Art Butler’s dedication to the production of Angus cattle is grounded in a multigenerational commitment to the breed. He is the third generation of Butlers to raise registered Angus cattle at Spring Cove Ranch in Bliss, Idaho. Spring Cove Ranch was settled in 1912 by his grandfather A.H. Butler, who chose to make his desert homestead around a natural spring in northwestern Gooding County. The pioneer Butlers purchased the first Angus cattle in 1919, and Angus cattle and Butlers have roamed the ranges of Spring Cove Ranch continuously for 103 years.
Art was born in 1955 and attended grade school and high school in the small town of Bliss, Idaho, population 200. He participated in livestock 4-H as a student and later as a leader for more than 20 years, and was inducted into the Idaho 4-H Hall of Fame in 2011. He attended the University of Idaho where he earned a degree in animal science in 1978, was a member of the Farmhouse Fraternity and of the Livestock Meat Animal Evaluation Team.
After college graduation in 1978, Art returned to Spring Cove Ranch to continue the family tradition of raising registered and commercial Angus cows and kids. He and his wife, Stacy, son, Josh, and daughter, Sarah, manage the 350-head cow herd and host an annual production sale at the ranch on the second Monday in March, selling bulls and females. The family sells feeder cattle and farms 500 acres, growing alfalfa, sweet corn, field and silage corn and other grains.
Art carries on his family tradition of incorporating all available technology and production tools to enhance the Spring Cove cattle genetics and management. Artificial insemination (AI) was first used on the ranch in the early ’70s with fresh semen delivered by bus. Art enrolled the herd in the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) program in 1974 and began using embryo transfer (ET) in 1991. He also used the Structured Carcass Evaluation program to prove many of the Spring Cove herd sires, incorporated ultrasound scans for carcass traits and in 2022, every calf born at Spring Cove Ranch is parent-verified through DNA and tested for genomic traits.
Art has been committed to developing markets for Angus feeder calves and has encouraged many of the Spring Cove Ranch bull customers to enroll in AngusSource and now in AngusLinkSM. He is a rep for Western Video Market through Stockman’s Market and prioritizes helping his bull customers market their high-quality feeder calves sired by Spring Cove Ranch bulls.
Art has served as a past president of the Idaho Angus Association and on the Idaho Cattle Association Board of Directors. Art and Stacy Butler were the recipients of the 2019 Certified Angus Beef (CAB) Seedstock Commitment to Excellence Award. Spring Cove Ranch and the Art Butler Family received the Century Herd Award from the American Angus Association in 2019.