Message from CEO
Good day, fellow Canadian cattleman and Angus booster!
After a late summer for most of the West and a rather hot one for some of the East, Canada is pulling off a 'bumper' crop this fall. With record feed stores and almost record-high cattle prices, the fall 'kicked off' with an exciting start and hopefully our general optimism will maintain through the season!
Your Board of Directors for both the Canadian Angus Foundation and the Canadian Angus Association met in late September and their highlights are found elsewhere in this publication. There were two key outcomes of these meetings:
1) Your Canadian Angus Foundation determined an aggressive program plan aimed at creating value for the Canadian Angus membership experience including over $60,000 in new investment in our Canadian Angus fraternity coupled with an investment strategy for Canadian Angus stakeholders to 'own' a piece of your new national headquarters, Angus Central, through making a donation to the Foundation and achieving its three key objects: Education & Youth Development, Historical Preservation & Restoration and Scientific & Market Research;
2) Your Canadian Angus Association Board of Directors created a new Genetic Condition Policy to become effective for all Angus cattle born on or after September 22nd, 2013.
Again, greater detail about these items is contained elsewhere in this publication, or available by checking out the CAA website or contacting me directly. I am very proud of the hard work and dedication put forth by these outstanding, committed volunteer leaders and you should be, too.
Through the middle of October, twelve outstanding young Canadian Angus breeders will be representing us at the inaugural World Angus Forum Youth Team Challenge in New Zealand. This is the culmination of two years of planning on the part of your CAA as well as almost a year since our contenders applied to be a member on one of our teams. I am so excited to chart the progress of these young folks and you can, too, via the Canadian Angus blog (http://cdnangus.blogspot.ca) Facebook (www.facebook.com/CanadianAngusAssociation) and Twitter (#WAFTeamCanada and #WorldAngusForum), and if you are reading this after their representation of our national skills and interests abroad, their blogs will make for interesting reading even then.
You are being represented at the World Angus Secretariat meetings by CAA President Kevin Blair, Past President Gary Latimer and past and current Youth Ambassadors Stacey Domolewski and Chad Lorenz, as well as 'yours truly'. We have a few topics we hope to bring resolution to, like an international strategy, or at least recognition of, genetic research and designations. There is limited structure to our international Angus organization and while we certainly don't want to give them much in the way of authority, your CAA believes the Secretariat should provide some form of 'clearing house' for information and sharing of what the member nations are actually doing and how we are progressing. I will report back more upon our return.
Among our most exciting news is that your member-owned national CAA headquarters, Angus Central, is very near completion. We are currently on budget and on schedule and are very proud to be so close to accomplishing both of these goals! I have been sharing progress reports with your Regional President and Secretary/Manager since construction started in earnest during our National Convention back in June and I'm sure they'd be thrilled to share pictures and information with you. Further, you can check out our Angus Central photo gallery on the CAA Facebook page online. During the Board and Foundation meetings, quite a few national Angus leaders were able to actually see Angus Central for themselves and reaction is almost universally positive. We would love for you to come and check out YOUR building yourself, so please plan a trip to Angus Central on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 when we will host our membership and industry stakeholders with our annual Christmas Open House, ramped up this year to include our Official Opening. You really need to come for a visit... it's pretty cool! And you should be part of YOUR celebration on December 11th!One of the aspects of Angus Central that will be unveiled during our Official Opening will be the Regional Showcase. There will be a feature wall at Angus Central including a banner representing all regions of Canada, 30-35 feet long and 30 inches in height. We are having a contest to gather pictures from each region, with October 25th as the submission deadline. We will work with regions to select the winners and 'drop' the banner at our Official Opening. Here is the link to the contest: http://www.cdnangus.ca/members/photo_contest.htm.
Further, your opportunities to 'own' an even greater part of Angus Central and have your name immortalized within will be unveiled at the Official Opening as well. For an affordable donation, you will have your name or operation included in the national headquarters and, in so doing, make a donation to achieving the three key objectives of the Canadian Angus Foundation. This is a donation that will look GREAT on you... and equally GREAT adorning Angus Central with your name and/or operation!
There has been substantial 'talk' in recent weeks about EPDs, particularly the Milk EPD in our Red Angus evaluation. Let me say two things to you: 1) the Multi-Breed evaluation (led by the Red Angus Association of America and the American Simmental Association) that calculates our Red Angus EPDs is right; it is verified and cross-checked and referenced and, trust me, compared to any EPD calculation worldwide, IT... IS... RIGHT!!! 2) Perhaps, if you have concerns about what you believe to be 'curve-bending'ly BAD EPDs... you need to look at the whole EPD profile and see where this is typically balanced by 'curve-bending'ly GOOD EPDs that perhaps give you advantages and opportunities you didn't even realize?! The thing about EPD criticisms? They are often based on a lack of understanding so please speak with our Director of Breed Development, Kajal Devani, whenever you have a question or your customers or friends do!
We will be wrapping our 2013 Gold Show campaign up early this year and giving all the year-end awards out right at the final Gold Show of the season, Canadian Western Agribition in Regina. This will happen on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. when we unveil and announce the Red Angus and Black Angus All-Star Teams as well as the Runner-Up, Reserve and Champion Aggregate Females and Bulls just prior to the 'Power & Perfection' sale. There will be hospitality and the ability to see the best cattle in Canada and members who support the Gold Show marketing campaign so come out and peruse the excellence!
There will be LOTS of announcements and unveilings and launches coming to you in the next few weeks and months, so please pay attention to our CAA social media avenues and communications touch points because you will learn about new scholarships for our youth and awards for our outstanding Canadian Angus (young) breeders. Further, January 5th will be the deadline for current college, university and technical school students to apply for our Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario Summer Marketing Internships. If you want more information on these, never hesitate to contact Cassie Dorran, our Director of Marketing & Branding.
Regarding some specific aspects of trying to enhance your CAA membership value, please consider these recent price developments. Until March 31st, 2014 the Zoetis panel is priced at $55 a panel, and Zoetis is offering Canadian Angus Association members a free test when you buy 9. Further, the CAA Board has modified the electronic registration discount. Any 2014-born calf registered online between January 1st, 2014 and December 31st, 2014 which is less than 6 months of age will be registered for the $15 electronic registration fee.
Finally, with the 'changing of the guard' with staff movements, I am incredibly pleased to share with you that long-time Angus leader and service provider extraordinaire, Belinda Wagner, is assuming the role of Canadian Angus Foundation Executive Director. Belinda will continue raising Angus to new national heights with this elevated platform and working her organizational and motivational magic on a national group of adult volunteers to match her regional adult Saskatchewan Angus Association Board and national youth Canadian Junior Angus Association Board. Belinda is one of our nation's most reputable individuals and we are fortunate to have her commit to another level of involvement. Thanks Belinda and good luck!
I'm not traveling quite as much this fall, nor through next year, so we may see a bit less of one another. With a new national centre to pay for and operate, plus the fact that I don't believe I'm so 'new' anymore, I'm going to stick around Angus Central more over the next 15 months and make sure it is what it needs to be for you as it increases member equity. I am, however, only ever a phone call away so please, if you have a concern, a suggestion, a question or even a bouquet for the Board of one of my incredibly talented and dedicated staff team, never hesitate to call.
Best of luck through the fall, and may you remain festive and positive!
Chief Executive Officer