As senior partner in R.R. Ness & Sons, Douglas Ness guided this internationally famous Ayrshire breeding establishment to its greatest achievements. Cattle from the renowned Burnside herd were exhibited at every Royal Agricultural Winter Fair held between 1922 and 1974. During the last 12 years of this period, Burnside won premier breeder and premier exhibitor honours on 10 and nine occasions respectively …a record that hasn't been equaled at the Royal by any other breeder of any breed of livestock.
In addition to being the dominant partner in the management of the herd, Douglas Ness was actively engaged in importing and exporting. On occasions when Ayrshires were being imported, he pursued a policy of selecting the best animals available in Scotland, to the benefit of the breed in Canada. On the other hand, the cattle that he exported to United States, Latin America, and even to Scotland, the home of the breed, did much to enhance Canada’s reputation as a reliable source of outstanding Ayrshires.
Douglas Ness retired from active business following the dispersal of the Burnside herd on September 29, 1975. At that sale, the 147 head averaged $1,012.22; an all-time high for the breed in Canada.
During his career, Douglas Ness served as president of the Ayrshire Breeders’ Association of Canada; a director of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair; a director of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association; and judge of Ayrshires at most of the leading fairs in Canada and the United States.