Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Mentorship Program announces 2021 finalists

Calgary, AB – The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Mentorship Program, a national youth initiative of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), is pleased to announce the 16 finalists for the 2021-2022 program year.

The final selection took place through a virtual competition held on August 30, 2021 where 23 impressive semi-finalists from across Canada competed for a spot in the CYL Program through judged discussions. The finalists will be awarded a $2,000 travel budget and be paired with a hand-picked industry leader for a nine-month mentorship in their specific area of interest.

Through the virtual selections event, semi-finalists participated in roundtable discussions by breaking off into smaller virtual meetings each facilitated and judged by CYL Foundation Partners, Cargill, McDonald’s Canada, MNP, and New Holland, and Gold Sponsors, Farm Credit Canada, RBC Future Launch and Alltech. Semi-finalists put their skills to the test through thought provoking discussions about timely topics in the beef industry such as [ ]

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2020 CYL Mentor Announcement

The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Mentorship Program is pleased to announce its 2020 mentor pairings. Each year, 16 program participants are paired with a hand-picked industry leader in their specific area of interest for a nine-month mentorship tailored for professional and personal growth within the Canadian beef industry.There is an exciting array of mentorship focus areas this year, ranging from grazing management to public trust, livestock handling and welfare, industry policy, and much more.To see the full list of mentorship pairings, check out our news release below.

Click here: 2020 Mentor Announcement: Cattlemen’s Young Leaders

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Video celebrates 10 Years of the CYL Program

The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders  (CYL) Mentorship Program is celebrating its 10th Anniversary! Since established in 2010, this flagship mentorship program of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association has seen over 120 graduates who have been mentored by an industry leader and have taken advantage of unique networking and travel opportunities for professional and personal growth.

To celebrate this exciting milestone, we’re looking back on the last decade of the program with stories from participants, mentors, sponsors and more. The following video presentation was unveiled at the virtual Canadian Beef Industry Conference on August 11, 2020 during the CYL Program 10th Anniversary Celebration.


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Houston? No Problem!

If you ever get the chance to attend the International Livestock Congress in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, rest assured you are in for a treat! I had this wonderful opportunity through my CYL Mentorship in early March.

The International Livestock Congress 2017 Conference topic of ‘Balancing Livestock and Water Use For Sustainable Nutrition’ was a great fit with learning new ways to enhance the sustainability of my own operation, one of my mentorship objectives. What an excellent opportunity to broaden my scope of global water and food supply issues and how it relates back to livestock production, not only for the US and the rest of the world but here in Canada as well. A few key topics of discussion included research and innovation of water conserving technologies, maintenance and development of water infrastructure, meeting the increasing global food supply demand, awareness of [ ]

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CYL’s Enjoy NCBA

Through the CYL program I had the opportunity to attend the NCBA convention in Nashville at the start of February. I had heard nothing but great things about the convention especially when it is held in Nashville but everything about it still blew me away.

For starters the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center was a spectacle of its own and was the part I was the least prepared for as my image of big didn’t even come close to its actual size. However, when you factor in that there were 8-9000 people attending the conference all in one building it seems a lot more reasonable.

The speakers at the conference were also worth the trip. We heard from a Mt Everest survivor, a media advisor to George Bush, Cattlefax outlooks, and more. Every one of these speakers provided tremendous insight and were great [ ]

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Mel Hermanson at Ranching for Profit

On the 14th of January my Husband Russell and I drove down to Billings, Montana to attend the Ranching for Profit course. This course was in line with the mentorship objectives I set with my mentor Graeme Finn. We decided that it would be beneficial if both Russell and I went down so we could align our goals and objectives for our cattle operation. We were able to utilize growing forward 2 funding through the Business Management Skills development program to help attend the course and I was also able to utilize a portion of my CYL mentorship budget which was a massive help.

The course started on Sunday the 15th of January and was run by Dallas Mount and Dave Pratt. Right away Russell and I were separated and put on a table of people we hadn’t met before. The logic that being separated we would be exposed to more [ ]

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Mentor Meetings Are Well Underway!

On January seventh, I made the trip from Lethbridge to Jumping Pound Alberta, where I met my CYL mentor Ryan Copithorne, for the first time. It was a beautiful crisp day and as I drove into Ryan’s ranch, I saw ranch hands feeding cattle out in the fields. I met with Ryan in the ranch office, a former bunkhouse, full of western artwork and antiques. I soon found Ryan to be very personable and very knowledgeable. He had a lot of insight in the beef industry and had some unique perspectives.

Previously, we had outlined five main objectives to address during my mentorship. The first and main objective we covered during my visit was to create a personal mission statement. This involved answering a series of thought-provoking questions such as “What do you see as personal strengths and weaknesses relating to the career path you are pursuing?” As well, we discussed [ ]

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2016-2017 Upcoming Events


Global Round Table for Sustainable Beef (GRSB)
October 4-7, 2016

Traceability Symposium 2016
November 2-3, 2016

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
November 3-7, 2016

World Meat Congress
November 7-9, 2016

BEEFTECH, before FarmFair
November 7-9, 2016 



Cow-Calf Economics Alberta 

Topics this year will include:

Market Outlook and your marketing options

Transition Planning – The Human Aspect

Risk Management Perspectives

Cost of Production – Do you know yours?

7 drives to Financial Success

What does your Neighbor Think? –A Beef Producer’s Perspectives

November 1, 2016  – Nanton, Nanton Community Center 

November 2, 2016 –Lethbridge, Country Kitchen Catering (in the same building as the Key on Mayor Magrath Drive)

November 3, 2016 –Olds, Olds College Alumni Centre

November 8, 2016 – Vermilion, Vermilion Regional Centre

November 9, 20165 –Evansburg, Royal Canadian Legion

Farmfair International
November 2-6, 2016

Ag Excellence Conference  

Farm Management Canada
November 22-24, [ ]

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International Beef Alliance Conference 2016

Taupo, New Zealand
Ellen Crane

Maori carvings on Lake Taupo captured during the fishing trip.

The International Beef Alliance (IBA) is comprised of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay and the United States, which represents 46% of global beef cattle production and 63% of global beef exports. This year, the organization met in Taupo, New Zealand, this beautiful country provided a picturesque agricultural backdrop for the conference. The conference was kicked off on Sunday with introduction presentations by the eight Young Leaders from Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States.


Pasture environments created to measure nitrogen output by the production system

On Monday, the Young Leaders met to present their findings on the special topic: How the IBA can connect with ‘Millennials’ to gain support for the Alliance. The team split into the focus groups for animal welfare, sustainability and beef attributes. The group then reconvened to put [ ]

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2015 CYL Mentors are announced

The mentors for the 2015/16 CYL year have been selected thanks to our Mentor Selection Committee. For the full press release please click on the link below:

2015 CYL Mentor selection article

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