TODAY: The three top reasons that we used Maine-Anjou genetics back in 1971 are still true today: (1) add skeletal width with increased muscle mass, (2) increase docility, and (3) compliment the quality of Angus carcass traits while enhancing cutability and trimness. We continue to use Maines for their balance in the cattle industry and we believe they continue to prove to us that the breed's influence rises to meet the standards of the beef industry. We feel these cattle do this while holding firm to the quality of maternal traits, feed efficiency, docility, and eye appeal to make them successful in any realm of beef production. We love the eye appeal and power that has traditionally made them desirable for the show ring, yet when done right, they make some of the most functional and productive mothers that have longevity and long-term value.
HISTORY: We first used Berlin back in 1971 and quickly saw both the value and challenges of the breed as full bloods. In the spring of 1972, Buddy, Leo, and Miles saw that with the added power, it also brought major concerns of birth weights and calving ease. Yet, even in that first and only set of Berlin calves, came the 1973 International Champion Pen of 3 steers in Chicago and the Reserve Champion Steer, which we believe is the first ever Maine-Anjou sired steer to win at a major show in the US. In 1972, DeJong Ranch made the decision to continue finding the value of the Maine-Anjou breed while selecting genetics that proved to be balanced. They found these successful multi-trait selections by using the breed legends of Cunia, Covino III, and Epinal. The offspring from these bulls all proved to meet the three top reasons for using Maine genetics as well as having some great productive daughters that had a major influence in our cattle herd today. Some of the other noteable sires that we used include: Canook, Streamliner, Inox, Holy Smoke, Pistol Pete, Midas, Power Plant, Draft Pick, Tidal Wave, DJ Bulls Eye, Black Impact, DJ Patent, DJ Hunk, DJ High Definition, Hard Core, Energizer, DJ Caesar, Power Plus, Data Bank, and DJ Chernobyl.
Over the next twenty years, the herd continued to improve and the multi-trait selection of Maine-Anjou cattle generated the type of cattle that the DeJong Ranch was working to produce. In 1980, two of the best things happened to DeJong Ranch. The first, and most important, was that Miles and Kim got married in that summer. The second, was that Power Plant was born on March 23. Power Plant went on to be one of the leading sires in the Maine-Anjou world and has more than 3,600 offspring registered in the Maine-Anjou database.
The 1990s also held major checkpoints for the DeJong Ranch in relation to the Maine-Anjou breed. We first implemented embryo transplanting technology in 1991 with the first set of ET calves producing DJ Bulls Eye. We first attended the Denver Stock Show in 1993 and exhibited the champion and reserve champion pen of 3 bulls. In 1995, we were awarded with the Maine-Anjou Breeder of the Year. In 1996, we exhibited DJ Dee Dee who was the Grand Champion Maine-Anjou Heifer in Denver. Finally, in 1999, we had the reserve champion pen of 3 Maine-Anjou bulls. The most noteworthy cow that we raise was DJ Esther E32 that was a Polled Premier out of a Tidal Wave cow. Esther went on to produce 44 registered offspring before she died due to an injury. Some of the sires that we have been using in the more recent years include: Closing Bell, Maverick, Special Delivery, OSU, Ali, I-80, Mercedes Benz, Suh, DJ Wake Up Call, DJ Working Man, Middle Man, All That Matters, Jose, Garth, DJ On Point, Reprint, DJ I Deliver, and DJ Connect.