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Canada’s agricultural experts help seal international deals The new generation of agricultural leaders Safflower: from cooking oil to insulin

The official publication of the International Agriculture Committee SHOWCASING THE




G R E E T I N G S F RO M T H E AG R I C U LT U R A L M A N AG E R S O F T H E C A LG A R Y S TA M PE D E Senior Manager Agriculture, Calgary Stampede

G e o r g e G ro e n e ve l d

As a former cattleman, I wear my Stetson proudly. As federal Agriculture Minister, I am equally proud of the reputation of Canadian agriculture on the international stage. By putting Farmers First in every decision we make, this Government is helping to make sure that the future of Canadian agriculture is bright, especially during these times of global economic instability. We are proud of our international reputation for producing safe, high-quality food and we will continue to build on our reputation of excellence. Over the past year, this Government has opened international markets and expanded opportunities to sell our worldclass beef, cattle, livestock genetics and many other agriculture products. I will continue to work with industry and other levels of government to continue to earn the trust, respect and market access that Canadian farmers deserve. Congratulations to the Calgary Stampede for being such a great ambassador for Canadian agriculture. Best wishes to all for an enjoyable time at the Stampede!

Alberta is a province shaped by hard-working, innovative, and determined men and women. From homesteaders to cowboys, these individuals helped propel Alberta in a new direction–not unlike today’s farmers and ranchers. While the challenges may have changed, that spirit has not, not unlike that of the Calgary Stampede.

Welcome to the International Profile–the official publication of the Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee! Throughout these pages, we invite you to read about many of the dedicated and enthusiastic people who bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the world of Canadian and international agriculture and agri-food. Throughout the publication you will encounter articles on passionate individuals, diverse agricultural programs and the next generation of innovative Canadian farmers.

Regarded as one of the finest agricultural sporting events in the world, the Stampede is truly The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth–combining past and present, tradition and modernism. As Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, I invite you to come and experience this memorable event this summer. The Stampede blends city and rural together seamlessly. As an annual destination for many visitors, it offers “Ag-tivity in the City.” The Stampede provides networking opportunities to agricultural businesses and highlights the different ways the agricultural industry impacts all of our daily activities. International visitors are provided with a unique, hands-on opportunity to learn about Alberta’s agriculture industry in the International Room, located in the Agricultural Building. Producers, breeders, and top Canadian cattlemen and women are on-site, ready to answer questions and provide information about their work. Alberta is famous for our western hospitality and breathtaking natural scenery. I encourage you to include a visit to our mountain parks and many outlying communities as part of your stay. You’ll be glad you did.

Rober t Wise

A l l i s o n Wr i g h t

Agriculture Manager, Calgary Stampede

Agriculture Manager, Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is the community’s cradle of western heritage and traditions. As a living embodiment of the western values that bind and build our community, the Calgary Stampede is a gathering place that hosts, educates and entertains the world. In 2009, we will also be offering several unique and customized Farm Tour packages to international tour operators that will connect our guests to local industry leaders who display and cultivate some of the best agriculture products in the world. Agriculture has a place in our hearts… and a home in our city. We are an organization dedicated to attracting and producing world-class events and are proud to be The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. We look forward to you joining us in 2009. Enjoy the show!

Vern Kimball,

Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede’s unique agriculture showcase is unparalleled in the world. Our events and programs, including The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, bring the best of the agriculture industry into the heart of Calgary, connecting urban, rural and international communities. I encourage you to attend the 2009 edition of the Calgary Stampede and enjoy the true spirit of western hospitality. For more information about the Calgary Stampede, visit

And we thank

Herb McLane C h a i r, I n te r n a t i o n a l A g r i c u l t u re C o m m i t te e

Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

M i n i s te r o f A g r i c u l t u re and Agri-Food

The Calgary Stampede is a great showcase for Canadian agriculture both for Canada’s international guests and for all consumers.

Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee

M a x Fr i t z

Gerry Ritz

A warm welcome to all guests at the 2009 Calgary Stampede!


The International Profile is an annual project of the International Agriculture Committee and produced primarily through the efforts of volunteers. We are proud of this publication and consider it one of our signature achievements. We hope you agree and we encourage you to keep your copy as a memento of your visit to the Calgary Stampede, for future reference on the ten-day festival and as a reminder of service providers who are important sponsors of our activities. The purpose of the International Agriculture Committee is to bring members of the world agricultural community together to share ideas, facilitate business opportunities and to foster cultural understanding; we provide guests with a unique international and agriculture experience, including memorable Western hospitality! Our committee members deliver on our purpose through a variety of programs and projects that include not only the International Profile but also the hosting of 2,000 international guests in the International Room (open daily during the Calgary Stampede on Stampede Park from 11.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.), to our presence in the Ag-tivity in the City tent, to the International Reception (Wednesday, July 8, 2009). The International Agriculture Committee supports the values of the Calgary Stampede and the vision and mandate of the Agriculture Department, promoting western values and excellence. If you are a first-time visitor to the Calgary Stampede we know you will be excited by the many things to experience during your visit … if you are a repeat visitor, welcome back!


The Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee extends heartfelt thanks to the talented volunteer writers who enthusiastically captured the stories shared here. They took time from their work to demonstrate their curiosity, keen interviewing skills and strong writing abilities. Our writers include members of the International Agriculture Committee, other Calgary Stampede volunteers and industry colleagues. We also thank Browarny Photographics for many of the photographs included in this publication. THE PROFILE COVER CREDIT: Sam Wirzba. Read about the photographer and his work on page 5.










I N T E R N AT I O N A L A G R I C U LT U R E C O M M I T T E E Herb McLane

Norma Dunn

Myra Lever

Marlene Graham QC

Syd Loeppky


Aaron Grant

Candace Lyle

Ted Haney

Shannon Haney

Kim McConnell


Byron Hussey

(Vice Chair/Sub Chair Sponsorship)

(on leave)

Jill Hilderman (Communications

John Arnold

Sub Chair)

Barry Bennett

Keith Jones

Kerrie Bennett

(Strategic Planning/Innovation

Jennifer Norrie Dave Phillips Tina Schwartzenberger

Doug Blair

Sub Chair)

Rick Smith

Ilona Braun

Bill Klasky

Deb Verbonac

Walt Browarny

Kate Kolstad

David Collins

Larry Koper

Anne Dunford

John Lee

Deb Ward (on leave)

Jan Warren (‘Tastings’ Sub Chair)



Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee

Jill Hilderman & Tina Schwartzenberger

Jennifer Norrie

Special thanks to:

Walt Browarny

Deb Verbonac

Candace Lyle

Jan Warren

Doris Rempel, Canadian Beef Breeds Council

Kerrie Bennett

Herb McLane

The Profile is the official publication of the Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee. Published yearly, the Profile celebrates and showcases Alberta and Canadian agriculture to the world. This is the 17th edition of the Profile. The Profile is distributed throughout Alberta and across Canada to agricultural producers, breed associations and industry representatives. The Profile is shared with worldwide friends of the Calgary Stampede and distributed at major American and International stock shows, through international agricultural associations, and through selected embassies and consulates.

THE INTERNATIONAL ROOM Promoting Alberta & Canadian Agriculture Welcome to all Agriculture

Barry Bennett

Barry Bennett has agriculture in his blood and it has defined a diverse and successful career complemented by a passionate long-term commitment to the Calgary Stampede. In 2009, he’ll be acknowledged by his volunteer colleagues and Stampede leadership for his role in establishing the renowned International Agriculture Committee. BY N O R M A B . D U N N A N D J I L L H I L D E R M A N

Exhibitors and International visitors. The International Room on Stampede Park presents agricultural product and service exhibits, shares information on industry sectors and invites visitors to socialize with producers, industry specialists, exporters and government representatives. Members of all Stampede committees, representing Canada’s diverse agricultural sectors—are encouraged to bring their international guests and visitors too. Then Calgary Stampede Director, Dr. Robert Chruch approached Bennett’s employer CIBC in the mid 1980s looking for funding and help to expand the Calgary Stampede Agriculture programs. This was Bennett’s first introduction to the iconic festival and was to define his 25 year volunteer commitment. Our International Agriculture Committee members are on hand to welcome you, provide information and help ensure you have a memorable Stampede experience. If you represent an agricultural group planning to visit this year’s Stampede, contact us now and we’ll pre-register your group members for their visit to the International Room; we’ll have your nametags ready. Follow the Agriculture links on to the International Agriculture/International Room page.

