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it is the same land that contains the highest biodiversity values. Unfortunately it is also prime land for real estate development, and when development occurs, the province loses both its best agricultural land and the land containing the highest levels of biodiversity. The paid ecosystem services model could ultimately help keep that land in agriculture and producing valuable ecosystem services. For example: ranchers might fence off a riparian area and control the grazing or simply develop an off-stream cattle-watering site as a method of improving wetland habitat. Paying landowners to preserve wetland and wildlife habitat or improve sensitive areas around a stream or river can have as big an effect as building public infrastructure such as water treatment plants.” The Ecological Services Initiative uses the demonstration sites as a catalyst to promote discussion with policy-makers and the general public. Cattle producers support keeping a land reserve for agriculture but unfortunately government support


lg a r y, A l b er

official opening of another Zehnder brother’s wildlife project, a raptor flight cage for rehabilitating injured birds. Mark Zehnder is the local veterinarian in Invermere and in his spare time nurses injured raptors such as eagles, hawks and owls back to health. Mark told our group it takes up to 12 weeks to bring the birds back so that they can survive back in the wild. With an increased demand for rehabilitating birds, he needed a better way to exercise the injured birds. The 20x20, 100-foot-long cage can be divided into several compartments if a bird needs to be isolated. The doors can also be left partially open so the birds can fly left to right down the entire length of the cage. It is one of the largest flight cages in Canada. The Zehnder brothers have really made a mark as true conservationists in the beef industry. They have led initiatives to retain land for agriculture rather than seeing it developed into housing. Perhaps some of their initiatives will encourage others to initiate similar projects on their ranches. c Duane McCartney, is a retired forage and beef systems research scientist at Lacombe, Alta.

Canada Beef Inc.

Annual Forum 2013 Building Brand Loyalty – A Commitment to the Brand




has been removed. “In the past there was strong support for goods and services as all of society would benefit, but it didn’t go anywhere,” says Dave. “Now with Environment Canada involvement maybe things will change.” Farmers and ranchers may already do a good job of maintaining and improving their ecosystems. This program focuses on giving them some financial assistance to do a better job beyond what is required by law. As we look through a telescope at the mountains that border the Zehnder property we spot a mountain goat making its way down to a salt lick at the back of the ranch. John describes a project that he has been working on that has been monitoring the endangered goat population that calls this area home. The project has been monitoring the population with wildlife cameras and collecting hair samples for DNA analysis to determine the size of the population and how they utilize the area. The Zehnders have protected the area near the salt lick to avoid any unnecessary harassment of the goats. The next day, our group attended the

You’re Invited! September 19 - 20, 2013

Join Canada Beef Inc.’s Board of Directors, staff and industry partners as we discuss the importance of having, building and maintaining a strong brand in today’s marketplace. At the Annual Forum you will hear from our board, marketing team, partners and others on many topics including: • Canadian Beef Brand Mark: what does it represent? • Industry panel: the value of the brand to our various partners. • What is on the horizon for Canada Beef Inc.? Thursday, September 19 A full day of presentations and information sessions, followed by a special dinner. Friday, September 20 The business meeting including a review of the company’s performance and election of the new Board.

We welcome recommendations for individuals to stand as voting delegates for the business meeting. Please submit by August 15, 2013 for consideration by the governance committee to:

The Annual Forum is open to everyone. We hope you will join us. Thursday and Friday, September 19 and 20, 2013 Sheraton Cavalier, Calgary Alberta Check for more information.


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