Anew mentorship program launched July 13 will give Canada’s young beef cattle producers a chance to develop both business abilities and leadership qualities.
The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Development Program will pair producers aged 18 to 35 with established professionals to hone specific skills and also become ambassadors for their industry.
CYL will start as a pilot project in Alberta and expand into a national program by January 2011, said program co-ordinator Jill Harvie.
Six producers will be selected to take part in the six-month-long pilot. There are two mentorship programs: one for professional skills and another for leadership.
Harvie said at the end of the program, candidates will be certified as a CYL member.
Professional mentorships are for career-specific skills. They include areas such as marketing, animal health, genetics, nutrition, marketing and processing.
Leader mentorship creates a ready-made pool of people to attend and speak at regional, national and international industry functions on behalf of the Canadian cattle industry, Harvie said.
The goal is to pass the industry’s torch on to a new generation of skilled professionals, she said.
“We would like to continue to have a good information flow from the baby boomer generation to the next generation.”
Harvie said the program hopes to graduate 40 people over the next three years, which includes the six-month Alberta pilot.
CYL is funded 65 per cent by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. Additional funding sources are being sought.