Shirm Honored as Red Angus Pioneer Breeder
Jim Shirm, Big Sandy, Texas, was recently awarded the Pioneer Breeder Award in Kerrville, Texas at the Red Angus Association of America’s (RAAA) annual convention. This award came just days prior to Shirm’s third dispersal of a historic herd of Red Angus cattle.
Jim was educated as a meat scientist and a Dairyman. In 1966, he was asked to develop a Beef herd at Enid State School in Oklahoma. Jim chose Red Angus, and his mentor George Chiga helped him to build the herd. In 1979 the school decided to divest the herd and he hired Jim Leachman to disperse that herd. Enid State School cattle can be found in many pedigrees throughout the breed today. One of the more famous pictures of Red Angus Cattle is the picture of the Red Angus Family taken by Bruce Jackson at the Enid State School with Jim Shirm’s assistance. In 1981, Jim was hired to manage Greer Ranches where he took over a herd of Black Angus and was asked to develop a herd of Red Angus. That herd was dispersed in 1993.
In 1996 Jim took on the task of developing a Red Angus herd for Oates Land and Cattle. That herd was dispersed on September 25, 2006. The following excerpt from the Oates Land and Cattle Dispersal catalog sums up Jim and his breeding philosophy well.
“Those of you that acquire these cattle, I hope you get as much satisfaction as I’ve had working with them.
There are five statements, or quotations, that have really influenced my breeding program.
A. Find the cattle that do the best job for you, then learn to like them
– Gene Rambo, California
B. Breed and select for stylish, well balanced cattle
– George Chiga, Oklahoma, 1968
C. Always see your cattle at sundown
– Lee Leachman, Rhinebeck, New York (approximately 1960s)
D. Cattle breeding is like reading a road map. Once you get there, it’s easy to find your way back there. – Jim Leachman, Enid State School Dispersal, 1979
E. Cattle that are not good enough to sell for seedstock should still be good carcass cattle – Jim Shirm, 1979
The one individual that has influenced my cattle breeding philosophy the most is George Chiga, Oklahoma. Now you know the whole story.”
Jim is at heart a teacher and many of us have learned volumes from him. The Red Angus breed will forever remember the 2006 recipient of the Pioneer Breeder Award, Jim Shirm.