Over the last 17 years, Doug Fee has taken the Canadian Angus Association from the 4th-largest beef cattle breed with a staff of 3 and 29,931 registrations to Canada’s leading beef breed with a staff of 13 and 55,452 registrations. When Doug joined the Association, registrations were completed by Canadian Livestock Records Corporation, there was no Junior program, and the Association offered a limited number of programs.
One of Doug's first tasks as General Manager was to bring the Canadian Angus Association registry in house. The first registrations were processed in January 1996. One year later, we were recognized as having Canada’s largest purebred beef cattle registry.Doug oversaw the Canadian Angus Association office’s move to Calgary, and the grand opening was held in conjunction with the Association’s 90th anniversary.
The Canadian Junior Angus Association was formed, and the Juniors held their first event, Showdown, in 2000. Sixty competitors from six provinces brought 100 head of cattle to compete in the 3-day event.
In 1999, we became the first beef breed to offer a tag that met the requirements of the national cattle identification program while also identifying Angus cattle electronically and visually. In the first year of the Canadian Angus Certification Program, about 20,000 tags were sold. That number has steadily increased and in 2010, over 240,000 Angus tags were sold. The Canadian Angus Association made the move to RFID technology in 2005, ahead of the rest of the industry. The program also became truly national in 2009 with the introduction of an Angus ATQ tag for producers using Angus genetics in the province of Quebec.
As CEO, Doug has attended meetings of the World Angus Secretariat in Denmark, South Africa, Ireland and Canada. Canada was the host country in 1985 and 2009.
Doug was part of a 2004 Canadian delegation that celebrated the 125th anniversary of the founding meeting of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society in Scotland. A plaque was unveiled in the Perth hotel where the founding meeting was held, and the gravestone of Hugh Watson of Keillor, recognized as the founder of the breed, was rededicated.
On behalf of Canada’s Angus breeders, Doug presented a gift heifer to Her Majesty the Queen Mother on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2000. He also represented Canadian Angus breeders and the World Angus Secretariat two years later at the Queen Mother’s funeral.
Doug successfully managed the Canadian Angus Association throughout the darkest days in the Canadian beef industry, when the discovery of a single animal with BSE in May 2003 brought the industry to a near halt. Despite the crisis created by BSE, the Canadian Angus Association registered a record 53,412 animals in 2003. That record was broken in 2005 when 56,159 animals were registered, and was broken again in 2006 when 60,744 animals were registered.In 2006, Angus registrations in Canada increased to over 50% of the Canadian purebred cattle population for the first time. Other significant firsts in 2006 include the first all-age-verified, all-tagged, all-Angus sale in Mankota, Saskatchewan, and the Junior Association’s first Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders (GOAL) conference.
Doug, you will be missed by the staff and members of the Canadian Angus Association. Under your leadership, we have grown and progressed as a breed. We all thank you for your years of dedication and wish you enjoyment and fulfillment in your retirement.
Posted by the Canadian Angus Association staff