Retired farmer, rancher and agricultural trailblazer Lloyd Henry DeBruycker, 87, of Dutton, who with his wife established DeBruycker Charolais, died Sept. 1, 2021, at Benefis Teton Medical Center in Choteau of natural causes.
Lloyd was born on Dec. 1, 1933, in Great Falls to immigrant parents, Achiel and Rose DeBruycker, who came from Belgium and Italy, respectively, to find their fortune in the American West. They operated a small grain farm and cattle ranch in rural Teton County south of Collins and west of Dutton.
At a Dutton High School ball game, Lloyd met a pretty little Minnesota girl, Jane Clemenson, who came to school there in her sophomore year. While there were lots of boys vying for her attention, Lloyd jumped to the front of the line, and the two were married on July 2, 1954, in the Dutton Lutheran Church, starting a grand partnership that would span 67 years, seven children and the building of a nationally and internationally respected Charolais cattle operation.
They made their home initially in a small house in Dutton as Lloyd worked at local elevators and continued to farm and ranch with his brother Roger. In 1963, as drought wreaked havoc on area farms, they had the opportunity to purchase a 600-acre farm from Dave McClellan. They moved into a big house on the farm in July of 1963, and began raising grain, pigs, cattle and kids.
An agricultural innovator his whole life, Lloyd wasn’t satisfied with the Hereford cattle his dad raised. In 1958, he purchased his first Charolais bull and used it to cross-breed their commercial cows. Lloyd saw the tremendous gain in red meat production and the incredible enhancement in the quality of the beef with the Charolais bull. In 1963 they purchased 12 registered Charolais heifers and in 1964 they added a purebred Charolais bull, Amigos Pride. DeBruycker Charolais was officially born.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Lloyd was instrumental in importing different breeds into the United States. He along with many other cattlemen at that time experimented with many different breeds such as Chiania, Maine Anjou and Simmental. During this time, though, Lloyd and Jane never strayed too far from Charolais as they could tell this was the breed for them because of the economic benefits commercial cattlemen would receive from this breed.
In 1972, Lloyd became one of seven main producers who formed a new feedlot operation north of Choteau called North Montana Feeders, giving local producers a place to finish calves and a place for DeBruycker Charolais to feed thousands of their bull customers’ calves each year.
He was an involved community supporter. He served on the Dutton School Board, the Teton County search and rescue, and on the boards of the Farmers Elevator and North Montana Feeders. In his later years, he greatly enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attending their school and sporting events and helping them learn the ropes of ranching and farming.
Lloyd was a larger-than-life person. His love for life and his passion for always moving forward have been passed on for generations, and for that his family is eternally grateful. To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the Croxford Funeral Home website.