Ross Small

We are saddened to share the passing of my dad, Ross Small, on Thursday, April 21st. Dad and my mom (Betty) founded Dora Lee in June of 1973, with the first Simmentals arriving in the spring of 1974. Mom and Dad had a mixed farm that consisted of purebred Duroc and Landrace hogs alongside the Simmentals, but it was the cattle that were truly Dad’s passion. With the purchase of ‘the farm next door’ in December 1992, the cow herd expanded, the pigs wound down, and Dad was able to focus on his goal of building his Fleckvieh herd.

Dad was always focused on the future, and would regularly ask the question ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ He always believed that true cattle breeders focused on where they thought the breed needed to go, instead of chasing what happened to be popular at the present time. Genetic improvement is so slow in cattle, the five year window ensured that steps taken now would align with those longer term goals. Dad’s own focus for Dora Lee was on three things: He was dedicated to the idea of 100% Fleckvieh, and spent hours going back through pedigrees to ensure they all originated in Germany or Austria. He was confident that polled cattle were the future, and began incorporating the gene into his program shortly after the first polled Fleckvieh import bulls arrived in Canada in the late 1990’s. He was also a believer in ‘keeping on top of change’, and utilized DNA technology to measure for feed efficiency / RFI. He was convinced that this would be the next, long term evolution to the cattle industry, and as always wanted to be there when the time came to have already genetically selected for the future demands of the market. While the priority of Feed Efficiency may still be in the future, the sales results from this past spring would certainly suggest that his early ideas regarding polled was right on the money. Those five year plans may take more than five years, but they give focus and shape to the direction of an operation; allowing it to move forward.

Mom and Dad enjoyed the opportunity to travel for cattle, and meet new people along the way. For many years, Dad really enjoyed ‘Fleckvieh Week-end’ in Alberta – but it was always the Friday night social (prior to Fleckvieh Fest the next day) that was his favourite part of the week-end. The opportunity to visit, socialize and break bread with his fellow breeders was something not to be missed! He enjoyed his visits to the United States, Scotland, and the World Simmental Congresses in Germany, Australia and Calgary. As much as those trips revolved around cattle, it was always the people they met that made the lasting impressions. Dad enjoyed a good joke, but also really enjoyed getting to know people, especially those just starting out with Fleckvieh. Even as they stuck much closer to home over the past few years, he continued to study catalogs, making ‘his pick’ of every female sale, and always noticing when ‘Dora Lee’ would appear in a pedigree. He was quite tickled to see our high selling bull from this spring be a ‘Dora Lee’ grandson, and reminded me several times, (both before and after the sale) that it was also ‘his pick’. It only took a pedigree or a prefix to trigger a conversation on the people behind the cattle with whom he built lasting relationships.

One of the cool things about cattle is that the prefix’s of quality cattle stand the test of time.  While we will miss my dad, a consistent reminder of his passion and legacy will live on in the name ‘Dora Lee’.


Dennis Small

Dora Lee’s 2021 Heifer Calves

Most years we have kept most of our heifer calves till spring when we would do a final selection of heifers before breeding. Finding new homes for the most promising calves in the fall greatly reduces our winter work load and has become goal for us. So here is a look at some of this year’s group.

Paige 7J – SOLD!

Paige’s sire is Equinox and Dam is Princess 31W – a King Arthur daughter. She is polled. SOLD! Thank-you Dwayne Horst / Dwayann Simmentals!

Leona 1J

Leona is sired by Guerrero and her dam is Leah 74Z – an Equinox daughter. She is polled.

Ava 16J

Ava is a Jackson calf out of Adeline – an Eclipse daughter. She is polled.

Cora 2J

Cora is sired by Dora Lee’s Jackson 75G and her dam is Courtney 22X -a Scorpio daughter. She is polled.

Jennie 6J
Josie 5J

These 2 calves are twins sired by Guererro and out of Janine 75Y – a Canadian Siegfried daughter. They are polled.

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick update to let everyone know we are still breeding cattle.   As life becomes more challenging, we don’t get to all the cattle events that we have in past years.   Despite the ongoing pandemic, we were blessed with a great summer – lots of heat, enough moisture and a most enjoyable time with our family.  We had a great visit when everyone from Alberta to Scotland and in between were home to Dora Lee in August!

Our cows have done well for us this year. Everything is polled now (except for our one King Arthur cow) which makes for less management, and we continue to right-size our herd to what is workable for us.  Our genetics are being made available by private treaty as we look to reduce our numbers. Having our heifer calves go to New Brunswick as a package in the fall of 2020 certainly made for fewer chores last winter.

The old cowboy and I are truly blessed to have the wonderful support of our family and are able to continue to enjoy farm life with our Fleckviehs here at Dora Lee.

Thank you for listening,

Ross and Betty

By doraleepuppies

It’s Time


Fay nursing '19DSC02261

 Our cows are all bred back, calving is complete, it’s time for this old cowboy to spend time sitting on our veranda watching  our Fleckviehs do what they do best.  

It is a wonderful time of  year for Betty and Ross here at Dora Lee . We have been breeding Fleckvieh since 1979. No, we have not bred a perfect bull or a female yet, but that will not keep us from trying. And guess what, we are still trying to figure out how to do that after all these years.   Breeding Fleckviehs is a challange – something we both very much enjoy.

