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Ontario's Cattle Kingdom

Ontario's Cattle Kingdom: Purebred Breeders and Their World, 1870-1920

Margaret Derry
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 280
  • Book Info
    Ontario's Cattle Kingdom
    Book Description:

    The story of the purebred cattle breeders? world includes nineteenth-century medical opinions and strategies for disease control, the evolution of cattle associations, and the development of state regulation.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7809-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. ONE Ontario and Agriculture, 1850–1920
    (pp. 3-13)

    ʻOld Bossy is easily the most important of all lower animals upon the green-carpeted footstool of the Great Creator,ʼ stated A.C. Wood, a popular, early-twentieth-century writer who had been raised on an Ontario farm. He went on to say that ʻthere is more attention of [sic] the cow in books than any other animal, bar noneʼ and that ʻartists are forever putting her into their pictures, too, and all her comings and goings are pleasurable to behold.ʼ¹ The appreciation that this Ontario author had for cattle was indeed justified. By 1870 cattle were bestowing significant financial benefits on Ontario farm...

  6. TWO Livestock Expertise: Ontario Purebred Breeders and Their World
    (pp. 14-52)

    On a cold, clear night in February 1881, anticipation was high at Bow Park, the Shorthorn breeding centre of the late George Brown. A valuable cow, the imported Kirklevington Duchess of Horton, was about to give birth to a calf from the service of Fourth Duke of Clarence, who was a famous Shorthorn bull in Canada at the time. The birth aroused intense disappointment. The herdsman reported to the two managers of the farm, ʻwith a very solemn face,ʼ that the cow ʻhad just dropped a bull calf, and awful to think of, it was a white one.ʼ The men...

  7. Plates
    (pp. 30-38)
  8. THREE Purebred Breeding, Cattle Production, and Regulation
    (pp. 53-85)

    ʻIf we in Canada can establish herds completely free from[tuberculosis],this means that in a very few years Canada will become the great centre for the breeding of high-class cattle,ʼ George Adami argued, ʻand European countries will have to come to us to re-establish their herds. They cannot do it at home. We only, and only we, are in a position to make a fruitful endeavour to get rid of the disease in a course of three or four years.ʼ¹ Adami was a professor of pathology at McGill University and pathologist for the Dominion Department of Agriculture. Adami was...

  9. FOUR The Relationship of Purebred Breeders to the General Beef-Farming World in Ontario
    (pp. 86-106)

    This 1920 poem described what purebred breeders and agricultural experts hoped would soon be the trend on farms in Ontario: the removal of scrub bulls for breeding purposes and their replacement by purebred bulls. The 1920 Better Bull Campaign of purebred breeders, the Ontario Agricultural College, and the Ontario government set out to eliminate ʻold Brindle.ʼ Was ʻold Brindleʼ as prominent as the breeders and experts thought? And if so, why? Farmers had their own opinions on how to produce quality cattle, but these views did not necessarily dovetail with those of purebred breeders. This chapter assesses how breeders and...

  10. FIVE Purebred Breeding and Dairying
    (pp. 107-115)

    The beef cattle industry was not the only cattle-farming operation to undergo expansion after the 1860s. By 1870 the Ontario dairy industry had also undergone a period of remarkable growth after lucrative foreign markets, particularly with Britain, developed for cheese. Ontario supplied the lionʼs share of the national product. The province produced 85 per cent of Canadaʼs total output of factory cheese in 1880, 74 per cent in 1890, 60 per cent in 1900, and 68 per cent in 1910. Late-nineteenth-century dairying, however, involved two separate industries, and both were significant to the agricultural economy.

    While one – cheese –...

  11. SIX Ontario Cattlemen and Canadian Beef Farming
    (pp. 116-132)

    The future ʻlies in the great West, where the corn and the cattle grow,ʼ says Lorne Murchison, hero of Sara Jeannette Duncanʼs novelThe Imperialist, written in 1904.¹ While Duncan implies nationalism here, she also indicates that that nationalism bore a certain characteristic – Canadaʼs centre for cattle production was in the West by the early twentieth century. This vision that western ranching dominated Canadaʼs beef cattle industry by the late nineteenth century persists in the popular and scholarly mind, but the sheer numbers of cattle in Ontario – over 50 per cent of the nationʼs stock in 1870 and...

  12. SEVEN The Ontario Beef Farmer and the Meat Industry
    (pp. 133-148)

    This chapter explores the relationship of a processing industry – the meat industry – to purebred breeders and farmers. Agriculturalists and the meat industry both produced meat for beef consumption, but it cannot be assumed that the meat industry was merely an extension of the cattle industry. Beef consumption was the motivation both for farmers to produce and for the meat industry to process the product, but each industry had its own specific problems. It is the farm problems, and the way developments between the two industries affected farmers, that are emphasized here. Breeding issues, their relationship to fat stock...

  13. EIGHT Conclusion
    (pp. 149-155)

    This assessment of the expert, purebred breedersʼ world and the position of breeders within the Ontario agricultural environment between 1870 and 1920 explains something of the dynamics of Canadaʼs cattle industry and illustrates aspects of agricultural thinking over the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The study also provides details about Ontarioʼs farming position within a national and supranational context. Specific patterns that emerge in this story are summarized here.

    The national Canadian beef cattle industry, outside the purebred industry, began in Ontario in the 1860s when Ontario farmers found a lucrative market for their livestock in the United States....

  14. Epilogue
    (pp. 156-162)

    Production patterns in beef cattle farming after the 1920s and as late as the 1990s indicate that the role of purebred genetics did not disappear. The theory behind nineteenth-century cattle breeding – namely, the importance of using purebred breeding in production – was at least partially substantiated. Scientific technology alone could not replace the use of the purebred herds for improved general beef cattle. It did, however, shift how purebred cattle were used and how both purebred breeders and farmers evaluated them. The utilization of artificial insemination (AI) to perpetuate certain traits that could be traced – for example, birth...

  15. Notes
    (pp. 163-190)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 191-214)
  17. Index
    (pp. 215-221)