Elora, Ontario’s Bert Stewart made his first trip to the World Dairy Expo (WDE) in 1969. He hasn’t missed one since.
He’s been connected with some of the best female cattle to ever show at the annual dairy event and, since 1990, has mentored countless Ontario 4-H members who have competed in the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest.
At 83, Stewart has no intention of breaking his streak. This year, he and fellow 4-H coach, Murray Reissner, and the Ontario team of Chris De Klein, Middlesex County; Deanna Ringleberg, Wentworth; Madison Dyment, Brant; and Derek Van de Walle of Perth, did Ontario proud.
After the competition, RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin sat down with Stewart and the team to talk about the importance of the competition for Ontario 4-H. Stewart also looked back at his 47 years at the Expo; talking about the early years and how he came to be associated with the best three female cattle to ever show in the Expo ring; how the WDE and cattle have changed over the years; and the importance of 4-H participation in Madison.