B.C. producer ‘shell shocked’ at Farmfair win

Supreme champion | B.C. Angus producer wins for top bull, Alberta family wins for top female

EDMONTON — One of Tanya Belsham’s dreams was to win a Dodge truck from showing cattle.

Her dream came true Nov. 9 when Belsham’s Black Angus bull won supreme champion at Farmfair International.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Belsham of Poplar Meadows Angus near Houston, B.C.

“I’m still shell shocked. It’s a lot of hard work and to reap the reward so early in my career is amazing.”

Belsham’s family has been involved in cattle for years, but five years ago she stepped into the show cattle world. She bought the two-year-old bull from Rob and Gail Hamilton of Cochrane, Alta.

The winning bull was at its mother’s side when the Hamiltons won supreme champion female at Farmfair two years ago. The Hamilton family is part owners of the bull.

Belsham said her biggest problem showing cattle is her northern British Columbia location. She shows cattle throughout her home province, but it is a big commitment to come to Edmonton, and then on to Regina for Canadian Western Agribition, in the winter.

“It’s a lot of work coming from B.C.”

Dawn Wilson and her daughter, Jaelayne, were on the halter when their Black Angus cow and calf were named supreme champion female at Farmfair. It’s the sixth time the family has won supreme champion with either a bull or female.

“We just try and breed a consistent product,” said Wilson, moments after winning their sixth truck. “We like all good ones in all the breeds.”

Like most good animals, the cow and calf pair stood out from the herd from the time the calf was born.

“We sure thought she had a chance at winning,” said Wilson, whose family ranches near Bashaw, Alta.

The winning cow was at its mother’s side when the mother won supreme champion two years earlier.

“We believe strongly in the breeding. This win is such a big, big bonus.”

Dave Fiddler, Farmfair’s show manager, said purebred and commercial cattle numbers were up 300 head to 1,100 this year because of the eight national cattle shows. There was only one national show last year.

Fiddler said the number of exhibitors increased this year, but each brought fewer cattle.

“I don’t think they have big families coming here. It’s a lot of work.”

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