Seven innovative breeders chose to use Red Angus in 1954 to establish the industry’s first performance registry.
Throughout its history, the Red Angus Association of America has gone on to make all the tough choices, and all the right choices.
In recent years, the Red Angus breed has attained a high level of popularity from commercial cattlemen, and for all the right reasons.
Like most modern American beef breeds, the Red Angus breed had its beginning in Europe. In the eighth-century, according to some authorities, hardy Norsemen raiding the coasts of England and Scotland brought with them small, dun-colored hornless cattle which interbred with black native Celtic cattle of inland Scotland, which had upright horns.
A naturally polled black breed was produced, which roughly corresponded to the black Aberdeen Angus of today, although it was a considerably smaller-bodied animal. The polled characteristic was very slow to spread inland, and for almost a thousand years was confined principally to the coastal areas of England and Scotland.
The first Aberdeen Angus herdbook, published in 1862 in Scotland, entered both reds and blacks without distinction. This practice is continued in Britain today, as is the case throughout most of the world.
Aberdeen Angus was introduced into America in the 1870's and soon attained high popularity.
The first American herd books, published in 1886 and 1888 respectively, made no record as to the color of individual animals.
In 1890, twenty-two reds were registered in the American Aberdeen Angus Herdbook of some 2,700 individuals entered that year.
Various cattlemen throughout the United States understood the outstanding values of the reds. In 1945, the first of these cattlemen started selecting and breeding reds cropped from the best black Aberdeen Angus herds in America. By 1954, a sufficient number of herds had been established to form a breeder’s organization known as the "Red Angus Association of America."
Today, Red Angus are seeing unparalleled popularity both in the U.S. and internationally. In fact, the growing recognition of the breed is bringing worldwide demand for breeding stock from South Africa, Australia and South America, where the majority of the cattle are red in color.
This has led Red Angus to become the leading U.S. beef breed in semen exports. In the U.S., the number of Red Angus has tripled from the mid-1980’s through the mid-1990’s. In Canada, where red and black Angus cattle are registered together (which is the case in most countries), the number of red cattle registered is approximately the same as the black strain.