Born and raised in Oak Lake, Manitoba, Robert Henry (Bob) Gordon became a well-known cattle breeder and life-time promoter of agriculture in Manitoba. At an early age, he had a dream of becoming a registered livestock breeder. He showed and judged 4-H calves and mature cattle at fairs all over Canada and the United States. At these events, Bob met Mary Margaret (Joyce) Honeyman who was born at Fairfax, Manitoba. They married in 1959 and raised five children – Lois, Shirley, Sheila, Lynn and Bruce, who are greatly involved in the livestock industry.
Under the name Kinnaber Cattle Company, the Gordon’s established a successful Shorthorn breeding operation at Souris, Manitoba. To move their breeding herd to larger framed animals, they purchased the American Shorthorn sire, TPS Coronet Leader 21st. Over the years, Kinnaber Shorthorns won many championships at shows across Canada and the United States. This led to the Gordons becoming regular suppliers of Shorthorn bulls to large American ranches. In 1967 they were instrumental in establishing the Manitoba Shorthorn Lassie Association.
In 1969, the Gordons were one of the five founding partners of the famous Bar 5 Simmentals of Douglas, Manitoba. Bar 5 set the trend for the Simmental breed in North America.
In the 1970’s, the Gordons established a herd of registered Polled Hereford cattle. As a director of the Canadian Hereford Association, Bob organized a Field Day at Kinnaber Farms, where the Canadian Junior Hereford Association was formed.
Bob and Joyce organized the founding of the Manitoba Young Cattle Producers Award. Joyce and the entire family are avid supporters of the 4-H program.
From 1985 to 1998, Bob and Joyce travelled North America and Europe selecting superior beef sires for Western Breeders and Alta Genetics, two leading international animal genetics companies. Cattle breeders continue to seek the Gordons’ advice on their beef breeding programs.
The Gordons’ contribution to agriculture and the beef industry has been recognized nationally and internationally with numerous awards including: Builder of the Breed Award in 1970 from the American Shorthorn Association; Legend of the Breed Award from the Canadian Shorthorn Association in 2006 and Bob’s induction into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1995.
Bob has served as a director on a number of Manitoba and Canadian beef breed associations. Recently Bob and Joyce wrote and published a book entitled A Cattleman’s Walk Down Memory Lane, chronicling their lifelong experiences in farming and the livestock industry.
Bob and Joyce Gordon demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the advancement of agriculture. As industry leaders and life partners, the Gordons served as role models for others.