Participant Spotlight

2012
Katie Wood, Mentee
Reynold Bergen, Ph.D., Mentor
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Amy Mayner, Mentee
Ryan Beierbach, Mentor
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Kerry Hyatt, Mentee
Anne Dunford, Mentor
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Jake Meyer, Mentee
Arno Doerksen, Mentor
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Cole Bailey, Mentee
David Andrews, Mentor
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Ashley Shannon, Mentee
David Chalack, Mentor
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Tyson Lowe, Mentee
Don Armitage, Mentor
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Brodie Haugan, Mentee
Ryan Thompson, Mentor
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Mike Nadeau, Mentee
Rob Meijer, Mentor
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Joanne Solverson, Mentee
Linda (Toby) Oswald-Felker, Mentor
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Eric Buyer, Mentee
Travis Toews, Mentor
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Erika Strande, Mentee
Erika Fossen, Mentor
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Jeffrey Yorga, Mentee
Chantelle Donahue, Mentor
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Ryan Hulburt, Mentee
Rick Wright, Mentor
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Travis Ebens, Mentee
Jim Turner, Mentor
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Katie Wood, Mentee

Biography:
Katie Wood is a PhD candidate in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Guelph where she is studying beef cattle nutrition and molecular physiology. Her research is focused on developing a better understanding of metabolic factors which may influence feed efficiency in beef cows. She also completed a BSc (agr.) majoring in Animal Science before pursuing an MSc in ruminant nutrition, with research focusing on alternative feeding strategies for the feedlot and cow/calf producer.

She has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and fellowships, including the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada Scholarship, Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology as well as the ILC Calgary Travel fellowship in 2010 and the ILC Denver Fellowship in 2011.

She has been an active member of 4-H in a variety of clubs and volunteers her time as a 4-H club leader. Previously she had served as the National Vice-President and Executive Officer of the Young Canadian Simmental Association (YCSA), where she also served for many years as Ontario President. She also served as Director on the Ontario Simmental Association and is the current Adult Adviser for the Ontario YCSA. In 2001, Katie started her own prefix “Red Ribbon Livestock” and focuses on breeding high quality registered Simmental cattle and Polled Dorset sheep.

Reynold Bergen, Ph. D., Mentor

Biography:
Reynold provides scientific and industry expertise to the BCRC and Beef Science Cluster, working with industry to identify research priorities, review research proposals and scientific reports, and engaging with industry and research experts on an ongoing basis. To ensure producers have access to current research information, he develops factsheets for projects funded through the BCRC, and writes articles that are available through the CCA, provincial beef organizations, various ag media outlets and BeefResearch.ca. Reynold also works to gather and provide relevant research-based information for industry, public and government communications on specific issues.

Reynold received a B.S.A and M.Sc. in Animal Science from the University of Saskatchewan, and Ph.D. from the University of Guelph. Reynold has worked as a technician, research associate and post‐doctoral fellow at the universities of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Guelph, and AAFC Lethbridge in areas ranging from live‐animal carcass evaluation of beef cattle, cold‐weather physiology of ruminants, genetics, and feeding behavior, in addition to work in technology transfer and extension with both government and private industry.


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Amy Mayner, Mentee

Biography:
Amy Mayner is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture majoring in Animal Science and hopes to pursue a career that will satisfy her keen interests in both beef production and the meat industry.

As a previous member of her local 4-H beef club she worked on a total of twenty-four projects over the eight years that she was a member. This spurred on her interest in learning more about cattle feeding and her passion for the show ring that led her to become an active participant in cattle shows after she left 4-H. She has shown cattle at both Farm Fair International and the UFA Steer Classic at the Calgary Stampede. Her steers have won first place honors in her class each year at the Quality Beef Competition at the Stampede. In addition to participating in show cattle she also partook in the 2010 Livestock Evaluation Course that was sponsored by the Calgary Stampede and attended the International Livestock Congress in Denver, Colorado in 2012. She found theses respective events to be both an enjoyable and educational experience.

