The ranch was founded in 1977 by Mark Malson and his father, who purchased land mostly covered in sagebrush and set about creating a working seedstock ranch on it. Improvements over the years have enabled them to cultivate the land for use in farming, haying and pasture land for their purebred cattle. It is a family effort, and today Mark and his wife, Carla Malson, maintain the ranch with help from their children and grand-children. Day-to-day ranch management is handled by Mark and his sons, Josh and Joe. However, all family members help when needed with cattle care, sales, shows, marketing and other activities.
The ranch sells its purebred bulls to commercial cattlemen who use them to improve and maintain the quality of their herds. The family also sells females (cows), heifers, semen, and embryos to other purebred ranchers. Malson Ranch bloodlines can be found through-out the West and Midwest, and females have been shipped from coast to coast. As breeders, the Malsons aim to raise cattle that are efficient, productive and thrive in many environments.
“Our primary objective is to market sound, functional cattle,” says Josh Malson. “We want our cattle to be genetically balanced, but also possess power and perform for our customers.” Josh and his wife Maggie are raising their four children on the ranch. Maggie Malson tells us more about the family business:
We are a cow-calf operation, but we are producing purebred cattle to sell to other ranchers. We focus on the genetics and on improving the breeding stock that is available. Commercial producers use our breeding stock to improve their herds and thus, improve the product—beef.
Beef starts with good genetics. We have chosen a breed of cattle known for their natural marbling, which leads to tenderness. We use artificial insemination and embryo transfer technology to continually help improve the genetics we offer other ranchers. We also have data on all of our animals, which predicts how they will develop and perform. This data includes carcass traits, as well as feed efficiency and mothering ability. If a cow can’t raise up a calf every year, we’ll never get to the end product.
Our family hosts an annual production sale every November to market our cattle to commercial producers. We also show our cattle at the regional and national level to promote our program. We exhibit at the National Western Stock Show, where we have had a champion Angus heifer twice. All four of our children show cattle and sheep, and it’s a big part of their lives as well.
The people are the best part. I grew up a farm girl and I always knew I wanted to be in agriculture. I have a deep love and respect for the people in agriculture. They’re honest, hard-working, love their families and neighbors, and provide a top quality product. I love that it’s a global industry, but there’s so much family connection within it.
"We want our cattle to be genetically balanced, but also possess power and perform for our customers” – Josh Malson