Archive for Quality Holsteins

PAUL EKSTEIN – 2013 Recipient of the Prestigious McKown Master Breeder Award

PaulCongratulations to Paul Ekstein of Quality Holsteins, Vaughan, Ontario for being selected by the Klussendorf Association as the fifth Robert `Whitey`McKown Master Breeder Award winner!

“This award recognizes a well-managed breeder herd that has been successful at showing and judging and emphasizes all qualities of the Klussendorf Award, including ability, character, endeavor and sportsmanship.”

Paul Ekstein has earned his place alongside these masters of dairy cattle breeding. Paul has bred 200 Excellents: 163 females and 37 males. He has received three Holstein Canada Master Breeder awards. Quality Holsteins has been honored with the title of All-Canadian Breeder’s Herd eight times in the last 23 years. Paul’s Quality Holsteins exhibit has earned Premier Breeder at the Royal Winter Fair four times. (Read more: Quality Holsteins – Well-deserved Congratulations and Quality Cattle Look Good Every Day)

Through his multi-faceted dairy breeding career, Paul has embodied the passion and originality that it takes to be exceptional in this business.

Paul and his son, Ari.

Paul and his son, Ari.

Ari Ekstein, Paul’s son, is proud of his father. “There is no doubt in my mind that he is a deserving recipient of this award.  There are very few men in this business that have the passion to breed great cows like my dad.  His desire and work ethic have been incredible and it shows through the “Quality” cows that have gone through our barn in the last 30 years.” Don and Linda Schwartz who have worked with Paul throughout those years confirm. “There is no one who has bred and developed cow families like Paul has. This award ideally suits what he has accomplished in his career that spans almost 60 years.”  Family, friends and peers agree on what makes Ekstein unique. “Every day is spent on how he can develop the herd even further to his own standards.” Paul has shown that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. He truly understands the Holstein dairy cow.  Ari has learned much about breeding success from his father. “The biggest lesson he has taught me is to never give up on any animal, if you believe in the cow family and its potential.”

Paul Ekstein will be presented with the McKown Master Breeder Award during the Calf Classes at World Dairy Expo.  He joins an exceptional list of recipients.

  • 2009 Jim Burdette
  • 2010 Bernetta Gable
  • 2011 Vernice and Dan Moon
  • 2012 Jason and Donna Myers

The Robert “Whitey” McKown Memorial Breeder Award was made possible by the family and friends of the 1997 Honorary Klussendorf honoree. Whitey joined the Holstein World staff in 1956 and became widely respected as he traveled nationally and internationally, reporting on shows, sales, meetings and other Holstein events. The 1987 National Dairy Shrine president also developed MooKown Holsteins in Belleville, N.Y. Whitey had great admiration for the farmer breeder.

Paul and wife Nili

Paul and wife Nili

There are a number of milestones that have contributed to the breeding success that qualifies Paul Ekstein for this award. Son Ari points out two that are at the top of that list. “Number one, the most special, was his induction into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. Then, secondly, winning the Supreme Grand Champion at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair two years in a row.”  All agree that there is now another highlight as Don Schwartz says. “The McKown Award suits what Paul’s whole life has been about.” (Read more: DON SCHWARTZ: “Love what you do and do the best you can!”)

The Quality story began in 1980 founded upon all of Paul’s hard work with his company Quality Seeds. Currently the Quality Herd, situated on 60 acres of land which is part of the Greater Toronto Area, is 95 percent homebred.  Art, science and having a “good eye for cattle” have all come together in Paul Ekstein who has the ability to pick a winner.  The purchase of Plushanski Valiant Fran led to seven Excellent and 29 Very Good daughters, and five Excellent and 10 Very Good sons.  Fran earned 35 stars and the title of the highest Star Brood cow in Canada for many years.

Barn Pix

Ari, Paul and Quality B C Frantisco (Ex-96-3E-19*

From Fran came Quality B C Frantisco (Ex-96-3E-19*), and Frantisco’s granddaughter, Quality Goldwyn Flansco (Ex-95), Canada’s first and only third generation Excellent-95 homebred cow.

