Garner Deobald of Hodgeville, Sask., was elected president of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council at the group’s recent annual meeting in Calgary. Roger Peters of Red Deer is vice-president. They are joined on the board by new director Mel Reekie and returning directors David Bolduc, Bruce Holmquist, Rod Remin, Stephen Scott, Rob Smith and Byron Templeton. The CBBC is the umbrella group representing the interests of Canada’s 16 beef breed organizations.
Kelsey Dust is the new YCSA co-ordinator with the Canadian Simmental Association (CSA). She grew up on a livestock farm near Humboldt, Sask., and later obtained a bachelor of science in agribusiness from the University of Saskatchewan. Dust and her fiancé run a Simmental herd near Coronach, Sask. Ryan Cook has also joined the staff as a sales representative for Simmental Country. He and his family run a Simmental operation near Big Valley, Alta.
The staff and executive of the Canadian Charolais Association are busy preparing for the breed’s annual general meeting and banquet June 18 at Hilton Garden Inn West Edmonton in Edmonton. Breeder tours of three operations around the Edmonton area are planned for Friday, June 17.
Bob Hahn of HR Hahn Cattle Co. in Sherwood Park has been re-elected to a second term as an Alberta director of the Canadian Angus Association while Dale Easton of Eastondale Angus was elected as a director for Saskatchewan prior to the Canadian Angus Association annual meeting June 11 in Quebec City.
Easton will replace retiring Saskatchewan director and past president Corinne Gibson of Six Mile Ranch Ltd. He is a past president of the Saskatchewan Angus Association and just recently retired from the provincial board. Dale and his wife Shelly and daughter Erika run a purebred herd calving about 180 females a year near Wawota, Sask.
Hahn served on the Alberta Angus Association board until 2012 before being elected to the CAA board. He is a chartered accountant and operates his own practice in addition to his cattle operation.
For more on the CAA annual meeting visit cdnangus.ca.
After five years Marty Seymour, stepped down as CEO of Canadian Western Agribition to take a position at Farm Credit Canada on May 1. Seymour has overseen many changes at Agribition and can be proud of his accomplishments. He was instrumental in taking the commercial cattle program to the next level by opening The Yards, a concept based on the hugely popular event at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. This is a showcase for purebred breeders to highlight and market their breeding programs in a relaxed and casual manner without having to exhibit cattle in the show ring. The Yards grows more popular every year with a waiting list to get in. As well, on Seymour’s watch, the $37-million International Trade Centre has gone from a dream to a plan to construction underway. The centre is expected to be completed in time for Agribition in 2017 and will give a new look and feel to the show. As Seymour moves into his new role as director of industry and stakeholder relations with FCC, we wish him all the best and say thank you for a job well done!
At the same meeting that Marty Seymour announced his resignation from the Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) he gave the board the good news about an $844,606 profit on operations for last year’s show. Attendance was also up, the highest in six years with 130,200 visitors over the six days. For the first time since 1975, overall livestock sales reached $3.4 million and purebred beef sales exceeded $2 million. The show attracted over 800 international guests from 70 different countries, with a 25 per cent increase in active international buyers. 2016 Canadian Western Agribition is set for November 21-26.
Donations to the Angus Building the Legacy fundraising auction just keep piling up. The sale takes place during the June annual Canadian Angus Association conference in Quebec City.
Ferme Gagnon at Chénéville, Que., has donated the pick of their 2016-born heifer calves.
Roger and Jo Hillestad of Ebon Hill Angus have donated five straws of the elite sire Leachman Right Time 779510.
Once again Doug and Kate Reid of Reid Angus in Alberta and Trevor Welch and family of Garvie Mountain Angus in New Brunswick are offering an East Meets West seafood and steak dinner for four at the Reids’ place in Alberta.
We are a little late in offering our congratulations to the 51 Angus youth who braved the cold in Ottawa during the 11th annual Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders (GOAL) Conference in February. Highlights included a tour of the Parliament Buildings, presentations by agriculture advocate J. Scott Vernon, PhD and about the McDonald’s Verified Sustainable Beef Project. Along with the conference, $14,000 was awarded to deserving scholars and attendees courtesy of the Canadian Angus Foundation. I had the names of the scholarship winners in this space last issue.
The Government of Canada through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) has invested $1 million to increase adoption of genomic technologies in Canada’s cattle sector and Canada’s Angus breeders will benefit. The financial investment will enable the Canadian Beef Breeds Council to demonstrate to producers the use and value of improving beef herds through genotyping. The project will make genomic testing available for the various Canadian beef breeds at a reduced cost, increasing adoption by producers. Determining the right genetic mix in their herds will allow Canadian Angus producers to increase their return on investment, while accurately predicting traits that benefit consumers and the environment.
Starting April 1, the Canadian Angus Association has been offering its members the Zoetis i50K genomic test which includes SNP parentage verification and a prediction of genetic merit for numerous traits at a reduced rate of $40 per test. Genomic information from the Zoetis i50K test is incorporated into animals’ Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) to calculate more accurate EPDs for them. This is typically valuable on younger animals that have low accuracy EPDs. EPDs are expressions of the relative genetic merit of beef cattle for various traits. EPDs are used to compare the predicted progeny performance between two bulls (or females) within a breed, regardless of age or herd location.
Simmental bulls, already a hot ticket item this year, got a little hotter with the sale of Wheatland Kill Switch 598C (see photo at top of page) at Wheatland’s Cattle Co.’s annual production sale. This red bull caught the interest of many ranchers and purebred breeders alike selling for $210,000 to Curtis Simmentals of Bethune, Sask. Kill Switch is sired by Circuit Breaker owned by Brad Dundas at Outlaw Cattle Co. and a Remington Red Label cow on the dam side from the Hale Ranch program in Texas. Interest has been strong worldwide with semen packages into U.S. and Australia. With a power-packed pedigree, the first calves next year will be worth watching for.
Cattlemen’s Young Leaders
Robert Dixon, Vermilion, Alta.
Mentor: Trish Jordan
Robert lives in Vermilion, Alta., near his family’s farming operation. Growing up in a mixed operation, Robert spearheaded the farm’s diversification into purebred cattle. Over the past 15 years Dixon Farms has shown and sold cattle across the globe. Through this time Robert served as the chair, and president, for numerous committees and non-profits. After a post-secondary education in agricultural business, Robert worked on purebred and commercial operations across Canada before pursuing a career in public relations. After working alongside producers and industry, a shift was made to join the faculty at Lakeland College. Currently he serves as program head for the agricultural business program.
Shane Klepak, Melfort, Sask.
Mentor: Martin Unrau
Shane was raised on a mixed commercial cow-calf operation in central Saskatchewan, where his grandparents currently run 500 Black Angus cross pairs as well as a backgrounding feedlot during the winter. Shane studied livestock production at Lakeland College in Vermilion and ag-business at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. After graduating he went to work at the University of Saskatchewan’s Beef Research and Teaching Unit as an animal technician. In December 2014 he was selected to serve a two-year term as a member at large on the Young Cattlemen’s Council (YCC).