Participant Spotlight

2011
Kelsey Brandon, Mentee
Dr. Calvin Booker, Mentor
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Hayley Rutherford, Mentee
Charlie Gracey, Mentor
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Ryan Beierbach, Mentee
Kim McConnell, Mentor
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Christy Goldhawk, Mentee
Dr. Owen Roberts, Mentor
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Tara Mulhern Davidson, Mentee
Sandy Russell, Mentor
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Virgil Lowe, Mentee
John Weekes, Mentor
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Lyndsay Smith, Mentee
Owen McAuley, Mentor
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Jeff Braisher, Mentee
Brenda Schoepp, Mentor
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Sheldon Kyle, Mentee
Harry Haney, Mentor
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Sarah Anderson, Mentee
Mabel Hamilton, Mentor
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Amanda Rosborough, Mentee
Dr. Allan Preston, Mentor
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Cody Krentz, Mentee
Willie Van Solkema, Mentor
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Allison Porter, Mentee
Brent Difley, Mentor
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Ellen Hondl, Mentee
Chris Simpson, Mentor
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Mark Lyseng, Mentee
Dr. Roger Davis, Mentor
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Becky Fenton, Mentee
Dr. Kee Jim, Mentor
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Kelsey Brandon, Mentee

Biography:
Growing up, Kelsey spent the majority of her time at her grandparents’ purebred Charolais operation near Carbon, AB. She became involved in showing cattle at the age of 10 and was involved with many junior livestock organizations including 4-H, the Alberta Charolais Youth Association, and the Canadian Charolais Youth Association National Board. Kelsey also worked three summers in a 20,000 head cattle feedlot close to her home town where she rode pens and processed cattle.

Kelsey will graduate from Western College of Veterinary Medicine in the spring of 2012.  She then plans to go back to Alberta and work in a mixed animal practice where she can primarily focus on bovine medicine, particularly feedlot health and cow/calf management/production. Kelsey wants to be able to provide consulting services to her future clients in addition to traditional veterinary services.

Through the CYL mentorship, Kelsey hopes to make new contacts and expand her knowledge in the areas of data analysis, record management, genetic testing, nutrition and CCA programs.  Her goal is to pass this information on to producers to help them better manage their herds.

Kelsey is committed to the beef industry and hopes to be involved in it for many years to come; as a veterinarian, a 4-H leader, youth association adult advisor and more. Kelsey feels fortunate to be involved in an industry that consists of such amazing people and that has such a strong future ahead.

Dr. Calvin Booker, Mentor

Biography:
Dr. Calvin W. Booker received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) in 1989 and his Master of Veterinary Science (M.Vet.Sc.) in 1992 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After his internship at the Ambulatory Clinic at New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York in 1990, Dr. Booker completed a residency at the Field Service Clinic, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1992.  From 1990 to 1992, Dr. Booker collaborated on research efforts with Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd. (FHMS) and became part of the FHMS team in 1992 as an epidemiologist, data analyst and production consultant.  Dr. Booker is currently a Managing Partner in the firm, with responsibilities that include heading up research and development.  In addition, Dr. Booker is an Affiliate Faculty Member in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Colorado State University.  During Dr. Booker’s professional career, he has been involved in a variety of mentorship programs.

During Dr. Booker’s professional career at FHMS, he has been involved in a variety of teaching and mentorship programs, including being a partner supervisor for a Mitacs math student research internship, a committee member for an epidemiology Ph.D. student program, the program coordinator for the Food Animal Veterinary Student Feedlot Externship in Alberta, and the facilitator of numerous ad hoc externship programs for senior veterinary students.  In addition, Dr. Booker has been a course coordinator and faculty instructor for numerous one and two day seminars on the use of data for making decisions in cattle production operations, as well as being an author or co-author on more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles, presenting scientific papers at over 150 regional, national, and international conferences and meetings, and completing more than 200 technical reports relevant to the academic field.



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Hayley Rutherford, Mentee

Biography:
Haley’s roots are in British Columbia’s Nicola Valley where her family has ranched since the 1950’s. Hayley has a BSc in Animal Science, completed at the University of Idaho – where she transferred to after 2 years of undergraduate study at the University of Lethbridge.

While at the University of Idaho, Hayley had the opportunity to complete a summer internship with one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest feeders, Beef Northwest. She found this to be a great experience that escalated her interest in the beef industry beyond the cow/calf sector. After graduation and some time spent working at home, Hayley got a job with the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) as an Industry Analyst. She worked with BCCA for nearly 2 years and then moved to Taber, AB to work for Gateway Livestock Marketing in Feeder Cattle Production.

Last spring Hayley was able to purchase some cows and run them on rented ground. She left Gateway in the Fall of 2010 with the hope of returning home on a more permanent basis but the economics of doing so, as well as the stage of succession planning on the family operation, led her to look for another job. As such, she has recently begun work with AFSC as the corporation’s new Livestock Price Insurance Field Analyst for the South Region.

Hayley’s past experiences have tailored her interests in the cattle industry to lie particularly in the business management/economics area, such as profitability, marketing and risk management. She also has great interest in succession planning. Hayley’s ultimate goal is continued involvement in the industry as a producer.

Charlie Gracey, Mentor

Biography:
Charlie Gracey is a livestock industry consultant and former Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. With expertise in the cattle industry and international trade, Gracey has been a key resource for the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, the Canadian Livestock Identification Agency and the Canadian Beef Grading Agency. In 2001 Charlie was inducted into the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame for his dedication and success as a leader in the Canadian Agriculture Industry.


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Ryan Beierbach, Mentee

Biography:
Ryan currently ranches South East of Whitewood, Saskatchewan with his wife, Tania and children. Ryan and Tania operate a 400 head Black Angus based cow/calf operation and a Ranch Supply and Tack store. In 1997, Ryan graduated with distinction from the Agri-Business Program at Lakeland College, then went home and ranched with his parents in the Cypress Hills while working part time as an Ivomec representative for Merial. In the spring of 2002 Ryan and Tania moved to Whitewood to begin their own farming operation. On their ranch, Ryan and Tania are very committed to improving the environment and increasing the sustainability of their operation.  Ryan and Tania are currently part of the Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs) program.  

In addition to their farm in 2006 Ryan and Tania started High Plains Ranch Supply as an alternative to getting off farm jobs due to the challenging conditions in the cow/calf industry.  High Plains Ranch Supply is now a successful business, mainly due to their commitment to customer service, providing the most value for money spent, and focus on high product quality.

It is very important for the Beierbachs as well as other young ranchers to be involved in the beef industry. Ryan served as chair of the Policy and Trade committee on the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association until 2010 and still serves on the board of directors.  He is currently on the Animal Health Committee chair on the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association and really enjoys and values the contacts made as a director in the cattle organizations.

Kim McConnell, Mentor

Biography:
Kim McConnell is a founder and the former CEO of AdFarm, an agriculture-focused marketing and communications firm with clients throughout Canada and the United States. AdFarm is one of the largest agricultural marketing communications firms in North America, and has offices in Calgary, Guelph, Kansas City, St. Louis, Fargo and Sacramento.

In 1984, Kim started the business in the basement of his house with $5,000 and the support of a great wife. In 2001 he merged his business with another like-minded firm to form Adfarm. In 2007 after accomplishing much more than he ever imagine, he stepped down as CEO. Today Kim likes to say that he “just plays”.
Over the years, Kim has led many national and international brand and marketing assignments for many respected companies including Farm Credit Canada, Bayer CropScience, Doe AgroSciences, UFA, RBC Royal Bank, Agrium and Canadian Angus Association. He also played a lead role in branding the City of Calgary and the naming and International branding of EnCana.

In addition to numerous creative and marketing awards, under Kim’s leadership AdFarm was recognized for three years as one of “Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies” and by Canadian Business magazine as on the “Best Places to Work in Canada”.

Kim is also the recipient of many national business awards including finalist for the 2006 and 2007 Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” (Prairie Region); 2006 Canadian Youth Business Foundation “Mentor of the Year”; and the 2005 KPMG “Quantum Shift Award”.

Today Kim is a director on a number of company boards, mentors a number of entrepreneurs, and provides volunteer leadership to many organizations including the Calgary Stampede, YMCA Calgary and the Salvation Army.  Kim is a director of the Alberta Livestock Meat Agency, the Canadian 4-H Foundation and Past-President of the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame. And he recently was named by the Alberta Premier to the board of the Alberta Economic Development Authority.

Raised on a mixed farm in Manitoba, Kim and his family live on an acreage south of Calgary. Kim is passionate about Canada, agriculture, food and the entrepreneurial spirit.



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Christy Goldhawk, Mentee

Biography:
Christy is a PhD student with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary and works as a Research Affiliate with Agriculture and AgriFood Canada. Her current work focuses on how transportation management influences the performance and welfare of beef cattle. In 2007 she graduated as a proud Aggie with a BSc, and honors, in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph. Christy then completed a MSc focused on dairy cattle with the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia in early 2009.

Christy has worked as the Communications Coordinator for the BC Milk Producers Association before being offered her current position in Alberta. Christy strives to excel in all tasks, and has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships throughout her career.

What is most important to her, however, is developing and maintaining a pragmatic approach to challenges facing the livestock industries and ensuring that the public is aware of the realities of food production. She has organized large public agricultural education events in Guelph, Vancouver and around British Columbia. In addition to these events, she has also worked with different inner city groups to incorporate agricultural education into their programs. 

