The Advocate - the Ontario Simmental Association Publication Spring 2021

Page 1





Advocate Advertising Deadlines Fall 2021 ADVERTISING DEADLINE: aug.15,2021 Advocate Advertising Rates Black and White 1/4 Page: $75 Black and White 1/2 Page: $110 Black and White Full Page: $175 colour half page: $150 Colour Full Page: $300 Colour Inside Covers: $325 Colour Backside Cover: $375 Yearly Business Card Ad: $75

Ashton Colvin OSA Member Services Manager 519-357-6775 1422 Concession 4 Teeswater, ON N0G 2S0

- Prices may vary according to Print costs. Every effort will be taken to ensure accurate prices are reflected in each Advocate Issue. - 10% Discount on all advertisements commitment to 2 consecutive issues


March 20, 2021- Ferme Gagnon INC. 22nd Annual Bull Sale at 1PM April 3, 2021- IRCC Source for Quality Bull Sale at 2PM April 8, 2021- OSA Virtual Annual Meeting VIA ZOOM at 7:30PM STAY UP TO DATE WITH CHANGES AND ADDITIONAL EVENTS WITH OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AND WEBSITE: WWW.ONTARIOSIMMENTALASSOCIATION.COM

Message from the President Over 800 hours and 40,000 kilometers. Those numbers represent the number of hours I would have spent and the distance I would have travelled over the course of a year commuting to and from work. This doesn’t include the number of trips through the drive thru for coffee, the number of times out of a quick lunch or even the after-work gatherings for whatever is on tap. It’s worthwhile for me to personally reflect on the past year and the impacts that it has had on myself and those around me. For better and for worse, 2020 has changed the way we do things in our everyday lives. Except for the lucky few, for many commercial and purebred breeders, raising cattle has been that full-time job that we have had to find a way to squeeze into our lives between the hours of 6PM and 8AM. For some, 2020 was the great excuse to stay at home more and focus on our farm operations during daylight hours, a time to clean up old fence rows and build new ones and a time to not have to worry about missing a calving while being an hour away. I am sure that for many of us, we were all felt a little lost in not spending countless hours halter breaking new calves and loading up trailers every Saturday and Sunday morning in the summer/fall to head down the road to the next fair. Lastly, who didn’t miss that sacred week in early November walking up and down Manitoba Drive under the glow of the big city or the nasty Royal flu that came the week thereafter? Enough about the pandemic. I am so excited to hang up the 2021 calendar and look forward for what the future will hold. It’s time to look forward to embracing newly created events as well as reestablish old ones. How many of you were excited to read and learn about the announcement from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair that they are building towards hosting each and everyone one of us in early November? Who can’t wait to meet up at the next fair or production sale? April 8, 2021 will mark the date of our Annual Meeting and I look forward to virtually meeting everyone on the evening!

Scott Dykstra 2020/2021 OSA President

My name is Lauren Johnson. I am in grade 9 at Owen Sound District Secondary School. I live on a farm between Chesley and Tara with my parentsJarrett and Krista Johnson, my older brother Logan who is 16, and my younger brother Simon, who is 11. Aside from showing cattle, I enjoy playing multiple sports. My favorite sport to play is hockey. In the future I would like to be a veterinarian. In the meantime, I'd like to focus on competing at high levels in 4-H including the RAWF, along with other shows. I would also love to travel and get to discover the world. I am a member of the Desboro 4-H Beef and Dairy Calf club. I also participate in programs offered by The National Youth Simmental Association. I am the grade nine representative of my school's student council. I was also a member of the Durham beef fitting club and helped mentor younger members. My Family backgrounds 235 steers from out west. On our home farm, we grow crops including corn and soybeans, and pasture our cattle as well. We don’t have a barn on our property, but our generous neighbors allow us to use their barn which is on the farm beside us. At this farm we have a small herd of registered Simmental cows, along with a handful of crossbred cows used as recip females. Some of my favourite memories include winning overall champion show person at the Paisley Fall Fair, showing in the junior division finals at the RAWF, and get excited every time new animals are added to our heard. My favourite thing about the Simmental breed is there is a wide variety of colours and markings. Another thing is that when it comes to showing this breed, they have an outstanding coat of hair to work with and train. Also, this breed is typically very docile. Some advice I would give to a first time cattle buyer is to make sure to look for strength, not only their overall condition, but also look out for less noticeable things such as feet quality and udder quality. These things can not only make a difference in the show ring, but for their upcoming calves and overall health of the herd. I am very excited to hopefully have a more “normal” year in terms of showing and being able to work together with others- without as many Covid restrictions.

