Participant Spotlight

2015
Angela Kumlin, Mentee
Aaron & Adrienne Ivey, Mentors
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Benjamin Campbell, Mentee
Dylan & Colleen Biggs, Mentors
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Bethany Storey, Mentee
Annemarie Pedersen, Mentor
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Brandon Sparrow, Mentee
PJ Budler, Mentor
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Breanna Anderson, Mentee
Andrea Brocklebank, Mentor
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Breeanna Kelln, Mentee
Ben Thorlakson, Mentor
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Brendan Zettler, Mentee
Robert Bielak, Mentor
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Brett Hassard, Mentee
Mike Pollard, Mentor
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Brittany Wiese, Mentee
Brian Perillat, Mentor
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Byron Whitford, Mentee
Dennise Laycraft, Mentor
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Elizabeth Homerosky, Mentee
Tom Lynch-Staunton, Mentor
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Ellen Crane, Mentee
John Baker, Mentor
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Penny Patton, Mentee
Cathy Sharp, Mentor
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Robert Dixon, Mentee
Trish Jordan, Mentor
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Shane Klepak, Mentee
Martin Unrau, Mentor
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Angela Kumlin, Mentee

Biography:
Angela was raised on a farm near Eston, SK where she grew up immersed in agriculture, loving every minute of it! Throughout high school, she was very involved with 4-H at the club, district, and provincial levels, and competed internationally for judging. In 2012, Angela earned her Agriculture degree from the University of Saskatchewan, majoring in Animal Science. Angela served on the Agriculture Student’s Association executive for three out of her four years there, as well as being the Stockman’s Club President in her final year.

Angela and her husband Matt currently run a small purebred Red Angus herd, and a small but growing commercial herd, on top of their off farm jobs. She is very excited to connect with current and future industry leaders through this program!
Aaron & Adrienne Ivey, Mentors

Biography:
Adrienne and Aaron Ivey own and operate Evergreen Cattle Company, a cattle operation near Ituna, Sk. They farm with their two children, Noelle 9, and Cole 7, and Aaron’s two parents.  They currently run 1100 cow-calf pairs, as well as backgrounding all of their calves, which are then grazed as yearlings. They also grain farm approximately 1500 acres per year as well.

Adrienne’s corporate work in agriculture, primarily in sales and marketing, has been an asset to the farm since their decision for her to use her professional experience to continue to grow their operation on a full time basis. As well as working on farm and raising their two children, Adrienne is a passionate advocate of Canadian Agriculture. You can follow her on social media, as well as her blog viewfromtheranchporch.wordpress.com . 

Off the farm, Aaron has focused on improving Ag research on a provincial and national level. Aaron has been involved in a number of steering committees and projects to bring government and producer group funding and focus back to research for both beef and forage. He is past president of the Sk Forage Council, and current Chair of the Sk Forage Network. 

As they look to the future, Aaron and Adrienne are optimistic about continued opportunities in primary agriculture, and the beef industry specifically.


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Benjamin Campbell, Mentee

Biography:

Ben Campbell is a third generation rancher from Black Diamond, Alberta. He graduated from the University of Alberta with an Engineering degree and then moved to Zambia in Southern Africa to work for Engineers Without Borders.  After working as an engineer in Canada for a couple years he is almost at his goal of ranching full time.  

Ben sits on the board for the very active Foothills Forage and Grazing Association. He works with his father on the family ranch where they have 200 Black Angus/Maine Anjou commercial cows. He and his wife Steph have their own herd they use for their direct market grass fed beef business.  They have two boys, Henry and Sam and are excited to bring them up on the ranch and expand their business.

>Dylan & Colleen Biggs, Mentors
Biography:

Food is something that we all have in common, but where our food comes from has quickly become a dinnertime topic of conversation across this country. Dylan and Colleen Biggs ranch in east-central Alberta in the semi-arid grasslands of Special Area 2. It didn’t take too many years for them to realize that making a living from ranching without off-farm income was not easy. By the mid 1990’s they had gone as far as they could with low input production without starving their cows and were faced with getting off-farm jobs to make ends meet. But instead of looking for jobs they decided to add value to what they were already doing and began direct marketing strictly grass-fed and finished beef under their own TK Ranch label. They added heritage breed pasture raised pork, grass-finished lamb and free range chicken and turkey to their product offering in late the late 1990’s. Today TK Ranch is recognized as one of the pioneers of farm direct marketing in Alberta and as leaders in farm animal welfare. Their products are sold across Alberta in health food stores and they have a loyal following of customers.

