Cattlemen’s Young Leaders
Haley Scott grew up on a commercial cow-calf operation west of Lacombe, Alta. As a long-time 4-H member she especially enjoyed the livestock judging and horsemanship projects. Scott earned a bachelor degree in animal science from the University of Saskatchewan, and a master of science from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. She is a research technician in meat and carcass quality with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lacombe. Scott also completed her beef grading certification with the Canadian Beef Grading Agency, allowing her to provide grading services for the research carcasses. Her background and education in production, combined with her position in meat quality and food safety, have given her several opportunities to see how both sides of the industry depend on each other. Scott’s mentor is Michael Young, who has nearly 40 years of experience in the red meat industry and is now the president of Canada Beef.
Kaitlin McLachlan hails from a cow-calf and backgrounding operation on the banks of the mighty Peace River near Fairview, Alta. Her parents gave her a heifer when she was six years old and her passion for the beef industry was born the day that heifer calved. McLachlan was active in 4-H and still volunteers when she can. In 2013, she graduated from Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alta., with an agri-business diploma. McLachlan returned to her home community, where she is the full-time environmental and communications co-ordinator for Peace Country Beef and Forage Association. She also ranches part-time with her older brother Allan and mother Valerie on their family farm, M4 Ranch Ltd. Her involvement with the Peace Country Beef and Forage Association shifted her paradigm, and she now describes herself as a soil nerd with a passion for regenerative agriculture and soil health. Her mentor is Jim Bauer, who ranches with his wife Barb near Acme, Alta., and runs his own grazing school.
The Western Stock Growers Association’s 2020 AGM included the election of a new executive. Callum Sears was elected as president. Ronda Reesor and Dana Fitzpatrick were elected as first vice-president and second vice-president, respectively. Aaron Brower will serve as past president. Mabel Hamilton was appointed as honorary WSGA president. The board also welcomed two new directors, Chancey Guichon and Brendyn Elliot. It also saw the return of Duane Hale, who previously served as vice-president. WSGA policy advisor Stuart McDowall stepped down from his position after many years in this role, and the membership thanked him for his commitment to the organization.
Charlotte Yates is taking the helm of the University of Guelph as president, on an interim basis for the next two years. Yates, who is currently provost and vice-president of academics, starts her term as president on August 2. Franco Vaccarino, the current president, concludes his term August 1. The university’s board of governors has also decided to suspend its search for a president and vice-chancellor due to COVID-19. Yates was appointed to provide stability and continuity as the university navigates the pandemic.
The Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association held its AGM earlier this spring. Six members were acclaimed to the board of directors: Jake Bueckert, Karleen Clark, John Schooten, Greg Schmidt (vice-chair), Jeff Smith and Tom Thorlakson. Also on the board are Ryan Kasko (chair), Martin Zuidhof (past chair), Lyle Adams, James Bekkering, Bob de Boer, Keith Gregory, John Schooten and Kendra Donnelly.
The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) selected its board earlier this year. Arnold Balicki is chair, Keith Day vice-chair, and Dean Moore finance chair. Rick Toney moves into the past chair. Representing the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association are Garrett Poletz and Brad Welter. Representing the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association are Kelcy Elford and Harold Martens. Canadian Cattlemen’s Association reps from the SCA include Pat Hayes, Duane Thompson, Reg Schellenberg and Lynn Grant. Rounding out the board are Kyle Hebert, Leigh Rosengren, Roger Meyers, Keith Day, Randy Stokke, Levi Hull. Brent Griffin, Paula Larson and Brian Cole.
Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) recognized Barb Duckworth, Rich Vesta and Gateway Carriers at their virtual Livestock Care Conference in late March.
Duckworth received the Award of Distinction for Communication for her work as a reporter with the Western Producer. Duckworth primarily covered livestock, including animal care. AFAC’s news release notes that Duckworth is known for her professionalism, integrity and devotion to keeping Canadian farmers and ranchers informed on livestock issues. After 32 years with the Producer, Duckworth retired at the end of March.
The Award of Distinction for Industry Leadership was awarded to Rich Vesta, CEO of Harmony Beef. Since Harmony Beef began 10 years ago, Vesta has focused on good animal handling practices that exceed industry standards. Cam Daniels, director of marketing at Harmony Beef, states that Vesta emphasizes the need to treat animals with respect and dignity in all meetings, and that this view is entrenched in Harmony’s management practices.
Trevor Currie, logistics manager at Gateway Carriers, accepted the Award of Distinction for Innovation on the company’s behalf. The company, based in Taber, Alta., worked with Wilson Trailers to develop a self-contained, electric-powered, liftable dog house to use in trailers. The dog house creates more back clearance for tall breeds of cattle, eliminating inhumane transport issues and grading issues caused by back rubbing. Currie says the company currently has 10 of the units in its fleet.