Friday, June 30, 2017

WAF Youth Team Update June 2017

The last four days have been a complete whirlwind for our Canadian teams. On Sunday and Monday we spent our days taking part in the WAF Conference. There were some great speakers and panel discussions covering everything from genomic practices, to nutrition, traceability, rotational grazing and more. Additionally there were many vendors set up for members to talk to and learn about new advancements in technology that will further breeders in our industry.  
Team Aspire

Team Aspire

At the conference our teams also competed in a public speaking competition. We were tasked with creating a ten-minute presentation to answer the question "How do new technologies empower the Aberdeen Angus producer to capitalize on new opportunities?" Each team that presented had a slightly different take on what technologies were most beneficial and overall the exercise raised a lot of interesting discussion points. Our Canadian teams represented us well in the competition with Travis Hunter from Team Canada Believe placing 2nd and Macy Liebreich from Team Canada Aspire placing 3rd in the individual speaking portion. Monday evening we attended the Gala dinner at the National Museum of Scotland. Our Canadian delegates got dressed up and fancy to take part in the formal event. It was a classy evening with delicious food and we had a great time socializing, singing "An Angus for Me" and watching the WAF auction.

Tuesday morning we hopped on a bus and drove to our new location for the much anticipated Agri Olympics. Our first stop was at Borders farm where we learned about the UK grading system and looked at some fat cattle. Teams were tasked with assigning live weights in kilos and an estimated grade to four of the fat steers there. Later this week we will get to see those steers hung up after they are butchered and we will be able to compare what we expected the carcass to look like with what it actually does. Next we drove to Borders agricultural facility where the rest of the team events took place. Teams had to operate various tractors and JCB equipment, navigate through an obstacle course on a quad, catch a group of heifers, build a traditional stone wall out of various rocks, identify the flags of the Forum as well as try to figure out what certain equipment and artifacts from a vet museum were. After a fun afternoon of great competitions, all the teams got together and played a game of soccer to work off some energy.  

Right before dinner we also had the opportunity to act as a handler in a dog agility course. Our border collies were extremely well trained and they made us all look like pros. At dinner we enjoyed a "Taste of Borders" with traditional style food and Highland dancers for entertainment. Two members of each team also had to learn part of a highland dance and perform for the delegates. It was quite entertaining to watch as none of us really knew what we were doing. 

After a long day we were all very happy to jump on the bus and head home!

Wednesday was a day full of farm tours. We started off early in the morning at Graham's dairy and walked through their production site. It was quite impressive to see how all of the milk and butter was sorted and packaged by their machinery. On our way out we got to sample some of their fantastic ice cream which served as a breakfast for most. 

Next we stopped at Cherrybank herd to look at their cattle. This operation manages their cattle from birth to finishing so we got to take a look at some Angus cows and calves, feeder steers and finished steers. We were able to escape the wind for lunch and enjoyed a huge meal consisting of salads, steaks, burgers and lamb kabobs. Lastly we traveled to Fordel to take a look at some purebred Angus cattle. We were able to engage in a debate about the "ideal" Angus cow and what type of selective breeding practices we should be employing. We saw an excellent herd of cattle and drove up and along the Scottish countryside. On the way back from the pastures we drove through a small town which was quite entertaining as we were all seated in hay feeders being pulled by tractors. 
Although it was a busy day all the Canadian teams had a fantastic time and are really looking forward to the rest of the activities!
WAF Team Canada

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Canadian Angus Association Mentorship Program

We are excited to launch our Mentorship Program for new breeder development and support.

Mentorship is about sharing experiences and knowledge that will help someone through obstacles in their life and in their career. Often people are mentored or act as a mentor without even realizing the importance of what has taken place. Canadian Angus wants to promote mentorships to ensure these important relationships and sharing of knowledge continues to occur.
The Mentorship Program has three primary goals:
·         Support new and young Angus producers
·         Facilitate Angus producers with a network of expertise and community
·         Provide a forum to access tools to ensure success and longevity in the industry
Thinking of becoming a Mentor?
Being a mentor has great benefits:
·         Broaden your network and ties with the community
·         Enhance your analytical skills
·         Provide opportunities for professional exchange with a fresh perspective
·         Meet and connect with new and upcoming breeders
·         Help guide the future of the Canadian Angus industry
·         It feels good to help others
In addition, as part of the mentorship program, Canadian Angus will work with each engaged producer to identify knowledge, experience and opportunities that have potential to make new and/or young producers successful and sustainable within the industry.

