Crossfield beef producer Graeme Finn is one of four mentors in a new program that matches scientists who are new to the Canadian cattle scene with industry vets.
The mentorship program, created by the Beef Cattle Research Council, is aimed at encouraging talented young researchers to stay in the industry; help them make contacts and better understand the issues facing Canadian producers; and provide them with opportunities to share their research findings more widely.
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Finn will mentor Raquel Rodriquez Doce, a post-doctoral fellow at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research centre in Lacombe. Her research is focused on the development and management of cereal-forage crops for improved utilization in cow-calf, backgrounding and feedlot operations. Over the past two years, the native of Spain has generated near infrared reflectance spectroscopy calibration equations to predict forage quality traits, and developed a simple economic and nutrient requirement spreadsheet that relates cereals silage and swath grazing to feedlot backgrounding and swath grazing.
Finn and wife Heather own Southern Cross Livestock, managing a cow-calf operation and running grass yearlings with a focus on year-round grazing of both high-legume pastures and annual crop grazing. They have been successful in incorporating intensive rotational grazing and winter grazing strategies into their management system. Finn is the former vice-president of the Agricultural Research Extension Council of Alberta, and currently sits on the advisory committee of the Canadian Beef and Forage Research Council and on the board of the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund.
The other mentors are all from Saskatchewan.
Janice Bruynooghe and Sandy Russell are partners in Spring Creek Land & Cattle Consulting, a consulting firm in the forage and cattle sectors. They will mentor Emma McGeough, originally from Ireland and now an assistant professor and forage researcher at the University of Manitoba. Aaron Ivey operates a mixed cattle and grain farm near Ituna. He will mentor Bill Biligetu, originally from Inner Mongolia and now an assistant professor in forage crop breeding with the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. A perennial forage expert, Biligetu wants to identify future needs for forage breeding and other related research that supports Canadian beef production.