Josephson Angus – The Brand of Quality Continues
My grandfather, Frank Josephson moved from Ivanhoe, MN, to homestead at Washburn, ND, in 1902. He bought his first registered black Angus bull in 1914 and started a commercial herd. Registered Angus bulls have been used exclusively ever since. My father, Raymond, eventually became a partner.
Ray described that time period. “That was back in the pitchfork days. In the 1930s, it was tough. There wasn’t any money, but it didn’t affect us that much because we had a big garden and we raised our own food. We grazed the cows down on the river bottoms. We maintained the herd,” he said.
In 1949, Raymond Josephson started a foundation registered Angus cow herd. During the 1970s, the cattle trend switched to a higher performing type of beef animal as consumer needs swayed more towards lean beef. In 1972, the Josephsons decided to add a new dimension to their cowherd through artificial insemination. It provided them with the opportunity to add national herd sire quality to their herd at an affordable price.
Raymond was the first one to start A-I in the area. He found it was a good way to add quality to his herd. Raymond and Kirby carefully studied EPD’s and bloodlines when choosing herd sires, and built a solid reputation for producing quality bull and bred cows and heifers. Over the years, the herd varied from 40 to as many as 300 head.
Production testing was the next advancement implemented into the Josephson’s registered cattle operation. The statistics recorded through production testing were used to tabulate adjusted weaning weights, milking ability, calving ease, marbling and carcass value. Production testing proved to be a worthwhile tool for the Josephsons when the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association presented them the “Commercial Producer of the Year” award in 1982.
As the years flew by, awards included purple ribbons at the North Dakota Winter Show and at area feeder calf shows. In 1999, after Kirby purchased the herd from his father, Josephson Angus bred and raised the “Winningest” female in ND. Josephson Primrose, J801 was many times a Grand Champion and Supreme Champion in shows throughout North Dakota. We flushed the dam of this champion heifer to Bushs Grand Design and got ten outstanding calves. The pictured heifer was purchased by the Richard Clarke family from Ohio and successfully shown at the National Junior Angus Show in Louisville, Kentucky. We kept several full sisters as replacements in our cow herd.
Josephson said that the best part of raising quality registered black Angus cattle is waiting for the next calf crop. Following in his grandfather Frank’s and father Raymond’s footsteps, Kirby continues the Josephson Angus tradition. His wife, Donalee, and their three kids; Jenna Lee, Tyler and Whitney continue to take an interest in Angus cattle. The herd location for the cattle is at Rost Farms and a special thanks is given to Kirby’s cousins; Merle, Clyde and Tom Rost for their quality herdsmanship.