Colleen and Dylan have received several provincial and national awards for their environmental stewardship and animal welfare programs on TK Ranch. In 2011 Colleen received Global Televisions Woman of Vision Award for her dedication to saving the small family farm. In 2013 TK Ranch was certified through Animal Welfare Approved, the most stringent farm animal welfare certification program in North America.



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Bethany Storey, Mentee

Biography:
Growing up on a purebred, Limousin cow-calf farm near Napanee, Ontario, Bethany has had a love for beef cattle, and a passion for the agriculture industry her entire life. Throughout her youth she was very involved in 4-H, both showing cattle and a member of her judging club. Knowing she wished to pursue a career in agriculture she attended the University of Guelph, graduating in 2012. She currently works with Beef Farmers of Ontario as Communications Coordinator, and appreciates the opportunity with her job to work with both the producers and consumers in Ontario and to promote Ontario beef. Bethany is excited to be a part of the CYL program and the many different networking and learning experiences it will provide. She is grateful to have been chosen and eager to take part in the opportunities it presents.
Annemarie Pedersen, Mentor

Biography:
Annemarie Pedersen is an independent communications consultant based in Calgary Alberta. She has 10 years experience in agricultural communications and works with clients in both crop and beef sectors. Annemarie began her communications career with AdFarm as a communications coordinator and most recently worked with Canada Beef as Director, Industry Relations and as Community Relations Manager at UFA. She is a passionate advocate for the agriculture and beef industries and was part of the team that developed the Beef Advocacy Canada program. Annemarie is also a volunteer with the Calgary Stampede, Canadian Cattlemen’s Foundation, the Alberta Farm Writers’ Association and is very proud to be a mentor for the 2015 Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program.


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Brandon Sparrow, Mentee

Biography:
Brandon Sparrow grew up on a family farm at Vanscoy, SK. The mixed farm of crop land, purebred Charolais and commercial cattle fostered his interest for agriculture. He has had an interest in beef cattle from a young age and this was established through the 4-H program and junior movements such as the Canadian Charolais Youth Association. He now passes the knowledge he gained through these programs by volunteering as a Senior 4-H leader, as well as judging numerous Junior events throughout the year.

Brandon graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Degree in Agribusiness. He currently works at a John Deere dealer in the Integrated Solutions Department. Purebred livestock and show cattle are of interest to him and he attends many sales and shows throughout the year. Brandon is currently growing his cattle numbers through select embryo offerings and hopes to have a small herd of his own in the future. Brandon looks forward to expanding his knowledge of the beef industry through the CYL program, and the opportunities it will present in the coming year.
PJ Budler, Mentor

Biography:
PJ Budler was raised on a cattle and sheep ranch in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. He founded BonHaven Beef Cattle which is now a multinational seed stock company specializing in Hereford, Angus, Red Angus, Brahman and Braford breeds.He was the first to export Hereford genetics from Africa to North America. He was also the first to export Herefords to Mauritius and Uganda. He still holds the auction record in South Africa for an Angus Bull. 

In 2012 he founded HerefordBreeder.net and AngusBreeder.net and has since relocated to Fort Worth, Texas, USA. PJ has travelled to 49 different countries and has judged major shows in Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, USA, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands and England. He most recently evaluated the UK National Hereford Show and is excited about being involved in the CYL program.

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Breanna Anderson, Mentee

Biography:
Breanna grew up in Swan River, Manitoba where she is still active on her family farm, Anderson Cattle Co.  Breanna’s parents, Bruce and Ione, and brother Austen run a 150 head purebred Red and Black Angus herd and hold a bull sale on the last Saturday of March at the farm where they sell both yearling and two year old bulls.  She became an active 4-H member at a young age and continues to volunteer both with the Saskatchewan 4-H alumni and the Minitonas 4-H beef club.  Breanna is a Livestock director on her local Agriculture Society where she volunteers each summer with the ‘Down on the Farm’ exhibit.  The exhibit allows the public to learn about farming practices in their community and across Canada. She has also been involved in the Angus association and had attended numerous shows and conference.

