Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Going Once , Twice, SOLD

The fall is an exciting time for the shows, but the really interesting part is all of the sale.  Starting in September the coffee table is full of sale catalogs.  Usually our conversations revolve around what we are offering for sale, what other breeders have available and the prices and buyers from the latest sale.

With modern day technology you don't even have to leave the comfort of your home in order to add top end genetics to your herd.  Just a click of the mouse and she could become apart of your herd. There are several good sites, including LiveAuctions.TV, Edjecast.com and DMLSL.com  Although there is nothing nicer than to hear the chant of the Coronal and to feel the excitement in the air.

RJY Signature Move 4X
Our next sale will be Thursday November 25, 2010 at Canadian Western Agribition.  RJY Signature Move 4X is a compilation of the Signature cow family that we have been building over the years.  her maternal sister was the high selling lot at the 2006 CWA Simmental Sale.  Add in the exciting sire of Wheatland 680S and you have a very exciting prospect.

JDN Prairie Signature 19L

CDY Signature Black 2N
CDY Black Signature 9S - Dam of Signature Move 4X


High Selling Lot CWA Sale 2006 - $15,000

You can check out the entire sale offering at http://www.bouchardlivestock.com/upcomingsales-cwa.html. Signature Move is Lot 469.  The sale is also being broadcasted by Live Auctions
Hope to see you at sale time.  If anything catches your eye and you can't attend, give us a call at 780-514-0758.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homecoming......Bovine Style

The third week of November, ask anybody in the livestock business and if they are not going to be home, then you will probably find them at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan.  2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of this prestigious Agriculture Event.

The Mission Statement they have created is
To create and maintain an effective, hospitable and entertaining atmosphere to market Canadian agriculture products and expertise to the world.

And for the past 40 years they have accomplished this and more.  Prior to the 1970 cattle producers from Western Canada make the trek, usually by train to the Toronto Royal.  This was very costly and time consuming.  You were one from home for up to 3 weeks.  The dreamer and visionary of CWA was Chris Sutter.  Long story short Chris made it happen.  The first Agribition took place in November of 1971.

As as younger person, I dreamed of attending Agribition.  Each November my parents and Aunts and Uncles would head off to this great cattle show.  The stories they told on their return of the hospitality, the cattle show and the prices that cattle sold for only made me want to go more.

We have many memories of the past Agribitions that we have attended.  This year marks the 34th for Rob and 30th for me.  Here are some of the show highlights.
  • Being a part of the Alberta 1982 4H Judging Team  - being named Reserve High Point Individual
  • Showing multiple champions for Lewis Farms in the  mid 1980's
  • Showing the heaviest bull in Agribition history - TCCL Firefox 53T - 3020 lbs.
TCCL Firefox 53T
  •  Owning the 1989 Champion Simmental Female
  • Rob judging there in the 1990's
  • Selling the High selling lot in the  2006Simmental Sale - $15,000
Now in addition to the show end of the event, there are the many friends that we get to see each year and the social part of Agribition.  Some events can't be mentioned on here, but I thought I'd reflect on a few that may bring memories back for some of you that have attended and the things that make Agribition unique.
  • The SWAMP - the most famous exhibitor lounge.  Bull have been rode through her, Jimmy Joe's rendition of Cinderella in Pig Latin, and the many stories that have been shared.
  • Tie Outs and Peppermint Schnapps
  • The Weather
  • Bum Darts - This event has been discontinued due to Dawn Miller Wilson winning too many years in a row.  Although I am proud to say that our daughter Stacy is the reigning Farmfair Champion.
    The creators of Yuccaflux
  • Yuccaflux Parties - created by the Simmental Exhibitors 
  • The Agribition Crud

You never get enough sleep
Things have changed a lot in the past 40 years.  We sure don't go to the barn at 3 am each morning.  There use to be a breed banquet and dance to attend each night.  We used to tie out at 7 pm, get showered and changed in to our best clothes and dance until 2:00 and then go to the barns.  We have cut our show stings down to 7 from 30.  And they have a few new barns. I also hope that our cattle have gotten better.

Agribition has now become our family reunion for Rob and I and our daughters Crystal and Stacy.  With the American Thanksgiving falling during the week of the show, for the past 7 years Crystal has met us in Regina.

CDY 9S - High Selling Lot 2006 sale - $15,000
I think what the best thing is about Agribition is that everyone there is excited to be in Agriculture and for us the livestock sector.  Having an Agribition Champion is like no other.  It has been 21 years since we were part of the Supreme Championship and this year we are honored to be a part of it again.  A place where anything can happen.  We'll let you know how it goes.
Thank you to the men and women that had the vision and didn't let challenges keep them from seeing their dream to reality.  One of these men was Mr. Bill Small. 
 Bill was the first Vice-President of CWA.  He was also a member of the Simmental fraternity.  Bill passed away yesterday and won't get to participate in this 40th Anniversary celebration.  We sure will be thinking of him though.  Thanks Bill for all that you did and for the great memories.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Comes Early to High Country

A few weeks ago, Rob came into the house and announced that he knew what he wanted for Christmas.  Now this may not sound unusual, but Rob never asks for Christmas or birthday gifts, so I was quite intrigued to hear what had caught his attention.  It was in a catalog ........ not the Sears catalog, or any of the others that arrive in the mail during November, but the North American Select Simmental Sale catalog. 

