I’ve now returned from my four weeks on the road travelling around Montana and Canada with many hours flying and travelling either in cars or buses. I experienced many new cultures and leant lots with meeting many new people and making many new friends from around the world. I was representing NZ Herefords at the World Hereford Conference in Canada in the Youth programme.
The pre-tour was a very good bus trip travelling from Vancouver to Calgary with amazing scenery and interesting history of the Canadian Rockies. The highlight was visiting the Douglas Lake ranch. It is Canada’s largest ranch with 7500 breeding cows and some years wintering more than 20,000 head of cattle and 300 horses.
The night at Banff and part of the day in the Banff National Park was enjoyable also. There were high mountains in every direction you looked, with lots of wild life roaming about in the trees also. The 1888 Banff Springs Hotel was an impressive old building.
The 16th World Hereford Council Conference was held at Calgary and Olds from 8th to the 24th of July.
On Friday 13th July the country delegates reported on their country’s Herefords and beef industry with some very interesting reports from new Council members Kazakhstan and Switzerland.
Saturday 14th July was the official welcoming ceremony and technical speeches which were very worthwhile listening to. All speakers spoke from the forecast of the beef industry to the very scientific side of beef breeding with the explanation on what Genomic prediction can offer the industry, though to the development of 50K tests (prediction of how an animal may perform). Also that afternoon was the UFA Classic steer show held at the Calgary stampede. A Hereford cross steer was judged reserve champion.
As the Calgary Stampede was celebrating its centennial, 190,000 people turned up on Saturday alone. Making it a very big learning curve about how many people can attend a single event. Over the 10 days of the stampede 1.5 million went through the gates.
On that night we all went to the Chuck Wagon Races and watched the grandstand show. The Canadians sure do know how to put on a spectacular show and very good entertainment.
Monday 16th July was the day the shortened version of the annual Canadian Hereford Junior Bonanza show was held. I was lucky enough to have bull calf which belongs to the Richardson Family, Haida Gwaii Island BC. The bull calf was not placed in the conformation class but I was selected for the showmanship class and while I was not fortunate to be placed, it was a great experience competing against other junior ambassadors that would have a lot more experience at showing cattle than me.
As part of the bonanza programme I entered a photo that represents NZ. This photo was taken by me, while working on Mt Aspiring Station, Wanaka. It won the senior section for the photography.
Tuesday 17th July, the open show saw a very large turnout of polled and horned Herefords that were all a very high quality which made it quite difficult for the judge to judge.
Wednesday 18th July was the final day of the conference with Rancher day taking place. This is a very different way of judging cattle - all the cattle were unled and three judges were on horseback. The cattle here were very high quality.
Overall the opportunity given to me by the NZ Hereford Association was extremely worthwhile with the conference being a great success.
The World Hereford Conference 2012
- Courtesy of the Canadian Hereford Association
The Canadian Hereford Association was extremely proud to host the 16th World Hereford Conference from July 8th to July 24th, and welcome Hereford enthusiasts from around the world to Canada. The event was extremely successful. The Pre and Post Tours were sold out well in advance of the Conference starting with 160 people on the Pre Tour and 72 people on the Post Tour and 300 that were registered for the full conference. The Technical Conference in Calgary and the cattle shows in Olds enjoyed packed houses. The weather cooperated with warm days and Hereford breeders brought out the best of the best to be displayed at Olds.
On July 8th, guests started to arrive in Vancouver, British Columbia to join the pre tour. They travelled across the beautiful province of British Columbia visiting Hereford breeders and commercial ranches of which one is the largest working cattle ranch in Canada, the Douglas Lake Cattle Co. Their final stop was at world renowned Banff, Alberta, prior to arriving at the Sheraton in Calgary, Alberta.
On the 13th and 14th of July folks from the pre tour as well as those who came directly to Calgary were informed about Hereford happenings in each of the member countries as they gave their reports on Friday afternoon following the closed door World Hereford Council meeting led by Jan Wills, the Secretary – General of the World Hereford Council. It was at that meeting where the new Secretary – General was selected, Jose “Pepe” Bonica, current President of the Uruguayan Rural Society, whose term will begin in 2013. Saturday, July 14th, was a full day of speakers held in the Palomino Room at the Calgary Stampede. There were rave reviews from the 445 guests attending and congratulations to all the speakers who presented their topics with incredible expertise and poise.
It was then onto Olds, Alberta for the cattle shows. Monday, July 16th kicked off the Junior Bonanza where young cattle breeders from across Canada as well as 42 juniors from around the world participated in a conformation cattle show as well as showmanship and photography competitions. There were 700 plus in the audience to watch. On Tuesday was the World Hereford Conference National Hereford Open Show with over 320 head competing. It was judged by Dave Durie Jr. in front of an audience of Canadian and International guests of nearly 1200.
The Grand Champions were as follows:
Grand Champion Horned Hereford Bull - Hirsche Herefords & Angus Ltd - High River, AB
Grand Champion Polled Hereford Bull - Remitall West - Olds, AB
Grand Champion Horned Hereford Female - Big Gully Farm - Maidstone, SK
Grand Champion Polled Hereford Female - Cayley Cattle Co. - Princeton, BC
On Wednesday, July 18, Rancher Day kicked off with an experienced panel of cattlemen and women judging from horseback. The women judged the cow/calf pairs and the men judged the pen of three bulls. Again the attendance was nearly 1200 people and they enjoyed evaluating some 20 herd sires that were on display following the showing portion.
Champion Pen of Three Bulls - Wyatt, Merle - Arrowwood, AB
Champion Cow/Calf Pairs - Remitall West - Olds, AB
Following the cattle shows at Olds most of the international guests returned to their homes around the world but there were 72 that carried on to Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. There they enjoyed cattle shows in each of the provinces as well as touring some of Canada’s most interesting attractions.
It was a great experience for the Canadian Hereford community in which a great deal of business was done by Hereford breeders from around the world and across Canada. The 16th World Hereford Conference will go down in history as one of the greatest.