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Program

Rathbun Angus Ranch is a family owned Angus seedstock and farming enterprise that operates on 12,000 acres of irrigated pasture, cropland, and desert range. Utilizing a pioneering spirit combined with generations of experience in production agriculture and the livestock industry, Greg And Jennifer Rathbun along with their kids Abigail, Tell, and Taggart own and operate the ranch north of Moses Lake in the Columbia Basin of Washington.

Using a diversified production and sustainable ag model, The Rathbuns maintain a 400 cow registered angus herd that markets 300 bulls and females annually along with crop production and sales of Alfalfa, Timothy, and Corn into domestic and foreign markets.

The use of AI extensively for many years has created a strong foundation of the best genetics in the breed. In addition, having an embryo program allows the propagation of the top females in the herd. Together, these programs have resulted in several generations of:

  • high growth
  • positive carcass
  • strong maternal traits


Marketing these top genetics, the Annual Production Sale is held on the first Thursday of November and located at the ranch in Moses Lake, WA. The sale features over 125 fall yearling bulls and many top females. Private Treaty females are also available for sale during other times of the year.

Breeding Philosophy

The Rathbun breeding philosophy is to produce cattle that perform well in all phases of the beef industry. As such, the goal is to create bloodlines with multi-trait superiority.

The moderate framed, easy fleshing, and structurally correct cow herd is based on the highly maternal lines of:

  • AAR New Trend
  • Tehama Bando 155
  • Bon View Bando 598
  • Connealy Dateline
  • SITZ Alliance 6595


To balance these traits, the sires are selected for the following qualities:
high growth

  • positive carcass
  • strong maternal traits


Combining the aggressive AI & ET breeding program together with a ruthless culling process has resulted in the Rathbun Angus cow herd. This herd is known for its consistency, having long bodied, broody, and highly maternal females. The bulls show tremendous growth capabilities, along with the heavy muscling and the positive carcass traits that are desired by cattleman today.

Lifecycle

Fall

Thanks to location and moderate climate, the cow herd is entirely fall calving. The Rathbuns maintain a 60 day calving season, with heifers starting to calve in the end of August, and the cow herd finishing in October. This enables calving on summer pasture while the days are still warm and long.

Winter

Rathbun Angus uses artificial insemination extensively on the entire herd, starting in November and ending in January. Grazing the herd on alfalfa, timothy, triticale, and turnips and feeding them alfalfa, grass straw, silage, and processing by-products maintains them for the winter months.

Spring

When the desert starts to green up in March, the pairs are turned out on open range. With large pastures varying in size from 1,250 acres up to over 5,000 acres, the cattle can spread out and forage for themselves. As the heat dries the desert out in June, the cow herd is rounded up and brought in to irrigated grass and the calves are weaned. The strong desert grasses combined with superior genetics result in weaning weights that can top 1,000 lbs.

Summer

The weaned bulls are then put on the hill and weights are taken for the beginning of a feed test. They are fed a high roughage ration designed for 3.5 lbs/day gain to prepare them for their ultrasound body composition measurements as yearlings. In preparation for the Annual Sale in early November, the bulls are semen-tested, and their weights are taken again to end their feed test.

Fall and Winter

Well attended by a large group of commercial cattlemen and registered breeders, the Sale offers a powerful set of bulls that feature some of the top genetics in the breed.

At the option of the buyers, Bulls can remain on the ranch until spring turnout. Bulls are developed on the the hill and fed a mixed ration for a nominal fee.

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