Participant Spotlight

2017
Aleicia Karapita, Mentee
Rob Smith, Mentor
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Andrea Haywood Farmer, Mentee
Emily Murray, Mentor
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Ben Wilson, Mentee
Phil Braig, Mentor
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Carley Henniger, Mentee
Rob Lowe, Mentor
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Kaitlyn Polegi, Mentee
Jill Harvie, Mentor
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Lee Creech, Mentee
Travis Toews, Mentor
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Melissa Lee, Mentee
Clint Morasch, Mentor
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Rachel Verwey, Mentee
Tara Mullhern Davidson, Mentor
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John Cross, Mentor
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Ashley Gaudet, Mentee
Rob & Gail Hamilton, Mentors
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Quinn Anderson Folk, Mentee
Shelley Jones, Mentors
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Allan Hjertaas, Mentee
John Griswold, Mentors
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Cale Toews, Mentee
Cody Creelemen, Mentors
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Lacey McCrae, Mentee
Kelly & Julie Anne Howe, Mentors
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Matt Kumlin, Mentee
Dave Solverson, Mentors
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Taylor Grafton, Mentee
Mike Munton, Mentors
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Aleicia Karapita, Mentee

Biography:

Alecia is a Commercial Account Manager with the Royal Bank of Canada in Kamloops, BC. She specializes in serving the Agriculture sector. Working closely with her clients Alecia assists in all areas of their business including financial analysis, succession planning, business development, and of course financing options.

Alecia grew up on a family farm near Foam Lake, Saskatchewan. Throughout those years she developed an interest in raising and showing purebred Angus cattle. Alecia was involved in the Saskatchewan Junior Angus Association, the Canadian Junior Angus Association, and of course 4-H. It was through those events that provided many opportunities to meet new people, travel North America, and develop leadership capabilities that continue to serve her well.

Alecia obtained a degree in Agriculture Business and a degree in Marketing and moved to BC in 2002 with her husband. Alecia and Wallace reside on his family’s ranch known as the Willow Ranch where they run 400 Angus cows and run yearlings in the summer. Wallace runs the ranch on a full time basis while Alecia works for RBC and assists when she can. They have 3 children – Ty is 7, Callie is 5, and Lexi is 3.

Alecia loves to volunteer her time in her community, judging and presenting to 4-H groups, teaching Ag in the classroom, and just spending time as a family on the ranch. Alecia is extremely honored to have the opportunity to be a finalist for the 2017 CYL program. She hopes to use this knowledge to better serve her clients and act as an advocate for the beef industry.
Rob Smith, Mentor

Biography:

Rob Smith is approaching 40 years’ involvement with both the purebred cattle industry and organized youth development. While enthusiastic about many organizations and involvements, his central passion is beef cattle and cattlefolk.

Rob was Olds College’s Livestock Extension Specialist before moving overseas in 1997 to the Republic of Kazakhstan with Hurricane Hyrdrocarbons Ltd. He worked abroad for five years in a number of roles, finally as President of subsidiary company Karaozek Agricultural Products (KAP) LLP, the largest value-added meat producer in the former Soviet republic. From July, 2002 and for the next nine years, Rob was the 4-H Specialist for Southern Alberta and Calgary regions, proudly serving this historic program and a vital, change-oriented, progressive team.

Co-founder and former manager of ♦T Cattle Co., a family-based purebred seedstock operation, Rob has exhibited champions across North American and marketed live cattle and genetics to over a dozen countries. He has served on numerous organizational Boards, both corporate and non-profit, including as President of the Alberta Angus Association and Finance & Communication Director on the World Angus Forum Executive Committee. Since July, 2011, Rob has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Angus Association, Canada’s largest beef breed association, registering more cattle annually than all other breeds combined and representing two-thirds of Canada’s commercial herd’s breed composition. As CEO, Rob is equal-parts steward, champion and advocate, adding value to the Canadian Angus member experience. Part of this value is supporting national industry organizations and events like the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, for which Rob was Co-Chair in its first two successful editions in 2016 and 2017.

Rob looks forward to working with his mentee and equally learning from and having fun with them.




Andrea Haywood Farmer, Mentee

Biography:

Andrea was born and raised in rural British Columba and has a passion for land, natural resources and the ranching sector. Daughter of a biologist and social worker, Andrea is equally captivated by science and natural process and stories of human experiences and history. Taken together, these passions have made marrying into her husband’s family ranch a wonderful fit, for which she is extremely grateful.

