My dad bought Gereli Farm in 1973, the official purchase was decided on the same day as my christening!!

Gerry ran the place at the same time as being a stock broker in Montreal. Several employees helped take care of the day-to-day tasks. My brother, Bradley and I helped as much as possible when not in school (weekends, holidays & summer vacation).

The main purpose of the farm was as a "rest resort" for Gerry's Standardbreds when they were not on the track at Blue Bonnet's raceway (now Hippodrome de Montréal). Eventually, other creatures came to be, cows in the very early days. Polled Herefords were the breed of choice, wisely selected by Gerry for their gentle disposition and hardiness in any weather condition Canada could throw at them.

Gerry was widely involved in the various Hereford associations and enjoyed taking part in meetings and conventions. As the herd grew and improved in quality, the livestock were brought to local and international livestock shows. It wasn't long before Brad and I were very involved in Junior Hereford and 4H groups. We enjoyed taking the cattle to shows and often came home with banners and red ribbons! The quality of the cow herd made its name at the National Hereford show "Agribition" in 1981. This is Canada's largest and most important beef cattle livestock show. Gereli Rifle took home top honours as the Grand Champion bull. Semen from this bull was sold the world over and there are now several thousand Gereli offspring grazing pastures on many continents. The mother cow of this prized bull, Gereli Farah 107H 13N was sold in 1982 for $80,000 CDN, and was a longtime record holder for highest selling Polled Hereford Cow.

Following this great success, I kept up the show string for several years while Brad attended McGill University and helped re-plant Canada's Western forests during the summer. Brad chose to continue Gerry's well-known investment business and now works in a fund company.

Once the livestock herd had been brought up to top quality levels, I decided to use it to its best purpose ... producing delicious beef for all to enjoy. After graduating from McGill in 1996, I began working full-time on the farm. It wasn't long before I decided to switch all farming activities to organic. I could see the chemicals just didn't live up to their claims. There were always serious flaws and side effects. See rants.

Richard Semmelhaack