Christy would like to actively participate in furthering the interests of stakeholders within the beef industry, through research, education and policy.  Her areas of interest broadly include management practices, animal health and behaviour, economics and communication.  Christy hopes that the CYL program and her work with her mentor will help her in developing an understanding of her areas of interest and the needs of the beef industry, enabling her to become engaged in the animal agriculture community and bridge the gap between research, producers and the general public.

Dr. Owen Roberts, Mentor

Biography:
Owen Roberts is the director of research communications for the University of Guelph and an adjunct professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science. He founded the University’s student research-writing program called SPARK, an acronym for Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge, whose participants write stories for the University of Guelph Research magazine and other commercial publications, and are also involved in video production.

In the 1980s, Owen was a reporter and editor in Ontario and Alberta. Today, besides his teaching, research and administrative work at the University of Guelph, Owen is active as a journalist, most notably as the agri-food columnist for the Guelph Mercury daily newspaper. You can follow his blog at www.urbancowboy.ca. He is also the secretary general of the 5,000-member International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, and in 2005, he was named an honourary professional agrologist by the Ontario Institute of Agrologists.

Owen holds a Bachelor of Arts (communications) from the University of Windsor, a Master of Science (rural extension studies) from the University of Guelph, and a Doctorate of Education (agricultural education and communications) from Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University. His dissertation title was “A model for student learning in knowledge translation and transfer in Ontario.”

Owen is a native of Mitchell’s Bay (pop. 300), Ontario.



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Tara Mulhern Davidson, Mentee

Biography:
Tara grew up on a mixed farming operation with grain, cattle and hay production south of Meyronne, SK.  She obtained her BSA majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Rangeland Resources from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005. 

She and her husband Ross own and operate Lonesome Dove Ranch, a purebred and commercial Gelbvieh cow-calf operation located southwest of Ponteix, SK.  Ross and Tara have been actively building their herd, which currently consists of 225 mother cows, as well as their grazing resources.

Throughout the year, Tara and her family energetically promote Gelbvieh cattle at major livestock events in Canada and the United States, including exhibiting in major cattle shows.  They market their yearling Gelbvieh bulls together with Ross’ parents at the Davidson Gelbvieh & Lonesome Dove Ranch annual bull sale held each March in Swift Current. 

Tara also works as a Range Management Specialist and has a special interest in land and water resource stewardship, biodiversity conservation, and invasive species management.  She has worked in prairie stewardship and extension with a diverse group of people, including livestock producers, youth and post-secondary students, international delegations, and members of the energy industry sector.

Tara looks forward to the opportunity to be a part of the Cattleman’s Young Leader program, and would like to learn more about domestic and international beef marketing, as well as support and encourage producers who are managing Canada’s valuable natural resources.

Sandy Russell, Mentor

Biography:
Sandy Russell is an independent market and policy analyst and partner in Spring Creek Land & Cattle Consulting. She received both her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan. Following her formal education, Sandy worked for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture as Provincial Beef Economist.

In 2008, she left public service to become a partner in Spring Creek Consulting, a firm providing management & communication services, production & economic solutions, and market & policy analysis to the forage and cattle industries. During the past 10 years, Sandy has become respected for her in-depth knowledge and understanding of the ever-changing dynamics of the cattle business. She provides independent insight into the beef market complex through her weekly market newsletter ‘The Bottom Line’.

Sandy grew up on Spring Creek Ranch, a commercial cattle operation, and continues to remain active in the cattle business, owning and operating Russell Cattle Company along with her husband, Jim.



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Virgil Lowe, Mentee

Biography:
Virgil was born and raised on a feedlot/cow-calf operation west of Nanton, AB. He has recently graduated from the B.Sc. Agribusiness program at the University of Saskatchewan and will begin studying in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary this fall.

While focusing on his education, Virgil remained involved in the cattle industry by working for his dad during the summers on a ranching operation in the Interlake region of Manitoba. 

By combining an agricultural background with a law degree, Virgil hopes to help interpret and ensure the success of regulations and policies that will preserve the long term sustainability of Canadian beef production.

Virgil believes the CYL program is an unequalled opportunity for young people like him to learn practical, industry-specific skills from industry professionals. He plans to utilize this opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the regulatory and business environment in which the Canadian beef industry operates and what can be done by industry stakeholders to promote its long term sustainability. This valuable knowledge will provide insight into how he can utilize his law degree to protect and enhance the Canadian beef business environment.

John Weekes, Mentor

Biography:
A veteran of 40 years in the field of trade policy and negotiations, John Weekes is a senior business advisor with Bennett Jones' Ottawa office providing advice to clients in business and government. He is an active member of the Board of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency.

