ILC – Calgary

Hello from Calgary, Alberta, Canada! I am spending the rest of the week here attending the International Livestock Congress with 20 amazingly talented young students. We will have the opportunity to interact with each other, industry professionals, and academics and we will get to take in some of the Calgary Stampede! So first thing is first, let’s nix a couple of Canadian stereotypes …

  1. “Eh?” is not included at the end of every sentence.
  2. Timmy’s refers to Tim Horton’s doughnuts.
  3. Much to Staci’s disappointment, we have not yet been offered a doughnut.

Now let’s talk about a couple of things I have learned:

  1. A bunny-hug is Canadian for a hoodie.
  2. A garberator is Canadian for garbage disposal.
  3. Canada has Pepsi products, God bless them, and they say pop here.

Now, let’s talk about some more serious issues.

  1. Castration of bull calves is generally done by banding. Think of a really strong really small rubber band place over the testes. The band then cuts off the blood supply to the testes and in a couple of days the testes fall off. This is also a fairly standard practice in the United States.
  2. Calves are typically castrated at branding age (~2 months). Brands here can be specific to a person or to a ranch. In this way, if two children inherit a ranch, the ranch brand is specific for both of them. If a parent has a brand specific to them, they can pass that brand to one child. This allows the family or ranch traditions to continue if you will.
  3. Canadian beef is grain fed. I may have unintentionally offended a Canadian who is currently studying at Texas A&M University when I asked this question, but I HAD to know before I ordered my dinner. The difference is the U.S. beef is corn fed and Canadian beef is barley fed. Pretty cool! My tenderloin was delicious and cooked to rare perfection by the way. 🙂
  4. There is niche marketing in Canada just as there is in the U.S. I am hoping to learn more about this point during the rest of the week. I have a few questions regarding niche marketing on a global perspective. I expect the push for local and/or organically produced. I am more interested in how Canadians perceive imported beef. For example, do they prefer Canadian beef over American?

That’s all for tonight, time to have a little social fun! Until next time…

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