Canada 2012 Report

Report on the World Galloway Congress (WGC)
October 3rd – 7th 2012 Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Report by Jennifer Taylor

The Canadian Galloway Association played host to about a 100 Galloway breeders from Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland and the USA. We were based in Guelph, Ontario from October 2nd – 7th 2012. The Canadian hospitality was absolutely wonderful. The autumn fall colours, the food, cattle and people were fantastic. We saw Black, Red, Dun and Belted Galloways.  Thank you in particular to John and Lee McIlwraith and Brad and Colleen Card the organisers of the conference. Many thanks also to our numerous generous and entertaining hosts at farm visits. We look forward to having you in Scotland in 2016.

The herd book of the Canadian Galloway Association has three sections, Section 1 Galloway, Section 11 Belted Galloway and Section 111 White Galloway. Animals registered in the three sections are treated as three distinct breeds. Each of the three breeds occurs in 3 colours, Black, Dun or Red. What struck us all as visitors were the spectacular mixed colours of Galloway Cattle at some of the farms we visited. The Canadians were surprised at our 3 different Galloway societies (Black, Belted and Riggit) in such a small country as the UK.

Six of the 13 UK WGC delegates, Ulrike Kaufhold, Jane Landers, and Elaine Milven from Wigtownshire and Caroline McMillan and Jennifer Taylor from Ayrshire and Liz Wilkinson from Dumfries were given matching pink rugby shirts for the trip and quickly became known as the ‘Pink Ladies’.

Diary of our trip across the pond:-

Wed, Oct 3rd 2012

Conference day


Producing an International Brochure – a website has been secured

Greg Stuart, Caroline McMillan, Mal Cock, Michelle Blegen, Horst Kraft, Stuart McIlwraith & Jon Bednarski will form a sub-committee to look into what they can do re making an e-brochure.


President                                                     Georg Menk,

Vice-Presidents                                       Scott McKinnon and Liz Wilkinson

Secretary and coordinator WGC        Jane Bradley,


Hairless Disease Jon Bernarski spoke on the testing the US Belted Galloway Society is doing on this genetic disease.

Facebook Caroline McMillan spoke on the use of Facebook as a promotional medium.  Suggested that any Associations who have a Facebook page to link to others.

Technical Expertise Greg Stuart asked if anyone knew of a person who could interpret the information which is being gathered by a number of Associations on the health aspects of Galloway Beef.

Marketing Helene Keller (Assisted by Kalu von Hollen) spoke on the success of Marcus Detweller marketing of Galloway beef.

Why has the Galloway lost its place in the beef industry? Barry McAlley asked if we need to analyse why the Galloway has lost its place in the beef industry. We need to encourage Galloways to be used in commercial herds to get the numbers to increase.

High Altitude Sickness Galloways have been tested with very positive results

Evening meet and greet. The evening banquet was held in great style with a Canadian lady marching in playing the bagpipes, followed by the speakers carrying their national flags.


Thursday, Oct 4th 2012

Farm Tours

Glen Rock’ is owned by Hans Osthaus, Markdale.  The sight of his mixed coloured Galloway Cattle was absolutely spectacular against a backdrop of Autumn fall colours. During our stay the autumn colours were fantastic with maples in all different autumnal shades. Hans immigrated in 1985 with his family from Germany where they had run a dairy farm. Since 2002 Glenrock Farm transitioned to a grassfed beef operation. He raises Animal Welfare Approved Galloway Cattle.  They have predominantly white and red Galloway Cattle. He has about 80 cows and about 250 usable acres in his accredited Organic farm. Spring calving is done to avoid small calves being around in the fall when hungry coyotes would eat them. Glenrock Farm beef is available at natural food stores in the area or direct from the farm.

‘Big Curve Acres Farm’ is a mixed farm owned by Henry and Rita Regelink at Hawkestone. The farm supports tourism and farm animal education. They have bred Belties for over 20 years and are continuing the genetics of the legendary Dr Butson of Maple Brae Belted Galloways. They export livestock and embryos internationally. The Belties are one of the most popular cattle breeds kept there and are often called the Oreo Cookie Cow. Their Belties inspired the return of the Black and White Cruisers of the Ontario Provincial Police because of the distinct colour pattern.

‘Tri R Way Galloways’ is owned by Scott and Mary Robertson, Phelpston. Two very interesting farm visits to both their enterprises showed us their renowned herd of quality Black Galloways which was established in 1984. We were able to drive the buses right into their fields and view the cattle close range there plus cattle were penned for demonstration purposes.  They have at present about 58 breeding purebred Galloway females and also sell semen from the black Galloway Tri R Navigator. They hosted a superb meal at a local hall, great meat and some lovely gifts were given to us all of some of the local sweets and preserves.

