Sask. agriculture scholarship winner to study animal science technology

NewsMakers from the August 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Program

Melissa Van Sickle.
photo: Supplied

Melissa Van Sickle’s interest in cattle started early and grew with her participation in 4-H. Van Sickle earned a bachelor of science in animal science from the University of Saskatchewan and then visited Australia. She then returned home to work for her family’s business, Genetic Ventures, which specializes in artificial insemination and synchronization of cattle. Van Sickle currently lives near Pigeon Lake, Alta., with her significant other. They own a herd of Red Angus/Simmental cross, and recently bought a provincially inspected poultry processing facility. Van Sickle’s mentor is John Crowley.

Raina Syrnyk.
photo: Supplied

Raina Syrnyk was born on a mixed farm near Ethelbert, Man. While in the 4-H program, Syrnyk began building a herd of purebred Black and Red Angus females. Today the herd is approximately 100 females. Syrnyk also served four years as the Manitoba director and two years as president in the Canadian Junior Angus program. Syrnyk intends to establish a career in the financial industry, with a focus on agriculture. Farrah Williams is her mentor.


Manitoba Beef Producers has hired Carson Callum as the organization’s general manager. Callum grew up on a mixed grain and beef cattle farm south of Miami, Man. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in agriculture and a master’s of science from the University of Manitoba where he majored in animal science. Most recently he was the market manager of grains and oils with Corteva Agriscience (formerly Dow AgroSciences).

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The Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation has awarded six $2,500 scholarships to students entering or currently pursuing an agricultural or agri-food-related program at a Canadian college, university or technical institution. The scholarship recipients include: Marcus Grymonpre, Chilliwack, B.C.; Emily Gross, Bow Island, Alta.; Shaylyn Novak, St. Walburg, Sask.; Alice Rooke, Alexander, Man.; Faith Emiry, Massey, Ont.; and Isaac Ayer, Sackville, N.B.


Congratulations to Caylee Dorval (photo at top), winner of the 2019 Saskatchewan Agriculture Student Scholarship. Dorval hails from a beef operation near Glaslyn, Sask. The $4,000 scholarship will go towards her tuition at Lakeland College, where she will study animal science technology.

Congratulations as well to the runners-up, including Kaitlyn Sauser of Churchbridge, Madison McNeil of Alameda and Morgan Davey of Deslile.


Congratulations to the most recently announced winners of the regional Environmental Stewardship Awards (TESA). The national winner will be announced at the Beef Industry Conference in Calgary this month.

Terry and Randy Stokke.
photo: Supplied

Randy and Terry Stokke of Willow Creek Ranch from Govenlock, Sask., received the Saskatchewan Environmental Stew­­ardship Award at the Saskatchewan Stock Growers’ Association AGM in Moose Jaw this spring. The Stokkes are long-time advocates for prairie conservation and preservation of species at risk. They have implemented far-sighted conservation practices to preserve their native grass pastures.

Clifton Ranch is the 2019 Ranch Sustainability Award recipient for the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association. The Clifton family ranches in Similkameen Valley, where they practice rotational pasture grazing, facilitated by about 100 water troughs, range fencing and thousands of feet of pipe. The Clifton family includes Wade, his wife Sandra and their children Cassie, Trisha and Megan; Wade’s sister-in-law Dianne Clifton and her late husband Brad, and their children John Ross and Maria; and Brad’s and Wade’s parents, Wilson and June.


Congratulations to the winners of the Alberta Beef Producers’ Young Guns contest. Youth aged eight to 21 who are involved in Alberta’s beef industry are eligible to enter. Participants explain how beef production has affected their lives and their futures.

First place went to Paytten Fankhanel of New Norway, Alta. Fankhanel is working towards a degree in animal science. Shanea Sinke from Picture Butte, Alta. took second place, and Addison Nolette from Longview, Alta., placed third.

Fankhanel was awarded $1,000, Sinke $500 and Nolette $250.


Aaron Ivey.
photo: Supplied

The Saskatchewan Forage Council recognized Aaron Ivey with its Forage Industry Innovation Award in June. As a former director and president of the council, Ivey has helped increase the profile of forage production in the province. He also helped create the Saskatchewan Forage Network and the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence.


The Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiative has announced its 2019-20 board of directors: Tracy Gilson (chair), University of Manitoba; Larry Wegner (vice-chair), Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) board member; Tyler Fulton (treasurer), MBP board member; Mary-Jane Orr (secretary), MBFI general manager (ex-officio); Kristine Tapley (appointee), Ducks Unlimited Canada; Darren Chapman (appointee), Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association; Lawrence Knockaert, beef producer-at-large; and Don McIntyre, beef producer-at-large.


Congratulations to Tom and Margaret Towers of Tamara Ranch in Red Deer County, Alta. Tamara Ranch received the 2019 Dave Reid Award from ALUS Canada, which recognizes farms and ranches for innovation in ecosystem services. Runners-up were Jerremie and Rita Clyde, of Little Loaves Farm. Darren and Maria Smith, of Good Land Farms received an honourable mention.

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