Page 1

PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

VOL. 15 NO. 1 FEBRUARY 2013

NEW COORDINATOR TO LEAD TB ERADICATION EFFORTS Ray Armbruster has experienced the effects of bovine tuberculosis more than any cattle producer should ever have to. In 1997-98, Armbruster had his entire herd of around 130 cattle, including cows, herd sires and calves, eradicated when several animals tested positive for bovine TB on his farm north of Rossburn bordering Riding Mountain National Park. It took roughly eight months for the resulting quarantine on Armbruster’s farm to be lifted and even longer for him and his family to get back on their feet financially. “Where it really hit us was, we lost a whole year’s production because all these cows were pregnant and we weren’t able to bring in cattle,” he says. “It was kind of like starting over. It took quite a few years to build the herd back up.” Tested more times than Armbruster can remember, his herd is stressed repeatedly by being rounded up, put through the chute, given a skin test and then run through again 72 hours later to check the results. But perhaps the worst part was the initial reluctance by officials to believe Armbruster’s insistence that the real problem was with the wildlife inside the park, not the cattle outside it. Armbruster became a poster boy for other TB-affected producers in the Riding Mountain area by doggedly lobbying government officials for years with a simple message: it’s got to be the wildlife.

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His persistence paid off when the authorities began to realize he was right. Armbruster received another vindication in December when Ottawa and Manitoba announced the appointment of a co-ordinator to lead efforts to eliminate TB in and around Riding Mountain National Park. The move is seen as a push by federal and provincial authorities to wipe the disease out once and for all, now that they finally have it on the run. “We believe we’re making good progress. We’re not there yet. But we want to continue the appropriate level of surveillance, both in domestic animals and wildlife, to continue the eradication process,”

says Dr. Ian Alexander, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s chief veterinary officer. “If we maintain our surveillance at the appropriate levels, we feel we are on the approach to eventually eradicating TB within that area.” As far as Armbruster is concerned, they couldn’t have picked a better person for the co-ordinator position. He’s Dr. Allan Preston, a veterinarian, cattle producer and retired Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) assistant deputy minister. “I don’t know another individual who can bring all those aspects to the position,” says Armbruster, who is currently Manitoba Beef Producers president.

“He knows how government works and if somebody can walk into an office, look a minister in the eye and stand his ground, he should know how to do that.” Armbruster says MBP has long called for the appointment of a TB co-ordinator and the organization is pleased that governments have made their request a priority. Preston says his main job will be to co-ordinate the efforts of the many government departments, agencies and organizations involved. “Part of the genesis of this co-ordinated position is to, for lack of a better term, light a fire under everybody, get them to reengage and try to move the

ball into the end zone,” he says. “We’re close to our goal but we’re not quite there and it’s going to take some co-ordinated effort to get us there.” The TB file is a multiheaded monster involving at least four different departments within two levels of government, all with different responsibilities. Parks Canada is responsible for testing wildlife inside the park itself. Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship tests wildlife outside the park within the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). CFIA tests domestic cattle, bison and cervids in the RMEA. MAFRI works with local producers on management

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

RON FRIESEN

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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

strategies to reduce contact between cattle and the wildlife herd. Then there are the committees: a TB task force, a scientific review committee, a stakeholder advisory committee and an expert working group assembled

to collect data. It’s up to Preston to make sure they all are on the same page. “My involvement is to continue to make sure that everybody does their part,” Preston says. TB in the RMEA has a

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history stretching back to 1991, when it was discovered in cattle herds in the Rossburn area. Other findings followed in 1998. An elk with TB was detected in 1992, followed by another in 1998. These findings marked the start of the long-running battle to eliminate TB in the area. Preston says the last positive elk was found in 2011. The last whitetail deer to test positive was detected in 2009. The most recent TB finding in domestic cattle occurred in May 2008. Altogether, 14 herds with positive animals have been identified since 1991. The decline in the number of confirmed cases is reflected in decreased testing of cattle within the RMEA. Preston says CFIA in 2002-03

tested 625 herds containing over 50,000 head. This year, the agency will test only 26 herds with 3,400 head. The reduction is due in part to the concentration of TB within the Western Control Area of the park between Grandview and Rossburn in the Birdtail Valley, Preston says. “The information now tells us that TB, or what’s left of it, is focused in a very small area. So therefore we only test the herds in that tight area,” he says. “Requirements for testing the number of herds and cattle have dropped dramatically because of the progress we’ve made with surveillance and narrowing the zone where we have to do the testing.” Manitoba Conservation

and Water Stewardship has increased its own surveillance by extending the deer season by two weeks last fall in the RMs of Rossburn and Grandview. The department made an unlimited number of special deer licences available for the area. Hunters received licences one at a time when they submitted a deer sample for TB testing. The goal is to collect 270 quality samples over two years, a provincial spokesperson said. For cattle producers in the RMEA who have suffered the cost, stress and inconvenience of TB testing for years, the end, if and when it happens, can’t come soon enough. The debate still continues about whether the disease originated in cattle or if it was

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in the wildlife all along. Preston says the original source may never be known but at this point it doesn’t matter. “However it got there, it’s still there and we’re trying our best to get rid of it.” The presence of TB resulted in the downgrading of Manitoba’s TB status in 2003. To this day, Manitoba is the only province with import testing requirements on breeding stock exported to the U.S. Alexander says the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently reviewing its TB rule. A new one may be published this year. It is hoped the USDA will finally lift its restrictions on breeding stock from Manitoba.

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February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

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MBP THANKS THE GENEROUS SPONSORS OF THE 34TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: DIAMOND

LUNCH

PLATINUM

GOLD Allflex Canada & Kane Veterinary Supplies

Horizon Livestock & Poultry Supply

Manitoba Hereford Association

Landmark Feeds

Merck Animal Health

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Elanco Animal Health

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation

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Manitoba Charolais Association

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Feed-Rite

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Alert Agri/P. Quintaine and Son Ltd.

Roblin Vet Services

Alltech Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association

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RBC Royal Bank - Brandon

Dairy Farmers of Manitoba

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00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 3

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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

BELOW: Ray and his grandson Laramie Collen out for a ride.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

RAY’S ROUND-UP WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO

RAY ARMBRUSTER

This is my last Roundup speaking to Manitoba’s beef producers as MBP president. As I’m writing this, I’m going to predict that we will see numbers come in from Statistics Canada at the end of January that will show a smaller beef herd in Manitoba. Why? I believe it is due to the chronic issues that governments need to deal with. A critical issue that MBP has been addressing is the impact of flooding on beef producers. We have seen flooding in key areas where we have some of the highest densities of beef operations—around the lakes and in the Assiniboine Valley. This has been one of my greatest frustrations that quite frankly, I’ve lost sleep over. When I looked at the program that was announced last year and the promises that were made, I thought these producers and their families would be adequately supported to get through the overwhelming challenges and losses that occurred on their ranches. But what we have seen is a lack of timely support, producers who are still facing appeals to get compensation, and cheques that have not been written on the flood and excess moisture related losses. Producers have gone forward trying to maintain their cattle herds and operations on government promises of support for 2012, support that was absolutely essential for producers to carry on. We’ve worked very hard on this issue pushing governments to fulfill their promises but this is one time when we shouldn’t have had to ask. It should have been forthcoming. We have heard that a lot of money has been spent on flood compensation. But at the same time, when I look at the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been put in place to protect Winnipeg and the Lower Assiniboine water system, if that support wasn’t in place we would have seen billion dollar losses on the 2011 flood. These producers were sacrificed and we

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 4

expect them to be treated respectfully and fairly for their losses. MBP has not only lobbied for compensation but we have also lobbied for strategies to better manage water. When you keep draining into an area like the Shoal Lakes, you have to have a drain out. It is the same with Lake Manitoba. It needs a second outlet built in order to handle the capacity of the Portage Diversion. Producers who are continually impacted by the operation of the Shellmouth Reservoir have lost any predictability regarding using their land. Their losses are staggering. That’s another region where we have producers exiting the industry. There is a program in place for artificial flooding due to the operation of the Shellmouth Dam, but it hasn’t been implemented in a timely way whatsoever. These issues have to be resolved. Producers need to be able to have confidence that governments take these issues seriously and that they will follow up on their promises. MBP will continually work to resolve these issues and make every effort to get the appropriate support producers deserve. The chronic issue of bovine TB in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) has affected producers for over 20 years. TB testing, a lack of support directly to producers, and the lack of a plan for eradication have certainly taken their toll. Here are some key reasons why a staggering number of producers in the RMEA have left the industry: the risks around testing, stress to people and animals, trying to market cattle around testing, and implementing practices that unfortunately have made them less competitive. The RMEA had a high density of cattle operations but many have been driven out because they have been under extreme duress. If we can resolve issues like flooding and bovine TB, the RMEA area will be the place where a lot

of the Manitoba beef herd will be rebuilt because that is land well-suited for beef production. Looking to the future, I’d like to touch on what we need in order to stay on the landscape. We lobbied hard during consultations for Growing Forward 2, which will be implemented in April 2013. MBP asked for research and innovation to be a key priority, and it is. Now we need to ensure that the goals are delivered. We want to see research into the development of new forages and feed grains that can compete on the landscape. Other commodities have developed very productive crops and our industry must take a positive and open approach to new sciencebased positions on GM crops. We need to accept the development and production of these crops to compete on the landscape for the acres that we need for beef production. We need to implement and put into practice some of the research and innovation that is already there before us. Examples are residual feed intake, feed efficient animals, and genetic research. We need to commercialize that research and start adopting and using the types of cattle that have feed efficiencies and the right qualities. We have worked on developing a revised beef code of practice, on-farm food safety programs, and the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS). These are new tools created by industry that producers can use to help develop business relationships throughout the production chain. Our competiveness around trade and market access is absolutely essential. Governments must complete the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership so that we can compete globally. And we can’t hide behind protectionism to guard some parts of our economy. New market access will give confidence for the beef industry to start rebuilding—when bar-

riers and quotas on beef end. With Growing Forward 2, we recognized there will be significant changes in risk management and we really tried to get our industry into a better position for the future. The price insurance commitment is in place, and that has been a key priority for us. This will be a significant step forward once it is implemented, and the sooner the better. We want to see price insurance backstop the Advance Payments Program to provide producers with much more flexibility to market cattle and manage risk. I would like to comment on some of the other areas where we’ve made gains over the past year. One example is Ecological Goods & Services (EG&S), which has been a long standing policy of MBP. Years ago when the ethanol mandate was implemented, MBP was concerned about the negative environmental impacts it would have and that is why we really pioneered and had a vision for the development of EG&S policy. We are certainly in more of a positive position now when we have both levels of government talking to the beef industry about EG&S. We have the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association working group that we sit on to develop a national approach and EG&S is highlighted in Growing Forward 2, so we are hopeful that things are coming together on this front. An EG&S program would benefit our industry significantly and provide the recognition of all those positive practices that producers carry out on the landscape. We’ve also made gains regarding herd protection. Predation is a significant problem on the landscape, and there will always be issues, but we have a new agreement to continue the Problem Predator Removal Program and this is a positive step. MBP worked diligently on this with other stakeholders such as the Manitoba Trappers Association, Manitoba Conservation and Water

