Blake Copeland is used to monitoring the power play as an on-ice official in the Western Hockey League.
Now he is gearing up to focus on “The Power of 5” – the Canadian Bio-Systems feed technology lineup – as a new on-farm sales representative for the Calgary, Alberta, based company.
Top draft choice
Copeland grew up in Calgary and spent many summers of his youth at his grandparents’ farm near Saskatoon. In school he was naturally drawn to the sciences and this continued following high school when he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in biology, at the University of Victoria.
For three summers during his university years Copeland returned to Calgary to work as a summer student with CBS Inc., spending the bulk of this time working in the laboratory and assisting with production, learning the CBS Inc. products and their science basis from the ground up. He was hired full-time with CBS Inc. following completion of his degree, leading up to this new appointment as sales representative.
“I’m grateful to have this opportunity,” says Copeland. “Everyone at CBS has been great to me. Right from the beginning I was drawn to the culture of innovation and wanted to be a part of it. I have learned what I enjoy most is getting out there and working directly with the customers, using my science background to help provide that bridge between the science side and the on-farm applications.”
Copeland has apprenticed for the sales role since last fall. “I couldn’t ask for better people to learn from,” says Copeland. “CBS has been a pioneer in feed technology and is right there at the forefront of where the trends are headed today. It’s an exciting time to be involved.”
Copeland’s second career as a hockey official took off in the university years as he rose from Junior B to Junior A and finally the western league. He will continue to moonlight on the ice periodically while working for CBS Inc. “It’s something I enjoy doing and CBS has been good enough to allow me the flexibility to keep that up,” says Copeland. And he always enjoys talking hockey with producers. “As officials, I often say we have the best seat in the house. There is usually something interesting to talk about. For sure, farmers around here like talking hockey and I’m happy to do that.”
There are parallels between officiating and working as part of the team to help farmers, he says. “One thing you see in both roles is the importance of trust and communication among a team. Success in both areas is relationship based. Everyone has a job to do and everyone needs to rely on each other to have successful management.”