The Feiges emphasize that winning is great but not a high priority.
The Feige name is synonymous with quality purebred cattle. First, with purebred Horned Herefords and now for high-end purebred Black Angus.
Kelly and Angie Feige are third-generation beef cattle producers from Parkside, Saskatchewan, who are proud of the title given to their Eastondale Breakaway 32’07 bull as World Angus Forum Reserve Champion Black Angus Bull. The 2-1/2-year-old, 2,440-pound animal was crowned at the World Angus Forum at Spruce Meadows in Calgary in mid-July, and the Feiges have since been busy accepting orders for future prodigy of the champ.
The Feige farm, operating under the name Parkvista, was established in 1943 by Kelly’s grandparents, and is currently operated by Kelly, Angie, Garret (11) and Jacob (seven), and Kelly’s mother Aldine, who still plays an active role. Parkvista has 60 purebred Horned Hereford cows which have been shown throughout the country. Raised working with 4-H animals, Kelly is no stranger to the show ring, a trait he is proudly handing down to his two sons, who are both involved in the Wild Rose 4-H Beef Club. Kelly and Angie have judged 4-H club and regional shows and annually take stock to shows in Lloydminster, Saskatoon as well as Agribition in Regina.
“If you have good stock and want good exposure you have to attend the larger-area shows,” says Kelly.
Three years ago, the Feiges established Double “F” Cattle Company by which they market their Black Angus herd. The company purchased Eastondale Breakaway as a yearling in 2008 from Eastondale Angus in Wawota, Saskatchewan.
“We purchased him because of his mother and her genetics,” said Kelly, explaining that it was a hot new bloodline with different genetics. This new bloodline paid off, considering the high level of competition at the forum.
The 10th World Angus Forum is the largest Angus event ever held in Canada with over 1,000 head in attendance. There were over 770 registered participants from 20 countries.
“Canada has the opportunity to host the event once every 20 years or so,” said Angie, explaining that the next world forum will be in Argentina in 2011 then New Zealand in 2013.
As well as being a huge accomplishment, the title is also an incredible marketing opportunity, although the Feiges emphasize that winning is great but not a high priority. They believe in raising quality cattle that look honest and real as that takes the guesswork out of buying quality livestock.
Managing two purebred breeds and a commercial herd is not easy, but the Feiges work as a team making the workload of wintering 260 purebred and commercial cows lighter. Calving begins in January and is usually wrapped up by March so that the herd is ready for pasture in May. Cows are winter fed in the field behind the barn and as the cows get closer to calving, are brought in nearer to the outbuildings until they eventually reach the calving pens. Calves receive injections of A&D and selenium shortly after birth, giving them the vitamins and minerals required to get off to a good start. They are also tagged with CCIA and identification tags. Conducting these chores early in life is not only convenient but also eliminates stress from having to handle the animals twice. Before heading to pasture in the spring, each calf is tattooed then vaccinated with an 8-Way vaccine and booster of A&D. The purebred herd calves are weaned in September and the commercial herd in October and are then usually placed back in fall pasture.
The Feiges rent out their 700 to 1,000 acres of cultivated grainland and both swath and bale their tame hay crops of alfalfa/brome hay. The farm produces over 1,800 large round hay and greenfeed bales for winter feed and uses between 700 to 1,000 straw bales for winter bedding.
Future plans for Parkvista and Double “F” Cattle Company include having their own bull sale in March, featuring some of Eastondale Breakaway’s offspring. The Feiges welcome visitors to their farm to view their stock and learn about their purebred breeds. They are located approximately 25 miles east of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan along Highway No. 40, and can be reached at 306-747-2376.
Vivian Nemish writes from Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan