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All you didn’t know about the Canadian beef business, but were afraid to ask

brad .JPGgrading .JPGcutting .JPG

Spots are still open for the November 2009 and May 2010
Canadian Beef School at Olds College, Olds, Alberta. It is a great learning
experience for anyone involved in the Canadian beef industry – whether you are a producer, or feeder, or processor or
involved in a related service industry, such as the animal health industry.

The school isn’t about how to produce beef, but is all about
what happens after it leaves the farm gate. How it is fed, processed, graded,
and then cut and wrapped for the retail counter.

I attended the two-and-a-half day school last year and even
though I just write about the ag industry, it was a great eye-opener and
learning experience. There were about 20 in my ‘class’ last year that included
cow/calf producers, backgrounders and animal health company reps.

I think everyone learned something, but there were a few
cow/calf producers interested in developing their own farm-gate markets for
beef, who found it particularly of value.

The school covers a lot of topics, that include both
classroom sessions as well as hands on experience at grading carcasses and
later in cutting sides of beef for retail sale. The school is led by Jim
Hansen, a beef specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Brad McLeod, an
instructor with Olds College with years of practical experience in the meat
cutting business. They bring in guest speakers to talk about specific topics,
there’s a fair bit of myth busting that goes on, and lots of discussion with
instructors, as well as a good exchange among the various attendees.

It is well worth the price of admission and it is
two-and-a-half days well spent. You get a great binder of reference material to
take home (and if you don’t act up in class you might even get a great souvenir
sweat shirt, as well).

A few spaces are still open for the November school, Nov. 25

to 27 and a few more spaces for the May 2010 school, May 5 to 7.  For more information contact Jim Hansen
at 403-653-5132 or email [email protected]
or Brad McLeod 403-556-4792 or email: [email protected]
. You can visit the college website as well: www.oldscollege.ca

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About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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