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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 8, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 6 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tutsiloy, Augusl 8, 1972------- Jack Morton9s hobby horse thrives on ranch IK JOT HAKLA. Herald Staff IVriler Jack Morton of Warner i.s a hobby rancher who earns his keep at ranching, directing op- erations of one of the best-run, most-business-like operations in southern Alberta. His other hobbies include en- tertaining celebrities during the hu nting season, a nd fishing during the summer. He ranch- es the year-round, but ho is careful not to let business take the pleasure out of life. And, if there is one thing that Jack likes it's a good yarn. He never rules the conversation, but Ire loves to match his guests yarn for yarn. It could be Roy Thompson, n o w n as Lord Thomp- son of Fleet, the multi-million- rn're publishing and broadcast- ing tycoon, or crooner King Crosby. Lord Thompson Ls Jack's uncle, and lie has visit- ed the ranch on several occa- sions. But despite the fact that Jack appears to give such serious concentration to 1 e i sure, don't underestimate hi.s ability as a cattleman. He was superinten- dent of the Mclntyre spread from 19-16 until Mr. Mclnlyrc died in 1950. This was when the ranch In- cluded the Bar K 2 and the Knight Ranch a total spread comprising acres which ran head a one time. Likewise, Jack is most se- rious about his own ranching operations which border along the edge of the Milk River Ridge. Thn operation is a joint venture Jack, his brother George and son Bill. Jack's father came to Ixjth- nridge near the turn of the cen- tury from Belleville, Ont, In 1909 he moved to Warner and opened a general store. It wasn't long txjforc Jack and his two brothers started ranching. They bought one section of land. Jack subsequently took over the operations of the ranch and expanded it into n ID-section spread with 300 Hereford cows. While many of Jack's friends arc fanciers of exotic cattle, Jack likes his whilefaces, and he feel.s he has ample room to experiment with bis Ilercfords before he tries anything fancier. Jack also has an extensive feeding and grass management program under way. Jack feels he has little choice hut to slick with the Ilerefords because of the land values. "Also, we're raising entile n o w, and getting more for says Jack. He has converted 300 acres of farmland into pasture n n d lame grass as part of bis pro- gram and has .stopped leasing neighboring stubbie fields. It was the leasing that started him thinking about a better way of raising a herd. He now farms about 200 acres of barley- He bales about half of this acreage and bunches the rest in tlio field. In addition he baled some J50 acres o f green oat hay in July, and Ihen let this establish a second growth. He also seeds some 100 acres of oat cover crop on summer- tallow. He turns the entire herd into these fields around Novem- ber and the grazing on this lasts until the New Year. He then begins in earnest feeding at the main buildings. Another 100 acres of alfalfa any brome hay which he bates in the summer contribute to the winter feed supply. Jack says he Ls letting his plan work osst its own econom- ics and is letting it work on its own for the present. A signifi- cant part of the plan has been to allow his animals to win ter nca r the build i n gs. la hadn't lost a calf since he start- ed this program, Jack's son Hill, who has started his own family and bos two healthy sons, owns a third of the operation. But like fa- ther, he too makes sure he has lime for leisure. As a matter oE fact young Hill comes by his philosophy of life rather nat- urally father and son have fished and hunted together ever since Bill old enough to bold a gun, II e recently purchased 33 of black whilcfuce females all of tlmin bred to exotic sires. Jack admits, how- ever, that lie has three Charo- lais bulls lined up for Ibis sum- mer, lie wants to sec how (hey perform alongside his Hereford bulls. Jack M o r t on could be the envy of the most elite in North America liccausc of his friend- ships with nuiny of those who are famous and wealthy. This is true not only of his friend- ships, but his family ties a well -like Lord Thompson of Fleet. American guests who flee to the relaxation and enjoyment of Jack's speci al knowlcd go of wildlife areas, have included presidents of some of tho largest corporations, insurance executives, presidents of inter- national companies, friends of the late President Eisenhower, major publications editors, game c o in m i s s i o ti era and scores of ollwrs. Jack's charming wife's cook- ing may be an big a lure for his tmesis as the hunting in the re- gion. Then t here1 s C eorgc Cra w- ford, president of Hie Calgary E x li i b i t i o n and Stampede; there's T. R, "Funny" Gregg, chairman of the stampede's race committee; scores of members of the rough and tum- ble game, for Jack's earlier years were spent on the rodeo circuit, In 1912 Jack was named all- Canadian cnlf roping champion and he won the Canadian south- cm circuit chmpionship in KJ5I. For six years he was judge of the bulldozing and roping meets at the Calgary Stampede a position he gavo up only last year. In addition he was roping director In the Canadian Rndeo Cowboys Association for five years. When Bing Crosby was in the south country the last time, ho ft] so look an interest in tho Charolais exotics. Bing was up with Leonard Meyers, who runs Bing's Hising Hiver Ranch at Bornie, California. 'Die nearby Palmer It a n c h is well-known for its large herd of tested and computer recorded Charolais. Besides having a most success- ful bird shoot, Bing acquired some of I he highly-rated Charo- Jais from the Palmers. or many years Buster Col lier and Dr. Hubert Eaton, builders of Forest I.awn Oar- dens n e n r Angeles, were annual visitors at the Morton ranch; there were HM Kcrr's of cannery jar and Paul Watkins f r a m a Los Angeles liiw firm. And, if its a good yarn you are looking for, the old Fort Be n f on Trail from Montana runs just past the home place on the Morton ranch. Warner rancher Jack Morton Efficient farm community important to Canada HALIFAX, N.S. (Special) "All Canadians have a vital stake in the employment and income generating potential of agriculture." This was the m ess-age of fed- eral Agriculture Minister Bud Olson in a major speech to tho Rotary Club here. The Canadian consumer has benefited from several develop- ments in agriculture, Mr. Olson said. fn the pa.st 20 years, the