Looking forward she plans to expand her herd of twenty beef cattle and is passionate about making a difference in the beef industry. She feels that her participation in CYL will help her gain a new perspective and build better relationships within the industry. She is excited to work within the cattle industry alongside other professionals and looks forward to sharing their knowledge and experience with others.

Ryan Beierbach, Mentor

Biography:
Ryan currently ranches South East of Whitewood, Saskatchewan with his wife, Tania and children, Lara, Rana, and Jace.  Ryan and Tania operate a 400 head Black Angus based Cow/Calf operation and a Ranch Supply and Tack store.   Ryan grew up on a ranch in the Cypress Hills of South Western Saskatchewan, made up of Native Prairie with a small amount of irrigated hayland used for growing feed. In 1997, Ryan graduated with distinction from the Agri-Business Program at Lakeland College, then went home and ranched with his parents, Ross and Heather, for a few years.  Ryan also worked part time for Merial as a producer rep. for Ivomec.  Ryan moved in with Tania on a small ranch, rented from his parents at Irvine, Alberta in 1999 and continued working for Merial and for Medicine Hat Feeding Co. auction market in the fall.  In the spring of 2002 Ryan and Tania moved to Whitewood, bought some marginal cropland, fenced it, seeded grass and started custom grazing yearlings as well as a small herd of owned cows and have since moved to a Cow/Calf and backgrounder operation. 

 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 young ranchers to be involved in beef industry organizations to help ensure that operating conditions are as favourable as possible for the beef industry in the future.  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.  Ryan also serves on a committee dealing with Regulatory Co-operation Council Initiatives to improve regional cross border trade as part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region.   He is currently the Environment Committee chair on the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, chaired the Animal Health Committee in the past, and really enjoys and values the contacts made as a director in the cattle organizations.

Ryan is a graduate of the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program and is currently serving as a mentor in the program.  As part of the CYL program, he completed the Masters of Beef Advocacy program administered by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

On their ranch, Ryan and Tania are very committed to improving the environment and increasing the sustainability of the operation.  This will be critical for the success of their ranch in the future.  Ryan and Tania are currently part of the Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs) program.   This is a project in the Pipestone Creek Watershed that is studying the environmental and economic benefits of Beneficial Management Practices that have been implemented by Ryan and Tania and other producers as well as working on ways to measure them.  The results will help all producers better understand the role that they play as caretakers of the land and water in rural Canada, and help producers to improve their operation and the environment that they operate and live in for future generations.



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Kerry Hyatt, Mentee

Biography:
Kerry Hyatt holds a Diploma in Agribusiness and is currently perusing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness at Olds College. Her passion for cattle and agriculture grew out of her involvement with 4-H and the family cow/calf operation near Devlin, Ontario. She has worked in many areas of the beef industry: pens checking the health status, in the animal health care industry as a research technician for large feedlots and as an administrator for a national certified beef production program. Currently she is putting her skills to use as a knowledge broker for the industry, working as a Conservation Technician for the County of Warner while continuing her education.

She 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.

Through her Mentor, she hopes to gain knowledge and confidence for her future endeavors in the cattle industry. She feels this opportunity will cultivate important network contacts that will continue to benefit her personally and professionally throughout her career.

Anne Dunford, Mentor

Biography:
Anne Dunford is a Market Analyst for Gateway Livestock Exchange based in Taber, Alberta and assists Gateway customers in the area of market intelligence and strategy planning.  Anne is also the President of Cattle Trends Inc., a company that consults for companies and individuals in the cattle business.  Prior to Gateway Livestock, Anne was the Senior Market Analyst with Canfax, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, for 21 years providing members with market information and analysis.  In the early 1980’s Anne worked for the Alberta Cattle Commission as a market information officer, and the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association.  Anne is a Board Member on the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency charged with “being a catalyst in the development of a profitable and internationally competitive livestock and meat industry”.  Anne also sat on the Statistics Canada Advisory Committee on Agriculture and spent over 20 years as a volunteer at the Calgary Stampede. 

Originally from BC, Anne moved to Edmonton in 1979 and attended Grant MacEwan College.  After spending over 30 years working and residing in Alberta, Anne is a new resident of Saskatchewan venturing into the ranching business in Eastend.



