McDonald’s Canadian Youth Beef Club video contest promotes sustainable beef

News Roundup from the January 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

What started as an impromptu conversation between organizers of McDonald’s Canada’s verified sustainable beef (VSB) pilot and leaders of the Longview 4-H Beef Club in Alberta has snowballed into a Canadian youth beef club video contest.

Longview club leaders, Stephen Hughes, Alex Robertson and Ryan Cartwright, whose operations have gone through the VSB verification process, were excited about the club hosting a VSB workshop as a unique real-world experience for members. One thought on how to take it to the next level led to another and ended with the idea for the YouTube video contest, so they stepped up to get it going, says VSB pilot manager Matt Sutton-Vermeulen.

Sutton-Vermeulen is thrilled with the latest turn of events providing an opportunity for the next generation of Canadian beef producers to play an active role in the VSB pilot. He was amazed to learn that more than 10,000 youth participate in beef projects across Canada.

“Who better to play a role in this project than the next generation?” he asks.

“Sustainability is an evolving journey and the next generation’s voice and actions are really important because they are the ones who will be carrying this forward. We hope this contest can be a catalyst for the next generation to help the McDonald’s pilot inform the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef at yet another level.”

Youth club members will be putting their heads together to create videos telling “what sustainable beef means to me” as they think about why it is important to their families and how they could make beef more sustainable in the future.

Participation in the contest starts by attending a VSB workshop. The Longview club organized a workshop for the club and community that attracted more than 190 participants on November 19.

Given that club size varies considerably across Canada, the rules require that a club needs only two members with families participating in the VSB pilot to be eligible to enter the contest.

Videos are to be uploaded to YouTube and the link sent to [email protected] by March 1, 2016. They will be shown during the Alberta Farm Animal Care conference, March 22, at Olds, Alta., and judged the last week of March by a panel to include people from McDonald’s Canada, Cargill and media.

The judges will be considering the effectiveness of each video in answering why sustainable beef is important, bringing the concept of continuous improvement to life, and connecting the Canadian beef community with consumers.

One prize of $5,000 for “excellence,” one prize of $2,500 for “achievement,” and two prizes of $1,000 for “entry,” reflecting the VSB pilot verification levels, will be awarded at the close of the VSB pilot during the celebration workshop in April.

For more information visit vsbpilot.ca or contact Sutton-Vermeulen at 515-371-7914.

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