The Calgary Stampede July 3 – 12, 2009 July 9 – 18, 2010 July 8 – 17, 2011 July 6 – 15, 2012

To be added to the Profile distribution list, email the International Agriculture Committee at: Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content within the Profile. Opinions expressed by individuals profiled within articles are their own. We apologize for any inaccuracies and accept no liability.

Graphic Design: Eldon B. Rice Design Printer: Apache Superior Printing Ltd.




When the Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee welcomes guests to the International Room on Stampede Park during the 10-day festival this year, they’ll be celebrating their committee’s 25-year anniversary and recognizing their dedicated and long-term member Barry Bennett who helped create this renowned team. Bennett was born in Arcola in southeastern Saskatchewan and raised on a mixed farm. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. Similar to the experience of many farm families, there was no extra land available for him to pursue farming. In 1973 Bennett relocated to Peace River, Alberta to begin a successful career in agriculture with Farm Credit Corporation. Harvey Tedford, Fieldman for the Canadian Limousin Association, later convinced Bennett to apply for the fieldman position with the Canadian Simmental Association. In this role, Bennett travelled extensively across North America exploring market opportunities while judging the diversity of the breed. He was later lured to the very progressive Transcon–Charcan Livestock Services before settling in with the Agricultural Department of The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) where he served as an Agrologist in Southern Alberta, before his appointment to General Manager Agriculture Services for the Alberta region. Then Calgary Stampede Director, Dr. Robert Chruch approached Bennett’s employer CIBC in the mid 1980s looking for funding and help to expand the Calgary Stampede Agriculture programs. This was Bennett’s first introduction to the iconic festival and was to define his 25 year volunteer commitment. Bennett became the first Chairman of the newly created International Agriculture Committee. With an initial grant from Alberta Agriculture in the mid 1980s, a modest program was established on Stampede Park. A small room upstairs in




“Barry and I go back a long way and I have always been proud to count him as a friend. He has always been a support for the cattle industry and for his people—for example George Anderson, Don Stewart…and all of us. He always dressed like a banker but thought like a cowboy. His innovations and support of the Calgary Stampede and the International Agriculture Committee have helped us all.” G A R Y S M I T H , A LTA E X P O RT S I N T E R N AT I O N A L the Agriculture Pavilion was allotted to serve as a rest area with refreshments and peanuts. Thus the International Room was born. Bennett was designated as organizer with a mission to get international visitors ‘onside’ and ‘inside’. Originally the main purpose was to attract potential agricultural business prospects, but at first it was affectionately referred to as ‘the watering hole’. Keith McKinnon, a Past President of Calgary Stampede, was significant in promoting the work of the International Agriculture Committee. He and Bennett travelled on several occasions to the Houston, Texas agricultural livestock show. McKinnon and Bennett shared information about the program and the exceptional hosting to be experienced during the Calgary Stampede; camaraderie developed which lasts even today between Bennett and many U.S. colleagues. At the start, only international visitors to Calgary Stampede were invited to the International Room. Soon informal competition appeared when Edmonton’s FarmFair began hosting trade delegations during their show period. The Calgary Stampede recognized the opportunity and potential for the International Agriculture Committee and was able to persuade then Agriculture Minister Ernie Islay to increase support for the initiative. Larger facilities were acquired on

Park and Bennett recruited more volunteers to help host an expanded number of guests. Subsequently, the Committee widened access to invite producers, exhibitors, agricultural industry and government leaders to the room to network and build relationships with international agriculture visitors. In 2009, the International Agriculture Committee continues its mandate of bringing members of the world’s agricultural community together to share ideas, facilitate business opportunities and to foster friendship and cultural understanding. Each July the Committee hosts more than 2,000 guests in the International Room on Stampede Park during the 10-day festival. Norma B Dunn has spent a lifetime in agriculture and is a ‘more than’ 20-year volunteer member of the Calgary Stampede International Committee. She may be reached at: Jill Hilderman is Communications Sub-Chair for the Calgary Stampede International Committee and co-editor of the Profile. An independent communications consultant, she serves clients in agriculture, oil and gas, academia, commercial construction, financial services, and non-profit sectors. She may be reached at:

“I have known Barry for over 30 years and have always been impressed by his genuinely friendly nature, his devotion to friends, his support of the cattle industry and dedication to all tasks. I have had the pleasure to travel many miles with Barry and can say to those of you who have not—too bad for you. I am sure Barry’s firm hand shake, broad smile and sincere support of the Calgary Stampede and the International Agriculture Committee have been invaluable. I believe that Barry is one of Saskatchewan’s best agricultural exports.” RO G E R D E EG , PA S T P R E S I D E N T C A N A D I A N S I M M E N TA L A S S O C I AT I O N

“Barry Bennett is a good friend to all in the cattle industry and a true international ambassador from hosting to toasting. Whether it’s detailing livestock pedigrees near or overseas, Barry’s work ethic and professionalism is second to none. With many relationships built over the years worldwide, Barry is a born leader and vision provider for any organization fortunate enough to call him on of their own.” K E N L E W I S , ( S I M M E N TA L ) About the Photographer

“Barry has the natural ability to have his boots firmly planted in the corral with a great smile on his face and interact wonderfully with people no matter wherever they are from in the world. He has tremendous history in the purebred sector; Barry is a great ambassador for the Calgary Stampede and agri-business.” D R . R O B E R T C H U R C H

LEFT TO RIGHT – BACK ROW: Ed Braun, Ward Robinson, Unknown, Bill McCulloch, Gerry Roe, Perry Wilkes, Bev Isaacs, Bob Hymas 4

FRONT ROW: Brian Kitchen Walt Browarny, Shirley Peters, Dan Stanton, Barry Bennett, Marilyn Schneider, Deb Thorson.


Sam Wirzba has been an agricultural stock photographer since 2004. His interest in photography started while in high school, when he purchased a small 35 mm camera to record his mountaineering exploits. His photographic efforts were rewarded in 2003 when one of his photos placed first in a prestigious international photo competition. Sam was inspired to pursue commercial photography–while maintaining his regular job as a land use planner and mediator. His farming/feedlot background, studies at Olds Agricultural College, and a love for livestock persuaded Sam to focus his camera on agricultural subjects. Sam specializes in photographing beef cattle on Alberta’s scenic rangelands and in other settings. His photos are used in ad campaigns, in displays, as cover shots, and for editorial use. Sam can be contacted at 403.328.8944 or




Biodiesel on the move at Calgary Stampede

Keith Jones and Fame Biorefinery Corp.


Keith Jones has volunteered at the Calgary Stampede for more than 20 years, and currently serves as Strategic Planning and Innovation Sub-Committee Chair on the International Agriculture Committee. He is also President of Fame Biorefinery Corp. (Fame), a new Calgary-

equipment on a year-round basis. According to the Calgary Stampede’s Operations Manager, Gerry McHugh, the Calgary Stampede is moving to the use of 35 per cent biodiesel. Until recently, most of this biodiesel has been imported from the U.S.; however, a number of biodiesel production plants are being established in Alberta (see sidebar).

