In 2017 The World Angus Forum will be held in Scotland, the home of the Aberdeen Angus breed. The forum will take place from Thursday, June 15 to Monday, July 3, 2017 and will incorporate a pre-forum tour in England, a post-forum tour in Scotland and the Royal Highland Show taking place in Edinburgh.
The forum is held every four years and provides a platform for the exchange of genetics information and breeding objectives, and also acts as a forum for youth involvement.
The forum will attract more than 800 Angus breeders, farmers and associated companies from all over the world, to listen to speakers, share their knowledge, expertise, experiences and network together.
Shirley Bilton, of Stavely, was recently recognized by the Canadian Blonde d’Aquitane Association with a lifetime achievement award. The presentation noted his involvement with the association in a number of capacities but also the example he and life partner Myrna Flesch set in building West Wind Blondes into the largest producer of Blonde cattle and the first to focus on polled fullblood genetics and ultimately the production of many “homozygous polled” fullbloods. “While a number of others have joined this growing trend and are also aiming to produce the same qualities, it is very evident that the root of their ‘polled’ and ‘homozygous polled,’ animals stem from strong West Wind genetics,” said the association in a letter to Bilton notifying him of the award. Their herd has produced many champions in the ring and gained a reputation outside of Canada as evidenced by the “number of West Wind embryos and offspring from AI bulls appearing across the globe.”
In recognition the Canadian Blonde d’Aquitane Association board named its newly created breeder of the year award, the Shirley Bilton Award for Breeder of the Year. It will be presented for the first time in 2016.
The Charolais Banner reports Whitewater Aphrodite 2A by Sparrows Fargo 811U and her Winn Mans Big Rig 639Y heifer calf at side, from WhiteWater Livestock, Haley Station, Ont., was named Grand Champion Female at the 2015 Expo Boeuf Show, October 10 in Victoriaville, Que. Judge Brent Saunders named Dubuc Adalie 317A by Shelco Made Easy 512R and her WR Wrangler W601 bull calf at side exhibited by Dubuc Charolais Senc, Ste-Eulalie as Reserve Grand Champion Female. Grand Champion Bull was McTavish Hallelujah 79B, sired by Pleasant Dawn Magnum 49Y from Cornerview Charolais, Cobden, Ont. and Kirlene Cattle Co., Brighton, Ont. while Post Alaska 836A sired by POST Yamaska 90Y from Ranch Ostiguy Charolais, St-Cesaire was named Reserve Grand Champion Bull.
This summer I had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with Albert Rimke of A M Ranching at the T Bar C Invitational golf tournament in Saskatoon. Albert is a director with the Canadian Hereford Association and runs a Hereford herd at Oak Lake, Man., with his wife Michelle and family, Jay, Samantha and Levi. He told me an incredible story about his son Jay and what he went through in 2012. Jay was going to Olds College and ended up in an accident with a severe head injury. STARS was brought in and Jay was transported to Calgary Foothills Hospital for surgery. He spent a month in ICU Calgary and eight weeks in extensive rehabilitation. He eventually made a full recovery. That year he donated 10 per cent of the proceeds from his 4-H steer to STARS. Over $2,500 was raised. This year in 2015 Jay decided to give again to STARS and $5,500 was raised. Jay thanks STARS for being a part of the rural community and is proud that his contributions help keep STARS in the air. He has since graduated with a diploma in ag management from Olds College and is taking an active role in the ranch and showing cattle at Agribition.
Canadian Beef Breeds Council director of scientific and industry advancement, Dr. John Crowley of the University of Alberta recently reported on the Livestock Gentec conference held in Edmonton in October.
“Dr. Brian Wickham gave a summary of his visit to Canada during the summer to undertake a feasibility assessment on the genetic improvement practices employed here and how they can be improved. In his talk he outlined what a centre for genetic improvement could look like, how it should be governed and how it should operate. Referring to this presently fictitious centre as a Canadian Beef Improvement Network (CBIN), Brian said that it would tie in very well with the goals of the national beef strategy. Dr. Wickham is presently preparing a final draft of his overall assessment and that document will be available in the near future.”
The wrap-up video of the conference can be found in the latest news section of livestockgentec.com.
Her Royal Highness The Princess Edward, Countess of Wessex, toured the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair with the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, lieutenant-governor of Ontario on November 13. The Countess of Wessex’s visit continues a long relationship between The Royal show and the Royal Family, which stretches back to The Royal’s inception. The fair received approval by His Majesty King George V in 1920 to use The Royal title. Queen Elizabeth II is The Fair’s Royal patron and members of the Royal Family have been guests of honour at the fair on numerous occasions over the years. The Royal ran from November 6-15.
During the 2015 YCSA National Classic in Lindsay, Ont. the Friends of Canadian Simmental Foundation presented a cheque to the Young Canadian Simmental Association for $15,000. FCSF president Ken Lewis and FCSF auction co-chair Deanne Young presented the cheque on behalf of the foundation to YCSA board members Paige Holmquist, Dylan Foley, Cooper Snider, Sophie Wotten, Craig Matthews and Krista Whalen.
The 2015-16 board of directors for the Friends of Canadian Simmental Foundation was elected at the AGM. The board consists of chairman Ken Lewis, Spruce Grove, Alta.; vice-chair Brian Bouchard, Cochrane, Alta.; treasurer Marlin LeBlanc, Estevan, Sask.; secretary Deanne Young, Breton, Alta. and directors — Roger Deeg, Strathmore, Alta.; Mark Shologan, Westlock, Alta.; Ron Nolan, Markdale, Ont.; Glen Wotten, Lindsay, Ont. and representatives from the Canadian Simmental Association, Lacey Fisher, Amherst, N.S. and Lee McMillen, Carievale, Sask.