Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wrapping up our Angus Internships

Katelyn Dietrich, Karla Ness, Matt Bates and Cassie Dorran at
the Calgary Stampede

Alberta Intern — Katelyn Dietrich

Representing the Canadian Angus Association as the Alberta Intern, I have traveled 8,500 kilometres visiting 6 schools and reaching almost 500 students. I have attended 15 shows at which I reached over 1,500 people whether I was participating, judging, taking pictures or speaking. This summer I have learned so much about myself, Angus and working in a prestigious office. This has been a summer for the books.

When I applied for this position, there were many peers and parents who assured me this internship would be the perfect opportunity not only because of my involvement with Junior Angus Association but  for my career choice in the long run. How could that be possible for a Bachelor of Education student you may ask. Well, based on these numbers, over 75% of those I reached this summer were youth varying from ages 5 to 21. A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to spend the majority of my life teaching children and am now halfway through my bachelor's degree. My enthusiasm for youth and their capabilities spiraled from these Junior shows and this summer has enforced my career choice.

I have always spent my summers in the show barn whether it is in Olds, Lacombe or Bashaw and looking back I wouldn’t change one bit of it. Our family vacations have and always will be spent in our trailer at some agriculture grounds taking loonie showers and living out of a suitcase. They are spent with our best friends, staying up way too late, getting up way too early and enjoying every second of it. Being very close to the end of my show career, travelling with the Canadian Angus Association has encouraged me to reflect on what it has taken for me to get here. Programs that I have gone through such as the Alberta Junior Angus Show or the National All Breeds Show have taught me many things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. This includes a wide range of skills from manual things like putting up fence or how to pull a calf to life skills like leadership or mentorship. I have made some of my best friends through these summers because of our similar backgrounds and our passion for the agriculture industry. I have learned how much planning and preparation goes into any big event, and how many people contribute for such success. 

I have watched many peewees become seniors. I myself have grown up and am now helping tiny mites of the parents that were leading me around the show ring 15 years ago. I have seen the joy of the first ribbon, the awe of the first Grand Champion slap. I’ve seen strangers become friends. I have seen the tears after getting stepped on, the hug after the judge’s handshake. I have seen kids reach out to be there for one another in a time of need although they’ve never spoken before. I have seen kids become family because of a road trip or show spent stalled together. I have seen the true power and beauty of the cattle industry. There really aren’t words to describe what these youth programs do for every one of us Juniors today and in the future. Thank you to those who plan these functions. Thank you to the parents who wipe the tears and pay the entry fees. Thank you to those who come and give their time and resources including judges, announcers, marshals. Thank you to those who donate year after year. Thank you for believing in your Juniors and providing them opportunities to shine. You are inevitably creating a generation of success and strength not to mention investing in the future of the Canadian Angus Association. 

Finally, thank you to the support staff in the Canadian Angus office for all the assistance, support and words of encouragement they provided for us interns whether it was in regards to field work or office tasks in the last couple months. Thank you to all of those I have run into on the road, whether it was for a quick chat, meal or place to stay through my travels. Thank you to the Canadian Angus Association and its members for this unbelievable experience this summer doing what I love—spending time with kids and cows.

Saskatchewan InternKarla Ness

CJAA Board with coordinator Belinda Wagner
It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over. I am hoping that we get a bit more hot weather before the snow flies again! Since my last posting in July, I have been on the road constantly. The first big event that I need to tell you about is Showdown. This year Showdown took place in Armstrong, BC at the end of July. Over the summer I helped Belinda get things organized and buy prizes for the event. I flew out of Regina on Tuesday the 23rd with other Junior board members. We got to the hotel and everyone went for supper together. This was nice as I had not met all the Junior board so I was able to get to put a face to their names. Over the week we all grew to know each other better and had a lot of fun together!

On the afternoon of the 24th, Juniors were able to start moving in. Our role was to help get the barn ready and everything set up because the actual show began on the 25th. This year, about 60 Juniors participated in Showdown. There are many different competitions that the Juniors can enter. I enjoy public speaking so I was one of the judges for that competition. The show got underway on the 25th and it seemed that the weekend flew by. We were up early in the morning and went to bed late at night. Needless to say I was a little tired by Sunday and ready to sleep on the plane ride back to Regina. I got to run the Twitter account at the show and make sure that those who could not attend were updated as to what was happening at the Junior event. 
2013 Showdown attendees
I got back to Regina and had one day to help prepare for the Gold Show in Saskatchewan. This year the Gold Show was in conjunction with the Prince Albert Fair. The Gold Show was very similar to Showdown but there were just Saskatchewan Juniors. I enjoyed the Gold Show because I have gotten to know many of the Saskatchewan Juniors over the summer and this was their show! I was the ring person and Showmanship judge for the show. The show was outside and I loved that. I was nice and sunny for the two days and I was able to get a good tan. I don’t know how it could get any better; working with cattle and in the sun all day. There were 30 Juniors that attended the Gold Show in Prince Albert. 

