This year has been a whirlwind of events from breed association AGMs, cattle shows, and 4-H junior events. My travels found me in New Brunswick and B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan and overseas in Scotland. What caught my attention was the passion felt by the beef producers nationally and internationally about how lucky we are to be involved in such a sector as the cattle industry. The livestock were all unique to their respective markets, but it was the love of the land, cattle and even the sheep in Scotland that drew producers and consumers alike to the table.
With a standing invitation and long-time interest to attend, the B.C. Cattlemen’s Annual General Meeting finally made it into my itinerary. There was no disappointment with the event, hosted by the Williams Lake Cattlemen’s Association and Kevin Boon, general manager. As with all meetings and conventions, there is always a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and it would be wrong to not thank Cordy Ellis and her husband Clint from Dane Ranch for being instrumental in putting together this successful AGM, along with the numerous committee members.
I took advantage of the organized tour that unveiled the rich ranching history of the area. The tour included a trip out to Woodjam Ranch in Horsefly, B.C., hosted by Chad and Ricky Seelhoff along with Chad’s family Louis and Eleanor Seelhoff.
Originally from Lloydminster, Louis moved his family out to B.C. in 2003 to take advantage of the abundant grass and water, which were both in short supply back in Saskatchewan. With the improved resources, the Seelhoffs grew their herd to 550 pairs, farming 4,400 acres with an 80,000-acre lease and keeping 500 acres dedicated to hayland.
The speaker forums, trade show and education day were excellent, with an array of wide-ranging topics unique to B.C. Dr. Kris Nichols spoke about how regenerative agriculture uses grazing management to build resilience through soil biology. As well, Dr. Walt Klenner presented on how targeted grazing could be used for managing forest and grassland stands for better fire control.
Having an extra day to spend in the area, Brian Perillat of Canfax fame and I took a drive out to the Gang Ranch. Along with the cattle, we were able to see the Gang’s own famous Canada Post location. Navigating the back roads with switchbacks and narrow bridges makes a person appreciate the familiar big sky and wide roads that the beef producers of the Prairies have to get their cattle to market.
Switching geographic areas to the Maritimes, the cattle producers are no less passionate than their B.C. counterparts. The herds are smaller in size but the area is abundant in grass and ocean air. Opportunities abound for cow-calf producers looking for lots of grass and land suitable for ranching. Calves tend to get fed in Ontario, as there are more feedlots in central Canada than down east. The Maritimes is lucky to have the Atlantic Beef packing plant to accept any calves finished in the area. With forage being plentiful, grass-finished beef may be the key for beef herd expansion in the area.
It was interesting to see how producers adapt to different environments across this country. Next issue I’ll cover the highlights of my trip to Scotland.
Canadian Hereford Association’s Steer Showdown announced its winners. Seventy-eight steers were fed at Olds College and prizes were awarded based on average daily gain and carcass evaluation.
- Top Average Daily Gain – Purebred/Straight-bred Hereford Steer: Coleman Nixdorff (4.22 lbs./day).
- Top Average Daily Gain – Crossbred Hereford Influence Steer: Coleman Nixdorff (4.30 lbs./day).
- Top Carcass Value – Purebred/Straight-bred Hereford Steer: Matt Hansen.
- Top Carcass Value – Crossbred Hereford Influence Steer: Coleman Nixdorff.
- Top Average Daily Gain – Purebred/Straight-bred Hereford Steer: Gordon Wilson (4.51 lbs./day).
- Top Average Daily Gain – Crossbred Hereford Influence Steer: Lilybrook Herefords (4.35 lbs./day).
- Top Carcass Value – Purebred/Straight-bred Hereford Steer: Dallas Farms.
- Top Carcass Value – Crossbred Hereford Influence Steer: Lilybrook Herefords.
Swift Current, Sask., hosted the Junior Stockman Show in conjunction with Ranchman’s Ridin’ and Recitin’ on September 28 and 29.
Black Angus Division:
- Saige Buchanan with cow-calf pair Gold-Bar Heroine 208D and Gold-Bar Heroine 126G.
- Eric Fettes with yearling heifer DKF Miss Popeye 10F.
Red Angus Division:
- Eric Smith with cow-calf pair Red Six Mile Misty 809E and Red Six Mile Misty 200G.
- Eric Fettes with cow-calf pair Red DKFE Miss Ace 84C and Red DKFE Out for a Rip 134G.
- Eric Smith with yearling heifer Blairs 28M 5C Temptress 3F.
- Makaila Peutert with yearling heifer HMS HI-Cliffe 305A Fuschia 7F.
- Will Rosso with yearling heifer Rosso Ms Roxy 11F.
- Haley Rosso with heifer calf Rosso Ms Snow White 24G.
Other Breeds Division:
- Leighton Dyck with cow-calf pair SGL Dreamer UDX 35D and Gunner.
- Brooklyn Christmann with cow-calf pair DESS Enchantress 147E and SWR Georgia 5G.
- Kylie Berner with cow-calf pair Something Sweet and Kylie’s Miss Magic 1G.
- Kaycee Buchanan with yearling heifer Jigger.