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'The best breed in the world'

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/11/2013 (1333 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Speak to any cattle breeder and one theme remains consistent: Their breed is superior.

While it may be slightly ironic that Ruth Angus breeds Limousin, she is unabashed about her love of the highly muscled beef cattle.

Angus Smyth of Roblin waits patiently with his Limousin heifer following a morning of showing at the Manitoba Livestock Expo on Friday.

BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN

Angus Smyth of Roblin waits patiently with his Limousin heifer following a morning of showing at the Manitoba Livestock Expo on Friday.

"We still believe Limos are the best breed in the world," said Angus, who started farming purebred cattle approximately 35 years ago.

She couldn’t help take a shot at the most popular breed in North America.

"When you see Angus beef, it’s not all Angus beef," she said part joking, but mostly serious.

Cattle breeders from acrosss the province descended on Brandon this weekend for the Manitoba Livestock Expo.

The expo featured breed shows in Angus, Hereford, Simmental, Charolais, Limousin and mixed breed.

Also back this year after a brief hiatus due to insufficient numbers is the Gelbvieh breed show.

While the Gelbvieh breed is still dual purpose in Europe, where it is used as a dairy cow early in its development before it is fattened up for beef production, in Canada they have been bred primarily for the beef market.

"We were drawn to the breed because of its docility, fertility and overall maternal ability-like milk-ability," Wirgau said, adding the breed has a good carcass to meat yield ratio.

The show is important for breeders like Lee Wirgau, who understand the importance of exposure for a breed that is registered outside of the top five in Canada.

"Hopefully we get our cattle in front of more people here and let them know that Gelbvieh is a relevant breed," Wirgau said. "We’re here and we want to be a big part of the industry because we have a lot to offer."

Wirgau, whose family has been in the breeding industry since 1986, said it has been about a decade since there has been a Gelbvieh show in Brandon.

"We’re still recuperating like a lot of people from BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy)," Wirgau said. "We’ve lost a generation of people in the cattle industry. It’s starting to be strong again and we’re trying to keep it going."

» ctweed@brandonsun.com

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