But now it’s time for us to wait, and watch this year’s calf crop develop and look forward to how our breeding selections turn out in the spring.

Thank you for listening.

 Betty and Ross

By doraleepuppies

Here it is Christmas


As the saying goes, when you are having great times, the time goes flying by.

Betty and I are extremely blessed, we have health and family, a way of life we chose and really what more could any person in their right mind ask for.

Supper in FloridaDSC01992

Working with our Fleckvieh breed, meeting and talking to Fleckvieh breeders from coast to coast here in North America is most certainly not only a privilege but also an honour.

We have been blessed with many new and former customers over the years.

Grand River Simmentals, Cayuga, Ontario – herd sire

Leonard Nuhn, Charlton, Ontario – herd sire

Arnold Eising, Jarvis, ON – 3 bred heifers

Select Sires Indiana, USA  – 3 herd sires

Dennis and Jeanne Small – herd sire

To each  everyone out there have, enjoy the season.


Betty and Ross

By doraleepuppies

Introducing Reanna 9F



Introducing   Reanna 9 F

When we received our catalogue for the Ontario Simmental Solution sale and reviewing it, we became excited about lot 10.

We had a look the night before and everything we look for in a heifer, Reanna had it all. Femininity, neck extension. quiet temperament a nice udder and she was polled. Wow!

We were successful in the sale. We are excited for her future here at Dora Lee. Her sire was imported into Canada back 1984 by John Wolfe.

Thank you to up and coming Fleckvieh Breeders, Ann and Dwayne Horst for breeding this heifer and consigning Reanna to the Solution sale.

By doraleepuppies

Summertime at Dora Lee

Haying is finished – driest we’ve ever had it, our last bull left for the US this week, calves are growing well and looking good and just a few keepers left in our bred heifer pasture.

Yes, times are great – although a good rain would be greatly appreciated. We are really looking forward to vacationing with all our family this summer. It should be lots of fun and make for some wonderful memories.2018 bred heifersDSC_1205                                           Our ladies on the move – 5 to a new home

Thank you for following our blogs.

Full Blood Fleckieh genetics at their finest.

By doraleepuppies

We are “living Our Dream”

Cows going to grassDSC_3919


Well, here it is May 25th. We turned our Fleckviehs out this morning. Our bred heifers are in their pasture, cows with heifer calves at side are out and our cows with bull calves are in a separate pasture.

Our herd sires are back in our bull facility with their work completed for this year.

It is now time for Betty and Ross to spend some time sitting on our veranda watching our Fleckviehs do what they do best.

Bull sales have gone really well – one of our youngsters is working in a purebred breeder’s herd in Alberta. Another one has been purchased by Select Sires in Wisconsin and their plans are to export his semen to Turkey. We have also had interest in 2018 bull calves for herd sire potential next year.

Betty and I really enjoy our life style here at Dora Lee. Farming was our decision back in 1973. It was our choice to raise a family here. We have had great satisfaction in the experiences our livestock have given us over the years.

Thank you for listening

By doraleepuppies

Polled Flechvieh – coming of age

Eclipse head shot

Back about 1987 Betty and I along with our son Dennis had a discussion on the pros and cons of introducing polled genetics into our Fleckvieh herd. The next question was just where do we start?

The general opinion in the industry at the time was that polled cattle had no butts in them and they also gave up average daily gain. But our customers were looking for polled bulls.

We have a position that when folks say you can not do something, we say, ” just watch us”. Now just where do we start? An imported polled bull Eisenhertz, would take the horns off if we could retain the butt and the gain of the cow in his offspring. So we started out by breeding one of our best cows, Frauline, to Eisenhertz and got a really nice polled heifer – Dora Lee Elexis . The next step was to breed her to Smithbilt Molson 21M to put more of the horned quality in the mix. We had seen Molson and were impressed with his quiet disposition and overall soundness.

Luck was on our side. Elexis presented us with a polled bull we called Eclipse. We were on our way towards our goal. Were we excited? Yes, big time! After we had collected semen on Eclipse, we sold him to our friend and neighbour David Lyons. Eclipse is now 13 years old and still going strong. We have sold his semen into several different countries.

In the fall of 2017, our son Dennis sold 2 heifers bred Eclipse, as high sellers in The Fleckvieh Equation sale in Alberta. We can proudly say Eclipse has made his mark big time in our breed – a proven calving ease bull.

Equinox at 1 year

His best known son, Equinox, is also out there making his mark and is homozygous polled.

After 40 plus years of breeding cattle, we have never stopped learning. Breeding quality cattle is our Passion, our way of life here at Dora Lee.

THANK YOU for listening

By doraleepuppies

2018 Herd Sire Prospects


We have these 2 young bulls available as Herd Sire prospects. They are both polled bulls, developed on limited grain and full fed hay ration.

Jackson DSC_0689

Dora Lee’s Jackson FF75E was born Feb. 5, 2017 at 84 pounds. Jackson is Sold

His sire is Dora Lee’s Phantom – an Anchor D Viper son out of Bar 5 Maria who we have used extensively in our herd with excellent results.

His mother is Dora Lee’s Janine – a very productive Canadian Sigfried daughter.

Sandy DSC_0681


Dora Lee Sandy FF36E was born Feb. 12,2017 at 96 pounds.

Sandy is also sired by Phantom and his mother is an Equinox daughter who has always brought in an excellent polled calf.

By doraleepuppies