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PURELY PUREBRED – for Dec. 7, 2009

Suggestions are always welcome. My phone number is 403-325-1695 E-mail:

Can any of you tell me who the two individuals in this picture are? It was taken at a cattle field day over 30 years ago. I see one of these individuals quite often and the other I happened to run into last week!

The answer to the October picture is that these are pens in the hold of a ship used to transport cattle. Bruce Wilcox and Kelly Fraser correctly identified them. One of the individuals in the September picture laughed and commented “it’s bad when you don’t even recognize yourself.” If any of you have pictures that you would like to share just e-mail them to me, or bring them to me at my booth in the barn at Agribition, and I will take them home, scan them and send them back. I get so many comments on how much you all enjoy the “old-time” pictures, so share yours with us.

Just as I was going to send this column off to my editor I received an e-mail regarding rancher Ray Murphy, of the Bonnyville area. Apparently he was hurt attempting to put a CCIA tag in a herd bull. The bull threw his head back grazing Ray’s head, knocking him off the catwalk on the alley leading to the chute, causing him to suffer several compressed vertebrae in his upper spine. He spent eight days in ICU in Edmonton, then received surgery on Sept. 22. Prior to the surgery Ray could hardly move a finger or a toe, and was barely able to speak. Since the surgery his wife Leona tells me he is on the road to recovery, able to move his arms and legs somewhat but is still in the hospital and will remain there for an indefinite period as he recovers. Surgeons feel there is a good chance of a 90 per cent recovery, so our thoughts and prayers are with the Murphy family. Leona tells me their friends, family and neighbours were wonderful through this — bringing home the cows, doing the pregchecking and culling, as well as weaning and vaccinating. This is so typical of the farming and ranching community, as I have known it in my life, and one of the many reasons why I am proud to be in this industry. Leona tells me not to count them out of the game — that they plan to go ahead with their bull sale the last Sunday in March, with Red and Black Angus and Charolais bulls on offer.

An agreement to ship up to 10,000 head of purebred Charolais breeding stock to the Russian-owned Northern Agro Industrial Company for the development of the SEVAGRO Beef Project in the Tver region, has been signed with Hawkeye Land and Livestock Ltd., a division of Cedarlea Farms, Lori and Garner Deobald, of Hodgeville, Sask. SEVAGRO plans to build a fully integrated beef production business in the Tver region, some 250 kilometres north of Moscow. Current land holdings are well over 20,000 hectares with planned land base expansion in the future. Hawkeye Land and Livestock Ltd. will be shipping the Canadian Charolais breeding stock to Russia over the next three years. Other consulting services will also be provided in the development of this large agricultural project.

Garner Deobald has travelled extensively representing the Canadian Charolais industry as Canadian Charolais president and World Charolais president. He was contacted 20 months ago to host and tour Alexei Sverdlov, the project manager, while he investigated the Canadian industry as a supplier of genetics and production management. Deobald has visited the Tver region of Russia twice to ensure Canadian Charolais would fulfill the Russian requirements for climate suitability and meat production specifications. Principal investors, Dr. Yuri Lebedev and Mr. Igor Sverdlov are very pleased with Canadian Charolais as they are suited to the region because of similar climatic and environmental conditions.

To support the project, the Canadian Charolais Association will be providing pedigree registration services along with genetic evaluation services. This will assist the Russian industry in developing its own registry system and genetic improvement programs.

The Canadian Blonde d’Aquitaine Association held its annual meeting in Octobers in Victoriaville, Que., in conjunction with Expo Beouf. The membership approved their 2007 and 2008 financial statements showing the association it is in the black. Members were encouraged to register and transfer their animals, and to support the various breed initiatives including collection of performance Data through Beef Improvement Ontario (BIO) and the upcoming bull tests across Canada.

The 2009-10 board of directors includes Myrna Flesch, president, Stavely, Alta.; Ian Kruis, vice-president, Hampton, Ont.; Marcel Lachance, treasurer, Norwood, Ont.; John Plas, executive member, Jerseyville, Ont.; Murphy Baker, Sunderland, Ont.; Pierre Leger, St-Zotique, Que.; Ken MacKenzie, Drayton Valley, Alta.; Ron McArthur, Moncton, N.B.; Reed Rigney, Westlock, Alta.

Jason Pollock, CEO and general manager of Canadian Western Agribition says the Regina show hosted eight National purebred beef shows, and a four-year high of 1,900 purebred beef entries last month in Regina. Every region of Canada from the Rockies to the Maritimes was represented. In addition, exhibitor entries from the U.S. were the highest since 2003. As always, international markets were well represented, including qualified buyers from both Finland and Russia.

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