Cattle herd together in Prince Albert this week

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Proudly showcasing two of their prized heifers, the Doetzel family from Lipton, Sask., highlights an important annual component of the Fair and Exhibition.

 

Filling the Prince Albert Exhibition grounds’ barns this week are some of the province’s finest horses and cattle.

For the Doetzel family, Mitch Erica 1379 and Nu-Horizon Lass 3078 were chosen as farm highlights.

Both have fuzzy years, Kodie, 14, said, noting that fuzzy ears are good indication that they will have thicker fur elsewhere.

This comes into play during harsh winters and while showing them at events such as the Prince Albert Summer Fair and Exhibition, family patriarch Kieran noted.

Mitch Erica 1379 was named Overall Supreme Champion by the Moose Jaw Regional 4-H -- a recognition Kodie wears as a badge of honour, having raised her.

Kieran has been in the agriculture industry since he graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1983.

Although he became employed in the pharmaceuticals and food industries, he remained active with cattle, concluding, “You can’t take the country out of a boy.”

He met his wife, Deb, in 1997 and bought some land in Alberta.

With limited room to expand at their expensive Alberta acreage, the family moved to Lipton, Sask., in 2008 where they currently have 250 head of cattle.

A key reason for their Saskatchewan move was Kodie’s interest in cattle, Deb said, adding that they wanted to expand their business so he could take on its reins.

“You can take him out on a quad, and he could pick cows and calves without looking at nametags or anything,” she said.

Kodie is also who brought them to the Prince Albert Summer Fair and Exhibition, Kieran said, noting that while they’re keen on extending their business market into Prince Albert, Kodie’s eagerness to show cattle is what brings them to summer fairs.

“This is his passion, so we do it for him,” Deb said.       

Proud of her son’s eagerness in agriculture, Deb notes that in addition to 4-H, he’s joined other junior programs to help prepare him for a future in the industry.

“They cover everything, from public speaking to print marketing, grooming, graphic design, photography, sales talk, judging,’ she said. “They just develop the child as a whole. They give them the foundation for everything they need to be successful.”

Those in the beef industry are poised for success this year, Kieran said, noting that prices are going through the roof.

“Two years ago you were lucky to get $1.20 a pound for a spring horned calf in the fall,” he said. “This year we’re probably looking at – your guess is as good as anybody -- $2.50?”

The family and their Nu-Horizon farm near Lipton, Sask., has also benefited by the Canadian Angus Association’s “excellent promotion” of angus beef, Kieran said.

Of the family’s 250 cattle, 150 are angus purebreds and 100 are commercial cows (cross-breeds).

Of the family’s angus purebreds, some are red and some are black.

The family was primarily raising red angus in Alberta until Kodie requested they mix things up a little bit in 2005 and buy a black angus.

There’s not much of a difference between red and black angus, Deb said, although some have claimed that blacks have more muscle definition.

Angus cattle are good news in general, Kieran said.

“They’re very, very hardy,” he said. “They can take brutal winters and they’re very maternal. They love their babies when they’re born – sometimes a little too much so because they want to beat you up.”

Angus cattle have also been praised for for their meat’s marbling, Deb said – flecks of fat within lean section of meat that adds flavour and creates what is considered by butchers as a better cut of meat.

The Prince Albert Exhibition grounds’ barns are open to the public throughout the week and are full of horses, cattle and their proud owners keen on sharing tidbits of information bout their animals. 

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