Charolais Youth Association hold Conference in Brandon



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The junior aggregate award winners L-R: Champion Jorja Beck, SK; Reserve Champions Madisyn Robertson, of Neepawa MB and Cade Wright, AB)


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On July 24, 2018, 67 youth, approximately 60 adults and 70 head of cattle from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec as well as 11 youth from the United States, Sweden, United Kingdom, Estonia, New Zealand and Australia descended on the Keystone Centre  in Brandon for the annual Canadian Charolais Youth Association Conference and Show.

The 20 Manitoba participants included locals Chase & Blake Airey from Rivers, Claire & Myra Ramsey from Strathclair and Madisyn Robertson from Neepawa with others from Carberry, Dauphin, La Riviere, Portage la Prairie, Virden, Miami and Roblin.

The objective  of the CCYA is to develop and strengthen youth involvement in the breeding, raising, and promotion of Charolais cattle, as well as to unite youth from across Canada. This was the first year that the Charolais International Youth Program attended and participated.

Adult/parental involvement is strictly prohibited and the youth are divided into “herdsman groups” so that Senior and Intermediate members mentor and assist the younger members. The youth participated in classes such as individual marketing (radio ads, magazine ads or selling); individual judging (heifers calves, steers and bull calves), art and photography, team grooming, team judging (where one member acts as a judge and the other is the ring man, providing oral reasons on a microphone at the end of their class placing), individual showmanship and conformation classes. Participants are awarded points for placing in each category which count towards the coveted aggregate award. Senior members are also eligible for education and scholarship awards.

The conference officially kicked off on Wednesday, July 25 with a leadership seminar by Wilco van Meijl; a veterinary medicine and herd health presentation by Dr. Marshall McDonald and a tattooing demonstration by parents. The evening finished with a cook off competition in Brookdale, where Kelly Evans and Neil Jakubowski were given the daunting task of eating and critiquing 9 unique steak suppers, prepared and presented by the herdsman groups.

A Keep and Cull event was hosted by HTA Charolais in Rivers along with a herd tour. Other events on Thursday and Friday included a trip to CKLQ and Star FM, for youth to record their radio ads, and a stock dog demonstration by Hans Myhre and Campbell Forsyth at the Douglas Test Station.

The conference wrapped up on Saturday with conformation classes and the awards banquet. Madisyn Robertson of Neepawa was the co-winner of the Junior Reserve Champion Aggregate Award (a beautiful buckle) and was also the Reserve Junior Champion Grant Moffat Memorial Ambassador Award winner (evaluated on the helpfulness, willingness, encouragement, spirit, and general attitude towards the conference and fellow participants as selected by a group of unknown judges and ballot filled out by attendees). Chase Airey was a member of the winning Cook Off team. Shawn, Chase and Blake Airey; Matthew, Claire and Myra Ramsey and Paul and Madisyn Robertson were also awarded Second Generation Awards.

The 2019 conference will be held in Weyburn, SK with the next Manitoba conference to be held in 2022.