It was Lot 3 that had his attention.  He almost said like a little boy "I won't ask for anything else for Christmas, if I can just have her."

Well sale day rolled around and the family discussion began, do we try to own her or not.  I thought she would be way out of our budget, but said to give it a whirl.  So we called up Crystal, who was in Louisville with her job at the American Angus Association and asked her to go have a look.  Along with a phone call to Darryl Snider from Simmental Country.  We logged on to edjecast to watch the sale and hoped for the best.

Christmas has come early as we are now the proud owners of CAJS Elegant Force.  She was consigned by the Happy 6 Simmentals, the Schneider family of Georgetown, Kentucky.  This is what they had to say about their sale consignment.
This is one we hate to part with. She is a beautiful package. You can’t make one much smoother than this. She is big-butted, strong topped, jet-fronted, and stout. You have to admire her fore rib and smooth shoulder. “Elle” comes from a legendary cow family, being a maternal sister to last year’s $33,000 high seller KenCo Miley Cottontail, she is a granddaughter of the great H25(dam of JM Steel My Heart and many others). Throw Steel Force in the mix and you can’t go wrong! Elle has gathered many ribbons and banners in her extensive show career, turning heads all across the country. Homo black with a perfect blaze and a baby doll disposition. To top it all off, she’s expecting a heifer calf by Explorer in January. We are reserving a flush within the next 2 years, with a minimum of 6 embryos, to be done at the buyers convenience and at our expense.
Crystal had the opportunity to visit with Joe, Paige, Cramer and Ally Jo.   They are a very nice family and were very excited to have their heifer come to Canada.  They are already planning a trip north to visit her. Cramer and Ally Jo love to show cattle.  To read more about them go to http://www.happy6simmentals.com/aboutus.html

So I have one Christmas gift bought.  Now to figure out what to get the rest of the family.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winning Weekend.

This past week we loaded up the trailer again and headed into Farmfair International in Edmonton, AB.  The trip was a lot shorter than last week.  Because of the long haul to Brandon the previous week, we only took in one entry - IPU Revolution 172U.  Edmonton is our local fall show and we still wanted to support it. The numbers were down this year, but the excitement and interest from commercial cattleman was really good.  It seems like all many breeders in all breeds went home with numerous names to add to their bull sale mailing list.  We had a great show with Revolution being named Grand Champion Simmental Bull.
Our Simmental show may have been smaller in numbers but the quality was very high.  We had four strong representatives in the Supreme Saturday Showcase.  Supreme Saturday sees all of the breed champions along with the breed representatives from Legends of the Fall  - calender year bull and heifer calves, and the commercial cattle pen representatives compete for $130,000 in cash and prizes.  It is an honor just to be a part of this day, as it is the best of the best cattle in Western Canada of all breeds.
High Country Cattle, Rancier Farms, and Mader Ranches represented the breed.
The sponsorship for the show is second to none, with 2 Dodge trucks and an Allen Dale Trailer up for grabs.  The panel of 6 judges had there work cut out for them. 

When the score cards were completed, the Grand Champion Female was claimed by the Simmental entry of Rancier Farms with RF Flirtin For Certain 37U, congratulations Garth, Ang, Kyle and Chase.  The Bulls division went to the Bullick family with their Charolais entry.  Although we didn't get to take the truck home, we were honored to finish second, only 2 points out of the running. 

For all of the entries in Supreme Saturday, Allan Dale Trailers donates a new aluminum stock trailer.  Which we were very fortunate to win.  Thank you to Warren Fertig, for your continuous support over the last 22 years.
It has been a great couple of weeks.  Now it's time to regroup, reload, add a few more head and take off for Canadian Western Agribtion in Regina.  Revolution will lead the show string, but we are really excited to have 2 of his daughters at his side, RJY Firstdate 1W, an interesting Blk Joker bull calf, and a daughter of 680S and RJY 9S in the sale on November 25.  Check out the sale catalog at Bouchard Livestock or on our sale page.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


 For many of us, well probably most of us, the idea of war is something that we see on the evening news that is happening in a far off country. We know that there are men and women from our county that are representing us and our best interests, but we are very much removed from the actual event. We also probably do not know many people that have been in a war. November 11 is a day for us to stop and REMEMBER. To thank those that have lost their lives and served their country for us to have the FREEDOM and PRIVILEGES that we do.

In  2007 Rob & I attended the Annual meetings of the Canadian Simmental Association in Ottawa. Part of our time there was a tour to the Canadian National War Museum.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit Ottawa, make this a part of your plans.  We only had a few hours there, but could have spent a couple of days.  The displays are wonderful.  It really makes you stop and think of the role that Canada has played as peace keepers and allies to our fellow countries.  It also makes you realize the losses that we have suffered.

