Last Wednesday evening was a proud time for the McNabb family as the nearly 100-year-old family farm received provincial recognition for its herd of Hereford cattle.
The Stratton farm was this year's recipient of the Ontario Hereford Association's Ron & Nadine Wells Commercial Breeder Award for 2017.
The award was presented to Scott McNabb and his parents, Jack and Kathy, during last Wednesday night's Canadian Cattlemen's Association meeting in Stratton, with OHA secretary/manager Dave Cavanagh on hand to say a few words.
“This award is presented annually to a Hereford producer that uses primarily Hereford genetics in their herd,” Cavanagh explained.
“Tucked away right here in Stratton is one of the most positive and proud commercial cattle families in the country,” he noted.
Cavanagh said the McNabb family farm originally was purchased in 1919 by Scott's great-grandfather.
The operation has grown over the years and Scott now runs the farm for his parents, Jack and Kathy, with just over 250 cows.
“Scott has garnered a reputation for producing quality cattle consistently and has had no problem marketing his straight-bred Herefords,” Cavanagh noted.
“Every year, he strives to bring the best calves to town, consistent year-to-year in their weight averages,” he added.
The majority of the steers are fed to an average of 800 pounds, then shipped and sold into Winnipeg while 75 percent of the heifers are kept as replacements or to be sold into the local market as bred heifers.
The bottom-end steers and the remaining heifers stay on the farm to be fed out and sold as freezer beef.
The animals the McNabbs do feed out are taken to their local plant, where a meat grader grades all the carcasses.
“Scott still finds it hard to believe but he usually has 25 percent of the carcasses grade prime, with the remainder being 'AA' or 'AAA,'” Cavanagh said.
He added McNabb is not afraid to spend money on a quality bull, and has said it is a necessity for raising good cattle.
Every year, McNabb also will go through the herd and make sure he matches up the cow he wants with each bull to get the best results possible.
Cavanagh noted Jack and Kathy McNabb still live on the farm as gracious hosts, and said Scott loves what he does and gladly will share his experiences with anyone who asks.
“They value honesty and integrity in their business,” Cavanagh stressed.
“We are honoured to present this award to Scott McNabb and McNabb Farms.”
Scott McNabb didn't have much to say about the win, except that it did feel nice to be recognized.
The 45-year-old added the success of his herd comes from hard work and time—something that has been easy for him because he loves the job so much.
“It's just something I like to do," he remarked. "It's a good job and constantly changing so it keeps my interest.”
McNabb also said he was pleased about getting the award during the CCA's meeting as it was an overall enjoyable evening and beneficial to the community.
“Hats off to Kim Jo [Bliss] for organizing that,” he noted.
“There are a lot of people doing good work for agriculture in the district and that is great to see,” he lauded.