Salers Summer News
Welcome to our Summer newsletter… Our condolences to Ken Bain and his family, on the loss of Dawn; the Bain family were one of the first to join the Society, and Dawn has been a welcome presence on our Tours – we will all miss her.
Thanks to Myra, we have a report on her recent trip to the US and Canada, which included a visit to The De Palme families ’Sky West Salers.. Ray de Palme is known to many NZ Salers people, we were lucky to catch up with Ray on the 2018 French tour, where he was judging Salers cattle at the Sommet and has invested in Ngaio Glen Salers genetics. Ray follows the polled, moderate framed model for his cattle and has successfully imported genetic material from Ngaio Glen Salers.
SKY WEST SALERS VISIT
IN OCTOBER 2019 I Took a visit to Canada and Montana to do some sightseeing and visit my son and his family who live in Fairfield Montana a couple of hours south of the Canadian Border. I usually fly via Vancouver to Calgary where Brett meets me. This trip was a follow up to the 2018 visit to France when Gwen Walker, Bev Gregory, The Mc Naughtons and Gerkes and I went to the International Salers Conference being held there. In France I met up again with Ray de Palme, who has also attended many of the International Conferences. Bazel and I had visited Ray and Doreens’ property about 8 years ago looking for an outcross bull or semen from their stud as their aims of breeding a quiet temperament, moderate framed, polled herd was similar ours, and the Canadian Breeders were a few years ahead of NZ – having had earlier access to semen from France than we in NZ. Unfortunately due to scare with BSE in Canada at that time we were unable to bring anything into NZ.
This year, 2019, after touring from Niagara Falls to Quebec I flew back to Calgary where Brett was to meet me and take me to spend 3 weeks with the family in Fairfield Montana where he has an irrigation business. As he had business to complete in Calgary I had two days free to wait over.
So I contacted Ray who had said for me to call them if I was ever in the area. He invited me to visit so I took the Red Arrow bus from the airport stopping in Red Deer. I booked at the Quality Inn depot for a couple of nights. Ray arranged to pick me up the next morning and took me out to their property. Their son Travis has taken over the running of the cattle and Farm is now all combined under the ”SKY WEST” name. Travis joined us and Ray, Doreen, and I were driven around to look at the cattle. The cows and calves were in excellent order. The summer had been good one with plenty of rain and pasture growth was lush, feed everywhere. It was a walk down memory lane for me, being able to see and walk amongst such an amazing herd of cows and calves. We drove through four mating groups. but in the second field Ray said “you might remember this name Myra Forbes“!! Bazel and I had had a bull or three over the years that we had Raeburn Salers with the Paddock names of “Forbes” or “Glenn”, Ray explained that he had been able to access some polled semen from Ngaio Glen and had done some embryo implants.
In March 2019 “Sky West” had their first on line bull sale and I see from their website they are again offering Ngaio Glen Genetics as “an excellent outcross for Canadian Breeders”. They gave me a couple of their 2019 catalogues to bring back. I sent a copy to Ken Bain.
Travis has a Good SKY WEST website and you can contact them through the website to see copy of this years Catalogue for the 2020 March On Line Sale.
I was very impressed with the condition and quietness of the cows and calves and especially noticed that many heads showed a lack horns not only on the calves but also with many of the younger cows. It was amazing to see these deep red Salers cows sitting quietly in the field looking like paddock of NZ Salers – not set of horns in sight. Anyway I spent the afternoon being shown around the farming area of Red Deer County and the next day Ray Showed me around the rapidly developing town of Red Deer. In the evening i was invited to have supper with Travis and his family. It was a couple of very special days with great memories to bring home to NZ.
I would recommend any one who is interested to see what is happening with the Canadian Salers to visit The Canadian Website which has some excellent interviews etc and also to visit the Sky West Website. the video of the just weaned calves shows a line of very even weaners. It is winter and cold there just now. I have come home with a greater respect for the immensity of the Canadian farming scene from Mountains of Alberta to the Plains of Ottawa and Quebec. Ray was on the NZ international Tour and asked about many of the NZ breeders he met while here I’m sure he would like to hear how things are going for each of you.
Continuing the Canadian theme, Doug and Marian Beard, Canadians who we met on the French tour, recently had a short stopover in New Zealand, en route to an Ayrshire Cattle tour in South Australia. We were able to visit a local Ayrshire stud – Carmelglen, which has been established over 100 years by the Thomson family; followed by a tour of the Awhitu peninsula and a look at our herd. Doug was impressed by the heifer crop from our most recent Ngaio Glen bull. Like Northland, we are very short of rain, and are close to starting a hay run… no doubt there are several climate scenarios playing out NZ wide.
We are hoping to catch up with everyone on the Annual Tour. Maxine and Christine are working on the details of our get-together for 2020. We are back to Autumn with a nice early date for our Manawatu Tour – April 28th, 29th, 30th.