Beef Grist - Summer 2021

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Beef Grist

A PERIODIC NEWSLETTER PRODUCED BY GRAND VALLEY FORTIFIERS LTD. VOLUME 7, ISSUE 1 | SUMMER 2021

Dear Friends, We hope your pastures are growing well and first cut hay is coming off without too much challenge. After not producing a beef grist during 2020, it is a pleasure to share this summer 2021 issue with you. We are excited to announce the hiring of Tom Bowman a new Beef Specialist with Grand Valley Fortifiers. Make sure to see Tom’s introduction on the second page. Tom has authored a good article reminding beef producers about the significance of fly pressure on their cattle in the summer months along with providing some good suggestions on how to combat this age-old challenge. We are also privileged to have the Beef Farmers of Ontario share an article explaining their Certified Sustainable beef program and how the increase in demand for CSB is providing a new opportunity for beef producers. We trust that you enjoy this edition of the Grand Valley Fortifiers Beef Grist and wish you a successful pasture season and pleasurable summer! Sincerely, David Ross, VP & CMO

CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE BEEF

by: DAN FERGUSON Manager of Producer Relations, Beef Farmers of Ontario & JACLYN HORENBERG Producer Relations Specialist, Beef Farmers of Ontario

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anadian beef producers take great pride in their cattle, the environment they raise them in, and ultimately, the high-quality beef they produce for Canadians and people around the world. As an industry, we want consumers to choose to eat Canadian beef, and we want them to feel good about that decision. We need to be a part of the food conversation, telling the story of the responsible production practices of Canadian beef producers through a unified, and credible voice. The Verified Beef Production Plus Program (VBP+) enables producers to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible stewardship of both cattle and the environment. The program has evolved from an on-farm food safety program, to now also covering animal care, the environment, and biosecurity. As a certification body for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), the VBP+ program certifies that producers meet the CRSB Certified Sustainable Beef Framework through a third-party on-farm audit. The CRSB’s Certified Sustainable Beef Framework, known as CRSB Certified, was developed to recognize sustainable practices through third-party certification, support sustainable commitments for retail and foodservice companies, and build consumer trust through credible, science-based claims about sustainable beef production in Canada. The demand for Certified Sustainable Beef (CSB) is growing, and it can be found on items at McDonalds Canada, Chop Steakhouse & Bar, Harvey’s, Loblaws, Gordon Food Service, and most recently, Walmart Canada. Walmart Canada is the first grocery retailer to use the Certified Sustainable logo directly on their “Your Fresh Market” brand beef patties. The increased consumer demand for CSB is exciting, and it pays for producers to be sustainable. There are financial credits available to producers through the Cargill Certified Sustainable Beef program. This initiative enables Cargill’s retail and foodservice customers to source certified sustainable Canadian beef and market beef products to Canadians with an on-product Certified Sustainable Beef (CSB) logo and claim. In order for cattle to qualify for financial credits,

GRAND VALLEY FORTIFIERS PO Box 726 Cambridge ON N1R 5W6 1-800-567-4400 grandvalley.comgrandvalley.com

Your Fresh Market™ ground beef burgers found at Walmart

they must be raised on certified sustainable operations their whole life, be age verified, and be tracked through TrustBIX before being shipped to a Cargill plant in either Guelph, Ontario or High River, Alberta. Since its inception in Western Canada in 2018, the CSB sourcing program has paid over $1 million in financial credit payments to producers. These credit payments are made possible thanks to funding by participating customers like McDonald’s Canada, Loblaws, Cactus Club Café, Recipe Unlimited (Harvey’s), Chop Steakhouse & Bar, and Gordon Food Service Canada who share Cargill’s appreciation for the dedication shown by producers who demonstrate the sustainability of the Canadian beef industry through this verification system. Beef producers can become CRSB Certified through one of three approved certification bodies in Ontario: VBP+ (all sectors), Ontario Corn Feed Beef (feedlot), or Where Food Comes From (all sectors). Steps to become CRSB Certified through VBP+: 1. Training – Training is currently offered at no cost virtually in a live, 2-hour webinar. Please email jaclyn@ontariobeef.ca for the next available session. 2. Audit Prep – During the training webinar, you will learn about audit requirements and producers can also seek preaudit help if needed. 3. On-Farm Audit – Schedule an on-farm audit with a trained auditor. The audit normally takes a few hours to complete, and is designed to be practical with auditors who have experience in the beef industry. a) Complete any Corrective Action Requests from the on-farm audit to successfully become a VBP+ Certified operation. b) Maintain yearly record requirements to ensure that you are still incompliance with the program. On-farm audits are completed once every five years. For feedlots who are currently certified under the Ontario Corn Fed Beef Quality Assurance (OCFBQA) program, please contact the OCFA office at info@ontariocornfedbeef.com to learn about the steps needed to achieve CRSB certification.

