2008 ‘Ed Boake Memorial’ Purebred Breeder of the Year - Fleming Stock Farms
 


Rob Smith, Duncan, Ricki, Cooper & Cecilie Fleming

Fleming Stock Farms is located 1 mile west of Granum in Southern Alberta just off highway #2. They are located in heart of diverse cattle country. With the picturesque
ranchland of Porcupine Hills serving as their backdrop to the west & the vast gateway to feedlot alley lays to the east. Duncan & Cecilie have both been involved in the
cattle industry all their lives and have passed the love of cattle on to their children Cooper (25) & Ricki (22).

Duncan has worked in the purebred cattle sector as a breeder, as a fitter for many great seedstock producers and as a livestock judge. Duncan has been a breeder of
seedstock cattle for 45 years and has a great respect for all good cattle regardless of breed. In the early years along with his father Jack Fleming they raised Polled Herefords.

Duncan was honored for 25 years of continuous exhibition at the original Fort Macleod Little Royal and was a perennial exhibitor at major shows in Canada and the USA
starting at age 6. As the exotic boom arrived to North America, Duncan worked on many import cattle and the show strings of cattle that were derived from those
imports.

From 1972 to 1987 Duncan ran a custom fitting service, working for some powerhouse cattle breeders of the day and employing some young ambitious green fitters who
are now some of the elite seedstock producers in Canada today. Duncan spent a number of years working for Wesley Farms as a herdsman for their Simmental
operation. As you all know when you are in the Purebred sector and on the show road you have a fraternity of friends that you work, play and trade help with and it was
during these years that Duncan worked with great Angus cattle & Angus breeders; a thought was formed.

In 1983 Duncan married a redneck farm girl from the Taber area. Raised east of Taber, Cecilie is the youngest of 8 children of the late Tuckey & Mabel Wills. Their home was always open to anyone in need, it was fondly known as the “Wills Finishing School” where she learned at a young age the ups & downs of the livestock industry as did many who came through their gate. They were taught: be a friend, be honest, listen to what others have to say, speak your own mind, help those who need help and
whatever you do – do it with all your heart. Cecilie’s family had a commercial herd and her father did much of the neighbors vet work, as well he was a cattle buyer and a
stock contractor of bucking bulls & horses. At one point in time the family owned an auction market and also had a livestock hauling business. Agriculture & citizenship runs
through her veins and was the natural selection for a lifelong partner for Duncan.

When Duncan & Cecilie started a family they decided that raising kids on the show road was not the path they wanted. In 1985 Duncan & Cecilie purchased their land on
Willow Creek and started their own Multi Breed Bull Development Center. For the next 15 years they poured their hearts & souls into developing and promoting their
customer’s product. They worked with many great breeds of cattle and cattle breeders, but it was the members of Southern Alberta Angus Club who were their first clients.

Although Cecilie & Duncan were not Angus breeders themselves during those years they were immersed in the Angus genetics and Angus fraternity in a foundationbuilding
relationship. While running the Bull Development Center, Cecilie & Duncan made a decision not to sell or promote their own genetics as they felt it was a conflict of
interest while promoting their clients genetics.

In 1995 they made another decision to wind down the Bull Development Center and focus on building their own herd. It was all those years of working with the Angus cattle and the commercial cattlemen who valued the Angus genetics along with the relationships they had built with Angus breeders that fostered their decision to officially become Angus breeders; this is a choice that they have never regretted.

Along with building their Angus genetics and being excellent stockmen, the entire family works to support youth and the human side of agriculture.

Duncan, Cooper & Ricki are all accomplished 4-H Alumni with both Cooper & Ricki achieving the highest recognition in Alberta 4-H: the Platinum Award of Excellence. Cecilie has been a dedicated leader of Claresholm 4-H Beef Club and a founding leader of the South Country 4-H Judging Club. The entire family has been involved in 4-H and is always willing to lend a hand whenever called upon and are always delighted to mentor young 4-Hers. In 2008 Duncan & Cecilie were honored by being named the
Willow Creek 4-H District “Friends of 4-H” for their lifelong commitment and support of 4-H and the youth who have participated in this program.

Due to Duncan & Cecilie’s commitment to the development of youth in the livestock industry, they founded the successful Chinook Junior Stock Show in Claresholm which is now in its 14th year. They enjoy the metamorphosis that takes place when youth are given the opportunity and tools to flourish. Duncan & Cecilie encourage youth to enjoy their livestock experiences and remind them that, no matter what career they choose, the hard work, commitment and experience gained in agriculture will be their strong foundation for the future.

From the marvelous programs of a few Bashaw ‘forethinkers’ over 30 years ago came the Canadian National Junior Angus Heifer Show and from this evolved the Alberta Junior Angus Association we have today. The youth of the AJAA now fundraises, plans and executes their entire annual program and activity plan. Cecilie was the founding “Adult Liaison” to the AJAA and was instrumental in empowering the youth to ‘step up to the plate’ and take ownership of their area of the Angus industry.

