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Chance foray into Brant 4-H Beef Club leads youth into a vibrant showmanship career

Updated: May 31

Ten years after showing his first Brant 4-H heifer, Jackson Corner, 19, of Edgewater Farm is so impassioned about cattle; he now professionally exhibits other farms’ cattle in addition to his own.

The second-year Animal Science student at the University of Guelph manages purchased cattle of various breeds, from Simmental to Angus, including those from other farmers who want to show their stock. Corner and his bovines exhibit at many regional fairs and competitions, from local events such as the Paris, Caledonia, Ancaster and Binbrook Fairs to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

“It’s a vocation. I run the business myself. I manage the cattle and make all of the decisions and I crunch the numbers,” said Corner. Tasks include maintaining pedigrees and managing a breeding program with artificial insemination and embryo transfers, ensuring that his cattle enter beef shows with ‘good numbers.”

Because Corner is currently only home from Guelph on weekends and holidays, he relies upon his family’s assistance on their Caledonia-area farm, located near the Brant-Haldimand border and Six Nations . His grandfather, Reeford Corner, nurtures the cattle on weekdays. Parents John and Kim, sisters Lauren and Brooke, and girlfriend Morgan McIntyre provide support while showing cattle under the Edgewater Farm name.

Corner’s shop has a wall of banners to show his exhibition triumphs and cattle savvy.

These include his “biggest accomplishment in 2022”, all of which involved the 100th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair with a black and white Simmental-Angus heifer named TSF/DLS Miss Magnolia J41 or “Mags”. She became the Champion Crossbred Heifer at the Master Feeds National Junior Beef Heifer Show. Mags then became the Grand Champion Percentage Female in the National Simmental Show, while Corner won the Reserve Intermediate Showmanship Award.

“Mags now resides at Edgewater Farm producing the next generation of show cattle for us. She already had her second calf,” said Corner.

With Corner and his sisters, Edgewater Farm has been in the family for six generations, but Corner said that his parents did not move to the site until 2018. The family did not raise cattle until 2015, beginning with two cows. The herd increased to 30 cow-calf pairs by the time of Corner’s departure to Guelph, upon which the family sold 15 cattle.

Corner said that the farm calved out eight cows this year to date; he currently manages approximately five cattle for other farmers or “partners”, preparing them at Edgewater Farm, showing them and returning the cattle to the owners’ herds after the expositions.

Edgewater Farm grows their hay on approximately 50 acres and rotate their cattle on another 35 acres of pasture. They purchase additional feed for the show cattle purchased from a local farm supplier.

Corner’s cattle-love emerged at age nine, when he and Brooke, then 11, explored potential clubs to join at the Brant 4-H Rally at the Paris Fairgrounds. Beef Club leader Ron Eadie, along with encouragement from his dad, enticed him to sign up.

“I just said, ‘Oh. Sure.”

He got hooked with his first heifer at the Paris Fair. Mentoring him over the years were John and Tyler Nostadt of Maidstone, Ontario.

“I enjoy connecting and networking with others in the industry, making contacts with like-minded people. I enjoy educating the public at the fairs as there are people who are unaware of the whole beef industry.”

Corner derives additional pleasure from the hands-on preparation of cattle for shows, both on the farm and at the show ring, especially the washing and grooming. “They really appreciate being rinsed on hot days!” he laughed.

This youth developed a routine “show season” with competitions occurring approximately one a month from early spring to the Royal, excepting a pause in May.

Corner’s most recent win happened at the Spring 4Ward Junior Beef Event, held at the Ancaster Fairgrounds in March. Organized by six representatives from the Ontario beef industry, Corner said that approximately 200 cattle were shown this year.

His latest champion at Ancaster is Phyllis, officially known as REIB Phyllis 336, who became the Spring 4Ward’s Champion Angus Female, Grand Champion Overall and the show’s Supreme Animal.

The 4-H Finale Show and Sale at the Rockton World’s Fair provides additional banners for Corner’s wall. Last year’s event, held during the Thanksgiving weekend, saw his steer, Drake win the Grand Champion Market; Drake sold for a record of $11.25 per pound to the Burger Barn at Six Nations. “Our family won over three consecutive years. I am grateful that Burger Barn purchases my winners.”

“I am really, really passionate about this business now, of the showing and managing the cattle,” said Corner. “My whole life revolves around showing cattle, compared with others my age who like sports such as hockey. You can say that cattle are my sport.”

Corner gives back to this show circuit. Besides 4-H, he is involved in the Ontario Junior Angus Association, is president of the Ontario Young Canadian Simmental Association; Youth Leader and a member of the Hamilton-Wentworth Beef Club; Junior Director on the Ancaster Agricultural Society board of directors; treasurer of the OAC Judging Team at the University of Guelph, and a member of the OAC Beef Science Club. He is also owner and practitioner at JC MagnaWave PEMF Therapy.

While he is unsure of how life will be like outside of beef, Corner intends to stay in this business in both his personal and working lives after graduating from Guelph. 


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