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Newsmakers – for Jan. 4, 2010

Well-known cattle dealer and feedlot operator Chuck MacLean of Bow Island is the new chairman of the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP). Joining him on the executive are vice-chairman, Pine Lake cow-calf producer Doug Sawyer, finance chairman Dave Solverson from Camrose and past president Rick Burton who ranches at Claresholm. This is the group selected to steer the ABP through the murky waters of living with a refundable checkoff for the first time in many years.

Dr. Douglas Freeman has been appointed as Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) new dean. He begins his term in March, replacing Dr. Charles Rhodes, who is retiring after 39 years with the college. Since 2001 Freeman has been a professor and head of Veterinary Diagnostic Services and Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N. D. He received a PhD in reproductive physiology from the University of Idaho and is a diplomate in the American College of Theriogenologists.

Lee Irvine has been appointed national sales manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Canada’s bovine division. Lee is well known in the livestock industry through his family’s involvement with Calgary Stockyards. He left for a year to work on ranches in Australia and returned to study animal science and agribusiness at the University of Saskatchewan. He’s been with Boehringer Ingelheim on and off since obtaining his degree in 2001. Lee, his wife and two boys now call Airdrie, Alta., home.

The Waldron Grazing Co-operative in southern Alberta was named as Alberta’s 2010 Environmental Stewardship Award winner for 2010 at the annual meeting of the Alberta Beef Producers in Calgary last month. The 70 members of the 54,000-acre Waldron pasture have worked closely on environmentally focused projects with groups like Cows and Fish, Sustainable Resource Development, and the Alberta Conservation Association. They pride themselves on their innovative stewardship practices that focus on energy management, watering systems, minimizing air pollution, rangeland health, and wildlife management.

Akim Omokanye recently joined Peace Country Beef and Forage Association (PCBFA) as project co-ordinator. He has a masters degree in pasture agronomy from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria along with a PhD from the University of Western Sydney in Australia and brings 15 years of research/extension in field and forage crops to the job.

Beef producer Carl Spencer of Tara, Ont., has been appointed to the board of directors of Farm Credit Corporation. His farm carries 300 beef cow-calf pairs and 500 stockers on 1,800 acres. He also markets maple syrup from 1,500 trees on the property. Carl has served on numerous provincial and national boards related to the ag industry and has had a long involvement with the Grey County Cattlemen’s Association. He has served on the Ontario Nutrient Management Advisory Board and the Ontario Beef Producers For Change.

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