The E.W. Maag Sr. family homesteaded near Jamieson, Oregon was founded in 1935. After coming by boat from Switzerland and eventually settling near Buhl, Idaho, E.W. decided that opportunity lay in the Western Treasure Valley, so he packed up his three sons and moved to Oregon. E.W. Jr., Warner, and Benny began clearing the land of sagebrush with their father and with time developed it into a nice-sized farm. Times were pretty lean in those years; the brothers captured ducks for a good meal that first year. Today, all of the original “Maag Brothers” remain just a short distance from that original homestead.
E.W. Jr.’s son, Robert grew up and still lives near that original homestead. In earlier years, E.W. Jr. and Bob ran mainly Hereford cows. They managed them on the bottom ground in the winter and ran them on the Boston horse ranch at the top of Cottonwood Mountain, which was a mere 20 miles from home. Times changed and eventually they let the Boston lease go and concentrated mainly on the bottom ground.
Bob married MaryAnn Yraguen in 1964 and began farming near Jamieson. The operation consisted of raising beets, onions and forage crops. In 1969 we began raising cattle and began building our first feedlot. Our operation continued to grow, and in 1986 we purchased another 200 acres. We incorporated and started another feedlot operation.
Throughout the years we have fed beef cattle and dairy heifers, and in 1989 we made a major change in our operation. Jerry Hansen was moving to Reno to work on the Nevada Rancher magazine and wanted to sell his entire registered Black Angus Herd. We purchased all of his animals and began what is now Maag Angus Ranch. Now we were raising all of the bulls that we used instead of trying to purchase them. Until 1995 we used all of the bulls that we raised for breeding dairy heifers. We truly understand the importance of calving ease. We sold a few bulls to neighbors. The very best heifers were kept to increase the herd size. In 1995 our oldest daughter, Deanne, decided that the farm and ranch were where she wanted to be and returned home. Deanne and MaryAnn attended AI school and we began to devote more and more time to the Angus Herd.
In 1998 we took another step and converted a shed into a sale facility. We were fortunate to partner with our good friends Terry and Susan Oft of Ontario to have our first sale. This relationship has been rewarding from the beginning and Terry and Sue are wonderful people. We had a silent auction at first, but we just outgrew the facility.
In 2002 we built a new auction ring, offices and connected it to our first feedlot to utilize pens and facilities. We have now had three live auctions and enjoy every minute of it. Two years ago we were fortunate enough to have been joined by Cook Herefords to make what we think is one of the best sale offerings in the Pacific Northwest.
Presently, we are developing property between Vale and Ontario. We are looking forward to developing that property and expanding the herd.
Deanne does all of the AI work, manages the Black Angus herd and keeps computer records current. She is the past president of the Malheur County Cattleman’s Association and Secretary/Treasurer for the Boise Valley Angus Club.
Bob manages the farming and feedlot operations. His true love of building and developing things has made everything that one sees on the place a reality. The headquarters for Maag Angus Ranch and Maag Feedlot were nothing but sagebrush and hillside in 1964.
MaryAnn manages all of the office duties. She handles the entire payroll, billing and accounting of the farm, feedlot and ranch.
This is truly a family owned and operated business. We have been fortunate to expand our operations based upon our word and a handshake, which is better than any piece of paper. We strive to produce solid, honest, cattle that literally speak for themselves. They represent our entire operation and the best in all of us. We feel truly blessed to live this way of life.