In 1890, Owen Thomas Jamison rode the train from Virginia to Quinter, KS in hopes of a new life and new opportunity. Little did he know about the harshness of the western Kansas environment. During those early years, he faced dust storms, droughts, and grasshopper infestations.
The headquarters of the Jamison Ranch is located on the same land homesteaded by Owen. In addition to farming, Owen raised Percheron Horses for pulling equipment. Owen was active in his church congregation as a minister and was one of the first individuals in the county to own an automobile.
Owen’s son Dale E. Jamison bought the first Hereford cattle during the early 1940s. During the 1950s, he partnered with his neighbor Don Wiggington to offer a group of Hereford bulls for sale at auction. During those years the operation consisted mostly of wheat farming and raising Hereford cattle.
By the late 60s and early 70s, Dale had been able to expand his operation and wanted to continue to develop his herd of Hereford cattle. By this time, Dale’s son Gordon had also joined him on the family operation. Both of them realized they wanted to find genetics that improved the maternal and performance traits of their cattle. Through a series of events, they met Max Fulscher, a prominent Hereford breeder from Colorado.
Fulscher introduced Dale and Gordon to L1 Hereford cattle, a line of Herefords developed by the USDA research station located in Miles City, MT. Dale and Gordon were greatly impressed with the maternal and performance traits of the Fulschers cows, and in 1971 purchased from him a group of 1/2 L1 Hereford cows. At that time, L1 Herefords had been performance tested longer than any other cattle in the industry, and this was of great interest to Gordon.
By 1975, the entire Jamison cowherd was L1, and the operation had made its commitment to L1 genetics. This decision proved to be critical as it would position the program for national prominence beginning in the 1980s.
Over the years, Cooper Herefords in Willow Creek, MT and Holden Herefords of Valier, MT have become the primary seedstock source for the operation. In 1975, Dale and Gordon bought CL 1 Domino 350 from Cooper Herefords for $8,000. This was the ranch’s first major L1 herd bull purchase. They were so pleased with the bull that they made another significant purchase in 1978 that solidified the Ranch’s place in Hereford history when they bought CL 1 Domino 75901 from Coopers for $37,500. The Ranch later sold interests in the bull to Indian Mound Herefords of Born, TX and Barkley Herefords of Missouri for $75,000 a piece, in addition to selling over $150,000 worth of semen. 75901 bull calves became the talk of the Hereford industry and topped sales throughout the country for several years. This was due in part to the performance and pigmentation that the bull consistently bred.
In 1984, the operation made the second major purchase that would help establish the cowherd as one of the top maternal herds in the nation. With partners Pruett Ray from AZ and Harding Brothers from MO, Dale and Gordon purchase CL 1 Domino 386 for $100,000 from Cooper Herefords. 386 became known for breeding performance, pigmentation, and greatly increasing milking in Hereford cattle. 386 paid for himself many times over in semen sales and a large number of the current Jamison cowherd go back him.
Later, both Dale and Gordon would say that the only reason the operation survived was due to the success of 75901 and 386. During those years, interest rates were high and the farming economy was difficult, and the Ranch needed a lift to maintain economic viability. By the late 1980s, the Jamisons were consistently selling 200 bulls annually both through a production sale and private treaty.
In the early 1980s, Gordon’s brother Rusty joined the operation. By this time, Gordon had taken over most of the day to day management. Dale was still very involved, but also spent time traveling and working on behalf of his local and national church congregation.
In 1991, the Ranch sold a large number of mature Hereford cows to the Veladi Ranch located in San Antonio, TX. Up to that point, it was the largest transaction of Hereford cows the operation had been involved in. Although the Veladi Ranch was short lived, this transaction further increased the Ranch’s prominence and name recognition.
Jamison Quarter Horses began breeding performance horses about 20 years ago for their registered Hereford operation, and today the long-time ranching family has become known as one of the largest Quarter Horse breeders in the country. Their horse breeding operation is steeped in foundation bloodlines, based on Sun Frost, Driftwood, and Hancock breeding.
When they first established their horse breeding program, they purchased a large number of broodmares from fellow Hereford breeder and AQHA Hall of Famer Albert Mitchell and his Tequesquite Ranch in New Mexico. Today, Jamison Quarter Horses has the largest band of Wilywood mares in the country, and headline stallions include PC Frost Em Peppy, TR Special Drift and two grandsons of Blue Valentine.
True to their bloodlines, Jamison Quarter Horses have a combination of cow, speed, and rodeo arena royalty that makes them versatile all-around performance horses, and they’re bred to perform on the ranch and in the rodeo arena.
Each fall, the operation offers a large number of weanlings, 3 and 4 year old geldings and mares, as well as broke geldings for sale at auction in addition to private treaty sales. The ranch is known for the “quality and strength of the performance bloodlines, and ranch-raised, ranch developed, and ranch ridden horses backed by profound breeder integrity.
In 2007 Dale E. Jamison passed away at the age of 87. This was an enormous loss to the operation as Dale had been active at the ranch up until the last 12 months of his life. Since that time, Rusty and Gordon have continued to run the operation along with a crew of 4 others. Gordon’s son Daron is also very actively involved in the operation in addition to working at a Commercial Bank.