EDMONTON — Some mothers and daughters like to shop together.
Deanne Young and her daughter, Stacy Romanyk, like to show cattle together.
Stacy is married to Don Romanyk and they started Double R Simm-entals and work with her parents, Rob and Deanne, at High Country Cattle Services near Breton, Alta., where the animals are kept. All of them also work off the farm and pull together to keep everything running smoothly.
It is a family-oriented operation and they all help each other, but none are opposed to some friendly competition in the show ring.
“At the end of the day, it is a family operation,” said Stacy after the Simmental show at Farmfair International, held Nov. 9-13 in Edmonton. The family had the grand champion pen of three bulls at the commercial show and it took all hands on deck get the cattle ready for the judges.
“We enjoy doing it as a family and each person makes a contribution. We all have our role. Dad is the day-to-day guy, I do the marketing, Mom does the paperwork,” Stacy said.
Stacy showed her first calf at the age of five and Deanne was nearby to help her and her sister, Crystal.
“People said we were not very good parents because we were making our kids show when they were so young,” said Deanne.
“It wasn’t that we were making them, we couldn’t keep them out of the barn and they were asking to go to shows,” she said.
Stacy’s sister, Crystal Blin, lives on a Hereford ranch in Iowa.
Each girl had her own cattle, which eventually paid for post secondary education and travel.
Stacy went through the Young Simmentalers Association and her mother was among the founders to get the junior program running in Canada. Stacy went on to become provincial and national junior president.
Deanne’s father is long-term Alberta Beef Producers delegate Chuck Groeneveld. Simmentals were a big part of the family life. He was Alberta Simmental president and Stacy now sits on the Simmental board.
“We have all tried to give back to the association because it has given us a pretty good lifestyle,” said Deanne.
She and her father are one of two families to have two generations sit on the Simmental association’s board of directors .
“We have grown up with the breed,” said Deanne.
Showing cattle makes for hard work, but it is part of marketing and sharing their experiences with people outside of their usual circles. It is often the only contact they have with urban people where they can talk about farm life, beef production and animal care.
“We taught the kids the main job was to stay at the stall, promote the cattle and say hello to everyone who comes by because you don’t know where your next customer is going to come from,” Deanne said.
They have about 100 breeding cows and have an extensive embryo transfer program, including sales across Canada, United States and Australia. They also travel looking for new cattle.
“We go all over looking for genetics we can use,” Deanne said.