Paul Ekstein of Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, has been selected by the Klussendorf Association as the fifth recipient of the Robert "Whitey" McKown Master Breeder Award. The honor was presented at the 47th World Dairy Expo. This award recognizes a well-managed breeder herd that has been successful at showing and judging, while emphasizing all qualities of the Klussendorf Award, including ability, character, endeavor and sportsmanship.

Ekstein, who immigrated with his parents to Canada from Czechoslovakia as a child, is known for his passion for breeding, showing and developing outstanding Holsteins. In the beginning of his career, Ekstein was building his seed business, Quality Seeds Ltd., while housing his cattle at Sunny Maple Farms. It wasn't until 1980 that all of his hard work materialized into a farm on 650 acres of land and his herd, Quality Holsteins, in the barn. Currently, Quality Holsteins is 95 percent homebred.

Ekstein is said to have an "innate ability to see potential in cows." This keen eye led him to purchase Plushanski Valiant Fran, the dam of seven Excellent and 29 Very Good daughters, and five Excellent and 10 Very Good sons. Fran's legacy of producing stellar offspring earned her 35 stars and the title of the highest Star Brood cow in Canada for many years.

From Fran came Quality BC Frantisco EX-96-3E, and Frantisco's granddaughter, Quality Goldwyn Flansco EX-95, Canada's first and only third generation EX-95 homebred cow. Ekstein has made an impact on the Holstein breed through his development of deep cow families and strong sires, like Quality Ultimate, who helped put Quality Holsteins "on the map."

Quality Holsteins will likely stay on the map and continue to move the Holstein breed forward with cows like Quality Carlton Pam, Canada's first 97-point bred and owned cow. Ekstein has achieved many milestones while doing what he loves, breeding quality Holsteins.

In his career, Paul Ekstein has bred 200 Excellents: 163 females and 37 males. He has been awarded three Master Breeder awards, along with being inducted into the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame. Quality Holsteins has been honored with the title of All Canadian Breeders Herds eight times in the last 23 years. All of these accomplishments, along with Paul's dedication to breeding and developing superior Holsteins and his passion for doing so, earned him the honor of McKown Master Breeder.

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.

The Klussendorf Memorial Association, considered by many as the Hall of Fame for Dairy Cattle Exhibitors, began in 1937 in memory of Arthur B. Klussendorf, considered the outstanding dairy cattle showman of his time. Each year, the Klussendorf Association votes to add a new dairy cattle exhibitor to its roles with lifetime membership for their cumulative works including ability, character, endeavor and sportsmanship.

For more information, contact World Dairy Expo at 608-224-6455.

Corey blog footerThe author is the managing editor, and he brings 18 years of industry leadership to our readers overseeing all editorial content and production of the magazine. His degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison combined dairy science and agricultural economics.