Valanjou Charolais – 2016 ACA Breeder of the Year

The Purebred Breeder of the year award is awarded annually to one operation which exceeds the following criteria:  

Henri and Odette Lusson near Clyde, Alberta purchased their first purebred Charolais bull in 1964. After seeing the progeny top the market consistently off British influenced cows, they were convinced the area needed more Charolais bulls and began to look for ways to become more involved with the Great White Breed. In September of 1967, that opportunity arose. Valanjou Charolais was formed and 32 purebred cows were purchased from a dispersal sale. Phillipe was born 3 months after the new herd arrived, so you can say he was literally born into the breed. In 1970 Henri imported 5 females and 1 bull “Gascon” from France. “Gascon” became a foundation sire for the Lusson family with many females tracing back to that bloodline today. Valanjou Charolais has supplied bulls to the Clyde area ever since and has always maintained a strong French influence over the years. Henri and Odette Lusson were recognized by the ACA in 2007 with the prestigious “Pioneer Award” for their contribution to the establishment of the Charolais breed in Alberta.

Phillpe married Rae and were blessed with two beautiful daughters Emilie and Dante and a son Mateo. As the kids got older, Phillpe and Rae became very busy with various activities however always made time to attend various Charolais events across the province. Often Phillpe came to the events alone or with one of the girls, however we all know that was possible only because of the strong support of Rae and the kids who stayed back to take care of things on the ranch. The kids along with their cousins were all involved in 4-H exhibiting Valanjou genetics. Valanjou genetics shine in the carcass competition, winning several championships the past 3 years.

Valanjou Charolais has been a big supporter over the years of the Alberta Charolais Association events. From the Alberta Select Sale, Farmfair International, breeder tours and other such events, Valanjou Charolais was always represented. A huge thrill for the family was exhibiting Reserve National Senior Bull Calf Champion in 2013 at Farmfair. Another highlight was having the High Selling Bull Calf at the Alberta Select Sale in 2011 , ANJOU PURE POWER 184Y, sired by NAV Napoleon 25N who sold for $21,000.

Valanjou genetics have been sold across the country and they have exported live cattle to Mexico since the late nineties. Several repeat Mexican customers have visited the ranch and continued to add Valanjou genetics throughout the past few years. Phillipe took an AI course in 1993 which allowed him to introduce new genetics into the herd. Although Phillpe and Rae still focus on French cattle, they have not been afraid to introduce some purebred genetics into the herd as well. Currently, Valanjou markets their bulls at North Central Livestock in Clyde with their longtime friends Spruceview Charolais in the “Northern Impact” Sale mid March each year. Phillipe is fortunate to have a brother John Mark live literally across the road who runs a commercial herd which uses Valanjou bulls and allows the Lusson family to keep itself grounded and offer their commercial customers a quality product which adds pounds and makes them more money.

Valanjou Charolais will celebrate 50 years in the Charolais industry in 2017. This accomplishment in itself is a feat and is a tribute to the dedication and perseverance of the entire Lusson family. On behalf of the ACA, we are pleased to present the “Breeder of the Year” award to the Lusson family, Valanjou Charolais of Clyde, AB!