Breanna recently completed her B.Sc. Agriculture from the Animal Science department at the University of Saskatchewan.  She will start her Master’s degree in the fall focusing on extensive grazing practices in Western Canada.  Aside from school Breanna has worked as a crop scout, a summer research assistant as well as a laborer on her family farm.  

Breanna hopes that through both her education path and the CYL mentorship experience she will be better suited for a career focusing in research and agriculture extension.  She looks forward to becoming more involved in the industry and is excited about the upcoming year!
Andrea Brocklebank, Mentor

Biography:
Andrea Brocklebank is the Executive Director of the Beef Cattle Research Council, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). She has worked in various roles within the CCA over the last ten years.  Andrea works collaboratively with the industry to oversee the delivery of a research program through the BCRC and Beef Science Cluster that funds research projects in areas of importance to the Canadian beef industry. Andrea has played a key role in the development and implementation of the National Beef Research Strategy through her role as Chair of the national Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT) Research Committee.  

Andrea completed a B.A. in Agricultural Studies at the University of Lethbridge and M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan.  She was raised on a farm in Southern Alberta and prior to working with the CCA, worked within the Canadian cattle feeding sector and in agriculture finance and lending. Andrea is an avid traveler and lives on her family’s operation near High River with her husband and two young sons.


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Breeanna Kelln, Mentee

Biography:
Breeanna grew up on a mixed farm near Duval, SK and this is where she developed her passion for agriculture. She and her husband, Greg Hill, along with son Emmett, continue to live near Duval and own a commercial cow-calf and back-grounding operation. Breeanna attended the University of Saskatchewan, where she obtained Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Animal Science. Her MSc. research was done at the Western Beef Development Center with Dr. Bart Lardner and focused on extensive winter feeding systems for beef cattle. Breeanna has a passion for the plant / animal / soil interface, extensive winter grazing and loves talking with primary producers about their operations. Since graduating, Breeanna has worked in many areas of agriculture including business development and agronomy. Breeanna is employed with DuPont Pioneer as their Livestock Information Manager for Western Canada. Through the CYL program, Breeanna hopes to gain insight and knowledge from leaders in the industry. Her main objectives are to gain understanding with respect to global marketing, international trade and policy. She is extremely excited to begin the mentorship program and continue networking with other participants and mentors.
Ben Thorlakson, Mentor

Biography:
Ben is actively involved in the cattle industry. He is the president of Thorlakson Feedyards Inc. at Airdrie, Alberta. He started the feedlot in 1970 and the feedlot has grown over the years to its current size of 20 000 head. He has also owned and operated feedlots in Ontario and British Columbia as well as operating Cattleland Feedyards Ltd. in the Strathmore area in 25 years. 
Thorlakson Feedyards Inc. at Airdrie is a diversified facility containing a commercial feedlot and bull test facility, compost and soil blending and bagging unit and farmlands. He also maintains a ranch in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.
Ben is well respected for his commitment to industry organizations and his efforts to ensure that the Canadian cattle industry is competitive both nationally and internationally. He has served in the following capacities:
  • President of Alberta Cattle Feeders Association
  • Chairman of the Alberta Cattle Commission
  • President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
    • While chairing the Animal Health Committee, initiated changes to Bluetongue regulations to allow freer movement of cattle between Canada and US
    • While president successfully participated in international trade tribunal hearings in Washington that led to the removal of anti-dumping and countervail actions by the US against our industry
  • Chairman of the Canada Beef Export Federation
  • Chairman of the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization
  • Served on the Ministers Advisory Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Co-chaired the Ministers Advisory Committee to the Minister of Environment (Dr. Lome Taylor)
  • Mr. Thorlakson has served as a Director of the Alberta Science and Research Authority, the Alberta Research Institute Trust and the Board of trustees of the Bethany Care Society

Ben Thorlakson, along with his wife Betty Ann, live in Carstairs area in Alberta. Ben and Betty Ann have six children and eleven grandchildren. Ben ran a marathon in 1984, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2011, enjoys team cattle penning with son Thomas (who is a very skilled penner) and daughter Lindsey whose skill exceeds her fathers as well.


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Brendan Zettler, Mentee

Biography:
Brendan was born and raised on a family farm in rural Ontario outside the small town of Teeswater in Bruce County. The family farm has always been a mixed operation but one constant has always been beef cattle. As soon as he was able, Brendan joined his first 4-H beef club and his passion for cattle and agriculture has been growing ever since. After high school Brendan attended Ridgetown College to obtain an Associate Diploma of Agriculture, which then led to completing his Bachelor of Science, Honours Agriculture from the University of Guelph. Currently Brendan works in the grain industry for Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd as a sales agronomist and helps on the family farm where they raise beef stockers, sheep and chickens. Brendan also raises his own stockers and has a partnership with his brother and sister where they cash crop in the Teeswater area. Brendan is honoured to be apart of the Cattlemen's Young Leaders program and he looks forward to meeting many new people and learning all he can from his mentor, fellow mentees and the industry.
>Robert Bielak, Mentor
Biography:
Robert Bielak, with family roots in the cattle and beef industry, started his career in the grass roots of the industry at an early age and has accumulated over 35 years of experience. Under his presidency, St. Helen’s has expanded to become one of the largest Canadian family owned and operated beef processing/harvesting facility in Eastern Canada. Over the course of his extensive career Robert has always been a proud member of the Canadian Beef Industry supporting numerous associations and agencies including the CCA, OCA, CMC and Canada Beef. As an active owner/operator in all aspects of the day to day operations of 3 federally inspected facilities, Robert continues his hands on approach to driving both the industry and the his operations.   Currently Robert currently resides as an active  board member of the Canadian Meat Council as well as the Canadian Beef Grading Agency.

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Brett Hassard, Mentee

Biography:
Brett was raised on his family’s commercial cow/calf ranch south of Medicine Hat, Alberta.  In 2014, Brett graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture Majoring in Animal Science.  He is currently the Feedlot Health Supervisor at South Island Farms, a 6000 head backgrounding and finishing yard south of Bow Island, Alberta.  He has also remained involved with the family ranch, going home to help out whenever possible.  The management and future of his family’s ranch is something that is very important to Brett and he would like to one day take over operations along with his younger brother. 

Brett is very excited and honored to be a part of the CYL program and being able to use the opportunity to learn more about international and domestic livestock marketing and policy as well as succession planning and how to keep the operation growing into the future.
>Mike Pollard, Mentor
Biography:
Coming soon!

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Brittany Wiese, Mentee

Biography:
Brittany was raised on a mixed farm near Bentley, Alberta where she developed a love of agriculture and livestock at an early age. Throughout her childhood she was involved in both 4-H and Pony Club. After studying animal science at the University of Alberta, she went on to attend the Western College of Veterinary Medicine where she focused on production animal medicine and was the president of the Production Animal club. After graduation, she has continued her specialization in bovine health and is currently working as a vet for the WCVM bovine field service department while pursuing a MSc. investigating the effects of subacute ruminal acidosis on animal health. She is honored to be part of this incredible program, and looks forward to the opportunity to interact with and learn from others who are as passionate about the cattle industry as she is.
>Brian Perillat, Mentor
Biography:
Brian Perillat has been the Manager at Canfax for over five years. Brian grew up on a mixed farming operation near Duck Lake Saskatchewan, and continues to be involved with the family farm. Brian has always had a passion for agriculture, especially the beef industry. Brian earned an undergraduate and Master’s Degree in agriculture economics from the University of Saskatchewan. Brian has worked as a livestock production economist with Alberta Agriculture, working on cost of production studies as well as economic analysis during the height of BSE in 2003 and 2004. Brian also spent 4 years working with Meyers Norris Penny as a farm management consultant, working both with MNP clients as well as completing industry association and government projects relating to agriculture and the cattle industry. Brian has had the privilege of travelling and working on farms and stations in Australia and New Zealand, as well as visiting farms in north and west Africa.

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Byron Whitford, Mentee

Biography:
Byron Whitford is an Associate with the law firm of Torry Lewis Abells LLP in Lethbridge, Alberta. He has a broad legal practice advising clients in the practice areas of agribusiness, banking, corporate/commercial, real estate, and estate planning. In addition to advising clients on their business operations, Byron has assisted agricultural producers in litigation matters involving contract disputes, employment matters, and aspects of regulatory compliance. 

