On April 22, 1971, a group of enthusiastic Saskatchewan Simmental Breeders met in Regina to create their first Provincial Association. The Association started off with a membership of 77. By-laws were approved and directors elected. The first President was Edgar Mapletoft of Frenchman Butte, the Vice-President was Cyril Ross of Estevan and the Secretary-Treasurer was Leroy Berry of Carievale. Membership increased rapidly to 320 members.
The Saskatchewan Simmental Association (SSA) immediately became involved in live displays at summer fairs and sponsored the first sale at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina. Three years later, history was made when 116 lots sold for just under 1.25 million dollars at the Agribition sale.
The First Simmental show at Agribition was sponsored in 1976. The show continued to grow and over 400 head of Simmental cattle were displayed every year for several years. In 2017, the Canadian Simmental Assocition will celebrate their 50th Anniversary and the National Show will be held at Canadian Western Agribition. The 50th Anniversary of the first Agribition Simmental Sale will take place in 2020 as Canadian Western Agribition also celebrates the 50th Anniversary milestone.
The People’s Choice Bull Show was added in 1994 to promote Simmental Bulls and to keep Simmental and the SSA at the forefront of the beef industry. Calendar year bull calves were nominated and then judged by gold and silver membership holders. Twenty eight bulls competed for the right to be the “People’s Choice” and compete for a jackpot of over $10,000! Seventy-five judges appraised the three classes of bulls, all scoring cards were tabulated and a championship class was determined. Before the championship class was announced, a name was drawn from all Gold and Sliver level memberships. EDN Simmentals, of Maple Creek, SK. was the winner of a half interest and full possession of a bull of their choice from all twenty-eight bulls in the show. They selected a bull exhibited by Sunny Valley Simmental, Wayne & Linda Libke, Hanley, SK. Wayne and Linda received a $12, 530.00 jackpot. The People’s Choice Grand Champion also went to the Libke’s. The grand champion bull received $1000.00 and the Reserve Champion, exhibited by EDN Simmental, and received $500.00.
A Scholarship Fund was started in 1999 and is available to SSA member’s children. The scholarships are available to students entered in post-secondary education; his/her parents must be current SSA members and have been so for more than one year. Applications for scholarships are due October 1st of each year and are available from the SSA office. Since its inception, the SSA has awarded over 90 scholarships!
The Scholarship Fund is funded by the Scholarship Donation Heifer. A current year heifer calf is donated to the SSA and is auctioned off by Dutch auction at Agribition.
2019 Scholarship Heifer donated by McIntosh Livestock – Maymont, SK
Congratulations to Johnson Ranches – David Johnson of Pierceland, SK for winning the SSA $2000 Bull Sale Credit Promotion. Johnson’s name was drawn from over 1300 bulls sold and transferred by Saskatchewan Simmental members. The bull was purchased from Crossroad Farms, the Woytiuk family of Shell Lake, SK. Johnson Ranches will receive a $2000 sale credit from the Saskatchewan Simmental Association, to be used towards the purchase of a bull or female at public auction or by private treaty from any current Saskatchewan Simmental Association Members.
The 50th Annual General Meeting was held virtually August 3, 2020. The meeting was attended by members from all over Saskatchewan. While limited visiting was available, some great discussion was still able to take place.
The SSA Board of Director’s saw some changes to the 2020-2021 Board. Three directors retiring were Sarah Delorme, Tyler Libke and Jody Woytiuk – thank you isn’t enough for the contribution they have made to the SSA Board of Director’s over the years! Welcome to new board members Dean Sentes, Travis Fisk and Toby Noble.
We look forward to 2021 and some normalcy to life so that we can meet together in person for the 2021 Annual Meeting.