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La belle province welcomed Holstein enthusiasts for a full program during Holstein Canada’s National Holstein Convention, April 11-14. Many activities, including the 135th Annual General Meeting, were held in historic Quebec City, while the Show and Sale took place in Victoriaville. Three neighbouring areas along the majestic St. Lawrence River were the setting for this year’s farm tours where Quebec’s passion for the Holstein breed was at the forefront of every activity, thanks to the hard work of the volunteer organizing committee. Chair Marie Édith-Droulers of Ferme L’Espérée (a 2017 Master Breeder) and her team brought to life the theme of this year’s convention, “Traditions & Innovation.”

Annual General Meeting

At the 135th Holstein Canada Annual General Meeting, President Orville Schmidt took the opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of being a grassroots organization and close to consumers, while CEO Ann Louise Carson stressed that while Holstein Canada is very proud of its past, it is continually renewing itself to meet the dairy industry’s technological demands. In the board reports, 2nd Vice-President Gerald Schipper delivered a positive financial summary that reflected a record number of registrations yet again in 2017 along with strong classification numbers, and the Classification and Show & Judging Committees supplied updates on changes for 2018-19. Association members voted to adopt all 12 proposed resolutions and supported the by-law changes presented by the Board of Directors. Dairy Farmers of Canada President Pierre Lampron highlighted current trade agreements and the need for producers to stand firm with the proposed Canada Food Guide and labeling changes, and shared his confidence that the close relationship between Holstein Canada and DFC, especially in the field of proAction® cattle assessments, would continue.

Award presentations at the AGM included 2017 Cow of the Year, Holstein Canada’s distinguished certificates and the Century of Holstein, which celebrates 100 years of continuous membership with Holstein Canada. Jean Jacobs and Marian Ghielen of Ferme Jacobs Inc. of Cap Santé, Que. accepted the 2017 title of Cow of the Year for their cow Jacobs Goldwyn Britany. This year, Douglas Blair (ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOLSTEINS) of Cobble Hill, B.C. accepted the Certificate of Superior Accomplishment, while Jean Touchette (DUREGAL) of Ste-Françoise-de-Lotbinière, Que. received a Certificate of Recognition; both took the opportunity to highlight the importance of appreciating the past while concentrating on moving forward. The Riseborough family (DONAVON) of Mount Albert, Ont., the MacLean family (ISLAND BEND) of Miscouche, P.E.I. and the Johnson family (MAPLE GROVE) of Parkhill, Ont. were honoured with the Century of Holstein award. Association Education awards were also announced, with winner Alex Dolson from Ontario accepting on behalf of the six recipients. Holstein Canada also awards five scholarships to veterinary medicine students.

Following the AGM, the Board of Directors elected Harry Van der Linden of Antigonish, N.S. (LINDENRIGHT) as the 2018-2019 Holstein Canada President. Harry will be supported by 1st Vice-President Gerald Schipper of Aylmer, Ont. (SKIPWELL) and 2nd Vice-President Elyse Gendron (VAL BISSSON) of St-Polycarpe.

Farm Tours, Sale, Show & Festivities

Sixteen Holstein families welcomed convention participants and showcased their operations on farm tour day. Participants enjoyed seeing some great cows and well-managed facilities of all sizes and types. At the Spring Show in Victoriaville, 193 B & W and 51 R & W Holsteins captured everyone’s attention. As a bonus, the breeders of both Bred & Owned and Overall Grand Champion (Florbil & Loyalynn, respectively) got to see their cows in the winner’s circle just a few days before being awarded a Master Breeder Shield.

The 2017 Master Breeders gala capped off a fantastic week in Quebec. To honour the 20 Master Breeders from all regions of Canada, the celebration featured a video from each of the herds, and family and Holstein Canada members were proud to show their support.

2019 Convention

Finally, plans were unveiled for the 2019 National Holstein Convention, which will be held in Charlottetown with the very “Island” theme of “Come From Away.” More details will be made available as the final 2019 Convention schedule is set and the website is launched in the fall of 2018.

Holstein Canada members interested in receiving a free copy of the 2017 Annual Report can contact Lucie McCarthy at or 1-855-756-8300 ext. 226. The Annual Report can also be accessed on Holstein Canada’s website by clicking here or visiting à News & Events à Annual Report.

For a detailed recap of the 2018 National Holstein Convention and AGM, watch for the July-August issue of InfoHolstein. Photos and the Master Breeder Videos are available on Holstein Canada’s social media channels.