From 2003 until July 2009 Mr Weekes was senior international trade policy adviser at Sidley Austin LLP based in the firm’s Geneva office and still acts as an adviser to the firm. At Sidley he provided advice to a range of firm clients mostly in the United States and Canada.

Mr Weekes provides strategic advice to clients across a broad range of international trade and other policy matters. He serves on the board or as adviser to a number of non-profit organizations. He is a frequent speaker on the challenges facing the trading system and related political issues.  Mr Weekes participates regularly in conferences on these subjects and contributes articles to newspapers and magazines. 

Mr Weekes was Canada’s ambassador to the WTO and the United Nations offices in Geneva from 1995 to 1999. He was chair of the WTO General Council in 1998. He served as Canada's chief negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including for the side agreements on environmental and labor co-operation. He was ambassador to GATT during the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations and chair of the GATT Council in 1989 and then of the GATT Contracting Parties in 1990. Earlier he served as a senior trade policy official, assisting Canadian ministers at many ministerial meetings. He represented Canada in various negotiations and international trade meetings. 

From 1999 until 2003, Mr Weekes was chair of the global trade practice at APCO Worldwide, a Washington based international public affairs and communications consultancy.



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Lyndsay Smith, Mentee

Biography:
While growing up on a mixed farming operation near Lenore, MB and being actively involved in 4-H, Lyndsay cultivated a passion for agriculture.  Lindsay has graduated with a Herd Health Technology Diploma from Lakeland College and Bachelor of Applied Agriculture Technology and Entrepreneurship Degree from Olds College.

Lyndsay started her career with Canfax as a market Analyst in 2003.  This position allowed her to combine her interest in markets with her love of public speaking and communicating with producers.  In 2006, Lyndsay moved to Okotoks to work for G.K. Jim Farms in cattle procurement and analysis. She then moved to Taber to work at Gateway Livestock Marketing in their Risk Management division, where she analyzed customer risk and implemented risk management strategies. More recently, Lyndsay started her own business, Prime Analytics, which provides data and market analysis on a contract basis to companies involved in the cattle industry. She is also the current chair of the Cattlewomen for the Cure committee.

Owen McAuley, Mentor

Biography:
Owen was born, raised and lives in the McAuley, Manitoba area.  He received a diploma in agriculture from the University of Manitoba. Farming 6000 acres in a mixed operation he recently embarked on an intergenerational transfer with his daughter and son in law. Some of Owen’s accomplishments have included:
  • Rural municipal councillor for 11 years
  • Chaired local vet service board for 10 years
  • Involved in safety net design and implementation
  • Involved in report card on NAFTA
  • Involved on producer payment panel
  • Vice chair of mediation board for 11years  and farmland ownership board for 5 years in Manitoba
  • Western grain marketing  panel member
  • Keystone Agriculture Producer vice chair in 1995
  • Saskatchewan ethanol development committee for 3 years
  • Reviewed Canada Grain Act for federal government in 2003
  • Member of the advisory group on rural affairs for the federal government for 4 years

In recognition of his contributions Owen and his family were nominated farm family of the year in Manitoba in 1991. As well he has received a certificate of merit from University of Manitoba and a commemorative medal from Canada. He was inducted in the Manitoba Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2006. Currently Owen continues to be active on the family farm as well as representing Keystone Agriculture Producers on the Western Grains Standard Committee and is currently vice chair of the Canadian Agriculture Policy Institute.



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Jeff Braisher, Mentee

Biography:
Jeff is a fourth generation beef rancher in the Columbia valley in B.C. Although Jeff loved growing up on the ranch it was a working holiday to New Zealand which truly ignited his passion for the beef industry.  Today Jeff ranches with his father; they run 300 commercial breeding cows and operate a background lot which has capacity for 500 head. They also manage a total of 2000 acres of owned and crown timber land and are involved with Monsanto in their foundations isolated canola breeding program.

In 2008 Jeff acquired his Financial Risk Management Qualifications; he feels this has been of great benefit to the business by helping him to understand some of the relationships the beef industry has to the broader economy. 

Jeff is excited to be a part of the CYL program and is looking forward to meeting people in various facets of the industry and learning more about the innovations happening in the beef industry today.