Andrea hold a Masters Degree in Public Policy from SFU and, over the past decade, has worked extensively in the natural resource and conservation sectors across Canada in both policy analysis and government relations capacities. She has worked as National Policy Analyst for Ducks Unlimited Canada in Ottawa, at a provincial level and, most recently, in supporting conservation objectives through land use planning in northern Canada. Additionally, Andrea is an instructor at Thompson Rivers University where she teaches policy and planning to Natural Resource Science students.

A proud mother of two young daughters, Andrea currently balances motherhood, assisting her husband Ted on the ranch, continued work in conservation and teaching. Andrea brings her passion, skills and experience to the beef sector and is committed to being part of a bright future for this industry. She believes that tomorrow’s leaders in the cattle industry will be smart, creative, attentive and solution-focussed individuals who build bridges and connection between each other, other land users, consumers and the public.

Andrea is very excited and thankful to be taking part in Cattlemen’s Young Leaders.
Emily Murray, Mentor

Biography:

Emily is the General Manager of Beef located in Chicago, Illinois. Emily joined Cargill in 2010 as an associate in the Strategy and Business Development group. While in SBD, she participated in corporate strategy and led projects in Cargill’s protein businesses in Europe and North America. She has worked across several businesses in her time at Cargill including Corn Milling and the Health and Nutrition business. Before joining Cargill, Emily spent five years in general management at Enterprise Rent-A-Car where she demonstrated a strong record of building teams and delivering the best results in her region. She has an undergraduate degree with Honors from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Darden School at University of Virginia. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and enjoys skiing and cycling.



Ben Wilson, Mentee

Biography:

Ben is a full time independent filmmaker and creative professional, operating his freelance and consulting company, Benjo Productions, from the rural community of Bashaw, Alberta. Born and raised in Ponoka, Alberta, Ben has always had a thirst for adventure and a passion for food and the environment. He has travelled across Canada from coast to coast in a two seater airplane, and backpacked from Cape Town to Cairo, among other overseas adventures. The art of visual storytelling began as an amateur attempt to share these adventures with his friends and family, but soon developed into the craft of documentary filmmaking and freelance corporate video production.

After a very short lived career in aerospace engineering, Ben discovered his true calling when he married a farm girl and joined the FarmOn.com team as video production manager in 2009. His own company, Benjo Productions, is now a full time venture and serves a wide variety of clients across Alberta, primarily in the agriculture industry, including several stakeholders in the beef value chain. Ben's passion for the cattle industry continues to grow with each beef related video project he works on, ranging from forage and grazing topics to animal care, sustainability, farm safety, culinary education and beef marketing initiatives. His love for filmmaking, no matter what the topic, stems from a strong desire to help people share what's most important to them, and to create visual art that has a deep emotional impact on audiences.
Phil Braig, Mentor

Biography:

Phil is Assistant Manager of the historic Douglas Lake Cattle Company at Douglas Lake, British Columbia. He previously completed a business degree at Simon Fraser University and has worked as a commercial helicopter pilot before joining the company. Douglas Lake is Canada’s largest cow-calf producer operating three ranch divisions in BC. Along with the cattle and farm operation the company has also diversified into tourism, operating a hotel, golf course and several fishing lodges. Phil is involved in all aspects of the company’s operations and along with his team focus on key performance indicators, utilizing emerging technologies and practices to constantly improve operations. The company also puts a strong emphasis on land stewardship and sustainable agriculture practices participating in VBP + and other sustainability initiatives.



Rob Lowe, Mentor

Biography:

I was born and raised on a ranch next to the Montana border in southern Alberta.

We moved to a farm at Nanton in 1966 where I currently reside. I am the managing partner of Bear Trap Feeders at Nanton which was established in 1984. I also have a ranch in Manitoba. I have been in the cattle industry all my life and for a variety of reasons I became a delegate for the Alberta Beef Producers in 2007. In 2008 I was elected to be one of Alberta’s rep’s to the board of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Assc. In 2009 I was elected to the board of the Alberta Beef Producers serving on most of the committees and have been Chair for the past 2 years. I represented ABP on the board of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency for 2 years. I was the first producer to become involved with the McDonalds Sustainable beef Pilot and currently represent the CCA on the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. I also chair the Canadian Cattlemen’s Foundation.
Carley Henniger, Mentee

Biography:

Carley is one of the wild cards in this CYL group- she did not grow up in the agriculture lifestyle. Originating from the West Kootenay region in British Columbia, Carley moved to Edmonton to attend the University of Alberta to complete a double major in political science and international relations. During her time in Alberta Carley’s love for farming grew, and she began to pursue a career in agriculture.

