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

Stew Simpson 1921 – 2016

On Monday, February 22, 2016, Stewart Simpson of Glencoe passed away at the age of 94 years. Son of the late Fred and Jemima (McEachren) Simpson. Brother to Frances McCallum, late Doug Simpson, Dorothy Parker (Harvey) and Ina Nelms. Survived by his children Mary Simpson (Ross Snider), Margaret Mueller (Michael Sr.) and the late Peter Simpson (Vicky) and their mother Betty Simpson, his grandchildren Michael Mueller Jr., Matthew Mueller (Lyndsey), Nik Mueller, Paige Mueller, Eric Simpson (Sarah) and Owen Simpson and his great grandchildren Peter James and Carter Simpson.

Stew started farming full time with his Dad and brother Doug at the age of 13 and continued farming actively until his death.  He was the first president of Glencoe Junior Farmers and threw himself into the poultry business, being one of the early farmers to specialize in egg layers.  Stew grew all the grain for his hens and made his own feed.  He was the first farmer in Ontario to roast soybeans for poultry feed.

He learned to fly in the late 1950s and was a founding member of the Ontario Flying Farmers, serving as president for both the local Ontario chapter as well as the International Flying Farmers.

In his late 70s, he transitioned from eggs to cattle, moving to the Old River Farm, an original Simpson settler farm on the Thames River across from where he grew up.  He involved himself with many creative projects.  He was very proud to introduce the pure North Devon cattle breed into Canada, a breed withthe ability to thrive on grass, with superior gains in harsh climates.

In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place. There will be a celebration of life held at his Old River Farm on Saturday. April 16, 2016 from 2 – 5 p.m.  All are welcome.  Memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice in his memory.

“Innovative, creative, flying farmer, always a leader in his field. A capitalist with a keen sense of fairness for his fellow man. I will miss his visits, always interesting.”  –  Bill Gray, L.H. Gray & Son, Gray Ridge Eggs. 

Stew Simpson

Stew Simpson touring the Danceys around Old River Farm