CCA announces CYL finalists, award given for outstanding research and innovation

NewsMakers from the September 27, 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Susan Hamilton, Holly Sparrow, Evan Chaffe and Jessica Sperber.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association has announced the 2021 Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) finalists. Finalists from B.C. include Julia Flinton (Williams Lake), Amanda Miller (Lumby) and Janine Rubin (Rose Prairie). CYL finalists from Alberta include Diane Van Essen (Picture Butte), Nikki Olson (Red Deer County), Rheanne Ritchie (Didsbury), Laura Macrae (Westlock), Tia Schram (Bruderheim) and Melissa Gablehaus (Rochester). Saskatchewan’s CYL roster includes Brock Larson (Simmie), Holly Sparrow (Vanscoy) and Logan Houff (Eston). Ontario’s lineup includes Emily Potter (Earlton) and Laura Scott (Oxford Mills). Also joining the cohort are Victor Drury (La Pêche, Que.) and Darren Dinsmore (Goose Bay, N.L.).

Dr. Surya Acharya. photo: Supplied

Congratulations to Dr. Surya Acharya, who received the Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Acharya, research scientist and forage breeder with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, Alta., specializes in breeding legumes. His approach to plant breeding considers many factors to best serve end users’ needs, including beef producers. For example, AC Oxley II and AC Veldt, both cicer milkvetches, establish much quicker than predecessors. Acharya also helped develop the Forage U-Pick tool, used by western Canadian producers to choose forage varieties. His most recent project focuses on improving energy content of legumes for grazing livestock. 

Congratulations to the Van Steelandt family of Triple V Ranch, Manitoba’s nominees for the Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA). Matt Van Steelandt and his parents Dan and Alana are the principals of Triple V Ranch in southwestern Manitoba. The family runs a 500-head cow-calf operation. The ranch has two locations, with some land predominantly sand and gravel, and some better suited to cropping. The Van Steelandts focus on regenerative agriculture. The family plants cover crops and perennial forages on cropped land to improve water infiltration. Fencing protects riparian areas and dugouts. On the cropping side, the family has eliminated fungicides, pesticides and reduced herbicide use and tillage to improve the soil food web. They’ve also eliminated the prophylactic use of ivermectins and other parasiticides in the herd. 

A hearty congratulations to the national TESA winners, Dean and Catherine Manning of Falmouth, N.S. The Mannings run 80 head of cattle on about 500 acres along with a greenhouse and market garden. When they left their off-farm careers to focus on farming 25 years ago, they expanded the conservation practices that Dean’s parents, Malcom and Gail, started. Seeding cover crops, stockpiling grass and grazing standing corn allow them to extend the grazing season. They collect manure and straw from areas where cattle congregate, and apply it to cropland and vegetable fields. Wooded areas are managed to prevent overuse while also allowing cattle to return nutrients to soil. The Mannings protect waterways and riparian areas, and have seen a bump in biodiversity on their farm, including the return of snapping turtles.

Catherine and Dean Manning. photo: Supplied

The Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency elected its board following the agency’s AGM in late August. Producers on the board include Terry Wiebe (B.C.), Sheila Hilmer (Alta.), Jeff Smith (Alta.), Chad Ross (Sask.), Mary Paziuk (Man.), Jack Chaffe (Ont.), Kirk Jackson (Que.), Trevor Welch (N.B.), Larry Weatherby (N.S.) and David Francis (P.E.I.). Chad Ross was re-elected as chair. Jeff Smith is vice-chair, Larry Weatherby is governance chair and Kirk Jackson is finance chair. The agency also includes members of the processing and retail industries. The CCA’s Young Cattlemen’s Council (YCC) held its AGM in August. Outgoing YCC delegates include Jessica Sperber (member-at-large for Alta.), Kayla Weston (member-at-large for Alta. and past president) and Evan Chaffe (Ont.). The YCC also welcomed the Quebec Cattle Producers as a provincial partner at this year’s AGM, and Victor Drury from Wakefield, Que., as the council’s first Quebec delegate. Martin Clausen (Alta.) is the new vice-president, succeeding Jessica Sperber (Alta.). Carley Henniger (B.C.) is the new president, succeeding Holly Sparrow (Sask.), who now serves as past president and is a member-at-large. Rounding out the board delegates are Andrea van Iterson (B.C. delegate), Kate Barnett (Man.), Charlene Yungblut (Ont.), Susan Hamilton (Atlantic) and members-at-large Laura Plett (Man.) and Carley Henniger (B.C.). 

Our condolences to the loved ones of Gerry Bowes of Indian Head, Sask., who passed away on Augusta 23, 2021. Bowes worked for the Charolais breed from 1976 to the early 1990s, promoting Charolais to commercial cattle producers. Few people attended more beef cattle sales or travelled more western Canadian miles than he did. Bowes also represented the breed at several international gatherings. Prior to the Charolais breed, Bowes worked for Western Breeders Service Ltd., Balzac, Alta., and as an RCMP officer. In his later years, he worked on his farm, B4 Charolais, raising purebreds. He was a longtime Canadian Western Agribition board member and worker. Bowes is survived by his wife, Lou, as well his children, Todd and Danette

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