After graduating University, Carley moved to a small town just outside of Calgary where she became a junior board member for the 4H communications board and worked for a large mixed grain and feedlot operation. Starting work as a farm hand, Carley eventually worked her way to a position on the business side of the operation. She later left Alberta and headed home to BC to work for Douglas Lake Cattle Company.

Carley has recently completed the Rural Finance and Entrepreneurship program at Olds College and is currently living in Kamloops, BC working for the BC Angus Association. Carley absolutely loves the agriculture way of life, and is a large advocate for the beef industry and the people in it. She currently volunteers with 4H BC and is in the beginning stages of becoming a first- generation beef rancher. Carley may not have grown up on a farm, but she sure got here as soon as she could!

Carley is grateful for this opportunity to work with the CYL program, and looks forward to all that she will learn this coming year. She hopes that this program will give her more knowledge to share the story of Canada’s farmers to consumers and open more opportunities for her to help play a significant role in moving the beef industry forward.



Kaitlyn Polegi, Mentee

Biography:

Kaitlyn was raised on a mixed grain and commercial cow/calf operation near Jedburgh, Saskatchewan. Her love for cattle developed early as she enjoyed checking cows with her grandpa and watching the calves in the pastures. Joining the local 4-H club at the age of six, she was a member of for 12 years. At the age of 15 began to build her own purebred Hereford herd and joined the junior association. This past spring, she completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from the University of Saskatchewan majoring in Animal Science. Her undergrad thesis was entitled, “Minimizing the Stress of Weaning on Beef Calves”. Kaitlyn is an avid advocate for animal welfare and informing consumers about the measures taken in the beef industry to ensure that cattle are treated humanely.

Kaitlyn is now an inspector with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and together with her fiancé Mark, they are ranching alongside her parents Allan and Juanita. Kaitlyn enjoys volunteering with her local 4-H club and witnessing members become confident young cattlemen. Now that she has returned to her home community, she will volunteer for a number of organizations. She looks forward to both the opportunities and challenges that face her in the future as she expands and builds the family ranch.

Kaitlyn is excited to be a part of such a successful mentorship program and looks forward to making connections with her mentors and fellow mentees.
Jill Harvie, Mentor

Biography:

Jill ranches with her husband Cole and his family near Olds Alberta under the name Harvie Ranching and is a partner in her parent’s operation called OVHF. She has a strong passion for the purebred industry, judging and exhibiting cattle across North America is her favorite way to spend time with family, friends and great cattle.

As the Programs Manager at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), Jill works closely with the CCA Executive to identify policy gaps and suggests lobbying as well as communication strategies while delivering project management solutions to members and the committee. Jill also represents Canada as staff dedicated to the Young Leaders file on the International Beef Alliance, in an effort to improve Free Trade, Environment, Advocacy, Animal Health and Welfare issues worldwide. Jill recently became the staffer on the Animal Health file. She is the liaison with the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CCIA) which allows for greater communication between the organizations. Jill also manages the popular Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Program. This role involves program oversight, communications development, funding procurement and event coordination and planning. Finally, she works closely with CCA staff in acquiring and managing sponsorship for various programs and events. She is a Director on the board of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference and the Sponsorship Chair. Jill is the sole Canadian board member to the International Stockman’s Education Foundation based out of Houston, Texas. Jill received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness at Olds College and a Diploma in Agriculture in Animal Science from the University of Guelph.


Lee Creech, Mentee

Biography:

Lee Creech was born and raised on a ranch just north of Lloydminster, Alberta. Creech grew up spending his summer months building fence and calving cows. His family’s ranch, M.C. Quantock, has grown in size significantly over the years, currently calving around 1,000 cows. -The herd is predominantly purebred Red Angus and Angus with a couple hundred Hereford and Charolais cows. These cows produce the bulls that go into their annual M.C. Quantock “Canada’s Bulls” Bull Sale on the final Saturday in January.

