Laura Plett’s story and farm plan was enough to land her one of 16 finalist spots in the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Mentorship Program, offered through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), this year.
The finalists, all between 18 and 35 years of age, were selected after a virtual roundtable event Aug. 10.
A panel of judges, drawn from the program’s industry partners, winnowed the 24 semi-finalists through their takes on, “timely topics in the beef industry such as the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainability, adopting precision agriculture technology, financial and operational metrics, increasing beef consumption and more,” according to a release from the CCA.
The program comes with a nine-month mentorship with an industry leader in the finalist’s “area of interest” along with $2,000 worth of travel budget, although the logistics of that travel, given COVID-19, is still unclear.
“I’m really looking forward to the mentorship part of it just because I didn’t grow up on a beef operation,” Plett said. “The cattle that we have now, this is the most cattle that anyone in my family has ever had.”
The Stead-area producer said it is her hope that her mentor will also be a cow-calf producer who has also grown an operation from the ground up, and has therefore faced many of the issues that she and her husband face now.
Jessica Giles, CYL co-ordinator, said finalists will be matched with their mentors in November 2020.
Veterinary student Sarah Jensen of Arborg was also named to the list of finalists.