Brenda Schoepp, Mentor

Biography:
Brenda has lived and loved the agricultural industry for 35 years and has a broad understanding of the issues of the day. She owns and publishes, BEEFLINK, a highly regarded national weekly newsletter on the strategies of beef and beef cattle marketing. Her column “Straight from the Hip” is featured in national and provincial newspapers and magazines. Brenda has co-authored beef cattle marketing and feedlot production publications in Alberta and Saskatchewan and is an advisory to individuals and companies on marketing and grazing management, written several public and private sector manuals and is peer review for both provincial and national initiatives on policy and research. Her consulting company furnishes strategic documents for government and for corporate clients that build great businesses with a wide area of investment and interest. She is currently coach mentoring for three corporate executive individuals in Alberta, research consulting for several private companies, has recently filmed 30 industry web videos, is launching a new interactive web site and continues to bring agriculture into everyone’s life through her dynamic keynote presentations. Known for her in-depth preparation and ability to communicate at all levels, Brenda has coordinated for a First Nations agricultural conference, testified before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and served as director or chair to several provincial and federal boards and commissions with an extensive focus on project and program funding, animal and human health, ecosystem health and research. For her passion and vision she was named by Alberta Venture Business Magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in Alberta and has been nominated for leadership and environmental awards. Brenda developed the leadership series YouLead! for youth and new entrants into agriculture, is program advisory for educational programs at the college and University level and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence (WISE). A professional speaker, she travels extensively in Canada to engage all levels of production agriculture, government and supporting industries in the open discussion on the viability, opportunity and adaptation needs for the future. She is a partner in a cow calf and yearling operation near Rimbey, is invested in food production systems through to retail, remains a strong supporter of the rural economy and is Master of Ceremonies for charity events.


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Sheldon Kyle, Mentee

Biography:
Sheldon was raised on his family’s century farm south of Redvers, SK.  Through active involvement in the 4-H program and the junior Angus and Hereford associations, he developed a passion for the cattle industry.  Sheldon received his BSA from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000 and has gained a sound working knowledge of livestock production and nutrition through his previous employment experiences.

Sheldon is actively involved with his family’s operation, Kenray Ranch, which includes a Purebred Red Angus herd and a Simmental/Red Angus F1 replacement female program.  In addition to his involvement with the family operation, he is the acting Watershed Co-ordinator for the producer-guided Lower Souris Watershed Committee Inc.  This organization actively researches stewardship activities and helps landowners implement beneficial management practices in their operations that safeguard our precious water resources.

Sheldon looks forward to participating in the mentorship program, which will allow him to expand his knowledge of emerging environmental issues and current policy developments facing Canadian beef producers.  In addition, Sheldon aims to develop a hands-on working knowledge of domestic and international marketing of beef cattle genetics and expand the size of his industry network through his involvement with program.

Harry Haney, Mentor

Biography:
Harry Haney (Calgary) has been chairman of the board of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) since 2007. His diverse background in Alberta's agriculture and livestock industry has provided him with insight into many of the issues, risks and opportunities facing the agriculture industry today.

In addition to his business interests, Harry has been involved with several organizations including the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede as a member and vice-chair of the International Agriculture Committee. He was also a director of the Canadian Western Agribition where he served as chair of the International Committee and was a board member of the Alberta Cattle Commission (precursor to Alberta Beef Producers). Harry has an M.Sc. in Agriculture Economics and completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Directors Education Program in 2010.

From the early years as a partner in the family farming business, followed by several years in the agriculture consulting business with Peat Marwick (now KPMG) and Stanley Associates (now Stantec) to the latter years as owner and manager of Independent Breeders Service Ltd. (1990 to 2007), Harry has and continues to be a dedicated supporter of the agriculture industry.


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Sarah Anderson, Mentee

Biography:
Sarah was raised on a farm near Ponoka, AB where her family runs 400 cows and a 600 head feedlot.  The family has dabbled in every aspect of the cattle industry; cow/calf, yearlings, finishers and purebred Black Angus.  Sarah graduated from Lakeland College with a certificate in Ranch and Stock Horse Rider and a diploma in Animal Science Technology, as well as a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Alberta.

Along with her husband, Sarah owns and operates Right Cross Ranch near Kisbey, SK.  They are currently expanding the ranch to accommodate 275 cows, replacement heifers, yearling bulls and a fall calving herd.  They also custom feed and perform a 112 day ADG test on purebred bulls, and work with producers to host sales out of their on-farm sale barn.

Sarah feels that the CYL mentorship program provides a great opportunity for young ranchers be a part of an important transfer of knowledge from the older generation. Through her industry mentorship, Sarah looks forward to meeting new contacts and learning more in the area of beef marketing.

