Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Summer Experience of a Lifetime

Research & Special Projects Intern Matt Bates with Marketing
Interns Sophie Wotten and Katie Olynyk
July and August have been nothing short of a great adventure. Little did I know that these two months would be the greatest summer yet! I flew out to Calgary the first of July to start one of many days at the Calgary Stampede. Between the interns and volunteers form the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC), we all had our fill of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! It was very inspiring to be able to teach many urban folk about the lifestyle we live, clear up many misperceptions, and have a great conversation with many. This once-in-a-lifetime experience did not end here. During our ‘off shifts’, we were able to attend the Steer Classic, many rodeos, and chuckwagon races. The Calgary Stampede was a highlight to my summer working as an Intern.

The Calgary Stampede grandstand
Following the Calgary Stampede, the interns all travelled to Virden, Manitoba for Showdown. Teamwork, dedication, passion, and love of the Angus breed illustrate the group of Angus youth who pulled together to make this show such a success. This three-day event captured youth’s talent from showmanship, team grooming all the way to literature and graphic design. The Agrinightmare challenge allowed youth from coast to coast to bond and meet new friends, and I have so say, the challenge was a nightmare!

Sophie and her Showdown cookoff team
After returning home, I was able to spent three days in Peterborough, Ontario at a 4-H event, Beef Sen$e. Beef Sen$e allowed youth to expand their knowledge about agriculture industry finances, herd health, government programs, and tour neighbouring farms of all calibers. Delegates were designated into groups to analyze different farms throughout the tour. On the final day, each group would present their SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to fellow delegates and the judging panel. During this, we toured Whiskey Lane Livestock who have a seedstock Angus and Hereford farm, as well as Drain’s Feedlot that is primarily Angus or Angus influence cattle. This experience enabled me to meet many youth from across Ontario and neighbouring provinces and allow us to discuss many challenges that we are facing in the beef industry today. 
Beef Sen$e

As I embark on the final days of my internship, it’s bittersweet. The internship has provided so many opportunities I would never have imagined. Through networking, travel, friendships and experiences I am very thankful for this great program the Canadian Angus Association has provided for youth. For all juniors considering applying for next year, your time as an intern will be nothing short of the best job you will ever have! Travelling over 10,000 km this summer I have certainly become a more passionate advocate! To everyone I have met over the past few months, you have made this summer one I will never forget!

Posted by Sophie Wotten
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