The Sawyer family at the 1958 South Dakota State Fair. H.W. Sawyer (Arlen’s grandfather) in in the foreground, behind the get is Richard Sawyer (Arlen’s father), and holding one of the animals up front is Dorothy Sawyer (Arlen’s mother). Arlen is the little boy standing in front.
Under the auspices of A&B Cattle, the Sawyers have a rich tradition of Angus cattle threaded through their lives. Arlen and Becky Sawyer have been involved with the Angus industry near Bassett since 1976, operating their own ranch since 1984.
In 1994, A&B Cattle was recognized as a Historic Angus Herd based on more than 50 years of continuously raising registered Angus cattle in the Sawyer family. Arlen’s family established their registered Angus cow herd at Howard, S.D. in 1917, which was operated by his grandfather and father. Arlen’s family celebrated its farm centennial at Howard in 1987. Becky’s family has also been in the Angus cattle business at Cresco, Iowa since 1961.
In 1975, fresh out of college from South Dakota State University (SDSU) and recently married, Arlen and Becky embarked on their life-long pursuit of being associated with quality registered Angus cattle. They started with only a few head of cows, predominantly Dynamo and Emulation 31 bred females, while Arlen was herdsman at Cottonwood Angus Farm near Pipestone, Minn.
From 1976 to 1983, the A&B cow herd grew in size and numbers while Arlen managed the 700 head K Plus Angus cow herd near Bassett.
In 1984, Arlen and Becky purchased a small place in Rock County, located seven miles south of Bassett. At the same time, they became affiliated with Profitmaker Bulls. From 1984 to 1990, Arlen and Becky purchased more ranch land and expanded their cow herd while also maintaining and managing 300 cows for Premier Angus under the direction of Bill Wilson at Cloverdale, Ind. Taking advantage of the Pine Drive genetics made available by Premier Angus, the A&B cow herd began to flourish.
In 1990, Arlen and Becky established their own “A&B Cattle” and, since that time have hosted a annual bull sale ever since. Over the years, the Sawyers were able to build a sale barn office at their headquarters south of Bassett, and establish a calving facility at their ranch eight miles south and five miles east of Bassett. Since 1995, they have hosted all of their sales at the ranch headquarters.