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Piles of home-work, exams, jobs, volunteer work and the chores of everyday life did not stop 52 members of the Canadian Junior Angus Association from across the country from jumping at the chance to travel to Calgary for a national conference at the end of February.

Although it was probably a welcome break for all of the participants because Angus cattle is a big part of their lives.

The three-day event called Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders (GOAL), featured workshops, which had the aim of building leadership skills, team work and developing their knowledge of beef and the industry.   It also gave all them all a chance to make new friends and catch-up with old acquaintances from across Canada.

This year`s event also saw $17,500 in scholarships handed out.

Peter Van Staveren of Stayner, Ontario picked up a $3,000 heifer voucher, which he can use to buy any Canadian-born Angus female registered in Canada.

In a statement, Van Staveren says the voucher will go a long ways.

“The Angus voucher will help me grow my herd and become more competitive in the show ring,” said Van Staveren. “I would like to thank the Canadian Angus Foundation for this opportunity and making this bursary possible. Being in university can make it challenging to continue to purchase cattle while paying for school at the same time.”

Three more of these vouchers totally $7,000 will be given out at the Canadian Junior Angus national show, more commonly known as Showdown, this summer.

Patrick Holland of Montague, Prince Edward Island; Katelyn Dietrich of Forestburg, Alberta; and Breanna Anderson of Swan River, Manitoba picked up scholarships, which they all will be using to forward their education at Dalhousie University, the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan respectfully. 

The CJAA and Canadian Angus Foundation also helped several participants make their way west for the conference,  as six attendees from three provinces were awarded bursaries to help them offset travel costs in getting to Calgary.

CAF and CJAA Executive Director Belinda Wagner says it`s important for them to bring out as many youth as possible out to this yearly event.

“We were looking for a means of getting more youth to GOAL Conference,” said Wagner. “By awarding six individuals a $750 bursary, we are helping Juniors financially who might otherwise not be able to attend this nationally recognized event.”

The event is held in different locations every year.