I spent some hours with a tape measure measuring these cattle and jotting down the figures and just standing and looking at them. It took some time to pull myself away from this scene. (SSh:Oct1970:8)
Travers attends Church services, visits with a new acquaintance, Dr. Winzenried on his farm near Berne, and writes to B.Y. Williams: I can’t get over them. We can’t get this kind of animal in 100’s of years of breeding with what we’ve got to work with in Canada. If we can get a few over home it will be the biggest break through for Cattle in a long time. … I’m making every effort and contacted [sic] possible to see if we can’t move cattle from here to France for another year. // … I would sell ½ my herd to get a few of these over. (BYW-2:July31/1966)
Travers proceeds to Geneva; meets and travels with Mr. Roger Decre, a French cattleman from Gex, who is an importer/exporter between Switzerland and France; spends the entire day with Mr. Decre (and Decre’s cousin who serves as interpreter); and then takes the night train to Paris.
After spending the morning at the Canadian Embassy getting contact information, Travers arrives in Dijon at 3 pm on August 2: Met Mr. Plenat at Pie Rougue Cattle registry. he had interperater told him what I was looking for. he said to get hotel and by morn would have a list of men to see. Just as I was ready to leave Wayne Malmberg called from Nevers. He & Ray Woodward had done a lot of ground work on these cattle for me and were ready to come up with the S.E.P.A. [Société d’Exportation de Produits Agricoles] Men next morning. Next day [Wed., Aug. 3] we had 2 cars Good top men Knew Country & Cattle, we saw some Good cattle. Had a good visit with Wayne and Ray Woodward who is one of best Genetists in U.S. He helped develope the Line 1 Miles City Cattle we bought. Travelled 500 Miles and landed back at Nevers. Next day [Thursday, August 4] saw some Good Charlaise Cattle Sepa Men contacted more men [p. 3] and next day [Friday, August 5] went back North of Jidon [Dijon] Saw more good Simmintal. Picked 3 Calves to test, One has to have at least 3 to start with for some fail on health tests. Made all arrangements with S.E.P.A Organization on cattle next day [Sat., August 6]. They will handle everything to Brest France the Quarantine Station. We only pay them at end of test for the bull that gets on boat for Canada. Wayne & Ray Left for Canada Thursday [Aug. 4] I missed train for Berne Swiss Last night so am travelling today Sunday to Berne. be at sacrament meet[ing] there tonight. Want to see more cattle in Switzerland. Then back to Paris Friday [August 12]. have a reservation for Plane Sat. be home Sunday I hope. … (BFS-6:Aug7/1966) The S.E.P.A. document dated 6 August 1966 lists Travers’ first choice as Parisien, with a farm price of 17.000 Fr. (See October 21 entry below.) Two alternate choices are required in the event that Parisien fails the health tests. The first alternate, Orkan, is from the Langenieux farm; the second, Oranais, from the Roger farm. First-choice Parisien is found a mere five miles from the Herd Book Office of the Pie Rouge at Dijon. With the S.E.P.A. documents signed, the animals with their dams were set to enter the requisite testing area on Monday, August 8, 1966—the deadline given by the CDA. Travers had beaten the deadline by one day, a Sunday. Things were now in process, being superintended by the well-organized Canadian Charolais Association (CCA), acting as agent for all Canadians importing from France. Everything will proceed like clockwork from one stage of testing and quarantine to the next.
Travers returns to Switzerland and spends his time: … making arrangements for the future, contacting all the government and export people possible, as well as their veterinarians. My inquiries for top quality cattlemen in Switzerland to do a selection job for us in the future led me to two persons—Ernst Aegerter, who had for most of his life headed up the export of cattle out of Switzerland, and a Mrs. Ida Hofer, who was a real cattlewoman in her own right, being of a famous cattle breeding family in Switzerland and also married into one. (SSh:Oct1970:9 from “Selecting the first Canadian Simmentals,” by Travers Smith, Simmental Shield, October 1970, pp. 8-10.)
