From Dora Lee to Applecross
I have been privileged to be involved with Simmental cattle virtually all of my life. In 1973, my parents established Dora Lee, in Ontario. I arrived a month later, followed by our first Simmental calves in 1974. In those days, we started with grades, with the first Fullblood Simmentals arriving in the early 1980’s. The 80’s also brought about the introduction of now classic Fleckvieh bloodlines to our herd, as well as the involvement by all of us kids in 4-H. As it usually does, our 4-H involvement led to the family showing at a number of the local fairs and the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.
In 1988 the first Full Fleckvieh female arrived from the west; but it wasn’t until the 1991 purchase of SRN Ms. Western 2Y as a 2 year old, (with Blushrose Minka at side) that I became ‘hooked’ on Fleckvieh cattle. Ms Western went on to become the matron of the Dora Lee herd, and my passion for cattle was born. In the 1990’s, through school, into marriage and an off-farm career, my interest in purebred cattle continued to evolve into genetic selection and promotional work. I was very fortunate to find and marry Jeanne, who is an enthusiastic supporter of my interest in cattle (and has even started to learn pedigrees!).
In 2006, Jeanne and I decided to move west. Red Deer was seen as the perfect location – providing desirable off-farm employment, while allowing us to farm on our own in the heart of cattle country. Now several years in, we are slowly developing our herd, and there is no doubt about the genetic influences that shape our views. It is hard to place a value on spending 20 years of dinner conversation debating the merits of a pedigree, cow family and herd bulls. It is the sharing of ideas and opinions (whether you always agree with them or not) that moves a breeding program ahead. We are truly privileged to have the support and interest of my parents in our operation as we strive to establish our own identity as purebred breeders