The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program is for young people across Canada between the ages of 18 and 35 who are passionate about the beef industry. Since its inception in 2010, the CYL program has had over 120 graduates, which is certainly cause to celebrate.
“We’re very excited to mark this event with the industry,” says Jessica Giles, who joined Shaun Haney for a segment on RealAg Radio. “It’s a huge celebration and [Canadian Cattlemen’s Association] and the program is definitely excited — it was definitely an industry initiative and partnership that made this happen.”
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This year, over 50 impressive written applications were received from across Canada, and from that, 24 semi-finalists will be selected by a judging panel. Semi-finalists compete in a series of roundtable discussions at the CYL selections event — this year held virtually during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference — and that narrows down that group to 16 finalists, who will then be matched with a mentor in the program, with their expertise in their area of interest.
This year’s roundtable discussion topics included sustainability, adopting precision ag technology, financial metrics, the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing beef consumption, and more.
“Kind of the overall goal of the program is a succession planning tool for the beef industry,” says Giles. Mentors and mentees can gain so much from their relationship — some of those relationships have lasted a long time and the next generation is certainly learning a lot about the industry.
The CYL program will be announcing the 16 finalists admitted to the 2020 program next week.