On our recent trip to Australia, we again had the opportunity to visit their Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Although not as familiar with their history and the roles that they played in some of the same historical events as Canada, the messages were the same. Men and Women have given so much of themselves for the greater good and for their fellow citizens to enjoy PEACE and FREEDOM.

Tribute to an Australian Soldier that help wounded soldiers down to medical help with his donkey. 
He died just a few days into battle.
Wall of Remembrance for soldiers killed in the various wars Australia has been a part of

Memorial with eternal flame in Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia
So on November 11, please take a few moments to reflect on the quality of life that you have and why we enjoy the freedoms that we do.  If you know someone who is serving for their country, let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing.

Tim McGraw's song - If Your Reading This .......

If you're reading this
My Mommas sittin there
Looks like I only got a one way ticket over here
Sure wish I
Could give you one more kiss
And war was just a game we played when we were kids

I'm laying down my gun
I'm hanging up boots
I'm up here with God and we're both watching over you

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed
That it would go
And if you're reading this
I'm already home

If you're reading this
Half way around the world
I won’t be there
To see the birth of our little girl
I hope she looks like you
I hope she fights like me
Stand up for the innocent and weak

I'm laying down my gun
I'm hanging up boots
Tell dad I don't regret that I followed in his shoes

If you're reading this
There’s going to come a day
When you'll move on
And find some one else
And that's OK

Just remember this
I'm in a better place
Where soldiers live in peace
And angels sing amazing grace

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Return Visit to the Manitoba Livestock Expo

Last week Rob headed East for the Manitoba Livestock Expo held in Brandon, Manitoba.  Years ago when the National Simmental Show was hosted by a different province we used to try and attend as many as possible.  This gave us the opportunity to see different parts of Canada and to meet breeders that we often only had the opportunity to read about.

A few years ago it was suggested to the Canadian Simmental Association board of Directors that we should go back to that format.  Since then the show has been hosted at the Toronto Royal, Farmfair International in Edmonton Canadian Western Agribtion in Regina and this year the Manitoba Livestock Expo in Brandon.

The last time that Rob & I attended a National Show in Brandon was 26 years ago.
 It was on our honeymoon.  Not only did we have 10 head of cattle to take care of, we also shared our room with the show help.  This time Rob made the trip on his own.

He had a great week of catching up with old friends and meeting many new breeders.  The facility is wonderful, having the hotel attached to the exhibition hall.  He never had to start a truck to drive to eat or go to the hotel.  The organizing committee did a great job.  Our display of cattle was well received.  The heifer calf was 4th in a strong class, the bred heifer that we sold in the sale was 2nd in class

Thank you to Conray Cattle Co, Pilot Mound, MB for purchasing her
    and our bull IPU Revolution 172U was senior and Grand Champion Bull.

National Simmental Champion Bull 2010
The Simmentals as a breed had a great week, winning the interbreed heifer calf champion, the interbreed bull calf and res. bull calf champion, Supreme Champion Female and 9 out of the 11 Commercial Cattle classes were Simmental influenced.

For a complete run down of the show results check them out here.  It was a long 15 hour drive but we are very glad that we went and invite everyone out to next years National show at  FarmFair International in Edmonton as we host the 2011 National Show and Canadian Simmental Association Annual Meeting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sale Time Down Under

Friday morning we headed out to the Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange for their weekly sale.  This sale day was small with only 450 head.  Mostly open cows, and cull bulls were available that day.  There had been a large stocker sale the day before.  The Hamilton Livestock Exchange, situated along Portland Road, is the major livestock selling centre in the Southern Grampians region, attracting vendors from as far afield as Horsham, Skipton, Mortlake, Warrnambool and even into New South Wales and Queensland.
A typical November sheep sale day - 40, 000+
An important facility within the local economy, yearly put through 50,000-60,000 cattle and approximately one million sheep and lambs for the last four years, indicates continued support for the auction system of selling both sheep and lambs through sale yards rather than other methods.
Cattle sales are quite different in Australia.  At this market the cattle are not moved from their pens to be sold, rather the buyers move from pen to pen.  The cattle also are not weighed until after they have sold.  The other big difference is that you hire an agent to represent you on sale day.  This agent is also your auctioneer.  The agents stand on a catwalk above the pens and sell to the buyers below.  The bidding is different than here in North America as the auctioneer tells you what he wants bid rather than asking as we do.  The agents are also on a curfew and only have a certain amount of time to sell as they have to be at another livestock exchange later that day.  It keeps the pace moving very quickly.

Once the cattle are sold the agents are responsible for getting them weighed and sorted for trucking.  The Livestock Exchange is leading Australia with the latest technology as part of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and is accredited under the National Sale yards Quality Assurance (NSQA) and European Union (EU). Electronic ear tag identification placed in cattle through the NLIS program allows lifetime traceability of animals from their property of birth right through to slaughter.  Representatives from Alberta Auction Markets had just spent 2 weeks in Hamilton learning how their system works.

Trucks come equipped with a Roo bar

Rob talking cattle with a local bloke