Five local-area veterans of the angus cattle business were honoured with heritage awards at the Saskatchewan Angus Gold and Junior Show held in conjunction with the Yorkton Exhibition last week.
John and Pat Simpson of Theodore, Lorne and Grace Fandry and Jack and Joyce Burkell of Yorkton, Irene Olynyk of Goodeve and Don Bell and family of Abernathy were this year’s recipients.
“It’s quite an honour to get recognized,” said Jack Burkell, adding there are a lot of people who have worked hard and contributed to the breed in the area.
John Simpson agreed.
“It’s quite an honour to be recognized by your peers,” he said.
The one thing the recipients have in common, besides angus cattle, is their long involvement with the breed.
“Myself, I started farming in 1965, and my dad gave me a couple of heifers,” said Burkell. He added angus on the Burkell farm goes back to his grandfather, and his son is now raising them.
“Our family has been in angus back to the ‘30s,” he said.
The Fandrys said they started in angus in 1957, and over the years were active with the breed having four daughters in 4-H.
“Lorne went to the Royal (Toronto Royal) in ‘72,” said Grace, adding with noticeable pride they captured Grand Champion Angus.
“It was the first winner out of Western Canada at the Royal,” he added.
Simpson has also been a regular in the show ring since starting into the red angus business in 1971.
“I started out showing commercial cattle,” he said, then that evolved into the purebred side of things, including involvement in the first red angus show at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina.
Simpson is also the only exhibitor to be involved in every edition of Harvest Showdown in Yorkton.
The recipients all remain committed to the breed as well.
Simpson said cattle are why he still farms.
“The only reason I am on the farm is the cows. If the cows leave, I leave,” he said.
Burkell was like-minded.
“I’ve had cattle all my life. What little bit of money I have put together, a large part of it is because of cattle,” he said.
Lorne Fandry said while they sold off their cattle six years ago, he has stayed close to the industry.
“You meet a lot of people. They’re a lot of good people involved in angus,” he said.