2019 Awards and Scholarships

Outstanding Shepherd Award

Awarded to an Ontario shepherd who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the Ontario sheep industry. This award is presented to an Ontario shepherd who exemplifies the values of leadership and responsible sheep husbandry.

John and Eadie Steele were awarded the 2019 Outstanding Shepherd Award. The Steele’s have been active members of Ontario’s sheep industry since 1991. Graduates of the original Master Shepherd’s Course, they also contributed in the OLIBS program, countless research programs and have provided the industry with thousands of replacement breeding stock. The Steele’s were also Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmer in 2002, the 2007 recipients of the Peterborough County Farm Family of the Year and won the Premier’s Award for Management of the OLIBS Breeding Stock Program in 2009 and again in 2010 for the creation of a Handheld Flock Management Software.


Long Service Award

Awarded in acknowledgement and appreciation of long standing contributions to the Ontario sheep industry, recipients of this award have demonstrated outstanding dedication, leadership, and an innovative spirit. This award is presented to an Ontario shepherd or industry service provider in recognition of their significant contributions to the advancement of the Ontario sheep industry over many years of service.

Doug Kennedy was awarded the 2019 Long Service Award for his 50 plus years of dedication to the shearing of sheep in South Western Ontario. He started shearing with old brown Stewart hand shears, and he was the first to bring in the Lister Flex drop that most shearers use today. Doug still travels to fall fairs to be the voice at shearing demonstrations and for many years ran a wool depot for the Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers.


Mapleseed Pasture Award

This award, sponsored in part by OSF, Mapleseed and the Ontario Forage Council, recognizes individual sheep farmers who are doing an outstanding job of pasture management. The Mapleseed Pasture Award is a way of encouraging sheep farmers to implement pasture management strategies to maximize production per acre.

Carrie Wooley and Brett Schuyler were presented with the Pasture Award at the Ontario Lamb Banquet, sponsored by MAPLESEED, the Ontario Forage Council and the Ontario Sheep Farmers, in recognition of their environmental and pasture improvements and management. The entire sheep operation on Schuyler Farms is pasture-based from spring pasture lambing to fall and winter grazing as the animals are on some type of pasture/cropland 365 days of the year.


Ontario Sheep Farmers Undergraduate Scholarship

This $500 cash scholarship is open to applicants who are enrolled in their first or second year at an accredited university, college or apprenticeship program. Applicants do not have to be enrolled in an agriculture program to be eligible for the award. Applicants must be 21 years of age or younger (as of January 1, 2019).Josiah Sherman VanEwyk received the Undergraduate Scholarship. As the recipient of the 2019 undergraduate scholarship. 


Ontario Sheep Farmers Memorial Fund - Industry Leader Award

Funds for this award have come from donations made in memoriam of Ontario sheep industry leaders. This fund was started with donations that have been made in memory of the late Bob Irvine, an Ontario sheep farmer who was a strong supporter of continuous learning. He was a dedicated member of the industry, with a focus on sheep genetics and was a mentor to many.

This year Evelin Rejman was awarded the Memorial Fund Industry Leader Award. Evelin is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, with an interest in parasitology and e p i d e m i o l o g y . She is hoping that her research will produce results that assist sheep farmers and veterinarians in better diagnosing coccidiosis and reducing disease presence on-farm using cost-effective methods.

2019 GenOvis Performace Award Winners 

The winners of the annual genetic improvement performance awards were recognized at the Ontario Lamb Banquet. These awards recognize the outstanding achievements of Ontario sheep farmers who have excelled in the GenOvis program.

The Highest Flock Improvement (for change in Average Index between 2017 and 2018) was awarded to Tulach Ard Farm Sean McKenzie.

Given to the Ontario ram lambs in the categories of Dorset, Rideau, Suffolk and AOB (Any other breed) born in 2018 completing test with 50- and 100-day weights with the highest growth and maternal growth indexes on October 3rd, 2019.

Dorset Category

  • Top Growth index JWD111F Growth Index of 20.8 (99%) Jim And Wendy Driscoll
  • Top maternal index JWD111F Material Index of 4.6 (98%) Jim and Wendy Driscoll

Suffolk Category

  • Top Growth indexKXK51F Growth Index of 36.38 (99%) Bill and Lynne Duffield, Codan Suffolks
  • Top maternal index WDM52F Material Index of 18.72 (99%) William MacTaggart, MacTaggart Suffolks

Rideau Category

  • Top Growth index CC630F Growth Index of 28.13 (99%) Ted and Joanne Skinner, Cedar Creek Charollais
  • Top maternal index CC630F Material Index of 37.09 (99%) Ted and Joanne Skinner, Cedar Creek Charollais

Any other Breed Category

  • Top Growth index BLIB0873F Growth Index of 36.9 (99%) John and Eadie Steele
  • Top maternal index BLIB0476F Material Index of 26.18 (99%) John and Eadie Steele

GenOvis is a genetic improvement program designed to assist Ontario purebred and commercial sheep farmers in the evaluation of breeding stock and provides a measure of the comparative productivity of ewes in the flock. The program provides information that farmers can use to improve the genetic merit of their flock and monitor performance. The program maintains a large database of the performance records of tested sheep breeds in Canada.