Another fantastic show season in Canada comes to a close with the announcement of the winners in the Holstein Journal’s 2017 All-Canadian Holstein contest. The nominees in 2017 were extremely competitive, with the Selection Committee only unanimous in its choice of the All-Canadian winner in six of the contest’s 22 classes.
The closest battle for All-Canadian came in the intermediate yearlings where just three points separated the top two finishers. In the 4-H junior yearlings, three heifers vied for the Reserve position with only one point eventually separating each of the trio. Other hotly contested races for Reserve occurred in the summer yearlings, Breeder’s Herd and 4-H intermediate calves. Five animals who earned an All-Canadian, Reserve or Honourable Mention award in 2016 returned to claim another top three placing in 2017.
Earning the title of leading breeder and owner of All-Canadians in 2017 by a wide margin is the Jacobs family of Ferme Jacobs Inc., Cap-Sante, Que. Ferme Jacobs has enjoyed enormous success at the shows in recent years and this past season was no exception with Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor banners being won by them at both the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s National Holstein Show and World Dairy Expo’s International Holstein Show. Of the seven nominated milking females shown by Ferme Jacobs for all, or part of the year, they came away with two All-Canadian, two Reserve and three Honourable Mention awards. Five of these cows were also bred by Ferme Jacobs of which two are now All-Canadian, one Reserve and two Honourable Mention. Those two homebred All-Canadian winners were also members of Ferme Jacobs’ All-Canadian Breeder’s Herd in 2017. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the Jacobs family has won the coveted All-Canadian prize in the Breeder’s Herd class. In addition to these remarkable achievements, Ferme Jacobs was also a partner in one more All-Canadian and one more Reserve All-Canadian cow in 2017.
MilkSource Genetics, Kaukauna, Wis., who were the top exhibitor of All-Canadians in 2015 and 2016, are runner-up for exhibitor this time. They had four milking females nominated in this latest contest who went on to secure two All-Canadian and one Reserve prize. MilkSource Genetics was also a partner in one more All-Canadian milking female.
In second place for leading breeder of All-Canadians is Joël Lepage and Mireille Lavoie of JM Valley Holstein, Amqui, Que. Their JM Valley prefix appears on one All-Canadian and one Reserve in the junior female classes. These two winning heifers also anchored JM Valley’s All-Canadian Junior Breeder’s Herd. The Kingsway prefix of Gord McMillan and family, Hastings, Ont., follows in third place with one All-Canadian and one other nominated animal. Kingsway also had the Reserve All-Canadian Breeder’s Herd, Honourable Mention All-Canadian Junior Breeder’s Herd and bred two more Honourable Mentions in the 4-H division. Congratulations also go out to Corey and Kim Rae of Unique Holsteins, Mount Forest, Ont., who bred two Reserve All-Canadians in 2017.
Handily capturing the distinction of leading sire of All-Canadians in 2017 is Val-Bisson Doorman, the respected Semex owned bull. This marks the first time that “Doorman” has achieved this title. “Doorman” had 19 daughters nominated in the open portion of the competition, the most of any sire. Those daughters, the oldest of which were junior 3-year-olds, finished with three All-Canadian, three Reserve and four Honourable Mention awards. “Doorman” was also the most popular sire in the 4-H division with 11 nominated daughters who went on to claim three All-Canadian, two Reserve and four Honourable Mention prizes.
In achieving his new title, “Doorman” defeats the legendary Braedale Goldwyn who was the leading sire of All-Canadians from 2007 through 2014 and again in 2016. “Goldwyn” had 14 daughters nominated in 2017 and they captured two All-Canadian, two Reserve and two Honourable Mention awards to put him second in the sire race. To date in his career, “Goldwyn” has sired an amazing 89 offspring who have won 64 All-Canadian and 59 Reserve All-Canadian awards.
While there will be more “Goldwyn” daughters in the winner’s circle before the final chapter on this remarkable bull is written, there is no denying the impact he and his sons are having on the showring and the breed. Among those sons is Lirr Drew Dempsey who finishes in third place for leading All-Canadian sire. “Dempsey” had seven nominated daughters in 2017 who achieved two All-Canadian, two Reserve and one Honourable Mention prize. In fourth place is Gillette Windbrook. He had only two nominated daughters but they both swept All-Canadian titles. Other sires doing well include Maple-Downs-I G W Atwood, another “Goldwyn” son whose seven nominated progeny took one Reserve and three Honourable Mention awards; Heavenly Golden Dreams, also by “Goldwyn”, who sired one All-Canadian and one Reserve; and Walnutlawn Solomon, a “Doorman” son who had one All-Canadian and one Honourable Mention.
The six animals or groups nominated in the 15 individual, five 4-H and two group classes were chosen in late November by a Nominating Committee comprised of Jamie Black, Constable, N.Y., Frank Donkers, Woodstock, Ont., Thierry Jaton, Compton, Que., and Carl Phoenix, Sunderland, Ont. Following that meeting, advance page proofs of the nominations were then sent to 21 judges who served as the All-Canadian Selection Committee. Serving on the Selection Committee were the four members of the Nominating Committee, along with Tim Abbott, Enosburg, Vt.; Pierre Boulet, Montmagny, Que.; Yvon Chabot, Victoriaville, Que.; Dr. David Chalack, Calgary, Alta.; Pat Conroy, Angola, Ind.; Gerald Coughlin Jr., Peterborough, Ont.; Steve Fraser, Fergus, Ont.; Herb Henderson, Ashton, Ont.; Kevin Jacobs, Sainte-Brigitte-des-Saults, Que.; Richard Landry, Sainte-Brigitte-des-Saults, Que.; Joël Lepage, Amqui, Que.; Adam Liddle, Argyle, N.Y.; Callum McKinven, Canton-de-Hatley, Que.; Orville Schmidt, Leduc County, Alta.; Jeff Stephens, Troy, Ont.; Blair Weeks, Pleasant Valley, P.E.I.; and Mike West, East Garafraxa, Ont. These judges, by means of a ballot vote, indicated their choice for first, second and third place in each class. No judge was permitted to vote in a class in which an animal he bred or owned was nominated. This will explain the variation in number of ballots cast in each class. A first place vote was worth 7 points, a second 3 points, and a third 1 point. The nominee with the highest point total is declared All-Canadian, second highest is Reserve, and 10 points or more is required for Honourable Mention.