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Jake Meyer, Mentee

Biography:
Jake Meyer attended Montana State University; where he studied Business Management and Entrepreneurship.  He grew up on a large cow/calf and yearling operation with his grandfather in southern Montana, which instilled the skills and values that he still carries today.  After graduating he went into the oilfield full time working all over the United States to eventually become a Rig Manager at the age of 22.  As a leader in the industry, Jake was offered the opportunity to help lead a new contract in Rio Gallegos, Argentina where he oversaw several new rigs that used the latest technology. In 2009, Jake shifted gears and he and his wife Tanya made the decision to go into ranching full time. They operate Meyer Cattle, Inc. A 150 head cow/calf operation which produces commercial forage for a number of different markets and offer custom feeding.
Arno Doerksen, Mentor

Biography:
Arno was elected to his first term as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Strathmore-Brooks on March 3, 2008. Prior to his service as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Arno was the owner/manager of a farming/ranching business for over 20 years, which included purebred and commercial cattle production, feedlot management and irrigated crop production. 
Arno chaired the Alberta Beef Producers’ organization through the BSE crisis from 2003 to 2004 and has travelled internationally as a representative of the Alberta and Canadian livestock industry. 
In addition to his regular duties as MLA, Arno currently serves as Chair of the Standing Committee on Community Services and as a member of the Private Bills Committee and the Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing Committee. 
Arno has been very active within his local community and farming community at large. He has been a member of the following organizations:
  • Alberta Beef Producers Chairman from 2002 to 2004
  • Canada Beef Export Federation Chairman from 2005 to 2008
  • Gem Grazing Association Chairman
  • Eastern Irrigation District Grazing Advisory Committee Chairman
  • Gem Curling Club
  • Local church board
  • Gem Home and School Association
  • Camp Evergreen
  • Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Board member
  • Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Vice Chair
  • Canada/Alberta Livestock Research Trust, Board Member
  • Livestock Identification Services, Board Member
  • Arno was named one of the 50 most influential Albertans in Alberta Venture in 2004 and received a 10-year leadership award from the Canadian 4-H Council.

Arno and his wife, Wanda, live in Gem, Alberta.


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Cole Bailey, Mentee

Biography:
Cole Bailey was raised on a ranch in the Pritchard area around Kamloops BC. He grew up working cows and horseback in the big range country of the South Thompson Valley.

Shortly after high school he settled into the family run commercial cow/calf operation. He recently purchased a share of the ranch from his grandmother who has been an invaluable source of knowledge helping him grow the ranch and manage its large grazing leases.  In 2011 he was elected President of the Pinantan Pemberton Livestock Association. Looking forward, he is interested in current and future policy development and how it will impact producers in western Canada and has a keen interest in grassland conservation and environmental sustainability.

David Andrews, Mentor

Biography:
And the excitement continues.

Appointed to Irrigation Council in 2011. Mr. Andrews, together with his wife, run a mixed farming operation at Bow City. Enterprises consist of dry land grazing and grain production, irrigation for forage production and pasture and a cow-calf herd. The farm has developed extensive grazing programs including winter grazing for the cow herd, as well as a back-grounding feedlot and offers a custom yearling grazing service. Mr. Andrews chaired the Alberta Cattle Commission (now the Alberta Beef Producers) in 1993/94 and was president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association in 1996/97. Mr. Andrews served as a member of the Water Management Review Committee, Bow River Water Quality Council and Utilities Consumers Advocate Advisory Council. Mr. Andrews is currently president of the Bow City Landholders Protection Committee and chairman of the Canadian Cattlemen Market Development Council.


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Ashley Shannon, Mentee

Biography:
Ashley Shannon holds a BSc. In Agriculture, Animal Science major with distinction from the University of Alberta and is currently enrolled at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, where she will graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in June 2012. She was raised on a family farm east of Innisfail, Alberta where her family raises purebred cattle. After graduation she will be returning to Central Alberta to join a rural veterinary practice where she looks forward to helping producers maintain healthy profitable herds by providing consulting and traditional veterinary services. She also continues to be involved in her family’s purebred operation and looks forward to expanding the families operations in the near future.

