Friday, May 31, 2013

One-quarter way done!

There is tremendous accuracy in the phrase ‘time flies when you’re having fun.’ Given that there has been three weeks since my last intern update, Matt, Karla and I have now completed over one quarter of our journey with the Canadian Angus Association! 

Truthfully I have learned more in these last couple weekends than I could have ever imagined in regards to our industry and how many people assist in make the Canadian Angus Association successful. It has been rather busy around here in the Angus hub as there have been numerous deadlines including the Dick Turner Memorial Scholarship and the CAPP weight submissions not to mention Convention planning. It is quite astonishing the amount of paperwork that goes in and out of this place, and I admire those who handle all of these resources. 

Since my last update I have been able to visit a couple more 4-H achievement days. I went to Carstairs and Drayton Valley Achievement days this last week and have seen some impressive show calves, females and steers on the show road which I am sure will be hitting many jack pots and summer shows in the next few months. Travis Hunter, one of our extremely active juniors, won his club with his Angus cross steer, and dominated showmanship winning the whole district in the senior division. It is super to see how many champion projects exhibited by 4-H members are purebred Canadian Angus or Canadian Angus influence. We have a great representation out on the field from 4-H members and the success these members have achieved is quite exciting. I want to commend the many Canadian Angus Association members I have seen out and about supporting the Juniors who are promoting their genetics.

For the past three weeks I have been in the office learning the ropes from Joanelle and becoming  temporarily in command of the phone, mail and virtually everything in between. Stepping into the position has definitely been really eye-opening for me as there is so much responsibility. So far my favourite job has been receiving and delivering mail. The kinds of machines they have to make simple tasks more convenient are unbelievable. I have certainly manufactured more office skills. However, based on the amount of mail that travels through the office, I believe this may be thanks to the fact that I am well practiced. Answering the phone is not nearly as difficult as I imagined although it is taking some getting used to.

As I embark on my next week, I will be traveling extensively. Ahead is 4-H on Parade at the end of this week, my home achievement day of Flagstaff District, Kneehill District, Coronation District, Provost District, Lethbridge District and Rockyford District 4-H Shows. I am optimistic on reaching another couple hundred 4-H members, parents and sponsors with our message of the importance of the heifer project and joining junior associations like the Canadian Junior Angus Association. If any of these events are in your area, please come and share in the discussion! This great amount of promotion for the week is sure to develop many contacts as well as continuing the conversation of Canadian Angus Association and all the opportunities we provide to our members. 

I am hoping to attend more schools once I have completed these 4-H shows. If any members in Alberta would be willing to mention it to their teachers or provide me with contacts it would be much appreciated! Feel free to drop me an email (
Best of luck to those who are beginning their show season or summer calving!

Posted by Katie Dietrich

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And this is only the beginning…

I don’t think I’ll ever forget what a great time us three interns had meeting and working with the office staff at the Canadian Angus Association headquarters while we were in Calgary for training week. After an uneventful flight home, I got right down to work with promotion here in Ontario. My internship duties actually started prior to training week as I attended Youth Forum the day before my flight, a very large junior show in Orangeville, Ontario. While there I had a chance to talk to several eager and enthusiastic junior showmen, and it was great to see such a large number of Angus entries in the show.

One of the first things I did upon arriving home from Calgary was make contact with several schools around the province to see if I could come do a workshop for grade 3 to 5 students about the beef industry and 4-H. This is actually quite a difficult task because of the strict rules that the Ontario school boards have regarding guest speakers in schools. Luckily I have had a few teachers jump right on board, so I will be visiting their classrooms in the next few weeks.

Another project that I have been working on is a promotional video for the Canadian Junior Angus GOAL (Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders) Conference. I was lucky enough to attend the GOAL conference this year, and I found out what a great event it was. Collectively the Junior board and the CAA decided that we needed a video to highlight this outstanding annual conference to Juniors, as it truly is an event that you have to experience to believe. Once you’ve attended one GOAL conference, you’ll just have to go every year. This video is now finalized and it will be released at our CAA National Convention. 

Speaking of Convention, one of my main focuses over the past couple weeks has been preparation and marketing for the 2013 CAA National Convention in Guelph.  Ontario breeders are very lucky to have this amazing national event being held right here within the province. There’s no doubt that it promises to be an outstanding event for all Angus breeders across the country. One of our big marketing pushes has been for our Rancher Endorsed Day, which is on Friday, June 7. This day is open to all commercial and purebred breeders, plus representatives from other sectors of the industry. There will be several industry leaders speaking throughout this day, highlighting the value of the Angus Tag to producers. There’s just no reason not to be using Angus Tags, and I’m sure this will be clear by the end of Rancher Endorsed Day.

Farm Visit
I have spent multiple days putting flyers up in several feed stores and co-ops throughout the province to make sure everyone knows about Rancher Endorsed Day. Additionally, I made contact with several country radio stations to see if they will cover our event on their station. I have also put the event on social media and other online venues to be sure that we reach as many people as possible. One of my favourite days so far was when I was dropping flyers off in the western Ontario area, and I stopped at an Angus producer’s farm along the way. I had a chance to tour their herd, and had excellent Angus hospitality while I was there. Apparently they used to have a herd of more than 100 registered Angus cows. Although they don’t have nearly that many now, it was great to visit with them and hear their thoughts and opinions about the Junior Angus Association. They also showed me some excellent pieces of Angus history, including some old Angus World publications that were published long ago.

Central Ontario Grasstime Sale
I also attended the Central Ontario Grasstime Sale this past Saturday to invite everyone to Convention and Rancher Endorsed Day. I took several flyers with me and handed them out to breeders throughout the day. I will also be going to the OVAC Classic Sale on June 1 to promote Rancher Endorsed Day once again. The deadline to register for Rancher Endorsed Day is June 3, so it’s not too late to get in on this event-filled day.

Another cornerstone event happening at this years’ Convention is the second annual CAF Building the Legacy Sale. I’m sure you hear it a lot, but this sale absolutely represents industry-leading genetics that our CAA breeders have been kind enough to donate. Proceeds from this sale go towards the Canadian Angus Foundation to help fund youth programs. Last year's sale helped fund the Canadian Angus Association's youth teams that are representing Canada at the World Angus Forum Youth Programme in New Zealand. Obviously I’m very passionate about this CAF fundraiser as I am one of the very fortunate juniors that will be “flying the flag” on behalf of all Canadian Angus breeders at what is equivalent to the international Angus Olympics! Last year's sale was a smashing success, and hopefully all breeders get a chance to view the catalogue for this year’s outstanding offering. Don’t worry if you can’t attend the sale, as it will also be broadcast live at

It’s certainly been a busy summer so far, but I know that this is only the beginning. I personally can’t wait for Convention where I will get a chance to meet so many of our Canadian Angus breeders. Not only will we have the Canadian Angus Association and Canadian Angus Foundation annual general meetings, we also have Rancher Endorsed Day, farm visits and demonstrations, the Niagara Falls tour, the Junior Ambassador competition, the CAF Building the Legacy II Sale and more. I’m also vastly looking forward to the Calgary Stampede, Summer Synergy, and Showdown in July. Dr. Seuss has a book entitled “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, and it seems very relevant to this summer, as this internship has taken me and will take me many places that I wouldn’t have had the chance to go without. I think Karla, Katie, and I can all agree that this internship is the best summer job you could ask for. It’s actually hard to believe all of the amazing opportunities that are available to Canadian Angus Juniors. Watch for Karla, Katie and me at events near you throughout the remainder of the summer.

Posted by Matthew Bates