2002 Cow of the year award presentation

2002 Cow of the year award presentation

Paul has certainly developed a long list of fine dairy cattle including the bull Quality Ultimate who sired many show winners. Over the years Paul feels his success has been founded on a simple philosophy. “It is imperative to love what you do and to work hard to succeed.  Attention to every minor detail can lead to major success.” This is a key lesson Ari Ekstein learned from his father and he also shares this insight. “My dad is a man that has never been afraid to speak his mind.  You always know where you stand with him and because of this some might have taken him the wrong way. As tough as he seems on the outside, he has a heart of gold on the inside.”

Don Schwartz agrees based on his many years of experience working at Quality Holsteins. He points out that Paul has shown and participated at 59 consecutive Royal Winter Fairs and consistently exhibits at every major show in Ontario. “A lot of people see Paul at cattle shows and misinterpret his drive and how excited he would get in the moment.” That passion is there every single day. “The cows have been a huge part of his life and he only ever wants the best to come from all the effort he and everyone at the farm puts into those cows on a daily basis. If they could only see the love and passion he has back at the farm, they would see a wonderful atmosphere which makes every day a learning experience. You don’t have a main core of 3 men each working for you for over 25 years if they don’t respect your values.”

Ekstein, who immigrated to Canada as a child has built a dairy breeding legacy with Quality Holsteins.  There is no doubt that there will be more to come as the likes of Quality Carlton Pam, Canada’s first 97-point bred and owned cow leave their mark on Holstein genetics.

It is truly a pleasure to invite you to join in congratulating Paul Ekstein the 2013 recipient of the McKown Master Breeder Award. 


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Stop the Sale! Genomics, Chocolate and the Future of the Dairy Breeding Industry

“This cow is being stolen!” cries out Horace Backus, from the auctioneer’s box at the US National Convention sale.  ‘A beautiful Jasper daughter with such a magnificent pedigree gets such a low offer – that is pure robbery!” adds Backus.  Pounding his fists onto the podium, Backus has a point, since they are getting less than $5,000 for a very productive cow and moments earlier a very young calf sired by a genomic young sire sold for over $20,000.  Here you have an animal already proving her profitability versus a calf that has nothing more to show for herself then a simple little test?  I ask you ”Does the marketplace have it all wrong?”

Last week I was at our local county show (Read more: For Love of the Ring) and was talking with Doug Brown, owner of Browndale Specialty Sires.  I have known Doug for over 30 years and have huge respect for him.  One point that Doug made was related to the fact that at BSS they have 3 bulls in the top 100 LPI.  This is a huge success for a breeding program that samples just a handful of bulls every year.  And yet the conundrum, Doug says, is that they would be lucky if the three sires sold as much semen as the latest hot genomic sire.  Again here we have a well proven and profitable commodity being outsold by a relatively unknown entity.

Can you have too much of a good thing?

Is genomics kind of like chocolate?  Sure it’s great in small amounts when used correctly and it’s a great antioxidant.  However regularly over-indulging in chocolate can result in significant weight gain, sugar complications and kidney problems from the high potassium.

Now anyone who has read the Bullvine with any regularity knows that we are strong proponents of genomics (Read more: Genomics at Work – August 2013, Genomics: Think Big Not Small and Stop Pissing On Genomics).  But have we started to take things too far?  We hear breeders starting to question if they should register their cattle anymore?  (Read more: Why Do We Register?) Should we type classify anymore?  (Read more: Is Type Classification Still Important?  And Over-Scored and Over-Rated – Are we helping or hurting the dairy classification system?) and Should we only use Genomic Young Sires when making mating decisions?  (Read more: How Much Can You Trust Genomic Young Sires? and Genomic Young Sires vs. Daughter Proven Sires: Which one is best for reliable genetic gain?) Have we overused a good thing?

