ABOUT THE RANCH
"Quality genetics built on a heritage of commitment."
The idea of owning a cattle ranch out in North Dakota’s Badlands was never far off in Jim Arthaud’s mind so it isn’t strange that he finally realized his idea when he purchased his first group of registered Angus heifers and the outfit’s signal bull after a trip out to Idaho in 1998. With the guidance and influence of long-time friend and rancher, Norm Winters, Mr. Arthaud set out to build North Dakota’s premier Angus seedstock ranch. He called it Open A Angus after one of Billings County, North Dakota’s original cattle outfits and also from the design of his cattle brand.
The young ranch and its foundational herd of heifers and one bull was first headed by long-time Belfield, North Dakota rancher, Larry Cymbaluk, and Mr. Arthaud often utilizied the expertise of his future brother-in-law, Wes Obrigewitch, in building the genetic base of Open A’s herd. Since the beginning, Open A Angus has embraced the best in available cattle breeding technology. Performance testing, artificial insemination, embryo transfer, carcass ultrasounds and most recently, 50K testing have all been utilized to help build a solid and exceptional genetic base for the cattle herd. This outstanding foundation has provided the herd with cattle that have great fleshing ability, good functional udders and good feet and legs – each essential qualities when asked to survive the often harsh terrain and conditions of North Dakota’s Badlands. In the earlier years, sires such as Leachman Right Time, Bando 598,
GDAR Rainmaker 340 and N Bar Ext were used to realize this goal.
As the ranch grew the mission became clearer – to have calving ease and performance cattle raised only on grass and their dams without using creep feed or supplements. It was crucial to have calves with above average weaning weights without the use of these methods. Functional, sound cattle that can survive in limited resource environments become the driving force behind the herd.
Open A Angus is also a pioneer in video production sales. Until 2005 bulls were only sold private treaty but beginning that year Open A partnered with Heart River Ranch to hold one of the country’s first video production sales. This public auction was held in historic Medora, North Dakota. During the sale, bulls were penned outside of the town’s community center to be available for customers to get a first-hand look at the cattle while the auction was held inside of the community center. Bids were delivered while customers watched the stock, via video, in the
warm and clean comfort of the building. This relaxed and comfortable atmosphere proved to be a hit and has since been emulated by many other ranches.
Most recently, Open A Angus has been gearing up to grow larger and build on the foundation of our mission. In 2011, a bull development feedlot was built south of Belfield, North Dakota. Brother-in-law, Wes Obrigewitch, is the herd and feedlot manager and has expanded the herd to over 300 head of mother cows and 150 head of heifers calved annually always with quality genetics built on a heritage of commitment.