The Calgary Stampede and the International Agriculture Committee continually seek to profile agriculture innovation for both local visitors and international guests, and the “Flower Power” trailer garnered tremendous interest. Dr. Rex Newkirk of the Canadian International Grains Institute established the trailer to expose Canadians to the promise of biodiesel, and provide training to Canadians interested in learning how biodiesel is made. Since March 2007, over 3,000 students have worked on their biodiesel batches in the trailer, with over 49 courses held across Canada. Dr. Newkirk is a young, energetic scientist, and visitors to the trailer are entertained just as much as they are taught. In addition to its educational function, the trailer is also used to experiment with a broad range of potential biodiesel feedstocks. In response to the ‘food versus fuel’ debate, with people concerned about the use of their food to produce fuel, the biodiesel industry is exploring a wide variety of possible feedstocks in addition to the traditional use of palm, 6

soybean and rapeseed oils. As Dr. Newkirk says, “Bring us the weirdest fat or oil you can find, and we’ll turn it into biodiesel”. The trailer has made good quality biodiesel from novel Western Canadian oilseeds like hemp, safflower and camelina, from waste products including restaurant trap grease, bacon fat and used cooking oil, and even from stinkweed. Biodiesel has grown in popularity in Europe, where diesel fuel is preferred to gasoline in transportation vehicles. Many European countries require a minimum 5 per cent biodiesel content in all diesel fuels, due to the environmental benefits provided by biodiesel. In Canada, biodiesel interest is building rapidly, as many municipalities and fleets are starting to use biodiesel in order to achieve the same environmental advantages. Over the past two years, the City of Calgary has used over 2 million litres of biodiesel in its buses, fire engines and garbage trucks. Banff National Park uses a 2 per cent biodiesel blend in all construction and road maintenance


Visitors to the Flower Power trailer had many questions for Dr. Newkirk and were particularly interested in the use of waste products to make good quality fuel. Dr. Newkirk was often asked about the positive energy balance of biodiesel from oilseeds, which provides 340 per cent more energy as a fuel than it takes to produce it. They were also impressed to learn that new technology allows biodiesel to be produced with minimal water input, as they saw the trailer making biodiesel without access to a water supply or drains to discharge water effluent. According to Dr. Newkirk, many of the older individuals visiting the trailer were quite skeptical about biodiesel— considering it a fad which would probably go away; young people who visited the trailer were more likely to comment “this is pretty cool; it is a start to creating some environmentally favourable fuel sources.” Keith Jones is President of Fame Biorefinery Corp., and Strategic Planning and Innovation SubCommittee Chair of the Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee; he may be reached at


based company established to produce biodiesel and other industrial chemicals from non–food–grade canola seed and other oilseeds.


Fame was established in January 2008, and has built a biodiesel pilot plant near Airdrie, Alberta. In early 2009, Fame produced its first 10,000 litres of top quality biodiesel using local canola seed, and the company is experimenting with the use of frost-damaged and heat-damaged canola seed to produce transportation-grade biodiesel. Fame is the third biodiesel operation established in Alberta over the past 12 months, joining Western Biodiesel of Aldersyde and Kyoto Fuels in Lethbridge to provide domestic production of biodiesel from Alberta feedstocks. The Alberta biodiesel industry is new, but is growing quickly, and preparing to meet the demand created by new Canadian and provincial government legislation which is mandating the use of biodiesel in transportation fuels. More information on the Alberta biodiesel industry is available at, and more information on Fame Biorefinery Corp. is available at

All Canada Sheep Classic Market Lamb Class Thursday, July 9 1:00 p.m. Purebred shows Friday, July 10 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Saturday, July 11 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Trophy classes Sunday, July 12 1:00 - 5:00.p.m. Sale Monday July 13 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The All Canada Sheep Classic (ACSC) is the principal opportunity for sheep breeders to show and sell their commercial and purebred stock and promote their breed lines. As a national show, the event will attract participants from across Canada and is expected to draw many Eastern Canada sheep breeders. International sheep fanciers and visitors to the Calgary Stampede are expected to take in the action, check out the breeds and learn more about Canada’s lamb, wool and sheep businesses. The five-day event includes Market Lamb classes, individual breed classes and trophy classes that highlight the ‘best of the best’. A fleece competition is included and winning and exceptional fleeces will be displayed. The event culminates in a sale to be held on Monday July 13 (the day after the end of the Calgary Stampede). The program is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Calgary Stampede sheep committee, the Alberta Sheep Breeders Association and the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association.

For more information, visit:




Meyers Norris Penny believes in relationships, sound advice and support. Founded in 1945, the 7th largest chartered accountancy and advisory in Canada brings similar values and commitment to their sponsorship of the Calgary Stampede Beef Cattle Showcase. BY K E R R I E B E N N E T T Relationships are prized above all at the Calgary Stampede. This is particularly evident in the many long-term sponsor involvements essential to the success and vitality of the 10-day festival.

As part of their involvement with the Beef Cattle Showcase, MNP presents their unique hospitality lounge within the Agriculture Building barns on Stampede Park. The lounge is open to all Beef Showcase exhibitors and provides the opportunity for producers to mingle with their peers and MNP business consultants. It also provides a venue for MNP to invite clients from the diverse industries they serve to visit the Stampede, learn more about agriculture and beef production in particular—and to better understand how MNP works to support individual producers in their business enterprises. Over the next three years MNP plans to continue the lounge where guests relax, enjoy ‘Beef on a Bun’, a cold beverage and an opportunity to network. Additional activities include an ‘icebreaker’ event on Thursday evening that kicks off the MNP lounge: current and potential MNP clients and exhibitors enjoy the company’s hospitality together with musical entertainment. Scott Dickson, Director of Intensive Livestock Services of MNP, says the group is considering hosting a pancake breakfast in the barn in 2009 as a new way to bring together representatives from many of the niche markets they work in including the oil and gas sector, dental industry as well as other agricultural industries.



Free linking service helps Canada’s ranchers to take a break. BY D E B V E R B O N AC

By law, Canadian employees are entitled to a minimum of two weeks paid vacation each year. For Canadian farmers and ranchers, it’s usually a different story. Since holidays are self-financed, there’s less incentive to take time off. Running complex businesses, often with animals to care for, there’s ample reason to just stay home. Many producers will tell you that they haven’t had a proper vacation in years. If Frank Campbell has his way, it’s going to get easier for farmers to get that much-needed break. He’s not a farmer himself, but one of his best friends is. When the two of them went camping for a few days in 2006, the friend rose every morning at 5:00 a.m., and it wasn’t to go fishing. Campbell’s friend drove 100 km to his farm and back each day to do chores.

Meyers Norris Penny (MNP) has built their close relationship with the Calgary Stampede over the past four years and recently committed to another three-year partnership. When the company began sponsoring in 2005. The Calgary Stampede’s commitment to the beef industry has since evolved from competitive show ring to become a world class showcase where cattle producers display their livestock and market elite genetics. Today the goal of the Beef Cattle Showcase and the Calgary Stampede Beef Committee is ‘to enhance the value of the purebred cattle through the presentation and marketing of beef genetics’. In addition to the exhibits, visitors interested in the beef industry can also take in the Steer Classic, International Youth Livestock Shows, Albert Fed Beef Expo and International Auctioneer Championship.


MNP believes their sponsorship of the Calgary Stampede provides their organization with an excellent opportunity to increase brand awareness and help them achieve their desired position in the corporate and agriculture communities of Calgary, Alberta and Western Canada. From Vancouver, British Columbia to Toronto, Ontario, MNP has more than 75 offices and many include agriculture as a large part of their business. “Sponsorship of the Calgary Stampede offers several “money–can’t–buy” opportunities including the President’s Rodeo, parade breakfast, Sponsors’ luncheon and the Stampede Showdown. These events are excellent opportunities for our senior team members and executive to network with Calgary’s business leaders and demonstrate our firm’s leadership and commitment to this market”, says Dickson. Through their involvement at Stampede, MNP feels they have significant access to key business influencers and do increase awareness of their services and expertise among Canada’s beef industry representatives and vast business contacts. The Calgary Stampede and MNP share a commitment to give back to the community and support Western Canadian businesses. The Calgary Stampede appreciates and acknowledges MNP’s support of Canada’s beef industry and their willingness to explore innovative ways to bring diverse business leaders to Stampede Park. Kerrie Bennett is a member of the International Agriculture Committee and has a great passion for the agriculture industry. She is a Senior Sales Representative with Dow AgroSciences Canada, and works closely with retailers and growers recommending agriculture herbicides and Nexera canola seed. She may be reached at

“I asked him, ‘Isn’t there someone who can do that for you?’” Campbell remembers. “He said there wasn’t. I was in the natural gas industry and I could pick up the phone at any time of the day or night and get help. Those systems were wellestablished in that industry, but for some reason, no one got around to doing it for agriculture.” The way Campbell looked at it, if his friend needed someone to watch the farm now and then, others might too. After researching the issue, he found that European farmers have been better at taking time off than Canadians. “In Germany, for example, this service is set up by the farmer associations,” says Campbell. “You pay into the system during the year, you book your time-off and when the time arrives, someone comes and looks after the farm while you’re gone.” Starting in 2007, Campbell (President) and his colleague Joe Nasedkin (Manager of Sales and Marketing) set up a website at and began to build a database of people willing to take on short-term farm assignments. All kinds of people responded: students, retirees, empty-nesters and others, many with a background in agriculture. He called them farmsitters. Campbell has defined a farmsitter as someone who has the skills and availability to help someone in a rural situation. Campbell and Nasedkin try and find people near each rancher or producer’s community to help as needed—and they provide this linking service free of charge. Once the connection is made, it’s up to the rancher and farmsitter to discuss the need and negotiate the fee for vacation coverage. Campbell and Nasedkin began to introduce farmers to farmsitters in 2007 and the concept quickly gathered momentum. Today, they have 180 farmsitters in the AgriConnect database, from B.C. to Ontario and a few international placements.

