Monday, February 22, 2016

GOAL 2016 Experience shared by Josee Monvoisin

GOAL 2016 attendees

Josee Monvoisin of Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan with her family operates JPM FARMS. Specializing in seedstock and commercial Black Angus-influenced cattle. Josee attends the University of Saskatchewan where she is majoring in Agribusiness and minoring in Field Crop Production. Josee also owns her own herd of commercial and purebred Black Angus cattle.

As I sit down to reflect on my weekend in Ottawa for the 2016 GOAL Conference, the thing that comes to the top of my mind is how fortunate I am to be part of an Association that cares so much about the next generation of Angus breeders. I would like to thank the Canadian Angus Foundation and all the breeders and buyers who support the Foundation.

This is the second GOAL conference I have attended, and I would like to point out that for both trips my travel has been covered through travel bursaries from the Saskatchewan Angus Association; thank you to them. I would also like to thank Belinda Wagner because without her encouragement I would not have attended my first GOAL. I chose to attend GOAL again this year because it is a great way to see different parts of Canada, meet other young Angus enthusiasts, and take advantage of all the great speakers and activities. 

At this year’s GOAL conference we heard about topics that will continue to have a large impact on us as breeders, such as anti-microbial resistance, the power of genomic technology and how the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is advocating to advance the objectives of beef cattle producers. We also discussed topics that were less technical like managing the media and McDonald’s Verified Sustainable Beef Project. Most of Sunday was spent with Scott Vernon, in his program called “Beefin’ Up Your Leadership”. Scott’s presentation was very hands-on and active allowing all the Juniors to work together and acquire skills to be the best leaders possible. Saturday before our formal dinner Margaret and Larry Dickenson joined us to teach us about practical dining etiquette—a lifelong investment. It’s always good to brush up on dining etiquette and even bring it back home to encourage your family to have better manners as well. Unfortunately my dad couldn’t quite grasp the fact that he had to eat with the fork in his left hand. The current Junior Ambassador Patrick Holland discussed the benefits of his position and also the application process to becoming a Junior Ambassador. Patrick was very well spoken and really highlighted what a great opportunity it was to be the Junior Ambassador for the Canadian Angus Foundation. Raina Syrnyk, CJAA Manitoba Director and Karla Ness, CAA Director of Member Engagement did a presentation called “The Sky is the Limit” where they highlighted all the great opportunities that are available to CJAA members. They also handed out UBS sticks with all the application information, so there should be NO excuses not to apply! 

The conference was not all business; we did have a lot of fun and got to experience a little bit of Ottawa. We had the opportunity to tour the Parliament Buildings, and no we did not take a selfie with Justin Trudeau. I had never been to Parliament before and would say that this tour was a highlight for me, the building is so rich with history and something I found very interesting. We also were able to go on a haunted walk through the old Carlton County Jail and skating on the canal.  

Josee answers a question during the panel discussion while
fellow finalists Shane Roger and Meghan McGillivray
listen intently.
Left to right: Sylvia Jackson, Canadian Angus Foundation
Chair; Belinda Wagner, Canadian Junior Angus Association
Coordinator; Josee Monvoisin; Tammi Ribey, Canadian
Angus Association President
As a finalist for the Foundation Legacy Scholarships, I was required to attend GOAL to complete the interview and panel discussion portion of the scholarship process. Saturday morning we were each assigned times for our personal interview, which were conducted by Sylvia Stanton, Tracy MacIntyre, and Chair of the Canadian Angus Foundation, Sylvia Jackson. I would like to note that Sylvia Jackson spent the duration of the weekend in Ottawa with us, and as Juniors we were very lucky to have her there. Following the reception and formal dinner on Saturday night we had the final step in competing for the Foundation Legacy Scholarship, which was the panel discussion. Personally the panel discussion was the most intimidating part of the whole process. All five contestants sat centre stage with microphones while Canadian Angus Association CEO Rob Smith posed the questions in front of all attendees and judges Brady Stadnicki with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Dan Ferguson with Beef Farms of Ontario and CAA President Tammi Ribey.  Tammi also spent the entire weekend with us which was very much appreciated. We as contestants were given no prior indication of what the questions would consist of. In preparation for potential panel questions I kept up-to-date with current events happening around us as well as reading Canadian Angus Association publications and news. In the end I was very pleased to win second place and receive $3,000. Congratulations to Meghan McGillivray of Kamloops, British Columbia who placed first, receiving $5,000; Raina Syrnyk of Ethelbert, Manitoba who placed third; receiving $2,000 and finalists Brooke Bablitz of Cherhill, Alberta and Shane Roger of Balgonie, Saskatchewan who each received $500. Competing for the Foundation Legacy Scholarship was a great experience, and I encourage any Juniors that are eligible to take advantage of this great opportunity presented by the Canadian Angus Foundation. I am now looking forward to attending next year’s GOAL and watching the Foundation Legacy Scholarship panel discussion. 

This year’s GOAL Conference for me was not only a special once-in-a-lifetime experience because I got to compete in the Foundation Legacy Scholarship, but I was also drawn as the lucky winner of the $3,000 heifer voucher presented by the Canadian Angus Foundation. As of right now my plan for the $3,000 is to put it towards buying a bred heifer in the fall to expand my purebred herd. In closing, I would like to again thank the Canadian Angus Foundation for presenting the Foundation Legacy Scholarship and also the heifer voucher. We as Canadian Junior Angus members are very fortunate to have such a strong Foundation and Association standing behind us, opening up opportunities that will leave a lasting impact.

“Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement” – Peter Drucker 

Posted by Josee Monvoisin