After graduating high school in Lloydminster, Creech attended the University of Lethbridge, Alberta graduating with a Bachelor of Management in Marketing. Upon graduation, Creech transitioned his role with M.C. Quantock away from day-to-day operations, to various assignments throughout the year on the business side of the ranch.

With the intent to return to day-to-day operations of the ranch one day, Creech pursued a career path that would diversify his skill set. He then accepted a job in Wetaskiwin, Alberta working for a livestock nutrition company. During this time he was the understudy of two ruminant nutritionists, spending his days testing forages, balancing rations, and making recommendations for hundreds of cow/calf producers, seed stock operations, and backgrounding feedlots.

With the ranching contacts he made along the way, Creech ventured out on his own in business and started importing utility vehicles from overseas to sell to his established customer base. During this time, Creech took a few weeks away to attend the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Denver, Colorado. Upon completion, he transitioned into a career with Global Auction Guide, a technology company that helps traditional auction markets and auction houses open up new markets by marketing their sales online. Creech was soon presented with an opportunity to work with a fast-moving consumer goods company, which he saw addressed two shortcomings in his current career path—managing people and working in a corporate setting.

After initial ranch succession planning timelines were established back home Creech decided to further develop his skills and expand his network by pursuing a Master’s of Science Degree in Ranch Management at the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The institute admits only three new students per year. Creech was awarded the Joe Marlin Hilliard Endowed Fellowship, as well as the unique honor of being the first-ever international student.
Travis Toews, Mentor

Biography:

Travis is the Managing Director of the Melbern Group which includes Melbern Holdings Ltd- a ranching and back grounding operation in the Beaverlodge area of the Alberta Peace region. He currently serves on several non-profit and corporate boards and holds a CPA, CMA accounting designation.

Travis served for two years as President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). His industry contributions include significant work on the Country of Origin Labelling Legal Working Group and the Canada Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA). In recognition of his contribution to Canadian agriculture and trade, Travis received the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Award presented by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston.

Travis and his wife Kim have three children, two sons in law, and four grandchildren.



Clint Morasch, Mentor

Biography:

Clint Own’s & operate Lazy MC Angus in southeastern Alberta. It is a 200 head purebred cow / calf herd on an irrigated land base. 2018 will mark the 22nd annual Bull Sale on April 21. His fall female sale is held in Sept in Bryan, Texas. They have done extensive et work both here and at our Texas facility.

Bow Valley Genetics is also located at Lazy MC Angus & is a partnership between Dr Rob Stables & Clint. It is a complete reproductive facility including conventional & IVF embryo collection & transfer as well as owners use and export semen collection.

The Lazy MC Angus purebred herd uses all available tools for herd improvement & marketing. From genomics, ultrasound, performance testing, show ring they strive to have our genetics work worldwide.

Melissa Lee, Mentee

Biography:

While growing up on a large mixed farm near Rossburn, MB a passion for the natural environment and agriculture was instilled in Melissa. It was during this time Melissa was able to purchase her first Purebred Red Angus cows and began raising and selling seed stock.

Melissa obtained an Adventure Tourism Diploma from Lakeland College and an Environmental Studies degree from the University of Alberta. Her education lead her to a career with Environment and Parks, working initially Seasonally and then becoming a full-time Conservation Officer. Melissa currently works out of Dinosaur Provincial Park near Brooks, AB, where part of her job duties includes fostering relationships with ranchers and landowners in and around the park.

Melissa and her husband, Leon, own and operate Diamond L Ranch near Oyen, AB. They are dedicated to raising high quality Red Angus seed stock that are sustainable for both commercial and purebred producers. Each spring they market their bulls at the Medicine Hat Spring Bull Show and Sale as well as by Private Treaty both in Alberta and Manitoba. They also train and sell Ranch and Performance horses. They feel that there is no better place to raise their children, Kacey and Keaton, than in the ranching lifestyle.

Melissa is extremely grateful for the opportunities that the CYL program offers. Her hope is to gain knowledge and experience that will not only better her operation but the beef industry as whole. She would like to thank the amazing sponsors as well as the program coordinator Emily Ritchie, without them the CYL program wouldn’t be a success!


