Living the Queen’s dream

Maranda Klaver
Ontario veal farmer and past Ontario Queen of the Furrow

Maranda will be discussing what it’s like being a woman in agriculture and her queen of the furrow journey that led her to being an advocate for mental health in farmers. 

Maranda Klaver hails from a veal and cash crop farm near Seaforth. She farms alongside her parents and four sisters. Being involved in agriculture from day one, she noticed she was a minority being a woman in agriculture. Since graduating from the agriculture program in Ridgetown College in 2018, she set out to smash stereotypes and break the glass ceiling. In 2022, Maranda won the Ontario Queen of the Furrow program which has helped her be a role model and advocate for women in agriculture, mental health in farmers and the plowing match. 

Veal market outlook

Steve Duff, Chief Economist
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs

Steve will provide an update on Ontario’s veal market over the past year and where feed costs and veal prices appear to be going for the coming year.

Coming from dairy and beef background in Northumberland county, Steve completed a Masters in Ag Economics from the University of Guelph in 1996. Steve joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in late 1997 and for close to 15 years, Steve was OMAFRA’s lead on business risk management programs such as AgriStability and the Risk Management Program. In 2016, Steve was the recipient of the FARE Distinguished Alumni award. Steve is currently OMAFRA’s Chief Economist. Steve is an adjunct professor at the University of Guelph and farmer Vice-Chair of Farm Management Canada.  Steve and his wife Robyn also operate a beef and cash crop operation near Colborne Ontario.

Marketing Canadian veal and beef in recessionary times

Michael Young, President
Canada Beef

Michael will cover challenges and opportunities facing the Canadian red meat sector in 2024 and beyond. He will focus on emerging trends, merchandising innovations, and consumer marketing tactics that target success, growth, and prosperity in the domestic and export marketplace.

Michael Young has worked in the Canadian red meat industry for over 45 year specializing in beef, veal and pork sales, marketing, product development, and education in the domestic and export marketplace.

Young served as Vice President, Technical Programs and Marketing Services for Canada Pork International (CPI) from 2007 to 2019. Prior to joining CPI, he served as Vice President, International Programs for Canada Beef Export Federation and Director of Operations Canada/USA for the Beef Information Centre. Young also held senior management positions at Sunterra Meats and the Alberta Pork Producers Development Corporation.

Young learned multispecies primary processing, fabrication and sausage making skills in the late seventies and completed a retail meat cutting apprenticeship in 1981. Postsecondary marketing and business administration studies completed at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in 1993 and he achieved Master Cutter certification from the Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association in 1994.

During his professional career, Young has promoted Canadian beef, veal, and pork on five continents in more than 30 countries. Young has conducted over 300 carcass cutting, merchandising and sausage making demonstrations and authored numerous technical cutting and buying manuals, merchandising resources and financial yield performance tools for the Canadian red meat industry. Young also serves as the Canadian judge for the “World Butchers Challenge” known as the “Greatest Butchery Event on Earth”.

Check-off working for you

Learn more about the value your licence fees bring through programs administered and worked on jointly by the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency and Veal Farmers of Ontario.

Melinda German, General Manager
Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency

Melinda has been working professionally in agriculture for over 25 years and her primary focus has been on the beef industry.

Melinda started as the Provincial Beef Cow/Calf Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and moved through management, finishing her career in government as Director of the Livestock Branch. Following her time with government, Melinda spent two years as the General Manager of Manitoba Beef Producers. 

Her time in Manitoba has left a profound mark on her career. Melinda’s current focus is to ensure the transparent investment of national check-off and import levy dollars to build and strengthen the beef and veal industry across Canada.

Brad McCallum, Manager, Compliance and Education
Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency

Brad’s role is to work with stakeholders to ensure check-off collection, reporting, and remitting are done correctly. He also conducts inspections of producers, dealers, auction markets, processors, and provincial cattle associations to review and improve processes and reporting of check-off. On evenings and weekends, Brad can be found managing his stable of Standardbreds, golfing, or umpiring softball tournaments.