Canadian cattle get high praise

Western Dairy Showcase | Large dairy producer West Coast Holsteins brings grand champion

RED DEER — After judging dairy cattle all over the world, Donald Dubois has decided the homegrown product is best.

“We have the best cattle in the world,” he said after the Westerner Dairy Showcase held in Red Deer Oct. 24-26.

“We have so many breeders and exhibitors in Canada who have so much patience. That is why Canadian cattle are so good.”

Dubois, who has also travelled extensively marketing semen as a district sales manager with Alta Genetics in Quebec, said there are different markets for dairy genetics.

Commercial producers want healthy, functional cattle with high milk production while breeders and exhibitors are looking for a more showy animal.

“They will pay a little more attention to style,” he said.

Dubois has been a certified judge with Holstein Canada since 1997 and takes time to teach young people about the dairy business.

He praised 4-H, where young people can learn about dairy cows and become interested in farming. However, the children need to get the farming bug early.

“They need to be taught when they are about 10 to 14 years old. If you wait too long, they’ll do something different,” he said.

This year’s show was larger than normal and drew exhibitors from all four western provinces.

The grand champion banner went to West Coast Holsteins of Chilliwack, B.C.

Its champion was a three-year-old named BKB Goldwyn Amanda, which it bought for $87,000 at Morsan Farms’ dairy sale in Ponoka, Alta., in September. Amanda was also shown at the recent World Dairy Expo and won the reserve intermediate championship.

West Coast Holsteins holds Canada’s largest milk quota at 3,800 head, said farm manager Joe Hoffman.

The farm’s main focus is developing and showing high end Holsteins.

It keeps a show string of 20, which is expanding to 28 with a plan to have an equal number of high end red and black cows.

“Our ultimate goal is that our reds compete at the same level as the blacks,” he said.

Ken and Jeff Kooyman officially developed the farm in 2010.

Other champions at this year’s show included:

  • Reserve grand champion Holstein, Wendon Holsteins, Innisfail, Alta., and Zimmer Holsteins, Daysland, Alta.; honourable mention, Crestomere Holsteins, Ponoka, Alta.
  • Senior champion Holstein, Crestomere Holsteins, reserve senior champion, Wendon Holsteins; honourable mention, Fred Fornwald and Sons Farms Ltd., Carlyle, Sask.
  • Intermediate champion, West Coast Holsteins: reserve, Wendon Holsteins and Zimmer Holsteins; honourable mention, Wendon Holsteins and Starcrest Holsteins, Mara, B.C.
  • Grand champion Jersey, Lone Pine Jerseys Ltd., Didsbury, Alta.; reserve, Bramville Jerseys, Nokomis, Sask.; honourable mention, Lone Pine Jerseys.
  • Senior champion, Bramville Jerseys; reserve, Lone Pine Jerseys Ltd.; honourable mention, Bramville Jerseys.
  • Intermediate champion, Lone Pine Jerseys; reserve, Fred Fornwald and Sons Farms.

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