Island Brook Farm
Looking back to 1873, we find the purchase of a tract of land near Island Brook in the Township of Newport, Quebec by John Burns. Subsequent generations included Frederick, Hollis, Fred and now Neil and his wife, Marlene. Purebred Ayrshires arrived on the farm in 1927 when Hollis purchased his first and, since then, their owners have never regretted his decision to invest in the breed. When Neil assumed ownership of the herd in 1992, he was fortunate that his Dad had a clear view and the ability to breed the type of cattle that were productive and had very correct conformation, which provided a solid foundation. Today’s vision is to continue to breed cows which combine high production, high classification scores, and, especially, longevity. Presently, the herd classification stands at 6 EX, 21 VG, and 8 GP, with a production average of almost 9,000 kg. Today, the herd is respected by many for its uniformity and its combination of both type and production. Cow families with deep pedigrees have always been important to the Burns and the D’s are the most predominant. Wilton Dixie EX-2E, who was a finalist in the 2017 Quebec Dream Ayrshire Contest, and her sister Trident Dawn EX-91 4E both contributed greatly to the herd achieving this second Master Breeder title. In her lifetime, Dixie produced over 118,000 kg in 10 lactations and her three daughters in milk are all VG with high records. At the same time, Dawn produced over 80,000 kg in 8 lactations and her 6 classified daughters included 4 VG’s. Naturally, both of these cows have many descendants in the herd, such as Oblique Desire EX-91 2E and Oblique Dana EX, each with 4 lactations totaling over 40,000 kg. Other individuals which have also impacted the herd are Landscape Britta EX-3E, who surpassed 13,000 kg on her most recent lactation, and Pardner Xclaim EX-3E, who is now on her 9th lactation. It is interesting to note that over half the accumulated points were based on lifetime production. Neil and Marlene are the proud parents of two sons who are both interested in farming and excel at achieving any goals that they set for themselves. 2018 promises to be a year of exciting changes for the Burns Family. With both Matthew and Cameron having completed their studies in the Farm Management and Technology Program at the Macdonald Campus of McGill University, plans are underway to integrate Matthew in the home farm and to establish Cameron on the farm of Marlene’s family. With the obvious ambition we see, there is no doubt that Island Brook Ayrshires will be aiming for their 3rd Master Breeder title in the future. Ayrshire Canada is pleased to present this Master Breeder Award to Island Brook Ayrshires Our sincere congratulations!