Iowa family honored for historic herd

Farm Forum

The Historic Angus Herd Award is presented to Angus breeders or immediate families who have been in continuous production of registered Angus cattle for 50 years or more. To honor their dedication to the breed, the American Angus Association is proud to recognize A.D.D. Angus Farm, Arlington, Iowa, as a Historic Angus Herd.

Arnold Rueber knew exactly what he wanted in 1963 and wasn’t going to settle on the “baby beeves” style of cattle that were too small to suit him. He knew his commercial market was selling 1,200 pound steers to the Chicago Stock Yards for the high-Choice low-Prime market; and he knew he needed to find cows, and bulls, big enough to get that job done.

He eventually found the size he needed in 12 registered Angus bred heifers; six of which were Earl Marshall descendants. All 12 heifers cost Arnold just more than $3,000. When he began looking for a good-sized bull to put with them, Arnold ran into another wall. Big bulls were hard to find. By that time, Arnold knew he couldn’t be the only person searching for size and decided to enter the purebred ring and supply the market with larger animals. Just a few years later, in the late-1960s when the type change came, that decision proved itself.

From that point forward Arnold and his two sons, Doug and David, enjoyed great success in the showring and the auction ring with their Angus cattle. Bulls such as Keyban Bardolier 179, Barbarian Jumbo 13Y, Old Town Lancelot, Grassy View Marshall and Ed Rene Black Enchanter gave A.D.D. Angus Farm a great foundation to build upon, and the herd grew to about 200 cows. In 1978, A.D.D. Angus Farm owned the Iowa Bull of the Year, GD Lightfoot 16.

In the early 1980s the family took a hard look at the future of showing cattle, and the farm decided to place less emphasis on the show circuit and more on performance cattle. It was an easy transition to make for the family, since performance had always been important. They also had kept official Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) on their cattle since the late-1960s.

A.D.D. Angus Farm has embraced technology from the start. Beginning in the 1980s, new bloodlines have entered through the use of artificial insemination (AI). The Ruebers were some of the first to use ultrasound measures to improve carcass quality. They quickly incorporated GeneStar® to improve tenderness, marbling and feed efficiency in their cattle; and began using Igenity on their herd during the program’s infancy. They knew EPDs enhanced with genomic profiles improved accuracy and added value to their cattle.

Currently, Doug and Marcia Rueber manage more than 100 head of cows. Their children were very active in the regional, state and National Junior Angus Association. Daughter Laurie, and son Michael exhibited cattle at local, district, state, regional and National Junior Angus shows. Laurie received an Angus Foundation scholarship in 1998, the first year they were awarded. In that same year, Michael was awarded second place in the American Angus Auxiliary boy’s scholarship competition.

A.D.D. Angus Farm has been a life member of the American Angus Association since 1964.

For more information in Historic Herds in the Angus breed, visit to view a list of awarded members since the program began in 1988.