Many times I have had the opportunity to talk with Ari Eckstein of Quality Holsteins (Read more: Quality Holsteins – Well-deserved Congratulations  and Quality Cattle Look Good Every Day) and Ari has always reminded me that “Yes Andrew!”  genomics is a useful tool and at Quality they do use high genomic test type sires, However, he reminds us   “There is still a need to look at all the tools available when making breeding decisions that will result in generation after generation of proven cow families.”  At Quality they use genomics kind of like a great pastry chef uses chocolate.  It’s not the only thing tool they use and they use it as one ingredient.  In other words, genomics should be only one part of many factors used to make complete a great breeding recipe.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

I think many breeders have emptied the kitchen cupboards and thrown out all the other ingredients, or tools, that they used to use when making their breeding and purchasing decisions and now are only using one.  Even the likes of dark chocolate or Alba white truffles ($9,300 per kilo) are only great when they are used to enhance the tasting experience.  Great breeding decisions come when we stop using just one tool and find the best way to apply specific strengths to specific goals.  . When it comes to better breeding and the tools you use, genomics shouldn’t be the only one you use or be used as an all-in-one but it is definitely one to be reckoned with! Genomics for chocolate.  Now that’s sweet!!

The Dairy Breeders No BS Guide to Genomics


Not sure what all this hype about genomics is all about?

Want to learn what it is and what it means to your breeding program?

Download this free guide.




Is Too Much Water Milking Your Profits?

Over the past couple of weeks the Bullvine has published articles about having a breeding plan for your herd. (Read more: Flukes and Pukes – What Happens When You don’t Have a Plan and What’s The Plan?). Examples cited of herds with a breeding plan have included North Florida Holsteins who breeds for production and profitability (Read more:  North Florida Holsteins: Aggressive, Progressive and Profitable and The Truth About Type and Longevity) and Quality Holsteins (Read more: Quality Holsteins – Well-deserved Congratulations and Quality Cattle Look Good Every Day) and Ferme Jacobs (Read more: Ferme Jacobs: Success Is All In The Family!) both of whom breed for type. Today we wish to bring you some thoughts to consider for your breeding plan as it relates to the components in milk. For the vast majority of herds that is the major source of their revenue generation.

mount victoria tb plaque4% Fat

T. B. Macaulay, Mount Victoria Farms (Montvic), (Read more: Mount Victoria Farms: The Art and Science of Great Breeding) ninety years ago had a plan. One component of his plan was 4% butterfat. He built his herd around Johanna Rag Apple Pabst and his 4% fat daughters. The history books do not specifically identify Macaulay’s reason for wanting 4% butterfat except we know that back then Holsteins were considered to be ‘low testers’.

Roy Ormiston, breeder of the world famous Roybrook Farms, developed an excellent herd with the three pillars being high % fat, excellent conformation and high lifetime production.

The importance of fat yield has also been stressed by many leading USA breeders. Over forty years ago Dr. Gene Starkey, the very well respected Wisconsin Dairy Extension Specialist, in his speeches talked about herds where cows averaged over 900 pounds of butterfat per year with only limited reference to the milk yield number for top herds.

When Protein Ruled

Fat took a backseat to show conformation and then to % protein in the later 1970’s and into the 1980’s. The trendy thing was to use a bull the improved % protein but dropped % fat. The thinking was that consumers wanted to exclude fat from their diets but that protein was needed to make cheese. The trend meant the majority of breeders paid only limited attention to % fat and the national Holstein averages for % fat dropped.

How Milk is Sold

On a global basis the majority of milk is sold in a solid and not a liquid state (Read more: “Got Milk” is becoming “Got More” and MILK MARKETING: How “Got Milk?” BECAME “Got Lost”). Milk processors and marketers recognized this and so payment to farmers changed from volume and % fat to become based on the component yields. This is known as MCP, multiple component pricing. Today the pendulum has swung to where butterfat is back in fashion. Thus the quantity of solids a cow produces is important to her ability to generate income.