Byron’s exposure to the cattle industry began at a young age when he would spend time on his Grandfather and Uncle’s ranch west of Ponoka, Alberta. While spending time with his Grandfather and Uncle, Byron learned first-hand the high degree of work ethic, resolve, and business sense required of Canada’s cattle producers. Byron is proud to provide legal services to clients in the cattle industry and continues to enjoy working with them to meet their legal and business needs. 

With a number of family members and clients directly active in cattle production and dependent upon the industry for their livelihoods, Byron remains passionate about improving the strength and stability of the Canadian cattle industry. Byron considers it an honour to be selected to the CYL program and is very excited about the opportunity to learn from his mentor, industry stakeholders, and his fellow CYL mentees.
Dennis Laycraft, Mentor

Biography:
Dennis Laycraft was raised on a cattle ranch in southern Alberta and graduated from Olds College with the proficiency award in livestock production. 

From 1981 to 1990, he was employed by the Alberta Cattle Commission and served as Manager for 6 years.  During this time, Dennis was instrumental in the establishment of the Canada Beef Export Federation and served as its first Executive Officer. 

In June of 1990, Dennis was employed by the Canadian Cattlemen's Association as General Manager and in 1992 was promoted to  Executive Vice President.  With the CCA, Dennis has been instrumental in beef grading revisions and new technologies, establishment of the beef industry development funds, and managed the successful defense of the industry against the RCALF countervail and anti-dumping investigations. Dennis serves as a leading spokeperson for the beef cattle industry on trade, product safety, BSE and other animal disease issues. 

Dennis is also currently serving as Chair of the Canadian Beef Value Chain Round Table, industry Co-Chair of the Agriculture Sub Committee on Food Safety, a member of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency advisory committee, a member of the industry technical advisory group on WTO negotiations, and serves on the Board of Prionet Canada.

Dennis has also served as:

Chair of the Industry Government BSE Round Table

Chairman of the Regulations and Standards working group on the Agri-Food Competitiveness Task Force

An Executive member of the Agri-Food Competitiveness Council.


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Elizabeth Homerosky, Mentee

Biography:
Born and raised in southern Ohio, Elizabeth was very active in her family’s commercial beef operation, exhibiting cattle through 4-H and judging livestock. Her interests in food animal production led her to The Ohio State University where she completed a BSc in Animal Science (2008) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (2012). During her time as a Buckeye, Elizabeth broadened her knowledge of the global beef industry by completing two study-abroads (Brazil and Australia), competing as a member of the OSU Livestock Judging Team (2007 All American), and interning at Stevenson Angus Ranch in Hobson, MT. After one year practicing beef production medicine in rural western Iowa, she was accepted into the University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (2013) as the inaugural Simpson Ranch Fellow in Beef Cattle Health. The three-year fellowship combines a MSc and clinical residency with board eligibility in beef production medicine through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. In this program, Elizabeth will travel across Alberta, working at premier cow/calf, herd health and feedlot veterinary practices, visiting Canada’s leading beef experts and industry organizations, and conducting research on newborn beef calf vigour and effects of dystocia on pre-weaning growth and health.
Tom Lynch-Staunton, Mentor

Biography:
Tom Lynch-Staunton currently works at Livestock Gentec in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta as the Director of Industry Relations. He has strong practical and lifetime experience in the livestock industry, growing up on and eventually co-managing the family owned Antelope Butte Ranch (est.1885), a mixed 1000 head cow/calf operation, with his brother in Southern Alberta.  Tom received a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Business from Simon Fraser University, and completed a Spanish diploma in Mexico. Tom also volunteered as a delegate with the Alberta Beef Producers, and co-created the Todd Creek Watershed Group. Currently, Tom’s role at the university is in the Livestock Gentec executive management team working in strategic development of the genomics research program, coordination and development of research projects with industry, knowledge transfer, communications, and application of genetic improvement tools in the beef industry. Tom is also now pursing a part-time MBA at the UofA, specializing in Sustainability, as he continues working.

Tom continues to be very much engaged with the beef industry. In addition to being a 2015 mentor in the CYL program, he has most recently been chairing the Sustainability Assessment Working Committee in the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, being led by the Canadian Cattleman’s Association, and co-chairing the Alberta Beef Producers Annual General Meeting, held each year in December..