Stewardship, and Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation. We are pleased there is a commitment from Conservation and Water Stewardship on this issue and that we have started down the path for a working group to develop a strategic approach to herd protection. The appointment of the TB co-ordinator was long-awaited news for producers in the RMEA. Having the co-ordinator in place is like having a reset button for the whole situation because it is a new effort to meet the mandate of TB eradication. We welcome and support Dr. Allan Preston in this new position. Over the years, as we’ve worked on all of these issues I certainly realize that many of them have been carried over from past boards. Though the battle on certain issues may go on, we are continually working hard and we will never give up on what needs to be done for beef producers. When I first came to MBP, I realized just how important it is to have an organization dedicated to working on these issues for the beef industry. It will only become more important in the future. As I am being termed out as a MBP director and my tour of duty is coming to completion, I want to say it has been a privilege and rewarding, and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to have worked with our staff, past and present directors, and the beef producers of Manitoba. Over the years, I have appreciated the personal support I received from producers in District 7. It has been very gratifying to serve as your director. In 2011-2012, we had some staff members move on including Lauren Stone, Tara Fulton and Audrey Treichel, and I thank them for their contributions to MBP. Thank you to our staff for their work over the past year: GM Cam Dahl, Maureen Cousins, Lacé Hurst, Kristen Lucyshyn, Deb Walger, and Adriana Barros. Thank you for your dedication to serving the board of

directors, and for being committed to the beef industry and families who raise beef in Manitoba. I thank my board of directors who have worked very hard on all of the issues for their personal support and commitment to the industry. Over my time at MBP, we’ve found many folks in industry and government who have been positive people and excellent to work with to move issues forward in a progressive way. Thank you to everyone who worked with us for the good of our industry. To all policy makers and governments: I ask you to trust the people who are raising the agricultural commodities in Manitoba. Most of us are second and third generation producers, we’ve done this all of our lives, we know where we want to go and how to get there. So please trust us and work with us. Six years ago I made my decision to become a director for MBP and I eventually took on more responsibility as part of the executive. None of it would have been possible without the support and sacrifice that I got from my family. They certainly pick up the slack when you’re gone, and many times you take off and leave them in a bind and they get the work done so that you can go to a meeting focused just on the issues. You know they are carrying the load and they get it done. They’ve made sacrifices for me so that I would be able to do this and I am very thankful for their generous and unwavering support. This may be my last Round-up as far as writing goes, but there is life after MBP and I will be spending more time actually doing the round-up on the back of a horse, focusing on the operation, checking cattle with my grandchildren and passing it on to the next generation. I wish the new MBP board, executive and president all the best for the future. I will always be a lifetime supporter of Manitoba Beef Producers.

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February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

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GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE FOCUSING ON THE BEEF CODE OF PRACTICE

CAM DAHL

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 5

and opinions held by your local community as well as in our towns and cities. Don’t miss the words “perceptions” and “opinions” in that last sentence. Society’s view is not always based on reality or science. When society shapes its view from misinformation, or a lack of information, we get regulations and marketing campaigns that have a negative impact on your ability to do business. This is why it is part of our job as producers to ensure that consumers have access to the best science-based information we can provide. Until recently, agriculture has really not paid a whole lot of attention to its social license because society was mostly content to simply go to the local Coop or Safeway for groceries with little thought of what happened before food got to the store. There is that old line about school kids (or sometimes 20 year olds) thinking their milk comes from Sobeys. This is changing and we need to pay attention. There are examples all around us of what happened to an industry when it loses its social license. Seal pelts generated good income for decades—until the industry lost the acceptance of consumers. Hog and poultry producers are being pushed to adjust their practices; not because of new government regulations but because their customers and consumers have demanded change. More and more consumers are asking: “Where does my food come from?” They care about the answers. As a consequence, retailers and restaurants, our customers, are paying attention. So should we. Animal welfare is a big part of our social license. It is critical that the general public has confidence that those of us in animal agriculture take proper care of our livestock while they are under our control. In the years ahead, our customers will no longer just be taking our word on this issue—they will want some verification of our practices. This can be achieved through adherence to a sound, sciencebased code of practice. Voluntary codes of practice

like this exist in many professions and industries, from your local TV station to your family doctor. Since September 2010, the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) has been reviewing and revising the Code of Practice for the Handling and Care of Beef Cattle. The Council is made up of a broad cross section of society and includes regulators such as vets from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, beef producers and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. On January 8, the council opened up the draft revised code to the public for comment. You can find this draft at www.nfacc.ca. I welcome the renewal of the beef code of practice. In many ways, the revision of the beef code of practice can be viewed as our industry renewing its social license to operate. The code’s revisions are based on the current scientific understanding of animal welfare and care, and not the latest whim from the internet. While I know that not all beef producers will be comfortable with everything the

M&T ATCHISON

As I write this, I am looking forward to your Annual General Meeting. It may very well be that you read the words after you come back. I use the phrase “your AGM” because you are Manitoba Beef Producers and this is your meeting. MBP staff have put a great deal of effort into designing and organizing the AGM. In particular I want to thank Kristen Lucyshyn and Lacé Hurst for their efforts and late nights. We have a number of key goals when putting together the agenda for the AGM. First and foremost is accountability and transparency; and to give you the opportunity to give policy direction to the board. This is accomplished through our resolutions sessions and the financial reporting. We also want to use the opportunity at the AGM to provide you with the information that may be useful as you operate your business into the future. This is the purpose of the feedlot breakout session and the workshops on the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) and biosecurity. It is our job as your representative to look at the trends in the industry and give you a “heads up” on changes that might be coming at the beef industry. Greater emphasis on animal welfare and sustainability issues is one of these trends. The pressure for adjustments is not coming from governments but from our customers like McDonald’s and Walmart, and from consumers. This is why the AGM featured the panel on animal welfare, with experts from industry, government, academia and our customers. There is much talk these days in academic and bureaucratic circles about the “social license to operate.” While this is likely not something that has come up at your supper table, it likely should. “Social license” is not something we get from MPI or need to buy before an upcoming wedding reception. The term refers to society’s general acceptance of what we do on our ranches and farms. Our social license is based in the beliefs, perceptions

code suggests; I feel that the committee has done a good job of ensuring best practices that are practical for producers to implement in their operations. In fact, you are almost certainly carrying out these practices today. The broad cross section of views on the committee means that the scientific understanding and research had interpretation from a wide variety of viewpoints. This is critical if we are to achieve acceptance of the code from society at large. “Acceptance from society at large” is the stage we are at in the beef code’s revision.

The draft has been posted on the council’s website for you and the public to review. It is critical that as many beef producers as possible participate in this process and submit comments to the committee. Please call Manitoba Beef Producers if you want help with this. There is a very small minority of people in Canada who feel that animal agriculture should not exist and that your operation should disappear. I would prefer if these points of view did not dominate the commentary on the code. The beef code of practice is not a regulatory

issue for producers. You don’t need to fear government inspectors arriving on your ranch to confirm you compliance. But you can expect buyers writing compliance into contracts before they purchase your animals. And they might even be willing to pay a bit more for that. Producer participation in the process, through comments on the code, will insure that down the road you and your kids have contracts that fit your operation and that our industry keeps its social license to operate.

HIGH QUALITY BULLS from Reputation Breeders March 12 MCTAVISH and Guests Charolais & Red Angus Bull Sale, at the farm, Moosomin, SK March16 PLEASANT DAWN Charolais Bull Sale, Heartland Livestock, Virden, MB March 21 DIAMOND W Charolais & Angus Bull Sale, Valley Livestock Sales, Minitonas, MB March 26 STEPPLER FARMS Charolais Bull Sale, at the farm, Miami, MB March 30 GILLILAND BROS. Charolais & Frietag-Martin Angus Bull Sale, Alameda Auction Market, Alameda, SK April 4 HUNTER CHAROLAIS Bull Sale, at the farm, Roblin, MB For more information contact: 124 Shannon Road, Regina, SK S4S 5B1

Tel: 306-546-3940 Helge’s cell: 306-536-4261 Candace’s cell: 306-536-3374 charolaisbanner@sasktel.net Catalogues available online a month prior to sale at

www.bylivestock.com

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CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

MBP ON MANITOBA’S NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT REGULATION BY: MAUREEN COUSINS, MBP POLICY ANALYST

