As I write these lines, I’ve just returned from the biggest expo in Canada, Toronto’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

We saw one of the most astonishing cows in the world, Vanderberg Amadeo Gorgeous, a 7 year-old Jersey cow, property of Steve Borland of Rapid Bay Farm in Ormstown. It won the prestigious title of Supreme Champion for the second time in its career ahead of champions from other races.

This event ended an exceptional season for La Coop network clients, who prevailed by amassing an impressive number of prizes as they participated in local, regional, provincial and national exhibits. In fact, in the course of 43 Holstein competitions, we witnessed over 220 first place positions for animals belonging to our clients and nearly 100 Championship rosettes, and 35Grand Champions. As for judging heifers, more than 55% of champions were raised with La Coop feed!

Exhibits everywhere will have allowed La Coop to display animals that would have otherwise stayed on the farm. In the early nineties, it’s become something of a mission for the network to help breeders show their best subjects or to initiate young people to the fundamentals of exhibits. The network’s expert-consultants put their heart and soul into these types of event, not only do they do it as part of their job but they do it because they are passionate about their work. Their pride and professional dedication come across loud and clear. In return, they get a huge feeling of satisfaction from helping animals become show–ready.

It’s an excellent visibility tool for network and breeders alike. A good many animal buyers take the time to view the quality of the animals on exhibit. From the very beginning, several cows and heifers were sold on exhibit sites during their presentations with La Coop, both locally and provincially. A typical success story is that of Maroch Idem Champion, belonging to René Marois and Suzanne Plante, from Saint-Éphrem-de-Beauce, sold to Alberta’s Morsan Farm during the La Coop’s Expo Printemps Holstein 2008 exhibit. This year, the new owners showed the animal for a second time in Toronto and came in first among 4 year olds. Some of the older participants will remember Becque Colinda Mason, ranked # 1 intermediate, and sold during the 1997 Expo Québec, a few months later it was awarded Reserve Champion at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin and received an Honourable mention in Toronto.

This year, one of the stars of La Coop exhibits has without a doubt been a 3 year old named La Sablière Wilton Astre, whose owners are René and David Fournier from Saint-Rosaire, she was the Reserve Grand Champion at the Victoriaville Expo in 200, and was also presented at Quebec’s provincial Expo in 2009. We saw her again in Toronto, where she won first in class and then was crowned Intermediate Champion and Reserve Grand Champion.

In conclusion, I’d like to thank all of the breeders and clients who have entrusted the health and care of their cows and heifers to La Coop’s Dream Team in preparation for exhibits, and of course there is the exceptional work performed by our expert-consultants and animal professionals who work tirelessly to select and prepare each animal. Some people work in the background but that doesn’t make their contribution any less important! I will leave you to your brushes and halters… It’s already time to get ready for the next season.

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