ProBUZZ‎ > ‎June '10‎ > ‎

Who Am I?

Hendrick Morsink

I was born in the village of Enter, The Netherlands (Holland), close to the German border.  In 1950 the population of Holland was 12 million people and 4 million cows.  Now the population is 16 million people and still 4 million cows.  You will see later these 4 million cows became very important to me when I got involved in international marketing.

I was married to my wife Anneke for 56 happy years – she passed away 3 years ago. 

We have 2 boys and 2 girls, 12 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

Because I lived close to the German border, we had a close relationship with our German neighbours.  We spoke the same dialect, shopped in Germany, attended the same churches and intermarried among other things.  This peaceful coexistence ended when the war started and the Germans occupied Holland.  Dutch people genuinely appreciate Canada’s role in liberating Holland.

After the war I finished my high school education which had been interrupted.  I then attended the college for tropical agriculture because I was interested in going to Indonesia.  When the Dutch colonies , like Indonesia, obtained their independence from Holland, I changed my mind about this and switched to an agricultural college with a focus on more moderate climates.  It was there I became more interested in animal breeding.

The Canadian government had an agreement with The Netherlands, which made it easy for Dutch people with farm experience to immigrate so that’s what Ann and I did. We arrived in Canada in March 1951. On our arrival we felt like parcels being shipped from one place to another. We were each given a label with our name, which train to board and our destination. Initially we worked as hired help.  I also worked in a factory in St. Thomas making sewer pipes, culverts etc.

In the spring of 1952 I was lucky enough to be hired by a well known purebred Holstein dairy farm in Aylmer.  Through this work I met officials of the Canadian Holstein Association.

I also met the manager of a very young organization in the field of artificial insemination. In 1954 I was hired as an artificial insemination technician and I worked for The Oxford and District Cattle Breeders Association in various capacities for 20 years.

During this time many countries in Europe became interested in Canadian Holsteins and it was not long before I was entertaining foreign guests.

In 1973 Semex Canada was formed as the international marketing arm for the Canadian artificial insemination organizations.  I joined Semex, first as a marketing assistant and special representative for Holland and Belgium and I retired in April 1992 as Senior Marketing Director for Europe and the Middle East. 

This job required me to travel 130 days a year.  Semex became very successful with sales of $80 -$100million a year.  For a few years I also was responsible for Africa but eventually gave that up to have time to spend developing markets in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Throughout my career I found what I knew was often not as important as who I knew. There are many fine people who supported me in my


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