More than a hundred years ago (1896), when Pam's great grandparents, Michael and Lucy Embody, first homesteaded the original 320 acres of the Rocky Mountain Front, Angus cattle was the furthest thing from their minds. In fact the Embody's were first famous for the horses they raised and the bronc riders in the family. In addition to the huge bands of grade and Morgan horses that they raised for riding and work, the family also imported Belgian and Percheron stallions to improve their strains of working horses. Through the years the ranch continued to grow and it changed its emphasis, becoming first a cattle operation and finally Apex Angus with a total of 3 ranches.
The first is a farming operation near Valier, Montana featuring wheat, barley and alfalfa. The other two, near Dupuyer, Montana, are homes to some of the nations premier production cattle. After six generations of a family developing a reputation of excellence, Daryle and Pam Swanson, along with sons Kirby, Kurt and Klint, today maintain an age-old tradition of customer satisfaction.
Long steeped in a regional history of Hereford breeding in this part of Montana, it came as a surprise to many when the family first introduced Angus stock in 1945. In fact many doubted the wisdom of bringing these hardy black animals into Montana. Those doubts disappeared as observers saw how well they adapted to their new Montana home. In fact many became down right envious when they noticed how much easier this new breed was to maintain than their Hereford predecessors.
The ranches began performance testing with the original Montana Beef Performance Association in the late 1960's, since that time the ranch has consistently consigned bulls to performance test stations. Registered cattle were introduced into the operation in 1972. Today, the Swanson's run two Angus herds with approximately 675 females. About half are registered cows with the remaining half commercial cows. Each winter the registered cows are transported to the Valier ranch for calving, while the commercial cows remain at the Dupuyer ranch. Apex offers an annual sale each spring.
The two-year-olds and registered cow herd are calved out of Valier. After breeding 100% of the cattle are moved to summer pastures on the two upper ranches on the Rocky Mountain Front.
Kirby, Rita and family are situated 3 miles west of Dupuyer. This is the home of the yearling heifers, breeding and calving of the commercial herd. Kurt, Colleen and girls live east of Valier, near Daryle and Pam, where the the farming operation is situated. Klint and Lori are helping with cattle management at both places.
Through constant performance information and carcass data on each animal raised at Apex, Pam and Daryle Swanson and their sons continue to strive to produce cattle that will produce not just pounds, but quality pounds. They are delivering to their customers cattle that will finish quickly and efficiently, cattle that allow greater yield and more dollars in the bank.
Apex Angus Ranch is located 6 miles east of Valier, Montana or 8 1/2 miles west of I-15 on Highway 44, Exit 348. Centered evenly between Conrad, Shelby, Cut Bank, Choteau and Valier.
|Branding at the Apex circa 1958-9
Stop by before the sale. The Swanson's are happy to help in any way
they can with your breeding program!