She has always had a passion for agriculture and at an early age she was actively involved with her local 4-H Beef Club, the Alberta Junior Maine Anjou Association, University of Alberta Agriculture Club and the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners.

She is excited to be involved in the CYL program and looks forward to serving the agricultural industry through her veterinary career as well as volunteering with youth programs such as 4-H and Classroom Agriculture.

Dr. David Chalack, Mentor

Biography:
Dr. David A. Chalack is a veterinarian and owner/partner and president of Rocky Mountain Holsteins Inc, as well as the Canadian Sales and Marketing Director with Alta Genetics Inc. based in Balzac. Dr. Chalack is the past President for the Calgary Stampede.He also serves as a Director of Horse Racing Alberta, on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the new University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine Faculty and on the Board of Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Livestock Genomics. Chalack is also a member of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors. He previously held the position of director of the Canadian Livestock Genetic Exporters Association. He is also an official judge with Holstein Canada and has judged in more than 14 countries.

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Tyson Lowe, Mentee

Biography:
Tyson Lowe holds an Agricultural Business degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He is a third generation rancher in Nanton, Alberta and a sixth generation in Southern Alberta.  Early on in his youth he dabbled in the yearling business and ever since his interest in agriculture has grown. Before attending university he worked at his family’s feedlot of 5000 head. During university Tyson developed an operating interest in ranching and grain farming operations from which Tyson continues to work in the agricultural sector. Tyson looks forward to the opportunities that Agriculture in Canada and the CYL program will afford him and is planning to grow and diversify his operations in the agricultural sector.
Don Armitage, Mentor

Biography:
I was born in 1950 and raised on a mixed farm in western Manitoba. I took Grade 1-12 in Miniota, Manitoba. I took 2 years of pre-vet at the University of Manitoba and the obtained a DVM degree at the University of Saskatchewan, graduating in 1974. I married Sandra Heise in 1974 and we are coming up to our 38th anniversary. I worked at Shoal Lake Vet Clinic in Shoal Lake, Manitoba from 1974-76 and then went into partnership with classmate Terry Hunt at Sundre, Alberta until 1985. In 1985 we moved back to Manitoba and I went into partnership with a cousin on the home farm. Our enterprises were cash crops, cow-calf and stockers. I worked part time at 2 local vet clinics until 1992 and then terminated my veterinary career. We are active participants in many community activities as were our 3 children. We now have 4 grandchildren. I was a director on the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association form 1989-1994. I was a founding member of the Reform Party in 1987 and was active in the local constituency association until the late 90’s. We were the first farmers to use the Mcleod Harvest system and helped develop and test it from 2000-2004. In the late 90’s I developed a passion for grazing management and attended many seminars and tours on the subject. We were the first in Manitoba to start producing and direct marketing grass-fattened beef. In 2003 I took the Ranching for Profit course and then participated in their Executive Link program for 6 years. My cousin and I split our operation in 2004 and I become a grass farmer. I operated 2500 acres of owned and rented pasture. I got into management intensive grazing and my enterprises were cow-calf, custom grazing, custom feeding, stockers and direct marketing. I bought all my hay. I tried for several years to either rent or buy more land within a reasonable distance in order to get big enough to afford full time hired help, but was unable to do so. In 2009 I rented out the farm and went to work as Ranch Manager on the Mattheis Ranch north of Duchess, Alberta. This ranch was donated to the University of Alberta in 2010 for rangeland research, and I now am a U of A employee.

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Brodie Haugan, Mentee

Biography:
Brodie Haugan holds a diploma in Agribusiness from the University of Saskatchewan. He is a fifth generation farmer  and was born and raised on a mixed farming operation and hopes to continue the tradition of the strong agricultural business and lifestyle that has been passed down to him. He currently works alongside his father and grandfather from whom he learned the importance of innovation, education and a strong work ethic.

At a young age he started playing volleyball and continued to play well into university. From this he came to appreciate the value of leadership and commitment and how those skills can strengthen yourself and those around you.

