Remembering Dr. Tim Henshaw

Dr. Tim Henshaw never missed an opportunity to promote the Canadian dairy industry and its contribution to this country and the world.

A champion for agriculture, Henshaw, a 1979 Ontario Veterinary College graduate, spent over 40 years as a veterinarian on cattle reproductive health at United Breeders, then Gencor and finally EastGen. He examined more than one million cows during his tenure in the AI industry. Along the way, he worked tirelessly to support young people and help tell farming’s story.

In his retirement, he continued to consult for EastGen in youth events and public relations and as a member of the Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX) steering committee. He was also a highly active supporter of 4-H and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Henshaw died suddenly last week. He was 69.

Henshaw spent his final days doing what he loved to do. He served as master of ceremonies for CDX’s dairy classroom and hosted a breakfast for a room full of smiling farmers who returned to the tradeshow after a three-year absence.

RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin sat down with Henshaw at CDX and recorded this interview. We share it now, knowing that he was a special person to so many. (Story continues after the interview.)

In the discussion, Henshaw shares his passion for the dairy industry and Canadian agriculture, including the role dairy farmers play in making agriculture and food production more sustainable. He also took the opportunity to talk science and genomics and the latest news on how genetic developments will help the industry breed cattle that produce less methane gas.

He was also bullish on the power of high immune response genetics that help identify and produce animals that have 25 to 30 per cent less disease, and changes announced earlier this month to Canada’s Dairy Code of Practice, the first update since 2009.

Here, too, he saw the positive.

“It’s all part of our ongoing commitment to do the very best that we can. And you know, when we do the very best that we can, for every cow of all age, every single day of their life, then we all win because we have clean milk produced from contented cows cared for by caring individuals in an environment of care and understanding and we want to do this close to home.”

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