Frank Stenger’s life story, and that of his family, is a classic example of what is possible in the agricultural industry within Canada. Born in Eggersdorf, Germany, he moved along with his family to Canada in 1939. Canada was blessed. Frank’s hard work, persistence and smart decisions not only fashioned a good life for the family, but created growth and opportunity for his chosen country.
Frank, and his wife Ruth, bred the world-famous Enniskillen Jersey herd, a Master Breeder herd that has been the source of superior seed and foundation stock for domestic and foreign buyers for over five decades. The Enniskillen Farm was also a summer “home away from home” for countless youth from across Canada and around the world. As a former 4-H and Junior Farmers' member, Frank never lost his zest for working with young people, instilling in them the desire to work hard and grow in their knowledge.
Frank began a lifetime of involvement in breed association activities over 60 years ago, when he was elected as a director of the local Jersey association in the Durham region. During his 35-year tenure as manager of Jersey Cattlemen of Canada, he developed both domestic markets for Jersey cattle and significant export markets for Jerseys and Ayrshires, as well as Suffolk sheep. He was instrumental in opening the Brazilian market to live cattle – a market which saw over 1,000 head of high quality Jersey animals move from Canada between 1986 and 2000. He also led marketing missions to Grenada, Trinidad, Venezuela, Barbados and Dominica. Even today, Frank, in his mid-80s, is influencing others to turn to Canada again for their genetics needs.
An avid traveller, Frank is sometimes known as “Mr. Canada.” He volunteered to represent the country at World Jersey Cattle Bureau meetings in over a dozen countries spanning more than three decades, and also has judged at major shows in Costa Rica, USA, England and Brazil. Frank has a sterling reputation in international Jersey circles as an ageless fount of knowledge, advice, and wisdom, and as a forward-thinker. He cares not only about his work, but also about the people he meets, their families, and their futures.
Known as an outstanding verbal and written communicator, in 2009 Frank published a book on his life, chronicling the trials and triumphs of his immigrant family as they worked together to establish a life and a farm business in a new homeland. The book’s broad sweep of over 65 years of personal experience provides a depiction of the vast changes in agriculture and rural life in southern Ontario.