Thursday, September 22, 2016

Canadian Angus Registration Cards

We found some interesting mementos of Canadian Angus Association history while sorting through the Association’s archives. One of these interesting and long-retired artifacts is the registration card. In the absence of modern technology and our sophisticated registration and data storage system, small index cards were used for the enrollment and record-keeping of animals. Each membership/registration card listed the farm name, the breed, a farm address, a registration prefix, the herd letters used by the breeder, as well as in which ear the animal was tattooed and the date. The registrar wrote the animal’s registered ear tag number and registration number by hand on each card. As you can imagine, this would have been a time consuming process for large herds.

Samples of Canadian Angus registration cards

These cards are an antique of sorts when you consider how they date back to the early years of the Canadian Angus Association. It is very different from the electronic system that is in use today at Angus Central. The cards offer a way for us to get an idea of what the industry was like, and are evidence of how far technology and innovation have brought the Canadian Angus Association. Looking through the thousands of registration cards, although a time consuming task, was enlightening for me, as I was able to see how far some herds have come. I was able to look at the registrations for breeders such as Orrin Hart, with registrations from at least as far back as 1942. I was also able to find registration cards for three generations of the Matthews family, which speaks volumes for the legacy of Highland Stock Farms. These are only two examples that I plucked from the pile, leaving a great deal of history in boxes.

We are acknowledging these cards because not only do they have some historical value, we also recognize that they might hold some sentimental value for the farms and ranches to which they belong. As such, we would like to extend an invitation for any breeder who believes that we might have registration cards that belong to them to contact us so that we can send them to you. With an electronic registration system, these cards are no longer of any use to the Association, and there are simply too many to display them all. If you believe that your operation would have cards and you would like them back, please contact Tina Zakowsky.

Submitted by Megan Macleod

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Long-Term Recognition Award Photos

Well, this summer has clearly gone by faster than expected! One of my many jobs over the last 3 months has been to gather, identify, and digitize photos of the Long-Term Recognition Award Recipients. Although I have had good luck in finding many of the images, it is apparent that we are still unable to find, or have not received, photos for many of our outstanding breeders. Below, you will find a list of all of the farms or families that do not have a picture collected. If any breeder sees their name, it is because we would still like to collect an image from you to be displayed in Angus Central with the other Long-Term Recognition Award Recipients. These images can be family photos, couple photos, or other photos that accurately depict the breeders being recognized. All we ask is that the image be of high quality, and that, if possible, the award is present in the photo. 

Here are a couple examples of photos in our collection:

Allencroft Angus receiving their 50 Year Award at Convention 2014

Roger and Jo Hillestad of Ebon Hill Angus
The list of missing photos includes:

British Columbia:
  • Turner Meadows (Alex W. Turner)
  • McCaren Creek (Larry Folvik)
  • Aberan Angus (Ralph Tate)
  • Clunymore Angus (Peter Milne)
  • Fairview College (John Milne)
  • Highland Stock Farms (Matthews Family)
  • Minburn Angus (Danny Warrilow)
  • Southern Angus (Donn & Faye Trowbridge)
  • Caldwell Family
  • Spiller Family
  • Bluffton Bend Angus
  • Broken Spur Ranch (Willes Family)
  • Claysmore Angus
  • Allkali Lake Angus (Adam Schierman)
  • Clonabreen Angus (George & Val Buttimer)
  • Hills of Home Angus (Schierman Family)
  • Arklow (Robert Prestage)
  • Stadlwiser Family
  • Muenchrath Family (Albern Angus)
  • Spruce View Angus (Wayne Grant)
  • Double Bar M (Mitch & Karen Merrill)
  • Erdell Family (Ronan)
  • Angus Acres (Bill & Jordis Armitage)
  • Emerald Echo Angus (Sproule Family)
  • Needmore Angus (Burt & Jo Shantz)
  • Clangour Angus (John W D Shanks)
  • Rainbow Hills Angus (Lauris & Marilyn Beck)
  • Two C Angus (C. Dale Chapman)
  • Argwen Angus Ranch (David & Mary Pope)
  • Loma Lanes Angus (Kolesar Family)
  • Spruceyvale Angus (H. Laverne Lohr)
  • Double A Stock Farms (Steve Tofteland Family)
  • Batschol Farm (Fr. Leo Mann)
  • Early Sunset Ranch (Jim Grant)
  • Post Office Ranch (Merle Olafson)
  • Viken Farms Ltd. (Swanstrom Family)
  • Van Nortwick Family Farm
  • Almarie Angus
  • Van Len (Lensen Family)
  • Bar Kay Cee Angus (Joanne Clark)
  • Caronhill Angus
  • Pleasant Vista Angus
  • Sisson Brothers
  • Calamere Angus
  • Heather Brae Angus
  • Don Wood (George Nachtegaele)
  • McLean Family
  • Angus Ridge Farms (Walter Brown)
  • Black Ridge Angus Farm (Moleski Family)
  • Circle R Angus
  • Hollbrook Angus (Hollinger Family)
  • New Force Angus
  • Cloverlake Angus (John & Robert McNinch)
  • Rolling Stock Farm (Cecil McNinch)
  • Silver Willow Stock Farm (Wayne Bone)
  • Delorme Family (South Shadow)
  • Willms Family
  • Tom B. Blacklock
  • Town ‘N Country Angus (Kuno Freitag)
  • Clearview Angus (Alwyn Coulter)
  • Gordon & Russell Hutchison
  • Nyssa Angus (John Castle)
  • Rosebank Farms (Hodson Family)
  • Kinared Angus
  • Sandy Slope (Meyer Family)
  • Black Meadows Angus
  • Binbrook Angus (Gordon Berry)
  • Elm Grove (Bailey Family)
  • Ryebee Angus (Gordon L. Ribey)
  • Heritage Angus Farm
  • Len Mar ( Colin Trivers)
  • Dandy Lawn Farms (Ronald Storey)
  • Ontario Ag. College (Ridgetown College)
  • Copeland Family
  • Angus Hills (John & Sinclair Robertson)
  • W. Arthur Powell & Family
  • Angus Glen (Arthur Stollery)
  • Van Arenthals Family
  • Adamdeen (Heber & Lavigne Adams)
  • Hartford Brothers
  • Macdonald College Farm (A.R. Dallenbach)
  • Manasan Angus (Pierre Laberge)
New Brunswick:
  • Ambleside (Crown Family)
  • Leaowill Angus (Bill Pryor)

