Goodrich Place, Inc. is the result of the evolution of four generations of the Goodriches. The current GPI is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to the Angus breed. To understand how GPI came to be, one needs to examine the lives of the families that make this organization thrive. These are the biographies of the two co-founding families.
Richard and Joyce Goodrich
Richard D. Goodrich was raised on a dairy farm near New Richmond, Wisconsin, while only a short distance away, his future wife, Joyce Relander, was also raised on a dairy farm near Boardman, Wisconsin. In fact, the two met at the Wisconsin State Fair while they were teenagers showing cattle. Thus, cattle had always been a major part of Richard and Joyce's lives. When they were married in 1956, Richard remained focused on cattle through his studies in animal science. Richard was destined to become an expert in the livestock industry. He received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Education with a minor in Biology from Wisconsin State University at River Falls in 1958. He received his M.S. degree in 1962 from South Dakota State University with a major in Animal Science, and his Ph.D. degree in 1965, from Oklahoma State University with a major in Animal Nutrition and supporting work in Biochemistry, Physiology, and Statistics.
Richard joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1965 and was promoted to professor in 1971. During his tenure at Minnesota, he directed basic and applied ruminant nutrition research, was an innovative and popular undergraduate teacher of various aspects of Animal Science, and consulted with agricultural leaders and students in the United States, Europe and Africa. He coordinated the instruction in the team-taught Introductory Animal Science course. In addition, he taught courses in Animal Care, Ruminant Nutrition (undergraduate), and Nutrition for Veterinary Medicine Students, Ruminant Nutrition (graduate students), Laboratory Analyses of Feedstuffs, Mineral Nutrition, and Current Concepts and Developments in Ruminant Nutrition. Dr. Goodrich's expertise in ruminant nutrition attracted many special grants to Minnesota. He served on the Editorial Board and Board of Directors, ASAS, the Committee on Animal Nutrition and the Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle Committee, NRC, six different ASAS committees, and as President of the Midwestern section, ASAS. Dr. Goodrich was appointed Head of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota on July 1, 1983.
During his short lifetime, Richard made many personal achievements. Speaking invitations took him to over twenty states; Canada, Morocco, England, Italy, and Egypt. Richard received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Minnesota in 1969, the Animal Management Award, ASAS in 1977, the Horace T. Morse-Amoco Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching in 1979, the Graduate of Distinction Award from Oklahoma State University in 1991, and he was inducted into the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame in 1995. His unique approach to research, teaching, international programs, and departmental administration reflected his broad experiences in all aspects of animal science.
Richard enjoyed maintaining a small, registered Angus herd with his wife, Joyce, and sons, Mark and John. He applied the immense knowledge he gained in his teaching, research, and speaking work to his own Angus herd. While Richard was focused on international agriculture which often took him away from home, Joyce performed the many necessary tasks to maintain the herd. The Goodrich family sadly lost Richard to pancreatic cancer on February 13, 1996. It is because of his efforts in animal science and his love of Angus that the Goodrich family chose to create GPI.
Joyce Goodrich was raised with registered Holstein cattle. She showed cattle often winning many awards. Her love of cattle has continued throughout her life. Even though she was a busy, hard-working elementary teacher, she always found time to keep a watchful eye on the herd. She is still very happily active in the day to day operation of GPI.
Mark and Claudine Goodrich
GPI is the result of a dream created almost forty years ago. President and co-founder of GPI, Mark Goodrich, was a tenacious and determined adolescent. It is these qualities, coupled with intense knowledge and love of cattle, that stimulated a desire to excel in the beef industry. As a boy in junior high school, Mark would hide issues of the Angus Journal in his school books and study pedigrees constantly. Mark managed to purchase his first Angus heifer, Sungirl of the Valley, at the age of 12. He lived in the city of New Brighton, Minnesota, so to own a beef animal was quite a feat. The obsession led Mark to develop an important, crucial resource: a deep understanding of livestock genetics.