Ian Ross, President & CEO | David Ross, VP & CMO Mark Bowman | Jeff Keunen | Josh Devos | Kathleen Shore, Ruminant Nutritionists Michael Peckover, Publisher


With over 500 feedlots in Ontario already certified under the OCFBQA program, Ontario feedlots are going to be actively looking to source calves from VBP+ audited farms. Financial credits for Cargill’s CSB program are paid on a per head basis, but only for cattle that have been raised at each stage of production on a Certified Sustainable farm and processed at Cargill facilities. This requires all sectors of the industry to be working together to ensure they can capture the financial credits available. Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) is currently investigating the creation of an incentive program to encourage participation in the VBP+ program. More details will be shared through BFO channels as they are confirmed. Currently, there are more than 1,300 farms audited as Certified Sustainable in Canada. Let’s keep this momentum going by continuing to produce Certified Sustainable beef for consumers who are looking for responsibly raised beef. ■ To learn more, please visit the following websites: verifiedbeef.ca | crsbcertified.ca | ontariocornfedbeef.ca | cargillsustainablebeef.ca

INTRODUCING TOM BOWMAN Beef Specialist, Grand Valley Fortifiers

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rand Valley Fortifiers is pleased to share the news that Tom Bowman, from Thornloe Ontario has been hired as a Beef Specialist. Tom was born and raised on a progressive cow calf operation and has a passion and knowledge of the beef industry that suits his role at GVF very well. From nutritional products, to on-farm diagnostics and problem solving, Tom will use his practical knowledge and scientific understanding to help producers improve their operations. As a Beef Specialist, part of Tom’s focus will be managing his own portfolio of beef accounts as well as supporting his colleagues at GVF with their beef accounts. Another exciting part of Tom’s role will be supporting some of the value-added beef programs that GVF is involved with through our TrueFoods™ division. With Tom’s passion and enthusiasm for agriculture and the beef industry, he will be able to provide you with on farm solutions to satisfy you and your cattle. Join us in welcoming Tom to GVF and the industry. If you would like to speak to Tom about any beef needs you can reach him by email or cell phone: tombowman@grandvalley.com, 705-321-5625.

be dealt with there are many effects which are not directly visible or easy to measure. Since flies add stress to cows they can reduce grazing and water intake and reduce milk production which can result in lower weaning weights in calves. In feedlot cattle, flies can have many of the same effects. Flies can spread diseases between cattle and increase the need for treatment of pinkeye and some respiratory diseases. Since flies are irritating cattle it may also alter their feeding behaviour and intakes, resulting in a reduction in feed efficiency and average daily gain. There are several management steps a producer can take to help mitigate the prevalence of flies and reduce the impact they have on cattle. Flies can be controlled through chemicals including pour-on solutions, insecticidal ear tags and cattle oilers placed near water troughs or mineral feeders. Another way to reduce flies is to maintain clean barns and yards by regularly cleaning manure from pens and to clean feed bunks and feed storage areas. Producers can also reduce the impact that flies have by avoiding operations such as castrating and dehorning during hot and dry weather when flies will be the most prevalent. Nutritionally, producers can mitigate flies by including garlic extract in the mineral mix or supplement. Studies have shown that adding a garlic extract can improve fly counts on cattle and reduce fly avoidance behaviour. Once fed, the garlic scent emanates from the pores of cattle to deter flies. Grand Valley Fortifiers has garlic extract available in several products which could help support your fly control program While flies may not seem like a major issue they could be impacting cattle more than producers might realize. Whether its preventing diseases like mastitis and pinkeye, improving gains and weaning weights or just trying to keep cattle as comfortable as possible; it is worthwhile to look at how flies are affecting your herd and what management steps you can take to mitigate the problem. Feel free to contact myself or GVF Nutrition Direct to help you mitigate flies or discuss other production-limiting factors on your operation. ■

This summer... SKIP THE LICK! Replace expensive lick tubs with high quality, palatable Nature’s Blend Cattle premix. Feed this perfect pasture mineral complete with organic sources of selenium, essential minerals, and vitamins in a free choice mineral feeder and provide the superior nutrition your herd needs. Now available with garlic!

MANAGING FLY PRESSURE ON PASTURE

by: TOM BOWMAN Beef Specialist, Grand Valley Fortifiers

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ith the start of pasture season and the hot and dry weather many producers will be reviewing their pasture and summer cattle health programs. There are many factors that need to be considered to help cattle perform at their highest potential throughout the summer months including considerations for mitigating the impact of flies. There are many fly species that can affect cattle. However the three most important are Horn Flies, Stable Flies and Face Flies. These can be found on the back, underbelly, legs, around the eyes and nose of cattle or on surfaces throughout barns. These flies lay eggs in manure and other decaying organic matter such as old forages or bedding. Flies generally have a lifecycle of ten to twenty-four days. The way that flies irritate cattle is by congregating around their eyes and nose and biting them for small amounts of blood. Cattle can be directly impacted by flies as they are a vector for disease transmission. Flies have been known to spread pinkeye, mastitis, and other economically important diseases. While these direct impacts must

Contact Tom Bowman today to learn more:

tombowman@grandvalley.com 705-321-5625

Thought for the Day The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. 11 Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. 12 The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers, but the root of the righteous endures. 10

Proverbs 12:10-21, NIV

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