Nova Scotia:
  • Foundation Stock Farm (Neilson Family)
  • Harmony Ridge Farm (Howard & Vona Pyne)
  • Bannockburn Valley Angus (Boyd Dixon & Family)
  • Hampshire Meadow Angus (Temple Stewart)
  • Loane Family

If anyone has any further questions or would like to send in a photo, please forward all messages or photos to Megan at Angus Central, who can be contacted via email at Please share this post with friends in the Angus business whose names appear on this list!

Posted by Megan McLeod

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Help us identify these Angus personalities

Canadian Angus Foundation Archivist Megan Mcleod has sorted and scanned thousands of photos over the last two months. For Throwback Thursday, we thought we'd share a few photos from the 1985 World Angus Forum and ask for your help identifying the Angus personalities.

If you see someone that you recognize, please call Angus Central or email with the photo number and the people that you recognize.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3
Extra credit if you can identify the animals in this picture!

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

Photo 7

Photo 8

Photo 9

Photo 10


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Old Grannie: The Prima Donna of Aberdeen

Canadian Angus Foundation Summer Archivist Madelyn Shyba heard about the legendary Angus cow "Old Grannie" and was intrigued. She did some research to separate the fact and fiction, and we are pleased to share her findings with you.

The name 'Old Grannie' is not a name that gives the impression of grandeur or awe, but Old Grannie the Angus cow was a cow of great importance. Grannie was calved into the herd of Hugh Watson in 1824, the same year that Beethoven's 9th symphony premiered in Vienna and the year that Fort Vancouver was founded by the Hudson's Bay Company in what is now Washington. Grannie was the first cow entered in Hugh Watson's herd book, making her the maternal dam of some of the finest herds in Scotland. Her name then was not Old Grannie as she had to earn that moniker. Instead, they gave her the title of Prima Cow, a fitting name for a dam who would go on to produce at least 25 calves. Some sources claim she gave birth until the age of 29. She would die, struck by lightning in a storm, 36 years later, but Old Grannie had become one of Watson's most treasured assets in his quest to develop and improve the Angus breed.  

The only illustration we have of Old Grannie, based on a
photograph taken when she was 36 years old.
Hugh Watson's initial intention in keeping Old Grannie was to see how long a healthy cow could live and produce viable offspring. Despite this methodical goal, however, Grannie grew to be a well-loved animal. William Watson, Hugh Watson's son, speaks very fondly of her in his account of her later years, and she was treated with fondness and affection by her handler James Thomson. Hugh Watson takes note of an especially tender moment between them in a letter. He writes that after her final calf at the grand age of 33, Grannie was unable to produce milk and had to be separated from her daughter. The poor dam was very distraught, and William Watson describes her mourning with a fondness most often reserved for a treasured pet: "Actual tears of sorrow rolled down her old sweet maternal face. Lord bless our doddit Grannie!"

Grannie’s quality was not just recognized by her owners and handlers; she was also well known in the greater ranching community for being a fine specimen of the Angus breed. She won many awards when she was younger, and even as she advanced on her record-setting old age, she received official acknowledgement of her then-legendary fertility and longevity in the form of a medal won at the 1858 Highland Show at Aberdeen. 

Her name was even known and respected amongst royalty. In 1856, the French emperor Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, purchased one of Grannie’s sons for 50 guineas. This was just before Napoleon III’s popularity in France took a rather catastrophic downturn. One of her sons, an ox, was even purchased and put to the plough at Windsor Castle, and Prince Albert, Consort of Queen Victoria, requested that a photograph of her be taken and placed in his personal collection at Balmoral. It is thanks to this photograph that we can see Old Grannie today, since the drawing we have of her now was based on it. She certainly appears her age, but it is not surprising, as it was taken shortly before her death at the wonderful age of 36.

Looks aside, Old Grannie was a fine example of her stock and a cow that earned her position as a mother of the Angus breed. Without her and her many descendants, the Angus breed would not be what it is today, nor would its history contain such an interesting and dearly loved character. 

     Barclay, James R., and Alexander Keith. The Aberdeen-Angus Breed: A History. Aberdeen: The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, 1958.

     Sanders, Alan Howard. A History of Aberdeen-Angus Cattle. Chicago: The New Breeder's Gazette, 1928.

     Spencer, J.B. Beef Raising in Canada. Ottawa: Department of Agriculture, 1910.

Posted by Madelyn Shyba