The MacDonald Ranch Story
The ranch is located 10 miles southeast of Bismarck, North Dakota on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River valley on scenic State Hwy 1804, so-named for the year Lewis and Clark traveled up the Missouri River. Bill’s grandfather homesteaded here in the 1880’s. Among other illustrious projects, this pioneering Scotchman hauled the cornerstone for the first state capitol building and supplied ice cut from the nearby frozen Missouri River to Bismarck iceboxes. Bill’s father, Jim, began the seedstock enterprise in 1939 with the purchase of his first registered Polled Hereford females. We have had an annual production sale every year since 1972 and have been breeding Salers since 1983. Even though Bill MacDonald, the patriarch of MacDonald Ranch Salers, was called home to meet his Lord and Savior in late 2013, MacDonald Ranches continues to strive to produce seedstock genetics that meet and exceed the high standards he established. Today, MacDonald Ranches is operated by Will and Jerilyn MacDonald and their sons Jerrod, Jayden and Ty, along with Will’s mother Linda.
We breed around 750 females that serve as the foundation of our Salers and Optimizer composite breeding program. We do over 600 AI services each year in our effort to introduce the best possible genetics into our seedstock offering and also have an aggressive embryo transplant program. We have collected carcass data on all of our cull steers and heifers since 1995. A unique aspect of our carcass research is that we feed all of our own cattle out to finish right on the ranch. This gives us an opportunity to connect the number data with the experience of seeing and feeding the cattle everyday ourselves.
We value relationships with our customers and take great satisfaction in getting to know our customers as friends, learning their needs, and helping them select the genetics that will provide the most value for their individual situation. If you ever get close to Bismarck, we would love to show you our cattle and maybe just a little scenery. And even if you can’t make it to the ranch, we are only a phone call away.
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” -Psalm 24:1