Thank you for your interest in our cattle.
Cotton Angus began in 1965 when Sheldon Cotton purchased his first Angus cattle from Bud Severson in Clark, South Dakota and Adee Honey Farms in Haddam, Kansas. Sheldon sought to produce the functional maternal Angus type of that era. He retained cows from the Margaret, Barbara and Lara cow families that proved to be the best producers and grew the herd by using bulls and AI genetics from Jorgensen, NBar and Wye.
Our influences were Dwight Riggleman, Bud Severson, Tom Elliott, Martin Jorgenson, and David Pingrey. John went to his first Wye sale in 1978 when he was 13 years old. As others began breeding to accelerate quantitative terminal traits, we maintained our focus on the qualitative fundamentals of fertility and longevity.
When his father went out of the cattle business in 1982, John continued with 10 cows he purchased from their farm dispersal sale. He also purchased a son of his fathers' herd sire, Luthien of Wye. At 17 years old, John rented a farm and continued doing what he had been doing his whole life…taking care of cattle.
Eventually, 2 cows were purchased from Wye and 2 cows were purchased from NBar, introducing the Alonna and Lady Ida families. John AI bred his first Wye cow, Alonna of Wye to Leonid of Wye in 1986.
In 1990 John asked Larry Leonhardt to select 10 Shoshone females to complement his existing herd. Larry sold John cows from the Lucy, Blackbird, Enzora and Eileen families and their impact has endured.
In 1999, a Lottie cow and a Delia cow were added from Sam Wylie’s Octoraro Angus herd.
Since then, our program has grown but not changed. Alonna cows are still going out to pasture with Leonid bulls. Cotton Angus cows produced the Columbus of Wye sons, E31 sons, and sons of Viking, Prince of Malpus and Churchill of Wye that will go out to breed this summer.
40 years of line breeding to Emulation 31, Manning, Leonid, Lodge, Churchill, Contact, Columbus and Alap of Wye, Shoshone Viking, Rito 149, Rito 36 and Eldorado 156 have resulted in the cows you see in our herd today. We do not just introduce iconic sires into the program, we bring them forward from the existing pedigrees and amplify their influence. We have worked to preserve the type of functional Angus female almost lost through the fads of the Business Breed.
In 2016 Erika added to the operation with Wye genetics purchased from the Ed Oliver herd. In 2022 Tom purchased a group of Cotton Angus bred cows from the Matilda Angus herd of Brian Waltz in Volga, SD. Like John, Erika and Tom have been schooled by working the generations of calves, cows and bulls they grew up with. The family intends to keep on keeping on at Cotton Angus Ranch.