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Newsmakers – for Nov. 8, 2010

Ian Wishart,a cattle and grain farmer from Portage la Prairie, suddenly resigned last month as president of the Keystone Agricultural Producers’ Association, Manitoba’s general farm organization. No reason was given for his surprise announcement at the time although there was speculation he might be preparing to take a run at provincial politics for the Conservative party. He was in his third consecutive one-year term as KAP president, after serving four years as vice-president. Wishart is well known for his work in developing the Alternate Land Use Service (ALUS), an environmental goods and services program that rewards farmers financially for ecologically-sound on-farm management practices. Launched as a pilot project in the western Manitoba RM of Blanshard in 2005, ALUS has now sprung up in several other provinces across the country. Vice-presidentRob Brunelwas appointed as president until KAP’s annual meeting in January.

The Vold, Jones &Vold Auction Co. in Ponoka, Alta., hosted a quarter-final round of the 2011 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship last month. Eight Canadians, 11 Americans and one Australian auctioneer took turns selling upwards of 3,000 head of feeders in hopes of winning one of eight spots in the finals in Williamston, South Carolina next June. Two Canadians have won this competition in the past:Dan Skeelsof Ponoka in 2004 andSteve Liptayof Hillsborough, N.B. in 1976. The Canadians vying for spots in the final this year were:Rob Bergevin,Stavely, Alta.;Frederick Bodnarus,Saskatoon;Rodney Charles Burnett,Enderby, B.C.;Patrick Cassidy,Olds. Alta.;Brennin Jack,Regina;Peter Raffan,Armstrong, B.C.;Travis Rogers,Westlock, Alta., andTyler Rosehill,Olds. The sale was held after our print deadline so we’ll let you who moved on next month.

Kendall Swansonrecently resigned as associate professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Guelph to take a similar post at North Dakota State University. His research focuses on feed effi-ciency and alternative feeding programs for feedlot and wintering beef cows rations.

The RM of Rudy in western Saskatchewan may need to hold a referendum to decide whether to approve a new Intensive Livestock Operation submission for a feedlot by Namaka Farms of Strathmore, Alta. Just before the council was to vote on the ILO it received a petition from a group of citizens demanding a vote be held. If approved the feedlot could expand to 36,000 head, making it the largest in the province.

Congratulations go out toRick McIntyreof Churchbridge, Sask., who was elected president of the Canadian Simmental Association at the group’s annual meeting last month in Quebec.Ron Nolanof Markdale, Ont., is first vice-president andFraser Redpathof Mather, Man., is second vice-president.

The feedlot crew from Kolk Farms of Iron Springs, Alta., won the silver belt buckles at the inaugural feedlot challenge sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health in September at the Easterday Farms feedlot near Lethbridge. The company thought up the competition to recognize the benefits of education and support to the front-line staff who perform all the hands-on work at feedlots. Eight feedlots signed up and sent a team consisting of an owner/manager and three members of their regular crew. Members of each team had to pull two sick calves from a pen of 10-20 head; process 20 head through a chute and take a multiple-choice quiz to test their knowledge about withdrawal dates, proper injection sites, quality assurance choices and product selection. Feedlot owners from Quebec and Ontario were invited to observe this first competition which Pfizer hopes will become an annual event.

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