Cooper & Ricki have been huge benefactors of the Junior programs in Alberta and across Canada. The privilege of meeting new people, public speaking, marketing, ‘stepping out’ of their comfort zone, breeding and exhibiting great cattle, frolicking with friends and working long hours has positively shaped who they are today.

Cooper chose a participative and supportive role in the Junior programs. Cooper now has a diploma in Business & Marketing and diploma in Multi Media Productions and is
always seeking ways to incorporate new knowledge into Fleming Stock Farms.
Ricki chose a leadership role in the Junior Angus programs as a founding member of the Alberta Junior Angus Association and served as a director for 6 years, working through the various roles. She also served a term as an Alberta Director of the Canadian Junior Angus Association. During that term she was a driving force along
with her fellow Alberta CJAA Director to give life to the GOAL Conference (Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders), which is a national developmental opportunity for Angus
youth and youth from the livestock industry across Canada. In 2007, Ricki received a diploma from Lethbridge College in Agricultural Technology. As well in June of 2007, Ricki was named Canadian Angus Ambassador, a duty she embraced, representing the Canadian Angus Association internationally in Ireland, England, Scotland and the United States at Angus events and as a visitor.

Over the course of the year Ricki was privileged to attend an Angus event in every Province or Region in Canada and it was an awesome opportunity to promote the Angus industry in Canada. Ricki is deeply grateful for the opportunities provided to her with the support of the Canadian Angus Foundation.

For both Cooper & Ricki their greatest legacy & thrill today is mentoring youth in the same manner they were nurtured by those whom they admire & respect. They are
determined to ensure that Junior events & programs continue for youth in the future.

Cecilie served as an Alberta Angus Association Director for six years of which she was President for three terms. During those years she gained huge respect for the
vastness and diversity of our province and its Angus breeders. She has attended a number of Canadian Angus Annual Meeting on behalf of the Alberta Angus Association
and is now serving as an Alberta representative on the Canadian Angus Association Board of Directors. Cecilie strongly believes that Angus breeders and agricultural
producers must have a strong voice around as many tables as possible; otherwise those who make the decisions on behalf of producers may have no vested
interest in agriculture. Cecilie always says, “It is our responsibility to get involved. We must respect the efforts of the pioneers of the Angus business and work diligently
to keep Angus and agriculture in the forefront.” As a final tribute to Cecilie’s extraordinary legacy as a sitting Director on the Alberta Angus Association, a new
award was created bearing her name. It is the “Cecilie Fleming ‘Spirit of Angus’ Award” and is presented to deserving individuals as they are deemed befitting the
contributions of an historic volunteer like Cecilie.

Recipients to date are Dawn Wilson (2007) and Mabel Hamilton (2008). Cecilie is a member of the 2009 World Angus Forum Organizational Committee, Ricki is Co-Chair of the WAF Youth Committee and Duncan is serving on the WAF Show Committee
Duncan has encouraged Cecilie, Cooper & Ricki to volunteer, exhibit cattle, follow their dreams, take advantage of travel opportunities and to pursue postsecondary
training. While everyone has been taking flight, Duncan has kept the ‘home fires burning’. Duncan’s focus and passion has always been the cattle and genetics.
Duncan very much enjoys visiting with and learning from our pioneer breeders of the purebred & commercial industry. He is a lifelong learner of the cattle industry.

Today he is working with his family to transfer the knowledge and provide an opportunity for Cooper & Ricki to create their own future in the Angus industry.
Fleming’s support the exhibition of beef cattle, the marketing of livestock to the world and strongly believe in the promotion of Angus cattle to the commercial producer,
the feedlot and packing industries and to the consumer as they are all vital in keeping our breed healthy and prosperous. The Fleming family firmly believes that we
must continue to be Angus Breeders not Angus multipliers.

As Angus Breeders they have strong culling criteria, high standards and a sharp knife. They only want the best Angus genetics to represent our breed as seed stock. The
Fleming’s believe that if we always do what is best for our Angus Breed & the industry, and not for the individuals within the Angus sector, we can’t go too far wrong.

The entire family has a passion for the beef industry and they value what Angus brings to the table. They also respect the positive attributes that every other breed brings
to the industry and how well Angus genetics work with all of them. Fleming Stock Farms takes pride in being involved in agriculture and works hard to support all facets of agriculture especially the business of Angus.

For this belief and commitment, for their volunteerism above and beyond, and for being outstanding stockmen, the Alberta Angus Association is proud to name Fleming
Stock Farms – Duncan, Cecilie, Cooper and Ricki Fleming– the Alberta Angus Association’s 2008 ‘Ed Boake Memorial’ Purebred Breeder of the Year.

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