Manitoba Beef Producers made a submission into the recent review of Manitoba’s Nutrient Management Regulation, reiterating its position that government regulations must be grounded in sound science and that producers need to be recognized for their role in managing our natural resources. The regulation falls under The Water Protection Act. A number of its provisions affect livestock operations such as the implementation of nutrient buffer zones and nutrient management zones; and requirements for nutrient management plans, among others. According to the act, a mandatory review of the regulation is required five years after it came into effect. Based on the review, the Manitoba Water Council will recommend to the Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship by March 18, 2013 whether the regulation should be amended or repealed. MBP supports strong science-based initiatives designed to ensure the preservation of our land and water. MBP also strongly supports producers and governments working together to develop environmental initiatives that can be embraced by all sectors

of our industry without harming the producers’ ability to earn a living. In its submission, MBP explained cattle producers take many steps to properly manage nutrients, including using beneficial management practices related to nutrient management, employing off-site watering, and fencing riparian areas, among others. Having access to good quality water and a healthy environment is essential to farms and ranches. MBP also pointed out that a number of provisions in this regulation have had a significant impact on the cattle sector. These include changes in management practices, more paperwork and ultimately increased financial costs to producers. Moreover, because producers are price takers, they simply cannot pass these costs along to their customers. For example, MBP noted that at the time the regulation was enacted, some producers had a manure storage facility or a confined livestock area located within Nutrient Management Zone N4 or land in the Nutrient Buffer Zone. Section 14(1) of the regulation prohibits the operator from replacing, expanding or modifying either a manure storage facility or

a confined livestock area within either zone. Producers affected by Section 14(1) must therefore “start from scratch” if they need to replace, expand or modify a manure storage facility or a confined livestock area. This means added costs for affected operations, particularly if they need to acquire new land in order to proceed. MBP also noted the regulation prohibits producers from applying nitrogen or phosphorus within a Nutrient Buffer Zone. Depending on how producers’ operations were configured, they may have had to alter their production or grazing practices, resulting in added costs. Producers who apply nutrients to land in Nutrient Management Zone N4 are required to register a nutrient management plan. MBP explained this too comes with costs, such as the requirement for soil testing and time to prepare the reports. If the producer needs to hire an agrologist or a certified crop adviser to help them prepare the plan, there will be further costs. MBP explained some beef operations may be affected by the restrictions on the winter application of nutrients. In years with adverse weather or other conditions

such as prolonged flooding, it may be difficult for producers to field apply manure within the dates set out in the regulation. MBP requested that flexibility be considered in the case of extraordinary conditions that interfere with producers’ ability to manage the manure. Producers have raised concerns with MBP about the variability of soil test results involving manure versus synthetic fertilizers. Due to the unpredictability of how manure will break down, MBP noted a producer could inadvertently find themselves in violation of the regulation due to weather conditions and the timing of the soil test. This could result in the producer being fined even though they did not deliberately set out to violate the regulation. MBP also cited concerns from producers who have questions about the rationale of not being able to immediately apply manure to newly broken pastures, as opposed to having to wait until this land has been cropped once (as required under the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation). These producers asked whether it should be possible to immediately apply manure to said pastures if the soil is shown to be deficient in nutrients.

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nutrient management plans or manure management plans, or to assist with the relocation of facilities such as a confined livestock area or manure storage facilities. Reasonable time frames for producers to adapt to regulations are also needed. MBP cited the need for an approach that takes into account all—both inside and outside Manitoba—who may be contributing to nutrient management challenges within the Lake Winnipeg basin, as opposed to singling out specific sectors. Further, MBP believes any regulatory approach must be shown to provide a net benefit to the environment. Clear measurements are required to demonstrate success or failure within defined timelines. By continuously updating management and production methods and incorporating new ways to protect the environment, beef producers are providing valuable ecosystem services that benefit all Manitobans. These producers remain deeply committed to protecting not only Manitoba’s surface water, ground water and soil resources, but also the longevity of their operations. It simply does not make environmental or economic sense for producers to abuse their key natural resource—their farms.

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In its submission, MBP noted producers want assurances that departmental staff involved in on-farm visits be very knowledgeable about livestock production and farm management practices. No two operations are alike in terms of soil types or topography. It is essential that departmental staff understand that the types of management practices used may not be identical across different operations. MBP encouraged strong staff training. As well, producers want departmental staff to recognize that effects caused by natural disasters like flooding would create difficulties, such as cleaning pens on a set schedule. MBP noted producers are prepared to work co-operatively with these staff to find effective ways to address challenges like this. Some flexibility may be required under extraordinary conditions like protracted excess moisture conditions or other circumstances over which producers simply have no control. MBP pointed out that financial assistance or incentives to help producers adapt to the increasing regulatory environment would be well received. Such initiatives could potentially be used to support soil testing, to offset the cost of preparing

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February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

VET CORNER

IMPACT OF DYSTOCIA DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

Now that calving season is rapidly approaching or has started for some, it is a good time to remember that the only way a cow makes money is to raise a calf each and every year. Calving difficulty (dystocia) is an important economic problem affecting between ten to 15 per cent of cows. The causes are varied: large birth weights, abnormal fetal position, limited pelvic area and the cow age. Even slight calving problems, those not recognized by many producers, increase the odds of stillbirth by three times in heifers and almost five times in cows. More difficult calvings (calf malpositioned, calf-puller use) triple that risk again. Dystocia requiring forced extraction, compared with unassisted calving, was 4.22 times more likely to result in calf death within the first 21 days of life (Wells, 1996). If you find a dead calf for no reason, chances are very high that there was a calving problem, swollen head or not. Let’s review the stages of labour. The uterus begins contracting during Stage 1 (two to six hours), opening the cervix and preparing the birth canal for delivery. Stage 2 occurs when the water bag protrudes and the calf enters the birth canal. Birth should occur within one to three hours after the beginning of Stage 2. The afterbirth is expelled during Stage 3. Delays of even a few hours significantly increase the risk of calf death. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if there is no water bag there is no problem. A cow that has shown signs of Stage 1 labour (restlessness/discomfort, separation from the herd, mothering behaviour) and then failed to deliver a calf within three hours must have an internal examination done. Water bags often don’t come out with breech or other malpresentations, twisted uteruses, or uterine inertia, which is failure of the uterus to contract. You need to check out the cow if any of the following exists: the water

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 7

bag has been out for two hours and the cow is not trying, the cow has been trying for over 30 minutes and is making no progress, the cow has quit trying for over 20 minutes after making progress, the cow or calf is showing signs of fatigue and stress such as a swollen tongue or severe rectal bleeding from the cow or finally, if the delivery appears abnormal (backwards calf, one leg, etc.). Learn when to stop pulling—caesarean is sometimes the best thing and is often cheaper in the long run. Call your veterinarian or an experienced stockperson if you are a novice or don’t know what you are feeling. Phone advice with my clients has saved many a calf over the years at no additional expense. Birth complications are stressful for the calf. Even if the calf looks okay right after delivery, it is common for them to develop problems later on if special care is not given. Dystocia results in blood acid/base imbalances, low oxygen levels and low body temperatures. All of these can be immediately fatal (“stillbirth”) or reduce long-term survival. If the tongue is swollen, the brain is too. Calves are often weak, depressed and slow to stand with decreased vigor and strength. If a calf puller was used, significant bruising and trauma may have resulted. Treat compromised calves with an anti-inflammatory like flunixin meglumine (Banamine, Flunazine) and consider a long-acting antibiotic. Chilling occurs rapidly in subzero temperatures since these weak calves do not move much or shiver to generate body heat and stimulate mothering. Cows weakened during a difficult labour often have a decreased mothering instinct, further complicating matters. Mothering has been shown to have a tremendous beneficial effect on the efficiency of absorption of colostrum. Mothered calves absorb 70 per cent more immunoglobulin from a standard feed than nonmothered calves.

Vigorous licking by the cow, or towel rubbing by you, over the neck and shoulders increases circulation and stimulates breathing. Clear the airways with a suction bulb or stimulate sneezing with a long piece of straw. If practical, consider supplementing oxygen via a small tube placed four to five inches up the nose. Adjust the flow rate to get a gentle flow on your cheek. If a calf is severely chilled, place it in a hotbox following thorough towel stimulation and drying. Sometimes the core body temperature is so low that direct immersion in warm water (think your tub or Jacuzzi) is necessary to revive the calf. Compromised calves have a weak and often delayed suckle reflex. They often do not physically seek out the cow to begin nursing, don’t consume as much colostrum and absorb that colostrum less efficiently. If the calf does not nurse its dam within the first eight hours of life, it will be a Failure of Passive Transfer (FPT) calf. Lack of colostral immunity (FPT) continues to be a major predisposing factor to newborn calf disease and economic loss in cattle. Receiving adequate colostrum on the first day of life helps protect the calf for the next three to five weeks.

Calves with FPT are 9.5 times more likely to get sick post-weaning (Perino 1996). In summary, minimizing calving difficulties improves economic returns. Learn what a normal birth

is and when and how to intervene. Consider every dystocia calf as potentially compromised and keep a close eye on them. Those calves that are born alive but die within 24 hours could have been saved by

implementing the simple interventions discussed above. Extra care can cut both death losses and treatments for scours and/or pneumonia, resulting in more pounds weaned in the fall.

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

ANIMAL WELFARE ISSUES DRIVEN BY CONSUMERS RON FRIESEN

Back in 1988, when I began my career as an agricultural journalist, farm animal welfare was barely on the radar screen. There were vague reports about layer cages being phased out in Sweden but it was all distant thunder. As far as Canadian producers were concerned, there was no problem because their animals were raised humanely and the public had no reason to complain. Fast-forward 25 years to a different world. Today, animal welfare is front and centre for Canada’s livestock industry. Gone is the assumption that farmers know best how to treat their animals. We have reached a point in the history of agriculture where a growing number of people now consider normal animal husbandry practices inhumane. The pork and poultry industries are under the most pressure. Gestation stalls for pregnant sows and battery cages for laying hens are major targets for abolition. But intensive housing practices are only a metaphor for the larger argument against the way producers raise food animals. Pigs, chickens, cattle, horses and other livestock are seen as sentient creatures

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 8

who can feel, think and react to their environment. Therefore, according to the argument, they should be treated accordingly. That, for many, means significant changes to where farm animals live and how they are raised. To bolster their case, animal welfare advocates cite the so-called “Five Freedoms” – a list of rights for animals under human control developed by a 1965 U.K. government report on livestock production. These include: freedom from hunger or thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or disease; freedom to express normal behaviour; freedom from fear and distress. These freedoms are now mainstream and have been adopted by organizations concerned with the welfare of animals. They have helped to shape people’s attitudes toward animals, as reflected in developments worldwide. In the U.S., public decisions about animal welfare have reached the ballot box. The most significant one is Proposition 2, a 2008 initiative in California where voters passed a resolution to effectively ban gestation stalls, battery cages and veal crates in the state by

2015. California is the largest agricultural state in the country and the passage of Proposition 2 will be influential. Similar resolutions have been adopted in other states. U.S. ballot initiatives have no equivalent in Canada, where the electoral system does not provide for legally binding public resolutions. But because the Canadian and American livestock industries are closely linked, the influence of U.S. initiatives will eventually find their way northward. Already, Canada’s hog industry is responding. Maple Leaf Foods, which recently bought the financially troubled Puratone Corporation and significantly increased its hog barn ownership, is standing by a 2007 pledge to phase out gestation stalls by 2017, beginning this year. The Manitoba Pork Council in 2011 released a sustainable development plan in which it encouraged its producers to phase out gestation stalls by 2025. Three years ago, Manitoba Egg Producers introduced new animal welfare standards for layer barns which will eventually lead to the eventual phase-out

of battery cages in favour of “enriched” housing systems. So far, the beef sector has escaped the kind of public scrutiny devoted to the hog and poultry industries. But could cattle producers be next? “We’d be fooling ourselves to think that we’re exempt,” says Ray Armbruster, Manitoba Beef Producers president. Cattle producers tend to set themselves apart from hog and chicken farmers because beef animals are not raised in confinement, except perhaps in feedlots. For the most part, cattle roam freely on the range, satisfying the fourth freedom—the ability to express natural behaviour. Even animal welfare advocates put beef cattle in a different category from pork and poultry. “My perception of the beef industry is that the five freedoms are being met. Animals are being humanely raised, humanely transported and humanely slaughtered for the most part,” says Bill McDonald, CEO of the Winnipeg Humane Society which campaigns vigorously against gestation stalls and battery cages.

