Cattlemen’s Young Leaders mentorship program announces semi-finalists

The mentorship program celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and has seen over 120 graduates in that time.

A previous cohort of CYL finalists participate in a chili cook-off. Left to right: Megan Clifton (CYL), Jessica Giles (CYL) and Ben Miller (chef) cooking chili over an open fire.

The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Mentorship Program is pleased to announce its 24 semi-finalists for the 2020-2021 program year. The CYL Program is a national youth initiative of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, which annually pairs participants with a mentor in their specific area of interest in the beef industry and provides networking and travel opportunities tailored for personal and professional growth.

The 24 semi-finalists were selected by a panel of judges from a highly impressive pool of over 50 written applications submitted from young people across Canada ages 18 to 35, notes the news release. The semi-finalists will face the final round of competition during the annual CYL Selections event on August 10, 2020, which is moving to a virtual format this year due to COVID-19.

The 2020 semi-finalists in no particular order are:

  • British Columbia: Kayla Shallard (Prince George), Andrea van Iterson (Westwold) and Laura Code (Vernon)
  • Alberta: Aydon Almberg (Czar), Iva Harberg (Hay Lakes), Claye Harsany (High River), Russell Gallelli (Crossfield), Lance Schamber (Milk River), Tia Schram (Bruderheim), David Slingerland (Coaldale), Mackenzie Argent (Cremona), Katie-Jo Stehr (Lethbridge) and Kaylee Chizawsky (Edmonton)
  • Saskatchewan: Janelle Smith (Melfort), Scott Gerbrandt (Swift Current) and Matt Hildebrandt (Rosthern)
  • Manitoba: Sarah Jensen (Arborg), Connor English (Rivers), Leah Rodvang (Brandon) and Laura Plett (Stead)
  • Ontario: Christopher Macfarlane (Keene), Charlene Yungblut (Thorold) and Grace Kuhl (Keady)
  • Prince Edward Island: Greg Stavert (Freetown)

Following the virtual competition, the 16 CYL finalists will be paired with a hand-picked industry leader for a nine-month mentorship in their specific area of interest, which in the past has included sustainable grazing practices, nutrition, marketing, industry advocacy and more.

In addition, the effects of COVID-19 have drastically impacted the 2019-2020 CYL participants’ ability to take full advantage of travel, networking and mentorship opportunities provided through the program. We are pleased to be extending the 2019 CYL program year, where the 2019 participants who were originally set to graduate this summer, will now be graduating in August 2021. This means there will be two groups of CYLs for the 2020-2021 program year. We look forward to the additional opportunities this will allow CYLs to connect with likeminded young people from across Canada passionate about the success of the beef industry.

This year also marks the 10-year anniversary of the CYL Program which has seen over 120 graduates since the program was founded in 2010.

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