August 15 onward
Upon returning home, Travers continues his telephone and letter campaign hoping to get Switzerland open for importation to Canada. At the same time, he begins directing cattle selection in Switzerland through his two
Swiss contacts (Aegerter & Hofer), trusting in their expertise and trusting that the Canadian government will open Switzerland for the upcoming importation year. (This will prove a nail-biting experience for these first Canadian Simmental believers and investors. When at last it seems too late, they will receive eight permits for France/Switzerland, dated July 19, 1967.) Travers’ long-suffering bankers have not been overly impressed with his latest idea, so in order to finance the Simmental “gamble,” several local investors finally respond to Travers’enthusiasm. His vision of what the Simmental breed can do to improve productivity, performance, and profitability in livestock operations somehow slips into every conversation. By late August, seven men commit to help Travers finance this venture that has so captured his focus.
Six of the eight initial contributors of capital meet to determine the type of organization they want to transact the future business of the contributing group. According to the minutes, those present at the meeting are: “B. Travers Smith; Dr. Orson T. Bingham; Harold Watson; Guy Bowlby; H.J. Blackmore; B.Y. Williams.” Those not able to attend are: Dr. S. B. Williams and Franklin Smith. Each contributor’s investment is $500.00 in cash with a further $500.00 guarantee to the bank to secure a $4,000.00 loan. Thus, their working capital for the project is $8,000.00. Their Parisien venture will take almost all of it.
September 20 (abt)
The Canadian Charolais Association advises that some testing delays have occurred and that “present plans are to move the cattle from the farms to Brest quarantine station within the next few days. It is expected that the plans will then be pretty much as scheduled, arriving at Grosse Ile, late October.” (Undated CCA letter to importers)
Parisien goes into quarantine at the Brest Quarantine Station in France. (S.E.P.A. letter dated September 28, 1966)
Simmental Breeders Limited (aka, SBL) is incorporated with B. Travers Smith, chairman; and B.Y. Williams, secretary with the remaining investors as directors.
The Royal Bank of Canada receipt of this date shows a currency exchange of .22, resulting in a total cost of $3,630.00 Canadian dollars that Travers and his fellow investors send to finalize matters with S.E.P.A. In subsequent correspondence by Travers, it appears that the original farm price for Parisien was 15.000 Fr., but is increased to 17.000 to cover extra costs relating to the transport, testing, etc., of the two alternate bulls at 1.000 Fr. each. Only one of the alternate bulls with dam is delivered to the testing area, so the adjusted price paid is 16.500 Fr. The extra 500 Fr. is for transport costs to get Parisien to Brest, France after he passes the first tests.
October, late [29th]
After a period of quarantine at Brest, France, Parisien and 228* other imports (mainly, if not totally, Charolais) are loaded onto a cattle boat for the 8-day ocean voyage to Grosse-Ile, Quebec—Canada’s quarantine facility in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Here, Parisien will spend his first Canadian winter. (*CDA letter of Sept. 15, 1966 states cattle imports authorized for 1966 total 229.)
This pivotal year ends with Parisien’s anxious owners looking forward to an early spring thaw so their “great expectation” can wend his way to the Canadian mainland and overland to Alberta for his last quarantine phase—a 90-day on-farm quarantine on Travers’ ranch. In Travers’ view, things are looking up for every farm and ranch family in North America—every family, that is, who will lend him their ears and their eyes for even just a minute. Those of you who remember Travers knew him as a man of deep faith. In a letter to his children in 1971, he wrote of this first Simmental trip, saying “… the Lord softened the heart of a customs man that I got a passport after [brief] hours in Ottawa. He led me to the right people in Switzerland, in France; unbeknown to them He influenced men to organize trips for me to see cattle. He gave me ideas and understanding of Cattle and the attendant business far beyond my natural powers. In the past He prepared through men’s management of Genetics, a Bull that started the biggest revolution for good in the cattle industry on this continent.” And it all began—a mere 40 years ago [now 44]. httpp://Simmental-sbl.blogspot.ca/
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