“There will always be operations where somebody’s trying to cut corners, trying to cram more animals in the trailer than they should. But there are laws against that.” So, cattle producers are off the hook when it comes to public concerns about their practices. Or are they? Statistics from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives show cattle rank either third or fourth in the number of animal welfare cases reported in the province. In 2010 and 2011, 11 per cent of the humane inspections by the provincial veterinarian involved bovines. In 2009, the figure was 15 per cent. The majority of cases are believed to involve neglect. As with pork and poultry, beef production involves management practices which producers fear could be seized upon as inhumane. Those include castration, dehorning and sometimes tail docking. A draft version of a new beef industry code of practice, released for public comment in early January, deals directly with these issues. For the first time, the code suggests time frames for practices involving

pain and distress. Calves should be dehorned at two to three months of age when the horn is still in the bud stage. Calves should be castrated before the age of three months. Pain control should be used when castrating bulls older than nine months. Methods involving pain should be done in consultation with a veterinarian. Tail docking should not be carried out at all. The code, although voluntary, is one of the best defenses producers have against accusations that their animals are treated cruelly, says Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager. The code is also important in showing that the industry is taking the lead in animal welfare rather than waiting for legislators to act, Dahl says. “I would like to, as an industry, take the leadership on this issue and have a standardized code made available to producers, developed by us, rather than having something imposed on us from outside that’s unworkable,” he says. However, judging by the actions of major North American food

2013-01-26 9:52 AM


February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY retailers, the marketplace may already be ahead of producers in establishing animal welfare standards. A recent policy developed by Tim Hortons is among the most farreaching. In a statement last year, Canada’s iconic fast food restaurant chain called for its producers and suppliers “to eliminate gestation stalls for sows and to develop clear plans and timelines by the end of the year to phase out these housing systems.” Tim Hortons also committed to getting 10 per cent of its eggs from enriched hen housing systems by the end of 2013. Meanwhile, McDonald’s has developed its own Global Animal Welfare Guiding Principles to support the idea that “animals should be free from cruelty, abuse and neglect while embracing the proper treatment of animals and addressing animal welfare issues,” according to a statement on the company’s website. Other fast food restaurant chains have similar policies. All of this demonstrates that retailers are responding to a growing demand by their clients for humanely raised food products, says McDonald. “When these companies start feeling the pressure from their customers, they start switching.” McDonald also says the fact that food suppliers are taking the initiative in developing such standards reflects a shift in the animal welfare movement. Previously, humane societies and other groups lobbied governments for regulatory changes to animal handling practices. Now, the pressure is coming from the general public itself and food companies are responding. “The proof is in resolutions put forward at companies’ annual general meetings. Their own shareholders are saying to them, get us out of this game. Get us into a new game.” Livestock producers sometimes dismiss animal welfare proponents as “activists” whose purpose is to shut down their industry. McDonald disagrees with that broad-brush approach. He makes a distinction between activists and advocates. “Advocacy is where you’re lobbying for changes, whether at a governmental or agency level. For activists, it’s stuntdriven in many ways. PETA is a classic example,” he says. “Activist groups want to stop the industry entirely.

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 9

That’s not our position. Our position has always been, we want to see farm animals humanely raised, humanely transported and humanely slaughtered. If producers meet those three things, we’re fine.” But Betty Green, a producer from Fisher Branch, worries that animal welfare concerns, however well-intentioned, may be

driven by a lack of knowledge about how things really work on the farm. Say, for example, city people driving along in winter see a herd of cattle in a snowstorm. They may believe the animals are freezing when they’re actually sheltered and doing fine. Or they may spot a sick cow on the range and decide the animal is neglected when in fact it’s

about to be taken into the barn for veterinary treatment. That’s the sort of misunderstanding which can unfairly tarnish the image of good producers, says Green, who co-ordinates the Verified Beef Production program in Manitoba. “The level of concern is high. We know we’re not immune to this.”

9

Cattle producers, consumers, and others with an interest in the welfare of beef cattle, are encouraged to provide input on the draft beef cattle Code of Practice to ensure that this Code reflects a common understanding of beef cattle care expectations and science-based recommended practices in Canada. To view and comment on the draft beef cattle Code of Practice, visit www.nfacc.ca. The comment period ends March 8, 2013.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

STAYING SAFE AT CALVING TIME ANGELA LOWELL

Calving is probably one of the most potentially hazardous times on the ranch. According to a recent study from Virginia, 68 per cent of males who are injured by livestock sustain those injuries at calving time. A big part of the problem is that producers often take too many things for granted, beginning with the disposition of their animals. “As cattle producers we need to readjust our mindset at calving time,” says Dr. Allan Preston, a veterinarian and rancher from Hamiota, Man. “We like to think we have selected cattle with good temperaments that are quiet and docile, so we can work around them safely. But at calving time, in the midst of all the hormonal things that are going on inside that cow’s body and brain, she becomes a very dangerous animal.” Keith Gardiner, a cattle producer near Clearwater, knows all too well how unpredictable cows can be when around calving time. About five years ago he had gone out to tag calves, when he spied one quietly lying down that had been born a few days ago, but which he’d not been able to catch. As he grabbed the calf it began to bawl, which startled some cows that were resting nearby. One of them, thinking it was her calf, even though it wasn’t, charged and rolled Gardiner over and over for several minutes. “She was bawling in my ear and stepping on me and I was under her feet and under her head and there was nothing I could do. She was in total control. I just had to wait until she was done,” he says. Gardiner was lucky that he escaped with just minor cuts and bruises and he is a lot more wary than he used to be. “Generally speaking I try not to go out on my own now, I try to wait until one of the kids is here,” he says. “It has made me much more cautious for sure.” Remembering that every cow with a newborn calf is potentially dangerous sets the stage for developing an appropriate management plan that will help keep you, your family and your farm workers safe

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 10

during what can be a busy and stressful period. You can never begin planning for a safe and easy calving season too early. The fewer times that you have to intervene and assist with a birth, the better. And making that a reality begins with the breeding process many months earlier. “We have made tremendous progress in the last 10 to 20 years in regards to calving ease sires and the number of assisted births in most herds has dropped dramatically,” says Preston. “If you do your proper sire selection and breed your cattle accordingly for ease of calving, that’s a preventative measure in itself.” As calving season approaches, it is important to

make sure that you are well prepared before calves begin to arrive. Plan for where calving is going to take place, and especially if you are using an indoor pen or part of the barn, make sure that the cows which are going to be calving become familiar with these areas. “Animals don’t like going to strange places,” says Glen Blahey, Agricultural Health and Safety Specialist with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association. “So it’s a matter of putting out some feed in that shelter area or doing something so that they become familiar with it and it’s not something strange to them.” It is a good idea, before calving season starts, to inspect the calving facility and

make sure that the gates, crowding panels and head gates are all secure, undamaged and operational. The most important item in the calving facility is a good restraint system, preferably a head gate or a maternity pen where the cow can be prevented from turning her head and/or taking a run at you. Another big part of the pre-planning is, as much as possible, to avoid the unexpected. Animals do not like sudden noises or movements so try to get the animals accustomed to any of the noises that they are likely to hear when they are in the calving pen and avoid shining bright lights into the pen at night. It is much better, advises Blahey, to

have a reasonable level of uniform, diffused light in the calving area at all times. “You don’t want to use a flashlight or spotlight or headlights from a tractor because that ends up creating shadows,” he says. “And if a cow that is about to calve sees this shadow it may end up spooking her.” Make sure that there is always an escape route when you are in a confined area, especially if you have to do something to the calf that could cause the cow to become agitated. Don’t get yourself into a corner and never wrap ropes or calving chains around any part of your body. Wherever possible, have somebody around to help you.

“Some of the most serious injuries we have seen at calving time are because an individual was working on their own in a calving facility and nobody knew they were missing,” says Preston. Many producers are installing camera monitoring systems in the barn so they can monitor what is going on in the calving pens day and night. “These types of management things, that many producers are putting in place, certainly play into the overall safety situation,” says Preston. Technology also provides the means to communicate should you need to call for assistance or sound the alarm in an emergency. A cell phone with 911 on speed

2013-01-26 9:52 AM


February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 11 dial, as well as the numbers of a spouse, neighbour or whoever you need to call in a hurry, is a valuable tool to help keep you safe. But remember to turn off the ringer, because an unexpected call is one of those sudden, unfamiliar sounds that the cow is not going to like. If cell phone coverage is an issue you could consider two-way radios or at the very least a buddy system, where someone checks on you at intervals. Although it is tempting to let the household sleep while you go check cows in the middle of the night, you should make someone aware that you are out there so they can check on you. “Having a working alone plan with someone is critically important if you start assisting with birth and there are complications,� says Blahey. “Knowing that someone is going to come in ten or fifteen minutes is important.� Display emergency numbers in a prominent place in the calving facility and list the phone numbers of the veterinarian, family members, friends or neighbours who you or employees may need to call in an emergency. Make sure that you have all the equipment and supplies at the ready in case you

need to assist with a birth. It is important to always remain calm around cattle and rushing in and out of the pen ten times to fetch items you need is not relaxing for you or the cow. Cattle are social animals, so reducing the stress of both the birth and the period immediately after the birth will help keep everyone safe. If you can avoid totally isolating the cow from the herd she may feel less threatened. You have to ensure the rest of the herd can’t get too close, and definitely need to have separation between them and the cow that is calving, but if she can still see and hear them she will not feel as isolated and stressed. After the calf is born, try to encourage the cow to bond with her calf as soon as possible. “With an assisted birth the calf is born and if you take it over to the side and try to get the cow to go to the calf she may not want to,� says Blahey. “She is back where she believes that calf was born and it creates a bonding problem. The cow gets agitated and then the producer get’s agitated if the cow is not accepting the calf.� For safety, it is best not to perform procedures that

may cause discomfort to the calf in the same pen as the cow. “You need to turn the cow out into an alleyway or put her into a different pen while you work on the calf,� says Preston. “Nothing triggers the cow’s protective response more rapidly and violently than the calf bawling.� A cow with a newborn calf can present a danger to people visiting for a peek at the cute, cuddly baby, especially children, cautions Preston. “We always see the pictures in the paper of a child with a newborn calf,� says Preston. “That is a recipe for disaster. The mother cow sees that other little object in the

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Ĺ‹Ä˝ĹˆÄ˝Ĺ‰Ä˝Ĺ‚Äť ĹŒÄ˝Ĺ‰Äź Ĺ?ĹƒĹŠ Ĺ„Ĺ‡Ä˝ĹƒĹ‡ Video sale by cattle in motion Ĺ‰Ĺƒ ľłĸ ĹƒĹ‚ ĹˆÄľĹ€Äš ĸľĹ?