Mark's interest in beef cattle was sparked because of his father's involvement in the livestock industry. Mark's father, Richard, was an animal nutritionist and Head of the Animal Science Department at the University of Minnesota. It was ultimately Richard's career choice that directed Mark, as a young child, toward his passion. While Richard was obtaining his Master's degree from South Dakota State University and then his Doctorate's degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU), Mark would follow along to the feedlots, research trials, and research centers. During the days when Mark wasn't with his father, he would sneak up to the campuses and spend time with the cattle and cattlemen there. The elite beef program at OSU especially made a profound impact on Mark's desire to become a cattleman. These experiences allowed a door to open in Mark's life that would ultimately become his life's dedication, raising registered Angus cattle.
In 1969, Mark, a mere 12 years old, was able to purchase his first Angus female from Norman Christiansen for $250 with money he earned managing a paper route. Mark's grandfather, Douglas, owned a dairy farm in New Richmond, Wisconsin. Sungirl and one calf were raised there until 1973, when Richard and Joyce, Mark's parents, purchased a farm of their own in Scandia, Minnesota. Mark's parents wanted to help nurture Mark's interest in beef cattle.
During his high school years, Mark was actively involved with the cattle. In 1973, Mark obtained a job working at Kelley Land and Cattle Company under the guidance of Maurice Grogan. Mark's responsibility was as a herdsman, and he was responsible for the registered Hereford show cattle. These were some of the elite Herefords in the United States at the time. Maurice Grogan, an elite cattleman all of his life, taught Mark all the basics and practical management skills it would take to run a beef herd. Mark still draws on this knowledge today.
While in high school, Mark was busy participating in events such as FFA where he earned a Regional Award for Production of Livestock, 4-H and livestock shows, yet he still managed to find time to meet a woman by the name of Claudine Wojtowicz. Together, they forged a strong desire to be involved with the Angus. In fact, at the age of 16, the two purchased Emulous of Shadyland 84 from Harold Niefeld for $2,100. By the time Mark and Claudine graduated from high school and married in 1975, they owned 20 Angus females together.
There were many cattlemen who influenced the direction and philosophy that this young couple embraced. First, Murray and Bill Corbin of Connerville, Oklahoma, left a lasting impact because of the unique breeding philosophy-these men are truly grassroot cattlemen. Mark and Claudine recently visited Tail N Ranch and felt they were on hallowed Angus ground. This ranch is where Ankonian Dynamo, Emulation 31, Emulous 178, and many other breed greats were born. Second, as mentioned earlier, Maurice Grogan left a deep impression because of his hands-on cattle knowledge and techniques. Maurice spent a lot of individual time simply talking and explaining the cattle industry to a teenager, Mark. To this day, Mark is extremely thankful for the insight Maurice provided. Third, Doug and Molly Hoff greatly affected the genetic and breed developmental ideas that Mark and Claudine uphold. The Hoffs are courageous and dedicated leaders for the Angus breed. Their conviction to raising and breeding real world cattle has impressed the Goodriches to this day. Mark has had many long conversations about Angus genetics with Doug and Molly. Finally, there are two very special people, Mike and Mary Ann Jay, who have been faithful friends and supporters. Without them, we would not be where we are today. There are many other influential people like Roy Wallace, Dr. Robert Long, Kevin Stork, Jay and Harold Niefeld to name a few. There are numerous other cattlepeople who provided valuable knowledge. Mark and Claudine are deeply grateful to these people for their commitment and insights in the cattle industry.
This impenetrable young couple moved to New Richmond, Wisconsin, where in 1977, Mark began working for Select Sires, the world's largest cooperative bull stud and semen distributing company. Mark began as an artificial inseminator, and then became a sales representative until 1979, when he was promoted to a Regional Managing Director at age 21. For the next six years, Mark was able to travel the country, and he became familiar with some of the best cattlemen and Angus herds in the United States. This opportunity allowed him to experience all facets of the breeding end of the dairy and beef industry. This wealth of information and experience became the foundation of his breeding philosophy.
In 1985, Mark and Claudine made a decision to move themselves and their three young children -- Christine, Melinda, and Jesse -- from New Richmond, Wisconsin, to Scandia, Minnesota, where they began working with Mark's parents and their small herd of Angus cattle. After Richard passed away from pancreatic cancer in 1996, Mark, Claudine, and Joyce made a life-altering decision to join together to forge a new cattle venture. It was agreed upon by all family members that united, the Goodriches would begin a corporation in Emerald, Wisconsin, to focus on raising performance-oriented, registered Angus cattle and Quarter Horses. And so, in 1998, GPI officially became a reality.
