Holstein Canada award

WINCHESTER – There’s a whip-smart quality in his storytelling that beguiles Allison Fawcett’s 93 years of age.

Names and dates aren’t lost on him, holding true to a form that marks the quality of a man who gave all of himself (and then some) to farming.

Truth be told, it was a consistent game of one-upmanship against himself that today has Fawcett recounting various aspects of his family’s history, and its 100-year association with Holstein Canada.

“I don’t really know what to owe my success to… I just always liked being the top conformation class in cattle,” he told the Winchester Press recently. “I got a kick out of breeding a better one.”

It was that drive to get better, be it in farming, growing crops or cattle production that instilled a lifelong race for validation.

Allison Fawcett sits among the family’s Master Breeder shield plaques, and the recently received Century of Holsteins Award. Uhrig Photo

Fawcett comes from a rich stock of Holstein Canada accreditation, with his grandfather Andrew taking a membership in 1919 and his father, W.J., submitting his application in 1923 and holding onto his entry until his death in 1957.

His own membership came in 1950, and continues to this day, a total of 69 years.

“The Fawcetts have been very strong in Holstein Canada for years,” Fawcett said. “My father served as national director for 10 years, and I served as national director for 18 years and then president in 1983-1984. It’s something vital – holding onto that membership.”

Given that the century mark has been reached, the family was honoured by Holstein Canada at the organization’s recent annual general meeting in Charlottetown, PEI.

Fawcett wasn’t suited for travel, so a fellow Eastern Ontario breeder, Karen Velthuis, accepted the award on his behalf and later presented it to the family.

Tracked along a gravel road that bears the family name just outside the village limits, Fawcettdale Farms serves as a legacy and today shares space with Coachside Farms, overseen by Fawcett’s son David.

The father-son duo remains the first to ever win a Master Breeder shield while working out of the same barn, just under different prefixes. This came in 2009, and was recognition Fawcett could add to his first-ever shield, won in 1975.

In his kitchen, the family patriarch has the plaques hanging alongside the one his family received in 1946.

These honours make the Fawcetts the only family in Canada to have three generations honoured with the shield.

In middle of the pack on the wall is the prestigious Century of Holsteins Award.

Just underneath, though, is the photo of a beaming beauty who sits resplendent in a fashionable top and mini-skirt, with high heels below. Her hands are placed exactly where they should, the image of a milking practice that seems so far removed from today’s culture.

It’s a cherished picture of Fawcett’s late wife, Jean.

“I’ve always said, if you’re interested in something, you’ll find the time,” he said. “But my wife, too, was a great supporter and a great promoter.”