Bill Dietrich has always had a love for cattle. After obtaining an animal science degree in agriculture, he returned to the family farm in Forestburg, Alta. that his grandfather settled in the 1930s. Dietrich and his wife Tracy, their four grown children and their spouses, and even their five grandchildren are all part of Redrich Farms.
In 1999 the Dietrichs began their purebred Red Angus operation and when they started introducing Simmentals into their commercial program, they found the two breeds were a tremendous cross.
“It was a great complement putting the two together because the Red Angus are such great maternal cows, and with the Simmental breed you get a little more growth and it makes a nice cross that way,” Dietrich said.
Through the years, they had a number of repeat clients who were happy with the farm’s bulls and breeding and were asking for referrals for where to purchase Simmental bulls to cross with the Red Angus heifers they were retaining in their own herds.
And so, 11 years ago, when the Dietrichs were looking to expand their operation and their son Tyler and wife Shania began to get very involved, they decided that instead of passing their dedicated customers on to other breeders, they would start raising their own purebred Simmentals.
There was another benefit to adding that breed to their operation.
“We sell a number of our Simmental/Red Angus cross heifers, as well, and they’re quite popular because the folks that buy those heifers then can cross them to any breed they choose,” Dietrich said. “They work quite well.”
Redrich Farms’ annual sale takes place March 28.
The family’s main goal is to raise bulls for the commercial customers in their area and Dietrich said one of the things he loves best about being a seedstock producer is getting to know so many new people and developing great friendships with longtime customers.
In addition to customer relationships, the Dietrich’s also value mentoring future generations when it comes to agriculture.
Bill Dietrich has served as a mentor in Alberta’s Green Certificate Program that lets high school students earn credits for agricultural work experience, and both he and wife Tracy are very involved in a number of junior livestock shows every summer in places like Bashaw and Olds and are often part of the Canadian Junior Angus show, as well.