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HTA CHAROLAIS Harry - 204-328-7103 Shawn - 204-328-7704 Raymond - 204-566-2134 RAMMER CHAROLAIS Wayne - 204-566-2314 HBH FARMS BLACK ANGUS Barb - 204-566-2134

Performance & Style

4ĹƒĹ‚Ĺˆ ĹˆÄšĹ€Ĺ€ ĹƒĹŠĹ‰ ĹƒÄş (ŇĽłľŀʼnľ Ĺˆ )1 ,Ľłĝ 4 .ľŇġĹŠĹˆ (ŇĽłľŀʼnľ Ĺˆ 1ĹƒĹ€Ĺ€Ěĸ )ÄľĹˆÄľĹ€Ĺ?

*Homo Polled **Non Diluter

Boynecrest Stock Farm Kelly & Elaine Ferris & Family Box 4, Stephenfield, MB R0G 2R0 Ph: 204.828.3483 Kelly: 204.745.7168 Nikki: 204.745.8849 Email: boynecreststockfarm@sdnet.ca www.boynecreststockfarm.com

55 Charolais Bulls 17 Angus Bulls Sell!

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March 27, 2013 Neepawa, MB

15th Annual

Boynecrest / Skyridge Bulls on display 3 miles East of 3ġŋĞŎĝłł ! 4Ĺ Ĺ?ʼnĿĺĽĝ Farms. Sale at 3ġŋĞŎĝłł )ġĹ‚Ĺ‚

pen as something that is a potential danger to her calf. And it’s so easy for kids to get hurt. I am not saying don’t take your kids to the barn, but be extremely careful.� In most cases, adds Preston, within fortyeight hours the cow is back to being her old, quiet self again, but up until that point she is a different animal and potentially dangerous. “Make sure that your kids, and your wife, and your kids’ girlfriend or boyfriend or whoever comes to the barn realizes that the cow whose back they could scratch in the pasture in July is a different beast today,� says Preston.

Skyridge Farm Gilles & Jeannine Vuignier Box 585, St. Claude, MB R0G 1Z0 Ph: 204.749.2183 Fax: 204.749.2306 Email: jennyv@mts.net

SALE will be be available available from from consignors consignors or or online online SALE CATALOGUE CATALOGUE will www.stewartcattle.com www.stewartcattle.com Email Email for for catalogue catalogue stewartcows@wificountry.ca stewartcows@wificountry.ca

FREE BOARD on all bull purchases until April 1, 2013 Stewart Cattle Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204.773.6392 DJ Cattle Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204.354.2011 Legaarden Livestock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204.546.3052

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2013-01-26 9:52 AM


12 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA RESEARCH IN LINE WITH RESEARCH PRIORITIES IDENTIFIED BY MBP CHRISTINE RAWLUK, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA Industry support for beef-related research in Manitoba is critical to obtain matching government funding. Support from Manitoba Beef Producers is used to multiply your investment threefold, and even tenfold on occasion, making your dollars go further. In addition, our research engages experts from across Canada and the U.S. to ensure our research is additive and complementary, making the most efficient use of research dollars in a highly competitive environment while avoiding redundancy. Here is a look at the research that is being conducted in the province.

ANIMAL CARE Commercial transport of cattle in winter A new cattle transport study underway will assess the impact of current commercial transport practices during winter on animal welfare and carcass condition for market cattle and cull cows. Information generated will be used to identify critical points in transport management that need addressing and to develop science-based best management practices for the transportation of slaughter cattle under Canadian winter conditions. Information collected from upwards of 100 commercial long distance transport trucks pre, post and during transport will span loading score, handler score, management factors, animal condition scores, temperament of the animals, number of head per truck, trailer microclimate, GPS data, driver records, prod use and trailer acceleration. The effect of these factors on shrink, unloading score, trailer floor score, animal condition score coming off of the trailer, yield grades, carcass weight, bruise score and incidence of dark cutters will also be measured. Dr. Kim Ominski, foragebeef production systems professor, and graduate student Carollyne Kehler are conducting this study, which is part of a large scale review of commercial cattle transport in Canada led by Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, an animal welfare researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-Lethbridge.

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 12

This research is featured as part of the BCRC Beef Research School video series available at www.beefresearch.ca/blog/cattle-transport-video. Project funding provided by Beef Cattle Research Council and Manitoba Beef Producers.

ANIMAL HEALTH Vectors of Anaplasmosis in Manitoba Bovine anaplasmosis is an infectious disease in cattle caused by a parasitic micro-organism. The disease is spread through red blood cells of infected animals. Most commonly, anaplasmosis is spread by ticks biting infected cattle. Ticks themselves can be infected by the micro-organism, becoming reproductive sites for the parasite. Species of ticks known to be vectors of anaplasmosis are present in Manitoba. The disease can also be transmitted by biting flies such as horse flies, which serve as mechanical vectors. Anaplasmosis is a reportable disease in Canada; therefore, all known occurrences are to be reported to CFIA. In addition, CFIA tests random blood samples of cattle at slaughter for anaplamosis every three to five years as part of the

national Bovine Serological Survey. Documented incidences of anaplasmosis in a number of herds in southeastern Manitoba in 2009 and 2010 prompted entomologists Dr. Terry Galloway and Dr. Robbin Lindsay, and graduate student in the Department of Entomology, Matt Yunik, to investigate ticks and horse flies as possible vectors in anaplasmosis-positive pastures. During the summers of 2011 and 2012, Matt collected and tested over 2,000 ticks from pastures in southeastern Manitoba where confirmed cases of analplasmosis had occurred. Overwinter survival of ticks as an additional indicator of risk was also assessed, as ticks are known to serve as reservoirs of the disease for up to two years. During the summer of 2011, Matt also collected and tested the mouthparts of approximately 200 horse flies from these pastures. None of the ticks or horse flies tested positive for the parasite, an indication that risk from infection from these vectors was no longer a major concern at these locations. The final report on this research will be available in spring 2013. Funding for this research provided by Growing Forward.

Vaccinating calves using needle-free injection Traditionally, vaccines are administered with a needle and syringe. However, use of needles carries the risk of accidental needlesticks to producers, broken needle fragments in meat, and spreading blood-born infectious diseases. Needle-free injection devices (NFID) are being considered as alternatives to alleviate this risk. With NFID, vaccines are delivered via a high pressure stream that penetrates the skin to deposit the vaccine into the desired tissue. Dr. Kim Ominski and Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez‐ Lecompte, along with graduate student Michel Rey recently compared a NFID to traditional needle-syringe injections for vaccinating calves at two months of age against bovine viral diarrhea virus and Clostridium chauvoei (C. chauvoei) using commercially available vaccines. The study was conducted on two commercial farms with spring and fall born calves. Effectiveness was measured in terms of immune response, animal performance and presence of skin reactions at the injection site. Both the needle-free and traditional needle-syringe vaccination delivery

techniques were suitable for delivering both vaccines and were similar for both spring and fall born calves. Despite the presence of vaccine residue on some calves vaccinated using the NFID, antibody response was not compromised. Animal performance, measured as body weight; and immune response, measured by antibody levels; were similar with both techniques for both vaccines. Since a greater frequency of skin reactions at the injection site were found with the needle-free delivery technique, additional research is needed to determine any lasting impact on carcass quality and trimming losses. Recently, Michel Rey, a 2012 MBP Scholarship recipient, successfully defended his thesis on this project. Congratulations Michel! Research funding provided through Growing Forward.

Composting as a means of destroying the microorganism responsible for Johne’s disease in cattle Johne’s disease (JD) is a contagious and progressive wasting disease affecting ruminants, for which there is not a cure. Johne’s is caused by the bacterium

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), and is spread primarily through ingestion of feed or water contaminated with manure from infected animals. Both identification and eradication of JD from an infected herd are extremely challenging as the slowly progressive nature of the disease can delay the onset of clinical symptoms for years. MAP is difficult to destroy, surviving for extended periods within the environment. As such, proper disposal of infected animals is very important when trying to contain the spread of JD. Composting of carcasses can destroy pathogenic bacteria and viral pathogens. A biosecure, static composting system for large-scale cattle carcass disposal developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers in Lethbridge proved effective in rendering Campylobacter jejuni and Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria, as well as Newcastle disease virus, non-viable. More recently Dr. Kim Ominski and the late Dr. Denis Krause, along with graduate student Victoria Tkachuk, evaluated the capacity of this composting system to inactivate MAP when MAPinfected tissues were included alongside cattle carcasses.

INDUSTRY-RELATED RESEARCH REMAINS A PRIORITY FOR MBP MAUREEN COUSINS, MBP POLICY ANALYST Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) recognizes that investments in research help provide long-term dividends for our beef industry. Some research findings have a direct impact on the beef sector’s day-to-day operations, such as allowing for increased rates of gain, decreased levels of mortality, improved genetics, better animal handling methods, and overall cost savings per animal. When Canada’s beef industry is operating more efficiently, it also helps it

be more competitive in the global marketplace. This can result in better financial returns to members of the value chain. Having access to sound research is also critical during our lobby work with legislators and parliamentarians as they develop regulations and policies that impact you, the producer. These include transportation regulations, water quality legislation, nutrient management regulations, animal welfare policies and protection of species at risk.