Potential farmsitters complete a questionnaire describing their farm experience, their availability and where they’re willing to travel to in order to ‘sit’ an operation. When AgriConnect receives an inquiry from a vacation-seeking farmer, they provide contact information about potential short-term replacements. AgriConnect’s database of capable, qualified and available Farmsitters initially started with Alberta. From June 2008 they began serving Saskatchewan and plan to offer this service in the other western provinces by the end of 2009. From this one source, landowners will be able to find a qualified sitter who: • Has the skills to do the work required • Is available to do the work • Is in the general location of the farm Farmers/acreage owners can use this service for full-time farmhands, vacation coverage, additional help during peak periods throughout the year, or coverage during illness or injury. It can be for any type of service such as doing chores for a weekend, helping with harvest, seeding or fencing. A farmsitter could even be someone who checks the house and farm, feeds the pets and waters the flowers while the owners are away on an extended vacation. As he looks ahead to the future of AgriConnect, Frank Campbell believes that population trends are squarely on his side. He hopes to expand this service across Canada and into the U.S. in the next two or three years, giving more producers access to free time. “It’s important for people's health to have a balanced lifestyle, which includes time away from work,” he says. “But many farmers don’t have that. As more of the baby-boomers hit 60 years of age, we’ll have farmers who want to get away and others who have the time and skills to take over. My role is to connect them.” This service is a great way for foreign exchange students or interested travelling parties to witness agriculture in Canada firsthand or, if you are a retired or semi retired farmer or rancher yourself and would like to meet new people and see the vast country Canada has to offer, then sign up and experience the greatest vacation of your life. For more information on Farmsitters visit: Deb Verbonac is an Account Manager for one of the largest agricultural-based marketing and communications agencies in North America. Deb resides on a ranch a short distance from Calgary nestled in the foreground of the Rocky Mountains. She is passionate about agriculture and the sustainability of this grassroots industry in Canada. Deb can be reached at or




C A N A DA ’ S



Canadian agricultural technicians and business consultants are helping producers, ag-business owners and exporters to succeed. Through training and advice they help Canadians enter global markets, make sales, empower customers… all the while confirming Canada as an expert, collaborative business partner. BY JILL HILDERMAN

Art Froehlich with Korean Trading Company president Mr. Tae Ho Lee establishing markets for Canadian agriculture and food products .

Canadian two-month old Red Angus embryo transfer calves in Colombia.

As an exporter, Canada is known for its top-quality grains, oilseeds and pulses, cattle, meat and seafood. Canadian fruits and vegetables are also exported as frozen products, processed for the food service industry, or turned into sauces, preserves, pies and flavouring ingredients. Honey and Canadian maple syrup are also exported. Wines, spirits and beer from Canada are growing in popularity internationally; these brewery products are made from the same malting barley from Western Canada that is widely sought by the world's leading brewers. In addition, Canada's food processing industry is innovative and flexible. A multicultural heritage puts our food processors in the unique position of being well equipped to satisfy foreign market tastes and preferences through a wide range of manufactured products. Underpinning the export success of these diverse agricultural and agri-food commodities are talented Canadian technicians, specialized consultants and marketing gurus. It is their expertise, experience and business prowess that are supporting Canadian producers as they market their agricultural products and services to international customers. 10


ART FROEHLICH works with Canadian agri-business owners to help them successfully enter foreign markets. Froehlich focuses on finance, processing, research, international marketing and retailing. With an undergraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan and an Executive MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Froehlich has spent the last 25 years working in primary food production, agri-business and agrimarketing in Canada, the United Sates, Europe, South America and Asia. Personally, he has exported a variety of oats, processed products, malt, flax, and canola products to customers around the world.

“Canadians can be very timid when it comes to international marketing,” says Froehlich. “They are frequently wary of the size of markets and concerned by the complexity of the process and potential language barriers.” Despite initial hesitation, Froehlich says Canadians are well-placed to exploit export opportunities: “We’re polite, culturally-sensitive, respected and have few enemies.” Froehlich acknowledges in business that typically someone else can always potentially produce a product of equal quality

at a better price. So he helps business owners remain competitive by attaching more value to their potential exports through technical advice, processing improvements or by enhancing and promoting qualities specific to targeted customers. When working with smaller processors, he counsels them to break down markets into defined segments for a strategic, staged entry. Asian markets in particular are so large that targeting small areas initially can help achieve manageable results. The list of export considerations for businesses are extensive and include logistics such as transportation, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, letters of credit, language translation and marketing methods. “In many countries the colour of packaging and promotional materials plays a very important role; therefore it is important to understand these unique cultural nuances that influence success or failure,” says Froehlich. He also counsels extensively about the nature of doing business internationally; frequently specific countries’ norms dictate that friendships must be wellestablished before business can occur—business that must be anchored in solid reputation, price, quality and delivery.

KELLY LONG, CEO of Carmen Creek based in Calgary, Alberta, has experienced firsthand how the ‘export’ of expertise can seal the business deal. Carmen Creek offers a range of hormone- and antibiotic-free bison meat products including steaks, roasts and ground meat. They began exporting fresh meat to Europe five years ago after a Belgian retailer called looking to add Canadian Bison to their product line.

Key to the success of their product in this market, and to retailers in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom is education and training, says Long. While the sales are business-to-business and Carmen Creek meat is mostly repackaged and specifically branded by the international retailers, Long provides the essential background and product benefit statements regarding the nutritional values of bison meat. “We provide training materials and ongoing liaison to ensure our customers know the inherent qualities of bison meat and how to utilize that messaging and in their marketing,” says Long. “We do provide our Carmen Creek branded resources too, as needed.”





The partners of Carmen Creek Gourmet Meats—Left to right: Kelly Long , Dean Andres, Pieter Spinder

While Long acknowledges Canadian bison meat is well received in Europe and viewed as a novelty niche protein source, the company’s ability to converse and engage appropriately with their European customers is another important aspect supporting their success. Long’s husband and partner Pieter Spinder is European himself and speaks five languages. The couple, together with their partner Dean Andres, has found use of customers’ first language—together with an understanding of how business is conducted uniquely within specific markets—helps open doors, build relationships and keep essential business connections growing. “I also recommend business owners utilize the insight and support of Canadian trade commissioners in the markets they wish to sell in,” says Long who speaks passionately about the need for accounts receivable insurance, and a full understanding of the role of freight forwarders, brokers and clearing agents. DR. ROGER L. DAVIS DVM, principal of Davis-Rairdan Embryo Transplants and Chair of the Calgary Stampede Steer Classic committee, says international business is built around consulting. Davis-Rairdan provides commercial embryo transfer services to cattle producers in western Canada and markets services and embryos internationally. To date they have exported more than 50,000 cattle embryos to 30 countries worldwide, including, Russia, China, Central and South America and many parts of Europe. The company is acclaimed for its technical expertise in animal genetics, veterinary medicine and beef cattle management.

Roger Davis, far right, leading embryo transfer training in Colombia.

Teachers from many states in Mexico come to Olds College for training in instructional skills and English as a Foreign Language. More than 300 Mexican teachers have been trained during the last four years. Olds College also partners with three agricultural universities in Mexico. Each year 20 to 40 students in the third or fourth year of their horticultural or agricultural degree come to Canada in January and are enrolled in a post-graduate certificate which includes English as a Second Language, specific courses in their discipline as well as a four-month work placement. This paid work experience occurs at farms, market gardens and other appropriate agricultural enterprises. International connections have increased Olds College faculty members’ involvement in research, instruction and other global collaborations. Through a relationship with a partner institution in the Dominican Republic, Olds College is now involved in research projects and Canadian students have been involved in a study tour there where they worked with students at the university and were involved with a local community planting apple trees.

“By providing consultancy and training to vets in other countries we help ensure success regarding pregnancy rates,” says Davis. “In turn, this demonstrates for our customers the viability of bringing new genetics into a country to improve seed stock. Without this consulting and training the customer may flounder with terrible results; we mitigate this risk.”

