Wehrmann Angus Win 1997 Virginia Seedstock Producer Of The Year Award
Livestock Update, April 1997
Ike Eller, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech
The Virginia Seedstock Producer of the Year Award for 1997 was presented to Nicholas Wehrmann, owner and Richard McClung, managing partner of Wehrmann Angus at New Market, Virginia. This award, presented by the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association honors an outstanding seedstock producer each year and is a stepping stone for being nominated for the national Outstanding Seedstock Producer of the Year Award, presented by the Beef Improvement Federation.
Nick Wehrmann, the owner, is an industrialist with a deep interest in the beef industry and brings strict business principles, discipline, and organization to Wehrmann Angus. The managing partner, Richard McClung, is a West Virginia native, educated at West Virginia University and combines work ethic, integrity and common sense. These two individuals have taken Wehrmann Angus to an important and revered place as seedstock breeders in North America.
Wehrmann Angus today consists of 310 registered Angus cows from which 100 females are sold annually at auction and 135 bulls are sold annually with 60 of them being sold at auction at the farm and the balance being sold by private treaty. The production of this excellent herd, however, is greatly enlarged and will offer for sale more seedstock animals in the future because of the expanded use of embryo transfer.
Wehrmann Angus was established in 1975 in southwest Georgia. The registered Angus herd was started with performance cattle, mostly of Rito breeding from Jorgensen Ranches in Ideal, South Dakota. The herd remained at the same location until July, 1986, at which time it moved to Virginia to Court Manor Farm at New Market. During those years in Georgia, the goal was to produce performance Angus cattle that would flourish on available forage in the deep south, and particularly in the harsh south Florida environment. Richard McClung became managing partner in 1978 and developed a volume bull market in the deep south which is still enjoyed.
After 11 years in south Georgia, the herd moved July 1, 1986 to New Market, Virginia, to Court Manor Farm, which at that time, consisted of 1,300 acres and has now grown to 2,250 acres. After extensive pasture renovation and the construction of many miles of high tensile fence, barns, corrals and feeding systems, today Court Manor is an excellent cow operation.
Wehrmann Angus had it's first female sale in October, 1987 with an average of $1,600 on 50 head. The female sale held in October, 1996 averaged $4,976 on 100 head. The first Wehrmann bull sale held in March of 1989 and had an average of $2,150 on 50 bulls while in March, 1996 the 70 bulls sold averaged $2,650. Since 1985, Wehrmann Angus has put 23 bulls in major bull studs in the US.
Nick Wehrmann and Richard McClung have had a plan and have doggedly stuck to it. The plan called for selection and improvement based on traits of economic importance. Individual performance records and EPDs are gigantic tools for this operation. Newer measures included over the past 10 years include ultrasonically measured loineye area and backfat and marbling as well as pelvic measurements on all bulls and heifers and scrotal circumference on bulls.
Wehrmann Angus has been a strong cooperator with researchers at Virginia Tech and have been available to host field days and literally hundreds of groups who have come to tour this special seedstock operation.
Richard McClung has served as director of the Virginia Angus Association, director and president of VA BCIA, director of the American Angus Association and director of the Virginia Cattle Industry Board. He has spoken at numerous field days and educational meetings throughout the US, taking part in symposiums and conventions. He has also served as a judge from 1991 to 1993 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.