The CYL program has created endless opportunities for young leaders within the Canadian Cattle Industry and he is grateful for the opportunity within the mentorship program to be surrounded by individuals that are so positive, energetic and knowledgeable. Looking forward he looks to broaden his understanding of marketing, backgrounding, finishing and making good use of programs available to producers. He also hopes to gain the practical and theoretical knowledge required to grow a small farming operation into a large thriving corporate business that can be both innovative and competitive in the ever changing beef industry.

Ryan Thompson, Mentor

Biography:
I was raised in the agriculture industry in Saskatchewan on a mixed farm that included a cow calf operation and a feedlot.  My love of the industry and interest in a career in agriculture lead me to attend the University of Saskatchewan where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in Animal Science followed by a Master of Science in Ruminant Nutrition. 

After graduation I moved to Alberta to work in the feedlot industry for Cargill Animal Nutrition.  Here I focused on feedlot management and nutrition for five years.  I then moved back to Saskatchewan to manage a 12,000 head community owned custom feedlot.  After managing this feedlot for 6 years I have moved on to manage my own cattle business but am still involved with the feedlot as a shareholder. 

I have been very involved in the beef industry in Saskatchewan through my work with various industry groups. I was part of the group that spearheaded formation of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA).  I felt that a group with the overarching mandate to represent all parts of the beef industry in all regions of the province was very important.  I currently sit on the executive as vice chair of this organization. 

I have also held various positions on the board of the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeder’s Association (SCFA) and currently serve on the executive as the finance chair. 

I am currently on an advisory committee that is working to relocate and build a new Beef Research Unit for the University of Saskatchewan.  I feel strongly that having a state of the art research facility associated with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources is of importance to the industry both to maintain this facility’s status as a leader of beef cattle research and continue to attract the best and brightest researchers and students to Saskatchewan. 

I was also asked to participate on the Youth Economic Engagement Council of Enterprise Saskatchewan.  This group was developed to encourage and foster youth involvement in Saskatchewan’s economy.  The group is currently working on a strategy to meet this goal and I am on the committee as a representative of from the cattle and agriculture industry.

In my own business we own 500 cows and run 600 stocker steers each year.  Most years we also feed up to 2000 head as well.  I also do independent consulting within the beef industry in the areas of management and nutrition.


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Mike Nadeau, Mentee

Biography:
Mike Nadeau is a fourth generation cattle producer, and is passionate about the cattle industry. He and his wife are actively involved in a cow/calf operation with his in-laws. He currently serves as an Alberta Beef Producer delegate, and sits on the Cow-Calf Council and the Drought and Excess Moisture Advisory Group. He thoroughly enjoys the beef business and hopes to gain practical skills from industry leaders and professionals. He plans to use the Cattlemen Young Leader mentorship program to deepen his understanding and knowledge of trade regulations and opportunities surrounding the beef industry. He finds great value in ensuring that the Canadian beef industry is sustainable and competitive for the foreseeable future.
Rob Meijer, Mentor

Biography:
Over 15 years of agriculture and agri-food industry experience – specializing in risk management, emerging issues, policy and regulatory development, legislative process, political interaction and communication/public relations.

Presently, Rob is the President of Canada Beef Inc. An international Brand, Marketing and Promotions Agency acting on behalf of Canadian Beef and Veal producers and industry. The company manages offices in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, China (Shanghai), Taiwan, Mexico and Canada—with its headquarters in Calgary, Alberta.

In his former role as Director of Corporate Affairs, Cargill Limited, Meijer was responsible for Cargill's Canadian government/regulatory relation, PR and community relations activities. Specifically, he led and managed emerging issues, business risk and customer collaboration for (19) business units in the areas of beef, poultry, milling, malt, grain handling and port services, animal nutrition and canola processing among others.

Meijer has also held many Board and/or committee positions with a number of key agricultural organizations including; the Federal Roundtables (Beef and Grains), Flax Council of Canada, Malt Industry Association of Canada, Canadian Poultry Processors Association, Animal Nutrition Association of Canada, Western Grain Elevator Association, Canada Grains Council and the Canadian Meat Council.

Rob comes from Carman, Manitoba and holds two honours degrees – a B.A. (majoring in Economics and Sociology) from the University of Winnipeg and a B.Sc. (Agri-business Management) from the University of Manitoba.


