Clarence Van Dyke started Van Dyke Angus Ranch in Manhattan, Montana, in 1955 before passing it along to his sons, Lee and Keith. The American Angus Association® is proud to recognize Lee and Clarence’s herd as a recipient of the Historic Angus Herd award as a way to showcase their commitment to the Angus breed. This award is presented to active Angus breeders and immediate family members who have been in continuous production of registered Angus cattle for 50 years or more.
Clarence settled on the Angus breed because he had a goal to build the best cows possible, and that tradition of excellence continues today. The first cattle were purchased from Fred Happen and John Huffine of Bozeman, Montana. From a humble beginning, Clarence started as a test herd for ABS.
“Over the years, he produced and raised many industry-leading bulls such as VDAR New Trend 315 and VDAR Lucy’s Boy,” said Tim Crabtree, nominator of Lee and Clarence Van Dyke for the Historic Herd Award. “Van Dyke Angus remains committed to breeding the best Angus cow possible, and Lee believes that function comes first.”
The 220-head herd has garnered a few awards, including the 1997 Wayne Sterenson Memorial Award of Excellence from the Montana Angus Association, 2003 Gallatin County Outstanding Conservationist and 1989 Outstanding Farmer-Rancher from the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce.