Herefords in spotlight at Alberta cattle show

Youths spend week learning about all aspects of the cattle industry

OLDS, Alta. — Young people with an enthusiasm for Herefords gather every summer to learn more about the breed and leadership.

About 150 young people from New Brunswick to British Columbia attended this year’s Canadian Junior Hereford Association Bonanza in Olds, which was held Aug. 10-13.

They spent their days working with cattle from the nose to the tail.

About 270 head of cattle were shown. Many belonged to the youngsters, who travelled overland to bring them to the Olds fairgrounds for a week of learning about marketing, sharing projects such as writing and photography, public speaking, cattle handling, grooming techniques and showmanship.

“You learn agriculture skills and meeting other people who share the same passion,” said Cassandra Gorrill of Lyndsay, Ont., who is president of the Canadian Junior Hereford Association and has attended every Bonanza since 2008.

The 21-year-old animal science student from the University of Guelph comes from a polled Hereford family.

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The junior program has given her the chance to be a beef ambassador, which included a trip to the World Hereford Forum in Uruguay in April.

The Hereford program started in 1980 and is the longest running junior program in Canada.

Scholarships starting at $500 are available through the association and the Keith Gilmore Foundation, which offers a $10,000 Keith Gilmore Prize to post graduates and veterinary medicine students showing beef cattle innovation.

Juniors from three to 21 had a chance in the open shows to show females and bulls. Families could also join to show groups of three.

Jacey Massey of Strathmore, Alta., showed the grand champion female, while grand champion bull went to Lexie O’Connor of Vibank, Sask.

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