Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Really About the People

Wow, November has just flown by.  There are so many great things that have happened in the last month.  It really has been a lot of fun.  Most of them revolve around the people that we have been with at the cattle shows.

Stacy with the Sutter girls, from Kelvington, SK
There really isn't much difference raising purebred cattle and commercial cattle.  In fact some of the most successful commercial operations probably have as good a records and data on their cattle as purebred breeders.  For us the bonus in raising purebred cattle are the great people that we get to meet and hang out with.  Sometimes we can go a whole year without much contact, but when show and sale season arrives it's like reconnecting with our "other" family.
Tom & Lizzy Baker
The Schwartz Family
3D Simmentals - our hosts for the week
Also 2011 Saskatchewan Breeder of the Year

We also enjoy the new people that we meet each year.  Those that are just strolling through the barns and take the time to stop a visit with us for a few minutes.  We have an unwritten rule at High Country Cattle - someone needs to be at the stall at all times!  We do take turns going through and looking at the other breeders cattle, not only in our barn but the other breeds, but our "job" when we are at the shows is to have someone at the stall.  It's actually as much fun as the showing part.

Thank you to everyone that took the time to look at the cattle that we displayed.  The comments that we received on our breeding program and the interest in the cattle that we will be selling on December 17.  It really is about the people!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

With Thanks

Monday night we offered 2 packages of embryos from one of our top donors.  They were in the North American Select Sale in Louisville.  When the hammer came down, we were very pleased to know that they had been purchased by 2 great breeding programs.

Lot 9A was purchased by Kappes Simmentals, Aberdeen, South Dakota.  Bruce and his family have been in the Simmental business for over 25 years.  They have a successful sale each spring and know the value of strong pedigrees.

Lot 9B was purchased by a younger Simmental breeder - Cale Toews, Beaverlodge, AB.  Cale may just be developing his herd, but he has a long history of breeding cattle in his family.

He has 2 great mentors in his grandfather and his father Travis who is the president of the Canadian Cattleman's Association. 
CCA President Travis Toews with
Agriculture Minister Ritz

 They operate Melburn Holdings and currently run 700 cows and over 1,000 yearlings, while the Toews family also backgrounds about 1,200 head of cattle.  I think Cale will have a good group of recipients to chose from.

We are excited that these two programs chose to add our genetics to theirs and look forward to seeing their results.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Like Father Like Son

I mentioned earlier in the week what a great week we had in at FarmFair International and at our National Simmental Show.  Simmental were the largest breed represented at the show with 140 entries.  The quality in all of the classes was second to none.  One of the things that impressed me the most was the number of newer (1st or 2nd time) exhibitors to the show and how young our exhibitors are compared to some of the other breeds.  This sure goes to show you that our junior program works and that our breed has a great future.

A few years ago the idea of having the National show rotate across the country was discussed.  The Canadian Simmental Association decided that the show would rotate between the Toronto Royal, Livestock Expo in Brandon, Canadian Western Agribition in Regina and Farm Fair International in Edmonton.  We wanted to support this idea so off we headed to Brandon last year.

 2 other Alberta breeders join us.  We were treated royally by the Brandon Simmental Association and the facility they have is tremendous.  The hotel and restaurants are connected right to the exhibition hall.  No starting cold vehichles and driving across town to get to you hotel or back to the show grounds.  One of the animals that we took was IPU Revolution 172U.  He was named National Champion Bull.

This year the Alberta Simmental board offered to host the 2011 National show and AGM.  We had a few more animals in the stall as this is our home town show.  One of them was a son of Revolution - RJY Rival 13Y.  He was named Junior Bull calf Champion and Reserve National Champion Bull.  Not only is he following in his fathers footsteps in the show ring but he sure looks a lot like his daddy too.

We have always thought that your younger cattle should be better than their sire and dams.  We think Rival is as good or better.  Factor in that he is dark red in color and has been confirmed by Tru-Polled to be homozygous polled and he is a pretty exciting young herdsire.

Congratulations to all of the exhibitors at this years National show.  Can't wait for it to be held at Agribiton in 2012.  Hope to see you there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sale Time

Wow the week has been a busy one.  Just got home from our National Show and annual meeting in Edmonton at Farmfair International.  Great week for our breed and for High Country Cattle.  But more to come on that in the next few days.  Today we are focusing on the North American Select Sale that is being held in Louisville.                                                                                          
CAJS Elegant Force when purchased
at Louisville in 2010
CAJS Elegant Force as a 2 yr old.

HC PowerDrive 88H
PVF BF 26F Black Joker
We have a very exciting lot - Lot 9 embryos out of our donor CAJS Elegant Force and your choice of either HC Powerdrive 88H or PVF BF 26F Black Joker.  These embryos are currently in Canada but are exportable world wide.  Elegant Force is a Steel Force daughter and a grand daughter or the strong H25 cow family.
Our daughter Crystal will be representing us at the sale.
 You can watch and bid on line at or contact sales management Doug Parke at  859.421.6100     For more information on Elegant Force check her out on our website at  The sale starts at 5:00 pm est.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shopping Time

This week at the annual Canadian Simmental Meetings members will have the opportunity to do a little shopping while they are in Edmonton.  Although they could go to West Edmonton Mall - the largest mall in the world, I think that they will find some unique items to purchase by just coming to the the Annual meeting on Friday November 11at 1:30 pm

During the annual meeting participants or those that cannot attend but would like to send an order will have the opportunity to bid on items in the Garth Sweet Foundation Auction. 

The proceeds from this auction go to 3 areas within our breed: Research, Scholarships and the Youth program.

There are some interesting items that have been donated by breeders and supporters of the Simmental breed.  Anyone like a helicopter trip over Niagara Falls, tickets to the Blue Jays, Montreal Canadians or Edmonton Oilers, artwork and 2 surprise lots a brown  cash cow and a black cash cow!  For a look at the complete offering, check out the catalog  If you are not able to attend but would like to support this great cause, contact one of the committee members in the front of the catalog.  Happy shopping.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's Show Time

Each fall the excitement grows as we prepare to attend and participate in livestock shows across Canada.  This is something that Rob and I have done for over 30 years.  People often say to us "Your still showing cattle?" 

There are several reasons that we do this:
Rob showing at
Brandon Livestock Expo 2010
  • To promote our farm and breeding program
  • To gage the progress that our herd is making against other breeders
  • To network with customers and potential customers
  • To keep a connection between urban consumers and agriculture.
There are breeders out there that look down on the shows and the cattle that excel in them, but we would like to suggest that you celebrate the breeders that are taking the time, making the effort and incurring the costs to go to the shows.  By them making this effort they are promoting our great breed - Simmental.  We don't ask that you like or even agree with the judges choices at each of the individual shows, we just ask that you respect the efforts of these exhibitors and come and evaluate the cattle for yourself and your program.

Simmental Representatives
2010 Farmfair Supreme
IPU Revolution in the 2010
Farmfair Supreme Show
Each year we bring out a handful of animals that represent our herd and our breeding program.  We try as hard as anyone to take home the ribbons and championship banners, but we also know that at the end of the day, most importantly we are proud of the cattle that we are exhibiting and our breed.  We are excited to be showing at Farmfair International on November 10  (this will also be the 2011 National Simmental show) and Canadian Western Agribition on November 24.  Stop by the stall if you are visiting one of the shows, we would love to show your our string and have a visit.

Good luck to all the exhibitors this fall who have taken the time to get animals ready to show at
Good friend Chan Phillips at the stall last year.
Chan will  be judging the Toronto Royal this year.