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Newsmakers – for Sep. 6, 2010

We were sad to note the passing ofBill Gray,a former marketing columnist with this magazine on Aug. 7 in Winnipeg after a short illness. He was 59. Bill was a livestock market analyst first with Statistics Canada, then Alberta Agriculture and finally with the Royal Bank before he joined the wealth management team at RBC Financial Group. He wrote the marketing column seen at the back of this publication for 10 years from 1983 to 1993. A scholarship fund has been set up in his name at the University of Manitoba. Contributions can be made through RBC branches.

Dr. David A. Chalack is the new chairman of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency board of directors. He is a veterinarian and owner/ partner and president of Rocky Mountain Holsteins Inc, as well as the Canadian sales and marketing director with Alta Genetics Inc. in Balzac. He is a member of the boards of the Calgary Stampede and the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Livestock Genetics, plus the advisory council for the new University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine Faculty.

Also new to the ALMA board is Anne Dunford,manager and marketing specialist with Gateway Livestock Exchange and the former senior market analyst with Canfax. Joining her isJurgen Preugschas,the founding shareholder and director of Peak Swine Genetics Inc. Preugschas currently owns and operates a 3,000-acre farm near Mayerthorpe, where he raises grain, oilseeds, alfalfa and custom grazes cattle. He also owns a nucleus swine herd for Peak Swine Genetics Inc, finishing 20,000 pigs per year

The Act that proclaimed the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association as the official producer organization in the province was passed in late July. The new group took over responsibility for the provincial beef checkoff on August 4.

GlenandDawn Ekertof Moosomin are the 2010 recipients of the Saskatchewan Environmental Stewardship Award presented last month by the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association. The fourth-generation farmers took over the family farm in 1983 and successfully adapted their management practices to improve their operation while at the same time improving the environment. What was once a grain operation has evolved into a certified organic cattle ranch. The couple use a holistic management approach to produce a premier product that they market directly to individuals, stores and restaurants.

Dr. Jair Garciahas been appointed division director of Pfizer Animal Health Canada following the recent integration of the animal health divisions of Pfizer and Wyeth. He brings more than 15 years of experience in the animal health industry to the position, most recently as regional director Latin America for Wyeth- Fort Dodge Animal Health. Prior to that he held positions with Wyeth-Fort Dodge in Brazil and the United States. He holds a degree in veterinary medicine (DVM) from Sao Paulo University in Brazil.

The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) development program is off and running with the naming of six young Albertans to be mentored during the pilot phase before the program goes national. The program provides mentoring and training to producers 18 to 35 interested in gaining the expertise and acumen necessary to sustain the cattle industry into the future. The first candidates are:Cody Schooten,a feedlot operator from Diamond City.Rosie Templeton,a student at the University of Alberta and purebred cow-calf operator with her family in Coaldale. Samantha Sperber,a student at the University of Alberta and a cow-calf operator with her family near Rimbey.Keith Ypma,a feedlot operator from Taber. Nanita Blomquist,a commercial cow-calf producer in Big Valley and Alberta field manager for the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.Ricki Fleming, a purebred producer and senior herd manager for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Animal Disease Research Institute in southern Alberta.

Mary Hertzof Duchess, Alta., has been elected president of the Canadian Limousin Association. She is the first woman to hold the post. Joining her on the executive is vice-presidentBill Campbell,treasurerDarby Cochrane and past presidentMike Geddes.

In early August Federal ag minister, Gerry Ritzannounced a stay of default on repayments to the Cash Advance Program for cattle and hog producers that comes into effect Oct. 1. The stay affects producers who took an advance in 2008-09 and were facing the prospect of repaying large cash advances this fall. A stay allows producers to spread their repayments out over a longer period of time and avoid default. Cattle producers have until Mar. 31, 2012 to replay the loan while hog producers have until Mar. 31, 2013.

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