Black Eagle Farms - M & J Farms - Glasman Land & Cattle Company

Clarence Glasman emigrated from southern Minnesota to Russell, Manitoba with his parents William Glasman and Caroline Leifer and brothers Earl, Elmer and Bud. They traveled in 2 rail cars along with their belongings which included their most prized possessions, their draft and carriage horses. Horses always remained important in Clarence’s life. In fact he married an avid horse woman Dorothy Cartwright of Millwood who enjoyed riding and showing horses. Besides farming, Clarence raised and raced horses for many years and became well know on the harness horse circuit. Clarence also had cattle and bought his first registered Angus bull to use on commercial females in 1927. Clarence and Dorothy’s sons Larry and Marshall did not share their parents love for horses but took an interest in the cattle. In the 1930’s, Clarence bought some purebred Black Angus cattle for the boys…thus began the Glasman’s long history with purebred cattle.

As time passed the C.E. Glasman and Sons Aberdeen Angus herd grew. Clarence chose the farm name Black Eagle after a solid black eagle that lived on their land. The Glasmans, Larry and wife Gayle Bryer plus Marshall and wife Jean Smart became well known in the purebred Angus business as they exhibited their cattle across Canada and the USA. At the time, they were seeking championships and also the prize monies as a source of income. They started the show season in March at Brandon’s Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. In the early days, bulls would be loaded on the train for the trip to Brandon. Through the late 1950’s, 1960’s and early 1970’s, Black Eagle Farms made Angus history in Western Canada dominating the Angus show at the prestigious Brandon Bull Sale. In an eighteen year period the Glasmans won 14 Grand Champions and 3 Reserve grand Champions plus many Champion Get of Sires, Pair of Bulls, etc.


Clarence Glasman & Bill Dunn
(Circa 1915)
 
 
The Canadian show circuit continued throughout the year with stops at Calgary, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and many smaller towns along the way. Many remember the old Black Eagle cattle liner or ‘motel’ as it was a familiar site traveling down the road. Over the years, many trips to the Toronto Royal on the ‘Royal train’ were taken by the Glasmans and their Angus cattle. The journey on the train and the time at ‘The Royal’ was always eventful. On one of the trips, Marshall’s son Miles met Bonnie his future partner. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Glasmans hauled and exhibited carloads of long yearling Black Angus bulls to the Denver Stock Show. Some years as many as 40 head were taken to Denver including a very competitive string for the ‘hill’ show.  

Many famous bloodlines were propagated and promoted by Black Eagle but none more influential than Boniagra Ankonian 306122 or ‘Northern Giant’. Giant had been the 1969 Brandon Bull Sale Grand Champion bull and record high seller exhibited by Norman Hodgson of Virden. Northern Giant was large framed with a great hair coat and an easy disposition. He became an instant celebrity in the Angus business as he was campaigned to the 1969 Chicago International show standing second to another power Angus bull Great Northern. Northern Giant was sold for $22,000 to an American Tim Pierce of Caravelle Land & Cattle Co and was eventually moved to the USA. His progeny were high sellers and show champions and had a profound influence on the Angus industry.

In 1971, Larry and Marshall exhibited Angus champions at the first Canadian Western Agribition in Regina. This new exhibition was created, welcomed and supported by purebred cattle breeders across the prairies. For years these cattle breeders had to travel many miles to the east, west or south to seriously promote and market their cattle. Now they had what they hoped would be a quality cattle exhibition in the centre of Canada and their own back yard. Agribition grew quickly into an impressive world event attended by many visitors. The Glasman family has exhibited at every Agribition since then and in 2010 at the 40th Anniversary received an award for this accomplishment.

