Parkinson among Cattlemen”™s Young Leaders semi-finalists

Hillsburgh’s Sara Parkinson is among 24 semi-finalists vying for 16 mentorship positions in the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program this year.

The semi-finalists were selected from a pool of nearly 70 applicants, a response which CYL program coordinator Jolene Noble said reflects the ongoing popularity of the youth mentorship program.

“The program continues to grow due in no small part to the quality of our graduates and their enthusiasm for the program and our industry. CYL alumni have done an excellent job promoting the program to their peers and encouraging youth to apply,” Noble said.

“With each year and new set of applicants, I am even more impressed with the calibre of individuals in the Canadian beef industry.”

The 24 semi-finalists were selected based on their online applications which were evaluated by a panel of judges. The finalists will be selected at the CYL Spring Forum March 26 to 28 in Saskatoon.

Joining Parkinson as the only three 2015 CYL semi-finalists from Ontario are Bethany Storey of Guelph and Brendan Zettler of Teeswater.

After final selection, CYL candidates will be paired with a mentor for a nine-month mentorship in their area of interest.

In the past, the program has included a wide range of focus areas. These range from production areas such as extended grazing seasons, nutrition and embryo work to marketing and trade to industry policy to advocacy.

The mentors are handpicked to best suit each individual CYL and set them up for a very successful and productive year. CYLs gain knowledge in their area of interest, exposure to the CCA and its provincial members, an expanded network and personal growth.

The CYL program is a national youth initiative of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). It provides industry-specific training and mentorship opportunities to young producers.

CYL participants have the opportunity to explore a potential career choice or involvement with a provincial/national producer organization, while gaining the expertise and business acumen necessary to sustain the cattle industry.