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  • Miranda Reiman, Angus Media

Create Fewer Problems, Be Consistent, Put Your Customers First

Chad and Stetson Ellingson join The Angus Conversation  

Stetson Ellingson doesn’t remember the day he decided to become a cattleman — he’s always been one. 

The North Dakota Angus breeder often celebrated his birthdays at a bull sale, tagged along with his dad while he traveled, honed his skills in FFA and is now working alongside his family at Ellingson Angus near Saint Anthony, N.D. 

His parents, Chad and Julie Ellingson, say they hoped their kids would grow up with an appreciation for agriculture, and now decades in the making, they’re seeing it play out in real life.  

“They’ve given us a lot of opportunities to head up a lot of the management decisions here,” Stetson says. “And probably initially we maybe weren’t the best option to be in charge of that, but afforded us those learning experiences at the expense of their pocketbook.” 

Having the help of his three oldest children and their spouses has afforded Chad more time to spend out with customers and actively working to help them market their feeder cattle.  

“We don’t ask that they just come here and support us one day a year,” Chad says. “We want to have a working relationship with them 365 days a year.” 

The father-son duo joined The Angus Conversation recently, talking cows, consistency and calving ease.  

“We think really an 80 to 90 pound calf on a mature cow is probably ideal. Those cattle just have more substance to them to get up. They withstand the weather a bit more when guys are range calving,” Chad noted.  

When pairing up matings, the family has a few simple rules at the start. 


“The two nonnegotiables are, they’ve got to be structurally correct and hopefully at an elite tier level,” Stetson explains. “Then the other one is they’ve got to be out of a great cow.” 

As the next generation comes back to the ranch, that’s as important as ever. Eliminating the headache of a bottle calf or a foot problem keeps the joy in it, he notes.  

“We can all be passionate about it, but we sure question our passion when we’ve got to deal with the problem,” Stetson says.  

They try to make sure they’ve done everything genetically to avoid them, and that helps them set goals to keep improving.  

“I really get geared up on just continuing to fine-tune our cow herd here and trying to meet the challenge of making a better calf crop each and every year,” Stetson says.   

To hear the entire podcast, “A 365-Day Long Sale Day — Ellingsons on Creating Cows and Customer Service to Serve Commercial Cattlemen,” search for The Angus Conversation in your favorite podcast platform, or follow this direct link 


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