After graduation from high school in 1969, Marshall’s son Miles made the decision not to attend college as he wanted to farm. Miles enjoyed both the cattle and grain farming. They grew grain for feed and were able to expand their grain operation in 1967 when Marshall purchased Seymour Steven’s farm which is the present main yard and home location on Highway 16. Marshall and Jean lived there from 1967 to 1984 and Miles and Bonnie have lived there since 1984. When Marshall and Jean acquired the Steven’s farm it not only expanded their cattle facilities but also provided a better and larger home for their family. In 1970 Miles and some friends headed off to New Zealand and Australia for an extended work holiday. He worked at various jobs in both countries including on a sheep station, tobacco farm, plywood factory and iron ore mine. Upon return to Manitoba in 1972, Miles and his dad made the decision to expand into grain farming purchasing land from local neighbouring farmers who were retiring. Over the years, they have grown wheat, barley, oats, canola, mustard and peas.
The 1970’s also brought other major events that affected  present day agriculture and farm operation. The importation of Continental cattle breeds such as Simmental, Limousin, Chianina and Maine Anjou from Europe attacked the long standing success that the Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn breeds had enjoyed. The trend changed from small ‘baby beef’ or ‘belt buckle’ height cattle to larger framed cattle. Record sales and prices for these new types of cattle rocked the purebred cattle world. Progressive cattlemen including the Glasmans applied for importation permits. Larry and Marshall were not able to obtain permits so decided to access the new genetics through artificial insemination. The Black Angus cows were bred to Chianina, Maine Anjou, Simmental and Murray Grey bulls. Miles had admired the Murray Grey breed of cattle when he travelled in New Zealand and Australia from 1970 to 1972. When they assessed their calf crop, Marshall and son Miles were most impressed with the Simmental sired calves performance and could see that the ‘new’ cattle were the way of the future.

 
 

With their different interests, brothers Larry and Marshall decided in 1976 to dissolve their partnership.  In June that year they held a sale selling 300 plus head of Angus cattle in Regina. There was great interest in the cattle from across North America however an airline pilot strike affected attendance and prices. At that time people purchased cattle only if they attended sales in person and as a result the partnership dissolution sale was not as successful as planned. After the sale Larry and Gayle and their sons Bryan and Jamie continued to breed Black Angus on a smaller scale into the 1980’s. Marshall and son Miles had started breeding Simmental cattle in 1973 under the name M & J Farms which represented their names Marshall, Jean and Miles. In 1979, Miles and Bonnie Chinnick from Chatham, Ontario were married. Bonnie is a RN who has worked at the Russell Hospital.
 
 

The 1970’s also brought other major events that affected  present day agriculture and farm operation. The importation of Continental cattle breeds such as Simmental, Limousin, Chianina and Maine Anjou from Europe attacked the long standing success that the Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn breeds had enjoyed. The trend changed from small ‘baby beef’ or ‘belt buckle’ height cattle to larger framed cattle. Record sales and prices for these new types of cattle rocked the purebred cattle world. Progressive cattlemen including the Glasmans applied for importation permits. Larry and Marshall were not able to obtain permits so decided to access the new genetics through artificial insemination. The Black Angus cows were bred to Chianina, Maine Anjou, Simmental and Murray Grey bulls. Miles had admired the Murray Grey breed of cattle when he travelled in New Zealand and Australia from 1970 to 1972. When they assessed their calf crop, Marshall and son Miles were most impressed with the Simmental sired calves performance and could see that the ‘new’ cattle were the way of the future.

With their different interests, brothers Larry and Marshall decided in 1976 to dissolve their partnership.  In June that year they held a sale selling 300 plus head of Angus cattle in Regina. There was great interest in the cattle from across North America however an airline pilot strike affected attendance and prices. At that time people purchased cattle only if they attended sales in person and as a result the partnership dissolution sale was not as successful as planned. After the sale Larry and Gayle and their sons Bryan and Jamie continued to breed Black Angus on a smaller scale into the 1980’s. Marshall and son Miles had started breeding Simmental cattle in 1973 under the name M & J Farms which represented their names Marshall, Jean and Miles. In 1979, Miles and Bonnie Chinnick from Chatham, Ontario were married. Bonnie is a RN who has worked at the Russell Hospital.

