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  • Norfolk Farms

Shady Lane Hereford Farm

Karl Allen’s family moved to Townsend in 1982. During his high school years, the teenager worked on some local dairy farms, became involved in 4-H where he met some wonderful friends, and discovered a love for farming. He started raising red veal with his dad while still a student.

Karl Allen with a young Hereford calf.

Karl attended Bible School at Christ for the Nations in Texas, graduating in 1991. He attended Fanshawe College and received his Developmental Service Worker and Addictions certificates in 2013. He works as a counsellor and individual support worker at Norfolk Association for Community Living (NACL) and as the pastor at Word of Life Church in Simcoe since 1993.

Karl and Sandra married in 1991; she is a Personal Support Worker and also works at NACL. They are parents of two daughters, Carly and Hannah who were both active in 4-H as youngsters. The girls are now married; there are two grandchildren now and a third on the way.

Karl and his dad went together to rent a small farm and bought a few commercial cattle. Over the next years he made friends within the purebred Hereford community, and in 1993 purchased a few purebred Hereford cattle and continued to build his herd. He bought his current 200 acre farm in 1992. He uses 40 acres for pasture, grows hay on a further 45 acres and rents out the remainder.

Karl’s current herd consists of 16 purebred Hereford cows, a few commercial cattle and a purebred Hereford herd sire. Karl shows some of his cattle at a few local fairs and at the Royal (Royal Agricultural Winter Fair) but does not consider his to be a big show herd. He did have the Reserve Champion Hereford bull at the 2004 RAWF and has done well with some of his females. He has plans to be back there this year.

One of the new calves at Shady Lane Hereford Farm tanking up on mom’s rich warm milk.

Quality heifers from his herd are sold to other breeders while bull calves are raised for beef to local buyers or the stockyards.

As far as future plans, Karl is just enjoying spending time with his grandkids, looking forward to seeing them participate in 4-H and hoping they might want to carry on with the herd someday.

“Life is based on a series of choices ... all of those choices brought me to where I am today,” he stated. 


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