Olds’ students have also participated on study trips to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic and in May 2009 students head to Bolivia.

Davis’ team also provides their consultancy and technical services in collaboration with other Canadian exporters. Gary Smith and Kate Kolstad of Alta Exports International Ltd. engage Davis to support their sales process. “The technical expertise and training provided to our international customers is a key component in making the sale, building the client relationship and securing ongoing business,” says Smith, who credits initial success with embryo transfer training in Russia, in collaboration with Davis, as key to advancing relationships there that resulted in the later sale of live purebred cattle into the country.

Olds College is increasing the number of international agricultural students attracted to campus which provides a diverse student population where sharing of divergent ideas and practices occurs. For more information, contact: Pat Bidart, Associate Vice-President, Academic, Olds College or visit:

THE ALBERTA INSTITUTE OF AGROLOGISTS (AIA) is a self-governing professional body made up of regulated members of professional agrologists and registered technologists in agrology. The AIA is mandated by provincial legislation to regulate their practitioners in order to serve the best interests of the Alberta public, and to address any public concerns or complaints regarding their members.

“Canada’s credibility is only as good as our exporters and we have highly credible exporters,” adds Davis, who is certified by the Canadian Embryo Transfer Association and approved to produce embryos for export by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Agrology is a “green” profession—focusing on science as it applies to a growing number of areas directly or indirectly tied to agriculture. It touches a diverse range of industries including primary food production, environmental management, natural resource development, food processing, biosciences and beyond.

Jill Hilderman is Communications Sub-Chair for the Calgary

For more information:

Stampede International Committee and co-editor of the Profile. An independent communications consultant, she serves clients in agriculture, oil and gas, academia, commercial construction, financial services, and non-profit sectors. She may be reached at: Embryo transfer training in Russia 2007.






World Angus Forum 2009:

Where the World Meets the West

will discuss futuristic cattle breeding, future challenges, and discuss ways to address energy and environmental concerns. Colton Hamilton is a fourth-generation Alberta cattleman and the Forum’s Youth Programming Chair. He is excited about showcasing Canada’s young Angus producers. “It’s an opportunity for youth to experience the technical conference as well as the other cattle-related events.” Another exciting feature of the 2009 WAF is an international embryo program. To allow international visitors to exhibit their genetics, Angus associations around the world provided the Canadian Angus Association with embryos from their leading herds which were then implanted into Canadian donor cows. On August 24, 2007, embryos from nine countries were implanted into recipients at Remington Cattle Co. at Del Bonita, Alberta. The 26 resulting calves are being raised in a common manner on the same ranch under the same conditions. All calves will be exhibited at Spruce Meadows throughout the World Angus Forum.

Hundreds of Angus enthusiasts from around the world will kick off their visit to Canada at the 2009 Calgary Stampede. The day after Stampede ends, they will converge on the southern edge of Calgary to discuss and view Aberdeen Angus cattle. BY T I N A S C H WA RT Z E N B E RG E R

The Canadian Angus Association hosts the world at the 2009 World Angus Forum (WAF) at the world-famous Spruce Meadows equestrian facility July 12–16. The WAF will be the largest single Angus event in Canadian history. “This is a great opportunity to showcase the best Angus genetics,” Canadian Angus Association CEO Doug Fee explains. “We will have over 1,000 head of Angus cattle on exhibit for the world.” John Lee, chairman of the World Angus Forum organizing committee, describes the participation of Angus producers as “unbelievable.” More than 200 exhibitors with their displays and livestock will cover 160,000 square feet of barn space. And while the exhibitors are mostly Canadian, visitors will also see exhibitors from several countries including the United States, Scotland and Denmark. No cattle event could be complete without cattle shows, and the World Angus Forum hosts Red Angus and Black Angus shows and one show specifically for youth exhibitors. In preparation for the Forum, the organizing committee has been running a World Angus Forum Futurity Show. Cattle



from across Canada have participated in WAF Futurity Shows in 2007 and 2008, leading up to the final show to be held on July 15 at the Forum. The Futurity shows feature the same cattle over three consecutive years. Heifer calves and bull calves shown in 2007 were also shown in 2008 and will compete for honours at the Forum. The two-year-old heifer calves are required to have a natural calf at side. The Forum offers a large social element that includes tours of the Canadian countryside before and after the event and a chance for visitors to take in the Calgary Stampede. The pre-Forum tour includes tickets to the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races and the rodeo finals. The theme of the WAF, “Where the World Meets the West”, showcases the Calgary region’s history of ranching and cattle.

Aberdeen Angus cattle have evolved into the world’s leading beef breed. It’s a position that Fee is both cautiously optimistic about and proud of. “It’s important that we not take success for granted and that we learn from the challenges and mistakes of others.” This sentiment is shared by other Angus Associations around the world and is one of the reasons behind the World Angus Forum. The World Angus Secretariat was established in 1969 to facilitate the sharing of information between the world’s Angus societies and associations. As Angus genetics move around the world, Angus societies and associations become more dependent on each other for accurate registration information to assist each other in maintaining accurate pedigree records and herd books.

Fee describes how the event will unfold: “Seventeen countries will be represented at this year’s technical conference. They will review the status of the breed in their respective countries, compare projects and network and socialize with other Angus enthusiasts. Local Angus officials and leading politicians will open the general session.” The keynote speaker is Dr. Robert Church. Dr. Church is Professor Emeritus of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary. He is also a past president of the Calgary Stampede. Dr. Church will speak to the delegates about the potential for and advancements in the field of genomics in healthy cattle populations and how it can be used to contribute to healthy cattle and healthy people. The World Angus Forum has not been held in Canada since 1985 when the highlight was a visit from the Queen mother, the patron of the Aberdeen Angus breed and an Angus breeder herself. Tina Schwartzenberger is the Member Communications Specialist for the Canadian Angus Association and co-editor of the Profile. She calls the Calgary Stampede her “10 days of Christmas in July”. Tina may be reached at

Featured Events at the World Angus Forum Saturday, July 11

Tuesday July 14

Thursday July 16

• Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races and grandstand show

• Official WAF opening and technical conference at Spruce Meadows

• WAF Black Angus Show

• Angus sale at Spruce Meadows

Sunday, July 12

Monday, July 13

• WAF Junior Show

• Ranch rodeo and tour at Bar U Ranch

• WAF Red Angus Show

• Scenic drive through the foothills to the Flying E Ranch

•Final banquet, next host presentation and closing ceremonies

• Gala evening

• Calgary Stampede rodeo finals

Wednesday July 15

The 2009 WAF is the first to have an official youth component. The high level of Angus youth involvement is unique to North America and is not seen to the same extent in other countries. The United States and Canada both have official Angus groups for youth. The 2009 WAF includes a technical session for youth ages 14 to 21 where participants

Every two years, the Secretariat hosts a technical conference for the groups to share information, knowledge and experience. Every four years, the event takes on larger proportions and more people than the delegates from each association are invited to participate. Since its establishment, the World Angus Secretariat has discussed a variety of topics including maintaining genetic purity and international promotion of the Angus Breed. The Secretariat has agreed on numerous recommendations for its members.

For more information or to register to attend the World Angus Forum please visit or call Monica Hillis at Travel Masters at 403.203.9266 (toll-free 1.866.703.3041 in Canada and U.S.). No individual event tickets will be sold, but there is no charge for entrance to Spruce Meadows.

• Pitchfork barbecue and entertainment featuring Native dancers in full costume




Calgary Stampede A legacy nearly 100 years in the making–The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has humble roots.


