Lo­cal suc­cess sto­ries head­line 20th an­nual Tif­fin Con­fer­ence

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Agriculture -

Where there is change and dis­rup­tion, there is op­por­tu­nity. That is the key mes­sage as the 20th an­nual Tif­fin Con­fer­ence, hosted by Leth­bridge Col­lege, takes place on Thurs­day, Jan. 17, at the Sand­man Sig­na­ture Leth­bridge Lodge. Tick­ets are now avail­able for south­ern Al­berta’s lead­ing con­fer­ence on is­sues and trends within the red meat in­dus­try.

This year’s theme is “En­trepreneur­ship: Op­por­tu­nity, Risk and Creative Dis­rup­tion.” Five guest speak­ers will touch on top­ics rang­ing from dig­i­tal cow vet­ting to feed­lot health man­age­ment to a key­note speech fo­cused on the need for fu­ture­fo­cused vi­sion in the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try.

“This year, our com­mit­tee worked hard to cre­ate an out­stand­ing lineup of speak­ers to in­spire and en­cour­age ev­ery­one in our au­di­ence to take bold steps to in­no­vate and ad­vance the red meat in­dus­try in our re­gion,” says Me­gan Shapka, con­fer­ence or­ga­nizer and Agri­cul­ture En­tre­pre­neur in Res­i­dence (AgENT) co­or­di­na­tor.

Three of the day’s speak­ers are home-grown Al­berta suc­cess sto­ries:

·Dr. Cody Creel­man is known as the “Cow Vet” on YouTube, where he has more than 33,000 sub­scribers. He has found suc­cess in com­bin­ing new tech­nolo­gies with tra­di­tional ve­teri­nary meth­ods.

·John-Jef­frey Ball has grown a sim­ple cat­tle feed­ing op­er­a­tion into an in­ter­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion that touches all as­pects of pro­duc­tion, from cat­tle ge­net­ics to pro­duc­tion to spe­cial­ized prod­ucts, such as Wagyu beef.

·Dr. G. Kee Jim has had an ex­ten­sive and award-win­ning ca­reer as a vet­eri­nar­ian and will make a rare speak­ing ap­pear­ance, dis­cussing how to cap­i­tal­ize on op­por­tu­ni­ties in feed­lot man­age­ment.

“The Tif­fin Con­fer­ence has been a fix­ture in our com­mu­nity for 20 years,” says Byrne Cook, Leth­bridge Col­lege Col­lab­o­ra­tive Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Agri­cul­ture co­or­di­na­tor. “Our com­mit­tee is ex­cited to con­tinue to of­fer this day of learn­ing and net­work­ing right here in Leth­bridge. There are a lot of great agri­cul­ture con­fer­ences across Canada, but not ev­ery­one can get away from their day-to-day op­er­a­tions to at­tend them. Our one-day lo­cal con­fer­ence brings sig­nif­i­cant value to our com­mu­nity.”

The line-up of speak­ers is rounded out by Dr. Ty E. Lawrence, a pro­fes­sor of an­i­mal science from West Texas A&M Uni­ver­sity who will speak to the pos­i­tives of dis­rup­tion in the beef in­dus­try, and Bruce Vin­cent, a third gen­er­a­tion log­ger from Libby, Mont., whose key­note speech is ti­tled “With vi­sion, there is hope.”

The theme of this year’s Tif­fin Con­fer­ence ties into Leth­bridge Col­lege’s fo­cus on pro­duc­ing the agri­cul­tural lead­ers of to­mor­row. The col­lege’s Agri­cul­ture En­tre­pre­neur in Res­i­dence (AgENT) ex­tracur­ric­u­lar pro­gram is in its in­au­gu­ral year and has more than 30 stu­dents work­ing di­rectly with in­dus­try men­tors to solve real-world prob­lems that face the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try.

“In the AgENT

pro­gram, we’re teach­ing stu­dents about in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship and this is gen­er­at­ing a lot of in­ter­est in our agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity,” says Shapka. “We saw an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide sim­i­lar learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to a wider au­di­ence through the Tif­fin Con­fer­ence this year.”

Through its highly-adapt­able and col­lab­o­ra­tive learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment and its fu­ture-fo­cused train­ing and re­search pro­grams, Leth­bridge Col­lege’s Col­lab­o­ra­tive Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Agri­cul­ture is fast be­com­ing a hub for agri­cul­tural re­search and in­no­va­tion. The col­lege is a proven player in the in­dus­try, with fac­ulty, staff and part­ners who are re­source­ful, un­der­stand farm­ing, em­brace in­no­va­tion, fo­cus on our vi­sion and lead the way with data-driven agri­cul­ture.

Tick­ets for the 2019 Tif­fin Con­fer­ence are on sale now at leth­bridgecol­lege.ca/tif­fin. Tick­ets are $110 each and in­clude the pro­gram, lunch and din­ner. This event sells out ev­ery year, so those in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing are en­cour­aged to buy early.

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