History Master Breeder Program

Did You Know – The History of the Master Breeder Program

Every year, usually in the spring, Breed Associations across the country hand out the coveted Master Breeder award to a select few of their members. The Award recognizes breeders who excel in producing animals that are above average in both type and production. It is the pinnacle off success for any breeding program; and we break down the differences between the programs for each breed.


  • Breeders must apply to Ayrshire Canada to receive the award, points are not calculated automatically
  • Points are awarded to animals who meet both type and production requirements,
    Lifetime Production cows, Proven Bulls, Elite Sires and Star Brood Cows
  • A minimum of 35 points is required
  • A breeder can only receive a shield a minimum of every 10 years
  • Ayrshire Canada awards a maximum of 4 Shields each year, which is a newer rule
  • The award was previously called the Superior Breeder Award
  • Since the beginning there have been 4 herds that have won the Shield 4 times: Terrace Bank, QC, Ferme Lagace, QC, and Kellcrest, ON

Brown Swiss

  • The inaugural Brown Swiss Master Breeder Award will be presented at this year’s annual meeting
  • The two breeders receiving the award are Shady Lane Swiss Farm, QC, and Dun-Rovin Acres Ltd., ON
  • Eligible animals are born in a 16-year birth window and there must be 1 or more females born in 14 of the 16 years
  • All members with total publishable records of more than 5 will be considered, and herd are broken down into 2 groups: 1) 5-24 publishable records and 2) greater than 25 publishable records
  • Members do not need to apply for the award as the points are calculated automatically
  • Using Holstein Canada as the registrar for the Brown Swiss breed has made the
    opportunity to have a Master Breeder award possible. The members have wanted it for a long time


  • Award has been given out every year since 1929
  • The 1000 th Shield was awarded in 2016 when the Convention was held in Alberta
  • Eligible animals are born over a 16-year birth window and the award can only be won
    every 14 years
  • Animals that contribute points to a previous shield become ineligible to contribute
    points to subsequent shields
  • A minimum of 7 females per birth year on average are required
  • In 2017, 4069 members were eligible for the award and they are broken down into 7
    categories based on average # of registrations per year
  • In addition to points being awarded for type, production and longevity of milking
    females, points are also awarded to males achieving Superior Type, Superior Production and Class Extra status
  • Points earned are automatically calculated by the Association
  • The co-winners of the shield during the first Master Breeder presentation were Agassiz Experimental Farm and Colony Farm, both of BC
  • High Point Farms, ON, is the only 4X Winner of the Award to date, winning in 1967,
    1993, 2001 and 2015


  • Jersey Canada first awarded its Master Breeder Shield in 1969, and since then (with the exception of 2008) only one award is given out per year
  • Herds are not eligible to win a 2 nd shield until 18 years after the previous one
  • Herds must have a minimum of 5 registrations per year to be eligible
  • Calculation of points has run automatically be prefix since 2011, prior to that a nominate and selection committee decided the winners
  • Cows must contribute both conformation and production points to qualify
  • Seven Jersey herds have received the Shield twice (some with variable ownership):
    Spruce Avenue (1972 & 2001), Moredale (1973 & 2005), Avonlea Featherstone Bros.(1978 & 2002), Rock Ella (1981 & 2014), Bridon (1986 & 2011), Hollylane (1996 &2015), and Rexlea (1997 & 2016)

Milking Shorthorn

  • The Canadian Milking Shorthorn Society presented its first 2 Master Breeder Awards in 2008 to Oceanbrae Farms, PE, and Valley Crest Farms, ON
  • Members must apply to receive the award with calculations done by the Society
  • There must be 4 points per average registration per year tallied over a 12-year period to be considered and a minimum of 5 registrations per year
  • Points are accumulated on animals born within a 12-year window that begins 15 years
    before application
  • Points are accumulated by high scoring cows with production above breed average,
    Superior Production Awards, Lifetime Production Awards, Star Brood Cows and
    “Excellent” scored cows receive a bonus if 3E or higher

[metaslider id=380728]

Scroll to Top