Alberta/BC Charolais Association “Pioneer of the Year Award” 2016
On December 8, 2016 the Alberta/BC Charolais Association held its Annual Meeting in Red Deer, AB. A long - time local Charolais breeder was honored as the “2016 Pioneer of the Year”. The award is presented annually to an individual who meets the following criteria:
Keith and Cheryl Altwasser are truly worthy recipients. If you mention the word ‘Charolais’ to anyone in BC, the first response that comes up is “Do you know the Altwasser’s?”
Keith and Cheryl Altwasser met in 1974 and married in 1976. They raised two children (Peter and Lorelei) and have three grandchildren. They have lived and raised Charolais in Lumby, BC for 45 Years.
Keith served as President on the BC Charolais board while it existed separately from Alberta and also served as a Director on the National Charolais Board as the Chair of the Junior Program. Cheryl was the Charolette Rep for many years and was the secretary/treasurer for the BC Charolais Board.
Both Keith and Cheryl have promoted the Charolais breed in BC extensively and across Canada with tremendous enthusiasm. They formed many close relationships representing the breed at events such as the BC Cattlemen’s AGM, the IPE and various shows and cattle related events.
Keith and Cheryl were among the first to represent the Charolais breed at the IPE in Armstrong. Keith served as a Director and Chair of the IPE Beef Committee, helping grow the show and was instrumental in starting features such as “Stars of the Future” and “Sires of Tomorrow” that still exist today. Keith successfully campaigned to have the IPE be a qualifier for the finale of the fall cattle shows, the Beef Supreme Challenge at Agribition.
Keith and Cheryl hosted the Valley Bull Sale from 1985 to 2010. Originally the sale featured Charolais and Hereford bulls from Anchor Ranch (Rob and Ann Willis) and Tommy Jackson. In 1998, the sale changed to an all Charolais sale with their long-time friends, Rob and Tina Stowards and moved to Armstrong where it was held until 2010.
The highlight of the Altwasser’s successes along the way included raising the famous “ALT Tango “ who was Champion Bull in Agribition and later sold to a US syndicate and was crowned Reserve National Champion Bull at Fort Worth.
In 2011, the herd was sold to Springside Farms were the females continue to form the background of the breeding program and have helped raise that program to one of the elite in the breed.
The Alberta Charolais Association is proud to award the 2016 “Pioneer of the Year” Award to Keith and Cheryl Altwasser, Altwasser Charolais of Lumby, BC. Keith and Cheryl were nominated by Mike Panasiuk and Bob Burla of Springside Charolais Airdrie, AB.