Newsmakers – for Apr. 5, 2010

The Ontario Cattlemen’s Association turned over the top of their executive last month electing feedlot operator Curtis Royal of Creemore as their president for 2010, replacing Gord Hardy of Lucan and Castleton cow-calf producer Dan Darling as vice-president. Royal has been the organization’s vice-president for the past two years. Tom Wilson of Corunna was newly elected to the board of directors. Returning to the board are Paul Sharpe, Bob Gordanier, John Lunn, Rick Hobbs, Doug Kaufman, Matt Bowman, Gerald Rollins, John Gillespie, and Bill Herron.

John Vander Heyden Sr. is the first recipient of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association honourary life member award presented to individuals who have contributed to the advancement of the beef industry and the ACFA. Vander Heyden sold the last of his animals last July after 47 years of feeding cattle on the ranch he and his wife Mary established near Picture Butte in 1959. He served on the board of the Alberta Cattle Commission (Alberta Beef Producers) for 10 years and was one of the first members of the ACFA when it was formed in 1973. All three of his sons remain in the feedlot business.

Doug Price of Sunterra Farms at Acme has been elected chairman of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) and Brent Chaffee is vice-chairman. ACFA is urging members who request refunds of their checkoff dollars to keep that money working by directing it to the association. Every $3 would be split three ways, 50 cents each to the ACFA and the National Cattle Feeders’ Association and $2 to implement ACFA’s business plan for the industry. The association has already seeded the development fund with $250,000 from its cash reserves. High on their list for support are branded beef companies that sell offshore and packing facilities that can process branded-beef for producer-linked value chains.

ACFA is asking provincial ag. minister Jack Hayden to hold off making the national $1 of the Alberta checkoff non-refundable for at least two years so the industry can fairly evaluate the impact of this legislation on the beef industry.

Russ Evans has been hired as the joint manager of policy and research for the Alberta and National cattle feeders’ associations. He has a background in the delivery of extension crop and livestock programs and recently completed a Masters degree in environmental management at Royal Roads University.

Murray Jelinski is leaving the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to become the president and CEO of the Saskatoon Colostrum Company. In January 2006 he resigned as general manager of MetaMorphix Canada, to return to the WCVM as the Alberta Chair in Beef Cattle Health and Production Medicine. Since assuming the beef chair he has been researching the ecology and epidemiology of Mycoplasma bovis in feedlots and the changing demographics of the veterinary profession.

Reynold Bergan has switched offices, moving from research and technical manager of the Alberta Beef Producers to science director of the Beef Cattle Research Council. The council is a national funding body managed by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Gary Etherington of Dewberry, Alta. and Darryl Carlson of Pincher Creek, Alta., are the new co-chairmen of the Beef Industry Alliance (BIA) roundtable replacing Jack de Boer of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association and Russ Pickett of the Western Stock Growers Association. They are two founding groups of the roundtable along with Canadian Legacy Partners. The issue-driven roundtable is currently focused on the lack of processing facilities that can support smaller beef value chains. For more visit

The recent launch of the Brad Wildeman Youth Mentorship Foundation was a long-held dream of the outgoing president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association who is hoping for a $1 million dollar fund to provide the support and mentoring young leaders in the agriculture industry need to hone their skills and talents. Earlier this winter the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and Pound-Maker Ag ventures seeded the fund with its first $10,000 donation.

Dr. Jim Mailer from Stettler, Alberta is this year’s recipient of the Boehringer Ingelheim Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners Veterinarian of the Year award in recognition of his 32 years of service to the livestock industry.



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