Rachel Verwey, Mentee

Biography:

Born and raised in Portage la Prairie Manitoba, Rachael has been surrounded by agriculture her whole life. Growing up on a large mixed family farm where her mom,dad, uncles, cousins, and siblings run 200 commercial charolais cows, milk 100 dairy cows, and grain farm 7000 acres, it is safe to say Rachael has experience in a lot of different aspects of the agriculture industry.

At a young age Rachael began beef 4-H and continued to be a member of the Gainsborough Combined 4H Club for 13 years. During these 13 years she also became an active member of the Canadian Charolais Youth Association and has held office on both the National Board as well as the Manitoba Junior Charolais Association. With this involvement in the industry she found her love for cattle and helping the youth within the industry, by hosting judging clinics and helping out with the local 4-H shows her involvement within the 4-H community is continuing to grow.

Rachael is currently enrolled in her last year of university at the University of Manitoba, and will be graduating in April with her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Systems.During her time at the university she has become very involved with the student body, holding office on the Faculty of Agriculture Student Organization for four years as well as being an active member of the Stockman’s club for the majority of her university career. After university Rachael plans to become more involved with the family operations as well as working with her local Co-op as an agronomist as she becomes an ambassador for the Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program she will complete this year.Rachael has also become a passionate Agvocate, volunteering at numerous events with Ag More Than Ever, Agriculture in the Classroom,and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, she believes educating consumers is an important and rewarding job.

She is incredibly excited to be selected as a CYL finalist, as she hopes to broaden her knowledge on the beef industry in Canada, continue to keep youth involved and engaged within the industry, as well as learn valuable skills she can take back to the farm to continue to improve the operation. She is looking forward to connecting with the other finalists and mentors, as well as everyone she meets along the way in the upcoming year.
Tara Mullhern Davidson, Mentor

Biography:

Tara Mulhern Davidson ranches with her husband Ross and four young children in southwest Saskatchewan near Ponteix. They run Lonesome Dove Ranch, a large commercial and purebred Gelbvieh cow-calf operation that they started in 2005. On their farm they raise feeder calves and replacement heifers and work alongside Ross' parents at Davidson Gelbvieh to co-host an annual yearling bull sale. Tara loves the diversity of ranch life... whether it is meeting new friends at North American stock shows, teaching her children to identify invasive weeds at highway speeds, or her never-ending quest to make the perfect hay bale.

Tara obtained her BSA from the University of Saskatchewan with a major in Animal Science and a minor in Rangeland Resources. She has worked in the provincial, federal, and non-profit sectors and is currently a consulting agrologist, working in forage and range management, beef extension, and her passion, prairie conservation. Tara also enjoys writing a little (say, 140 characters) or a lot and is a freelance writer and social media coordinator for a few organizations. She rambles about livestock, politics, parenting, and the prairie on her blog A Little Bit Western.

Tara was a 2011 graduate of the CYL program and is looking forward to joining this year's crew as a mentor.


John Cross, Mentor

Biography:

John is the steward of the A7 Ranche, officially the oldest cattle ranch in Canada still in the hands of the original family (his grandfather, A.E. Cross, was one of the “Big Four” founders of the Calgary Stampede).

He uses holistic resource management in the management of his ranche. This means a cyclical method of planning and monitoring towards a three-part, holistic goal: succeeding every year in landscape health, human well-being, and financial profitability.

John has a strong commitment to preserving working ranches in Western Canada.


Rob & Gail Hamilton, Mentors

Biography:

Rob and Gail Hamilton own and operate Hamilton Farms, a purebred Black Angus operation located NW of Calgary Ab. Rob grew up on a mixed farm in Innisfail, Alberta, where the family raised purebred Shorthorns, and then later, transitioned into raising Maine-Anjou cattle. Gail grew up on their family dairy farm in Grunthal, Manitoba and moved to Alberta after graduating from Olds College Animal Health Technology program. After college, Gail worked at Alberta Livestock Transplants/Alta Genetics for 28 years as a vet technichian, and recipient cow herd manager. Rob spent time working as herdsman for Church Simmental Ranch, and farm manager for Alta Genetics embryo division. In 1981, Rob purchased 30 head of Black Angus cows from Greenvale Farms in Bashaw, Ab, and that was the start of Hamilton Farms. The cows were run on rented property for many years while Rob and Gail were employed off farm, spawning a natural selection for cattle that were self sufficient and hardy. In 1992, they bought bare land in the Cochrane area and built up the home base where they currently reside. Hamilton Farms presently consists of 325 purebred Black Angus cows, and land holdings for the operation are over 6000 acres. Rob and Gail have developed a very successful seedstock operation and have sold genetics to many different countries around the world. This year marks the 23rd year of hosting their annual bull sale at the ranch.
Ashley Gaudet, Mentee

