Our Story

In the fall of 1919, C.O. (Oscar) and his brother A.T. (Albert) Johnson came up from Hershey, Nebraska to Scandia, Alberta to buy some prairie land. They returned to Nebraska for the winter, but March 20, 1920, found their way back to Scandia, AB, ready to begin their new adventure in Canada. Now fast forward 100 years, and C.O. Johnson & Sons Ranches is still going strong.  (Brother Albert sold out to Oscar and bought land elsewhere so there was enough land for their sons.) 

Where buffalo once grazed on the rolling prairie hills, and where Oscar and Albert once grazed their sheep, it is now cattle that dot the prairie hills and graze on the native parries amongst the native grass, sage and cactus. Many things have changed since the 1920s, but we still hold Protecting and Preserving the Prairie to be the primary objective of all ranch activities. 

Oscar Johnson was one of the early pioneers of the Bow Slope Shipping Association (BSSA) which was formed in 1934.  We are proud of this legacy, and Blaine currently sits on the Board as a Director.  We sell our calves at BSSA, one of the largest shipping associations in Alberta. 

Oscar would eventually pass the ranch on to his two sons, Lawrence and Richard. Together they would work to continue building th family legacy, until Richard passed away. 

 

Lawrence married Phyllis, and they had three children: Blaine, Warren, and Marian. Much like his father had done for him, Lawrence and Phyllis left the ranch in the hands of their capable children.  Marian took up the veterinarian profession and lives on a farm in Central Alberta.  She is still a key information source for veterinary advice and enjoys her visits to the ranch. 

Lawrence passed away in 2018 at the age of 91, and we miss his wisdom and kindness.  Today Blaine and his wife Holly and Warren manage the ranch while training the next generation of ranchers.  

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C.O. Johnson & Sons Ranches is a third generation ranch, with the fourth generation stepping up to take part in the family business.  The kids are a big help while they learn and they are proud of the ranch they call home. 

We were unable to celebrate our Centennial, due to Covid 19, but we celebrated our 101st in July 2021 with 180 friends and neighbours! 

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Burton Johnson's early years in Scandia, AB

The start of C.O. Johnson & Sons Ranches

Stories of growing up on the ranch by Guenter Borchert