Echo Ridge Farm Named Virginia BCIA
2007 Outstanding Seedstock Producer of the Year
Livestock Update, March 2007
Dr. Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech
Virginia BCIA is proud to present the 2007 Virginia Outstanding Seedstock Producer Award to Echo Ridge Farm, owned and operated by the Pratt family- C.W., Shirley, Jason, and Sara Pratt of Atkins, Virginia.
The Echo Ridge herd, initiated by C.W. Pratt as an FFA project in 1964, has evolved into one of the elite seedstock operations in the Commonwealth. The registered Angus operation presently consists of 225 cows managed in both fall and spring calving seasons. The farm sells approximately 75 bulls per year primarily through the Virginia BCIA Performance Bull Test Program as well as on-farm private treaty sales.
Echo Ridge maintains a strong commitment to performance principles and satisfying commercial bull buyers’ needs. The foundation of the Echo Ridge herd was built through the 1970’s through performance recording and participation in the Virginia bull test program. In the 1980’s, Echo Ridge served as a cooperator herd for the Select Sires Young Sires Program which was instrumental in establishing the base cow families to which their herd traces today. From the beginning, Echo Ridge has been committed to strict performance standards. Their whole-herd artificial insemination program has been complimented by the utilization of superior natural service sires in their breeding program. Rito 8X8 and GAR 6807 Traveler 4144 are two examples of sires which went on to have pronounced impacts in the Angus breed after first seeing use natural service at Echo Ridge.
The performance and acceptance of Echo Ridge bulls through the Virginia BCIA Bull Test Program has been notable, particularly in recent years. Echo Ridge bulls have consistently been recognized for their performance relative to their contemporaries, and Echo Ridge has attained top indexing and breeder group awards numerous times at the test stations in both Culpeper and Southwest Virginia. This recognition is topped only by the popularity of their genetics among commercial cattlemen, which identify with the balanced trait, practical approach Echo Ridge takes in designing their bulls.
The Pratts have been very active in the Virginia cattle and agricultural industries. C.W. has had leadership roles with Virginia BCIA, Virginia Angus Association, Evergreen Soil and Water Conservation District, and is currently President of Smyth County Farm Bureau. As a Livestock Marketing Specialist with VDACS, C.W. has contributed significantly to beef education and marketing programs in southwest Virginia. Jason currently serves on the Board of Directors for Virginia BCIA, and is active with the Southwest Virginia Angus Association.