Canadian Cattle Young Leaders

The Canadian Cattle Young Leaders Program had another strong year of delivering unique leadership and mentorship opportunities to the next generation of the cattle industry. Since established in 2010, the program has had more than 180 graduates.

Highlights from the program year included the annual Spring Forum event. This three-day event held May 30 to June 1, 2023 in Calgary, AB and the surrounding area, offered the 16 program participants a range of industry tours and training designed to enhance their knowledge and connections in the Canadian beef industry. Tours included local feedlot and cow-calf operations, as well as the High River Cargill processing facility. The program also collaborated with MNP to host an interactive succession planning case study competition.

The Canadian Beef Industry Conference was the home of many key program activities in August 2023 in Calgary, AB. 24-semi-finalists from across Canada were invited to participate in the annual CYL Selections Competition hosted the conference. These impressive candidates were selected from 70 written applications; a significant increase in volume when compared to recent years. Semi-finalists competed in roundtable discussions with their peers on timely topics in the beef industry. The 16 finalists selected to participate in the upcoming program year are highlighted in the table below.

The 2023-2024 young leaders are another exceptional group, who are off to a strong start thanks to the help of their industry leading mentors through the program listed below.

The CYL Graduation celebration was also hosted at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, where industry gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the outgoing young leaders that would not be possible without the support of their mentors.

This year’s graduation also honored late CCA President, Reg Schellenberg, who suddenly passed away in December 2022. In lieu of flowers, the Schellenberg family requested that donations be made through the Canadian Cattle Foundation to support the Canadian CYL Program. Through this fund, each year, a CYL graduate will be selected to receive the Reg Schellenberg Next Generation Legacy Award. The first recipient of this award is Carling Matejka from Ponoka, AB. Carling was presented the award by members of the Schellenberg family, the Foundation, and the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference at this year’s CYL graduation.

2023 also marked a strong year for program sponsorship, welcoming McDonald’s Canada as the very first Platinum Partner of the program, a new additional top tier sponsorship package to elevate their existing support since 2017. The program also celebrated Elanco increasing their investment to become a program Foundation Partner. New in 2023, the program was also grateful to welcome event sponsors that include Spring Forum Prime Sponsor, Telus Agriculture & Consumer Goods; Spring Forum AAA Sponsor,; Spring Forum Professional Headshot Sponsor, RBC Future Launch; and our Spring Forum Friends of the CYL Sponsors, Cattle Health Management and Friends of the Bar U Historic Ranch Association.

Thank you to our program Platinum Partner, McDonald’s Canada, Foundation Partners, Cargill, MNP, New Holland, Elanco, and Gold Partners, Farm Credit Canada, RBC Future Launch and Alltech for making these opportunities available to the next generation in the Canadian beef industry possible.