In 1927 my grandfather, Harry Mason, purchased a farm/ranch 7 miles northeast of Anselmo, Nebraska and moved his family from the Hampton NE area for the start of what has become the Mason Angus and SimAngus ranch.
My grandparents farmed and raised horned Hereford cattle and raised a family of six children, my father Marion, being the youngest.
My parents married in 1953 and took over the operation adding more acres over the years and transforming marginal farm ground back to native grass pastures in which the soil in this area is most suited for. My maternal grandfather raised Black Angus cattle and my father was impressed with the positive traits that that breed possessed, so the transition was made to raising Angus cattle.
In the late 60’s my parents had a commercial herd of completely Angus cattle and a small herd of registered Angus cows.
In the mid 70’s with the influx of European cattle into the USA, my parents experimented with several breeds in their new “crossbreeding program”, but through this kept their foundation of a registered Angus herd and improving it with every new bull purchased. By the early 80’s we were convinced that Angus and Simmental were the best two breeds for us. The Angus was and would always be our foundation breed, but the Simmental added another dimension to our herd and complemented the Angus breed very well. In some categories the SimAngus calves out performed the straight Angus calves, on the cow and later in our back grounding operation. They had a little bit more bone, muscle thickness, and were longer bodied. The SimAngus daughters we were retaining in the herd were raising bigger and better calves. The down side at the time was the hair color. That negative attribute has evolved over the years to be a positive today.
In 1980, while in High School, I started a registered Simmental cowherd called Lazy S Simmentals, and become a member of the American Simmental Association. This is where the prefix, LSS on all of our SimAngus cattle was established. My parents, with all of the various breeds experimentation, stayed true with the purebred Angus, hence Mason Angus and the MA prefix.
Kristi and I were married in 1984 and entered into the operation with my parents and at that time the ranch name, Mason’s Lazy S Ranch was formed. At this time we introduced Artificial Insemination to our cowherd. Through all of the improvements that we have added to our operation over the years and generations, AI has had the biggest influence, by far. A few years ago we introduced embryo transfer. We feel we are just in the infancy stage at this point with our embryo program, we have a lot of room to grow and expand upon what we have started and improve it.
We have experimented with several different breed percentage combinations with the Simmental and Angus breeds, and have found that PB Angus has an integral part in our breeding program as the foundation. The PB Simmental bulls on our registered Angus cows and percentage SimAngus bulls on our registered percentage SimAngus cows, offers the most positives to our crossbreeding program, bringing heterosis, maintaining a moderate mature cow size, while adding length of body, natural thickness, and skeletal soundness. The percentage SimAngus cattle perform well in a feedlot setting and hang a quality, high red meat yielding carcass that complement very well what our Angus cattle do in the feedlot and at harvest. We truly believe both breeds, Angus and Simmental, have an important role in the cattle business and they complement each other very well.
Kristi and I have two wonderful children, Logan and Kaitlyn. They have brought us lots of joy over the years with showing cattle successfully in 4-H and at many open shows. Logan and Kaitlyn are grown now, and both busy with their own lives while they still enjoy coming back to the ranch. They love helping us when needed, especially during branding season and in the fall when we’re working cattle.
In 2003 we were invited into Power Genetics, to be a part of a group of cattle producers, known as multipliers, to raise commercial Angus cross bulls to be marketed in several different settings throughout the US. We felt it was the next step for our operation to make. We had always had a goal of producing seed stock for other cattle producers.
Over the next 10 years we began developing our registered Angus cow herd as well, for the foundation for our percentage Simmental herd. About this time Power Genetics was evolving and we were an active Multiplier in this group raising SimAngus bulls to be sold under the Powerline Genetics brand. With our growing registered Angus herd we began marketing our Angus bulls through the Nebraska Bull Test. Several years later, Jeff and Lisa Johnson of Lonesome River Ranch invited us to be guest consignors in their annual production sale held the first Wednesday in March every year.
In the summer of 2017, it seemed to us that the opportunity was in front of us to host our own Production Sale, hence the introduction of Mason Angus and SimAngus Bull and Heifer Sale, to be held on Saturday March 3, 2018, at Broken Bow Livestock, Broken Bow, Nebraska.
Our ranch is located 2 ½ miles north, 2 ½ miles east, and 1 ½ miles north of Anselmo, NE. We welcome any and all visitors to our ranch to look through our cattle and have a visit. We like talking about our family and our cattle! They’re our passion!