Today was a sad day at Wheeler’s Stock Farm. The end of an era you might say as we said goodbye to the most influential animal to ever grace our pastures – Red Northline Atlantic City. His time had come and seeing him go makes us feel a little nostalgic as we reminisce about all the good he did for our program.
We might as well start his story where it all began, this web back in 2005 at the world’s premiere Red Angus event Red Round-Up. It was the first time I had been back to Red Round-Up in a few years and the cattle were an impressive sight, hospital but there was one particular sire group that really caught my eye. Northline Angus had a beautiful deep sided bred heifer named Shiver sired by PIE Atlantic and an exceptional string of bull calves. The bull calves were a couple bulls you may have heard of Red Corner Creek Cash and Red Northline Crush. When I got home I told dad we needed to get some Atlantic influence into our program, treat he would add the bone and square hip that Red Angus so desperately needed at the time.
Shortly after Red Round-Up the Masterpiece catalogue came in the mail and we saw that Northline was selling an Atlantic son. He was very young being only a May (May 5 actually the same birthday as me so he was obviously bound for greatness ;)) and came from one of their best cow families. That fall we returned to Agribition with our own string of cattle after taking a couple years off while I was in university. Early in the week I took dad around to look at Northline’s impressive string which helped win them Premier Breeder later that week. We really liked all the Atlantic calves but Cash had already been sold privately to Soo Line and Crush to Southland, so the young May calf in the Masterpiece was our only option. He had all the right pieces to develop into what we needed so $7,500 later for a half interest and Atlantic City had a new home. I still remember Dennis Ericson teasing that I was bidding on the bull and not the young lady leading him. Looking back now I know I might sound biased but I think we got the best breeding bull of the three.
We were not expecting to be able to use Atlantic City heavily the first year but hoped to draw semen on him so we could AI to him. We froze well over 100 straws when he was only 10 months of age and he proved his fertility would be only one of many traits he passed to his offspring. Over the years Atlantic City has become a trait leader for WW and YW, left beautiful uddered daughters, added heel and improved hoof structure, and added that extra bone and squareness of hip we were looking for. If I did the math I”m sure we have probably sold close to 100 sons for a $5000 average and we have 70 female descendants in our breeding herd. The consistency of his breeding ability is what made him work so well. He may not have been your first choice in every mating but you were always sure you would get a solid calf that would make the cut, there were just hardly ever many culls from him.
His legacy lives on in his sons Alliance at Bar-E-L, Dodge City 3U who served here and at RJ Mitchell, and Sin City who resides at Blairs. With many division champion banners at Agribition claimed by his sons and daughters and most importantly the acceptance and demand of our commercial customers, Atlantic City has proven time and time again he was not only a huge influence on our program, but the entire breed.