It was a jam-packed trip to Denver, Colorado for a handful of young people in the Cattlemen's Young Leaders (CYL) Mentorship Program.

The program is the flagship youth leadership and mentorship program under the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

Each year, the program takes in sixteen people between the ages of 18 and 35 from across Canada who are then paired with beef industry leaders in their specific area of interest.

Canadian Cattlemen's Association Youth Leadership Coordinator, Emily Ritchie, says they took four CYL's down to Denver from Sunday, January 13 to Friday, January 18 which included a visit to the National Western Stock Show.

Ritchie says they also got to see the Colorado beef industry first hand through tours.

"We went on some industry tours into the greater Fort Collins, Denver area. We toured Colorado Premium, which is a meat packing and processing plant, as well as the Colorado State University's new meat lab, which was absolutely amazing to see the state of the art facility."

In addition to the multiple tours, program participants were given a chance to meet with their young American counterparts in the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

"We had some round table discussions with the Young Beef Leaders to develop some relationships, discuss some of the synergies between the beef industry in both Canada and the United States, and then just discuss some challenges young producers are facing across the board."

Overall, Ritchie says the annual trip is always a highlight of the program.

Applications are open to apply to be a participant in the Cattlemen's Young Leaders Mentorship Program next year.

Forms can be found on www.cattlemensyoungleaders.com

The application deadline in Sunday, March 31.

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