It’s been 150 years since the Hereford breed first set foot on Canadian soil, and there are plans afoot in every province and region of Canada to commemorate this landmark anniversary – starting with the 110th annual Calgary Bull Sale, the longest-running consignment sale in North America, on March 3 and 4, at Victoria Pavilion on Stampede Park.
“This is a significant milestone for the breed, and definitely worth celebrating. One hundred and fifty years in Canada – they came in here before Canada was even a country, before Confederation,” notes Gordon Stephenson, general manager of the Canadian Hereford Association.
Herefords were imported into Canada by Frederick William Stone in 1860 and 1861, with the herd originally based in Guelph, Ont.
A century and a half later, the Hereford breed has flourished on Canadian soil, and become one of the most desirable breeds for Canadian cattlemen, because of its longevity, its ruggedness, and its temperament, among other beneficial traits, the association says in a release.
Currently, Herefords make up about 10 per cent of the Canadian beef cow population. Additionally, about 30 per cent of Canada’s total herd carries Hereford breeding.
“The Calgary Bull Sale is a barometer for the industry, in fact, of how future bull sales will unfold across Canada,” said Brad Dallas, a longtime Hereford breeder and the president of the Alberta Hereford Association. “People are keenly interested to see how many bulls are sold in Calgary, and what the average price is. It affects what kind of value other breeders put on their animals back home.”