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Ellen Crane, Mentee

Biography:
Ellen Crane developed her passion for agriculture growing up on her family cow-calf operation near Cardigan, Prince Edward Island. From a young age, Ellen established her enthusiasm for the beef industry while showing beef animals across Canada with both 4-H and the Canadian Junior Hereford Association. Her passion for agriculture and beef cattle has been incorporated into her post-secondary education. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Animal Science at the Dalhousie University Agriculture Campus. Her research focus is on feed efficiency and sexual maturity in beef heifers with additional focus on indirect assessments of feed efficiency that have potential for on farm use. Currently, her family is in the process of expanding their cow-calf operation and further enhancing their breeding program. Through the Cattlemen Young Leader’s program Ellen aspires to expand her network and to develop many new skills to help commence her career in the beef industry.  Ellen is excited to begin working with her mentor and is very appreciative to be selected for this experience.
John Baker, Mentor

Biography:
John Baker is the Founder and President of Baker Marketing Services International, providing strategic business development and planning, marketing and project implementation services to organizations serving the global meat industry.
Current clients include Ontario Corn Fed Beef for which John holds a position of Director, Brand Management/Business Development and has led the expansion into export markets including Asia and the Middle East.

Past experiences include, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing with Canada Beef Inc. and Executive Director, Channel Marketing with the Beef Information Centre. John has demonstrated success and executive leadership in business development and strategic planning, results-focused program execution and government relations.

He has over 30 years experience in the meat industry including senior management roles in retail operations and category management with Canada’s leading retailers. 

John has extensive experience in marketing Canadian beef in Canada as well as high priority export markets including USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, Costa Rica, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia and the Middle East.  

At Canada Beef Inc, John led the development and execution of a global strategy to maximize value for Canadian beef focused on a platform of brand differentiation and market prioritization.

In this role, strong collaboration with industry partners, government agencies and regulatory bodies was required to enhance market access conditions and the overall competitiveness for Canadian beef.

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Penny Patton, Mentee

Biography:
Penny Patton was raised on a commercial cow calf operation in Worsley, Alberta. She and her boyfriend Kyle Miller, live on and manage the Black Bear Provincial Grazing Reserve, north of Westlock, Alberta, with their kids; Madison, Keeley, Tanner & Mesa. 
 
They also raise and train registered Quarter Horses, and have their own 150 commercial angus cow/ calf herd. 
 
Penny is currently the Supervisor of the Athabasca Heifer Co-op, and a Auditor for Alberta Breeder Finance Inc. 
 
When not busy with cows, Penny can be found with her family competing at rodeos, ropings and barrel racings.
Cathy Sharp, Mentor

Biography:
Cathy Sharp has been involved with beef organizations for the past 11 years. Sitting as a delegate on the Alberta Beef Producer Organization for 10 years, she was involved with the marketing and promotion committee and was zone coordinator. Cathy is not only involved provincially but nationally as well. She was a representative of ABP for 6 years on the Beef Information Centre. Sitting as a board member on the Canadian Cattleman’s Association, she chairs the Audit Committee and Value Creation Committee. During her tenure on Beef Cattle Research Council the Growing Forward 2 Science Cluster Research projects were finalized. Cathy really values what she has learned and the many friendships she has made throughout Canada. When you get involved outside of your farm or ranch you realize that there is a lot to be learned from others that can help you make decisions at home. 

Cathy grew up on the family farm Lindon Angus Farms a purebred black angus beef farm in the Stettler area where she was involved in 4-H and enjoyed showing cattle and sports. She continues to be involved in the family farm with her parents as well as her husband Gavin and 3 kids. Her kids will be the 5th generation cattle breeders. Volunteering in her local community as an assistant 4H leader, treasurer for the local figure skating and ball clubs to sitting on the local community hall board are important parts of her life.

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Robert Dixon, Mentee

Biography:
Robert lives in Vermilion, Alberta near his family’s farming operation. Growing up in a mixed operation, Robert spearheaded a farm diversification into purebred cattle. Over the past 15 years Dixon Farms has shown and sold cattle across the globe. Through this time Robert served as the chair, and president, for numerous committees and non-profits.

After a post-secondary education in Agricultural Business, Robert worked on purebred and commercial operations across Canada before pursing a career in public relations. After working alongside producers and industry, a shift was made to join the Faculty at Lakeland College. Currently serving as the Program Head for the Agricultural Business program, Robert spends the majority of his time working with individuals from various backgrounds helping to expand their knowledge in various sectors of the Agricultural Industry. 

