Aaron and Adrienne Ivey of Ituna are the 2014 Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) for Saskatchewan. The Iveys operate a mixed cattle and grain farm in partnership with Aaron’s parents. Aaron and Adrienne purchased their first land in 2000 after completing their agriculture degrees. For the past 15 years, they’ve focused on expanding their cow herd, their land base and their family which now includes Noelle (eight) and Colton (six). For more on their operation see our story, Counting on Forage, May, 2013, Canadian Cattlemen. Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2014 will be chosen in November.
The Canadian Angus Association (CAA) presented the Kasko Cattle Company of Coaldale, Alta. with its Western Feedlot of the Year Award at its Carcass 101 event in June. The family-owned custom feeding and farming business was started in 1979 by Les Kasko and later grew to include his sons Ryan and Greg and son-in-law Todd. Kasko Cattle Co. now operates four feed yards in Alberta with a capacity of 44,000 head of cattle and more than 40 employees.
In 2010 Ryan Kasko allied with fellow Alberta feeders Les Wall, Ed Stronks, Leighton Kolk and Shawn Murray to form the Allied Marketing Group, which was named the first brand feeding partner for Certified Angus Beef in Canada.
Cor Van Raay, the founder of Cor Van Raay Farms has donated $5 million to Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge, jointly, to establish the Cor Van Raay Southern Alberta Agribusiness Program. The $5 million will be shared jointly between the university and the college to establish endowed student awards, business-related academic programming, an agriculture entrepreneur in residence at Lethbridge College and an innovation and entrepreneurship program at University of Lethbridge.
Dr. Gord Atkins, a dairy practitioner from Alberta was presented with the Merck Veterinary Award at the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s annual convention in mid-July. Jean Gauvin, a companion animal practitioner from Lachine, Quebec is the new president of the CVMA.
Rangeland consultant Kelly Williamson from Pambrun is the 2014-15 president of the Saskatchewan Forage Council. Joining him on the executive are vice-president Ryan Sommerfeld, a Gelbvieh breeder and director on the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association from Medstead, past president Aaron Ivey from Ituna, and finance chair Dave Kerr of Lashburn. New to the board of directors this year is researcher Greg Penner from the department of animal and poultry science at the University of Saskatchewan.
Obioha (Obi) Durunna, PhD, PAg, is the new regional livestock specialist for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture in Weyburn. He replaces Bob Klemmer who retired last year. Originally from Nigeria, Obi has a master’s degree in quantitative genetics from the University of Manitoba, and a PhD in genomics from the University of Alberta. His PhD research evaluated the genetics and genomics of feed-efficiency reranking in crossbred cattle. He worked as a forage beef researcher at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Brandon research station until he moved to Weyburn in April.
Doug Gillespie of Neville was elected president of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association at its annual convention in June. Shane Jahnke of Gouldtown is first vice-president and Bill Huber of Lipton second vice-president. Finance chair Helen Finucane of Regina and past president Harold Martens of Swift Current round out the executive.
The University of Saskatchewan has added to its forage lineup with the recent appointment of Dr. Bill Biligetuas as assistant professor of forage crop breeding with the university’s Crop Development Centre. He received a bachelor of science in grassland sciences and an M.Sc. in rangeland management from the Inner Mongolia Agriculture University in China and his PhD in perennial forage management and physiology from the University of Saskatchewan.