Milk is sold as a drink often has fat removed by processors. That fat is used to make other products and thus it is a source of revenue, not a cost, for the processor. .

The end result is that breeders are paid for the total fat and protein content in the milk they ship.  And in the future it is entirely possible that breeders will be paid for the specific fats (i.e. conjugated linoleic acid) and proteins (i.e. casein) they ship.

Avoid the Water

In today’s and likely tomorrow’s world having more water than necessary in milk is a cost and not a source of income. These cost factors include:

  • high peak milk yields adds stress on the cow and increased labor and health costs
  • high milk yields magnifies the challenge and cost to getting cows to conceive
  • to achieve higher milk yield adds to cow feed costs for high energy grains
  • cows and their rumens function best when a high percent of the diet is high quality but low cost forages
  • longer milking times to harvest the higher volume of milk adds labor and utility costs
  • on-farm more volume adds to cooling cost and the need for increased storage capacity
  • water removal at the farm is costly
  • extra milk volume adds to transportation cost
  • added volume increases processor cooling costs and storage capacity
  • high volumes adds to environmental costs and the disposal of water at the processing plant

If we could calculate the total for those ten items it might shock us how much money could be saved by having a higher content of fat and protein in milk. It all starts with the milk our cows produce.

Let’s Talk Genetics

At the farm level cows that produce 85 pounds at 4.0% fat and 3.4% protein are generating the same revenue and at less cost to all the partners in the supply chain than cows that produces 100 pounds at 3.4% fat and 2.9% protein. For sire selection this means selecting for fat yield, protein yield, % fat and % protein. Ideally, although not always possible, this means selecting bulls for less milk yield. Today most total merit index formulas (TPI™, LPI, NM$,…etc.) are based on fat and protein yield of a bull’s daughters without regards to the volume of milk they produce. This means that high yield bulls that drop % fat and/or % protein do not ranking near the top on these indexes. A help to breeders when selecting bulls to use.

Top Sires

The following table identifies top total merit bulls for their daughters’ genetic ability to produce fat and protein and have a high % fat and % protein. For bulls to appear in this table they had to be breed improvers for productive life or herd life.

Bulls Ranked by Fat plus Proetin Yields

Bulls Ranked by Fat plus Protein Yields
* USA – pounds / Canada – kilograms
Click on image for enlargement

Supersire tops the list for the ability to sire daughters for fat yield and total fat and protein yield  Jabir is high in all areas including NM$. For breeders wanting higher % fat and % protein should consider AltaIota, AltaRazor, Eloquent, Ahead or Overtime P.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Much emphasis is currently being placed on cows that are functional and healthy, yet productivity can’t be ignored. Without the ability to generate high levels of revenue from milk sales, it is hard to make a profit from dairy farming. When it comes to production, don’t let low component milk water down your success.

The Dairy Breeders No BS Guide to Genomics


Not sure what all this hype about genomics is all about?

Want to learn what it is and what it means to your breeding program?

Download this free guide.




Quality Cattle Look Good Every Day

For years the comments have been made that show cows look very different in the ring than they do most other days of the year.  I have heard breeders make comments about some great show cows that look All-World in the show ring and not even All-County in the barn.  One of the biggest changes I have noticed in the past 10 years is how much this situation has changed.

More and more we are seeing cattle with consistent show pedigrees or type winning the shows.  Does that mean that there are not as many “freaks” out there?  Or, does it mean that show ethics and better management practices have led to the top genetic animals rising to the top?  I think the latter is true.

