The Don Matthews Memorial Award recognizing excellent service to the purebred beef cattle industry was posthumously presented to Gary Smith by the Canadian Beef Breeds Council during its annual meeting in Calgary. The award honours the late Don Matthews, a past president of the CBBC and member of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Smith’s father was an early convert to Maine-Anjou cattle and Smith continued to breed Maines with his family at NuHaven Cattle Co. until his passing in 2015. In the early 1980s, while serving as president of the Canadian Maine-Anjou Association and the Alberta Cattle Breeds Association, he put a load of cattle together for a contact in Mexico and that one favour led to a lifetime in the export business. In the mid-1980s, he and Roger Peters created Prairie West Livestock and for five years shipped animals to Mexico. In 1990 he created Canadian Livestock International and expanded his markets to Colombia, Brazil and China until he sold to Alta Genetics in 1994.
Alta Genetics restructured in 1999 and Smith and two others formed Alta Exports International. After BSE was discovered in 2003, he worked with CFIA to create export protocols that would be achievable for Canadian exporters. In 2005, he organized a trip to Russia to promote Canadian cattle, followed in 2007 by the first shipment of 2,200 animals, and an even larger order to Kazakhstan in 2009. Smith also served as a director for Canadian Beef Breeds Council, and a steering committee member for the Alberta Livestock Marketing Agency.
On August 16, Dr. Matt Spangler of the University of Nebraska will be speaking on the applications of genomics for commercial producers during the Bov-Innovations session at the second Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary. The day before his Bov-Innovations session Spangler is scheduled to go a little deeper into the science and application of genomics at the Canadian Beef Breeds Council technical forum, a half-day session geared to CBBC stakeholders but open to all. A report on the research results funded by Genome Alberta is also on the schedule for the forum.
Speaking of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, the registration desk opened last month for the second annual conference August 15-17 at the BMO Conference Centre in Calgary. You can register online at www.canadianbeefindustryconference.com.
Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) introduced its new leadership team during its annual meeting last month. Heading up the team is Bruce Holmquist of Saskatoon, the general manager of the Canadian Simmental Association who has been involved with CWA for 40 years as a volunteer, director, executive director and now president. Over the years he has been deeply involved as a volunteer or chair of committees for the Rodeo, RBC Beef Supreme, Beef Cattle, Animal Health, High School Rodeo, and Prospect Steer and Heifer. Holmquist and his family farm at Kinistino, Sask. The other members of the executive are: vice-president Chris Lees, Arcola, Sask.; past president Stewart Stone, Regina; and executive members at large: Kim Hextall, Grenfell; Ross Macdonald, Lake Alma; and Bryce Thompson, Regina.
The remaining members of the board are: Jodi Banks, Regina; Curtis Kuchinka, Regina; Michael Latimer, Calgary; Courtney MacDougall, Regina; Blake MacMillan, Nokomis, Sask.; Barry Young, Carievale, Sask.; Carla Borsa, Saskatoon; Doug Fee, De Winton, Alta.; Levi Jackson, Sedley, Sask.; Marty Kratochvil, Milden, Sask.; Jerry Flegel, City of Regina; Deborah Niekamp, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Kim Onrait, City of Regina; Grant Zalinko, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.
As Simmental breeders across Canada celebrate the 50th anniversary of Parisien being imported into Canada in 1967, we need to remember the early importers and breeders that started the Simmental breed in Canada and made it strong. One of those breeders was Jim Asher and his wife Agnes of Bar A Simmentals. Jim was a herdsman at Lacombe Research Station where 12 head were imported into Canada in the spring of 1968. The four bulls imported were Pacific, Petunia, Quadrille, and Quartier, as well as a group of eight heifers. A breeding program was put together utilizing the import group and the results were some of the early bulls Simmental breeders will remember such as Adonis, Lacombe Achilles & Lacombe Ajax. Jim retired in 1970 and moved back to Saskatchewan starting a farm near Grandora. After seeing the success of Simmental cattle in Canada, he decided to apply for a permit and import his own Simmental animal. Jim and Agnes were successful in importing a Simmental female and the resultant heifer quite literally paid for the farm. Back in 1974, $45,000 was a lot of money.
That was the start of the Ashers building a very successful Simmental herd. Over the years Agnes worked alongside Jim and was always a strong promoter of the Simmental breed along with their daughter Donna. Part of Agnes’s involvement was with the Simmental Belles, a group of ladies that worked together to improve and better the breed. When Jim passed away in 2000, Agnes and Donna kept on with the herd and it is still going strong on the same farm that Jim Asher started so many years before. Agnes retired and moved to town until April 5 when Agnes passed away at 102.
As Canadian Simmental Association general manager Bruce Holmquist noted at the time, Canadian Simmental has lost a special lady and another of its pioneers. “I’m glad to call her my mother-in-law.”
The Canadian Simmental Association is urging producers to promote their Simmental calves at the auction mart or the pasture this year by purchasing the new CCIA tags with the Simmental blue back button available in bags of 25 for $78 and a box of 100 for $292. To order go to www.canadaid.com or phone 1-877-909-2333.
The Canadian Simmental Association is creating an Award of Excellence Program to recognize the top Simmental bulls and females exhibited at shows across the country each year. Each provincial Simmental association is selecting two shows that qualify for the Award of Excellence Program. Bulls and females exhibited at these shows will be recognized through a point-based system that will be used to calculate Awards of Excellence honours. Contact the CSA office for details.
The 2017 National YCSA Classic will be hosted in Fredericton, N.B., August 10-13 this year in conjunction with the 2017 Canadian Simmental Association convention. Young Simmental members are being urged to watch for more details in the coming weeks so they don’t miss the opportunity to take part in this national youth event.
Canadian Western Agribition turned a profit of $745,852 from the 2016 show and generated $56 million in economic activity for Saskatchewan. Overall livestock sales were $2.9 million, the second-highest value in decades. International buyers did more business at the show last year than they’d done in the last four years combined. A number of other records were broken: trade show displays filled up more space than ever before, over 8,000 students attended the show through the registered education program, and ticketed events reached a record 25,000 in attendance. The completion of the new International Trade Centre this year holds out the promise of even better outcomes for the Regina-based livestock show this fall from November 20 to 25.
Junior breed associations are always looking for ways to make money and the Canadian Junior Limousin Association is no exception. They have come up with a novel approach that other juniors are taking notice of.
CJLA 1E shown at the top of this page is the first animal to carry the CJLA prefix! She is a Hunt Credentials 37C heifer calf, born January 25, unassisted, at 70 lbs., 280-day gestation. Her dam, Limolyn Colette CLF 520C is the heifer calf that Lynn and Tyra Combest donated to the CJLA through their dispersal in 2015. She has developed into a gorgeous female with a picture perfect udder. A group of 16 CLA members came together and purchased the $8,000 heifer for the CJLA: B Bar Cattle, Anchor B Limousin, Eden Meadows Farm, Hollee Limousin, Venture Livestock, Richmond Ranch, Hillview Farms, Pinnacle View Limousin, Jones Cattle Co., Jaymarandy Livestock, Payne Livestock, J. Yorga Farms, Andrew Ranches, Greenwood Limousin, Carpenter Cattle Co., and Bee Zee Acres.
The cow is managed by the members who purchased her and all the money generated from her progeny will go to the CJLA.