The Do's and dont's of bull selection with dennis serhienko by: Ashton colvin

With breeding season upon us selecting the best bull for your herd can be quite stressful. Bulls play such a vital role in the production and profits of any operation. In this article we ask expert Dennis Serhienko some do's and don'ts of bull selection for breeders to reference to at this time of the year. Dennis Serhienko is the Sire Acquisition Manager for Semex Beef along with being the Beef Program Manager for Semex partner Westgen. In his sire acquisition role Dennis evaluates over 7,000 beef sires a year selecting the genetics to lead the Semex Beef program in all market segments around the globe. These sires undergo a comprehensive evaluation in regards to their genomic profile combined with phenotypic traits and pedigree composition required for the varied market segments in all facets of the beef industry throughout the world. Dennis has contributed to the Beef industry through his time on many boards such as President of the Sk Charolais Assoc, Canadian Charolais Assoc Breed Improvement Committe as well as being a mentor in the Canadian Cattlemans Association CYL leadership program. As an accomplished Judge Dennis has judged shows in North America including Canadian Western Agribition, Denver National Western Stock Show, Kansas City American Royal, AIJCA National in Wichita Falls TX, Toronto Royal and Edmonton Farm Fair as well as internationally at the Expo Ganadera in Jalisco, Mexico and the 100th Anniversary Angus show in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Through his families Charolais & Angus Breeding operation Serhienko Cattle Co supplies herd bulls to repeat commercial customers in western Canada who utilize these sires to produce crossbred calves to enter the feedlots in western Canada. The Serhienko’s are proud to have successfully bred & exhibited Agribition Supreme Champions, US National Champions as well as a Farm Fair International Supreme Champion. SVY Freedom, a noted landmark sire in the Charolais industry bred by Serhienko was named Sire of the Year in Canada for a record 5 consecutive years as well as being named a ROE Sire of Excellence in the USA.

What is the First Step Breeders should take when Selecting a Bull?

I believe the first step when selecting a bull for the genetics he will provide to your program is to get to know your customers, identify what is needed in your market segment, and determine how you can best meet those needs with your product. This helps you design and execute a breeding plan for your programs genetics whether your market and customer base is more tailored for maternal replacement females, performance, calving ease or carcass oriented bulls for the commercial sector, feeder calves with the genetics to capture carcass premiums at harvest or show females to compete at all levels. This knowledge from your customers will help you greatly in successfully selecting the right bull/genetics for your program and give you the information as to which areas in your selection process where you need to really hone in on and focus your efforts be it phenotype, carcass data, production epd’s (BW, WW, YW), successful cow families etc. Of course the fundamental basics of correct foot design, soundness of movement, quality udders and fertility need to be a foundation no matter what further direction you tailor your breeding program with your bull selection.

What are some of the most common mistakes when selecting a herd sire?

Some of the most common mistakes in bull selection would arise from not having a strong enough handle on your breeding programs goals. Once you’ve defined who your customer base is and what requirements they’re looking for then select the bulls/genetics that will best achieve these goals in your program. It’s easy to get distracted by what other breeders or producers are purchasing and wavering from the bulls/genetics that will work for you because others may be purchasing a different type. If you’ve done your homework you can confidently select the sires/genetics that will work best for you without being distracted by what others are doing. We all have budgets we need to maintain however some of the most costly mistakes I’ve encountered is sacrificing on the right genetics for a few extra dollars. When a bulls genetics will be felt in your program for many years those few extra dollars on the right bull will be much cheaper in the long run than the cost of inferior genetics.

what are the most common mistakes breeders make when selecting a bull on an Individual basis with A.I?

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen when selecting ai sires would be getting distracted by the shear multitude of sires that are available and getting caught up and not doing your homework. There’s some really powerful genetics available to use in the ai world that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible to everyone however just like selecting walking sires you need to be disciplined and select the sires that will advance your herd in the direction you want your program to go and not use a sire just because your neighbor is using him.

What are some key factors to a bulls longevity with a herd? How do Breeders improve this?

