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Newsmakers – for Apr. 11, 2011

There were no changes at the top during the annual meeting of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in Ottawa last month. PresidentTravis Toews of Bearverlodge, Alta., and vice-president Martin Unrauof MacGregor, Man., were re-elected to second terms.

Andrea Brocklebank returned from maternity leave in February to resume her position as research manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Canfax Research Services.

Allan Marshallrepresenting the Canadian Charolais Association was re-elected as president of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council at the group’s annual meeting in Calgary last month.Byron Templetonof the Canadian Hereford Association was also returned as first vice-president. New to the executive wereDoug Fee,who will be retiring later this summer as CEO of the Canadian Angus Association andRoger Davisof Davis-Rairdan Embryos International.

Rob Smithwill become the new CEO of the Angus Association effective July 1, 2011. Smith is an active Angus breeder with a multi-generational family operation, Diamond T Cattle Co. near Olds, Alta. He has been working as a 4-H specialist in the Southern Alberta and Calgary regions since July 2002. He also has five years of experience working in Kazakhstan, part of the time with the largest meat producer in that country.

Dr. Annabelle Densonwas appointed president of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association at the association’s annual meeting in late February. Dr. Denson is director of the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She is married toDr. Denis Nagel,who is a large animal practitioner and owner of Nagel and Co. Veterinary Services in Crossfield, Alta.

Calgary lawyerMichael Caseyis the new president and chairman of the Calgary Stampede board of directors. He succeedsDr. David Chalack who among other things is the Canadian sales and marketing director with Alta Genetics Inc. based in Balzac and chairman of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency.

British Columbia’s s interim Premier Christy Clarkhas named Comox Valley rookie MLADon McRaeas her new minister of agriculture. McRae worked as a high school teacher at Courtenay in Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley for 14 years and served as a Courtenay city councillor for seven years before entering provincial politics in May 2009. He replaces Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart,who becomes government whip. Former ag ministersSteve Thomson takes over the combined ministry of forests, lands and natural resource operation andPat Bellis minister of jobs, tourism and innovation.

Page Stuartof Vegreville has been named as co-chair of the new Farm Safety Advisory Council formed by the Government of Alberta. The council will work to reduce injuries on farms and ranches, and advise the government on how to enhance farm safety education and training. Stuart is general manager of Highland Feeders Limited, and responsible for implementing a feedlot safety program for them as part of a pilot program with Alberta Agriculture in 1999. She is also a director with the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association, and a member of the policy advisory group for the province’s Natural Resource Conservation Board as well as the Intensive Livestock Working Group.

Regulatory pressure has forced drug giants Sanofi-Aventis and Merck &Co to call off plans to merge their Merial and Intervet animal health units into a giant joint company with $5.5 billion in annual sales. Bloomberg, quoting sources familiar with the negotiations, said U.S. and European regulators had taken an increasingly tough stance on the merger, partly because previous mergers such as Pfizer combining with Wyeth had struggled to safeguard competition. A Merck spokesman said the companies would go back to the way they were. But analysts are looking for more action within the animal pharmaceutical trade. Meanwhile Eli Lily &Co. announced plans to buy the largely European animal health unit of Johnson &Johnson.

Bob Prestage,owner of Arklow Angus and Wicklow Angus and a purebred Angus breeder, was awarded the Don Matthews Memorial Award last month. The award is presented by the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) to individuals who provide exemplary service to the Canadian purebred beef cattle industry in the field of animal health. Prestage has worked in the livestock industry as beef specialist, breeder of purebred beef cattle and international marketer of livestock genetics. He specializes in the logistics of shipping live animals, semen and embryos all over the world and has been instrumental in resolving trade access issues on behalf of the purebred sector. The award was set up to honour the lateDon Matthews, an Angus breeder who was a past president and driving force behind the creation of the CBBC.

Peter J. DeKlein,a licensed livestock dealer of Mossley, Ont., was up in court in January and February of this year charged with shipping three fallen cows to the Ontario Livestock Exchange and one cow to Aylmer Stockyards last July in violation of the Ontario Food Safety and Quality Act 2001. All four cows were ruled unfit to be transported by vets at the yards. DeKlein pled guilty to all charges and was ordered to pay a total of $5,000 in fines. On the second charge he was sentenced to a one-year probation period. All the compromised cows were euthanized.

Richard Fritzlerwas presented with the Orville Yanke Achievement Award at the recent meeting of the Southern Alberta Conservation Association (SACA). This award recognizes southern Albertans who make significant contributions to the advancement of agriculture in Alberta. He and his wife Bettyfarm near Conquerville.



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