Welcome to the home of Blonde d’Aquitaine breeders in Ontario, and everything you need to know about our Association. Our goal is to provide members and visitors alike with all of the update information you need to know about the ultimate terminal breed in the beef industry. Whether its shows, breeder information, upcoming events, the latest news or becoming a member today, the new and improved website should provide you with everything you need to know!
The 2016 Annual General Meeting for the Ontario Blonde d’Aquitaine Association was held on
March 26 at Bobby C’s Dockside Restaurant in Bowmanville. Nineteen voting members and four proxies
were represented by the nearly thirty breeders in attendance. A full agenda, which included proposed
changes to the Constitution prompted an earlier start time to allow for potential discussions. President
Steve Acres called the meeting to order, conducted roll call, and read his President’s Report. As former
Secretary, Steve also read the minutes from the 2015 AGM. Paul Fee, Paul Ferguson, Kirk McGee, Eric
Doran, and Nicholas Boyd then presented their Committee Chair Reports regarding the Financial
Statements, Performance, Cattle Shows/4H, Advertising, Website/Facebook, Trade Shows, the National
Weekend, the 2015 Cream of the Crop, and Dave Payne gave his ‘View from the Cheap Seats,’ relaying
some tales about running the Blonde booth at Trade Shows.
A short break gave everyone a chance to catch up and stretch their legs before the proposed
amendments to the Constitution were brought forward. Eric Doran explained the changes individually and
opened the floor to discussion for each one. Everyone had an opportunity to have their opinions heard and
in the end, all but one amendment were carried. A new section of ‘Board Policies’ was also introduced to
act as a guideline for future boards.
New business was next on the agenda, where the biggest topic was the board’s decision to
discontinue the Raffle Heifer Draw. Nicholas gave a presentation regarding the reasons for the decision.
As expected, there were mixed feelings on this issue, but after a motion to reinstate the draw was voted
down by the membership, it was clear that it was, in fact, time for a change. Ashley McNevan suggested a
new option and the membership voted to try a new raffle idea for 2016. More details to come in the near
At election time, there were four positions on the board of directors to be filled; three directors (two
year terms) and President (1 year term). Nearly the entire membership received nominations, but when it
was all said and done, Steve Acres was re-acclaimed as President; Paul Fee and Nicholas Boyd remained
in their seats; and Dave Payne joined the board replacing long time director, Paul Ferguson. Thanks to
Paul for his time on the board and his dedication to the breed, especially in promoting Performance! The
2016 Board positions are as follows: President: Steve Acres, Vice-President: Nicholas Boyd (Sale
Committee Chair, Communications), Secretary/Treasurer: Eric Doran (Sale Committee), Jeremy DeWeerd
( Promotional Chair, Trade Shows Co-Chair, Advertising Committee), Director: Paul Fee (Nominating
Chair, Cattle Shows & 4H Co-Chair), Kirk McGee (Advertising Chair, Cattle Shows & 4H Co-Chair,
Communications), Dave Payne (Performance Chair, Sale Committee, Trade Shows Committee Co-Chair).
Along with volunteers Paul Ferguson (Performance Contact), and Ashley McNevan (Rafﬂe Contact).
The meeting was adjourned just in time for another of the Association’s ever-popular mini-auctions
to commence. The multi-talented Dave McNevan once again lent us his auctioneer skills and managed to
bring in a fantastic total of $2,250! Bidding was heated on a number of items, including the OBdAA
‘often-sold- but-never- used’ manure fork, a custom built show box, the most expensive bag of grain in
auction history, and an anonymously donated t-shirt featuring our very own Mr. January, Paul Fee, which
sold to Mary Ellen Ferguson, much to Paul’s dismay (well both Pauls)! Thank you to everyone who
donated and purchased items.
The evening meal arrived, which gave another opportunity to catch up and chat with fellow
breeders. Overall, it was a productive day with a great group of people. Thank you to those in attendance
either in person, or by proxy. Plan on joining us for the 2017 AGM!
The sophomore year of the Ontario Blonde Point Shows was another success thanks to a dedicated group of breeders who put in the time and skill to keep our breed in the public eye. The quest for Top Female, Top Male, and Premiere Exhibitor began in August with our first point show at Campbellford Fair. It was evident from the start that there were going to be some great contenders for the top honours. The points were calculated using the same system as last year. Exhibitor’s animals were required to show at a minimum of three point shows (the National in Lindsay was mandatory) and to be considered a point show, at least three breeders and 18 Blondes showing were needed. The Ontario Fairs that qualified as point shows this year were Campbellford, Orono, Warkworth, and Lindsay. Markham Fair welcomed Blondes to show this year and the breeders who took advantage of the opportunity said it was a great facility with excellent people to deal with. Unfortunately, with 17 head showing, it didn’t qualify as a point show. Hopefully attendance is up at this fair in the future. Seven of our breeders and their animals met the requirements and in the end it was a Dunham sweep! Franmar Crystal 11C was unstoppable and easily took Top Female. The race for Top Male was tighter, but Donaleen Chachi 1C came out on top. The 2015 Premiere Exhibitor was Donaleen Blondes. Congratulations to The Dunham Families for putting together outstanding showstrings! Banners and Trophies sponsored by Fee Haven Farms will be presented to the winners at our AGM.
