It all started when…
One of the earliest breeders of Angus cattle in Washington was the Masterson family of Cle Elum. They purchased Angus in 1914 from John Smithson, another pioneer Angus breeder. The Masterson cattle have been sold in Canada, Mexico, the midwest, and even to the Hawaiian Islands. Many of their herd sires came from Congdon and Battles of Yakima, founded in 1916. Congdon and Battles played a huge role in bringing Angus to the state of Washington. The Congdon and Battles herd used line breeding to produce a uniform herd. They showed numerous International Champions at Chicago, the Pacific International in Portland, Oregon and even offered additional money towards show premiums. Every two years, Washington State College was lent a new bull for their registered Angus herd.
In 1920, a group of Washington Aberdeen Angus breeders joined together to promote Angus in the west but it wasn’t until 1943 that the Pacific Coast Aberdeen Angus Association was formed. The following year, the Inland Empire Angus Association was formed with members from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. John Hinrichs of Pullman was elected President and M.E. Ensminger of Washington State College was Secretary-Treasurer.
During the 1950’s, Washington had an organized junior association with Herald Catlin as President and Ellen Anderson as Secretary.
Some memorable moments in the history of the Washington Angus Association include juniors and adults alike. In 1964, the Cow Palace Grand Champion Angus Steer was exhibited by Washington State College. Appleland Angus showed the Grand Champion Steer at the Pacific International in 1966. In 1967, JoAnn Lenhard and Kristie Smith of Walla Walla were the first juniors to represent Washington in the National Showmanship Contest. Rod Kendall’s heifer, Kendall’s First Lady, was the Grand Champion Female at the 1981 National Western in Denver. Rod later exhibited Kendall’s Covergirl, the Grand Champion heifer at the 1983 National Junior Angus Show. In 1988, WJAA Advisors Dan and Karen Coonrad were named the Advisors of the Year at the National Junior Angus Show. In 1984, Tracy Munks was the first Western States Angus Queen from Washington, followed by KayDee Catlin in 1985 and Katy Cox in 1989. Julie Coonrad served on the NJAA Board from 1985-87 followed by KayDee Catlin from 1987-98, and later Kellie Coonrad from 1990-92. Kellie was also named 2nd Place Winner of the National Junior Showmanship Contest in 1989.