Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review

2010 is almost come and gone.  Another decade finished.  If someone would have told us a year ago that we would be writing a blog in 2010 we probably would not have believed them.  Sometimes the year goes so fast or we are looking forward to events in the next year that we sometimes forget the things that were memorable in the current year.  So let have a look back at 2010.
  • First calves of IPU Revolution 172U arrive......we are very pleased.
  • Old man winter makes sure we remember what winter can be like
  • Rob gets a new calving shed

  • Simmental bull sales are going strong
  • Tickets to Australia are booked
  • We say good bye to good friend "Auger"  His family honors us by giving us his show stick.

  • We get to listen to Crystal speak at Lethbridge College on Agriculture Advocacy and Social Media in Agriculture
  • Rob's dad has a massive is in shock

  • April Showers and more rain.  Thank you Mother Nature.
  • Bulls are all out working
  • April showers bring Grass and lots of it. 
  • Lots of 4H shows to judge
  • We say good bye to Rob's dad - "Howard Young"

  • Champion Bull and Res. Champion Female at Drayton Valley Show, great night for a BBQ and tunes by Ty Wilson
  • Cows and calves are out to pasture, no grasshoppers this year.
  • Excellent Alberta Simmental Tour through Central Alberta
  • Fun times showing steers at Calgary Stampede.  Res. Champion Charolais

  • Honored by the AYCS (Jr. Simmental Association) as the Friends of YCS
  • Great visit with Buddy and Francis Leachman while watching Lance judge at Synergy
  • Great long weekend at the Saunders reunion on Vancouver Island
  • a few games of golf
  • Starting fall work so we can be away for a few weeks
  • World Simmental Congress in Melbourne Australia

  • Sale cattle selected for National sale, Agribiton and Checkers
  • Spending some time with Crystal down under
  • Res. Senior Bull at Olds Fall Fair.....thanks Stacy for taking care of things

  • Wine tasting in Australia along with snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and Kangaroo hunting
  • Great visits with friends at National Trust Sale
  • National Champion Bull at Brandon - IPU Revolution 172U
  • Grand Champion Bull at Farmfair - IPU Revolution 172U

  • Won a Featherlite Stock Trailer for being a contender in Super Saturday at Farmfair - Thanks Warren from Allan Dale Trailers, Red Deer. Ab
  • Res Sr Bull - Agribition along with a class winner - RJY Joy's Firstdate 1W.
  • Meeting "the Boy"  Crystals friend Jon.
  • Being a part of the $8400+ average Checkers Sale
  • Adding "Elegant Force" to the herd and having her arrive all the way from Kentucky.
  • Spending time with friends and family at Christmas

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Difference Between Commercial Cattle and Purebreds

A long time cattleman Rodney James once defined the difference between Purebred and Commercial cattle as "the amount of $$ you could get for an animal over market price."  Now I certainly agree with Rodney but I do think there is more to this that just the bottom line.

We have been extremely busy the last 3 months.  From attending the World Simmental Congress, to traveling to 3 major livestock shows in three provinces and now preparing for our final Simmental event of the year the Checkers sale on December 18, 2010. 

Our co-workers often ask why do we go to all the trouble?  Why not just have a few cows, calve them on grass, sell some calves and be done with all of this nonsense of shows, sales, registrations, following pedigrees etc.  Our answers to them is that we enjoy all of those events, the anticipation each year of the new calf crop from the sire you selected the year before, the ability to showcase your program and breed at shows and sales, belonging to a fraternity of like minded cattle people.  But probably the one aspect that keeps us going are the PEOPLE.  We have so many amazing people in the purebred cattle industry, and specifically our Simmental Breed.

There are 4 families that we would like to mention here today.  They are all from different countries and we have known them for different lengths of time.
The first is John & Danita Brogan. 

We have known John for over 25 years.  He is from Orange, NSW...well kinda, he has fallen in love with Canada and relocated for an undetermined time to Cochrane, AB  John assited us with selling some embryos downunder.  Through John and Danita we have met Peter and Charmaine Cook. 

We had the opportunity to spend a few days with Peter and Charmaine on our recent trip to Australia.  They are so much fun.  Peter is one of Australia's great cattleman.  If you are ever in the Coohla area it is defiantly worth your time to call in for a visit.  Charmaine might even share a glass of "Farmers Daughter" with you.  Highly recommend it.

The next group of people we have only know for about a month.  The Schneider's from Kentucky. 

We purchased a heifer from them at the Simmental Select Sale in Louisville, KY.  Although we have never met in person, we already feel like we have a connection with them  and it is the purebred cattle that has done that.  Here are a couple of  videos about their son Cramer, a truly amazing young man that has a passion for cattle. Great people to have in the Simmental Breed.  I hope that we can visit each others farms one day.

The third group of people are Dean, Monica, Kara and Kelsey Schwartz from 3D Simmentals.

I am not sure how long we have known them, but I sure am glad that we do.  They raise some great cattle, and are a lot of fun.  They also go above and beyond to extend hospitality to us each year when we come out to Agribition.  They offer their home to us to stay for the 8 days that we are in the Regina area.  It means so much to us for them to alter their schedules and mess up their house.  The best part are the late night chats and getting to spend time with their girls.

So when the weather turns really cold this winter and things are breaking or not going right and none of this seems worth while, we just take a few minutes to think of these people and so many more that have come into our lives thanks to the purebred cattle.  They make a big difference.
"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." - Abraham Lincoln,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Back to the land of Oz - South Tahara

Our next destination was Colraine, Victoria.  We were meeting up with Wayne from Alva Downs.  Wayne is the manager for Cam Emerson.  A what a character.  Certainly tells thing like they are, although he did tame down the colorful language with us girls present.  We had a great afternoon with him and wish it could have been longer.

They have run two herds for many years. One is a purebred Simmental herd and the other is a purebred Hereford herd.  They have not kept up the papers on them but they do keep them purebred.  They also have a crossbred herd.

 The F1 Simmental x Hereford is one that is hard  to beat.  The countryside is beautiful at their property - South Tahara.  With all of the rain that they have had in 2010, the hills are green and the pastures lush.  A nice change after the 10 year drought.

The Emerson family is the family that I stayed with on my first visit to Australia.  David and Liz and their daughters, lived near Hamilton at Branxholme.  David managed the herds along with a purebred herd of Simmentals.  David is a recipient of the Golden Book Award through the World Simmental Fleckvieh Federation

David purchased a Ute (Utility vehicle), the year after I was there.  It has seen better days, but is still running after 26 years.

Alva Downs has topped the market at Casterdown for many years with their feeder calves.  Wayne gave us a great tour.  He had some really good looking lambs that were also ready for market.  We left with a package of lamb chops.  Now just had to find a bar-bie to cook them on!