Recognizing these factors, MBP has identified a series of research priorities. They include the benefits of livestock on the landscape, genomic and genetic research, animal care, and animal health. MBP is working with different partners across Manitoba and Canada to ensure research projects are undertaken in these areas and that this research is translated into beneficial management practices or new products that directly benefit the industry or research that

facilitates the public policy making process. Some of these partners involved in this process include: the Beef Cattle Research Council; the Beef Value Chain Roundtable; the University of Manitoba; Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (e.g., Brandon Research Station); Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, among others. In the accompanying article, Christine Rawluk, research development coordinator for the National Centre for Livestock and

Environment with the University of Manitoba, has provided an overview of some of the specific research projects in which MBP is currently involved. Future editions of Cattle Country will continue to provide you with detailed updates on research you help fund. For example, we shortly will be providing the results for the project “Developing a Strategy for Forage and Grassland Management in Manitoba through an Examination of the Multi-functionality of Forages.”

2013-01-26 9:52 AM


February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 13 The biosecure structure consisted of three cattle carcasses, straw and cattle manure surrounded by straw bales which were lined with plastic to prevent escape of any material produced during the composting process. After 250 days, MAP was still detectable, even though the composting process did proceed. However, optimal composting temperatures (40ËšC to 65ËšC) were not achieved, likely because the trial was started during a particularly cold period (average -25ËšC; -36ËšC with the windchill). The team is now working to see if MAP would be destroyed at higher temperatures, including exposure to 80°C for a prolonged period under controlled laboratory conditions. Funding provided by Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council (MRAC) and Livestock Stewardship Initiative.

GENETICS Residual Feed Intake Residual feed intake (RFI) is a measure of feed efficiency, with efficient or low RFI animals eating less than their expected feed requirements without compromising performance. Selecting for more efficient animals using RFI can add up to significant cost savings and a reduced environmental footprint. However, as this is a relatively new trait, questions remain as to how RFI may change depending on diet, environment and animal stage of life. University of Manitoba researchers have partnered with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, the University of Alberta, AAFC and WBDC and Livestock GenTec to answer these questions through a

western Canadian residual feed intake study. Working together, their goal is to determine if RFI measured in breeding stock can be used as an early indicator for improved lifetime fertility and productivity of beef cows under forage-based production systems in Western Canada. This comprehensive study looks at RFI ranking and re-ranking of young bulls based on diet, of heifers on pasture through first parity, and the relationship of heifer RFI ranking to lifetime reproductive efficiency as these heifers progress from first to fifth parity cows. Livestock GenTec is working with genetic material from RFI-ranked animals to better understand associations of RFI ranking with lifetime fertility and

productivity in beef cows. They are focusing on identifying biological and/ or genetic indicators that aid in early selecting for replacement heifers with above average lifetime fertility and productivity and reduced cost of production. The information from these studies will be used in the development and delivery of a “Beef Cattle Feed Efficiency� public education and outreach program, as well as a curriculum-based course for undergraduate and graduate students for use in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta universities and agriculture colleges. This research is supported by Manitoba and Alberta Beef Producers, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, Growing Forward, MRAC and ALMA.

LIVESTOCK AND THE ENVIRONMENT Benefits of livestock on the landscape The interconnectedness of cattle, the landscape and the environment is the focus of a number of research studies at the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. These include a comprehensive examination of greenhouse gas emissions from cow-calf production systems and how emissions are impacted by beneficial land and animal management practices; animal and pasture productivity under extensive winter grazing systems and the associated influence on the landscape; and the multifunctionality of grasslands, including socioeconomic value of goods and services from Manitoba grasslands.

Dr. Kim Ominski highlights some important considerations for pasture overwintering in the BCRC Research School video “Managing winter nutrition� released in January. Visit www.realagriculture. com/2013/01/beef-researchschool-what-you-need-toknow-about-winter-feeding. A new Sustainable Grassland Systems scientist will be joining the University of Manitoba’s Department of Animal Science this spring. We are also working with Manitoba Beef Producers and the Beef Cattle Research Council to further increase our capacity to build expertise and generate research in this critically important area. The National Centre for Livestock and the Environment will continue to provide regular updates on our research activities to Cattle Country.

March 7, 2013 Spring Creek Ranch, Moosomin, SK

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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Craig & Karla Davidson & Family

Brian McCarthy & Family

Box 2680, Virden, MB R0M 2C0 Ph: 204-761-5991 Website: www.blacksandcattle.com Email: craigd@blacksandcattle.com

Box 467, Moosomin, SK S0G 3N0 1I t $FMM Website: springcreeksimmentals.com Email: bmccarthy@rfnow.com

2013-01-26 9:52 AM


14 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP BULLIED ON THE FARM

BRENDA SCHOEPP

Tom* continues to work on the family farm that was established by his father. He has a loving wife and five school age children. Tom is getting long past the stage of waiting on dad to fulfill his commitments and comes to the realization that he is simply a free hired hand and that his brothers and sisters have no intention of coming back to help. To further complicate things, Tom feels pressured and belittled. He is tired and having health issues. Tom’s dad, Henry*, is disappointed that Tom takes time off work for his frequent health problems and to spend time with his family. He is a hard-working man who expects the same from his family and has little tolerance for slack. When Tom is there, Henry never misses a chance to remind him of his incompetence all the while increasing his expectations. Henry has a habit of failing to include Tom in important decisions or bank meetings. To make his position known, Henry lets the world know how lazy Tom is and how many mistakes he makes. Even if it is Henry who leaves the gate open, Mother and the coffee shop crew get to hear all about Tom’s error. Tom is being bullied. A recent study in Alberta regarding bullying in the workplace, including the farm, identified key areas of complaint. The top complaint was the inconsistency of policy or standards. In Tom’s situation, what Henry said and what he did were two different stories. A complete lack of protocols or a clear definition of expectations does not allow for clear communication. In this case, Tom will likely never get it right because he can not read Henry’s mind. Henry likes to ignore Tom when he does not feel like owning up to an issue or

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 14

when someone important is around. When Tom feels ignored, he is one of nearly fifty per cent of workers who feel the same way. Henry may not know it, but when he looks down at Tom and ignores his requests, or does not include him in decision making, this is a form of bullying. And when Henry does talk and he accuses Tom of mistakes, it makes Tom feel small and frustrated although he is reluctant to go against his father—because his father can fain fragility on cue. So Tom carries on, fixing behind dad and covering up

mistakes while living with the world thinking the mistakes are made by him. It is one thing to cover up for Henry but extremely stressful for Tom to be held responsible for Henry’s mistakes. To make things worse, Henry often accuses Tom of things he did not do, and many days are missed because Tom is too exhausted to cover any more. Some days are diamonds and some days are stones between Tom and Henry, but normally at least one-third of Tom’s day is spent under constant criticism. Tom is not alone as 36 per cent of the bullied workforce suffers the

barrage from a bad mouth. Not only is this form of criticism draining, it is also unconstructive. When Tom can not get out from under it and when he finally has had enough and addresses the situation in a positive way, Henry blows a fuse. If yelling was a national sport, Henry wins gold as he tears Tom down from head to foot, belittling his performance and taking the opportunity to attack him and his family. Last week, Tom’s brother came home with a fancy consultant to look at a watering design created by Tom. It could have been a good day, but Henry gave full credit to the brother and himself. Tom may have been momentarily speechless but he was far from dead. His delayed response was not pretty and Henry could not wait to gather some sympathy at the coffee shop within the hour. It not only broke Tom’s heart but he came to the realization that his dream of being on the family farm had simply vaporized. And so like so

many other men and women that are bullied, Tom simply quit, taking his belongings and his ever-patient family and moved to start a new life. This inspired Henry to ensure that Tom would never get a cent and to create chapters of new stories for the boys’ downtown. Bully behavior is a reality on the farm and a huge concern for workplace health. Unlike other careers, the farm tends to hold on to its people, even to the point of breaking, because they feel they have no place to go. But another place may be a safer, healthier, and less stressful place that gives you time to think and grow. If you are being bullied, please seek help from a trusted source. And what of Tom? Tom may have been bullied and emotionally bleeding but he was not down. Moving to a new community and starting again was hard, but he found himself and his family surrounded by loving and supportive people who did not have preconceived

expectations. In removing himself from his former workplace he was free to navigate his way to success and ensure his new farm had a positive environment, a clear mandate and a primary focus on relationships. The processes he put in place ensured that any member of the team could do the job, and do so joyfully. While Tom’s health and wealth improved, Henry was back on the home place hiring and firing, and trying to find someone as good as Tom. *Names have been changed. Brenda Schoepp is a Nuffield Scholar who travels extensively exploring agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor, she works with young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website www.brendaschoepp. com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2013.

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2013-01-26 9:52 AM


February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

THE BOTTOM LINE RICK WRIGHT

The optimism of the cattle feeding industry for 2013 is not for the faint of heart. Forecasts of lower beef production figures in 2013 and 2014 combined with projected lower feed grain prices have developed expectations for record cattle prices in all sectors. Although the fundamentals support record prices in the near future, those prices may not translate into record profits. First and foremost we need moisture and adequate growing conditions in the Mid Western U.S. and Western Canada for a record cattle year. Already we have seen corn and bean prices start to drop due to reports of bumper crops of soybeans in South America. Crude oil prices have dropped, lessening the corn demand for ethanol use. Export sales of corn are nearly half of the original projections which will leave reserve stocks from the 2012 crop higher than predicted. Corn prices have already dropped below $7 but still opened the year $1 per bushel higher than a year ago. If pasture conditions are average or above, producers will have more options on when they market their cattle and may retain more heifers to breed. Hay supplies are short in many areas and we need moisture to restock those feed inventories. The lack of moisture for grain and forage crops put

the brakes on what could have been a record year. There is the possibility of a replay on last year if Mother Nature does not co-operate. The supply/demand ratio will really come into play this year. The predictions over the past 18 months of a cattle shortage will become a reality in 2013. The cow herd in the U.S. is at a 50 year low. Beef production is expected to decline by 4.8 per cent in 2013 and an additional 4.5 per cent in 2014. The feeding industry in both Canada and the U.S. already has more pen space than cattle available to put into them, creating even more demand for the tight feeder cattle supplies. Some analysts are predicting $140 finished cattle for the last half of 2013. If you have inventory in place, that is good news, but if you are replacing inventory, it is easy to get caught in the upswing of the price cycle to levels that easily erode the potential profits from the higher finished prices. The main benefactor of tight cattle supplies will be the cow-calf sector as feeders and packers fight for inventory. The economy will be a major factor in the cattle prices this year. The Americans have come to an agreement on the “fiscal cliff ” discussions which brought some stability to the commodity markets. Previously, domestic consumer resistance to higher retail prices

