In 1954, seven visionary breeders gathered to establish a unique breeder’s organization known as the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA). Rejecting the norms of the times, the RAAA was designed around the new scientific principles of performance testing. Founding member George Chiga explained, “The establishment of Red Angus (Association) was more than an accumulation of numbers. It was dreaming of a new approach.”
In August of 1954, the Association’s first president, Waldo Forbes, Sr., summed-up the vision of the founding members: “The policy of the (Red Angus) Association is to discourage the more artificial practices in purebred cattle production and to place its faith instead in objective tests, consisting for the most part of comparisons within herds of factors of known economic importance and known heritability... By making this an integral part of the registration system, Red Angus breeders feel that even faster progress can be made toward the ultimate goal of more efficient beef production.”
The Red Angus Association of America has long been noted for its far-sighted vision of beef production. Over a variety of fronts, Red Angus has either led the industry or been an early adopter of new technologies. This maverick attitude allowed the RAAA to adopt philosophies and technologies that were deemed too risky or unconventional by other associations. Examples of these risky but rewarding philosophies include: a performance-based registry, embracing crossbreeding principles and practices, total herd reporting (THR), commitment to reproductive traits and a belief in value-based marketing programs.
Red Angus are Angus; yet the Red Angus breeders’ history of leadership and innovation have made a profound difference in the red strain. Red Angus breeders have maintained a commercial focus allowing them to avoid the short-term fads that have negatively affected so many other breeds. The Red Angus gene pool offers a consistent source of traditional Angus traits, including carcass quality, maternal characteristics, calving ease, and moderate size. In addition, Red Angus offer uniformity, good disposition, and outstanding feeding characteristics. All of these are backed by the industry’s most precise, reliable and comprehensive genetic predictions; and service after the sale that includes a comprehensive commercial marketing program.
American Red Angus Association (2018, August). Red Angus History. Retrieved from https://redangus.org/about-red-angus/history/