In 1980, Marshall and Miles purchased from Harold and Fred Clement a large parcel of Clement Bar C land in the Assiniboine Valley that bordered their land. The pasture was needed for their expanding herd while the cultivated land increased their acreage for their grain operation. With the purchase of this land Miles, Jean, Miles and Bonnie incorporated their farm business under the name of Glasman Land and Cattle Company. This valley land includes the old Russell Ski Hill site and original prairie that has never been broken. The first year steers were purchased and pastured and then to increase their Simmental cattle numbers a large package of heifers were purchased from the Lloydminster area. Over the years, a strong influential Simmental cowherd was developed at M & J Farms. In 1988, 90 purebred Simmental cow-calf pairs were sold as a group to Lewis Farms of Spruce Grove, Alberta. In 1990, another large group of 65 cows were sold to a commercial breeder in Alberta.

In 1992, the Glasmans decided to diversify and re-entered the Angus business with the purchase of two Red Angus bred heifers from the Mackenzie Brothers of Mountain View, Alberta. These two females became the foundation females of the M & J Red Angus herd. Over the years, Miles, wife Bonnie and sons Jared and Matthew continued to exhibit and promote both their Simmental and Angus cattle across the country. With the demise of the Brandon Bull sale M & J Farms and Mar Mac Farms of Brandon joined forces to hold an annual bull sale at the Keystone Centre in Brandon offering Simmental and Angus bulls. When the McRae’s moved the sale to their farm then the Glasman’s decided to try something different selling their bulls by auction on the internet. These early sales proved to be successful. Canadian purebred cattle genetics have been well received and desired around the world until May 2003 when the discovery of BSE in an Alberta herd. That event devastated the Canadian cattle business leaving long felt after effects for the next 7 years.In 2005, Marshall’s health deteriorated and he passed away in August of that year.  With the loss of such an important partner plus both sons Jared and Matthew attending college, Miles and Bonnie decided to sell the large mature cowherd. This would allow them to downsize their cowherds and reorganize their operation. Construction was started in 2006 on a large shed to be used as a sale barn and workshop. Two separate breed sales were scheduled to take place the first week of December on the farm in the new sale barn. Unfortunately construction of the sale barn fell behind and the facility was not ready for sale as planned. Thanks to the help and assistance of family, neighbours and friends the sales did take place in the partially finished sale barn. Despite the construction problems and stormy weather at the Simmental sale, both sales were a sucess were a success. It has been rewarding to see the cows go to other operations and make a positive influence.

Miles and Bonnie Glasman along with their sons Jared and Matthew continue their business of raising purebred cattle and growing grain and oilseeds. They hold a successful annual bull sale in their sales facility. The focus is on red and black genetics in both Simmental and Angus breeds of cattle. Both sons decided to return home and farm after college. Jared farms full time while Matthew works at the Rocanville Potash mine and farms part time. Matthew and Leanne Dunn of Russell were married in June 2011now living near the Assiniboine valley. Matthew and Leanne are establishing a Black Angus herd once again on the farm. They have been very successful exhibiting champions at the fall shows and the prestigious 2009 World Angus Forum at Spruce Meadows in Calgary.  As spring 2012 approaches the fifth generation of Glasmans in Canada are calving cows and preparing to sow another crop on land that has now been on the family for over 100 years.
Marshall, Jean, Matthew, Jared, Bonnie & Miles Glasman
 
     
Box 1179, Russell, Manitoba, Canada R0J 1W0
mjsimmentalangus@gmail.com
Home: 204.773.3279  Miles' Cell: 204.773.6275   Bonnie's Cell: 204 773-0094   Jared's Cell: 204.796.0999
© 2012 created and maintained by Prairie Pistol Designs. All rights reserved.