tempered the market, but this year, with the weak American dollar, beef exports have the potential to play a much larger role. Consumers will have to get used to paying more due to tighter domestic supplies. Japan is considering changing the import requirements from 21 months to 30 months of age; this would certainly support higher prices and increase in exports. Despite the value of the dollar, I expect Americans will be strong supporters of the Canadian feeder cattle market. As in the past, they will set the floor price and have already offered contracts for 900 pound grass steers in Manitoba for September delivery at $1.40. I expect some producers to retain heifers and buy bred cows in an effort to rebuild the herd, which will short the feeder cattle supply even more. However, growth will be slow as there are still a lot of producers exiting the business and a lot of pasture land being torn up for grain production. Despite the potential prices, there is still a lot of work and cost to maintain a cow herd. The cost of equipment and infrastructure for today’s cow-calf producer

means that a 50 cow operation does not cut it anymore. The returns per cow, force the small producer out and the big to get bigger. As always, with big rewards come big risks and 2013 will be no different. If all the pieces of the puzzle fit, it will be very, very good for the cattlemen. The path to get there will be stressful, with daily changes in the futures, weather reports and world politics to contend with. Do not forget we are optimists; we would not be in the cattle business if we were not. On a sad note, the Manitoba cattle fraternity lost another good member in December. I was saddened to hear that Jim Hird of Treherne had passed away. Closed highways and icy roads kept many of us from attending his memorial; however, our thoughts were with the Hird family. Jim Hird was one of the first customers that I order bought cattle for, and over the years I bought the Hird family thousands of cattle, especially feeding cows and Holstein steers. Jim was a big supporter of MBP and the cattle business. His opinion and common sense approach was

always valuable at industry meetings. Jim Hird loved to farm, feed cattle and dicker on farm equipment. To me he was more than a customer, he was good friend. I had a great deal of respect for Jim. Plain and simple, Jim was a good guy and a

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“man of his word.” A deal was closed with a firm handshake, and through good times or bad Jim always kept his end of the deal. There are not many Jim Hirds left in the cattle business and that is too bad! Until next time, Rick.

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Your source for Elite Angus Genetics!

If you are a producer who has lost livestock as a result of an attack by a predator, the Problem Predator Management Program can help you at no cost.

How the program works If you have lost livestock as a result of an attack by a predator such as a coyote or a wolf, please register a claim with the nearest Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) insurance office. Once you receive a claim number verifying the attack, you may request the services of a trapper from the Manitoba Trappers Association (MTA) to remove the problem predator. Call MTA at 204-345-9107. The Predator Management Program covers attacks by wolves, coyotes and foxes.

To learn more For more information on the program, please contact the Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Office in your area or visit www.manitoba.ca/conservation/wildlife

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 15

Selling 70 Red & 40 Black Angus Yearling Bulls Selling 10 Red & 8 Black Angus 2 Year old Bulls

Many are AI sired & some are ET bulls Bulls semen tested & tested BVD PI negative Bulls on home performance test - data available Developed on a high forage TMR ration Selected from a group of 250 bulls Free delivery & free board till May 1 Delayed payment plan available CUP ultrasound data provided

Please join us for lunch 12:00 p.m. on Sale Day For more information or catalogues view us on line at hamcocattleco.com or contact us Dr. David Hamilton (204) 822-3054 (204) 325-3635 cell

Albert, Glen & Larissa Hamilton (204) 827-2358 (204) 526-0705 cell larissa_hamilton@hotmail.com

2013-01-26 9:52 AM


16 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

PROVINCE SEEKING FEEDBACK ON PROPOSED GREEN PROSPERITY ACT MAUREEN COUSINS, MBP POLICY ANALYST

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) will be providing feedback as the provincial government seeks public input on replacing its Sustainable Development Act with a proposed Green Prosperity Act. The 2009 Manitoba throne speech referred to modernizing the Sustainable Development Act. The matter was revisited in June 2012 when the provincial government unveiled TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan and said it would outright replace the act with green prosperity legislation. Manitoba’s Sustainable Development Act was proclaimed in 1998. Its stated purpose is “to create a framework through which sustainable development will be implemented in the provincial public sector and promoted in private industry and in society generally.”

Sustainable development is defined in the act as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The act contains principles and guidelines related to sustainable development. One of the key principles includes integration of environmental and economic decisions. The act states, “Economic decisions should adequately reflect environmental, human health and social effects.” Further, “Environmental and health initiatives should adequately take into account economic, human health and social consequences.” The consultation document notes the proposed Green Prosperity Act will still encompass the three pillars of sustainable development: environment, society and

economy. However, the focus will shift to environmental responsibility, both inside and outside of government. The stated rationale behind calling the proposed law a Green Prosperity Act is that it would “take the current use of the term sustainable development and bring it into a context that reflects the current and future direction of government, which is to create a green and prosperous society.” The new act is to incorporate the economic valuation of environmental goods and services (EG&S). However, the consultation document does not explain how this would be done or which EG&S would be considered. MBP will continue to seek assurances that beef producers receive financial recognition for the substantial ecosystem services they provide in managing Manitoba’s

working landscapes, including on both privately-held and publically-owned lands. Producers supply society with these services largely at their own cost with limited or no public remuneration for their capital and labour costs. It is time producers receive meaningful recognition for these contributions. The proposed Green Prosperity Act may incorporate new principles not in the Sustainable Development Act in areas like community economic development (CED) and social justice. Cited examples of CED include: human dignity, local ownership and decisionmaking, local knowledge and skill development, positive environmental impact, health and well-being, and, neighbourhood stability and community cohesion. Existing principles in the Sustainable Development

Act regarding stewardship may be eliminated and aspects integrated into a new section on social justice. This is explained as “A strong, healthy and just society, which promotes good governance, the rule of law, human rights and [where] social equality is the social basis for sustainability.” References in the existing Sustainable Development Act to the principles of environmental “enhancement”, “rehabilitation” and “reclamation” may be modified. For example, the act currently says Manitobans “should endeavor to repair damage to or degradation of the environment” and “should enhance the longterm productive capability, quality and capacity of natural ecosystems.” Instead, the principle of “resiliency” may be incorporated in the Green Prosperity

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Act. Proposed principles include that “Manitobans recognize that there is a limit to natural capital and a limit to the resiliency of natural system” and that “Manitobans make wise and efficient use of renewable and non-renewable resources.” The Green Prosperity Act could allow for sustainability agreements and initiatives with private sector agencies, industry and other parties to help advance sustainability. An example cited involves agreements with the forest industry on forestry practices. The new act “will define government’s goals and link all current and future activities and legislation related to environmental sustainability…such as the Climate Change and Emissions Reduction Act, the Environment Act, and the Water Protection Act.” Several pieces of older conservation-related legislation could be pulled together into one act. A co-ordinating body will be developed to ensure “a standardized and complimentary approach to implementing environmental sustainability across government departments.” Regarding the future of the Sustainable Development Innovations Fund, the consultation document says it could continue under a new name, with strategic priorities established in the act. Further, agreements with the private sector may be a source of funding for sustainability projects. The deadline for comments on the Green Prosperity Act is Feb. 28. For more details see: www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/greenprosperity Consultation workbook: www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/greenprosperity/pdf/ greenprosperityact_consultation_workbook.pdf Sustainable Development Act: web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/ statutes/ccsm/s270e.php Additional comments or questions can also be directed to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, 204945-7449 or toll-free 1-800214-6497. Email: greenprosperity@gov.mb.ca.

2013-01-26 9:52 AM


February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

THE NEW YEAR MARKS A GOOD TIME TO PLAN TERRY BETKER, P.AG., CAC

With 2012 behind us and won’t make the investment second farm had equity of 2013 already underway, it is a but they do provide more $5,000,000, the first farm good time to take a look at last context and information would be more profitable. year’s performance and make to help you make an inUnderstanding profitplans for the coming years. formed decision. ability is important when How do you get started? The questions above are future planning includes Time should be spent anaadditional investment. If specific to financial perlyzing financial, production your business reported formance. The questions and marketing performance. chronically low profitabil- below are more strategic This involves financial and ity (measured by return in nature. The answers are production ratios, along with on equity or return on quantified in financial peractual results from the marassets), would you invest formance over time. You ketplace compared to pre-dein it? Would you buy more should assume a five-year termined targets and costs of equipment? Expand the timeline and spend time production analysis. The inproductive base? Perhaps, thinking about how the formation is numbers and/or but before doing so, you questions will impact on formula driven, it is based on should determine why the your farm. ,SLJ[YPJ +YP]L 9VSSLY 4PSSZ ,JVUV 4PSSZ past year performance and it profitability is chronically 1. What is the most signifiThe most economical way to mill grain. ‡ /RZ SULFHG IRU VPDOO XVHUV is a relatively straightforward cant change you expect low and what can be done When you consider the cost of running ‡ 0DJQHW 6WDQG 'ULYH SXOOH\ exercise. in agriculture? to improve the performyour tractor and the manpower to operate ‡ EX KU FDS EDUOH\

It is more difficult to apply ance. In some instances, it 2. What innovation do you it you can see why our electric mills are ‡ 5HTXLUHV KS PRWRU the information contained in expect to implement may not justify any further the way to go. Available in 10 sizes in ca‡ 2SWLRQDO PRWRU prior years to the planning and at what cost, if apinvestment until the probpacities from 100 bu./ hr. to 800 bu./ hr. ‡ YROW SRZHU process in the long term, but plicable? lems are corrected. important nonetheless. To 3. If your operation has 3. What are the three bigmore effectively use the hisgest risks you will face? multiple enterprises, do torical analysis in planning for There are no right or you know what the profit the future, here are some of contribution is from each wrong answers to the questhe questions you need to ask. tions but they are importone? 1. Will your operating loan With multiple enterprise ant to ask. You should ask revolve (get paid to zero) farms, you can have one these questions annually as at some point during the enterprise that makes a well as record the discusyear? really positive contribu- sion for future reference. If it does, that’s a good tion to overall profit and The information (opinions thing because an operating another that is losing and discussion) should be loan is designed to revolve. money—with the net ef- factored into future-based If year over year there is fect being a farm that re- planning, whether it is long 7VY[HISL 7;6 4PSS ^ KYHN H\NLY a minimum level that it ports modest or unaccept- term (five years) or short doesn’t fall below, the farm able profit in total. There term (one year). technically has a noncan be reasons why a farm performing term loan. For might continue with an Terry Betker is a farm example, if a farmer has enterprise that has a poor management consultant an operating loan with an contribution. There can based in Winnipeg, Mani-(94,9: 79,40<4 ,8<074,5; approved upper limit of be a complementary fit toba. He can be reached at 7VY[HISL 7;6 4PSSZ ^ O`K \W H\NLY $300,000 but never gets it between them and, the 204-782-8200 or terry.bet)YHUKVU 4) below $100,000, the latter farmer might simply enjoy ker@backswath.com. is essentially a term loan doing the work associated with no scheduled princiwith the underperforming pal repayment. This scenenterprise. Worse though, ario can cause difficulties and common, is when the with cashflow (liquidity) farmer does not make the and in some instances, calculation and/or underadversely impact a lender stand the situation. In relationship. If you have these situations, decisions a non-revolving portion can end up being made of an operating loan, it is without enough detail on a good idea to look at opfinancial performance; tions for restructuring the decisions that sometimes liabilities of the farm. can have undesirable out2. Is your farm profitable? comes. This is a simple, but im- 4. How do you make capital portant question. Take investment decisions? the example of two farms. Most farmers will include One makes $100,000 year need, financial capability after year, and the other and availability or oppormakes $250,000. Which tunity in their decision one is more profitable? At making. Two additional first glance, it would apfactors that should be inpear to be the latter but cluded are return on the not necessarily. Profitabilinvestment and risk (when ity is a function of investthe investment includes ment. It depends on how additional debt, especially much investment it takes where there is no increase TOLL FREE 1-888-MB-ANGUS 1-888-622-6487 to achieve the net profit. in the productive asset In the example above, if base). Answers to the latthe first farm had equity ter two factors don’t neCheck out our web site www.mbangus.ca of $1,000,000 and the cessarily mean that you

