Carollyne Kehler featured in MBP’s Cattle Country

Carollyne Kehler, 2013/14 CYL Mentee, was featured in the September issue of the Manitoba Beef Producers’ Cattle Country publication. In the article (found on page 6) Carollyne points out some of the highlights of the CYL program and her relationship with mentor Betty Green to date.

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CYL announces new partners; offers participants business skills development

19-08-2013 – CYL announces new partners offers participants business skills development

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Daniel Doerksen’s visit to Ontario

Daniel Doerksen was hosted by his mentor, Mike McMorris, following the CYL negotiations and governance training at the CCA Semi Annual Meeting in London, ON in mid August. Daniel is a rancher from Gem, AB. For more information on Daniel and Mike you can visit out Participant Spotlight page.

After attending CYL Step 2 Training in London, Ontario I had the opportunity to spend a couple days with my mentor Mike McMorris touring London and Guelph.

On day one we started off touring the town that Mike lives in as we made our way to Guelph were Mike’s office is.  I had an opportunity to meet the staff at BIO and gave a short presentation to them about our farm and how I see BIO helping us with our operation at home.  This was a great opportunity to work on some public speaking skills.  As well, I got a rundown on how BIO’s software system works.  After lunch we headed to the Elora Beef Research farm were we got a tour and learned about some of the projects that they have going on there. Following
our tour there we headed  to the University of Guelph were I had the opportunity to meet with researcher Ricardo Ventura were he explained to me a research project they have going on right now.  This was very interesting because one of the projects that Ricardo is working on has a group of our cattle being used for the study.  That evening we headed to Toronto were we took in a Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox game as well as took a tour up the CN tower.

Day two we toured VG Meats with Cory Van Gronigen and Buis Beef with Mike Buis. Both of these operations have focused their attention on marketing their own beef through their own retail stores.  While they both go about it in different ways they both have the same end goal in mind: providing a great eating experience ever time for their customers.  It was interesting to see how they have added value to their product and it got me thinking of things I can do in our operation to try and be more profitable.

As we travelled around these two days we had lots of opportunity to talk about a variety of things but one thing that Mike really emphasized was the importance of building relationships with people in the industry and the need to work together.

This trip was a great opportunity to see new things and meet new people and I look forward to what the rest of our mentorship has in store.

-Daniel Doerksen

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International Livestock Congress and CS Cattle Trail

In July, several CYLs attended the International Livestock Congress held in Calgary on July 10th and many also volunteered with the Calgary Stampede Cattle Trail exhibit – an interactive and engaging presentation on the beef cattle industry. A few of the participants shared their experience:

Daniel Doerksen from Gem, AB attended ILC:

ILC was an informative conference with knowledgeable speakers from different areas of the ag industry.  There was a very positive outlook for the future of agriculture with China’s middle class growing to 400 million people and global food demand rising by 1.5%.  This could open up more opportunity for the Canadian cattle industry.  A big highlight for me was hearing Lee Leachman talk about their cattle operation and how they are using BIO Track to improve profitability on their ranch. Since my mentor is the General Manager of BIO (Mike McMorris) it was really great to here from someone who is using the program.

Amanda Elzinga from Sherwood Park, AB attended ILC:

I was able to attend ILC in Calgary in July and am very glad I took the opportunity. Being surrounded by such positivity within the beef industry was a genuine treat. It was great to see how many young people were involved and enthusiastic about the era we are entering. For me, one of the major highlights was the panel discussion on profitability. No matter how much you agreed or disagreed with the speaker’s methods, there was something to be learned from all 4. One of the beauties of the beef industry is that there is no right answer, but in Lee Leachman’s words, “the only trait that matters is profitability.” Dr. Catlett’s talk was one of the most entertaining I’ve ever heard, but provided some very thought provoking messages, and was another highlight for me. We are not a part of a stagnant industry, but rather one that is embracing technology and gaining strength. ILC was a great reminder of this, and provided some solid facts and ideas to back this up.

Carollyne Kehler from Steinbach, MB received one of the student bursaries to attend ILC and participate in the bursary tours. As well, Carollyne volunteered at the Cattle Trail display:

In July of this year I was privileged to be accepted into the International Livestock Congress (ILC) Student Program and given the chance to volunteer at the Cattle Trails Exhibit at the Calgary Stampede. I had a blast at both events and learned heaps about the beef industry, both nationally and internationally.

The ILC involved one day of presentations and two days of student tours that ended in a student forum in which the topic of discussion was sustainability. The first day of presentations encompassed topics such as economics, food safety, research, maintaining  profitability, genetics and the inside scoop from a meat processors perspective. All the speakers were dynamic and well versed in their area of discussion but the highlight, for me, was the last speaker of the day; Dr. Catlett from New Mexico. He had an inspiring and hilarious talk on what the future holds for the beef industry. His mantra; “the beef industry knows no bounds.” I fully agree!

