Condolences to the Groeneveld, Simpson and Robart families

Purely Purebred with Mike Millar: News from the December 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Brad Robart and daughter Susan at the 2002 Ohio State Fair with his prize Murray Grey cow-calf pair.

Condolences to the Groeneveld family

Chuck Groeneveld. photo: Supplied

Chuck Groeneveld, a well-known ambassador of the Canadian beef industry, passed away October 30, 2020 at the age of 83 years.

Groeneveld left school at a young age to help on the family farm, but at 14 he was wise beyond his years. He spent a lifetime giving to organizations that have shaped the livestock industry. Cattle have always been a part of his life, starting with Here­fords on the family’s homestead along the Bow River. In the late 1960s, Simmental cattle were introduced to their herd and Highwood Land and Cattle was formed.

Cattle would take Groeneveld across the country and around the world. He exhibited at all the major shows across Canada and judged at many local and national shows. He believed in giving back and gave his time to many organizations including 4-H, Alberta Beef Producers, Calgary Stampede, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Alberta and Canadian Simmental associations.

ABP said in its tribute that “Chuck played a profound role within ABP and Alberta’s beef industry, and his legacy will be remembered for many years to come.” He was a mentor to many young people and always had time for a visit and some advice. Groeneveld was inducted into the Canadian Simmental Hall of Fame in 2011 and received the Western Legacy Award from the Calgary Stampede in 2015.

As much as Groeneveld loved promoting beef and teaching others where our food comes from, he loved being around people more. He would take time to visit with everyone. His sense of humour, kindness to all, love of animals, and smile were his trademarks. The place that was always home to him was the ranch on the Highwood River in the Gladys Ridge district. He resided there until he moved to Okotoks two years ago.

He is survived by Lorraine, his wife of 58 years, his son Dean, daughter Deanne (Rob) Young, granddaughters, siblings and numerous nieces and nephews.

Condolences to John Simpson’s loved ones

John Simpson. photo: Supplied

When I think of Saskatchewan Angus and Canadian Western Agribition, I think of John Simpson. It was sad news indeed to hear that Simpson recently passed away. For all the years we have been to Agribition, John Simpson has been there, whether as a volunteer on the commercial cattle committee or offering his expertise and insight on the Canadian Western Agribition board. He filled both roles admirably and was respected by cattle producers in the cattle barns and the board room.

Simpson farmed all through his life with his dad. Over the years the farm had a variety of purebred breeds as well as commercial cattle. Not long after John and Pat got married in 1969, they started a herd of Red Angus cattle and ran under the farm name Symbrae Red Angus in the early ’70s.

In 1987 Simpson leased 90 purebred Angus cows from Ken Fraser, resulting in them showing at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatoon and Brandon. They sold bulls at the Northern Progress Bull Sale in North Battleford, the Connection Sale in Saskatoon, as well as the Moosomin and Yorkton bull sales.

Simpson was involved with the Theodore 4-H beef club for many years, chairman of the recreation board and was active on almost every local community board.

Simpson sat on many beef boards including the Saskatchewan Angus Association, where he served as president from 1994-96. In 1991 he was asked if he would like to run as a director for the Canadian Western Agribition board, which he did and stayed on for 19 years. Also active with the Yorkton Exhibition board for the past 40 years, he worked with the Regional 4-H Show and Sale, Harvest Showdown Committee, and was a past president.

It takes a special person to do what John Simpson did, helping out over the years on boards, in cattle barns and raising some darn good cattle along with his wife and family. He will be truly missed as a friend, role model and I can honestly say that once we finally get back to Agribition, it won’t be the same without John around.

John and Pat have three children — David, Robert and John — as well as two grandchildren, Kiah and Cort.

Condolences to the Robart family

In late September this year, the Ontario beef industry lost Grey County cattleman Brad Robart of Kemble, Ont. Robart was an advocate for the Murray Grey Breed in the ’80s and ’90s, touting the benefits of the breed in his intensive feeding program for a robust freezer beef market (see photo at top of page). He served on the Ontario Murray Grey Association board from 1996 to 2001 as president and vice-president. Along with his children, Dennis and Susan, Robart travelled to cattle shows across Canada and the U.S., promoting the Murray Grey breed. Our condolences go out to the Robart family.

About the author

National account manager

Mike Millar

As National account manager for Canadian Cattlemen, I work with all major accounts including equipment manufacturers, ad agency's and national breed associations. When I'm not busy working and promoting Canadian Cattlemen magazine, my family and I are running a purebred herd of Simmental cattle at Grandora, Sask.

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