high altitude summer pasture and a sparse desert pasture, and raise our family the best way we know how.
Our cattle’s fertility is among the highest priorities. We turn our bulls in with the cows around the 15th of April and pull them out around the 1st of June. If they do not bull-up in that 45 day window, then they do not stay in our herd. Structural soundness is a must! Our cattle very seldom get a free ride anywhere. They have to trail from their spring, to summer/fall, to winter and back to spring pastures. These different pastures vary from about 5,000 feet elevation in our valley to over 10,000 feet elevation on our mountain. The rigor of the year-in and year-out trek is not forgiving to those that don’t hold up physically (one of the free rides we do offer is to the sale barn for those that don’t hold up).
Balance has been the key for us. As we have consistently strived to better our cow herd over the years, balanced traits have proven to be the most profitable over an extended period of time. Temperance and moderation are the principles that have kept us in business over the years. Single trait indulgence at the sacrifice of other key traits has always seemed to lead to a dead end.
Raising cattle and raising kids has always been a dual focus for us. The lessons of hard work, responsibility, honesty, and integrity have been the foundation of our family operation. We believe “successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” As a family operation, everyone plays a part and everyone has to help a little with all different roles. Our mothers, spouses, and daughters help change water, check heifers, and repair fences. Yes, and we also help cook meals, do the dishes, and even change a dirty diaper on occasions.
Over all, we love our cattle and we love our family and way of life. They often blend together as family reunions are often centered on events like branding and weaning, and family vacations often include a visit to another producer’s operation. They both have their ups and downs, but at the end of the day we thank our Father in Heaven that we have them both.