The Cattleman of the Year award was recently presented at the annual Lloydminster Zoetis Stockade Roundup.
This year’s winners were Dave and Sheila Crittall of Paradise Hill, in recognition of their contributions to local agriculture. The couple said they were humbled, grateful and even a bit shocked upon receiving news of the award.
“It’s not something that you ever think is going to happen, so when it does it’s very exciting,” said Dave.
“There are a lot of deserving people in the area,” added Sheila, “so we were very honoured.”
The couple have both dedicated their lives to the cattle business, with Dave at one time or another participating in almost every aspect of the industry.
He started out as a cattle buyer before opening Paradise Hill Farm Supply in 1974, a farm and ranch supply store. Then in 1988, he started his own ranch, Crittall Livestock, which reached up to 230 head of cattle.
As for the Stockade Roundup itself, the Crittalls said it was a great time with lots of enthusiasm from everyone involved.
“The last couple of years, because the cattle market has been on the upswing, it’s been very positive and optimistic and there’s been a lot of energy in the show-cattle business,” Sheila said. “It was wonderful. It was really, really good.”
Dave feels that they’ve been “truly blessed” over the years in regards to their business ventures, expressing gratitude toward their customers, sales people and everyone else they’ve dealt with over the years.
“The people who call on us here are the best you’ll find in the world. They’re the salt of the earth type people. It’s been a great business.”
Times have been so good in fact, that the ranch had grown to a point where it was difficult to manage. They thinned their herd down from the 200-plus to just 50 so they could have more time to focus on Paradise Hill Farm Supply.
Also, after being in the industry for so long, the Crittalls are thinking it may be time for someone else to take the reigns.
“At this point, 40 years in, it’s a long time in business and we decided it’s time to sell,” said Dave. “It’s time for somebody else, a young person, to take over and it’s time for us to retire.”