Mentorship Opportunity for Young Beef Researchers

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Retrieved: June 26, 2022, 2:10 pm

Engaging researchers who study cattle, beef, genetics, feed or forage production with the Canadian beef cattle industry is mutually beneficial; it allows researchers to be better informed of industry needs and more likely to share their findings with a practical, solution-based focus.  Facilitating and encouraging their attendance to industry events and networking with industry professionals, especially for new beef researchers from non-agriculture backgrounds, is extremely valuable.

The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program does just that. The program provides outstanding mentorship opportunities to those aged 18-35 interested in research, a career, or industry leadership in the Canadian beef cattle sector. The deadline to apply for the 2013/14 program is just two weeks away.

The 2012/13 program paired University of Guelph Ph.D. student, Katie Wood, with BCRC’s Science Director, Dr. Reynold Bergen.  Through the program, Katie was able to attend the International Livestock Congress in Calgary, the Beef Value Chain Round Table meeting in Ottawa, and the CYL Fall Forum, which introduced CYL mentees to various industry leaders and toured a research centre, processing plant, feedlot, cow-calf ranch and agriculture advertising agency in Southern Alberta.  Katie plans to attend the Cattle Industry Convention in Tampa Florida in February, and had to opportunity to sit in on a BCRC meeting last October.

“I was lucky enough to attend the fall meeting of the Beef Cattle Research Council on Oct. 11 and 12th in Calgary. This fall meeting was to review the research proposals for and determine funding decisions for the upcoming Beef Science Cluster. Over the two day meeting, each of the research proposals were discussed and the council voted to accept or reject each proposal. As a future researcher, I found it very insightful to observe the whole process and listen to the discussion amongst the council members on the merits and pitfalls of each proposal. I hopefully will be able to take what I have learned from this unique opportunity and incorporate it into writing proposals of my own one day.” – Katie Wood, CYL Mentee

L-R: Minister Ed Fast, Katie Wood, Dr. Reynold Bergen

The CYL program is a national youth initiative by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).  The program provides industry-specific training and mentorship opportunities to young producers and other beef cattle enthusiasts. 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.

In March 2013, a new group of mentees will be selected from across Canada to participate in the CYL program. These finalists will be paired with industry leaders to begin their 8-month mentorship.  Each finalist is given a $2000 budget to attend various industry events such as the CCA Semi-Annual Meeting and Beef Value Chain Round Table, as well as meeting with their mentor. CYL also presents its participants with the opportunity to travel internationally to network with leaders and peers in other nations.


The deadline to apply is January 25th, 2013. Application forms, as well as additional information on the program, are available at

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