Wib Donaldson was a breeder with a clear understanding of the link between commercial production and pure breeding. In both the Shorthorn and Hereford breeds he was renowned for his ability to assess a bull or cow on the hoof, from the ground up, and to see its suitability for improving the breed in a practical direction. As a judge, he gained a global reputation for moving these breeds forward, not just as fancy show cattle but as major genetic resources for the real and changing beef industry.
Wib was born near Pakenham, Ontario, and already by the time he graduated from Kemptville Agricultural College, was an excellent judge of cattle. He worked at the Greens’ renowned Shorthorn farm at Penetang, and then at herds in the USA. To the end of his life he remained a dedicated teacher of young farmers, always ready with a pithy aphorism, never willing to waste words in long speeches. His ability to make simple clear statements made him particularly effective when in other countries working through an interpreter in conducting judging and selection schools.
With the backing and support of his mentor Louis Cadesky, he became the very successful herdsman of the Louada Manor Shorthorn herd near Peterborough, Ontario, which became a major source of breeding stock in the Shorthorn breed, known and respected throughout the world. Louada was the training ground for many young farmers who learned from Wib not only how to select, breed, and care for superior beef cattle, but also how to work hard and long with a clear view of the aims of the business.
Wib was recognized as a Builder of the Breed by the American Shorthorn Association.
In the mid-60’s he went on to establish his own (Hereford) herd on a farm near Peterborough and became a leading breeder and consultant in that breed too. He earned his Master Breeder recognition in the Hereford Association, and was inducted to its Honour Roll.
Wib traveled extensively abroad judging and promoting exports of breeding stock, semen, and embryos in Denmark, Hungary, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and elsewhere. He was a leader in marketing breeding stock, with excellent advertising, catalogues, and integrity. He both bought and sold breeding animals in the U.K. Wib has clearly earned induction into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.