ROCKY VIEW COUNTY, AB – Fifty-one Canadian Angus youth braved the cold in Ottawa and converged in the nation’s capital for the eleventh annual Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders (GOAL) Conference held February 13-15, 2016.
CJAA members participated in many events as well as workshops throughout the weekend. Highlights from the event included touring the Parliament Buildings, presentations from agriculture advocate J. Scott Vernon, PhD and about the McDonald’s Verified Sustainable Beef Project as well as skating on the Rideau Canal and a Haunted Walk tour in the frigid temperatures.
Industry leaders captivated Junior members through their strong knowledge of global agriculture. They in turn were impressed by the Juniors’ knowledge and passion for the industry. Along with the Conference, $14,000 was awarded to deserving scholars and attendees courtesy of the Canadian Angus Foundation.
Meghan McGillivray of Kamloops, BC placed first in the Foundation Legacy Scholarship program. Scholarships totalling $11,000 were presented. Five finalists were selected from CJAA member applicants based on their applications and academic achievements. The finalists took part in a personal interview conducted by CAA members and a moderated panel discussion on industry and Association topics.
In addition to McGillivray’s $5,000 award, $3,000 was awarded to second-place finalist Josee Monvoisin of Gravelbourg, SK and $2,000 to Raina Syrnyk of Ethelbert, MB. Shane Roger of Balgonie, SK and Brooke Bablitz of Cherhill, AB were the runners up, each receiving $500. All five finalists are pursuing further education that will allow them to continue their involvement not only in the agriculture industry, but also in the purebred Angus business.
Monvoisin also won a $3,000 heifer voucher. All attendees had their names entered into a draw and her name was selected. The voucher can be used toward the purchase of any Canadian-born Angus female registered in Canada.
Meghan McGillivray is currently attending McGill University in Montreal, QC where she is working toward a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physiology. She expects to graduate in April 2019. In addition to raising Angus cattle, McGillivray owns and manages a flock of Dorset sheep, is a member of the McGill University Competitive Cheerleading Team and was a competitive gymnast for five years before transitioning into a coaching role. McGillivray suffered an injury and credits the doctors and physiotherapists who helped her recover with helping her determine her career path: “They inspired me to become part of the health team that can help people overcome their health obstacles and cope with health challenges. I hope to become a doctor that can support the community and improve the lives of people in it.”
Josee Monvoisin attends the University of Saskatchewan: College of Agriculture and Bioresources where she majors in Agribusiness and minors in Field Crop Production. She expects to graduate in May 2018. “Being involved in the Canadian Angus Association has allowed me to meet many valuable mentors. I hope that as I age I can also become a valuable mentor for young people in the Canadian Junior Angus Association. I believe that there is much knowledge to be shared and every new experience and opportunity I am presented with will be a rich learning experience,” says Monvoisin.
Raina Syrnyk is pursuing a double major in Finance and Accounting at the University of Manitoba and intends to obtain an MBA (master’s degree in business administration) from the University of Toronto, eventually establishing a career in the agricultural industry from a management and financial position. “I chose to pursue a commerce degree because I believe that there is a lot to be learned and applied concerning the efficiency and effectiveness of agricultural practices. In the future, feeding the world will be an ongoing challenge and by maximizing our efficiency together, we can minimize the gap between supply and demand,” says Syrnyk.
Brooke Bablitz attends Red Deer College where she is enrolled in the Bachelor of Elementary Education Degree. “I want to be involved in as many extracurricular activities the school has to offer. Relationships are a large part of effective teaching and I want to have that connection with members of my community and students in my classroom,” says Bablitz. “I would want to be involved in the committees that organize the various junior cattle shows in the summer. Those shows provided me with many opportunities over the years and I want to give back and ensure other juniors receive the same opportunities,” she adds.
Shane Roger attends the University of Regina where he is working towards a degree in business, with a focus on corporate branding and public relations. He plans to obtain an MBA in corporate branding. “I believe with the skills I develop through obtaining such credentials, that I will be able to remould the public opinion on hormones and antibiotics in livestock, as well get rid of the stigma surrounding unethical farming practices,” says Roger. Upon completion of his studies, Roger intends to work for a marketing firm with a focus on public relations and corporate branding or directly within the Ministry of Agriculture.
The GOAL Conference promotes leadership skills within the Angus breed. Junior members from all over the country attend this three-day event held in a different Canadian location each year. During the event, Juniors hear from nationally recognized speakers, participate in workshops designed to improve their leadership skills, get involved in teamwork activities, and develop beef and industry knowledge. Participants are also given the opportunity to network and socialize with fellow Junior Angus members.
The Canadian Junior Angus Association is a group of Angus enthusiasts under the age of 21. GOAL is an annual networking and interactive function organized by the Canadian Junior Angus Association. It rotates throughout the country every February.