Mable Hamilton, Mentor

Biography:
Mabel Hamilton of Belvin Angus has long been a promoter and leader in the beef industry. She grew up on a Hereford farm in Balzac Alberta and now farms with her husband Gavin and children Colton and Quinn in Innisfail Alberta. Since Mabel started “cowboy politics” 22 years ago, her accomplishments have included:
  • Board member of the Alberta Cattle Commission now called Alberta Beef Producers, while involved with that organization she chaired the Beef Education Association (BEA) and Classroom Agriculture Program (CAP) and the Promotion Committee
  • Past Executive Board Member of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA)
  • Past Chair of the Beef Information Centre (BIC) first women chair
  • Past President of the Canadian Angus Association (CAA) second women president
  • Past President of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) first female
  • Past Chair of the Canadian Cattle Identification Association (CCIA) first woman
  • Worked on the committee that hosted the World Angus Forum at Spruce Meadows
  • Currently represents the Purebred Industry on the Industry Government Advisory Committee (IGAC) a group that oversees the development of a framework for Traceability in Canada
  • Currently President of the Alberta Cattle Breeders Association (ACBA) an organization that operates the Calgary Bull Sale

Although Mabel does not make a big deal of the “first women” stuff it does serve as a motivator for other women to go out and get involved in an industry which at times can be male dominated. Mabel’s mentor has always been her mother who believes that if you belong to an organization you should contribute “not sit like a bump” she would also say, “of course you can do it and you will do it well”. Mabel is excited to be a mentor herself and pass her knowledge on through the CYL program.



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Amanda Rosborough, Mentee

Biography:
Over the past two decades, Amanda’s family has raised commercial Limousin cattle just outside of Lakefield, ON. The farm served as a fulcrum for her involvement in 4-H beef, University of Guelph Junior Farmers, as secretary for the Ontario Limousin Association and her education. Amanda has successfully completed a diploma from St. Lawrence College’s Veterinary Technology Program, BSc majoring in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph and her second year of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

Amanda is currently involved in OVC’s bovine club and serves as President of the Theriogenology and Students of the Canadian Veterinary Reserve clubs. Participation in these clubs enables her to share her enthusiasm, while striving to provide bovine related educational opportunities for fellow students. In addition to her involvement in student clubs, Amanda also serves as OVC’s representative on the Students of Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Executive Board, 2013 rep on the OVC’s Alumni Association Executive Board and as Vice President-External on OVC’s Central Veterinary Student’s Association Executive.

In 2010 Amanda was fortunate to have been selected to participate in the American Association of Bovine Practitioner’s (AABP) inaugural student Quiz Bowl and hoof trimming lab. Other recent honors that Amanda has received include; 2010 Keith Gilmour Foundation Scholarship, 2010 Vetoquinol Scholarship in Bovine Reproduction and the 2010 Grand River Agricultural Society Scholarship.

Through her Professional Mentorship with the CYL, Amanda would like to strengthen her insight into the Canadian Cattle Industry.  She would like to improve her knowledge and exposure to the many facets of the industry such as medicine, production, slaughter, transportation, and food safety that contribute to beef production in Canada.

Amanda’s future goals include contributing back to the organizations that have supported her throughout her veterinary schooling. She would like to engage in executive board roles with AABP, CVMA and the Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners.  In addition, Amanda would like to gain a partnership role in a consulting based veterinary practice or other similar specialized entity, and may pursue graduate studies.

Dr. Allan Preston, Mentor

Biography:
Allan has a long history in the cattle industry and in the veterinary profession. Although now officially “retired”, Allan remains active in both of those areas.

Allan is a 1974 graduate from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. He practised in a mixed animal practice in Hamiota for 21 years, with a focus on beef cattle and horses, and a more detailed emphasis on theriogenology. He owned the practise first as a partner, later as a sole proprietor employing several veterinarians and support staff. Allan was always active in the provincial and national veterinary associations, serving as president of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, chairman of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Board, chairman of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee. He was acknowledged as the MVMA’s Veterinarian of the Year in 1995, as well as receiving the CVMA’s Humane Award that same year. Allan was also the recipient of the MVMA’s Award of Merit in 2006 for his service to the profession and the people of Manitoba.

Allan began farming as a grain and livestock producer in 1975. He began raising purebred Simmental cattle, establishing a well-known breeding herd of 90 females. He became a director of the Canadian Simmental Association in 1987, serving in that role for nine years. He was President in 1993-94. Allan chaired the CSA’s Breed Improvement Committee for several years, while also chairing Bovacan Parentage Inc. and the Saskatchewan Research Council’s Advisory Committee.  All of the Preston family were engaged in the promotion of their cattle, showing and marketing across Canada and international. The herd was dispersed in 2009, although a small group of 25 cows still walks the pastures on the family farm.

Allan joined the MB department of Agriculture in 2005 as the Manager, Veterinary Field Services. He became Director of the Veterinary Services Branch and Provincial Veterinarian in 2000. He was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of the Agri-Industry Development and Innovation Division in 2004, a position he held until his retirement in 2011.

In retirement, Allan continues to operate the family farm, remains active in community activities, and enjoys time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He also finds time to do some contract consulting work with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University of Manitoba, and various provincial governments. Involvement in the CYL program as a mentor is one way to give back to the industry that has been a part of his professional and person life for so many years.



