A Westman bull with ties to football and baseball

Thirty-five years of selective breeding pays off

A bull bred by Virden family cattle producers and named for a former Blue Bombers quarterback has found a home with an all-star ex-major-league baseball pitcher. And with the name “Streveler”, the bull has also attracted the attention of Winnipeg news media.

Jesse Nykoliation, of the family run TRI-N Charolais Farms says that this bull is where “everything has all come together from what we’ve been trying to breed.”

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Merv and Joanne Nykoliation have been raising purebred Charolais cattle for 35 years on this farm. “I’m really pleased for my mum and dad,” Nykoliation says.

The 680-kilogram purebred, tagged TRI-N Streveler 971G in honour of Grey Cup winning-QB Chris Streveler sold by auction on March 23. The winning bid came from Cliff Lee, a four-time major-league all-star and 2008 American League Cy Young winner.

TRI-N sold two-thirds of the bull for $45,000. The business retained one-third of all future breeding profits for the finest specimen the family-run operation has produced. The animal was transported to Iowa earlier this month, and is undergoing regular semen collection - a major money generator. Semen has been sold to cattle operations across North America, and as far away as Australia. “He’s undergoing health tests and collecting semen. It will sit in quarantine for 60 days and then his genetics will be shipped all over. There could potentially be 30,000 little Strevelers throughout the world,” Nykoliation said in an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press.

The bull did extremely well on test, reaching a yearling weight of over 1500 pounds. He also has a very strong background in maternal traits with his dam and grand-dam scoring the highest and second highest milk index in Canadian Charolais Association.

In what has traditionally been a white or cream coloured cattle breed, Streveler’s deep cherry red colour has become a sought-after trait. He can produce either red or black calves depending on the colour of the cows he is bred to.

Nykoliation says he is happy with the media attention this sale has garnered. Besides being a boost for TRI-N’s future business, he says this attention will “get city people more knowledgeable about where their food comes from.”


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