Friday, December 19, 2014

A week after AC-TV...

So it has been a week since the official Launch of AC-TV and I am very excited with the response that we have been getting. When I checked today there were 450 views and to me that is fantastic. We have started a new initiative that is very different than what everyone else is doing to communicate with their members. For that reason alone I am excited about producing AC-TV. Not to mention all the opportunities it will create for our members and industry partners.

When I first started brainstorming about this broadcast idea, I had no idea where to start. I graduated with a communications degree for Mount Royal University and in school we only scratched the surface of video communication. I knew the basis of videoing, but let me tell you this project has been a learning experience for me as well. Thinking about the storyboard of the first episode and future ones I knew that I would need footage of nice Angus cows, both red and black, out in the their natural habitat. I come from a commercial red Angus farm so I tested the cameras and my video editing skills out at my farm when I went home for a weekend. Of course when you want those good shots of the cows all running over the hill to greet you, all you get is the herd staring at you.  Cows are a bit tricky to film when you want them to do something specific! Then I visited Jim Hern in southern Alberta to get some footage of his black herd. I had never been down in the Bindloss area where Hern Ranch is located but I soon learned that it is a very pretty area of Alberta with rolling hills and lovely rivers. Jim has a lot of land so I got to see some very spectacular scenery when I was down riding the pastures with him.  Jim runs over 700 head of commercial Black Angus cows. With videoing both my family farm and the Hern ranch I had a pretty good database of stock cattle footage in the summer months.
Next I worked on collecting interviews and reports to include in the first episode. Considering this was a year in review I worked from the beginning of the year and noted all the Angus events. I found that when I asked individuals if they wanted to be interviewed most people were more than willing. That is a nice thing about the beef industry; everyone loves to talk! Over a few months I was able to collect all the interviews that I need. One even over the phone with Don Raffin from Armstrong, B.C. Don is the owner of Valley Auction and he gave an update on how the markets are going. As we all know the markets are very strong and all producers are clicking their heels when leaving the auction markets! So I thought it was very important to have Don’s perspective included in the first episode.
Agribition was the main hub that I collected all of my interviews. It was my first time out at Agribition so I was very excited to be out there. I have always gone to FarmFair in Edmonton so it was nice to finally see what Agribition is like in comparison to FarmFair.  At Agribition was where I learned how to use the microphones that I bought for the camera. I am a strong believer that video is nothing without good sound. I have learned that when the mics die they cut out all sound. This messed up one of my interviews and I didn’t notice until I got home from Agribition. It was a good lesson to learn and I will not let that happen again!
After returning from Agribition, myself and editor- Ben Wilson from Benjo Productions only had 13 days to put things together and we were waiting on official pictures from Agribition of our award winners. Talk about a stressful 13 days of my life! I have a great respect for video editor as you need so much raw footage to actually get a minute of useable video. Editors spend so much time trying to decide what is the best thing to include and how do I edit it all together to make it sound good. I am fortunate to be working with a great editor that has a good grasp on the beef industry. He understands what needs and should be included so that is very nice to work with. I look forward to continuing my working relationship with Ben and seeing what we can accomplish together!
I must also mention the great staff members that I work with and all their cooperation. Brian Good our Field Staff Director was a great help to me on this project! His voice is the narration in the episode even. It is nice having a staff that believes in the project and will do anything to help make the project the best it can be. I think that our holiday greeting was a good laugh for many and I am happy that it brought a smile to their faces at the end of the episode. You will have to stay tuned to the next episodes to see what the fun CAA staff comes up with next!

I hope that you enjoyed the first episode of AC-TV as much as I did creating it! If you haven’t watched it check it out here:

I want to hear your comments so please share them with me. If you want to know about advertising opportunities please feel free to contact me as well. Be watching for the next AC-TV episode coming your way in March 2015! The main focus of this episode will be Bull Sale Season!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Until next time,

Posted by Karla Ness Feedback:

Friday, November 21, 2014

AC-TV Trailer

Posted by Karla Ness Feedback:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stay tuned for AC-TV coming to the Canadian Angus Association

Everything in today’s world is instant! You can check your twitter feed and know breaking news before the larger news companies have even reported it. The obsession with social media and the way in which news is released is altogether different than what it was 10 years ago and I will bet that in 10 years it will be different again. Everyone is a news reporter and can post anything online quickly with the help of their smart phone. I will admit it is very hard to keep up with the ever-changing digital world. I studied it for 4 years and still find it hard to keep up!

The Canadian Angus Association (CAA) has decided that we want to enter the digital shift and we are going to offer the Association’s news as a video broadcast. Using video allows a story to be really told and we WANT to share the Angus story. We want to share about the great market prices that our industry is experiencing, upcoming Angus events and deadlines, what the junior ambassador is doing and so forth. We want to share your story on AC-TV.

What is AC-TV? AC-TV stands for Angus Central Television and will be put out quarterly in the next year. The first episode will air on December 12th, 2014. So mark your calendars now! It will be a year in review style of a news cast. The CAA has decided to try something new so the Angus news that was printed will soon be offered to you online and in a DVD form.

In my schooling I did learn and see how effective and powerful a video can be. I think you will agree that if you can see someone’s motion and emotion on a screen you can connect with their story a lot easier. That is what good television strives for; they want to invoke some sort of emotion out of you. Whether that be laughing at a joke, crying when the main character dies, or becoming curious enough to google more about the events after the show. Watch this example of how powerful this video is about smoking: You can see with the use of video Thai health was able to portray a very strong message about how bad smoking is for everyone.

