Beef group taps insider to take over during pandemic crisis

Brad Dubeau takes the helm at the organization after working for 3 1/2 years as its marketing and education manager

Given a choice, a newly appointed general manager wouldn’t likely want to take over during a crisis.

Brad Dubeau, who begins the top administrative role at Alberta Beef Producers July 2, doesn’t have that choice. COVID-19 has caused major issues in the cattle business and he’ll be in the thick of managing through it.

However, he’s been the marketing and education manager at ABP for 3 1/2 years so he doesn’t come cold to the job or the current issues.

“As we learn from the first part of this (pandemic), I will be leaning on those that have been involved to make sure if, God forbid there was a second wave, that we are prepared and ready to handle that situation,” said Dubeau.

He was raised on a cattle ranch and still operates a grasser operation on property south of Suffield, Alta., and north of Redcliff, Alta. He is the former director of communications for the Canadian Hereford Association and editor of the Canadian Hereford Digest, and has also worked with the Alberta Hereford Association, Independent Breeders Service and Alta Genetics.

Dubeau admits to having a soft spot for the Hereford breed but doesn’t plan to play favourites.

“I’m very excited to take on this new challenge. It’s an amazing opportunity to be involved at that level of the cattle industry here in Alberta and working with our national and other provincial organizations across the country,” he said.

Dubeau succeeds executive director Rich Smith, who retires at the end of this month.

“Rich has been a great person to learn from and work for. He has an amazing way with people, whether it be his staff, the executive, the board of directors or producers that are out there working on the farm or ranch.

“He is dedicated to the industry and he’s a wealth of knowledge. He has a really amazing ability to be right on top of every aspect.”

Current crisis aside, Dubeau said he trusts in the resilience of those in the Alberta cattle industry.

“There’s a lot of optimism around the future. I know there’s uncertainty for the fall markets due to the COVID situation and we look forward to taking on that challenge, head-on,” he said.

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