Biography:

Ashley is a first-generation cattle producer, Prince Edward Island native and current Alberta resident, calling the foothills of Southern Alberta home since 2009. She has been involved in the cattle industry for the last 20 years, having gotten her start at an early age by taking an interest in helping her neighbours with their cattle. She eventually joined 4-H and began showing commercial steers and purebred Charolais cattle across Eastern Canada, while taking full advantage of everything the program had to offer along the way.

She attributes her decision to pursue a career in veterinary medicine to the rewarding experiences gained from caring for her 4-H animals, and knowing that she wanted to work with cattle, sought employment in that area following completion of her Veterinary Technician diploma. She recently pursued that passion further by completing a technician specialty in the field Clinical Practice specific to Production Animal Medicine and is currently the only technician in Canada with that designation. That drive to work exclusively with beef cattle resulted in the move to Alberta and allowed her to expand her experiences and begin to build a herd of her own. She is now actively growing her own commercial herd and currently raises Angus/Simmental cross cows East of Calgary, AB.

Ashley is excited and honoured to have been selected for the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program and is looking forward to connecting with the other CYL finalists and mentors she will meet through the program. Through mentorship Ashley hopes to gain a better understanding the business of beef production and strategies that might make her operation more economically viable and sustainable in years to come.

Shelley Jones, Mentor

Biography:

Shelley is a proud AGvocate!

Upon drafting an agriculture awareness strategy for the Ministry of Agriculture in 2013, Shelley began work implementing it as the Ministry’s Manager of Agriculture Awareness. Her efforts toward improving the public perception of agriculture have seen the development and delivery of agriculture awareness, youth leadership, career promotion, and training programs under Growing Forward 2. A couple of celebrated successes include the establishment of Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan, targeting awareness efforts to public audiences, and the extended reach of Agriculture in the Classroom Saskatchewan programs and resources to the province’s teachers and students.

In August, Shelley took on a new role as the Ministry’s Manager of Livestock Development. Guided by the Ministry’s Livestock and Forage Strategy, she works with internal and external stakeholders to support the sustainable growth of the province’s livestock sector.

Prior to joining the Ministry, Shelley taught marketing and human resources at SIAST (now Sask Polytechnic), and, before that, was Saskatchewan policy manager for the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association.

Shelley is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, College of Agriculture, and grew up on a ranch near Crane Valley. She is also an active community volunteer and was recognized as Moose Jaw’s Citizen of the Year and awarded a Canada 150 Medal for her efforts.
Quinn Anderson Folk, Mentee

Biography:

Quinn Anderson Folk grew up on the Anderson Ranch south of Fir Mountain, Saskatchewan. She is still involved with this multi-generational cow-calf, backgrounding, and farming operation. Anderson Ranch has been recognized for its extensive efforts with species-at-risk and the environment.

Quinn has completed a Bachelor of Music in Voice (Performance) and a Bachelor of Education. She works in education and as a private music teacher in southwest Saskatchewan. Quinn currently resides outside of Swift Current with her husband, Keith, and their son, Quade.

John Griswold, Mentor

Biography:
Allan Hjertaas, Mentee

Biography:

Raised on a 4th generation family farm near Redvers SK, Allan got started in the livestock sector through 4-H. He then started buying and showing purebred Hereford females and exhibited at several Canadian and U.S. junior nationals. After high school Allan began doing custom work for purebred operations typically focusing on show and sale cattle. Allan has exhibited and prepared cattle a major shows across North America , Australia, and Argentina. He is currently employed with Double Bar D Farms, a large mixed farming operation in Grenfell SK.
Cody Creelemen, Mentor

Biography:

Dr. Cody Creelman is the managing partner of Veterinary Agri-Health Services, a health management oriented veterinary practice based in Alberta that provides high quality professional services to feedlot and cow/calf operations. He is also the co-founder of Mosaic Veterinary Partners, a veterinary practice investment group, which is looking to provide support to rural mixed veterinary practices across western Canada. A modern day James Herriot in the making, Cody shares his story in real-time, creating entertaining and educational videos of his daily adventures in the field.
Cale Toews, Mentee