The mission statement agreed upon by the founding GPI members is "to be a profitable family business that raises breed-leading registered Angus cattle and uses innovative farming practices."
GPI is located north of Emerald, Wisconsin. The ranch consists of beautiful green pastures and wooded land, and includes two separate farm sites. The buildings located on the original farm site are comprised of a 120' x 60' machine shed with a shop, two silos, a 30' x 80' maternity barn and a 45' x 90' wintering barn, and two smaller individual lots with shelters. The maternity and wintering barns are situated in the dry lot were the cows are wintered. The cows are housed here from November until April. The spring calving season begins at the end of February and continues until the end of April. Because of the extreme cold of northwest Wisconsin, during these months we put cows into the maternity barn prior to their due dates, and each cow/calf pair will eventually get turned out a few days after birth. We hope to ensure all cow/calf pairs are healthy and connected before returning them to the herd.
Mark, Claudine and their children are in charge of beef operations and live on the second farm site which includes a 36' x 60' barn and three smaller lots with shelters. The Quarter Horses and yearling heifers are kept at this site. Training techniques are conducted on this farm, including halter breaking young stock and breaking horses to ride.
The two farms are connected by a lane system to make movement of cattle very convenient and functional. There are eight separate pastures totaling 220 acres, which can be assessed from the lane. The lane is practical and useful as we are continually moving cattle for pasture rotation, artificial insemination procedures, vaccinating, freeze branding, weighing or treatment.
Herd Health and Management Practices
Herd health is an area which receives high priority at GPI. GPI's current practices include annual vaccinations, free-choice minerals, and supplemental grain feeding for calves and yearling heifers. The vaccinations we distribute to our cattle each year include BVD, IBR, PI-3, BRSV, Leptospirosis, Clostridium Perfinges 7-way, Haemophilus Somnes, Pasturella-Hemolytica. GPI has a comprehensive serology protocol for paratuberculosis and BVD with our herd testing 100% negative, attributing to a Class A Johne's certification from the State of Wisconsin.
GPI compiles extensive ultrasound data. GPI ultrasounds all yearlings, bulls and heifers for ribeye area, intramuscular fat, backfat and ribfat. Another common procedure GPI conducts is to regularly weigh the cattle to obtain birth weights, 205-day weights, yearling weights and mature weights. This data is extremely useful for selecting replacement females and herd bulls. GPI also performs DNA testing using AGI and Zoetis 50K tests.
We have free choice mineral specifically formulated to meet our needs. Calves are given minimal creep feed free choice consisting of 2/3 oats, 1/3 corn with protein pellets making it a 14% protein ration. The GPI philosophy is that creep feed disguises the selection process for milk traits of the mother, so we creep feed minimally and equally. Heifer and bull calves are weaned in the fall and fed supplemental grain feeding in a ration of 60% corn, 40% oats and 12% protein. This is more of a developmental growing ration compared to the starter ration fed to the calves.
The farm raises alfalfa hay and corn, which is chopped and stored in the silos and fed during the winter season. We also put up over 1000 round bales weighing between 1000 to 1200 pounds each. We have a rotational process of raising corn, oats and hay. Our entire farm is placed on a grid map with annual soil testing. We use manure whenever possible, and supplement with liquid and dry fertilizers.
Land conservation is very important to GPI. We've maintained and expanded water flow areas, maintained natural wind and snow breaks, and use selective harvesting practices to maintain an environmentally sound habitat for many species natural to this area, including white tail deer, bear, fox, wild turkeys, rabbits and several eagles. We are slowly replacing the existing barbed wire and steel post fence with a smooth, high tensil fence and wooden post system to maintain the natural beauty of our land and prevent serious injuries to animals in the surrounding habitat. Rotational grazing and crop rotation are important as our goal is to make GPI totally sustainable. GPI has a deep-rooted belief in our land and cattle being sustainable with each other, and so we make every attempt possible to not push the environment or nature to the extremes.