Friday, May 10, 2013

Katie's Busy Week of Promotion

When you embark on a new experience, whether that is a new job, event or even buying a new pair of shoes, there are always feelings of anxiety and caution. Beginning my internship with the Canadian Angus Association was no different. There is a quote which always offers me encouragement by A. G. Phillips: “It is not what we know that scares us, it is what we do not,” and now there is no doubt in my mind that this was an opportunity I could not have denied myself. 

My advocating began very quickly as we finished training on Friday, April 26th and my first event was on the following Monday! Given that I did not have much time to reflect before going out and promoting, my natural instincts really took over. Being a Junior exhibiting at so many shows as a 4-H member and a Canadian Junior Angus member in the past, I really enjoy being at all the shows and talking to children about their calves and show year. I feel we can all agree there is nothing that compares to the utter joy in nine-year–olds eyes as they get handed that first ribbon as their doting grandparents are snapping pictures. The Angus breed must be proud of these life skills they provide for their Juniors, such as me, through programming and support thanks to vast volunteers and perseverance of numerous committees.
This week has been unbelievably busy as achievement day season begins and the school year is wrapping up. I began my week out at Ponoka District Achievement Day judging grooming. This was a great event with around 50 members who were all keen to exhibit their projects. Achievement day was always a lot like Christmas for me, leaving events not as work but more like a gift. 

Moving on from my day spent with 4-H members, I stepped into the classroom. This has always been one of my favourite places to be. I had the opportunity to visit Donalda and Forestburg schools in the last couple days, reaching over 100 students ranging from ages 8 to 12, educating them on their impact on the agriculture industry as consumers as well as the benefits of eating beef. These pasture-to-plate presentations really encouraged the children to reflect on where their food comes from and all the steps of production it takes before that hamburger lands on their bun. It was so enlightening to see children talking and asking questions about Canadian Angus, Angus beef and agriculture in general. 

In addition to being out in the field and visiting classrooms, I have been in the Calgary office right in the middle of all the action that is the Angus breed. Through my time in the office I have been busy keeping an eye on social media and scouting out future ideas for promotion. Based on the archives I have had the chance to explore and develop, I want to congratulate the Canadian Angus members on their exceptional campaigns through this last year in the various Angus publications as well as the overwhelming support of those in agriculture (producers included) of the breed and the benefits of the industry as a whole.
On behalf of Matt, Karla and myself, I would like to offer thanks to the outstanding support staff in the Angus offices in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario as well as the constructive field work the two interns (Stacey Domolewski and Erin Toner) provided last year for leaving such a great legacy for the Angus breed and the intern program along with the encouragement of the Canadian Angus Association members.

I’ve only been on the job three weeks, but I sure feel like I have accomplished a great deal! Be sure to keep your eyes open for Karla, Matt and me, as still ahead are Summer Synergy (Olds, AB), Calgary Stampede Cattle Trail (Calgary, AB), Canadian Junior Angus Showdown (Armstrong, BC) and various events that may be in your area! As well feel free to contact us if we could be assistance or advantage at any events in your area!

Posted by Katie Dietrich

Monday, May 6, 2013

Summer Interns Week One

After a productive training week in Calgary it was time for us three to part ways and begin planning our summers in each of our provinces. For me, my trek to land of the living skies began on April 28th. I left a breezy Calgary around noon and my Envoy was packed to the max. The next stop for me was Regina! I began driving and soon realized that the drive was going to be full of three things: flat land, no trees and bumpy roads. However, that did not stop my excitement of moving to a new city and experiencing something brand new for the summer. After 793 km and a few stops at local gas stations, I made it safely to Regina. On the drive I stopped to take a few pictures of how much water there is in the fields out here. I don’t think that the farmers will be in the fields anytime soon. In fact, places in Saskatchewan have declared a state of emergency with high amounts of water causing flooding. I am sure glad I brought my rubber boots!

Some of the flooding

After driving through the heart of Regina, I finally found the place that I will be staying in this summer. After numerous trips into the house and up the flight of stairs I had all my bags in my room. I met the lady whose house I am living in and had a great visit with her and her daughter. They told me what I should do or see in the city while I am here. I was tired from the trip so we said goodbye and I had my first sleep in Regina. When I woke up, I thought I was in a nightmare. I looked outside and it was a winter storm. I couldn’t believe it, but that is Canadian weather I suppose.

Wednesday was my first day in the office in Regina. I met Belinda Wagner and she showed me where the office is that I will be working in and around the grounds. Then I was able to dive into my planning for the summer. Over the last three days I have been getting pretty good responses from schools. I currently have 11 school presentations confirmed in May and early June. I have worked on various projects that are for the school presentations. The biggest project that I have completed is a postcard for a takeaway for the school kids. The main aim of the postcard is for the students to take home and show their parents what they learned through our presentation. I am very excited to see the final printed copy.

Learning how to judge
Over the weekend I was able to attend a judging clinic in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. A fun fact I learned about Weyburn is that it is the home town of one of the greatest Canadians — Tommy Douglas. This was the first judging clinic that the region had put on for the kids. There was a great turnout and 80 kids were registered. There was a variety of ages in attendance; from clever buds to older senior members. The members judged dairy heifers, light horses, beef heifers and market steers. I helped with registration, helped the younger kids with filling out their judging cards and taking reasons. A judge first went through what to look for when judging a certain class and good terms to use. The kids were then given 15 minutes to judge the class. Then they had to give their reasons to the judge, a leader or me. I got to interact with most members there and met Erica Easton. Erica is going to New Zealand as a team lead for the World Angus Forum in October so it was really nice to meet her. I had a great time in Weyburn and it was so good to see so many young energetic 4-Hers that wanted to learn.

Even though we interns are spread throughout the country we keep in constant communication with daily emails. We are all working on different projects each day and getting prepared for presentations, so our days are never dull! Finally, spring is here in Regina and I cannot wait to see what the rest of this internship has in store for us.

Posted by Karla Ness