Looking for a Mentor?
Have you ever wanted a second opinion? Looked for sage advice and maybe a kind word? Do you want to know what works and what doesn’t, without the trial and error of testing it out for yourself?
In addition to being partnered with a mentor, the Mentorship Program will include four workshops held at Angus Central and four others across Canada each year. These workshops will allow you to attend at least two information sessions. The workshops will be led by experienced producers, industry experts and research collaborators.
One-on-one mentorship will help ensure that information is understood and you are able to put it to good use. Individual mentors will be able to provide further details and more in depth explanations as they pertain to each individual’s situation.
So that you can access information repeatedly and at your convenience, videos and printed material will also be produced.

Everyone Benefits!
The Canadian Angus Mentorship Program provides a great opportunity for aspiring, new and experienced cattle producers to exchange experience and knowledge. Mentorship provides rewards for both the mentors as well as those being mentored.
Canadian Angus aims to develop a database of expertise to fill commonly identified gaps of knowledge in the industry.
Mentors and mentees will be encouraged to connect in person (if geographically possible) or by telephone. Ideally, the mentee would visit the mentor’s farm/ranch at least once to review how they run their operation.
The new producer development, support and Mentorship Program strives to engage young and new Canadian Angus producers and provide them with a structured avenue for support, mentorship and information in order to increase their success and longevity within the industry.

For more information or to enroll in the Canadian Angus Mentorship Program, please contact:
Nate Marin, Director of New Generation Breeder Development
(306) 869-7130
Carmen Koning, Member Value Team Leader
(587) 230-3520
The Mentorship Program is proudly supported by:

Monday, June 26, 2017

WAF Youth Team Update June 25-26

The Canadian teams have been very busy over the past few days at the World Angus Forum. On Friday morning we loaded up the bus and impatiently anticipated the day ahead. We had no idea where we were going and speculations were many. When we pulled up to a Royal Marine base camp we knew we were in for a treat. We had a wonderful day which included trudging through water and mud up to our waists in order to complete various training exercises in teams. The army exercises certainly brought us closer as teams and we got to know the participants from other teams much better as well. After quickly showering to clean up the mud we got dressed and ready for our evening event. We had a fantastic evening at the local rugby pitch where we learned a Scottish dance.

WAF - Team Courage
WAF - Team Aspire


On Saturday we competed in the judging portion of our competition and were all surprised at the judging format in the UK. The judging was fast and furious with only four minutes per class. Each team had one member designated to judge classes of either beef, sheep, dairy or horses. In the afternoon we headed out to our first farm tour at Mosshall Red Angus. They had an excellent herd of cattle and despite the windy afternoon all of the members had a great time looking through their pastures. We are very excited to share that Travis Hunter placed second and Macy Liebreich placed third in the public speaking competition. We are all looking forward to the next portions of the competition!

WAF - Team Canada

WAF Youth Team Update June 23-24

Thursday was a big day for the delegates at the World Angus Forum. We spent the day at the Royal Highland Show where we witnessed a variety of different breeds than what we are used to. We saw quite a selection of Blondes, Salers, Belgian Blues and Galloway among some breeds more familiar to us like Charolais, Limousin, Hereford, Simmental and of course Angus. In the UK, Limos tend to be most prominent in commercial herds which is quite different from what we are used to with Angus back home. There were approximately 150 Angus cattle, the majority of which were black, in attendance at the show. Structurally they were much larger in frame size and more streamlined in their proportions in comparison to our cattle. Additionally, it was great to see a different way of fitting cattle for show--many of the breeders used soap or glue to pull all the hair up along the animal’s body giving them a different look overall once they entered the ring.

Aside from the cattle show we were also able to take in a large sheep and horse show in addition to equipment displays, markets, craft exhibitions and jumping. There were lots of interesting displays about Scottish culture; among our favourites was the bagpipe marching band! After a long day we took the bus back to Stirling where we happily rested up for tomorrow's adventure. Safe to say we are all looking forward to a good night’s sleep as well as all the activities to come!
Left to right: Lane Evans, Australian youth red team, Wade Olynyk, Travis Hunter, Maguire Blair
Left to right: Lane Evans, Bailey (Gus) Dietrich, Maguire Blair, Travis Hunter

Left to right: Travis Hunter, Wade Olynyk, Kelsey Ribey, Michaela Chalmers