Brian Connor

New Brunswick Inductee - 2023

As a fourth generation farmer, Brian W. Connor has spent 82 years on the land his ancestors cleared in Hawkins Corner, NB.  As a young man, Brian was an industrious helper on the dairy and potato farm, stepping up after the passing of his father.

Upon completion of high school, Brian left the farm to attend Fredericton Business College. He graduated in 1960 with knowledge and experience that would prepare him for efficient, modern farming. During the next few years, Brian worked as chief accountant for a local manufacturer, but remained connected with farming by purchasing six Holstein cattle from his great uncle’s herd.

Brian returned to his agricultural roots in 1963 when he committed to the family farm full-time. He began building his dairy herd under the prefix BRICON, a reduction of his own name. By the following year, his herd had grown with the purchase a family member’s herd. Early on, the farm grew crops and had a few beef cattle, but Brian’s true passion was the breeding and development of Holstein cattle. He practiced targeted breeding of his cattle to high-performance sires, breeding for both beauty and production value.

Brian’s strategic dedication to breeding resulted in one of the outstanding dairy herds in the area, with an impressive number of regional and national awards. His cattle have been named Grand Champion five times during his career, with many more Premier Breeder, Champion, and Reserve Champion honours. When his milking herd was dispersed in 1988, the cattle fetched the highest selling prices in the Maritimes up to that time.

BRICON genetics have been shared beyond the farm through Brian’s export work. Many countries, including the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Japan, and Russia, now boast breeding that originated from his herd. Brian was also instrumental in helping fellow producers find international markets for their own cattle. Between 1983 and 2003, Brian managed 18 Holstein cattle sales in New Brunswick, many hosting international buyers. He also participated in trade missions to Barbados and Cuba with the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture.

Brian’s success has been recognized on provincial and national levels. Holstein Canada awarded Brian the Master Breeder Shield, the pinnacle of success for any member, acknowledging high production and outstanding conformation. The New Brunswick Branch of Holstein Canada conferred their silver tray award in appreciation for his contributions and accomplishments. In 2022, Brian earned his 60-year Veteran Breeder Pin from Holstein Canada.

During nearly six decades of operating what is currently known as Connor Farms, now in partnership with his son Calvin, Brian has grown the operation from 500 acres to 1,800 acres, with 700 acres as cropland and the rest woodland. Brian and his wife Sharon also operated two seed businesses on site, supplying farmers in central New Brunswick. Brian continues to raise Holstein heifers for replacements for other herds.

Community involvement and volunteerism are high priorities for Brian, who has a keen interest in the
4-H program. In addition to donating funds and supplies, he supports youth interested in Holstein cattle by providing calves for their projects, as well as guidance and judging services. He has served on many boards and committees, including the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Animal Breeders Co-op, Eastern Breeders (now EastGen), and spent thirteen years on the Capital Co-operative Ltd Board of Directors, now the Co-op Country Store.

Nominated by Stan Graham in recognition of his exceptional dedication to Holstein breeding and development in New Brunswick, Brian W. Connor is a deserving inductee into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.