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Cody Krentz, Mentee

Biography:
Cody Krentz was born and raised near Steinbach, MB.  A third generation farmer, Cody grew up ranching with his family on a 600-head Simmental/Angus cow-calf operation.  The family also backgrounds nearly 4300 yearlings, of which Cody owns 350 head.  Cody recently graduated from the University of Manitoba with a degree in Agribusiness.

Because his father is involved in the ownership of the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart, Cody has lifelong experience in the purchasing and selling component of the beef industry. He is currently working at a privately owned risk management business in Winnipeg.

As an active participant in 4-H for 12 years, Cody he realized the need for young leaders in the community, as well as the industry, and is therefore excited to be part of the CYL program.  Through the mentorship program, he looks forward to learning about marketing of cattle, effects other markets have on the price of cattle and the packer and grading perspective of the industry. Learning these market fundamentals through the CYL program will help him to develop into a knowledgeable beef advocate, rancher and businessman, while building industry, business and personal friendships.

Wille Van Solkema, Mentor

Biography:
Willie started his career in the Beef Industry in 1980 at Canada Packers in Winnipeg, Manitoba.   In 1985 he transferred to Canada Packers main beef processing plant in Calgary.   Willie joined Cargill Foods in High River, Alberta in 1990 and held various management positions there as well as a spending two and a half years at the Cargill beef division’s head office located in Wichita, Kansas. In October of 2004, Willie assumed the role of president of sales and operations at XL Foods. After 5 years of running the largest Canadian owned packing business Willie retired from the beef industry in November of 2009.  During his career he sat on the board of directors and executive committee of the Canada Beef Export Federation, the Canadian Meat Council, the Canadian Beef Grading Agency as well as the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.   Willie currently does some consulting for the beef industry and sits as an independent advisor on the board of the Canadian Beef and Cattle Market Development Fund.


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Allison Porter, Mentee

Biography:
Allison grew up on a small mixed farm, located just north of Kinistino, SK.  She and her family operate Porter Simmentals, a red and black purebred Simmental operation named Saskatchewan Simmental Association Purebred Breeder of the Year in 2007.  Allison gratudated in 2004 from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Business.  Although she currently resides in Saskatoon, she still owns cattle back home at the farm.  She further pursued a Business Administration Certificate through the Edwards School of Business and also obtained her Professional Agrologist designation from the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists.

Growing up she was actively involved in both the Meskanaw-Ethelton 4-H Beef Club and the Young Canadian Simmental Association.  Allison is currently an Agriculture Solutions Specialist employed by Blair’s Fertilizer Ltd.

Allison is excited for the eight month mentorship program.  Although she anticipates it will be an intense process, she knows it will be extremely worthwhile.

Brent Difley, Mentor

Biography:
Brent Difley grew up on a farm north of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  He graduated with a B.S.A. from the University of Saskatchewan with an Animal Science Major in 1980.

He joined Elanco Animal Health as a Sales Rep covering Saskatchewan in the fall of 1980 and has been employed with Elanco since that time.  Brent has been a member of the Elanco Canada Management Team for the past 20 years and currently has responsibility for the Beef & Dairy Business in Canada.

Brent remains involved in primary production as a member of a Joint Venture Cow/Calf Enterprise in Saskatchewan.  He resides in Calgary with his wife Shari and two teenage sons.  Brent is a member of the Alta. Institute of Agrologists and a volunteer with the Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee.



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Ellen Hondl, Mentee

Biography:
Ellen was born and raised in the Olds area. She is the third generation on a family grain, domestic hay and cow-calf operation.  Ellen recently completed a diploma in Business Administration at Olds College majoring in both General Management and Accounting.  She will attend the University of Lethbridge this fall to study Business Administration majoring in Accounting.  Upon the completion of her degree, she hopes to earn a CMA designation. 

Agriculture has always been Ellen’s passion.  At the age of 16, Ellen started a purebred cattle business, Best Valley Salers.  Ellen has spent the past years breeding, raising, showing and selling seed-stock.  Ellen has been involved in 4-H, sitting on many committees and holding multiple executive positions.  She has also become interested in environmental conservation.  As environmental stewardship has received more awareness in recent years, Ellen and her family have responded by making changes to their operations.

Chris Simpson, Mentor

Biography:
Chris Simpson is a chartered accountant and partner with MNP.  He manages the Rimbey office and he is also a livestock services - beef specialist with MNP.   Chris shares his enthusiasm for farming with his clients while farming his own 4th generation family farm.  Chris operates a 150 head cow/calf farm near Rimbey with his wife and four kids.  Chris is currently a zone 6 delegate with ABP and also sits on the cow calf council within ABP.  Being an active member of 4-H for 10 years enabled Chris to learn valuable life long skills and create enduring friendships.  Chris is an active executive member with the Bentley Elks Lodge.  In the past Chris was the president of the Medicine Lake Grazing Association and treasurer for the Rimbey & District Crime Watch Association.  Chris' passion for agriculture has allowed him to be active with various organizations to ensure a strong future for this important industry.