Here are two great examples from my recent visit to Quality Holsteins


This past week Flansco was scored EX-95 and I wanted to check her out.  Flansco is the first third generation EX-95-CDN cow.  Her dam was QUALITY GIBSON FINSCO who was HM. ALL-ONTARIO 5-YR 2008 & 2ND 5-YR ON DISCOVERY 2008 and her 2nd dam was none other than QUALITY B C FRANTISCO EX-96-3E-CAN 18* and 2 time Royal Grand Champion as well as the 2005 Holstein Canada Cow of the Year.  So there is no question that Flansco has a female line as well as strong type sire stack (Goldwyn x Gibson x Charles) behind her

Therefore it is certainly not surprising that I was able to get this great udder shot.  After all, Flansco won grand at the recent Autumn Opportunity show (Read more – Autumn Opportunity Holsteins Show Results)

QUALITY GOLDWYN FLANSCO - EX-95-CAN  Grand CHAMPION 2012 AUTUMN OPPORUNITY SHOW  (Taken at the 20012 Autumn Opportunity Show 17/10/2012)


She looked this good when I visited just before milking time

QUALITY GOLDWYN FLANSCO - EX-95-CAN  1st 3rd Generation EX-95-CDN Cow in the world  (Taken at the farm just before milking time 11/30/2012)



It’s also not surprising that, when I took a quick peek at Rae Lynn, the recent 2nd Sr. 2yr Old from the Royal (Read more – The 2012 Royal Winter Fair Holstein Show – One of the greatest stories ever told!), I got this shot

Valleyville Rae Lynn VG-89-2YR 2nd Senior 2yr old RAWF 2012  (Taken at the 2012 Royal Winter Fair (09/11/2012)

She looked just as good on an average day on the farm

Valleyville Rae Lynn VG-89-2YR 2nd Senior 2yr old RAWF 2012  (Taken at the farm just before milking time 11/30/2012)

It’s obvious Rae Lynn has the complete package.  Her dam is an EX 2E Champion sister to the 2011 Royal Winter Fair and Madison Supreme Champion EASTSIDE LEWISDALE GOLD MISSY, from the great STADACONA OUTSIDE ABEL VG-88-4YR-CAN 29*.  Rae Lynn is also in the top 10 in Canada for her EBV for Conformation.  However, as we all know it takes more than just great genetics to win at the big shows.  More is exactly what these two cows have.  The care they receive from the team at Quality Holsteins (Read more – Quality Holsteins – Well-Deserved Congratulations) and key team member Don Schwartz (Read more – Don Schwartz: “Love what you do and do the best you can!”) is second to none.  It’s for that reason these cows that have the great genetics are all able to fulfill their potential.  It is also the reason why these cows look so amazing day in and day out.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Gone are the days when you could take a complete meat bag cow to a show and expect her to do well.  Between the progress in show ethics and in how we evaluate cows, the cream really is rising to the top.  For me there is nothing better than going to the herds where  these top cows reside and seeing that they look just as good in the barn as they did in the show ring…..well with a little more sh*t on them.


DON SCHWARTZ: “Love what you do and do the best you can!”

Don Schwartz is definitely a gentleman and a quiet one at that.  Don opens up when talking about cows but is very humble when speaking of his own success.  As the 26th recipient of the Curtis Clark Achievement Award he declares quite simply, “This is a wonderful honour.” Like Curtis Clark himself, Don does not seek the spotlight. “It was the last thing I was thinking of.”  Being called to the show ring during the 2 yr old class was both “a surprise” and “a bit of a funny story.”

“It was All a Blur”

Looking back on how he learned of the award Don says, “Apparently Ari told my brother David at nine on show morning and the crew also knew.  The big question was how they would get me to the ring.” Don is definitely most happy to be the guy in the barn. He goes on, “The two year old had gone out and someone called out that she was having trouble and I had to get to the ring. I grabbed an antihistamine and a needle and took off.” It’s been reported that Don could have won the running with the bulls in Pamplona he was moving so fast!” He continues the story. “When I got there I looked at her to see if she was hiving up or reacting.  She seemed okay. I couldn’t understand it!” And then the conspiracy continued. “Ari said, ‘I just wanted you to be here to see her show.’ Still confused, I replied, “I’ll take her back to the barn.’ Ari said, ‘Let Manuel take her, you stay here.’ As the plot thickened, Don was still in the dark, “I thought that was really strange. Then I looked around and Steve Fraser and Gary Vanderpost were nearby.” A light went off. “I asked, ‘I didn’t win that award did I?’ Gary squeezed me so hard I couldn’t believe it! The next thing I knew I was joining that amazing lineup.” Don says he has no idea what they actually said about him over the microphone. With only 4 minutes to prepare himself, he concludes, “The rest is all a blur!”

