Cattle producer hopes to build on Angus breed’s momentum

DRUMHELLER, Alta. — Keeping the Angus momentum going was one of the goals of New Brunswick producer Trevor Welch.

The retiring president of the Canadian Angus Association wants to continue building the brand while maintaining friendly ties with other breeds.

“In Canada, Angus is two-thirds of the cow herd and we want to maintain that but we don’t want to maintain that to the detriment of the other breeds. Everybody is important,” he said in an interview during the association’s annual meeting in Drumheller.

A fourth generation producer, his father Fred Welch introduced Angus to their New Brunswick operation in 1972. Garvie Mountain Angus is an even split between about 70 commercial and registered cattle.

Angus is the most popular breed in Canada but keeping it on top requires ongoing work. New ways to evaluate cattle are coming, including encouraging producers to use more genomics information on traits like calving ease, birth weights and carcass merit. In future all Angus bulls must have DNA verified sires and dams.

“Genomics will be another tool that breeders can use. Some breeders like the science of it and some don’t,” he said.

Commercial producers may be presented with a page full of information at a bull sale when what they are really seeking is calving ease. He does not want performance traits to take a backseat so breeders will have to do the background work.

“They rely on the purebred guy to provide those genetics for them. We want to work with them and help them with their program.”

During the annual meeting Welch’s successor was named.

Bob Hahn of Sherwood Park, Alta., is the new president and Shawn Birmingham of Brandon was named president elect.

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