Friday, Oct 5th 2012

Farm Tours and Niagara Day

‘Glenfiddich Galloways’ is the home of John and Lee McIlwraith and family.  We were welcomed by the whole family with a wonderful Pancake breakfast with real Ontario maple syrup and blueberries, delicious!  They have been established since 1978 and have registered top quality purebred Black and Dun Galloway cattle. They are well known for their success in the show ring. Semen and embryos are available using world class genetics. John is originally from the Machars farm of Stannock near the Isle of Whithorn.

Our gate to your plate Farm Shop’ is run by Andy and Lisa Sproston, Grimsby. Organically raised, strictly grassfed Black and Dun Galloway Cattle provide quality organic meat for sale at their own very smart farm shop. A lovely collection of well handled Large Black free range pigs, are also raised.  These heritage hogs retain the traits of their ancestors that lived in the woods of 16th/17th century England.  Their meat is much in demand.

‘Top O’ Hill’, is owned by Jack and Sandra MacIntyre from Smithville, near Grimsby.   We saw some lovely traditional quality well handled Belted Galloway cattle (Beamsville Belties). They also had an amazing collection of fabulous Vintage farm machinery and cars. A Beltie cake had been made in our honour and a group photo was taken here of all the delegates.

We visited the spectacular Niagara Falls which was very popular and very crowded. This was when our pink rugby shirts came into their own. No one got lost. Another very interesting trip was to ‘Hernder Estates’, St Catherine. This area is one of Canada’s largest wine regions. It is famous for ice wines among other varieties.  We had an extremely enjoyable tour, wine tasting and dinner at the vineyard restaurant.

Saturday, Oct 6th 2012

Farm Tours and Farmers market

‘St Jacobs Farmers Market’ We were taken to this  fantastic farmers’ market where there was a spectacular abundance of fruit, flowers and vegetables, all prepared for a Canadian Thanksgiving which was taking place that weekend. We had a lovely breakfast at this Mennonite run market.

‘Avon Acres’ is the home of Bob and Marj Irvine from Shakespeare. Bagpipes and a red carpet greeted us at the Home of Heatherdale Silver duns. Always a conservationist at heart, Robert is an internationally known breeder of award winning traditional Galloway cattle. He specialises in productive and docile quality animals.    He has been breeding Galloways for around 50 years. Much more recently he began to write poetry and his published poetry book ‘The Dust and the Dew’ has a lovely cover with one of the Irvine’s Silver Dun Galloway Cattle on it.

Cranberry Hill Galloways’ owned by Dr Brad and Colleen Card, Tavistock. Once again we saw some really lovely quality Galloway cattle in lush fields. There were Silver Duns, Belties and Red Galloways. These cattle had Grass finishing genetics with breed character and traditional type.  They were shown with a lot of success with minimal trimming maintaining the true Galloway type. Great hospitality was once again shown to us all, great food.

‘Suncrest Farm’ was run by Clay, Kathy, Marie, Greg Salter and girls, Molesworth.  We were met at the gates by fabulous Beltie themed silage bales. Suncrest bought their first Galloway in 1971 and at first were involved in crossbreeding of Galloways. Their show career started when the youngsters were involved successfully in the 4-H organisation. Now they show sucessfully all over. We saw lovely Black and Dun Galloways here along with 3 Belgian Horses. They now have about 20 pedigree cows and followers.

An example of a ‘Mennonite Farm’ is run by Adam Brubacher and family in Wroxeter. About 200 Galloways are raised here by this old order Mennonite family. Once again a field of a real rich variety of spectacularly coloured Galloways met us. These grassfed unregistered predominantly White Galloways supply meat to local butchers. One of their specialities is sausages flavoured with cranberries and maple syrup.  2 mules and 2 horses work the land here and also aid in keeping coyotes at bay.

Sunday, Oct 7th 2012

Farm tour and visit Agricultural show

‘Geordawn Farm’ is a family run business owned and operated by George and Dawn Van Kampen near Laurel. This interesting farm visit was to see a lovely quality herd of show Jersey cattle and also more Black and some White Galloway Cattle. Once again we saw a donkey to protect the herd from Coyotes.      The Jersey breed is in the midst of an upward surge of popularity in Canada.  Again great hospitality was showed to us.

Erin Fall Fair’ was the last place officially visited in our busy schedule. This was one of Ontario’s best Agricultural shows. Galloways and 7 different breeds were shown in separate classes. Lunch was provided by fair board ladies. We saw horses doing barrel racing at great speed, a fantastic root and produce section. At the cattle show John Mcilwraith won the Galloway section with a tremendous cow and bull calf. He later won the overall breed section. Many Congratulations to his team. How they managed to prepare cattle for the show plus all the organising for the congress in the few days before amazed us.

Many thanks again to everyone who helped make our trip so memorable. It was a real team effort from everyone.

Germany hosts 2014 WGC Georg Menke from Germany gave a very welcoming presentation introducing the next WGC which is being hosted in North Germany between 2nd and 7th Sept 2014. It will be held near the city of Bremen at the Hotel Gut Altona, Wildeshausen. More information will soon be available at or