The prairies needed more immigrants—from Eastern Canada, England, Europe and the United States—but they would only come if they knew they could build their futures. Calgary itself was nothing more than a collection of tents and shacks with maybe 500 people living in them. Nonetheless, in 1884 the Calgary and District Agricultural Society was formed and promptly set about organizing a fall fair. A fair turned out to be a little too ambitious, so instead, the society set up an exhibit of the area’s best grain and produce in a Canadian Pacific Railway car and sent it on a tour of Eastern Canada. Eastern farmers were mightily impressed; some were even skeptical of the six-foot stalks of wheat they saw in the car. While a few cynics were looking for splices on giant stalks of wheat, back near Calgary the new country’s deputy minister of agriculture was touring a farm when he fell off his horse and broke his collarbone. Major Walker, the president of the Agricultural Society, happened by and took A.M. Burgess home to mend. As the bureaucrat’s collarbone healed, Walker sold him on the idea of the society buying a parcel of crown land along the Elbow River to set up a permanent exhibition grounds. As the two men discussed the idea, they couldn’t have known that for the next 125 years this same land would be the site of one of the most unique agriculture showcases in the world. “Throughout the year, the Calgary Stampede produces and hosts several agriculture events and programs,” says Max Fritz, the Stampede’s senior manager of Agriculture. “During the 10-day Stampede we showcase the very best the industry has to offer and host many world champions. More than 500 volunteers and employees, dozens of partners and sponsors working with 22 different agriculture committees make it all happen.” The folks of the Calgary and District Agricultural Society who arranged the first fall fair in 1886 would be amazed to see how the event has grown. Back in 1886, Calgary had a population of 2,000 and horses dominated the fair and its prize list. The first-place thoroughbred stallion fetched $20 and the first-place thoroughbred mare won $15. In 1888, with help from Burgess in Ottawa, the agricultural society bought 94 acres of land from the Dominion of Canada for $235 and built cattle sheds, an exhibition building and a race track, with a cricket pitch in the middle. A decade later, Calgary’s population had exploded to 25,000 and the young town was chosen to host the prestigious Dominion Exhibition in 1908. It was a smashing success; something that was well noted by American cowboy and showman Guy Weadick. A few years later, in 1912, Weadick convinced four prominent






Calgary businessmen—since known as “The Big Four”—to pledge $100,000 to back his Frontier Days and Cowboy Championship Contest, to be known as the Calgary Stampede. Weadick produced the second Calgary Stampede in 1919; dubbed the Victory Stampede to honour the end of World War I. In 1923, the agricultural fair approached Weadick about merging the two events and the “Calgary Exhibition & Stampede” was born. Inspired by the popularity of auto racing and informed by his years as a ranch hand, Guy Weadick invented chuckwagon racing. He also introduced free Stampede breakfasts and western dress competitions as ways to involve the community in the event. These days, more than 1.2 million people come out to the 10-day Calgary Stampede and now—as then—agriculture is a marquee component. "Our research shows people really value the wide variety of entertainment, exhibitions and educational programs we offer,” says Fritz. “While the agriculture industry has changed a lot over the last century or so—and we’ve changed along with it—one thing that’s stayed the same is the fact the Calgary Stampede creates a critical gathering point for the agriculture community to celebrate and generate energy and pride.” As Calgary has grown from tents along the Bow River to a thriving business centre of more than a million people, the Stampede has kept pace. What started as a way to attract farmers to settle the land has become a unique agricultural showcase, attracting people from all over the world. This year’s Calgary Stampede will again bring the best of the agriculture industry to the heart of Calgary, connecting rural and urban communities and bringing together folks from Alberta with those from all over the world. For more information on the Calgary Stampede, visit:



Environmental stewards apply their vision Brown Creek Ranch is taking advantage of the opportunities of the 21st century beef industry and yet solidly grounded in Canada’s western heritage. BY P EG G Y S T R A N K M A N

Brian and Shaunere Lane acquired the Brown Creek Ranch in 1997 after working there and envisioning what it would be when it was theirs. The ranch sits in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just west of Claresholm, Alberta, a couple hours drive from Calgary. The area has been traditionally cattle country for well over 100 years. Providing good grass and clean water, the ranch now supports 280 cow/calf pairs.

The Lanes focus has been on management changes to improve the long–term sustainability of the land, grass and water. Their persistence and success earned them the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association 2007 Environmental Stewardship Award.

“Our commercial herd is based on our red and black purebred Angus cattle business,” says Brian. “It was the strong maternal traits of the Angus that appealed to us and we thought that it added value to our calves.” The Brown Creek Ranch bulls are bred to suit commercial herds, working bulls Brian says.

“It was such an honour to be nominated. We were so surprised to win knowing that the other national nominees were such experienced cattle producers and we felt we were such newcomers,” says Shaunere. “We love the life we live and feel so privileged to be able to make a living here. I think the challenges of making it through BSE really clarified our thinking about what we were doing and why. Our children, Ty, Chancey, Chloe and Holly love it here. We want to be sure that they will have a viable ranch to take over.”

“We almost didn’t have the purebreds,” Brian grimaces a bit. “We shook on the deal to buy the cattle about two months before BSE hit in the spring of ‘03. We couldn’t go back on our word but the timing of our jump into the purebred business could have been better.”



Looking for ways to impact the bottom line led the Lanes to join Canada Gold Beef, a value chain with a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points or HACCP-based production program. Requirements include age verification, source verification, traceability, environment and animal care

protocols. "Time will tell, but we got a good premium on the calves we sold last fall,” says Brian. Having traceable premium beef products is intended to also draw attention from the international markets. Decreasing input costs and increasing efficiency also make a ranch more viable. So Brian and Shaunere adapted the principles of managed grazing to their ranch to increase the health of the grass by manipulating the timing and intensity of the cattle grazing. “We’ve done some cross fencing,” says Brian. “That helps us change the timing of the grazing period. The fields are rotated so cattle are usually in any particular field only once a year and never in the same field at the same time of year.” As science provided the background for swath grazing, the Lanes integrated that practice into their management plans. Cutting a seeded oat/barley cereal crop and leaving it the field for the cattle to graze in the winter saves the cost of processing the crop and bringing it back to the ranch. It also keeps the manure from the cattle in the field to provide nutrients for the next year’s crop and microbes for soil health. Water is precious in southern Alberta. The Lanes feel blessed to have natural springs on their ranch. The spring heads have been fenced out and troughs installed down slope

so that they are gravity filled. The cattle seem to prefer drinking out of the troughs so there hasn’t been a need to fence the creeks. Brown Creek Ranch Vacations began as a side line and has really taken off. Most of their guests are couples but last year they partnered with the Alberta Beef Producers to host two delegations from China and one from Spain. They’ve also had a group from Korea and a group of farmers from Austria. “Our international guests are particularly interested in how we raise our cattle. Many of them visit our place before or after they have spent time at the Calgary Stampede,” says Shaunere. Visitors have a private guest house and are fully involved in all the family and ranch activities. That participation gives them not just the flavour of the western lifestyle but an understanding of why cattle are cared for as they are. However, the connection guests make with the Lanes goes much deeper; guests come away with an appreciation of how much ranch families care for the land and their way of life. Peggy Strankman works for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association as their Manager of Environmental Affairs. She may be reached at:




The Chuckwagon Benny: Turner Valley restaurateur and cattle rancher develops a following When Terry Myhre found himself unable to source a consistent beef supply for his Turner Valley Restaurant, he embraced the farm to fork concept and began raising his own beef supply.

Myhre even sells his customers roasts to make at home. That has been another success. He has had to limit the number of roasts his customers can buy, and even at that he is lucky if they last more than one day. “Since I’ve started finishing my own beef, it’s made it fun again and interesting,” Myhre smiles. “It’s been so good. People just love it.” Myhre is quick to share the credit. “I’ve had lots of help— Olds College, the Canadian Angus Association’s Breeder Accreditation Program, Alberta Agriculture—all have been fantastic.”

that. Local beef conferences mention his restaurant and the customers flock to check it out. He even has other restaurateurs visit so they can learn how to better utilize beef carcasses. Myhre admits that the success of the restaurant has exceeded his expectations. He is happy with his success and has no plans to change what he’s doing. “I’m really happy with life the way it is,” he smiles. And it’s no wonder. Including counter seating, the restaurant can seat 48 people at one time, and there is always a line up on the weekends. The Chuckwagon Café is located at 105 Sunset Blvd SW in Turner Valley. The phone number is 403.933.0003.


