Frequently Asked Questions

CYL is not a traditional mentorship program…you will find it flexible and tailored to what you want to experience. Without intense time commitment, the CYL program gives young leaders a chance to team up with industry experts, make connections and provide valuable input to industry and government.

Answering Your Questions


What is the objective of this program?
In today’s cattle industry, the youth perspective is becoming increasingly important for many reasons. Consumer preferences are shifting, political perspectives are being aimed more so at the millennial generation and leadership is beginning to shift. The objective of CYL is to encourage young people to become engaged and take action in the Canadian cattle industry.

Who is eligible to apply to the program?
The CYL Program is open to all young people ages 18 - 35 that are passionate about the Canadian beef industry. You do not have to own cattle or be a cattle producer to participate in the program, as it’s open to young people involved in all aspects of the beef supply chain. We strongly value diversity amongst applicants where all are welcome to apply, as it plays a key role in young leaders gaining exposure to new ideas and creating peer learning experiences.

What events do CYLs attend?
During their mentorship, mentees attend a wide range of events. These include CYL organized tours, Canadian Cattle’s Association meetings, industry tours, conferences and forums depending on the goals of their mentorship. Examples of industry events CYLs have attended in the past include the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, Beef Value Chain Roundtables, Farm Fair International, Agribition, Toronto Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Alberta and Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conferences, and provincial beef producer meetings. In cases where in-person events have been limited due to COVID-19, CYLs have still been able to participate in numerous industry renowned events virtually. This has even proved an advantage is some cases where CYLs have been able to participate in events online they may have not been able to attend in person due to busy seasons on the farm or other time constraints.

Are there international opportunities for the CYLs?
The CYL Program sends delegates to international industry events to represent youth in the Canadian beef industry and enrich their mentorship experience. International events CYLs have attended in the past include the National Western Stock Show, International Beef Alliance Conference and Young Ranchers Program, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual Convention. In addition, there are tours, young producer roundtables and various meetings scheduled around these events which allow CYL participants to make the most of these trips and establish meaningful connections with beef producers in other nations. While international events have been limited recently due to COVID-19, these unique travel opportunities are also open for program alumni to put their names forward for these trips in future years.

How has the Program adapted to COVID-19?
The program has taken several steps to ensure young leaders still receive skill development, networking, and mentorship opportunities. Mentorship pairings are strategically created working towards having mentors and mentees within close geographical proximity where possible for greater opportunities to meet in-person when travel has been limited. A virtual webinar series has been created with the help of program sponsors to offer CYLs the opportunities to engage in training exercises and connect with their program peers and generous program partners to gain industry contacts. CYLs have also put their $2,000 budgets towards attending virtual events and one-on-one coaching opportunities with industry professionals. Coaching examples include virtual grazing consulting sessions and allocating funds towards accounting software training for use on the farm. As mentioned above, while international travel has been limited, CYLs can still put their name forward for these trips for years to come as alumni of the program when international travel resumes.

What do the mentorships focus on?
CYL mentees work with their mentors to establish a unique learning road map that outlines key areas of interest or specific questions that the mentee has. Throughout the course of the mentorship, the mentee builds a knowledge and skill base in these key areas through conversations with their mentor, attending industry events and networking with other leaders and peers in industry. CYL mentees also participate in training activities and advocacy efforts such as the Beef Advocacy Canada program.

Who are the CYL mentors?
Program participants are matched with industry leaders that have knowledge, experience and skills in the participant’s area of interest. The list of past mentors is very diverse and can be found on the CYL website under our Participant Spotlight page.

What is the time commitment to be a participant?
CYL is not a traditional mentorship program. Participants will find it flexible and tailored to what they want to experience. Mentors will dedicate a minimum amount of time to activities within a pre-determined time frame to share skills, experiences and opportunities with mentees. In order to complete the program, the mentee will need to exhibit comprehension and proficiency in the areas of learning.

What is the duration of a mentorship?
The successful mentees will be selected at the annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August and will be introduced to their mentor in November. The mentorship typically concludes at the end of July followed by a graduation ceremony at the following Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Graduates of the program are eligible to participate in select CYL events after their official mentorship is completed.

How do I apply to the program?
Program applications are available on the CYL website and generally open in early January and close in late March. Visit the ‘Apply’ page to access the application and see this year’s official opening and closing submission dates.

Partnership Program

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