Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 World Angus Secretariat in Argentina

Every two years Angus Associations from around the world gather to share ideas and build relationships and form a united Angus front on a global scale. This year the World Angus Secretariat, now a conglomerate of 20 different Angus Associations, met in Argentina. Official delegates from Canada included Canadian Angus Association President David Bolduc, Past President Kirk Wildman, CEO Rob Smith, Junior Ambassador Austen Anderson, and Breed Development Specialist Kajal Devani. The official delegates attend the World Angus Secretariat Technical meeting where all the Associations share their technical challenges, and together the secretariat makes recommendations for adopting technology. At this year’s technical meeting we discussed SNP-based parentage verification, using genomic information in genetic evaluations and the benefits of data sharing between the Associations.

Also from Canada were 30 participants, the largest group of participants present in Argentina. The next numerous group of participants was from the Czech Republic who had 17 participants from their country. I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the 30 participants from Canada. You get to know people quite well if you have the chance to travel at length with them.

All Canadian participants would agree that this trip to Argentina was an incredible opportunity to witness Argentinean hospitality, to meet Angus enthusiasts from all over the world, to network and promote Canadian Angus genetics, and to establish strong working relationships. The trip gave me the opportunity to compare notes with breed development staff from 20 other Angus Associations. I recognize that most of them face the same challenges that we do, and I learned some new ways to approach different challenges.

While we were in Argentina, our Junior Ambassador, Austen Anderson, was an exemplary representative for Canadian Angus and Canadian juniors. He is creating a collection of all the photographs that were taken in Argentina so that they can be shared with all our members. So, keep an eye out for these!

Our hosts introduced us to Argentinean beef, wine, culture, Tango, heritage and people. The Canadian participants came back with a better understanding of how things are done all over the world, and in Argentina especially. Argentina is very heavily influenced by Europe, especially by the Spanish and Italians. Their Creole horses are beautiful, and they relish their gaucho traditions. 98% of Argentineans eat beef every day of the week, and their beef preparation methods were very tasty! Argentina is a very diverse country with arid mountain regions as well as more tropical southern regions. They struggle with infrastructure for roads and trade barriers that we can empathize with. And yet, they have huge operations with up to several thousand purebred Angus in their operations. Argentinean Angus breeders utilize a lot of American and Canadian genetics, and enjoy good relationships with many Canadian Angus breeders.

We look forward to the next Secretariat meeting which will be held with the 2013 World Angus Forum in New Zealand. The New Zealand Angus Association has designed a very fun Forum challenge for youth participants. You can read more about this by clicking on the following link:

Posted by Kajal Devani