On January seventh, I made the trip from Lethbridge to Jumping Pound Alberta, where I met my CYL mentor Ryan Copithorne, for the first time. It was a beautiful crisp day and as I drove into Ryan’s ranch, I saw ranch hands feeding cattle out in the fields. I met with Ryan in the ranch office, a former bunkhouse, full of western artwork and antiques. I soon found Ryan to be very personable and very knowledgeable. He had a lot of insight in the beef industry and had some unique perspectives.
Previously, we had outlined five main objectives to address during my mentorship. The first and main objective we covered during my visit was to create a personal mission statement. This involved answering a series of thought-provoking questions such as “What do you see as personal strengths and weaknesses relating to the career path you are pursuing?” As well, we discussed at length my future ambitions, and how to set immediate achievable goals to work towards realizing those ambitions. I found this exercise to be very helpful as it organized my thoughts, and allowed me to see the necessary steps to achieve my goals.
We also discussed some marketing and risk management topics such as livestock insurance and hedging, which were also mentorship objectives. I could tell Ryan was very passionate about these topics which reflects why his company,
Cows In Control, is so successful. By the end of our meeting, my head was swimming with information, but we made an enormous amount of progress. I am really looking forward to our next visit and addressing the remaining objectives.