Redland Red Angus
Farming and Ranching since 1862
Original family members – Herman Sr & Mary Eldering, William Eldering, Herman Jr, Grace, Jeanette, Shirley and Marian
Herman Jr. and Wilma
Herman and Wilma Eldering with Shirley and Marian
March of 1952 Herman Eldering, Jr. and Henry DeCock
Hay Harvest 1944 (left) and Sugar Beet Harvest 1948 (right)
Herman and Wilma Eldering with Shirley and Marian
The cattle at Redland Red Angus and Gelbvieh are sturdy and well adapted to environmental challenges of the rugged terrain and pine-covered coulees of the Hysham Hills. The climate maybe hot and dry, but the short native grasses are high in nutrition.
It was this dry climate that first attracted Herman Eldering Sr. from Holland in 1889. His brothers Garrett and William, had come to the Pease Bottom area prior to Herman's arrival. Herman had served in the Dutch Navy and after contracting malaria was advised the dry climate in Montana would be good for his health. He acquired his brother's property as they returned to Holland, later he acquired more land as he made the Yellowstone River valley his permanent home. He felt the soil was rich and the water was abundant in the nearby Yellowstone River. In the early years, he successfully raised sheep and alfalfa seed. The ranch soon became a cattle ranch as he acquired more property. Today, the sixth generation is making their home on the ranch established by Herman Eldering Sr.
As ranch operations go, Herman Eldering, Jr. took over the reins of the operation from his father. He and his wife, Wilma Kimball Eldering, raised cattle, corn, sugar beets, small grains and alfalfa. They suffered tough times through the Depression years. Herman would remind the younger generations of the time he shipped his cattle to Chicago on the train and after they were sold the sale price was not enough to cover the freight to Chicago. When Herman became ill with emphysema in the late 50's, he sought the help of his daughter and son-in-law. Shirley and Ole Redland left Lodge Grass where Ole was a schoolteacher, and came home to help run the cattle and farming operation. Ole passed away suddenly in 2002 at the age of 70, since teaching school he had worked to better the ranch, family, and community.
Today their daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and Al Baue, son Bob Redland and wife Cathy and his daughter and son-in-law, Jenny and Chad Moke with their children (sixth generation) Elizabeth and Joe all work together in the farming and ranching operation. Bob’s son Jon and his wife Misti have continued to work on Misti’s family ranch in Choteau Montana to raise a Red Angus herd in north central Montana. They have two girls - Mesa and Libby, and son Spencer. Al and Ruth’s son, Marc, has worked as a Metallurgical Engineer for the Department of Defense but has moved home to work on the farm. He and his wife Mary have a son Mason and daughter Madalyn. Alison, works as an Industrial Engineer/IT Specialists for 3M in a remote position and has returned to the operation and assists when possible. Ole and Shirley’s other daughter, Elaine resides just a few miles from the home place with her husband Gordon Arneson, where they operate an irrigated farm. They have two daughters - Sheena who is married to Michael and Theresa as well as two grandchildren - Olivia and Kash.
The ranch is located five miles west of Hysham on the south side of the Yellowstone River where “Better Bred Red” registered and commercial Red Angus and Gelbvieh are raised. Interstate 94 runs through the property. Their flood-irrigated farmland located 10 miles west of town on the north side of the river produces corn, alfalfa, wheat, soybeans and oats to feed the livestock.
The irrigation from the Yellowstone River is vital to the Eldering Ranch – now operating as Redland Red Angus. Irrigation helps the operation survive the ongoing droughts of Eastern Montana.
The family has always been progressive in both farming and ranching. In 1985, the first registered females were purchased -Gelbvieh cattle at the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, SD. Later that year, due to drought conditions, Ole and Shirley were able to purchase Registered Red Angus pairs from Rock Creek Angus in Joliet.
When selecting his herd tattoo, Ole found the "RED" was available and from there "Better Bred Red" became a trademark phrase. They purchased the spring calving herd from Panhandle Cattle Co. in Lakeside, NE.
Not only is the family busy with work on the ranch and farm, they are active in their community where they are supporters of education, farm organizations, and 4-H. Ole, Shirley, Al, and Marc have served a total of 24 years on the school board, and Ole was a County Commissioner for 12 years—Ruth presently serves as a Treasure County Commissioner. Ole and Ruth have been directors on Montana Red Angus Association and Ole served as a director with the American Red Angus Association while Ruth, a CPA, served on the national Finance committee. Marc was a director on the National Jr. Red Angus Board as well. Ole, Ruth and Bob have served as board members on the Rancher Ditch Co. Bob has served on the ASCS board and Ruth has served on the Fair Board. Cathy and Shirley are active with the local Cattlewomen organization. The family is very active in 4-H and have all been members and or leaders of the CB&R(Custer, BigHorn, &Rancher) club. They also have served as superintendents at the Rosebud-Treasure Fair.
Ole died suddenly on November 21, 2002 at the age of 70. He is remembered as a soft-spoken man who wanted to do what was best for others and always saw the good in people. He believed a deal could be sealed with a handshake and a person’s word should be honored. He was a teacher to the end and taught his family well as they continue to operate the ranch in his absence. Bob’s son, Jon, was a member of the MSU Livestock Judging team. Jenny was also a collegiate livestock judge with Northwestern Community College and the University of Wyoming. Both Jenny and Jon have judged fairs throughout the state of Montana in past.
Education is important in this family. While ranch life presents a new lesson every day, formal education is important as well. All of the descendants of Herman Eldering, Sr. have attended college with the most notable being Dr. Grace Eldering, who is credited with inventing the cure for whopping cough. Shirley along with Ruth’s family traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan where a bronze statue was erected to honor her achievements. The unpredictable climate-record setting days without moisture or excess moisture and unstable cattle prices are a challenge to ranchers, but this family enjoys working together as a family.
“With irrigation, we can raise the feed our cattle need, and otherwise we try to manage our resources as best we can,” Ruth says. We take great pride in continuing what was started so long ago, and we are continue to work so the next generation will have the opportunities we have had. We feel unbelievably fortunate that our early descendants picked the Yellowstone River Valley to homestead. They were known as tulip farmers from Holland and you might still even see a few tulips on the flower beds today. The Eldering’s were strong willed, conservative people who knew how to work the ground to its potential. They picked fertile ground in eastern Montana with great proximity to the Yellowstone River. This choice has allowed the operation to continue 100 plus years later with a bright future for years to come.