The tradition of meeting for good food, good laughs, and most importantly the annual raffle draw continued on November 8, when 30 breeders from across the province made their way to Chubby’s restaurant in Hoards Station. The anticipation was palpable as we joined forces to battle the staples holding the ticket books together. Thankfully Don Dunham was on hand to alert Paul Fee that he had mistakenly spelled ‘Paul’ wrong on his tickets and graciously offered to add the correct spelling – D-O-N – to them. The lucky winner of ‘Crystal Casandra 19C’ a purebred heifer calf coming from the Ferguson Family of Crystal Farms, was Andrew Aird of Cavan, ON. We wish Andrew all the best with newest addition to his herd. The second prize of $200 went to Kurtis Zetler of Walkerton, ON. Congratulations to them both! A special thank you goes out to all of the dedicated Blonde breeders who sold tickets for our raffle draw this year, as well as Paul, Mary Ellen, Samantha, and Phillip Ferguson for providing a quality heifer that any of us would have been proud to add to our own herds. Your support of the Blonde breed and the Association is very much appreciated!
The Ontario Association was thrilled to host the National Show, Sale, and Annual General Meeting for the second year in a row in September. The weather was picture perfect for the entire three day event – I’d like to say that the board of directors special ordered it that way, but we really can’t take the credit! The events started Friday with a very well attended AGM with members from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan present to take part. There were openings for three directors on the Canadian Board. Reed Rigney (Alberta) was reelected, along with newcomers, Ryland Cleary (Quebec) and Paul Fee (Ontario). They join Dave Kamelchuk, Myrna Flesch, Paul Ferguson, Nicholas Boyd, Ashley McNevan, and Bill Van Bakel. With the business portion out of the way early, it left the remainder of the weekend open for the fun stuff, beginning with the banquet Friday night. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends as well as meet some new ones. Our go-to auctioneer, Dave McNevan, lent his talent once again and kept the crowd and entertained and -more importantly- bidding during the mini-auction, which raised $1,255 for the association. In order to ensure that no one overslept and missed out on the sale the following day, everyone called it an early night and went straight to bed following the banquet…or that’s what we’ll say happened!!
The National Sale held in conjunction with the 15th Annual Cream of the Crop Sale at Hoards Station Sale Barn drew another great crowd the following day. Fourteen consignors offered 32 lots of top quality Blonde cattle which brought an average of $3,368.75. Top selling bull was Pleasant Valley Conan 2C, consigned by Sheldon Asselstine of Pleasant Valley Blondes and purchased by Ron Fintelman of Rosepark Blondes for $6400. Top selling female was Crystal Ashley 4A, consigned by Paul and Mary Ellen Ferguson of Crystal Farms and purchased by Harry Bouwmeester of Jae Acres for $8100. Buyers and bidders spanned the country from British Columbia to New Brunswick and all points in between. Attendees were once again able to vote to choose a winner of the People’s Choice Award. For the second year, John Langstaff took home the banner sponsored by Steven J. Acres for his consignment, Langstaff Bonnie 2C, an 817X daughter. The purchasers, Tyler Sutcliffe and Ashley McNevan of Over the Top Cattle Company, also received a banner sponsored by Little Creek Farms. Thanks to Reed Rigney, who was our acting press photographer, for the picture of the winners and sponsors. Click here for a full sale summary.
Sunday the festivities moved to the Lindsay Exhibition for the grand finale of the weekend – the National Show. An excellent selection of Blondes from 15 exhibitors were on hand to compete for title of National Champion. High Rock Farms had an outstanding day taking home three of the four top honours. High Rock Crisp 5U was crowned the National Champion Female and her daughter, High Rock Alotacreme 6A, who is co-owned with One OAK Blondes, took home Reserve. The streak didn’t end with the females as a Crisp son, High Rock Big Bill 4B, was also named National Champion Bull. The Champion Bull Calf, Bogart Captain Crunch 1C, exhibited by Bogart Cattle Company, was chosen as Reserve National Champ. Congratulations to the big winners and all of the exhibitors for providing a great set of cattle for our final event of the weekend. Click here for the full list of results from the National Show.
The Ontario Board of Directors would like to thank everyone who took part in this event. Sellers, bidders, buyers, exhibitors, sponsors, spectators…we appreciate your involvement in whatever capacity. It’s because of your continued support that this weekend was such a success. See you in Alberta for the 2016 Nationals!