Chronicles of the Sitz Angus Herd
Will and Frieda Sitz of Nebraska began the Sitz legacy with the purchase of a handful of registered Angus heifers in 1923. The herd slowly began to grow in numbers. At that time, there were other breeds already established and few Angus. But with perseverance, the Sitz registered Angus cow herd grew.
Their son Bob became involved with the industry by raising and showing cattle in 4-H. Later, Bob and his parents moved to Longmont, CO, where Bob farmed and raised registered Angus cattle. There, he met and married Donna.
In the fall of 1959, Bob and Donna decided to look for a ranch in Montana. Their search finally culminated with the purchase of the Harrison Ranch in 1959. This began the real growth and notoriety of the Sitz Angus herd in Montana, beginning in 1960. It was difficult in those early years for the young couple; raising a family, new to the area, establishing themselves and taking over a place that needed a lot of improvement. But in the Sitz tradition, they persevered. Bob had an eye for cattle, consistently breeding for the best and selecting the type of cattle that would perform for the commercial cattleman.
"Model" was just the start of a long list of performance sires to traverse the pastures at Sitz Angus. Elation 10 of Model, as described in the 1963 Sitz sale catalog says: "Model, as we call this grand old sire, is going on 10 years old and still weighs close to a ton. He has done a terrific job for us along with siring the top selling Angus sire group and individual bull at Production Indexing Center at Stanford, Montana in 1964."
Another of those early sires was Sun Up Bloage D29, purchased by Bob in Missouri from Dave Miller. "Sun Up" was the top gaining bull in that sale and went on to be one of the great sires for the Sitz's.
Another sire that had a lot to do with the success of the Sitz herd in earlier times was CSU Rito 4114. Purchased at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver in 1984, "4114" became a success story for Sitz Angus and eventually gained national recognition as one of the breed's most prolific sires of excellent females. At one time, 400 "4114" daughters grazed the Sitz pastures. His son, Rito 054 GDAR, and a grandson - Rito 2100 GDAR, also had a positive impact on the Angus breed. Daughters and granddaughters of these great sires are still sought.
The next chapter in the Sitz legacy revolves around a young bull that won the Montana Treasure Test's top gain award in 1979 (a record he held for a number of years) and sold for $60,000 to four of Montana's top breeders, Sitz Angus being one of them. QAS Traveler 23-4 needs no introduction to Angus breeders even today. The progeny from this sire are still in demand. "Traveler" will go down in history as one of the most prolific and consistent sires with a world reputation for selling millions of dollars of semen in his lifetime. Needless to say, "Traveler" was used extensively and successfully at Sitz Angus for many years and even today, his progeny are very much in demand.
In 1982, Bob purchased a son of "Traveler" by the name of Traveler 124 GDAR. Although "124" was in service for only one breeding season, there was a good bank of semen in storage. It didn't take long for Bob to realize that "124" was an exceptional producer of females and he continued using this great sire in the herd. After l7 years, "124" semen and progeny are some of the most sought after genetics in the Angus breed.
GDAR Traveler 71, owned by Sitz Angus, burst on the Angus scene with low birth weights, high milk and growth and tied up in a maternal pedigree that reads like royalty. "71" had a very positive impact on the Sitz Cow Herd. Another Sitz owned sire was GDAR Rainmaker 340, quite possibly the greatest sire not only of productive females but beautiful females. "Rainmaker" progeny continues in popularity with commercial and registered breeders yet today.
In January 1989, a tragic tractor accident took the life of Bob Sitz Sr. At that time, Donna and the family continued in the Sitz tradition. Bob left Montana State University and came home while Jim finished getting his degree, joining the family in the spring where the two brothers shouldered the responsibilities of running the ranch. A team effort was formed to manage the ranch, the cowherd and the total operation. Those first couple of years were challenging for the family, but with the Sitz team commitment, Donna, Bob, Jim and Sherrie and Mark Stokman met the challenge.
In October 1989, the family decided to cut down the size of the cow herd and held a "Mature Cow Herd Dispersion Sale". It was a tremendous sale with the cows being sold to every corner of the United States. Cows sold in that sale performed very well for their new owners and some gained national and international recognition.
In 1997, a major expansion and change of operation occurred at Sitz Angus Ranch. In March of that year, the family purchased a ranch in the Dillon, Montana area and Jim and his new bride, Tammi moved there and manage that portion of the Sitz operation. Then in December of that same year, the family purchased a ranch in the "Big Hole" area 50 miles west of Dillon. The Big Hole is recognized by many as one of the premier cattle grazing areas in Montana. With these two acquisitions, Sitz Angus could expand their cowherd and add another dimension to their marketing program, offering their customers a complete range of bulls in three ages classes — yearlings, long yearlings and coming two year olds. With the addition of an annual spring sale at Dillon, selling 200 yearling and 75 fall yearling bulls, this gives the Sitz customer a choice. Sitz Angus continues to offer 350 coming two-year old bulls in their annual fall sale at the Harrison ranch, which has been the mainstay of their marketing for 38 years.
1999 was a year to remember for the Sitz family when the long tenured Sitz program was recognized with a record breaking female sale. This "Elite Cow Sale" recorded a $24,841 average on 60 lots with the top selling cow, Sitz Everelda Entense 023, selling for a new world record for an Angus cow at $300,000. The second high selling cow, Sitz Henrietta Pride 501, brought $250,000.
At the 2001 National Western Stock Show in Denver, the Junior Angus Foundation donation heifer brought a record breaking $101,000. The heifer was a choice pick from the entire Sitz heifer calf crop born in 2000. Falcon Seaboard Ranches of Texas held the last bid after a fierce bidding contest from start to finish.
What's happening with the Sitz family today? Everyone is involved in the agriculture industry!
The Sitz family remains dedicated to the original principals that promoted this herd of registered Angus to national and world prominence - A PRACTICAL, PREDICTABLE AND PROFITABLE PROGRAM.
Please be sure to check out all the pages on our web site as there is much more information we would like to share with you. Once again, thank you for taking the time to learn more about us.
The Sitz family is dedicated to providing the progressive cow man with proven performance genetics using all performance tools that are available.