Video offers a new medium to communicate with your target audience. The goal for AC-TV is that it can also be a tool that those involved in our business can utilize themselves. Using video, as you can infer, is a great way to market your operation or company. You can get your messaging across just like Thai Health did in the above video. Soon AC-TV will be able to support ads and you will have added another platform to your own communication plan.  You will be reaching a wider audience in a new and innovative way; a way that no other breed in Canada is offering their news to members and industry partners.

AC-TV is coming soon so be sure to tune in on December 12, 2014. Going live on our YouTube channel first! Keep up with our blog to learn a more in-depth story on those featuring in the episodes.

Posted by Karla Ness  Feedback:

Friday, October 24, 2014

I Know What a Spot Test Is, Do You?

In my three years as your Registrar, I am still surprised by the number of members that don't understand what a spot test is or why they are important.

Every 200th registered animal is selected for a spot test. The selection is random; we are unable to force registration numbers so if you are lucky enough to get one every year, my guess is you register a fair number of calves. Secondly, it is the calf that needs to be tested, the registered animal with a registration number ending in 200, 400, 600 etc. The spot test animal is not the dam.

Why do we do spot tests? Well, very simply it is to correct and maintain herd book purity. It is the simplest way to randomly "spot check" our registered cattle.

What do you do if the calf or dam has been sold or is dead?
We can set up an alternate calf for your spot test if the original calf chosen has been sold or died, but you need to contact us to inform us of this. The alternate, same calendar year calf must be one for which you also have access to the dam. We will then set up a new test. You will be charged to set up the calf test and the Association will pay for the dam test.

What is the deadline for completing a spot test?
In the past, we have allowed up to one year for members to complete their spot tests, but I will honestly say that if you haven't completed it within the first 4 months, we know that you tend to forget about it. Starting in 2015, all spot tests for the prior year need to be completed by April 15 of the following year or a hold will put on your account until the spot test is completed. This means that all 2014 spot tests must be completed by April 15, 2015.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact your registry team.

Posted by Stacy Price

Friday, October 17, 2014

This week in Angus Sales

We have received one great news story after another this week from our field staff. All are reporting fantastic Angus sales with great prices. We've been posting updates on Twitter and Facebook, but we're so pleased with the results that we're summarizing them here:

October 14th
Lois McRae reports from Heartland in Brandon, MB during their first Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed feeder calf sale: among the highlights are 61 black steers weighing 670 lbs and selling for $2.8550/lb for a per head gross of $1913. Highest price today was $3.1050 for 664 weights. Pretty steamy!

October 15th
Cudlobe Angus (the Bolduc family) held their first-ever "Cudlobe-influence" feeder calf video sale today for their bull customers in Stavely, AB. There were over 2,400 head of Cudlobe genetics-sired calves, mostly black but some red as well, and almost all bearing the Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed ear tag. Every consignor sold with the new CAA "Performance Endorsement", which is pictured here with Jeff Davies and Dyce Bolduc. Steer calves mostly ranged in weight from 525-560 lbs. and sold for $2.8850-$3.0075/lb to average $1,591/head. Heifer calves weighed 450-525 lbs, sold for $2.6925-$2.8450/lb, averaging $1,365/head. Consignors like the Giles family indicate their calves sold for $700-$800 more this year, in this format, than in 2013. Most of the calves sold to eastern Canadian buyers and feeders. CAA Director of Field Services Brian Good attended the sale and says, "Today is a great day for Angus. I've never seen so many people walking out of a sale barn with more and bigger smiles on their faces. There was a big crowd who stuck around for a great Cudlobe prime rib lunch and to visit... when was the last time we saw that?"

Peter Van Staveren reports from Ontario via Twitter:  Close to 500 Angus influenced sold at Kawartha Lakes in Woodville ON 600wts steers sold for 2.20-2.73.

There are still lots of Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed Feeder Sales left. Find one near you by visiting or checking out our events calendar.

Posted by Tina Zakowsky

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Annual General Meeting

A group of committed members of the Canadian beef supply chain gathered in Kelowna, British Columbia last week to discuss what sustainable beef looks like in Canada. Approximately 80 people were in attendance representing members of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) and observers interested in the process.

The meetings consisted of discussion surrounding performance indicators to measure the Core Principles for Sustainable Beef as outlined by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB); Natural Resources, People and the Community, Animal Health & Well-Being, Food, Efficiency & Innovation. These criteria were put in place by the GRSB and it is the responsibility of the regional roundtables to determine the method of measuring and verifying these criteria in a method that is suitable for the Canadian beef industry. 

There was also great discussion surrounding the governance process of the group, what the CRSB Council will look like and the membership of the Roundtable going forward.

For me the highlight of the trip was the visit to Douglas Lake Ranch, a crowd pleaser for the beef industry representatives on the tour as well as the participants from farther up the value chain. This ranch is the largest cattle ranch in Canada and is one of the oldest, tracing its history back to the mid 1880s. They run just shy of 10,000 cows with cattle on the main plot of land at the Douglas Lake location as well as about 1600 cows on the Alkali Ranch location, which is about 50 km southwest of Williams Lake. After a comprehensive bus tour of the property, trying to spot the elusive cattle which were still up in the hills on grass we arrived at the historic Quilchena Hotel; located on the Quilchena Ranch which is now owned and operated by Douglas Lake. This hotel which was built in 1908 was the end of our tour and the location for the rest of the groups meetings. 

Posted by Cheryl Hazenberg