Rocky View County, AB—Twelve Canadian Angus youth are returning from Edinburgh, Scotland, where they spent two weeks competing in a number of challenges at the World Angus Forum Youth Programme. Travis Hunter of Didsbury, AB was the Individual Champion and Team Canada Believe comprised of Michaela Chalmers of Oro-Medonte, ON; Travis Hunter of Didsbury, AB; Wade Olynyk of Goodeve, SK; and Kelsey Ribey of Paisley, ON tied with Team Australia Red for third place. Team New Zealand Toa and Team New Zealand Kaha placed first and second respectively.
Several Canadian youths won or placed in the top three in competitions including:
- Team Canada Aspire placed first in the fitting competition and Team Canada Courage placed second
- Katie Wright of Melfort, SK won top overall individual in the fitting competition
- Michaela Chalmers won Reserve Champion Showman
- Travis Hunter placed second and Macy Liebreich of Radville, SK placed third in the individual speaking competition
Team Canada: Aspire includes Meghan McGillivray of Kamloops, BC; Cole Dodgson of Sangudo, AB; Robert C. McHaffie Junior Ambassador Macy Liebreich of Radville, SK; and Kelly Somerville of Mountain, ON. Team Canada: Courage is Katie Wright of Melfort, SK; Maguire Blair of Drake, SK; Bailey Dietrich of Forestburg, AB; and Raina Syrnyk of Ethelbert, MB.
The 2017 WAF youth programme included a trip to the Royal Highland Show, stock judging, attendance at the Forum Conference, agri-skills competitions and activities, farm visits, tours with the WAF delegates, a visit to Scotbeef and the competition finale. This was the second World Angus Forum to have a youth competition. The first youth competition was held at the WAF in New Zealand in 2013. There, three Canadian teams competed and brought home champion and reserve champion honours.
Meghan McGillivray is attending McGill University in Montreal, QC and expects to earn her Bachelor of Science majoring in Physiology in 2019. Her family operation is McGillivray Land & Livestock in Kamloops. McGillivray is the BC Director on the Canadian Junior Angus Association Board of Directors and is involved with 4-H. In addition to her beef interests, she is a competitive cheerleader and was a competitive gymnast and coach.
Cole Dodgson is completing the Animal Science Technology program at Lakeland College in Vermilion, AB. His family operation is KC Angus in Sangudo. Dodgson is the Purebred Show Team Lead for the Lakeland College Farm and is also involved in 4-H.
Macy Liebreich is currently working towards her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of British Columbia and was named the 2017-2018 Robert C. McHaffie at the Canadian Angus National Convention last month. Her family operation is Merit Cattle Co. In addition to 4-H involvement, she played competitive hockey and was also involved in the Junior Achievement program before starting university.
Kelly Somerville is in her final year of the Bachelor of Agriculture Honours program at the University of Guelph, majoring in animal science. Somerville was not raised on a farm but began showing Angus heifers in 4-H. She is a director on the Ontario Angus Association board.
Michaela Chalmers is enrolled in the University of Guelph Animal Biology program working toward an Honors Bachelor of Science. Her family operation is JPD Angus. She has been a 4-H member and served as president of the Ontario Junior Angus Association. She currently sits as a director with the Canadian Junior Angus Association and was the 2016-2017 Robert C. McHaffie Junior Ambassador.
Travis Hunter studied Power Engineering Technology at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and works at Bow Valley Genetics Ltd. as a herdsman. His family operation is Lauron Red Angus in Didsbury.
Wade Olynyk is an animal science technology student at Lakeland College in Vermilion, AB. His family operation is Crescent Creek Angus. In addition to working on the family farm and playing baseball, football and hockey, Olynyk is very involved in 4-H and the CJAA, including serving in several 4-H executive positions and serving as a Saskatchewan Director on the Canadian Junior Angus Association board.
Kelsey Ribey is a Bachelor of Nursing student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology/Georgian College in Barrie, ON. Her family operation is Tambri Farms. She has served on the Ontario Junior Angus Association board and is currently a 4-H beef club leader.
Katie Wright has been a Licensed Practical Nurse in Prince Albert, SK since 2014. Her family operation is Wright’s Red Angus. Wright held many positions on the Saskatchewan Junior Angus Association board and is currently a 4-H club leader.
Maguire Blair received the 2016 Canadian Angus Foundation Junior Stockman of the Year award. He is attending Lakeland College in Vermilion majoring in animal science technology. His family operation is Blair’s West Land & Cattle. In addition to 4-H, Blair played junior hockey.
Bailey Dietrich is a welding apprentice at Lakeland College. He has been involved in 4-H, minor hockey and the Alberta Junior Angus Association. His family operation is Redrich Farms.
Raina Syrnyk is President of the Canadian Junior Angus Association. She has been extensively involved in 4-H serving as club president, junior leader, as well as serving on the area council and provincial council. Her operation is Syrnyk Farms. Syrnyk is completing her commerce degree, double majoring in finance and accounting, at the University of Manitoba.
The twelve finalists were selected based on their Canadian Junior Angus involvement, community activities, school involvement and leadership activities. To be considered for the award, interested youth submitted a resume and a 500-word essay about what they hoped to accomplish if selected to represent Canada at the competition. The winners were announced at the GOAL (Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders) conference in February.
The Canadian Angus Foundation was incorporated in 1993 and is the charitable arm of the Canadian Angus Association.