The Saskatchewan Charolais Association is proud to announce that the 2020 Commercial Breeder of the Year award goes to McKenzie Ranch at Delisle, Sask.
McKenzie Ranch is run by David McKenzie and his wife Leanne along with their son Tyson. Brothers Kolton and Clayton are not far away when help is needed, along with David’s retired father Ken.
The McKenzies have been in the Delisle area since 1912, when Ken’s father came over from Scotland and eventually homesteaded in 1923. This same piece of land is where Tyson lives now. Ken bought his first Charolais bull in 1970 from Bud Richardt at Clavet, says David. In 1973 he used a Bingo son to breed 50 heifers and also got into the import craze in 1975 by importing a heifer from France. By 1980 they had a herd of purebred Charolais with semen interests in Jaguar and Poker King Jr.
David and Leanne started farming full-time in 1985, along with many jobs including driving truck, building fence and custom feeding and calving cows. They moved to Ken’s home place in 1993 and have expanded ever since. Currently at 2,720 acres, they also lease another 2,100 acres. They have 365 cows along with 307 heifers.
Calving starts at the end of March on a half-section near the yard. The bred heifers are a little closer to home in a pen so they can be checked at night. During summer the cowherd runs on ranch pasture, as well as at a local grazing co-op. Come October, calves are weaned and cows go on to stockpiled grass. From there the cow herd will move into swath grazing, corn grazing and bale grazing to keep nutrients in the field and feed costs as low as possible. Most of the cow herd tends to be red and tan with the odd black cow around.
Over half the heifers are kept as replacements for themselves or other breeders. The ranch also sells breeding heifers through the local fall replacement heifer sale at the nearby auction mart. Any grey or white heifers are sold as feeders in January, with steers being marketed on TEAM as of last fall.
As the fourth generation of McKenzies to ranch in the area, the whole family is proud to call Delisle home and carry on the ranching traditions started so many years ago. Congratulations to McKenzie Ranches.