Rusell owned the Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch with 1.000 commercial bred cows, 1.000 commercial bred heifers and 80 commercial heifer calves (october 2003). In 2003 the ranch is beeing operated by two sons Paul & Mick and the grandson Chad Denowh.
Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch consists in fact of two ranches. The main headquarters is located a few miles north of Sidney, Montana. The Blue Mountain Ranch is located half way between Sidney and Wibaux or about 30 miles south of Sidney.
The ranch is located on the short grass prairie of Eastern Montana. They run around 600 mother cows on the ranch with the majority of them being registered. They also have some dry land and irrigated farmland on which they raise corn for silage and alfalfa hay for winter feed. The conditions in Eastern Montana can at times be less than hospitable. They often have cold snaps in the winter where the temperature is below zero for weeks. There can also have very hot, arid weather in the summer.
The cows are run under the same conditions as a commercial operation. It's very important that the cattle face the same challenges that a commercial herd would face. The majority of the bulls sell to commercial men and they want to be certain that the cattle will work for them.
Normally the majority of the cowherd is summered on the Blue Mountain Ranch. The yearling heifers and sale cows are left at the home ranch where the family can keep a closer eye on them. The cows are brought home around the first of the year to calve out.
The calves are weaned around the middle of September. At this time all of the calves are brought home and the bull calves go onto a high roughage diet. From this time until sale time in March the bull calves are at the main ranch and can be seen any time.
The second annual "Best of the West" Beef Showcase from 2003 was dedicated to the late Russ Denowh. This is the text of the article:
«Denowh bought his first Black Angus in 1954. In 1955, Russ and his wife Pat's father, Joe Gartner, joined forces buying 20 head of registered Angus cows, forming the Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch.
Russ and son Michael bought out Joe in 1974, retaining the name Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch. Youngest son, Paul, joined the family business in 1984. Presently, Russ' grandchildren continue the family tradition.
"He had a real good eye for cattle. Some people have an eye for art; well, Russ had an eye for cattle," Pat said. "He always wanted to ranch. We ranched and farmed, but ranching is what he always really enjoyed. He grew up on a sugar beet farm and didn't want to do that."»
«Russ was the first Angus breeder in Montana to sell yearling bulls at auction. "When he started selling yearling bulls, only 2-year-old bulls were being sold at auction," Michael said.
Russ did a lot of research and propelled the ranch to the leading edge of the Angus industry. He was a charter member of the Montana Beef Improvement Federation, a cattle performance testing organization. Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch has sold bull semen all over the world, as well as embryos to Argentina. "He was a pioneer in using performance records; these days, everyone uses them," Michael said. "We have sold a lot of bulls into registered herds, as well as for commercial herds. He is going to be missed in the Angus industry."
Russ liked Black Angus because they didn't have horns, he liked how they looked and he was especially impressed by their good dispositions. He always said that Black Angus made good mothers. He concentrated on raising good females because the rest would fall into place. He was a humble man who felt that his cattle should speak for themselves. He has been called a "master breeder," a term that is affixed to individuals of special abilities and accomplishments in the breeding of livestock.»
«Russ always got pleasure from helping young people. He mentored many young cattle breeders. He gave of his time, judging at county fairs, the Black Hills Stock Show and the North Dakota State Fair. "He was a great dad, and he had a keen eye for picking cattle. Because of this, we always did well at the county fair as kids," Michael said. "He was big on helping young breeders get started. Dad was involved in 4-H for over 25 years. All of us kids were in 4-H and many of the grandkids have been in it, too."
Pat said, "He enjoyed donating to youth organizations because when he was young during the Depression, children didn't have the opportunities they have now, and he wants them to enjoy things he couldn't."
Russ was a great supporter of his grandchildren's activities. He especially enjoyed watching them play basketball and football at his alma mater, Fairview High School. He was an avid fan of his grandson's hockey games. Grandpa Russ would make his way to the front bleachers of the viewing area; always making sure he didn't miss a thing. He was known to root for the underdog in all contests.»
«Describing Russ' character, Pat said, "I might be a little biased, but I would say he was a very honest man and was willing to give a helping hand to anyone in need. His mother was like that, too."
Russ was also known for his wit and good sense of humor. "He was always joking and teasing in a fun way. He really enjoyed time with his children and grandchildren," Pat said. "Some of our grandkids were town kids, and we would have them out on the ranch in the summers. We have 18 grandchildren and seven great-grandkids."
Russ and Pat shared 53 years together raising cattle, but most importantly raising six children: Gail and her husband, Tom Lehman, Michael and his wife Debbie, Loretta and her husband, Jim Vitt, Pam and her husband, Rick Wyman, Chris and her husband, Roger Hystad, and Paul and his wife Tracy.»
«The Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch attributes its success to Russ, a husband, father, grandfather and friend of the beef industry.»
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