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Foothills young people named cattle industry leaders

Two area residents, one from Foothills County and one from Okotoks, are among 16 finalists for this year's Canadian Cattle Young Leaders Program.
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Two Foothills-area residents are among finalists announced last month for the Canadian Cattle Young Leaders (CYL) Program.

Two Foothills-area residents are among the finalists in this year’s Canadian Cattle Young Leaders (CYL) Program. 

Ashley Nicholls of Foothills County and Rob Ziegler of Okotoks were recognized as finalists during the CYL selections competition held in August at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary. 

The CYL program is a nation-wide youth initiative of the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA). 

Finalists are awarded $2,000 for beef industry travel and learning opportunities of their choice and will receive a nine-month mentorship from an industry leader in their specific area of interest.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s young leaders who did a great job showcasing their passion for our industry and shared thoughtful ideas during the round-table discussions,” said CCA president Nathan Phinney.

“We had a very impressive slate of applicants for this year’s program, which makes me optimistic for what the future holds for our industry,” Phinney said. 

During the competition, 24 semi-finalists from across Canada competed for a spot in the upcoming program year, and 16 finalists were chosen based on discussions about beef industry issues with their peers. 

Topics included environmental sustainability, innovation and technology, succession planning, leadership, and support for new entrants and young producers. 

Seven of the finalists hail from Alberta. Other Alberta finalists are Adeleen Bolduc (Stavely), Brayden Schmidt (Didsbury), Coleman Nixdorff (Rocky View County), Karlene Yakemchuk (Hairy Hill) and Zoe Gould (Consort). 

Young people aged 18-35 who are involved in the beef industry are eligible to apply for the CYL program. 

The CCA said the program aims to equip the next generation of leaders with the skills and tools needed to drive the growth and profitability of the Canadian beef industry. 

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