Biography:

Cale was raised on a third generation cattle ranch west of Grande Prairie, Alberta. Started in 1964 by Cale’s grandparents, the family ranch has grown to accommodate 1500 mother cows and a small backgrounding feedlot. The Toews family has worked hard to develop a consistent herd of Simmental/Angus cows, with emphasis on longevity, maternal strength and feed efficiency. Through the ranch, Cale was granted an early entry into agriculture and has been extensively involved in the local 4H beef club from the age of 9. In high school, Cale pursued the creation of his own purebred Simmental cow herd and marketed his cattle across the province.

After high school graduation, Cale studied in New Zealand for 6 months. Through his over seas experience, Cale gained cross cultural knowledge in the diverse field of New Zealand agriculture. These experiences in agriculture led him to pursue the study of science at a community college in Grande Prairie. Cale works on the family ranch in the summers and continues his studies during the winter months. He is now attending the university of Calgary with hopes of completing his bachelor’s degree, and plans on applying to a number of DVM programs.

Cale is extremely honored and humbled to be selected as a CYL finalist, and he plans on taking advantage of every opportunity provided by this renowned program. He hopes to gain mentorship in the area of beef cattle health, furthering his understanding of the interconnected relationship between veterinary medicine and beef cattle production in Canada. He has already connected with so many passionate individuals through the selections process and he is excited about the continued networking opportunities through CYL.

Lacey McCrae, Mentee

Biography:

Lacey McCrae currently farms with her husband Andrew McCrae north of Vermilion. They have a commercial Black Angus herd and calve out about 350 cows. They also grain farm. Lacey loves the opportunity to be on the farm full time and is constantly looking at ways to improve their operation and have a positive impact where she can. She is currently on the Alberta Young Farmers and Ranchers board and is excited about the future opportunities that she hopes it will bring.

Lacey was born and raised on a mixed cattle ranch west of Prince George, B.C. The love for Agriculture, cows, horses and people was fostered on the ranch where she spent a lot of her time riding horses and checking cows. She also kept busy earning her keep by running tractor for her parents’ haying operation. From that impeccable start, Lacey knew that agriculture was the life for her. She took a few years foray into the horse training world, but would always revert to old habits and find herself once again working with cattle.

She is euphoric to have the opportunity to be a part of the CYL program. She looks forward to meeting all the wonderful people who are involved and hopes to learn from each interaction. Through CYL, she hopes to find efficiencies she can take back to the farm and improve her industry network.
Kelly & Julie Anne Howe, Mentors

Biography:

Kelly and Julie-Anne are the 3rd Generation farming with their family south of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan running 325 purebred Charolais and Red Angus Cattle. The Howe Family Farm runs under the Whitecap Charolais and Howe Red Angus banners, marketing 80 yearling and two-year-old bulls through their annual on farm bull sale, having celebrated the 27th sale this spring. As well, they also run 1600 acres of crop and hayland under irrigation. The Howe’s have been breeding Charolais cattle since 1968 and Angus cattle since 1984 having marketing live cattle across North America and genetics worldwide. Additionally, Kelly and Julie-Anne operate Bar Over 3H Livestock Ltd., providing nutrition consulting and contract project work for various organizations including the Nature Conservatory of Canada and Verified Beef Saskatchewan.

The Howe Farm is very involved in the Agriculture Industry with Kelly currently serving as President of the Saskatchewan Charolais Association, Agribition Charolais Barn Boss and a director on Saskatchewan Livestock Association. Both Kelly and Julie-Anne have extensively volunteered at Agribition for over 20 years. Additionally, the farm host numerous events including the CWA International Livestock Tour, World Charolais Congress, various international delegations, provincial and nnational Charolais and Angus Association Tour’s and Meetings, Canadian Charolais Youth Association events and numerous other 4-H and youth events . Julie-Anne is active in promoting Agriculture through volunteering extensively with Agriculture in the Classroom’s Food Farm Initiatives, SK PCAP Adopt-A-Rancher Program and blogging about Agriculture. Also in 2015, Julie-Anne spearheaded the start of an apiary to continue to diversify the farming operation.

