Gussie and Faye Adam were presented with the Legend of Breed award by the Alberta Shorthorn Association (ASA) at its annual general meeting and field day hosted June 15 at Prospect Hill Shorthorns, run by Les and Shelley Peterson, near Meeting Creek.
“This is was very unexpected, and we are so honored by this award. This award goes to the entire family as it was really a family affair,” Faye said when the award was presented.
The Adams, now 78 and 70 respectively, started their Shorthorns near Ardrossan a few years after the two were married in 1967 after Gussie was persuaded by an old neighbour to try a Shorthorn bull in their commerical herd.
That first bull, purchased at a sale in Lacombe in 1974, ended up being Sunalta Silver Perfect — a grand champion from Walter Chinnery’s herd in Coronation. A short time later, the Adams paid Chinnery’s farm a visit and walked away buying six heifers and they never looked back.
The operation, called GAFA Shorthorns, moved to the Meeting Creek area just four years later with a focus on breeding quality Shorthorns and promoting the breed.
The Adams were successful in doing just that by developing fast-gain, well muscled animals and selling top performing bulls and heifers around the world — from B.C. and Nova Scotia to Mexico, Scotland and Germany. The couple were also named the 1985 Alberta Breeder of the Year for their efforts.
“Bulls are important, but good females make the difference,” explained Faye.
“Selection of females for milking ability, good udders, fertility and easy calving were of prime importance.”
At its height, the operation had a breeding herd of about 100 head, which made it all the more important that their three girls helped out.
Tammy, Cheryl and Connie did their usual chores that helped reach certain goals, while Tammy and Cheryl’s participation in 4-H and the ASA made showing off GAFA Shorthorns much easier.
“Gussie was helpful getting our cattle ready for shows in Edmonton and Calgary, but the actual showing was entirely left to our girls,” Faye added, noting showing wasn’t for Connie so when the other two left home that was it for the show circuit.
Along with breeding, the couple were involved with helping run the ASA over the years with Faye volunteering to be the secretary-treasurer for several years.
“My time (with the ASA) was very much a family affair,” she stated, noting that the ASA newsletter got done with lots of help from Gussie and the girls.
“Computers and word programs were just starting at that time. Copying, compiling and mailing of the publication was truly a family operation. So was the compiling of sales catalogs for several years. My family’s willingness to handle things at home allowed me to travel to meetings and events as requested.”
The couple finally decided in 2007 to wind down the operation, selling their final animal just three years ago.
”The friendships and experiences we had during our years as active members of the Shorthorn family will never be forgotten,” added Faye.
Jordie Dwyer June 27, 2019 BASHAW STAR