Les and Karen Holloway are the proud producers of purebred Herefords raised east of Castor, Alta.
The pair recently hosted their 10th consecutive Hereford bull sale on Feb. 11 where they served about 120 people lunch before opening the sale to eager bidders.
The Hollways operate on 27 sections of farmland which is mainly overseen by son-in-law Anthony Plett who also does mechanic work and 400 head of purebred Hereford cows to keep them busy.
“I do enjoy growing the crops and fighting the weather and everything you have to do in the market in order to make things work. It makes you scratch your head at certain points but we do enjoy it,” said Les.
Four other people work there.
Les’s grandfather was raised in Hereford cattle over 100 years ago then his father carried the tradition on in the commercial end of things.
They used to have a dairy as well but were drawn to the purebred breed.
“We were raising our own bulls for a commercial herd and then the numbers got big enough that we thought we should either do something with or disperse somewhat,” began Holloway.
Coincidentally, another ranch was shutting the gates getting out of the business so the Holloways saw this as an opportunity to purchase the remaining part of their herd.
This was the beginning of selling purebred bulls.
“I like growing things you know,” said Holloway. “And the challenge of raising better genetics and the quality cattle that I would like to see spread out to our commercial people. Hereford cattle are a bit under pressure right now but we are hopeful we can turn that corner and change that.”
To showcase this breed, Hollway highlights their sale bulls weight which produces a bigger carcass than what others are able to do.
Half of their herd is now polled (hornless) as they find this is the new direction the breed is going in when it comes to quality.
They also focus on longevity, prime utters and feet.
“These bulls are lasting till they are eight, nine-years-old which is not usual for a purebred bull either,” said Holloway. “We try to make them long-lasting.”
Outside of the farm, it was noted that Karen was a member of the Clearview school board as a Trustee for over 20 years.
The couple is also active in the Brownfield Baptist Church and spending quality time with their grandchildren whenever possible.
There is still hope that although they are young they may continue on the family legacy.