“I have the greatest customers in the world,” smiles Myhre. His customers really do come from all over the world. Canadian Airlines once mentioned his restaurant in their in-flight magazine, and many people sought him out after

Tina Schwartzenberger is the Member Communications Specialist for the Canadian Angus Association and co-editor of the Profile. She calls the Calgary Stampede her “10 days of Christmas in July”. Tina may be reached at

Grown Right. Here Innovative program at Calgary Stampede takes advantage of local produce and valueadded food products and receives rave reviews from agricultural producers, visitors and staff. BY T I N A S C H WA R T Z E N B E R G E R In March 1999, Terry Myhre bought the red barn in Turner Valley. The barn is a local landmark, and has been a series of restaurants since 1973. When Myhre bought it, it had most recently been a Korean restaurant. Myhre had no idea at that time how the business would evolve. “My glamour idea was that I’d cook and have a waitress,” says Myhre. “That first year, I had nine employees.” Today, the Chuckwagon Café keeps 15 people busy. A typical Sunday sees five people cooking more than 350 breakfast and lunch meals. Serving only the breakfast and lunch crowds, there’s no question it’s the beef that draws people to the restaurant. Myhre had grown frustrated with the inconsistency in his beef orders. “I couldn’t get what I wanted from the packers. Especially on a breakfast plate, you need an 8 ounce steak. You can’t serve a 16 or 18 ounce steak.” Myhre signed up for Olds College's Beef School to learn more about the beef he was buying, where it came from and what affected quality. “At that first class at Olds College, I realized I’d have to do it myself,” he explains. Myhre looked at different beef breeds and settled on Murray Grey, in part because of their consistent top finishes at the Calgary Stampede Carcass Competitions. Their smaller size was also a draw as Myhre wanted smaller carcasses. “A steak needs to be an inch thick to cook properly,” he says. “I have an eight ounce New York steak on the menu, 22


but sometimes that cut was too big to cut—either it's more than eight ounces or it's only three-quarters of an inch thick. No one can cook a thin steak properly and the customer is disappointed.” Myhre began purchasing steers and finishing them himself. He feeds 15–20 animals at a time, three times a day, at his ranch just west of Longview (about a 10-minute drive from the restaurant). Every two weeks he processes an animal and uses every bit of the carcass. The brisket is smoked and brined and becomes flavourful, tender, lean beef bacon. Trim goes into beef barley soup and gravy. Myhre admits it was challenging learning how to use the entire carcass. “I had to learn how to cook all over again.”

Calgary Stampede launched the Grown Right. Here program in spring 2008. The mission is to source and use as many ‘locally’ grown food products as possible in Stampede catering assignments.

The challenge lead to creativity and to the Chuckwagon Café’s specialty: the Chuckwagon Benny. This popular breakfast dish is two poached eggs on grilled tenderloin served on a toasted croissant, all smothered in hollandaise sauce with a side of homemade hash browns. It’s available every weekend but sells out quickly. A popular alternative is the Flat Iron Benny made with grilled flank steak instead of tenderloin.

Derek Dale, Executive Chef of the Calgary Stampede, explains that although local producers are not able to supply all of the Stampede’s needs, “they understand our business.” The Calgary Stampede does not want to buy everything from local producers and leave no products for other customers, but “sourcing more products from local sources has helped the Stampede to be more sustainable and decrease costs,” says Dale.

Nearly everything served is made fresh by the cooks. The pancakes, which are made from scratch, are almost as famous as the beef. But the beef is what brings people in and what brings people back. “The story is what it’s all about. Once people know the story of my beef and my dishes…they keep coming back,” says Myhre.

“I’m constantly online and going to farmers’ markets to make sure we are aligning ourselves with products that fit our needs and ensuring we aren’t buying everything,” adds Dale. As a result, the program has sourced some

products from Alberta’s neighbouring provinces, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Each year, the Calgary Stampede hosts the Acreage Lifestyle Show. The show features Grown Right. Here products and the producers who grow the produce and raise the livestock. This year’s show includes the Alberta Café, which will feature Grown Right. Here products. Dale promises that visitors to this year’s Stampede will see increased awareness of local products throughout the midway. “Grown Right. Here products will also be featured at Mel’s Place in the barns, and the International Room in the Agriculture Building, and in the Harvest Room in the Roundup Centre.” The increased awareness extends beyond the gates of Stampede Park as well. In the spring and fall, the Calgary Stampede partners with Willow Park

Wines & Spirits, a local liquor store, to offer cooking classes featuring Grown Right. Here products. Willow Park Wines & Spirits staff showcase wines that pair with the local produce and products. The Grown Right. Here program also helped launch the Calgary Stampede’s Farm Tours program. Visits to local farms to source products for the program evolved into the annual Farm Tour program that visitors to the Stampede can participate in. Learn more about the Farm Tour program on page 31. Tina Schwartzenberger is the Member Communications Specialist for the Canadian Angus Association and co-editor of the Profile. She calls the Calgary Stampede her “10 days of Christmas in July”. Tina may be reached at




Safflower: from cooking oil to insulin Safflower is a thistle-like plant traditionally used in cooking oil and margarine. Genetic modification has created a new use for safflower: a source of insulin for diabetics. BY T I N A S C H WA RT Z E N B E RG E R

The specialty oilseed Safflower is grown in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In addition to its traditional use in cooking oil, margarine, nutritional supplements and bird seed, Calgary company SemBioSys has successfully used genetically modified safflower seeds to produce insulin. The specialty oilseed Safflower is grown in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In addition to its traditional use in cooking oil, margarine, nutritional supplements and bird seed, Calgary company SemBioSys has successfully used genetically modified safflower seeds to produce insulin. SemBioSys is working to change the way that pharmaceuticals, nutritional oils and other agricultural products are produced. The company was formed in 1994 by Dr. Maurice Moloney. Dr. Moloney came to the University of Calgary to set up a program that would use plants as a production platform for proteins and oils. He has a long track record of genetically modifying plants, and is the inventor of Roundup Ready Canola.

rate of one new diagnosis every five seconds. At this rate, it is expected that by 2025 more than 380 million people around the world will have diabetes. SemBioSys believes plant-made insulin will be an inexpensive and accessible source of insulin for the 50 per cent of diabetics around the world who have limited or no access to insulin. While insulin is “perfectly affordable� in the western world, there are already more diabetics in India and China than North America and Europe. The cost of insulin can be prohibitively expensive for diabetics in India and China and the developing world. Over the next 10 years, SemBioSys expects that demand for insulin will outstrip the available supply.

There has been long-standing interest in producing large quantities of insulin at a reasonable cost. One of the reasons for this interest is because diabetes is growing at the alarming







“It costs roughly $200-400 million to build a facility capable of producing insulin,” adds Dr. Moloney. “One advantage of what we do is that we can substantially cut back on capital costs by about 70 per cent.” In addition, Dr. Moloney believes that SemBioSys can meet the increase in demand by 2012 with just three commercial farms—about 15,000 acres could produce 10,000 kilograms of insulin. The process used to create insulin from safflower plants is called targeted expression. Dr. Moloney developed the specific plant technology. “It’s as though there is a little genetic switch in the seed that you turn on and it makes protein,” he explains. Scientists insert the insulin gene into safflower plants and leverage safflower’s protein-making capacity. According to Dr. Moloney, “Plant DNA can easily be reprogrammed, and when reprogrammed, plants are perfectly capable of doing what we ask them to do.” Safflower appears to be the only plant system that can produce large enough quantities of insulin to make the process economically viable. Safflower is highly productive, low acreage oilseed crop, and the seeds can be stored for extended periods of time.

In December 2008, safflower insulin went into clinical trials in the UK. SemBioSys just released the results of this trial, where its plant-made insulin was deemed bioequivalent to commercially available insulin.

Quality industrial cutting utilizing industrial lasers and water-jets.

Commercially available insulin is currently either sourced from animals or biosynthetic human insulin. Animal-sourced insulin comes from either beef or pork. A combined beefpork insulin was used for a time but is no longer available. Genetically engineered human insulin has been available in Canada since 1983. In addition to insulin, SemBioSys is working on Apo AIMilano, a drug to treat cardiovascular disease and has also developed personal care products. The first personal care product developed, HydresiaTM, is a natural emollient derived from safflower seeds that is used by Burt’s Bees in two of their body washes and a hand soap. The products are performing well in the marketplace. For more information: Tina Schwartzenberger is the Member Communications Specialist for the Canadian Angus Association and co-editor of the Profile. She calls the Calgary Stampede her “10 days of Christmas in July”. Tina may be reached at

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The new generation of agricultural leaders

Future Agriculture Business Builders (FABB) board members, L to R: Janette Bamford, Danielle Lee, Jennifer Norrie and Ryan

Young people around the world want to be involved in agriculture and they’re looking at different ways to become involved, stay involved, make a difference—and create a profitable lifestyle. BY J E N N I F E R N O R R I E There used to be the mindset in agriculture that you had to be involved in agriculture because your family was. But young people today are not willing to be involved in agriculture just for the sake of it. They want to make a difference, challenge the norms, be respected for their choices, earn good livings to support themselves and their families and help build the agriculture industry.

understand the vast potential for farming as a career. "I think the next generation, and the generations to come, are more entrepreneurial," Dargis said. "They want to own their own business; they can face a challenge and they can help manage a farm, or be a part of an innovative-type group or a farm that's really stretching out there, trying something new… diversifying."