The tours were outstanding! We started at Olds College and proceeded to tour Nature Calls composting company where they take manure from their feedlot, combined with logging waste and create potting soil to sell to companies such as Miracle Grow. We toured Sunterra Market a unique company that integrates livestock production and processing with direct sales through their local product and quality focused grocery stores and restaurants. It was a treat to tour and taste test at that stop on the tour. We also visited the GrowSafe Systems manufacturer, SAIT Polytechnic Institute to learn about upcoming RFID technology, Feedlot Health Management Service and Livestock Identification Services.

The best part of the tours was hearing the engaging and often unexpected questions from the diverse group of students. The perspectives of students from across Canada, the USA, Australia and Ireland made the conversations captivating and extremely dynamic, not to mention humorous.  Since the congress ended one of the students drew my attention to an Australian conference that was on a subject related to my master’s project. I would never have known about it if I didn’t have that connection. The beef industry is a small world; I’m looking forward to eventually bumping into many of the people I met on the ILC tours.

The Calgary Stampede is a spectacle to behold! Watching the chuck wagons fly by at an arms length away was awesome. At the stampede there are so many events to take in, so much action and a ridiculous amount of people. People who often made their way through the Cattle Trails exhibit, which I was proud to help with. I answered lots of questions ranging from ‘what kind of cow is this’ to involved questions about controversial subjects. Something that surprised me was, when asked “have you ever seen a calf being born” lots of people said yes. Often it was their grandparents, parents, uncles, or neighbours that had a farm that they helped on or visited.  I believe the Cattle Trails exhibit is a great way to teach people about the beef industry and also learn about perspectives from outside the industry.

Thanks to the CYL program for helping me get involved in the ILC student program and volunteering at Cattle Trails and thanks to everyone involved in organising these events. I hope that I was able to make a valuable contribution because I know I sure gained a lot from both experiences.

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CYL Summer Activities

CYLs have been keeping busy this summer and CCA’s Action News keeps you up to date on some of those activities!

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Travel Policy

CYL Travel Policy

CYL Travel Policy

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Code of Conduct

CYL Code of Conduct

CYL Code of Conduct

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CYL Contract

CYL Contract

CYL Contract

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Life as a BC Cattle Rancher – Team Erika

2013 Graduate Erika Strande has continued her work with her mentor Erika Fossen past the end of their CYL mentorship. Their latest project is a blog that highlights their lives as women owning/working on BC cattle ranches and the importance of the BC and Canadian cattle industries. Both are dedicated to these industries and are keen to improve the lines of communication between the producer and the consumer. This is one step that they are taking to address this challenge.

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CYL 2013 Spring Forum

From March 5-8th, CYL 2013 Graduates and 2013 Semi-Finalists travelled to Ottawa to attend the CYL Spring Forum and CCA Annual Meeting. Events kicked off on the afternoon of March 5th with 22 Semi-Finalists vying for 16 mentorships. The selection process was in a round table format with representatives from MNP, Elanco, Cargill, ALMA, FCC, and CCMDC facilitating the conversation. Marty Seymour, CEO of Canadian Western Agribition, Michael Latimer, General Manager of the Canadian Angus Association, and Kerry Hyatt, 2013 CYL Graduate, served as judges for the round table selections. The day concluded with a Graduation Banquet and Reception to recognize the 15 CYL Graduates and highlight the events and achievements of the past year. Selections concluded the next morning and were followed by presentations from Ryder Lee, CCA Manager of Federal Provincial Relations, on animal health and a market update from Brian Perillat, Manager/Senior Analyst for Canfax. Brenda Schoepp joined our group in the afternoon to present on mentorship and facilitate a round table discussion that highlighted some of the mentee-mentor relationships from the past year and a sustainability project CYL is working on with the Five Nations Beef Alliance Young Ranchers group among other topics. Ag More Than Ever was also able to join CYL for a portion of the week and put together a great video showcasing CYLs and why they chose a career in agriculture ( Wednesday evening, graduates and semi-finalists alike were able to mix and mingle with CCA Directors, industry representatives and MPs from Parliament Hill at the CCA VIP Reception. Many CYLs stayed to take in some of the CCA Committee meetings that where scheduled for that week. All in all it was a very successful event and a great networking opportunity for the CYLs. To read more about this event and the 16 new CYL mentees visit the Participant Spotlight page of our website ( or click on the link for the Mentorship Recipient News Release below.

CCA News Release 12-03-2013 -Cattlemen’s Young Leaders announces 2013 Mentorship Recipients

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