Farm life on Oakwood Grange

It’s been a late spring


It’s been a late spring here and possibly all across North America. As I sit here now, on the veranda, working on this new’s page for my web site, the apple trees are still flowering, the grass has only been cut twice and many of the earlier flowers are still trying their hardest to bring some color to our short summer.

Juggling between the farm and the video production business is always a chore and usually, because of the immediate nature of farm life, the farm work usually takes precedent over any video production work. But now, with the fencing completed, the sheep and cattle out for the summer and the crop in the ground and growing, I am hoping to get back to some of the necessary work involving Rural Route Videos.

One thing that I have been working on lately is getting all of the earlier International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) Supreme Championship videos, put onto DVD with menus, etc. There has been some renewed interest in these trial videos and so it was time to get this organized. The ISDS Supreme Championships videos, in question, are the years from 1989 through to 1995.

Hopefully in the next month or so I will also have completed the double DVD that I am producing for the Clack Museum at Rivers. The 2 Clack brothers started collecting old and interesting items many years ago and ended up with an enormous collection, now housed in various buildings around their old farmstead. A Board has been formed to over see these thousands of items and I have been involved in filming the stories behind the making of this collection. Tim Clack is now in his mid 90s and is as sharp as ever in retelling his adventure.

I took on an extra bull sale this year. The 2 sales I did this year were the T Bar K Ranch with Kevin Dorrance and then the Eastondale Angus with Dale and Shelly Easton. These Bull sale DVDs involve making up a DVD catalogue showing all the bulls, each moving in every direction and for about one minute. They are then sent out to hundreds of potential customers to view and assess. These DVDs allow the viewers the opportunity to watch all the different bulls in real time rather than having just a printed image in a catalogue for the potential buyer to make his or her choice. On sale day I also projected the bulls onto a large screen so that the bidders can see the bulls as they are bidding on them. It also allowed quite a number of buyers, who couldn’t make the sale, to bid on phone and with confidence as to the quality of their selection. There has been some extra interest in these bull sales and possibly a further 2 sales will be offered to me for the 2010 bull sale season.

My Black Angus Bull

Oakwood Grange's Black Angus Bull

This was my first year selling my own bulls from my small herd of Registered Black Angus cows. I enrolled 2 bulls at the Douglas Test Station for this past winter’s test. It was an interesting process and kept some excitement going through the cold winter months. My higher performing bull ended up topping his class of Black Angus bulls at this year’s test and sold well at their sale in April. He was sired by the SAV Net Worth bull and from a cow I bought at the OT Angus sale in 2007. Beginner’s luck?

Clun Forest Ewes

Some of my Clun Forest ewes

My flock of Clun Forest ewes still remain at around the 80 mark and continue to perform well for my program here. In 2008 the sale for rams hit 25, easily the most I have sold to date from my flock in one year. Most of my ewe lambs, all that of sufficient quality, also sold. Some of these sold as purebreds and others (the Suffolk cross) as commercial ewe lambs. My existing 2 rams have performed well but it’s definitely time to bring in some new and alternative bloodlines. Not an easy process but nothing a few thousand miles and dollars won’t correct.

Rare breeds canada

Our backdrop and demonstration from the Rare Breeds exhibit in Brandon, MB

The Rare Breeds Canada annual general meeting was held in Brandon this past spring and I had the chance to help out with this enormous task. It was held in conjunction with Brandon’s Royal Winter Fair. Pam Heath usually has a RBC booth at the event. This year she went all out to make a huge promotion for RBC and managed to organize an unequalled event in the history of Rare Breeds Canada. A huge backdrop of some 70 feet wide, I believe, spanned the wall at the back of the booth and pens. A varied selection of different rare breeds came along to the show and added greatly to the week’s event.

To finish up. Thanks to you all for visiting my web site, working with me on my various projects and for supporting my video production business throughout the years. I hope you all have a great summer.

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