Rocky View County, AB – 50 years ago today the minister of agriculture officially approved that Red Angus cattle be eligible for registration in the Canadian Angus herdbook. The Canadian Angus Association (CAA) is celebrating 50 years of Red Angus registrations throughout 2018, but Red Angus have been in Canada much longer than 50 years, and that is also worth celebrating.
The first record of Red Angus in Canada is the recorded importation of a red cow from Scotland in 1886. Rancher Matthew Cochrane imported red Angus from Scotland in 1889 for his ranch west of Calgary, Alberta.
Volume I of the Canadian Angus Herdbook was published in 1908. Red Angus females were included but red males were excluded. On March 15, 1921, the CAA bylaws were amended and all Red Angus cattle were excluded. This decision would stand until April 3, 1968 when the Minister of Agriculture officially approved that Red Angus cattle be eligible for registration.
When the Canadian Angus herdbook was opened to Red Angus in 1968, the Association offered to register all Red Angus cattle under the age of 24 months at the lowest price point, allowing Red Angus breeders an affordable opportunity to populate the herdbook and register their herds.
Mark Mackenzie sold the first Canadian-registered Red Angus bull at auction in Canada in 1969. The first Canadian-raised purebred Red Angus bull, Red Mac 15Z, was sold at the Calgary Bull Sale in 1970 for $1,800.
In 1972 a group of 12 Red Angus cattle breeders from Alberta and Saskatchewan formed the Canadian Red Angus Promotion Society to specifically promote Red Angus cattle. And in 1978, Don Mackenzie became the first Red Angus breeder elected to the Canadian Angus Association Board of Directors.
Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Angus breeders dedicated to red hide colour, 50 years later, Red Angus account for more than 40% of Canada’s national Angus herd. The Canadian Angus Association is proud to recognize and applaud those efforts.
The Canadian Angus Association is Canada’s largest purebred beef breed organization. The Association represents more than 2,000 members across Canada for the purposes of registering and recording the pedigrees of purebred Angus cattle in the closed HerdBook and promoting the breed across Canada. The member-approved mandate is to maintain breed registry, breed purity and provide services that enhance the growth and position of the Angus breed.