McRae family receives ambassador award

Purely Purebred, news from the May 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Brett, Chantel, Blair and Lois McRae, Bill Biglieni and Melissa McRae.

The Manitoba Simmental Association (MSA) would like to recognize Blair and Lois McRae of Mar Mac Farms as the recipient of the A.O. Henuset Ambassador Award for 2020.

The award, started back in 1995, is presented to those who have given their time to help establish the Simmental industry in Manitoba. As a well-respected member of the MSA, A.O. Henuset (known as “Dolphe” to his friends) was a mentor to many younger breeders starting out in the Simmental business before his passing in 1993. Henuset grew up in the Pipestone area and was one of the early importers of Swiss Simmental into Canada.

In 2020, Mar Mac Farms (made up of Blair and Lois, Brett and Chantel and Melissa McRae) celebrated 44 years in the Simmental business. The first Simmentals were purchased in 1976 from Bar 5 Simmentals. Over the years many females were added to the programs from various association sales across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. In 1979, Mar Mac became a Keystone Simmental Association member and has been selling females through it ever since. Blair and Lois managed the Keystone Konnection Sale from 1990 to 2016.

In the past Mar Mac has exhibited at Ag Days, Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, Ag-Ex, Edmonton’s Farmfair and Canadian Western Agribition, receiving many championship banners along the way. Blair and Lois have also judged at a large number of shows including the Simmental show at Agribition. 

Active on many boards over the years, Lois and Blair have had a lasting effect on the breed. Always willing to help the next generation, they founded the Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup (an All Breeds Junior Livestock weekend) and sat on its board of directors. 

Currently, Mar Mac Farms, located southwest of Brandon, runs a herd of around 270 breeding females made up of Simmental as well as Red and Black Angus cattle. They host their annual bull sale in the first part of March, selling bulls along with commercial females. 

Congratulations to the McRae family also on winning the BMO Farm Family award for 2021. Sponsored by Bank of Montreal and the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the McRaes are the inaugural winners. 

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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