The latest finalists in the Canadian Cattle Association’s Young Leaders program were announced August 31, following a competitive selection process at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary, August 15.
Three young ranchers from BC were among the 16 finalists, including Cassie Marchand of Vernon, Kayla Shallard of Hixon and Brett Squair of Lumby.
The three finalists bring diverse backgrounds to the program. Marchand has a strong background in marketing and social media while Shallard is focused on continuous improvement. Squair is a partner with Davidson Lawyers LLP in Vernon, where he says his ranching background has taught him the importance of a common-sense approach when acting for a client. He sees the potential to bring his legal acumen to bear on succession planning in the beef sector.
During the selection process, semi-finalists put their skills to the test through thought-provoking discussions about current issues including environmental sustainability, innovation and technology, succession planning, leadership and support for new entrants and young producers.
All finalists receive a $2,000 budget to put towards beef industry travel and learning opportunities of their choice. They’ll also be paired with a hand-picked industry leader for a nine-month mentorship in their specific area of interest.
This year’s BC finalists follow in the steps of the province’s 2022/23 program graduates Raelynn Blumhagen of Jaffray, mentored by Alberta rancher Brad Osadczuk, and Morgan Kitchen of Vanderhoof, mentored by John and Deanne Chuiko of CJ Ranching near St. Walburg, Saskatchewan.
With files from Kate Ayers