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Joanne Solverson, Mentee

Biography:
Joanne solverson holds a diploma in Agriculture Management majoring in Marketing from Olds College and is planning on returning in the fall to obtain her degree in Agribusiness. She was raised on her family’s cow-calf/feedlot operation west of Camrose, Alberta and developed a strong interest in agriculture at a young age and has remained actively involved with her family’s operation.

She was a member of 4-H for 10 years, and remained involved in the club as the general leader for three years following her completion of the program.  Through her involvement with the program, she has gained a passion for working with youth in agriculture.

She has been employed at UFA for the past eight years working in both the Olds and Camrose locations.  In addition to this she has also worked overseas on beef operations in both New Zealand and Australia.

The CYL program provides numerous opportunities for young enthusiastic individuals like her and she looks forward to learning from beef leaders and networking with other individuals with the same passion and interest.  Through this program, she looks forward to  becoming more involved in provincial and national organizations, while gaining the experience and business acumen necessary to sustain the cattle industry into the future.

Linda (Toby) Oswald-Felker, Mentor

Biography:
Toby served as Vice President, Public Relations, Communications and Government Affairs for Canada Safeway Ltd (CSL) from 1996 to 2003. Previous to assuming the VP position she was a Public Relations Manager for Safeway in Winnipeg. Some of her key accomplishments at CSL included: playing an instrumental role for enactment of Sunday Shopping legislation in selected communities across Western Canada; successfully lobbying for issues such as, Workers Compensation amendments and pharmacy legislation (scope of practice for Pharmacists); developed successful strategies to deal with Special Interest public campaigns in Media (PETA); and lead the creation of the Canada Safeway Foundation.

Prior to coming to Safeway, Toby taught high school at the Steinbach Regional Vocational School after graduating from the University of Manitoba.

Her key volunteer positions included: Chair of the Western Regional Council of CCGD (Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors); Advisory Council Member, Mount Royal College’s Applied Public Relations Degree Program, Director of the Canada Safeway Foundation; Chair of the Million Dollar Dinner, Rotary District 5360; Chair of the Communications Committee, Rotary Club of Calgary South and Chair of the 2005 FIS World Cup Cross Country Skiing.

She is currently the President of Kaleidoscope Creative Solutions and Senior VP  for Davis Marketing & Communications, consulting in the areas of public relations, image, government relations, crisis communication, and event management.


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Eric Buyer, Mentee

Biography:
Eric Buyer holds a degree in Agribusiness from the University of Saskatchewan. He grew up on a family cow/calf, finishing and small meat plant operation near Carbon, Alberta. During this time he was an active member in many community groups including the local 4-H Beef club.

After graduating university he and his family purchased a cow/calf and feedlot operation near Carnduff, Saskatchewan. He looks forward to growing the feedlot and cow-calf herd alongside his fiancée and family. His enthusiasm for this kind of work stems from the idea of unifying the supply chain in their family operation as well as the industry as a whole. He feels that there are many more ways that Canadian cattle producers can add value to their products and he is excited to explore these opportunities.  He is a new member of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers and is passionate about becoming more involved in the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association and Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

Travis Toews, Mentor

Biography:
Travis Toews served for two years as President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) completing his term in March of this year. Travis has been a director of CCA since 2005 and currently serves as Past President and a member of the Executive committee. In February of this year, in recognition of his contribution to Canadian agriculture, Travis received the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Award presented by the Prime Minister and the Governor General.          

Living near Grande Prairie, Alberta, Travis and his wife, Kim, own and operate Melbern Holdings Ltd- a ranching and back grounding operation. Along with other business interests, he is a member of the Society of Management Accountants.  

Travis is passionate about ensuring the industry’s competitiveness at all levels, and has devoted considerable time to international trade. His industry contributions include significant work for the Canada Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) and his provincial association, the Alberta Beef Producers.


