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Manitoba gets a new agriculture minister

Newsmakers from the June 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Ralph Eichler

Ralph Eichler

Ralph Eichler was sworn in last month as Manitoba’s new agriculture minister. A one-time cattle producer who raised purebred Simmentals and a commercial herd, he also owned Prairie Farm and Ranch Supply, a livestock-handling equipment manufacturer and dealership and a Teulon auction company Ray’s Auction Service. He served as the administrator of the Interlake School Division for eight years before he was elected MLA for the Lakeside constituency in 2003. Eichler served two terms as ag critic for the Tories who were returned to the government benches in a late-April election.

Other former cattlemen Midlands MLA Blaine Pedersen was named minister of infrastructure and Portage la Prairie MLA Ian Wishart is minister of education and training in the new cabinet.


Lyle Stewart

Lyle Stewart

Lyle Stewart was returned as agriculture minister in Sask­atchewan following the re-election of the Sask­atchewan Party. He continues to farm and ranch with his wife Linda and son Lee at their farm in Pense. He has served as an MLA for Thunder Creek since 1999.


B.C. producers in three zones elected six directors to the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association board via mail-in ballots last month. The successful candidates were Larry Garrett, Erin Durrell, Grant Huffman, Duncan Barnett, Linda Allison and Doug Fossen. A number of other producers was elected to one of five BCCA committees that help direct the business of the association. Half of the province’s six zones hold elections each year. The executive for 2016-17 was to be named at the BCCA annual meeting in late May after our press date.


Jolene Nobel

Jolene Nobel

Jolene Nobel of Manning, Alta., resigned as the Cattlemen’s Young Leader program co-ordinator last month to take on the position of extension co-ordinator with the Farm Sustainability Extension Working Group, formed with Alberta Growing Forward 2 money by the Alberta barley, canola, wheat and pulse grower associations. No replacement had been named at press time.


We were saddened to hear of the passing of Harlan Ritchie, the distinguished professor of animal science at Michigan State University in late April. In a long and distinguished career he wrote hundreds of research articles and more importantly explained the importance of his results to producers in talks, seminars and cattle-judging demonstrations. He was inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Club in 1994. Harlan was also the original author of the Research on the Record column in this magazine.

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Twenty-six semi-finalists have been selected based on their online applications to complete for the available 16 spots in this year’s class in the 2016 Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Program. The final 16 will be announced on August 9 at the graduation of the 2015 CYL class. The semi-finalists are:

  • British Columbia: Ryan Scorgie, Kamloops
  • Alberta: Becky Tees, Cochrane; Cale Toews, Beaverlodge; Grayden Kay, Lloydminster; Jessica Sperber, Rimbey; Jesse Williams, Hanna; Kaleen Harris, Lloydminster; Katie Songer, Sylvan Lake; Luke Marshall, Innisfail; Madeleine Knodel, Seven Persons, Mel Hermanson, Hussar; Morgan Klaiber, Seven Persons; Nicole Viste, Hanna
  • Saskatchewan: Kurtis Reid, Hepburn; Kylie McRae, Kisbey; Mona Howe, Leader; Quinn Anderson Folk, Fir Mountain; Roxanne Olynyk, Regina
  • Manitoba: Katelyn Stehr, Swan River; Kristy-Layne Carr, Marchand; Wilco van Meij, Brandon
  • Ontario: Chloe Gresel, Erin; Jason Hurst, Guelph; Melissa Hurst, Durham.

Michael Fleury

Michael Fleury

Michael Fleury of Saskatoon Livestock Sales was inducted into the Livestock Markets Association of Canada’s Hall of Fame during the group’s annual meeting in Grand Bend, Ont., last month.

Ryan Hurlburt of Saskatoon Livestock Sales was named the LMAC 2016 autioneering champion. Reserve champion honours went to Kirk Goldsmith, Dryland Cattle Trading Corp, Veteran, Alta.; Jordie Waters, Foothills Auction Inc., Stavely, Alta. was declared most-improved auctioneer; Kevin McArter of Brussels Livestock received the Jim Raffan Memorial buckle as the most congenial auctioneer and Ryan Konynenbelt of Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange was the rookie of the year.


Tyler Cronkhite

Tyler Cronkhite

The Canadian Angus Assoc­iation has honoured Cowtown Livestock Exchange Inc. of Maple Creek, Sask., with its Auction Market of the Year Award. Manager Tyler Cronkhite accepted the award in a presentation at the Livestock Market Association of Canada annual convention. The Cowtown facilities provide a sales capacity of 4,000 head and market more than 50,000 head per year.


Errol Halkai

Errol Halkai

Errol Halkai has officially been named executive director of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) after serving in the role as “acting” executive director since 2015. He is a former general manager of the Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency who joined the CFA in 2009 as an international trade consultant. He replaces Brigid Rivoire who led the CFA since 2001 and has retired for medical reasons.


Dr. Leigh Rosengren

Dr. Leigh Rosengren

Dr. Leigh Rosengren has been appointed to the national issues committee of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. She holds a DVM and PhD in epidemiology from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2007 she established Rosengren Epidemiology Consulting Ltd. to help address infectious disease and food safety challenges for the livestock industry. She and her husband run a grain and cow-calf operation near Midale, Sask.


The federal Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative will help fund internships for post-secondary graduates working in the agriculture industry. Funding is available through two streams:

Green Farms Stream: Farm operators could receive up to $10,000 per intern to implement projects that are environmentally beneficial.

Green Internships Stream: Employers in the agricultural sector but not directly on farm could receive up to $16,000 per intern to undertake environmental activities, services or research that will benefit the agriculture sector.

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