Croissant Red Angus
Name: Larry & Jean Croissant, Kevin & Sallie Miller
Ranch/Business Name: Croissant Red Angus
Location: Briggsdale, CO
Describe your operation: We raise 250 head of registered Red Angus cows in Northeastern CO, and sell 75-80 yearling bulls in our annual bull sale in March. The calves that are not chosen for the seedstock program are grown in our small feedlot along with other calves purchased from area ranchers that have used Croissant Red Angus bulls. This allows us to collect data on the calves to see where we need to focus to make genetic improvement. In addition to the work on our ranch, our commitment to improve the beef industry is evident by working with organizations that are dedicated to advancement through science-based research and education of consumers. Larry served on the Red Angus Board of Directors from 2000-2006, Kevin is currently serving on the Red Angus Board of Directors. Sallie served as the president of the Colorado CattleWomen from 2015-2017 and is currently a director for the Colorado Beef Council.
How long has your operation been in business (and if applicable, how many generations have been, or are, involved): The family has had Red Angus cows for 30+ years. We have changed and grown over the years, now encompassing 3 generations.
How has technology changed how you do business: All technology we use is used to gain efficiencies and reduce our environmental footprint. By improving the genetics of the cattle we are able to produce more beef with fewer inputs. Some examples of technology we use include collecting DNA on all of the calves before they turn a year old. This is used to predict how they might perform in a feedyard or how their off-spring might perform- will they have a low birthweight or gain weight fast? Will they have a lot of marbling in the meat? These help us make choices with each of the animals.
Has your ranch received any special honors:
1999- Outstanding Seedstock Producer awarded by Colorado Cattlemen’s Association
2000- Nominated for the Seedstock Producer of the Year to Beef Improvement Federation
2007- Outstanding Conservationists awarded by the West Greeley Conservation District honored Croissant Red Angus for outstanding dedication and commitment to natural resource conservation in the Upper South Platte Watershed.
2007- Red Angus Breeder of the Year in recognition of outstanding contribution in genetic breeding by the Red Angus Association of America.
2008- Seedstock Producer Roll of Excellence awarded by Beef Improvement Federation
2017 Red Angus Pioneer Breeder Award was presented to the family during National Red Angus Convention. This award recognizes long-time members of the Red Angus Association who over the years have maintained the quality and excellence of their herds through diligent breeding practices, always keeping Red Angus cattle at the forefront of their breeding programs.
What is your favorite part about being in the cattle business: The people are amazing. It is probably the only business left where a handshake and honor drive the business.
What challenges do you face in the cattle industry: Misinformation is a big challenge for much of agriculture. Many people do not understand how cattle are raised or how they are a big part of the ecosystem. Most of what cattle eat is not edible to people and they are able to convert low quality feed to a high quality protein for us. In addition, cattle’s grazing maintains the range in good condition and provides habitat essential to many birds and other wildlife. Wildlife also uses water sources that are created for livestock.
What message would you like consumers to hear: Beef is a great food for our body, nutritionally dense, and convenient to prepare. In addition, beef cattle are a good resource in our environment as they graze where it isn’t feasible to grow other crops and eat many by-products created that we can not eat like the spent grain from brewing beer and pulp from sugar beets after the sugar is removed.