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Erika Strande, Mentee

Biography:
Erika Strande holds a degree in Education with a minor in Agriculture from the University of Alberta. She grew up south of Merritt on her family’s cattle ranch which runs a cow calf operation.  While attending university she also played rugby for the University of Alberta Panda’s Rugby team. She graduated from University last December and moved back to the family ranch. She currently teaches part time at the local middle school while working on the ranch.
Erika Fossen, Mentor

Biography:
My name is Erika Fossen.  I was born in Grande Prairie, AB and raised on a farm 20 miles north-west.  My paternal grandfather, George Balisky, homesteaded the farm I grew up on 100 years ago in 1912. Over the years I took pride in learning about agriculture and after completing a diploma at Peace River Bible Institute, I knew I wanted to pursue an education in agriculture.  This brought me to a diploma in Agricultural Business, Finance major, from Olds College.  After graduating from Olds College, I worked for CIBC in lending and then for John Deere in sales.  Before marrying Doug Fossen, a Olds College classmate, I travelled through Africa and Europe.  In the fall of 1999, I moved 1250 km south to Rock Creek, BC. Our Family Ranch is situated 8 kilometers west of Rock Creek on 1800 acres of picturesque sidehill. Three generations live on our family ranch.  I am the ranches bookkeeper and help Doug with the ranch work. 

Hereford and Black Angus are the breeds that make up our beef herd. These small cows do well in our rough terrain and are expected to bring home a five hundred and fifty pound calf.  We plant a mixed crop of oats, peas, barley and triticale, which is cut and silaged. Through the British Columbia Environmental Farm Plan Program our ranch has built water troughs, and fenced sensitive riparian areas.  This year with the EFP we instaled a Center-Pivot irrigation system.

Doug and I, along with our daughters, Adele (11), Jade (9) and Reine (7), use our ranch horses to move and gather cattle. This is our 2nd year having a Ranch Horse 4H program, and hope to encourage other families to enjoy Ranch Horse work as much as we do.

We have a growing a market for our government inspected beef, with a local ski hill, pub and many consumers who have grown to love our product. 
My husband I have chosen to be ranchers and make our income soley from ranching.  It makes me happy to enourage other young people to engage in and persevere our way of life.


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Jeffrey Yorga, Mentee

Biography:
Jeff grew up on his family farm (J. Yorga Farms) at Flintoft, SK. (Parents: Kelly and Norma, Sisters: Jillian and Jessica) He was active in the local 4-H club and involved with other community initiatives during his high school years.  Jeff attended the University of Regina on a football scholarship, graduating with a degree in Business (B.Admin Marketing/Finance) and a degree in Economics (BA).  After University, he signed to play with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and spent two seasons playing on the Offensive Line.  Aside from being an active partner on the ranch at Flintoft, Jeff is currently employed by Value Partners Investments of Winnipeg. 

J. Yorga Farms, a Purebred Limousin operation, focuses on production, docility and efficiency.  The goal is to raise the ideal beef animal; one that grades AAA and yields over 65%.  As such, there is a focus on data, “if you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it”, commented Jeff.  All bulls sold at the annual production sale (last Monday of February) are aged bulls, having all the performance data collected (EPD, Ultrasound, DNA) without having to push weight gain.
Jeff is passionate about improving the beef industry, and looks forward to meeting other likeminded people during his CYL experience!  www.jyorgafarms.com.

Chantelle Donahue, Mentor

Biography:
Chantelle Donahue is the Director of Corporate Affairs for Cargill’s Canadian government/regulatory relations, media relations and corporate responsibility activities.  The role is based out of  Winnipeg, Manitoba. Within Cargill, her responsibilities extend across 18 business units, in the areas of beef, poultry, milling, malt, grain handling and port services, animal nutrition and canola processing among others.

Chantelle brings 13 years of experience to her current role.  Previous roles include Supply Chain & General Management at Prairie Malt Limited, Merchandizing at Cargill Limited and various roles focused on agriculture research.  Within malt she was extensively involved in industry boards, committees and policy related activities at a local, provincial and national level.

Ms. Donahue has a Bachelor of  Commerce Degree (with Distinction) from the University of Alberta, where she obtained a double major in Marketing and Agriculture Economics. 

Chantelle and her husband own and operate a grain and oilseed farm in Biggar, Saskatchewan.