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Mark Lyseng, Mentee

Biography:
Raised on a fifth generation beef farm outside Armena, AB, Mark works alongside his family on a commercial cow-calf and grain operation. He is currently finishing a Range and Pasture/Animal Science degree at the University of Alberta. He would like to build on this base, and expand his knowledge of both animal health and seed stock production.

During his time at the University of Alberta, Mark has been very involved in the Agriculture Department.  He has been a member of both the Judging and Agriculture Club, as well as the co-founder and Vice President of the University of Alberta Collegiate 4-H club.  Through the University and various other organizations Mark has become involved with agriculture education.  Agriculture education has given him opportunities around North America and through these experiences he has expanded his knowledge of agricultural industries. For instance, Mark had the opportunity to live in rural Mexico with a farming family for several months, where he came to recognize the diversity of agriculture around the world.

In the future, Mark hopes to return to the family farm and raise purebred cattle. Mark is excited for the year ahead of him and eager for all the opportunities that will present themselves. He sees a bright future for the beef industry and is glad to be a part of it.

Dr. Roger Davis, Mentor

Biography:
Dr. Roger L. Davis is the President and co-founder of Davis-Rairdan Embryo Transplants Ltd. and its international marketing arm, Davis-Rairdan International. 

Dr. Davis graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979.  Complementing this education is an extensive background in the purebred and commercial beef cattle industry. Dr. Davis was raised in a family actively involved in the purebred Angus and Polled Hereford cattle business. The family also owned a large feedlot. 

From 1983 to 1989, he independently owned and managed a purebred beef cattle operation. He served as president of the Alberta Hereford Association and has been sought after as a judge for major beef cattle shows in North America and abroad. 

Dr. Davis has traveled extensively in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Colombia, China, Brazil, Russia and Hungary.  Visits involved implanting Canadian embryos and marketing Canadian genetics in conjunction with training veterinarians in the respective countries in the field of embryo transfer. Davis-Rairdan is one of the most recognized companies, internationally and domestically, in the beef cattle embryo transfer industry.

Dr. Davis served as President of the Canadian Embryo Transfer Association from 1997-1999 and as a director from 1994-2003 & 2006-2009. He is currently executive director of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council.



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Becky Fenton, Mentee

Biography:
Becky was born and raised on a large purebred Hereford and registered quarter horse ranch.  She graduated with an Agriculture Business Entrepreneurship Diploma from Olds College and completed her Bachelor of Applied Science and Agribusiness Degree with honours in 2006. She has also acquired Green Certificate Cow Calf Technician and Certified A.I Technician accreditation.

Her passion for the agriculture and cattle industry has been evident and instilled from a young age. She has been involved with her local 4-H Beef Club, held executive positions within the Alberta Junior Hereford Association and was an active Canadian Junior Hereford Member.

Becky is an active Canadian Hereford Association member and participated in various cattle exhibitions including Farm Fair and Calgary Bull Sale. She is currently the Treasurer for the Farmfair Hereford Show and Hereford Genes Event. Professionally, Becky is an Account Manager for AFSC and the Cattle Price Insurance Program Representative for the St. Paul office.

Through the learning opportunities with the Cattlemen’s Young Leader Mentor, she hopes to gain knowledge and confidence for her future endeavours in the cattle industry. Becky feels this opportunity with the CCA will cultivate important network contacts that will continue to benefit her personally and professionally throughout her career.

Dr. Kee Jim, Mentor

Biography:
Dr. G. Kee Jim received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) in 1983 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  He is a founding partner of Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd. (FHMS), and the 2008 recipient of the American Association of Bovine Practitioner’s Practitioner of the Year award.  Dr. Jim is also a past recipient of the American Association of Bovine Practitioner’s Beef Award for Excellence in Veterinary Preventative Medicine, the Schering-Plough Animal Health Veterinary Award from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, and the Canadian Animal Health Institute Leadership Award.  Dr. Jim is currently the CEO and Managing Director of Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd.

Kee Jim’s companies, G.K Jim Farms and affiliated companies Cattlinc Inc, Silverado Cattle Inc., Taweel Cattle Company Ltd., Korova Feeders Ltd., are major players in the Canadian cattle industry through ownership of cows, backgrounding cattle and feedlot cattle.  In addition, Kee has served on the board of directors of several beef industry groups including the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Livestock Identification Services Ltd, Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and Canada Beef Export Federation.  Recently, he has served as Board Chair of the Canada Beef Export Federation and Vice Chairman of the Alberta Cattle Feeder’s Association.  Currently, he serves on the board of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency.


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