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Newsmakers – for Jun. 8, 2009

Rob Leslie resigned last month as manager of CanFax, the market analysis division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. He left after only 15 months in the job to accept a new post with Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health managing technical performance products such as implants and the introduction of the beta-2 agonist Zilmax (zilpaterol hydrochloride). He will be based out of his home in Medicine Hat, Alta. At press time no replacement for the top-job at CanFax had been announced.

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency’s (CCIA) fee for national ID tags increased to 60 cents from 20 cents on June 1. Executive director Kerry St. Cyr expects tag retailers to pass the increase along to producers. Tag fees now provide only 39 per cent of the agency’s revenues. This is the first increase in fees since the agency was formed.

The CCIA recently introduced its new executive team led by executive director Kerry St. Cyr. He joined the CCIA last March after holding management positions at Calgary Health Region and Alberta Employment and Immigration. Legal counsel Hina

Thaker joined the agency last September. Her former legal practice focused on privacy, human rights, labour and employment issues. Angelo Heart became operations manager last October. He is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Adminstrative Managers and the Institute of Professional Financial Managers. Bilal Kabalan is the new information technology manager. The newest member of the team is Danielle Oberle. She has a background in PR with the Beef Information Centre and AdCulture and has replaced Brooke Hunter as senior communications specialist.

A little further east Matthew Wright has resigned as the communications co-ordinator of the Manitoba Cattle Producer’s Association to move to Vancouver Island. He moved to Manitoba two years ago from Montreal to take up the communications post. His job is up in July. No replacement has been announced.

Al and Bev Madley and children Garrett and Brooke of the fifth generation Canyon Ranch are the 2009 Environmental

Stewardship Award winners for British Columbia. The family was cited for environmental practices such as fencing and the use of water crossings and watering systems to protect more than six kilometres of sensitive riparian areas along the Chilcotin River and Alexis Creek on their 1,200 acre ranch.

Congratulations to John Donaldson of West Bolton, Que., who became the president of the Canadian Angus Association last month at its annual meeting in Harrison Hot Springs, B. C. Kirk Wildman of Sangudo, Alta., is the new president elect of Canada’s largest beef purebred organization. Bob Switzer of Aneroid, Sask., becomes past president. Further down the ladder at the CAA, Kajal Devani and Kailey Walker have joined the breed development team. Kajal grew up on a farm in Kenya, spent time in the UK and studied genetics at the University of Manitoba. Kailey is from a Black Angus ranch family and is completing her applied science-agribusiness degree at Olds College.

There have been several changes within the various regional research organizations covered by the Alberta Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA). Laura LaBrash is the new manager of the Foothills Forage Association (FFA). Nasar Iqbal is the new research co-ordinator for the Mackenzie Applied Research Association in Fort Vermilion and Autumn Holmes-Saltzman has taken on the same job with the Southern Applied Research Association in Lethbridge. For details on ACECA and its sister organizations contact the new executive assistant Debbie Cymbaluk at 780-416-6046.

Terry Willock has been hired as the communications director of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. She was the communications director of the Alberta ag. department back when BSE first broke in 2003 before moving on to the province’s central public affairs service for a time. Also new to ALMA within the past few months are Darcy Fitzgerald, director of industry investments He’s the man in charge of the ALMA grants announced in April. Howard Oudman is commercialization manager and former provincial beef specialist Brad Fournier is research and development manager.

Roland Baumann of Vanderhoof was elected to a second one-year term as president of the B. C. Cattlemen’s Association last month. Joining him on the executive are vice-president Judy Guichon, past president Ed Salle, Ron Buchanan, Rod Savage, Mark Grafton and Martin Rossman. Bob France, the former extension specialist and congenial GM of the association for the past four years will retire from the BCCA on October 31.

Many in the industry were saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Cindy McCreath last month. She was the communications manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in 2003 when borders slammed shut to Canadian beef around the world after BSE was discovered in an Alberta cow. She had since set up her own communications company. She was diagnosed with colon cancer last summer shortly after moving to Vancouver.

Dairy producer Neil Van Ryssel is the new chairman of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council, a government-appointed body that collects a $2 per head checkoff from producers to fund increased processing capacity within the province. He replaces former provincial ag. minister Bill Uruski. Albert Todosichuk is vice-chair and treasurer and R. Harvey Harland is secretary.

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