Ranch honored: Gray’s Angus Ranch receives 2021 Nebraska Producer of the Year Award
Source: Nebraska Angus Association
via Wyoming Livestock Roundup - January 7th, 2022
Harrison, Neb. – Rod and Laura Gray and their family of Harrison, Neb. are the recipients of the 2021 Nebraska Angus Producer of the Year. Raising registered Angus has been a family tradition for the Grays.
Rod’s great-great grandfather Starr Fuller had American Aberdeen Angus registries from Toledo, Iowa dating back to 1898. Harry Gray, Rod’s grandpa, purchased Angus cows from his wife’s father, Art Fuller and held public auctions of “Richly Bred Angus Cattle” in the 1940s. Wayne Gray, Rod’s dad, built the Angus cowherd to 400 registered females and sold bulls private treaty.
At the age of 15, Rod purchased his first bull from the Champion Pen of Three at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, which was a son of Ankonian President – the Grand Champion Angus Bull at the International in 1964. Rod grew up active in the Iowa Junior Angus Association and served as president. He showed their own Angus breeding stockin 4-H, progress shows, Iowa State Fair and NWSS.
Establishing the ranch
Rod and Laura moved to Nebraska in 1983 and have raised their family in the Angus business since. Their children were active in the Nebraska Junior Angus Association. Naomi was the Nebraska Angus Queen in 2000 and a finalist for Miss American Angus. Their children also showed at AKSARBEN, the National Junior Angus Show, progress shows and in 4-H.
Rod served on the Nebraska Angus Association Board of Directors and was the 1992-93 president. He also served on the Nebraska Beef Checkoff Board for eight years and traveled to Central and South America with the U.S. Meat Export Federation promoting beef.
In 1997, the family picked up their roots and cattle, and moved west to the Wyoming border southwest of Harrison. They hosted the Nebraska Junior Angus Show at Fort Robinson and a few Nebraska Angus Tours.
The Grays have exhibited at Husker Harvest Days, the Nebraska State Fair, Wyoming State Fair, Central States Fair, the Northern International Livestock Expo (NILE), NWSS, Western Junior Stock Show and the Black Hills Stock Show. In 2008, Gray’s Angus bred and raised steers, which won the Champion National Certified Angus Beef Angus Source Carcass Challenge. They have also exported registered Angus breeding stock to Russia and Turkey.
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