The family ranch is a combination cow/calf, seedstock, and grain operation. It has provided a livelihood for three generations, and is well on its way to include the fourth generation.
Grampa's interest in raising cattle adaptable to this area led him to officially become Angus breeders in 1948. The purchase of 8 Registered Black Angus bred heifers was one of the first introduced to this area. He was quite proud of those heifers - even though they were an uncommon sight around here and had limited demand in those times.
Those eight females grew into a larger herd, both purebred and crossbreds and laid the foundation for the following descendants. Following Grampa's passing Dad and Mom expanded the herd even further after acquiring a larger land base. When times were tough for the black hided animals and Dad needed to cross breed for the market, there always remained black cows in his herd. During those same years Mom and Dad also raised a few registered animals under the herd name, Prairie Pride.
60 years later we continue the legacy with the same enthusiasm, interest and goals to produce quality cattle - a virtue passed down as the second and third generations are now sharing the ranch and herd management responsibilities with the fourth generation.
The Delorme name has been associated with quality registered breeding stock since the mid-sixties, when Don's parents established their Jay En Dee Black Angus herd. In the spring of 1963 they purchased 10 heifers and registered their first calves under the Jay En Dee herd name in 1964. As ranch managers from 1953 to 1985, for John Frank they also assisted with the Golden Sunrise cattle which later became known as the Double J Angus herd.
As ranch manager he also did the halter work for both herds. In 1979 Jay En Dee Carelia 7L was named Grand and Supreme Champion at the Saskatoon Winter Fair. From Saskatoon she went to Canadian Western Agribition in Regina where she was judged Grand Champion Heifer Calf and Reserve Grand Champion of the show. 1979 was also the origination of the Shortgrass Bull and Female Sale. The Delorme's and Frank's acted as hosts and were joined by the Wiwa Creek, Sandy Bar and Southern Lane herds.
The 4-H program played an active role in the family's life. As Leaders and members they took part in many competitions and received many awards for their cattle and skills.
In 1985, John and Florence and their herd of Registered Angus cattle moved to a place just south of Maple Creek. Even in semi-retirement their aim was yet to better their herd. Private treaty bull sales served the needs of bull buyers until they moved to town.
It was in 1993 that the second generation of Delorme's, Don and Connie, made the deal to acquire thirty head of Jay En Dee cows. A few years later a dozen "G" heifers were also purchased from John and Florence. There is one notable cow that was part of that original purchase in 1993 - Jay En Dee Blackbird 11W, born in 1987, raised 17 calves for two generations of Delorme's.
Our Paint breeding program began in the early 1990's. With cattle to work, came the opportunity to expand the horse breeding herd on the ranch.
Our first stallion was a tobiano son of a Saskatchewan Champion Quarter Horse, Number One Red (by Otoe's Gent) and out of an Apache Cat/Hancock daughter. While out shopping for a mare or two, we ran across and purchased a young son of Robins Parteebuilt called Mr Parteebuilt. His first foals arrived in 1997 and he had sired over 120 foals until his untimely death in 2011. We have kept many of his daughters which led us to the purchase of new sires; AQHA sire, Page Mr Star Bucks and Smooth Sir and APHA Sires: Freckle Face Smoke and a home-raised son, SSAP Cowboyizm.
Today the herd consists of approx. 50 to 55 horses of APHA, AQHA and JC lines. Progeny have been sold to Texas, California & Arizona; France, Switzerland and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Sask., Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario. Their abilities are proving to be as varied as their colors and we continually anticipate what the next foaling season will produce.
Around fifteen sections of native grasses carry the individually owned cowherds for the grazing season. Stubble is also utilized for fall-grazing as well as a creep-fed system of stock piled grain chaff saved at harvest. Dryland hay/grass is baled on 500 plus acres, allowing us to be pretty well self-sufficient in putting up our own stock-feed.
Raising cattle and crops, in this semi-arid country has always been challenging because of the extreme conditions; grazing can be sparse, weather sometimes severe and water / rain is always in question. Annual precipitation, including snow, averages 12" to 15". But we face all adversity with the same practical thinking and perseverance that has kept the ranch going for the last three generations.
The six of us, collectively run just over 400 commercial cows, as well as the Delorme's 150 plus head of registered Black Angus and a small herd of Paint and Quarter Horses. Darby and Sarah's Boundary Ranch genetics include Black Angus, Black and Red Simmentals.
Don working on some spring seeding.
Chopping the silage. Josephine in the truck and Don in the chopper.
Packing the silage pit, ready to lay the cover. Left to right: Josephine, Darby, Don and Alfred in the tractor.
Josephine unloading at the bin.
The stock is wintered at four main locations. The mature cow herd on the cropland and the younger stock in or near the yards.
Calving season for the registered herd begins mid-January followed by the commercial heifers the end of March. Bulls are turned out on the mature commercial herd on July 10 for an April and May calving. Foals arrive May and June and add the color to our program !
Strictly a family owned and operated business we hope with some sound management decisions (and a little luck) that the place will be a viable operation for all future generations.
The "South" Place
Hills & coulees of the Old Man On His Back
Left: Cactus & Native prairie grasses
Top Right: Checking for strays
Bottom Right: Moving the cowherd to new pasture
The "North" Place
Bench land on the Cypress Hills
Left: Evening rays close a good day
TopRight: Cow-calf pairs, late summer
Bottom Right: Rounding up to bring home
We are located in the extreme southwest corner of Saskatchewan. Home for Don & Connie is the original farm purchased by Connie's Grandparent's, just a couple of miles North and East of Robsart. Alfred and Josephine along with Darby and Sarah live along Hwy #13, a few miles east of Robsart.
Fall grazing on stubble
Here you will find a mixture of cattle, cropland and horses; complimenting or supplementing each other in one way or another. The cattle and horses graze the native shortgrass, or hard grass, which covers a large part of this area. Included in this operation is the ranch and farm holdings of Alfred and Josephine Wardberg, Connie's parents, ourselves - Don and Connie, plus our son and his wife, Darby & Sarah Delorme. Daughter Kalee and her family also run a few cows here and contribute time and labour.
A top-cut of home raised crossbred plus a limited number of bred heifers are currently offered for your appraisal and addition to your breeding herd.
Selling: annually in the Fall
From the Registered APHA & AQHA Horse Program:
The crop land, mostly owned by Alfred and Josephine, is seeded to wheat & durum grains and some specialty crops. Rotational no-till cropping is employed on the 6500 acres with acreage set aside for feed grains to thrash, silage or bale up for greenfeed.
Of Angus Cattle
The Delorme Family proudly celebrated
50 Years as Purebred Black Angus Breeders and
65 Years as Commercial Black Angus Breeders in 2013
The optimum level at which the ranch operates today is due in part to the work-ethics and management practices passed from one generation to the other.