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Ryan Hulburt, Mentee

Biography:
Ryan Hurlburt is in his last year at the University of Saskatchewan where he will complete his Agriculture Business Degree. In 2008 he graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Denver, Colorado. He is actively involved with his family’s purebred cattle operation near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and over the years has been involved in 4-H, and various junior breed associations. He is currently working as an auctioneer with PBR Auctions in Saskatoon while finishing his last year of school.  He has traveled across Canada and the United States exhibiting different breeds of cattle at major livestock shows and travelling to events sponsored by junior breed organizations. He has been actively involved in the UofS Agriculture Students Association, serving on the executive for the past two years as a University Councilor and the Internal Social Director and currently serves on the Saskatoon Fall Fair purebred committee as the prospect steer and heifer representative.
Rick Wright, Mentor

Biography:
Rick Wright is a livestock broker/buyer for Heartland Order-Buying Company, a division of Nilsson Bros. Inc. He has been a professional livestock marketer for 33 years, operating in Manitoba and Eastern Sask.  Rick Wright has been on the executive of the Livestock Markets Association of Canada for over 20 years.  He past president of both the Livestock Markets Assoc. of Canada and the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Assoc.  He is current administrator of the MLMA. 

Rick Wright is the LMAC representative on the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.  He is Chairman of the Enforcement and Compliance committee and the Communications committee for CCIA.  He also sits on the Cattle Implementation Plan and the Cattle Logistics committees.

Rick is the alternate representative on the IGAC group for LMAC.  Rick recently served as Chairman of the Applied Research Project for Traceability at Auction Marts and Buying Stations.  This 2 year, 2.2 million dollar project, looked into traceability systems and opportunities at intermediate sites within the Canadian livestock marketing industry.

Rick is the Chairman of the LMAC National Livestock Auctioneering Championships. He has been a judge several times at Provincial and National competitions. He also has judged at the Calgary Stampede International Auctioneering Competition. 

Wright is a graduate of the 4-H program and is a well respected cattle judge.

Wright takes a great deal of interest and pride in promoting the Canadian cattle industry.  His services as a public speaker and presenter are in high demand by producer groups for presentations on market analysts and marketing strategies.   Wright also pens a regular article for the Manitoba Beef Producer’s Cattle Country newspaper.

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Travis Ebens, Mentee

Biography:
Travis Ebens is in his third year of an Environmental Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan.  He spent his youth working on his uncle’s feedlot/cow-calf operation near Lacombe, Alberta where he discovered a passion for agriculture and the environment at a young age. After graduating he plans to continue working in the cattle industry.  He has a keen interest in the relationship between beef production and environmental stewardship and is interested in how environmental policy development will affect the beef industry and urban consumers.

He is excited to be part of the Cattleman’s Young Leaders program.  Through the knowledge and insight he gains from his mentorship program he hopes to promote the long term profitability and sustainability of the Canadian Beef industry.

Jim Turner, Mentor

Biography:
Jim was raised on and is now a co-owner and operator of a mixed farm and cattle ranch in Cochrane, Alberta. It is currently involved in cattle, grain, and forage production.

Outside of his farming business, Jim is very involved in local, provincial, and national organizations. He was an elected delegate ofthe Alberta Cattle Commission for 10
years. During that time served as chairman, chair of the Finance Committee, and chair of National and Provincial Affairs. Jim has also served as one of Alberta's representatives with the Canadian Cattlemen's Association as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, co-chair of the Environment Committee, and chair of Beef Marketing Services International.

Jim's concern for the environment, water quality, food safety, and land use issues is demonstrated by his past participation on the Shell Caroline Livestock Monitoring
Committee, the Bow Basin Water Quality Council, and the Agriculture Food Council. Jim has worked with many government departments and stakeholders, both on a
federal and provincial level, to help develop legislation and initiatives that address agricultural and environmental issues.

In July 2003, Jim was appointed to the Natural Resources Conservation Board as a board member, where he continues to serve.

Jim is also a board member of Fortis Alberta, a part-time board rnember of the Surface Rights Board and the Land Compensation Board, and an acting board member at the Energy Resources Conservation Board.


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