The Angus Conversation Season Three Launches With Breeder Interview
When Donna Sitz struggled to find a ranch manager after her husband was tragically killed in an accident on their Angus operation, family friend Pat Goggins suggested she look no further than her two sons. So, at 19 and 21, the brothers stepped into the role with help from their sister Sherrie. They learned on the go, with their dad’s breeding philosophies still guiding them today.
“We know what we want in our cows. We want them deep-ribbed, big-topped, sound-footed,” says Jim Sitz, who took an early interest in the cow side of the business. “But probably the one thing that has changed … in the last 10, 20, 30 years, is there’s more data to help you with your selection.”
His wife Tammi manages their recordkeeping and data entry, and along with his brother, Bob Sitz, Jr., and their families, they raise registered cattle in two locations near Harrison and Dillon, Mont.
“We’re looking at marbling, ribeye and kind of the complete package, but we're not trying to chase the extremes,” Jim says. “I guess we’ve always felt like we’re chasing balance.”
The Sitz family has a long history with data collection, as their dad adopted the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) program early on. They enroll in MaternalPlus®, submit carcass data, collect foot scores, genomically test every bull and were involved in the early Certified Angus Beef Sire Evaluation program.
The family operates with a monthly meeting and a strong commitment to each other to do what’s best for the whole. The story could have gone differently, and at points, they may wish it had. But as Jim says, “Sometimes we don’t know what the grand plan is…but then 10 years later you’re thinking, ‘You know what? That worked out just fine.’”
This year they’re celebrating their 100th year in the Angus business, with a grateful nod to the past and sights set ahead.
“There’s always opportunities, you just have to look for them,” Jim says.
Listen to our latest podcast episode, “‘By God’s Grace’: The Sitz Family Overcomes Tragedy by Working Together, Chasing Balance,” by searching for The Angus Conversation anywhere you get your podcasts, or follow this link: https://www.angusjournal.net/episodes/episode/7795361c/by-gods-grace-the-sitz-family-overcomes-tragedy-by-working-together-chasing-balance