Jeff Nurse of Monteith Holsteins, Georgetown, Ont., received the 2013 Curtis Clark Achievement Award at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ont., on November 8th. He is the 27th recipient of this coveted award which was established in 1988 by the Alberta Holstein Branch to honour the lifelong contributions of the late Curtis Clark of Acme Holsteins, a highly respected Alberta Holstein breeder and showman. The award is presented annually to the dairy cattle exhibitor who possesses the ability, sportsmanship and character necessary to be respected by his fellow breeders and showmen. Selection of the winner is made by former winners of the award.
A modest man of high integrity, Jeff Nurse grew up on his family’s Nurseland farm which originally had Jerseys and later switched to Holsteins. He won many awards as a 4-H member for his judging and showmanship talents, including being the top judge and member of the winning Halton County 4-H team at the Inter-County Judging Competition at the Royal Winter Fair. As a young man, he was highly sought after for his clipping and fitting skills at shows and sales. After graduating with a Diploma in Agriculture from Kemptville Agricultural College, Nurse returned to the family farm. The Nurseland herd was dispersed a few years later and Jeff then established his own Monteith prefix and herd. Thames Crest Romeo Bertha (Ex), who was reserve grand champion at the Halton County Show in 1970-71, was a key foundation animal. Nurse has bred many Excellent and Very Good cows and in 1994 was recognized with a Master Breeder award from Holstein Canada. Currently Jeff farms together with his son Lee and they milk 40 cows. Lee recently assumed and registered his first calf using the farm’s original Nurseland prefix. In the near future, the family hopes to relocate to another farm further from urbanization where they can expand and grow their herd and land holdings.
Nurse, 67, has shown cattle locally, regionally and at the Royal Winter Fair and World Dairy Expo. In 1972, Monteith Model Lana (VG) was Reserve All-Canadian 3-year-old. In 1991, Monteith Miss Kansas (Ex-4E) was first 5-year-old at the Royal and went on to be All-Canadian for Nurse and partner Phyllis MacMaster. One of the most notable animals the Nurses have bred is Nurseland Pre Vicky (Ex-1*), a three-time All-Canadian who was junior champion at the Royal and World Dairy Expo in 1980 and reserve grand champion at the Royal in 1983 and 1986. Nurse appreciates a great cow of any breed. In 1983, he and his family showed the grand champion Ayrshire at the Canadian National Exhibition and today they have a few Brown Swiss animals in the herd, one of which was exhibited at the recent Royal. A true gentleman, Nurse’s passion for dairy cattle have always been more important to him than a ribbon or his name in a news story.
Nurse was an Official Judge for many years and in 1987 judged the Royal Winter Fair Holstein Show. In addition to judging many shows across Canada, he has judged internationally in Mexico, the United States, Scotland, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.
Nurse has been a role model and mentor to many young people through his more than 35 years as a 4-H leader. He loans many 4-H calves to non-farm 4-H members and generously donates his time, money and resources to transport animals and youth to numerous fairs. “It is my idea of a great holiday,” he says of these journeys. Nurse has been part of many farm organizations. He is a past president of the Halton County Holstein Club, Halton Milk Committee, Halton 4-H Association and Georgetown Agricultural Society, and is a member of the Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee.
Jeff and his wife Kenda are the proud parents of four children – Lee, Jodey, Cristy and Troy – and two granddaughters. The family has hosted many tours for schools and other groups at their farm and have willingly participated in agricultural education days, loaning animals for displays.
A heartfelt Jeff Nurse says, “To get an award from a group of men who are as respected for what they have done, and they way they have done it, makes receiving the Clark Award really special to me.” In addition to having his name added to the distinctive Clark trophy which bears a bronzed version of one of Curtis Clark’s hats, Nurse also received a gold belt buckle as a personal keepsake of the honour.
For additional information, contact: Bonnie Cooper, secretary, Curtis Clark Achievement Award Committee, c/o Holstein Journal, 301 – 9040 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3M4, tel: 905-886-4222; fax: 905-886-0037; e-mail: [email protected]