In response to this growing trend, groups have formed around the world to help support the new generation of agricultural leaders, including the Canadian Young Farmer’s Forum (CYFF) and the Future Agriculture Business Builders (FABB).

In Alberta, FABB is the provincial organization that supports the new generation of agriculture leaders. The group is dedicated to the continuing learning of 18 to 35 year olds and provides the opportunity for members to interact, network and learn from each other. FABB hosts an annual weekend conference called Rock the Farm focused on marketing, technology and financial management; the event also provides networking opportunities for young adults involved in agriculture in Alberta.

In November 2008, the CYFF hosted The Summit of the Americas conference in Calgary. Delegates came from across Canada, the U.S., Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica, Zambia, Australia and New Zealand. The focus of the conference was Best Management Practices; global speakers shared insights on agri-food issues, policy and trade, leadership, risk management and financial management. The forum provided the opportunity for lively discussions driven by the new generation’s concerns for food safety, resource sustainability, food sovereignty and rural revitalization. During the Summit, it appeared that no matter where in the world they are from, or what area of agriculture they are involved in, young people are facing similar challenges: access to capital, cash flow, experience, mentorship, dealing with the public's lack of knowledge of agriculture, market fluctuation and input costs. Despite inherent challenges, it was evident this group of individuals aged 18 to 35 are dedicated to the agriculture industry as a world-wide network. Leona Dargis, who has run her family's farm with her younger sisters since her parents died last year, said it never occurred to her to take another path in life. She said she feels lucky her parents encouraged her to take part and helped her

“FABB is really good because it keeps our generation connected,” says Janette Bamford, a board member with FABB. “Through FABB, I’ve met a lot of other young people who are interested in agriculture. It helps, as one of the biggest challenges in agriculture is being able to share information because there’s often such a disconnect.” Bamford sits on the FABB executive as well as working full-time at the Calgary Stampede as an Agriculture Event Coordinator in addition to her role as a Calgary Stampede volunteer. Other FABB board members Ryan Hodgson, Danielle Lee and Jennifer Norrie also volunteer on various Calgary Stampede committees. Danielle Lee is the Vice Chair of the Ag-tivity in the City Committee and also helps out with the Calgary Stampede Dairy Classic dairy cattle show and Aggie Days. “My involvement with organizations such as the Calgary Stampede, FABB and other agriculture groups has allowed me to share my passion for agriculture with others. Whether it is educating the public

“It’s important for the world to know that whether we are involved in production agriculture, agri-business, or rural revitalization and sustainability—we are looking to the future and asking the question ‘What can we do better?’” 28



about agriculture or attending conferences to learn from others in the industry, each experience reminds me that youth are important to help keep agriculture at the forefront and to continue the strong traditions agriculture has laid in many of these organizations.”

President of FABB and a member of the Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Committee, “There are a lot of negative ideas facing the new generation of agricultural leaders. But we’re here working in the industry and we want to make it better.”

“Agriculture is an important industry to not only Canada, but to the world, and keeping youth involved in it is just as crucial. That’s why I feel it’s valuable to volunteer with organizations like the Calgary Stampede to work at keeping youth interested in agriculture and to help educate people about where their food comes from,” says Hodgson, a member of the Agriculture Education (Aggie Days) Committee who also helps out with various agricultural programs during Stampede such as Ag-tivity in the City and the beef cattle showcase.

Adds Norrie: “It’s important for the world to know that whether we are involved in production agriculture, agri-business, or rural revitalization and sustainability—we are looking to the future and asking the question ‘What can we do better?’”

“The biggest challenges for people starting in agribusiness are age, lack of money and lack of experience,” said Norrie,

reached at:

Jennifer Norrie is an account manager at AdFarm, a marketing communications firm that is 100 per cent dedicated to agriculture. She is also a member of the Calgary Stampede’s International Agriculture Committee as well as the President of the Future Agriculture Business Builders. She may be

The International Livestock Congress Beef 2009: Firing Up Science & Innovation ILC 2009 offers a 360-degree perspective on the issues shaping the beef industry and is again is being held in July during the Calgary Stampede 10-day festival. Hosted by the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, the Calgary Stampede and the International Stockmen's Education Foundation, expert speakers will cover the strategic landscape from trade access, to finance, to emerging markets, to leadership, to technology and marketing, science and innovation, regulatory issues and global demand. The Congress will also host international agricultural students to expose them to the future of the livestock industry, issues and opportunities and to network with over 450 industry leaders. 2009 ILC-Calgary occurs Friday July 10, 2009, in the Palomino Room, Roundup Centre, Stampede Park, in downtown Calgary, Alberta. For more information visit:




2009 Calgary Stampede Farm Tours Calgarians and visitors from across Canada and the world are getting down on the farm thanks to an innovative, informative, and interactive agricultural tour program out in the Alberta countryside. BY RO BY N B E A Z L E Y

“Best thing at Stampede so far.” R . E . , AU S T R A L I A Building on the success of 2007, the Calgary Stampede Farm Tours program was expanded in 2008 and received exceptional feedback. The 2009 tour line-up builds on last year’s success. This year, the Farm Tours group is working closely with tour operators and groups that are travelling to the Calgary Stampede and wish to incorporate a Farm Tour as part of their experience; tours can be tailored to match visitors’ agricultural areas of interest.

In addition to accommodating large pre-booked groups, Farm Tours’ coordinators will make seats available to individuals, couples and small groups wherever space permits. Each full day tour will include two to three stops, a locally sourced lunch, a professional agriculture guide, and climatecontrolled coach travel. For more information on the 2009 Calgary Stampede Farm Tours program, please visit, or call

Tour locations for 2009 may include: a dairy farm, beef cattle feedlot, horse farm/training facility, Hutterite colony, mixed farm operation, seed/crop farm, an example of specialty/culinary agriculture and a working ranch.

403.261.9184, or email Robyn Beazley is the Calgary Stampede Farm Tours Coordinator. She may be reached at

“Would recommend this tour again. Great value.” M . S . , C A LG A R Y

“Excellent experience” N . M . , P E I , C A N A DA THE PROFILE




Another deal is done at the Calgary Stampede International Auctioneer competition BY A N N E D U N F O R D

In the era of legal documents and signatures, it’s amazing to see how the livestock industry still works on a verbal ‘sold’ or handshake. Each July the best livestock auctioneers from Canada, the U.S., Australia and even South Africa come to Calgary to compete for the prestigious International Champion Auctioneer title and the custom keepsake silver belt buckle. The Calgary Stampede’s 2008 Champion, Peter Raffan from Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada, has been battling it out in the competition for many years and was thrilled to finally reign as ‘the best of the best.’ “I wanted to win it,” says Peter. “But at the same time the Stampede is a fun place to compete because the

hospitality of the volunteers and the host auction market are second to none.” 2008 also marked the first time that brothers succeeded in carrying home the International Champion Auctioneer award— Peter’s brother, Don, was the 1994 Champion in Calgary. While Calgary celebrated its 20th anniversary of the International Auctioneer contest in 2008, auctioneering has been around a lot longer. Auctions have been recorded as early as 500 BCE. These auctions were traditionally used for acquiring a bride. Over time, auctions found a use for trading many items like livestock, machinery, art and real estate. Today, auctions are a part of everyday life. They facilitate a method of establishing ‘true market value’ of any good. Auctioneers are trained in speech and voice control, proper bid calling, rhythm and breathing. These are all part of the judging criteria in the International Livestock Actioneer competition during The Calgary Stampede. The 2009 contest will once again find those fast talking cowboys doing what they do best—sealing a deal with one word: SOLD! For more information on the Calgary Stampede International Auctioneer competition follow the agriculture links at Anne Dunford is the General Manager of Gateway Livestock Exchange, a company that markets cattle on behalf of feedlots into the U.S. and Canada. She may be reached at




2009 Calgary Stampede International Agriculture Profile  

The International Agriculture Profile, the offical publication of the Calgary Stampede International Committee was developed to showcase the...

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