Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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Back in 1935, a group of interested farmers, under the guidance of Gordon Muirhead, a Provincial Calf Club Organizer, discussed the possibilities of organizing a calf club in the Brookdale district.

The Brookdale Calf Club was formally organized in Bert McDonald''s barn. Club officers elected at the first meeting were: President Cliff Kinney, Secretary Bill McDonald, Vice President Eldon McDonald. Mr. W.J. Kinney was the first leader and carried on in this capacity for quite a number of years.

It may be of interest to note that during 1935 there were 10 active calf clubs inManitoba compared to well over 100 a few years later.

The first Calf Club Fair was October 25, 1935 with Mr. Gordon Muirhead as judge. For the first three years the fair, or show, was held in the late fall.

In 1938 this was changed to July and the Fat Stock Show was organized to go along with the Calf Club Fair and an auction sale was held.

Bill McDonald and John Ramsay In 1937 the club was honored to have two of its members selected as a judging team to represent Manitoba at the Toronto Royal in the beef judging competition. They were John Ramsay and Bill McDonald. It took 19 years before they were able to send another representative.

The Fat Stock Show proved quite popular for a number of years with over 100 head being shown and sold at some of the early shows.

The calf club also became active in other community activities at this time, being sponsors of an annual debate, as well as assisting with a colt club.

In 1940 the club was ably directed by Mr.

Raymond Strohman. Later, a former club member Bill McDonald became leader. After that the club was able to secure former members as leaders.

It was about this time that 4-H Rallys were started. They were organized by Gren Bates, Agricultural Representative, at Neepawa.

In 1956 Charlie Swanson, of the Brookdale Calf Club, and Clair Fisher of the Ninga Club, represented the beef clubs of Manitoba at the Royal. They had changed their method of selection.

One member from each agricultural representative''s area was chosen to go to Winnipeg for oral and judging competitions and the top two candidates, received the award to go to the Royal Winter Fair at Toronto.

In 1958 Brookdale Club was the second highest scoring beef club in Manitoba.

Down through the years, Mr. D.E. McLeod was a source of leadership to the club. He assisted with many judging teams and the club was fortunate to have had the McLeod cattle to work on for judging classes for many years.

Some of the leaders of the Brookdale Calf Club were: W.J. Kinney, Raymond Strohman, W.L.

McDonald, Ken Mitchell, Don Fraser, Charlie Simpson, Charlie Swanson.

It was during the years when Ken Mitchell and Don Fraser were leaders, that the Brookdale Club changed to be under the Carberry Agricultural Representative''s Area. Mr. Vern McNair was the agricultural representative at this time. The calves were then taken to Carberry Fair for inter-club competition and sale.

Brookdale Beef Club members were decreasing in numbers, and it finally ceased to be. Those who were still interested joined either the Carberry Beef Club or the Mentmore Beef Club.


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