DON SCHWARTZ Curtis Clark Achievement Winner

Family Role Models and Lifelong Friends

Clearly moved by receiving this recognition from such respected peers, Don says “I never dreamed of such a thing. From day one it has always been about my passion for dairy cattle.” His admiration for his father Jim inspired his lifelong desire to be a farm manager.  “At home we showed a Guernsey Herd. Hank Vanderpost was herdsman there for 15 years.   Tannery Hill Farms earned 23 Breeder and Exhibitor Banners.” In his usual understated style he says, “That was quite a thing.” Indeed, for Don, it laid the foundation for what would lead him to his future career.

“I had the opportunity to be around the best showmen of all breeds.  I learned from the respect that was given to these ‘guys in overalls’ that they were important people. I have always tried to learn from the best.” 

He points to his 23 years with Quality Holsteins and what it means to him. (Read more – Quality Holsteins – Well-Deserved Congratulations)  “The passion and dedication of Paul – the perfectionism for fine detail of Ari – they both reinforce what I believe in.” It has been a wonderful team says this modest man who feels that his role is to fill in the blanks. “I love to see the udders bag up and feed to fill the frame.  I want them to eat as much as they can.” He enthusiastically expands, “I like to develop the cow.  I do all the feet and trim them three or four times before showing – always planning ahead for who will be there on the day and who isn’t quite ready.”

“Keep An Open Mind”

The annual trip to “The Royal” is a never-miss-family-tradition.  Although, it may seem that it’s easy, there is always something to learn.  Don advises those who aspire to winning. “I think the best thing you can do is to keep an open mind.  When you’re working at shows always look back afterwards at what worked and what didn’t.  I model myself after others who are willing to try things.  When you try new ideas some might think it’s crazy but it’s always best to keep an open mind.”

He has coped with many challenges in his years in the trenches of cattle preparation.  You never know what surprises will pop up.  Your window of opportunity may be only 30 days from calving to the show ring as Don reports it was with Valleyville Rae Lynn. No wonder he was pleased that they met the challenge and was second place two year old at the Royal.

Valleyville Rae Lynn VG-89-2YR  2nd Senior 2yr old RAWF 2012

Valleyville Rae Lynn VG-89-2YR
Under Don’s watchful care

“The Goldwyn Factor”

Over the years, Don could have written a veritable how-to book on cattle preparation.  In that time, he has witnessed many changes. He gives one example. “There’s what I call, the Goldwyn Factor.  Udders are so much better. Cows are more dairy.  Commercial breeders can appreciate the cows that are winning in the show ring today.”  This improvement has impacted preparation of cattle. This year’s 2 yr old, Rae Lynn is an example. “I only had 11 hours of milk in that cow.  People walking by were commenting. “They’re not going to have enough milk in the cow.” He chuckles, “They were probably wondering if they should have trusted this guy to get the job done?” The show ring results support the confidence in Don, with a resounding, “Absolutely!”


Valleyville Rae Lynn VG-89-2YR 2nd Senior 2yr old RAWF 2012

Valleyville Rae Lynn VG-89-2YR
2nd Senior 2yr old RAWF 2012
2ND SR.2-YR ROYAL 2012

Winning Spirit.  Winning Record.

Don points with pride to previous Curtis Clark Award winners, such as Harold Patterson. “I was so honored to be in that lineup and shake his hand.  I’m sad that Milking Shorthorns are out of the Royal! Think of the great ones, you’ll never see!” Like this man whom Don admires, the sheer volume of successes of the Quality show strings sets him apart as exceptional too. “I love to develop each cow.” This hands-on, 24-7 dedication has contributed to 20 Quality Breeder’s Herds and a record setting seven All-Canadian awards.” It’s no surprise to hear that his favorite thing to do on his day off is to “drop in on my neighbours and look at their cows before milking.”


