Cattlemen’s Young Leaders
Dave Slingerland was raised on a feedlot and cow-calf operation near Coaldale, Alta. Growing up, Slingerland was very involved with 4-H. His love for cattle and their genetics led him to start Tempest Red Angus, a purebred Angus herd founded on heifers purchased for 4-H. It has grown to 25 registered cows and he now sells yearling bulls bred for high-quality carcass traits and efficiency. Slingerland has a diploma in animal science from Lethbridge College. He has also started a career as a livestock order buyer at Summit Livestock, covering auction sales and ranch-direct calf marketing across Western Canada. Slingerland’s mentor is Dave Kasko, who has extensive experience in the meat industry, including working for Cargill, the Canadian Beef Grading Agency, and others. Today Kasko is vice-president at Soleterra d’Italia, an Italian-style dry cured salami and ham processing plant at Acme, Alta.
Grace Kuhl currently lives in Keady, Ont., where she farms with her family. They run a backgrounding and commercial cow-calf operation as well as a multi-generation livestock auction business. Growing up, Kuhl was always a member of her local 4-H beef club. Kuhl graduated high school with a Red Seal in agriculture. She continued her education at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, graduating with an associate diploma in agriculture, focusing on agribusiness and livestock production. In 2018, Kuhl attended World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa, and now practices alongside her dad at farm sales and community fundraisers. Currently, Kuhl works for Purina in beef product marketing, as well in sales development with Sharpe Farm Supplies, an Ontario Purina Dealer. Kuhl’s mentor is Crystal Mackay, whose career has focused on connecting farmers and the ag industry with the public. Mackay was the founding CEO of Farm and Food Care and the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, and is now the CEO of her own company, Loft32.
Congratulations to Jessica Sperber and David MacTaggart, recipients of the Dr. Karl C. Ivarson Agricultural Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded by the Canadian Foundation for Food and Agricultural Education to students from Alberta studying ag science.
Sperber hails from a cow-calf and grain operation in central Alberta. She is currently a PhD student in ruminant nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she focuses on production efficiency and sustainability. Her dissertation research involves using a wood-sourced biochar as a feed additive and measuring its effect on enteric methane. She’s also studying the use of biochar as a feedlot soil amendment, with the aim of boosting manure’s economic value and reducing ammonia volatilization.
MacTaggart grew up in the Lacombe area, where he was active in 4-H at all levels. He is working on a graduate degree in plant sciences at the University of Saskatchewan, focusing on forage breeding. He aims to develop a method of using drones to identify the best breeding populations of cicer milkvetch and meadow bromegrass for stockpile grazing. By decreasing the time needed to characterize breeding populations, researchers could boost genetic gain. The end goal is to release new varieties suited to stockpiled grazing, helping to cut winter feed costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef elected its executive committee earlier in the year. Bob McCan starts his second term as president. McCan oversees the cattle and recreational hunting and wildlife operations for his family’s company, McFaddin Enterprises, in Texas. Ian McConnel, who is based in Australia and is director of beef sustainability for Tyson Foods, moved from the secretary-treasurer role to vice- president. Justin Sherrard moved into the secretary-treasurer role. Sherrard is based in the Netherlands and is the global strategist for animal protein at Rabobank’s food and agribusiness research group. Alberta rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes is a member-at-large. Copithorne-Barnes was the founding chair of the Canadian Round- table for Sustainable Beef. Luke McKelvie, global farm program manager for McDonald’s, is the second member-at-large, and is based out of the U.S. Finally, Nicole Johnson-Hoffman of the U.S. holds the immediate past president position. She is the senior vice-president and chief sustainability officer for food processor OSI Group.
Professor Marcio Duarte is joining the University of Guelph’s department of animal biosciences as an assistant professor in meat science and muscle biology, Farmtario reports. Duarte researches muscle biology, maternal nutrition and fetal development, with the goal of improving meat quality. He comes from Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Viçosa, where he is an assistant professor in animal science. Duarte’s hiring is part of a rebuilding effort for the department of animal biosciences, which lost eight faculty positions in 2008.
Ontario’s Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC) has struck an international research advisory committee to inform the organization on issues, practices and developments related to the livestock industry. Jim White, consultant and former animal health industry executive, is the chair. White is also a director on the LRIC board. Other committee members include: Stanford Blade, dean of the faculty of agricultural, life and environmental sciences, University of Alberta; Paul Dick, president of Paul Dick and Associates; Stephen Miller, deputy director of Australia’s Animal Science and Breeding Unit; Brian Lindsay, director of the Dairy Sustainability Framework, U.K.; Roberto Soares, corporate coccidiosis vaccine range manager, Ceva Sante Animale, Guelph; Jean Szkotnicki, former president of Canadian Animal Health Institute and board member of LRIC, Guelph; and Oliver Haan, chair of LRIC, Guelph.
Our belated congratulations to Bill Awmack, who received the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association leadership award last year. Awmack is an agrologist and sales manager for Quality Seeds West at Abbotsford, B.C. He has been an active volunteer on the British Columbia Forage Council since its inception. He currently serves as treasurer on the BCFC board of directors and is a member of the Canadian Seed Trade Association.