Brothers Max and Louis Kaumeyer from Okotoks have been named as two of the 24 semi-finalists for The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s (CCA) Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Mentorship Program.
“It is a pretty special feeling to both be a semifinalist as an individual and to be a part of it alongside my brother is another fantastic feeling,” said Max.
The brothers come from a family history in the industry, having grown up on a ranch just west of Okotoks. The ranch was owned by their grandfather, Gerry Kaumeyer, who also ran a packing plant known as XL Foods for 25 years and was a role model for them.
“We took different paths after growing up on the ranch, and we definitely had some big shoes to fill after our grandfather, who we really looked up to,” said Max.
Louis went on to pursue finance, while Max worked on ranches and is now in a management training position on Prince Edward Island with Atlantic Beef Products.
“My first solid introduction and experience in agriculture was in my last semester of university, when I went to Fort St. John to work on a cattle ranch,” said Louis. “I worked there for nine months while I paid off a student loan and helped run a cow calf operation with him. It was a really awesome experience on a lot of levels, I got to learn a lot about life and some valuable life lessons, while learning a lot about the cattle industry, all the different cuts, how ranchers work and how that business works.”
Max and Louis undertook a business called Legacy Brothers Beef in July of 2020,
“We're direct to consumer sales for locally sourced grass fed ground beef in the Calgary area,” said Max. “We really put our skills to the test for selling, understanding how to move products and dealing face to face with consumers who are not acquainted with the agricultural background.”
The brothers both applied for the CYL program in order to get a change to learn from leaders in the beef industry, especially about the parts of the process they weren’t previously familiar with as of yet.
“A big part of it is getting educated on the parts of the business after the ranch,” said Louis. “I think learning more about the feedlots and processing plants and everything from when the cow leaves the ranch to when it gets to the consumer, it’s always been an area that I've been intrigued by and tried to do more research on any opportunity, and learn what some of the big differentiators are going to be for our business operators in both Canada and globally. What things we can do to help grow Alberta beef and Canadian beef overall. Because from my experience and Max's experience, I think our beef is second to none.”
The original applications, a three page form that asked participants to talk about who they were and why they wanted to pursue a career in the cattle industry, were submitted in May. Both Max and Louis look forward to hearing if they will be among the 16 finalists in the coming weeks.
(Note: Diane Van Essen from Picture Butte is also a semi-finalist but was unavailable for comment.)