GRAND ROYAL 2005, 2004

“It’s always all about the cows” 

Don admits that he never considered any other career. “I always admired a good cow, whether it was a good Jersey or Ayrshire.” He affirms his passion for Holsteins and then adds, “I can be happy to see a great Brown Swiss too.  That’s what I love about the Royal. I get the chance to socialize as much with Jerseys as with Holsteins.”  If you want to gets his enthusiasm really overflowing, talk to Don about the many, many cows that are his favourites. “Of course there is Quality BC Frantisco (Ex-96-3E-18*) and Quality Astre Felice (ex-27*). Quality Carlton Pam (Ex-97-6E-3*) and Quality Leadman Lady have also won his permanent affections, although Lady’s life was cut short when she was struck by lightning.



“Home Bred Makes Me Happy”

Don has seen many changes over his years preparing for the show ring. “I miss that you don’t see as many herds like Spring Farms and Romandale .. the homebred herds.” He respects herds like Ferme Jacob and explains,” That is what I love about Quality Holsteins.  People think of you as a breeder first.”  He is amazed at some aspects of the modern cattle breeding business. “Now days it’s kind of funny.  You read who won Madison and two days later she’s sold to someone else.” This accepting and adaptable guy says, “That’s okay but for me I love taking care of homebred cows. From the day they are born until they are famous, I take pride in the success of our homebred herd.” He would never criticize other’s paths. “It’s great to have a good eye for a cow and I like to make great purchases” but this Curtis Clark winner admits, “I want to look back on the success of the cow and her mother and her grandmother before her. That is the true measure of what success means to me.”  He proudly points out how the offspring from Frantisco and Astre Felice are making their way to the winners circle today.


Grand daughter of Frantisco

Not Just Show Day But Every Day

Even though Don always sets his personal standards very high, he is humbled to be with the smart business men and cattle men who have preceded him as Curtis Clark winners. “I’m the barn guy 24-7 at the barn. I have no desire to be a leadsman but I take pride in taking show cows home after the show and having them look as good as they did at the show.” Like Gerald Coughlin who Don admires he says, “I’m happy to be in the trenches.” Regardless of what challenges face Don he feels that the cows are a blessing that will see him through. “If I have a tragedy, or people are sick … or when my Dad died when I was thirteen … I always know I can go out to the barn, where the cows are calm, and I will feel their calmness.” Unconditional love works both ways.

Don being presented the 2012 Curtis Clark Achievement Award

Don being presented the 2012 Curtis Clark Achievement Award

Gentle Man. Powerful Example.

Son Randy signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as a non-draft free agent in January 2009.

Son Randy signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as a non-draft free agent in January 2009.

With emotion in his voice, Don shares a family concern that the “Royal” cattle tradition could end with him and his brother David, whom he admires and respects as a mentor too.  It’s been talked about by his son and daughter.  Son Randy had been drafted by The Blue Jays baseball team and is now married and teaching in Florida and daughter Erin manages a marina in Parry Sound.  He talks so proudly of them and concedes that “perhaps” their success is part of that 24-7 gene that he has passed on. “Oh my wife has that too!” he enthuses. “Linda works in the Quality Seed business.  She is a tremendously hard worker.” He pauses to recall how happy Linda was when he came home with his award.”I never saw her cry so much ” he says with modest amazement. “It was an emotional moment for both of us.”  When Don called his mother with the good news her voice was also filled with emotion when she said, “Look what my boys have done!” There may be new places and different careers, but Don and Linda needn’t doubt that the Schwartz family legacy lives on.

The Bullvine Bottom Line.

Following the example of other special men in overalls, Don Schwartz is a very special man himself.  He is a fine example of how far you can go by loving what you do and doing your best every day.

It is a pleasure to extend heartfelt congratulations to Don Schwartz the 2012 Curtis Clark Achievement Award Winner!


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