Olsen Ranches Inc., Harrisburg, Neb., was honored with a Hereford Innovator Award by the American Hereford Association (AHA) for its commitment to the Hereford industry and the National Reference Sire Program. Art and Karyn Olsen, and Douglas and Pam Olsen were presented with the award at the National Western Stock Show Hereford Carload and Pen Show in Denver, Jan. 13.
Olsen Ranches has been a test herd for the AHA’s National Reference Sire Program (NRSP) since 1999. Over the years, they’ve tested 146 bulls and submitted data on 7,623.
AHA Director of Breed Improvement and Chief Operating Officer Jack Ward says, “The Olsens operate one of the most progressive commercial herds in the country and they have been instrumental in identifying sires that have moved the Hereford breed in the right direction. Their data collection is impeccable and with the addition of the GrowSafe system, they will help the AHA maintain its leadership role in the beef cattle industry by identifying differences among sires for economically relevant traits.”
Olsens’ dedication has been recognized by other organizations as well. Olsen Ranches was recognized as the 2004 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Commercial Producer of the Year. The Olsens were instrumental in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Carcass Merit Project as well as in the international study sponsored by the AHA to standardize
Hereford breed EPDs between the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Today the progressive Olsen operation focuses on its commercial cow-calf herd, with 850 cows comprised primarily of Hereford genetics with crossbreeding of Red Angus genetics.
Along with the cow herd, the Olsens raise irrigated and dryland wheat, corn, barley and alfalfa. They offer custom backgrounding and artificial insemination (AI) services. In 2010 the Olsens added a GrowSafe system to their feedlot, which allows the collection of feed efficiency data.