Volume 7 Issue 8 •July 30, 2012

In This Issue ...


2012 CYL Mentor selection

The Cattlemen's Young Leaders (CYL) Program has finalized its list of mentors for the 2012-13 program and, in keeping with past years, the roll-call reads like an A-list of the beef cattle industry's who's-who.

Travis Toews, CCA Past President and Reynold Bergen, BCRCAmong the CYL mentors are the CCA's Reynold Bergen and Travis Toews, along with Anne Dunford, David Andrews, David Chalack, Rob Meijer, Rick Wright, and Arno Doerksen. Click here for a complete listing of the mentor-mentee pairings.

The mentors were vetted by the CYL mentor selection committee and will meet with their CYL mentees in Calgary on August 13, the opening day of the CCA Semi-Annual Meeting. At this time they will complete their roadmaps of activities for the mentorship program.

In other CYL news, on August 1, CYL mentees along with program graduates will compete for three Canadian spots to attend the Five Nations Beef Alliance, which is being held in Canada September 9-14. Competitors are tasked with creating a video that addresses animal care. The successful candidates will be selected based on the merits of their video submission.

Started by the CCA in 2010, the CYL Program provides industry-specific training and mentorship opportunities to young producers. CYL participants have the opportunity to explore a potential career choice or involvement with a provincial/national producer organization, while gaining the expertise and business acumen necessary to sustain the cattle industry into the future.

Funding for the CYL Program is made available through its Foundation Partners, UFA Co-operative Ltd., the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) and Cargill.


CCA Town Hall in Ontario draws crowd

Jill Harvie, CCAThe CCA Town Hall in Chesley, Ontario, attracted an excellent turnout. Around 140 producers attended the July 18 meeting, which was hosted in partnership with the Ontario Cattlemen's Association (OCA) and held in conjunction with the Bruce County Cattlemen's Association annual barbecue. The turnout was the largest of the three town halls hosted by the CCA with sponsorship from Farm Credit Canada.

The event attracted a full contingent of CCA staff, which was pleased to present high level information on the activities and initiatives the CCA is involved in on behalf of Canada's 83,000 beef cattle producers.
The town hall also provided the CCA the opportunity to hear producer concerns about drought and the impact on the corn and hay crops in the Bruce County region. CCA President Martin Unrau and Executive Vice President Dennis Laycraft spent a day and a half touring the area and numerous operations prior to the event. CCA staff witnessed the drought conditions first-hand on the drive from Toronto to Chesley and appreciated the problems expressed by area producers regarding available feed for cattle in the coming months.

It was within this context that the third CCA Town Hall meeting got underway, with presentations from Unrau, Laycraft, and staff John Masswohl, Ryder Lee, Gina Teel and Fawn Jackson along with Andrea Brocklebank of Canfax and Dr. Reynold Bergen of the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC).

Considerable emphasis was placed on the CCA's three priority requests for the federal government's Growing Forward II program, which are:

Click here to read the rationale behind these requests.

The CCA Town Hall meeting was well received by those in attendance and many producers reported that they were both pleased and overwhelmed with the high-calibre of Canfax Market Briefsinformation that was presented. Many producers took the opportunity to engage directly with CCA officials during the event's Q&A and afterwards at the barbeque, with most reporting that they'd gained a deeper appreciation of the scope of work that the CCA does on their behalf.

"The town hall meeting provided a great opportunity for producers in Ontario to engage with members of our national organization in an open forum setting," said OCA President Dan Darling. "The presentations were detailed and informative, providing producers with an overview on the national issues impacting their industry. We were pleased we were able to hold the town hall meeting in conjunction with our annual summer meeting, as it allowed a representative from each county in the province to participate in the discussions," he said.

Sponsorship from FCC enables the CCA to hold town hall events through to 2014. Details on upcoming CCA town halls will be available at www.cattle.ca/townhall.


CCA's Jill Harvie featured on Shaw TV

Jill Harvie, CCAThe Calgary Stampede is a busy time for many Alberta ranchers, including Jill Harvie, CCA Policy Assistant and Cattlemen Young Leaders (CYL) Program Coordinator. Harvie's life as a rancher, wife and mom was the subject matter of a video feature that aired on Shaw TV during the Calgary Stampede. Now on YouTube, the 4:35 minute video gives viewers a good taste of what everyday life is like on the Harvie Ranch for Jill, her husband Cole, and their 14-month old daughter.

In her narrative, Jill speaks about the ranching life from the perspective of practicing environmental stewardship on a working landscape, and how research and development drive innovations that better the entire industry. The video also featured some of their 14 cattle headed for show at the World Hereford Congress Conference, which was back in Alberta for the first time in 25 years. The family showed two steers at the Calgary Stampede, with one Hereford taking Reserve Champion Carcass Steer.

The Harvies have 200 head of cows and three breeds, Hereford, Charolais and Simmental, and sell embryos, semen, breeding females and bulls. During the Stampede, the family hosted 150 potential genetics buyers from countries including South Africa, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, Wales, Ireland, Uruguay, France, Finland and the U.S. at their ranch. As noted in the video, Harvie Ranching genetics can be found all over the world, producing national champions in England, Sweden, Ireland, South America, the U.S. and Australia.

Click here to view the video.


The International Livestock Congress – register now

The ultimate networking event of the Canadian beef cattle industry is almost here. The International Livestock Congress (ILC) Calgary provides producers, industry stakeholders and international agriculture students with current perspective on the critical issues affecting the Canadian beef industry and insight into the future of the livestock industry.

Set for August 15, 2012 at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino in Calgary, AB, the ILC convention, "BEEF 2012: Overcoming challenges from the ground up," promises another great day of in-depth analysis and discussion. Expert speakers will discuss the many facets of the beef industry. Topics include the complexity of today's beef industry, international economics, public perception of the beef industry and international trends in the industry, along with additional topics of interest, such as animal care. As the ILC is held during the CCA Semi-Annual Meeting, the CCA encourages producers and industry stakeholders to attend ILC and learn more about the forces shaping the industry and where it's headed.

Interested parties can register here.

The ILC is an industry-led event under the oversight of the CCA.


Fishing for Efficiency

Improving feed efficiency benefits the economics of cattle feeding. Improved feed efficiency also has environmental benefits due to reduced methane and manure production. Feed efficiency has a genetic component, but breeders traditionally haven't focused on it because measuring feed intake in individual cattle is very expensive and difficult. New genetic technologies may help. An international effort to decipher the entire DNA sequence of cattle was completed in 2009. This exercise revealed many locations in the DNA sequence that can vary among individual animals. Canadian scientists who were involved in the DNA sequencing project are now examining whether these variations can be used to identify seedstock that are genetically superior for a variety of different traits. Researchers at the University of Alberta and the University of Guelph collaborated on a Beef Science Cluster project that searched for reliable DNA markers for feed efficiency. This project was completed recently; click here to read what they learned.


CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: Reynold Bergen, Jill Harvie
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Matthew French

To sign up for CCA's “Action News:”
Visit www.cattle.ca and click on “Sign-up for Action News.”

For more information, contact:

CCA Communications at feedback@cattle.ca or visit our website at www.cattle.ca

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is the national voice for nearly 83,000 Canadian beef cattle producers.

Head office:
Ste. 310, 6715 8th Street NE, Calgary, AB   T2E 7H7
Phone: 403.275.8558   Fax: 403.274.5686

Ottawa office:
1207, 350 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON   K1R 7S8
Phone: 613.233.9375   Fax: 613.233.2860