Saying Good bye to Stew

Stew died February 22 and we celebrated Stew’s life April 16, 2016.  It was a glorious spring day and everyone came out to enjoy the Old River Farm and swap tales about Stew.


For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head,
Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the shed.
Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God transcended,
Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended.
You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Sun,
Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done.
A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stony way,
The sun is setting, the cattle are  bedded.  Here now is the end of your day.
Stew’s love of God’s soil has passed on to his kin; the stories flow like fine wine,
Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time.
Stew always believed that the  Lord would provide and He always did somehow,
Take off your gloves and put them down, no more sweat and worry for you now.
Your labor is done, your home now is heaven; no more must you wait,
Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the gate.
Nancy Kraayenhof.

Rango’s descendants: Bull 243

“These are the pictures of heifers from the 243 bull Stewart lent us. They will calve in July as 2-year olds. They are very thick and docile. We really appreciated the use of this bull by Stewart. I will miss our long talks on the telephone.  Stewart was truly an inspiration.”
John Moelker , Opoma Farm,

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Report #2 from Brian Harper

Circle H Farms, Brandon, Manitoba: Stew’s purebred Devon are a perfect fit to our place for both environment and production. They are hardy, efficient and docile, with a high meat-to-bone ratio, exactly what we were looking for as we market some beef directly. I don’t believe I have ever had a bull on my operation with the meat and the balance of this Devon bull. These cattle are the true grass-based genetics that we strive to produce after becoming a forage-only program in 2005.
I consider us very fortunate, kind of like a dream come true, to have found them! As times change and producers look to stay profitable in the future, I feel more will be looking to change to grass genetics. Now we have them in southern Manitoba, which is central to meet demand in both the eastern and western provinces along with some northern states of the US.

I am honored to carry on in Stewart’s footsteps supplying the Devons to Canada and I’m grateful to Stewart for considering us when it came time to part with his herd. He will be greatly missed in the Devon world!

Brian & Sonja Harper
Brandon, Manitoba