Program Description

Canadian Cattle Young Leaders (CYL) is a national youth initiative of the Canadian Cattle Association that provides young people ages 18-35 with industry-specific training and mentorship opportunities.

Each year, 16 candidates are selected to participate in the Canadian CYL Program. The online application process opens in January and the deadline for eligible candidates to apply is generally in late March. Twenty-four semi-finalists are selected from submitted applications and invited to participate in the annual Canadian CYL Selections competition. The competition is traditionally held in conjunction with the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August, where semi-finalists participate in judged roundtable discussions on timely industry topics.

Once the 16 participants have been selected for the year from the Selections competition, they are matched with a hand-picked expert in the mentee’s specific field of interest for a nine-month mentorship. Mentorship topics of interest can range from sustainable grazing practices to business management, policy development, marketing, advocacy and much more!

The program is highly popular amongst young Canadian beef farmers and ranchers, but is open to all young people ages 18-35 involved in various areas of the Canadian beef supply chain.

Once candidates are matched with their respective mentors, the mentor/mentee journey begins. Through the creation of an initial roadmap, the mentor and program participant set out the goals they wish to achieve during the program. Program participants are granted a travel budget to fund their participation in numerous industry events and learning opportunities!

We are sincerely grateful to our Foundation Partner, Cargill, who is helping us increase travel budgets for the upcoming 2024-2025 program year and support our program mentors!

Cargill has been a tremendous partner since the inception of the Canadian CYL Program as the very first program sponsor. Through Cargill’s global grant matching program, the 2024-2025 program year will see each participant have access to a $3000 travel budget, an increase of $1000 for each participant. Starting in August 2024, Cargill’s increased support will also be used to help fund mentors’ attendance at the annual CYL Graduation at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference with their mentee. The CCA looks forward to this continued partnership with Cargill to build a sustainable industry though investing in a strong generation of young leaders.

The program year also typically includes an annual Spring Forum event, where program participants from across the country gather for a few days of industry tours and training, giving them the opportunity to build strong relationships with their peers in the program and industry stakeholders.

Participants' time in the program comes to an end with a graduation celebration held at the following Canadian Beef Industry Conference.

Through attendance of industry events, meetings with their mentors, various learning opportunities and the completion of the Beef Advocacy Canada program and Verified Beef Production Plus training, candidates build upon their knowledge base and become highly capable individuals to represent and lead the beef industry into the future.

Partnership Program

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