Coleville ranchers earn California Seedstock Producer award for 1999
Jerry and Sally Johnson of Pacific Trail Cattle Co., longtime Gelbvieh breeders, were recently awarded the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association’s award for California Seedstock Producer of the year.
The award was presented at the California Cattlemen’s Convention in Santa Barbara Dec. 9.
Jerry Johnson’s interest in livestock started as a youngster with 4-H and FFA projects. During high school, he started his own herd of purebred Angus. This project developed into a partnership with his father, Stan, while Jerry was away at college. Johnson’s interest in Gelbvieh cattle started just after he graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in animal science. he was hired by Carnation Genetics in the embryo transplant division. He worked with many different breeds at Carnation but after seeing photos and milking records of the German Gelbvieh cows, Johnson decided Gelbvieh would make an excellent cross with his Angus.
While working at Carnation, he became familiar with many beef and dairy breeds and the artificial insemination industry. During this time, the herd grew, and he started showing and marketing Pacific Trail Cattle bulls and females. Also in 1981, the Johnsons started using some of the first cow/calf computer software to manage their cow herd data. They have a wealth of information on each animal that is provided to their buyers. Their bulls have sold at most major bull sales in the state.
In 1986, the Johnsons moved their herd to Coleville. His cattle numbers are down, but currently consist of 300 fall and spring Gelbvieh.
Johnson has been involved in the American Gelbvieh Association for nine years. He has also served as a board member and president of the California Gelbvieh Association in the ’70s and ’80s. He is a member and past chairman of the Mono County Resource Conservation District. he has served two years on the California Beef Cattle Improvement Board and is starting his third year.
The Johnsons have two daughters, Greta, who graduated in May 1999 from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in athletic training, and Erika, a third-year nursing student at North Park University in Chicago.