Alex Dees, Yuma, Texas was given the 2007 International Brangus® Breeders Association's (IBBA) Pioneer Award during their annual convention activities in Houston, Texas March 2nd. He currently maintains 500 head of Brangus on his ranch and consults, as well as judges shows across the nation.
In 1960 Dees was hired as a herdsman, for Yuma area cattle
breeder Floyd Newcomer, who owned the Yuma Valley Cattle Company. As herdsman
Dees showed Newcomer's Brangus cattle at every major show for over seven years.
He also attended A.I. and palpation school in 1962 and joined the IBBA. He became
more involved in breeding decisions, and was instrumental in developing the famous “Yuvalle
Black Duke Bloodline” Dees credits Newcomer with launching his successful career.
In 1968 following Newcomer's death, the herd was purchased by John Todd. Dees
continued to work for him until the herd was dispersed three years later.
Dees returned to the family farm and began his own business. Since 1962 he had
been putting together a few cows for himself. His business centered on fitting,
showing, and raising registered Brangus. His herd was small, but great quality
as it was built on the Black Duke bloodline he had developed at Yuma Valley.
In 1974 AD Miss Maybelle, was named grand champion female in Kerrville, Texas
at the 25th anniversary celebration of Brangus. This champion female put Dees
on the map, and the moment still reigns as one of his proudest achievements.
For the next decade he hit every show between between the West Coast and Houston.
The mid-80's were hard as drought forced him to reduce his herd. He would combine
herds with Canta Rana Ranch and operate under the name of C&D Brangus, until the drought forced total liquidation. But not one to give up, Dees began rebuilding his herd as soon as possible.
In 1986, Dees was inducted into the Heart of America Brangus Breeders Hall of
Fame. In the late eighties as 29-year veteran in the cattle business, Dees
gained stature as a professional judge and is considered to be the first black
judge to receive recognition in the professional judging world.
In the 1990's, Dees continued to show, judge, and consult. In 1991 he was inducted
into the Arizona Hall of Fame, and in 1992 the Yuma Sun published a profile
on Dees acknowledging his reputations as one of the most respected Brangus
breeders in the country. The article notes the Dees' name is synonymous with
the Brangus Breed. By 1995, he had spent over 20 years on the board of the
Arizona National Livestock Show, where he had managed the cattle division for
seven years and served as vice-president for two years. In 2002, the Arizona
National Livestock Show wad dedicated to him.
Dees is still going strong, breeding livestock, judging, and
consulting. Dees continues to raise the best seed stock he possibly can. He
has five children, numerous grandchildren, and a lot of extended family who are
very proud of what he has built and stood for in the cattle industry for over