With a strong desire to help bridge agriculture and the urban consumer, Robert is excited about the CYL program and the opportunities it offers.

Trish Jordan, Mentor

Biography:
Trish Jordan is passionate about agriculture, farmers and enhancing agricultural awareness with the non-farming public.  She grew up in the city but has worked for four different agricultural organizations, all with very different organizational structures.  Each role she has given her the privilege of working closely with, and for, farmers.

In her current role as Public and Industry Affairs Director with Monsanto Canada – part of the larger, global multi-national, Monsanto Company - she sits on Monsanto’s Canadian Leadership Team and is responsible for media relations, issues management and providing strategic communications support to core business activities. Trish also manages Monsanto Canada’s Grower Advisory Council and its Corporate Giving Program. More recently she has been focused on sharing the Monsanto story and the story of modern agriculture with new consumer audiences.

Trish started her career in agriculture with Alberta Wheat Pool, a farmer-owned grain co-op based in Calgary.  After 12 years in a wide-variety of roles with Alberta Pool, she had the opportunity to assume the position of Director of Resources and Communication with Canadian Foodgrains Bank – a Christian-based non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Winnipeg. During her three-and-a-half years working closely with Canadian farmers to grow grain for hungry people, Trish also had the opportunity to meet with developing world farmers and food insecure people in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, China and North Korea.  She also worked for a brief period of time in advertising and media relations with the Canadian Wheat Board before joining Monsanto in January 2001.

In January 2013, Trish was honoured to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her leadership in agriculture; advocacy for innovation and competitiveness; and her commitment to community service.  She was nominated for this honour by the Grain Growers of Canada. She donates her time to a number of boards and committees, including Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba, the Council for Biotechnology Information and CropLife Canada’s Advocacy, Communications and Trust committee.

In her time outside of work, Trish is an avid competitive golfer and passionate curler. She also enjoys NFL Football, curling up with a good book, and spending time on the farm with her closest friends.


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Shane Klepak, Mentee

Biography:
Shane was raised on a mixed commercial cow/calf operation in central Saskatchewan, where his grandparents currently run 500 Black Angus cross pairs. Since an early age, Shane had the pleasure of working alongside his grandfather both in and out of the beef industry. The beef industry has been an enormous part of his family’s history for countless years. The family farm size requires growing and processing their own hay, cereal crops and silage that maintains their cattle operation and backgrounding feedlot throughout the winter.

Following high school, Shane went on to post secondary education at Lakeland College in Vermilion, AB were he studied Livestock Production and the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK were he studied Ag-business. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, Shane became employed at the University of Saskatchewan’s Beef Research and Teaching Unit as an Animal Technician. Shane was interested in being employed by the University feedlot because of their commitment to innovative and cost effective feeding practices that maximize results for industry producers.

Upcoming Shane is looking forward to being involved with the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Program as well, Shane was elected in December of 2014 to serve a two-year term as a member at large for the Young Cattlemen’s Council (YCC). This year Shane is on the YCC’s Governance Committee and sitting on the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s Value Creation and Competitiveness Committee.

Martin Unrau, Mentor>

Biography:
Martin Unrau has been with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) since 2007. Unrau operates Bar 88 Ranch near MacGregor, Manitoba, along with his wife Roxie and son Garett, one of the couple’s four children. The Unrau’s calve 550 cows and background, and grow grain crops including corn, canola and barley.

Unrau has undertaken a variety of roles during his time with the CCA, most recently as vice president (2010-2012) and member of the executive committee. He has served as chair of the Foreign Trade Committee, co-chair of the Animal Health Committee, and as a member the Animal Care Committee and the Domestic Agriculture and Policy Regulation committee. 
Unrau came to the CCA through his involvement in the former Manitoba Cattle Producers Association. He first became involved with his provincial association in 2004 after being moved to help the industry during the early days of the BSE crisis. He became a director in 2005 and worked his way up to vice president of the provincial association (2006) followed by a two-year term as president. He chaired numerous committees and served on the Production Management, Finance, Animal Health and Executive committees. In 2007 he became a director of the CCA. Unrau was elected to the position of CCA Vice President in March 2010. In 2012 he became CCA President, serving for a two year term until 2014. He currently serves as CCA Past President.

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