Have you ever left a vacation destination and instantly thought, “Wow, I can’t wait to again visit the snow-covered, unplowed range roads while chowing down on donuts with iced-tops that have more thumb prints in them (from a crazy, blue-eyed 3-year-old) than a finger painting project at the local preschool."??
Well I have.
Guilty As Charged.
I spent the last few days in snowy Westerose, Alberta, Canada. And while it wouldn’t be most folks’ spring break destination, I loved every minute of the trip. I wish I could complain about the never-ending snow, or the jet lag, or the trouble in Customs (No, I’m not smuggling any tobacco. Yes, I have been on a farm in the last month. No, I don’t plan on bringing back any Canadian whiskey. I don’t believe my liver could handle any more at this point, Sir).
The truth is, I had a wonderful time at Alta Cedar and I can’t wait to go back. Not only is the hospitality worth writing home about, the people that I meet on each trip to the ranch make the whole plane ticket expense worth while.
But the cattle - they are the reason I know, and deeply respect, the Boake family. They may be a young crew, but their Shorthorn roots run deep. And while the young-blood is running active, the cornerstone of the operation, William, still supports a dream that started in 1953. Over the last two years, I’ve gained a certain appreciation for the Alta Cedar crew and the way they operate. In the hours before their sale, they take time to laugh, to appreciate their help and to hug their kids. Come sale time, the bulls speak for themselves. And in 2011, they certainly did just that. From top to bottom, the 2011 Showcase offering was the strongest set of bulls I’ve seen. There was no definite bottom, there was no definite high-seller; they each brought extreme quality to the table, and will play fundamental roles in every operation they ship to. I can’t wait to watch the Alta Cedar bulls perform all over North America.
Enough about the cattle. I’m not a salesman. I’m a socialite. And I love taking pictures when passion, emotion and dedication are involved.
Bringing the stock up for the main event.
Well-Respected auctioneer Dale Stith - from warm Alabama - endures the elements.
Jarrett Davis, of Arda Angus, plays a key role in the preparation of the cattle.
Mr. William and Edith Boake - the founders of Alta Cedar, 1953.
Phil and Luke Bowman decide on the next investment for Bowman Superior Genetics.
Auctioneer Dale Stith asked for "three" (thousand) - Samantha, the youngest Boake, had a bid that went unnoticed from the stairs.
There comes a certain peace in knowing that the future of the industry is in good hands. When I captured this photograph, I knew that the family operation has many successful years ahead of them...
This is where the future, six-year-old Graeson William, and the founders (his great-grandparents), William and Edith, find a common ground:
the success of Alta Cedar Shorthorns.
All photographs property of Lindsay J. Bowman.