Kelly grew up on the farm in Moose Jaw showing cattle in 4-H and the Canadian Charolais Youth Association. Julie-Anne grew up in Abbotsford and was a partner in the family dairy farm until 2003. They attended the University of Saskatchewan’s Agriculture College with Kelly completing a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Julie-Anne a Master’s degree in Ruminant Nutrition and Microbiology. Both have work extensively in the agriculture industry. Kelly spent over 10 years doing nutrition work in Alberta with Cargill in various roles. In 2013, he transferred over to Cargill’s grain marketing division in order to move back to the farm. Julie-Anne has worked across Western Canada as a ruminant nutritionist and livestock pharmaceutical territory manager. After moving to the farm, she worked for Saskatchewan Agriculture before forming Bar Over 3H Livestock and farming full time. The combination of experience in animal nutrition, grain marketing and animal health is an invaluable asset to the farm.

Matt Kumlin, Mentee

Biography:

Matt Kumlin is a 5th generation rancher south-west of Cochrane, AB in the community of Jumping Pound.  After completing his Agriculture Degree at the U of S in 2010, he transitioned into the DVM program at UCVM in Calgary, graduating in 2014.  Since that time he has worked as a cow-calf and advanced reproductive veterinarian at Bow Valley Livestock Health and Bow Valley Genetics in Brooks, AB.  Starting in January 2018 Matt along with his wife, Angela and son, Wade will be moving back to the ranch in Jumping Pound.  They plan to continue to expand their commercial and purebred Red Angus herd.  Matt will also be working as a part-time cattle veterinarian at Veterinary Agri-Health Services Ltd. in Airdrie, AB. Matt is looking forward to growing his network of young cattlemen as well as the mentorship the CYL program has to offer.  He is very grateful for this opportunity to partake in this excellent mentorship program.
Dave Solverson, Mentor

Biography:

Dave Solverson is an experienced cattleman from Camrose, AB. Together with his brother , Ken, and daughter and CYL grad, Joanne, operate Woodwind Ranch, a cow-calf to finish operation.

He manages 800+ breeding females. Woodwind exposes 85% of their heifers annually, making replacement selections after the 1st calf is born.

Dave looks forward to mentoring, and sees it as an opportunity to learn, as well. Dave, has been very active in industry associations, and is currently Past President of Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Taylor Grafton, Mentee

Biography:

Taylor Grafton is a third generation rancher that grew up on a cow-calf and backgrounding operation called Bar K Ranch near Prince George BC that was managed by his parents. He did a BSc in Agriculture at the U of S, majoring in Animal Science, and then worked in research at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for a couple years in the field of Theriogenology. He then volunteered in an indigenous Mayan community in Guatemala doing agriculture development work before returning to work on the ranch where he grew up. After several years at the Bar K, he was promoted to Ranch Manager when his parents retired in 2015. He also began a master’s degree by distance education through Texas A&M in the field of Ethology while working on the ranch and has his Articling Agrologist designation. Currently his volunteer positions include Director for the Prince George Cattlemen’s Association, and the BC Representative for the Verified Beef Management Committee.

Taylor is very excited and grateful for about the opportunity to be part of the CYL program. He hopes to advance his knowledge of the industry as a whole and models of economic and environmental sustainability that he can use to contribute to a vibrant Canadian Beef Industry.
Mike Munton, Mentor

Biography:

Michael Munton has a Bachlor of Science in Animal Science Degree from Oklahoma State University. He grew up ranching with his dad Doug, and when he finished school he came home ready to join the family business. He started the beef side when BSE in 2003 hit the cattle market hard, he went door to door getting restaurants in Lethbridge to buy Benchmark product and keep the ranch afloat. Benchmark Angus is a 4th generation family run operation in Southern Alberta. They raise 100% All Natural black and red Angus on the Milk River ridge. Using such tools as; ultra sounding for marbling, ribeye size and back fat measurements, the only privately owned Growsafe system in Canada to measure feed efficiency and DNA testing of all herd animals to verify parentage. Each of these tools along with genetic research have allowed them to raise and produce top quality, marbling and producing cattle. They own a processing facility where we they are able to see what is under the hide on each animal slaughtered. Two percent of all cattle slaughtered in North America is graded Prime, each week we have our animals graded by the Canadian Beef Grading Agency and we are on average 30% Prime. It has taken years and hard work but we now pride ourselves on supplying the top steak houses in Calgary & Banff.

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