My next and final internship event was the day after the Gold Show. I was headed to Neepawa, Manitoba. It was a six-hour trip and I was surprised when I crossed the border into Manitoba. What was my surprise you may be wondering? Well it was that Telus does not have very good coverage in the province. I was not aware of this and was without my phone for the weekend I was in Manitoba. You would not think it was that big of a deal, other than the fact that I was not very sure what I was supposed to do when I got to Neepawa and where I was supposed to go. So I had to adapt and even use a pay phone to let my parents know I was all right. I quickly learned how reliant I am on my cell phone. I will not lie, I was a bit frustrated when I could not use my phone. The event that took place in Neepawa over the August long weekend was the Manitoba Beef Round-Up. This is an all breeds show. The Canadian Junior Limousin Association had their Junior show at the Round-Up. I got to do a variety of judging and hosted the quiz bowl. It was a great event with 77 juniors in attendance. I left Neepawa August 5th and was happy when I crossed into Saskatchewan so I had cell service again. I am happy that I attended this event. I got to drive through where Showdown is going to be next year in Manitoba, see other parts of Manitoba and meet some great Manitobains. 

Summer is winding down and I cannot believe that the end of my internship is here. It has been a crazy, busy, fun and full of learning kind of summer for me. I have been very fortunate to have travelled to a variety of different places. I was able to attend different events in the four western provinces from BC to Manitoba. Over the course of my summer, I traveled a total of 12,722 kilometres. That is including a couple of plane trips as well! I got to work with a two other great interns and develop relationships with them both that I will continue. We have worked well as a team, even though we are separated throughout Canada. I worked daily in Regina with two exceptional ladies. We were always laughing and swapping stories in the office or over a special lunch. There really was never a dull moment in the Saskatchewan Livestock Association office. Even though I was not in the Angus office in Calgary that much this summer, I am still grateful for the relationships that I have developed. Whenever I had a question or needed help, I knew that if I emailed anyone in the Angus office I would get a response quickly. Everyone is willing to help you with anything that you are working on. I was fortunate to work with Cassie and she taught me so much about design programs which will help me in my schooling. I cannot express how lucky I feel to have worked this summer with other agriculture advocates and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me in the agriculture industry. I say with confidence that I had the best internship and the most fun-filled summer. For me it was pretty easy going to work knowing that I was going to be promoting an industry that I love with great people! 


Ontario Intern—Matt Bates

21136.24! It's a pretty large number, but it’s also the total number of kilometres that I’ve travelled this summer throughout the internship. This includes 6 flights and several road trips throughout multiple provinces in Eastern and Western Canada. It has certainly been an incredible journey, and it’s hard to believe that 18 weeks have already passed. As they say… time flies when you’re having fun. 

In these past few weeks, things have been slowly winding down from what was a crazy busy July. I have mainly been working from home on various design projects, one of which was an e-blast and a mail-out to Ontario Juniors for the upcoming Ontario Junior Angus Show. I created several documents for this including the rules and regulations, entry forms, advertisements and the show schedule.

Another project I worked on was a second promotional video for our Canadian Angus National Convention, which summarizes the event in a short three-minute video clip. While creating this video, I spent quite a bit of time sorting through photos from this year’s Convention, and it reminded me how much fun was had by everyone throughout the weekend. If you didn’t get a chance to come this year, certainly consider attending next year’s event in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

My very last task of the summer is to write this blog post, and it has certainly given me a chance to reflect on what has been an incredible summer. I have met people from all around the province, country and the world. Whether it was a farmer from Scotland, or an avid show family from Ontario, the people I’ve met along this journey have certainly been the highlight of the summer. Not to mention the incredible people I’ve worked with. It’s safe to say the staff at the Canadian Angus Association are all second to none. If I ever needed anything, my emails were always answered quickly and thoroughly, and every staff member was more than willing to help me at any time. And then there’s Cassie. She was so patient with each of us interns as we learned the ropes throughout the summer. I have a feeling she probably spent more time responding to her interns emails than she did doing her own work. She also spent an entire week training us at the beginning of the summer and organizing us to ensure we had everything we needed. Tina also deserves a huge thank you for sitting in on training week, and for helping us wherever she possibly could throughout the summer. It actually feels like training week was only a couple weeks ago, yet in reality it was a few months ago. Here I am writing my final blog post, and it feels like the summer just began. This speaks volumes about how incredible this job really is.

With the internship winding down, it reminds me how fast the World Angus Forum is approaching. I am so thrilled to be a member of the Canadian Junior Angus Youth Team, and to be representing Canada at this international event in New Zealand. What’s more, I get to compete with 11 other incredible youth, many of whom I’ve made great friends with this year. Win or lose, there’s no doubt that Canada will put their best foot forward!

On a final note, I should inform everyone that although my 18-week summer internship is now over, I am not actually leaving the Canadian Angus Association. I have been hired on as the fieldman for the province of Ontario effective immediately. I look forward to continuing to serve our membership, and seeing each of you at sales, shows and events this fall, and into the future. As always, feel free to contact me anytime should you have any questions to do with the Association, or if you just want to talk ANGUS! I certainly live and breathe Angus every day, and I commend each and every person across the country that shares this same passion. Thanks to everyone for making this summer so great. The Angus industry certainly wouldn’t be as strong as it is today without all of the incredible people who support it!

Posted by Katelyn Dietrich, Karla Ness and Matt Bates