Longevity is pretty key in the whole scheme of things within the cattle business whether it’s cow longevity or herd bull longevity. Some of the biggest factors influencing a bull’s longevity will be foot quality and leg soundness being the most common reasons for a bull not lasting. Other factors such as fleshing ability, temperament and fertility being the next contributing factors as to a bull’s longevity. With all that being said however after your due diligence in the selection process if a bull’s progeny doesn’t perform as expected he’ll likely be taking a trip to town much earlier than expected and his “longevity” will be pretty short which then comes back to the importance of doing your homework in the selection process.

Can you describe the importance of EPD's in relation to bull selection and the impact it can make on a herds profitability?

EPD’s especially in today’s world of genomic enhanced EPD’s are a really powerful tool and an extremely useful guide in your selection process. They are one tool in your selection toolbox to be used in conjunction with actual performance data and visual appraisal of the traits that are not as easily or accurately quantifiable such as feet, udders and soundness. If you have an area in your program where you need to make marked improvements in a particular trait or traits the use of the EPD for that trait or traits will be invaluable in moving that area of your program in a positive direction. When dealing with EPD’s it’s easy to get caught up in chasing a higher EPD just for the sake of marketing and not using them for what they are meant to be as a selection tool for overall genetic improvement and helping select the genetics that will work in your particular environment.

Describe the importance of Testing bulls and the benefits of getting this done

Semen testing is a very important checkup before breeding season to ensure your herd bull fertility level will be good to fulfill his duties in getting your cows bred up in a timely manner. The economic cost of late and open cows due to a bull fertility issue that could have been identified and prevented before the breeding season just makes complete economic sense.

Regarding young bulls, take us through the process from birth to breeding. What should fellow breeders take into consideration when producing bulls for purebred and commercial use?

There is much discussion and literature in regard to proper breeding bull development as a bull’s nutrition from a young calf to breeding age is a very important and crucial component affecting his fertility level at puberty as well as his prolonged fertility in subsequent years. We are fortunate nowadays with the availability of great resource people specializing in nutrition who work with the many feed companies that can be utilized to formulate rations for developing bulls. One of the most crucial time periods that’s most often overlooked is after a young bulls first breeding season when they’re still growing and for ease of pen space get kicked out with the old bulls to fend for themselves, this usually results in disappointing fertility results the following breeding season on these young bulls.

Final Advice One final word of advice is to take ownership and control of your genetic selection whether its walking herd bulls or ai sires as you know your programs needs and goals as well as your customers demands and ultimately you are the one who is most invested in your program and have the most to gain with your program’s success.



The 2021 Annual Meeting will be held virtually using the ZOOM internet platform. For your complete 2021 AGM Pre-Package, all relevant documents and a link to the ZOOM Meeting, please visit our website at the following link:

AGM Thursday, April. 8, 2021 at 7:30PM

President: SCOTT DYKSTRA 1834 Concession 9 Jarvis, ON N0A 1J0 289-834-2269 Vice President: BLAIR WILLIAMSON 7739 Lakeshore Rd Lambton Shores, ON N0N 1J3 519-808-0516 Past President: TINA HIDDINK P.O. Box 250 R.R. 1 Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0 613-743-5774 Director: REED CRAWFORD 22950 Taits Road R.R. 4 Glencoe, ON N0L 1M0 519-857-7333 Director: BRITTANY BARKLEY 14505 Dafoe Road Igleside, ON K0C 1M0 613 360-1936

Director: NATHAN LATCHFORD P.O. Box 288 Beachburg, ON K0J 1C0 613-281-1477 Director: IVAN MATTHEWS 3724 Trim Road Navan,ON K4B 0B6 (613) 835-3363 Director: PAT TABER 7569 Durham RD 30 Mount Albert, ON L0G 1M0 647-321-3448 Director: BRAD TURPIN 482 Cooke Road R.R. 1 Stirling, ON K0K 3E0 (613) 848-4208

Treasurer: JERRY BARBER P.O. Box 689 R.R.3 Shawville, PQ J0X 2Y0 (819) 647-3770

2021 OSA Board of Directors

Secretary: GRACE OESCH 1201 Lichty Road Wellesley, ON N0B2T0 (519) 656-2199

Member Services Manager: ASHTON COLVIN 1422 Concession 4 Teeswater, ON N0G 2S0 519-357-6775