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2013-01-26 9:53 AM


18 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

PROBLEM PREDATOR SERVICES FOR PRODUCERS

MANITOBA CONSERVATION AND WATER STEWARDSHIP, MANITOBA AGRICULTURAL SERVICES CORPORATION, AND THE MANITOBA TRAPPERS ASSOCIATION

FAMILY TRADITION BULL SALE Friday, March 15, 2013 * Free Board until May 1 * Delivery Available * Semen Tested 2:00 p.m. at Rolling D Farm 3 miles north of Dropmore, MB on PTH #482

View our catalogue online at www.familytraditionbullsale.com

Charolais Bulls 26 Yearlings 7 Two Year Olds

Simmental Bulls 10 Yearlings 1 Two Year Old

High Bluff Stock Farm Carman & Donna Jackson & family Inglis, MB Phone: (204) 564-2547 Cell: (204) 773-6648 email: jackson7@mymts.net

KOPP FARMS SIMMEMTALS Bull & Female Sale

Manitoba livestock producers lose a number of animals annually to predators such as coyotes and wolves. To assist producers in dealing with their losses, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship has enlisted the co-operation of the Manitoba Trappers Association (MTA) to provide

services to remove problem predators. MTA members have the experience to deliver an efficient and effective service that will benefit livestock producers. Livestock producers who have experienced loss of livestock to predators may register a claim with the nearest Manitoba

Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) insurance office. Producers can request the services of MTA at no cost, and MASC will provide the claimant with a claim number. The claimant may then contact MTA in Lac du Bonnet (1-204345-9107) for assistance in dealing with the predator problem.

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Following a report of a predator occurrence, MTA will assign a trapper to deal with the problem. Since funding is limited, trappers are limited to 24 hours to deal with a specific claim. The trapper will investigate the problem and utilize humane methods to remove the problem animal(s). In some cases, the period of time may be extended to effectively deal with a particular situation. Producers will also be provided with information that will minimize the potential for future predator problems. Producers participating in the project will be required to sign a “Waiver of Liability” releasing the trapper and MTA from damage to property or livestock that may occur during the time the problem is being addressed, and be required to keep livestock and pets controlled at all times when sets are placed on their property. Producers will be expected to implement suggested prevention measures and follow good livestock husbandry practices to minimize predation. Failure to accept these responsibilities may result in the producer being denied additional control services. Producers experiencing losses to predators can contact their nearest MASC insurance office to register a compensation claim and to acquire a claim number to deal with the problem predator(s). The insurance office will advise the producer about the program and have the producer contact MTA if problem predator removal assistance is required.

2013-01-26 9:53 AM


February 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU ADRIANA BARROS, PHEc

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 19

vegetables that are breaded or served in gravy. When purchasing canned fruits, avoid the ones that are packaged in syrup; fruit is nature’s candy and it is naturally sweet. Look closely at the sugar content in frozen entrees, dairy, pasta or stirfry sauces, puddings, granola and popular lunchbox snacks for kids. Always quench your thirst with water. Filling up on water is the best way to stay hydrated. Our bodies naturally lose water throughout the day and night through breathing, speaking and perspiring. Avoid headaches and feeling lethargic by staying well hydrated and aim for eight glasses of liquid per day. In the morning, drink a full glass of water before your routine java fix. Carry a refillable water bottle; pick a bottle that reflects your personal style so this way you will want it by your side all day. Avoid empty calories found in high sugar soft drinks, even diet sodas are said to increase cravings for sweet foods after consumption. A nine-and-a-half year study measuring growth in waist circumference in those who consumed diet soda saw a 70 per cent increase in waist circumference (Lieberman, 2011). Instead of soft drinks, choose lemon water, green tea or soda water. Watch out for fruit juices that are high in sugar and low in fiber and if you must have fruit juice, try diluting it with water. Limit alcohol consumption to two to three drinks per week. The average 750 millilitre bottle of red wine contains 635 calories and a 750 millilitre bottle of white wine contains 600 calories. Sharing one bottle of wine over dinner increases your calorie intake quickly. Another helpful idea is to incorporate super foods into every snack and meal. They are foods which are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They fuel us with energy and help rebuild tired muscles, repair damaged cells and keep us feeling young. What you need to do is keep your meal and snack plates colourful, and leafy greens and bright orange colours are a great place to start. Add proteins to a meal by

incorporating lean meats into salads, sandwiches and entrees. Most beef cuts are lean if they are trimmed before and after cooking. If you want the leanest steaks and roasts, stick to round and sirloin tip cuts. Fats, however, are needed in our diets to leave our bodies feeling satisfied and they are required to absorb certain vitamins. Specifically, we need unsaturated fats to digest and absorb vitamins A, D, K and E. That is why oil-based vinaigrettes are important on salads. Not only do fats deliver flavour, when choosing the right fats they make for good additions of omega-3, 6 and,9 fatty acids to our diet. Choose canola, sesame or olive oil, also try adding oil rich foods to salads like avocado, walnuts, almonds or coconut. Watch out for full fat salad dressings. The calories add up quickly if using more than one tablespoon. Read the nutrition information before buying appetizing entrees found either frozen or from a delicatessen. They are often loaded with saturated fats like bacon, butter, lard and salts, leaving any prospect of a healthy vegetable within the dish void of any vitamins or antioxidants. Finally, eat all day long. Eating small meals throughout the day is best for your metabolism and to maintain a steady weight. Keeping your inner furnace running helps prevent your body from storing unnecessary fats. When a meal is skipped, our bodies panic and start storing fats; this is called starvation mode. Our bodies do this to ensure they can survive until the next meal; humans have been programmed this way. When you are away from home during the day, pack enough meals and snacks to get you through. This way, healthy food is always at your finger tips. Great snacks to pack are whole fruits, cut-up vegetables, mixed nuts, dried fruit, low-fat dairy or nut butters. Stay away from those empty calorie foods like potato chips, candies and chocolate bars. Healthy eating simply requires planning and being conscious of what is being ingested. There are

moments when we may seem too busy to prepare a healthy, wholesome meal. When those times come, before hitting the drivethrough window, think about healthy options at the grocery store, such as stir-fry beef strips that are already cut up and ready to buy. This month’s featured recipe is a Beef Noodle

Bowl courtesy of Canada Beef Inc. These stir-fry strips cook very quickly, making this meal quick and easy to prepare. Remember to always check your local meat department for convenience beef cuts such as stir-fry strips and small weekday roasts. Happy heart month, keep yours healthy.

Works Cited Health Canada. (2012, June). Guidance for the Food Industry on Reducing Sodium in Processed Foods. Retrieved 01/05/13, from Health Canada: www. hc-sc.gc.ca Lieberman, B. (2011, July 7). The Truth About Diet Soda. Retrieved 01/07/13, from Men’s Health News: news.menshealth.com CANADA BEEF INC.

This year, let’s focus on making small changes to improve our health and heart, rather than daunting weight-loss goals. Revamp your diet and self by eating better, choosing the right items at the grocery store and starting 2013 year on the right foot. Grocery stores have made convenience food widely available. Once in a while everyone needs help with meal ideas, and prepackaged items are a simple solution. Realistically, in-between work, school, kids and spouses, finding the time to prepare a meal from scratch can seem impossible. Here are five healthy suggestions for meal time and what items to be wary of when grocery shopping. Limit large amounts of salt that are usually found in processed foods. Salt is a common ingredient found in almost every entree, packaged item and sauce. Not only is salt used to preserve packaged items, it is also a silent killer leading to heart disease. Make smart choices at the grocery store. Choose canned goods which are low in sodium. Most canned vegetables and pulses have low sodium options or can easily be thoroughly rinsed before being used. The average sodium intakes by Canadians in 2012 were measured at 3400 milligrams per day. Health Canada would like to lower that amount to 2300 milligrams per day by 2016. (Health Canada, 2012). Make sure to check the sodium in crackers, sauces, soups, potato chips and deli meats. Salt on food labels may be listed as table salt, sodium chloride, sodium monochloride, sodium nitrate, sodium bicarbonate and soy sauce. The second suggestion is to be sugar smart. Think critically about all health claims seen at the grocery store. Often when low carbohydrate claims are made there is sometimes an increase in sugar or fat content or vice versa. This makes some convenience prepackaged foods tricky. A tip is to stick to foods with short ingredient lists and foods which are minimally processed. Choose low fat and sugar dairy products, and limit choices of

BEEF NOODLE BOWL ¼ cup (50 mL) soy sauce

sodium-reduced

1 tbsp (15 mL) Asian chili sauce 12 oz (375 g) Beef Stir-Fry Strips or 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick Beef Grilling Steak (Top Sirloin or Strip Loin), cut into thin slices 5 cup (1.25 L) chicken stock

sodium-reduced

3 slices (1/4-inch /5 mm thick) ginger root

2 cup (500 mL) sliced bok choy or spinach leaves Half a 350 g pkg refrigerated fresh steamed chow mein noodles ¼ cup (50 mL) EACH slivered sweet red pepper or carrot and diced green beans Chopped green onion and fresh cilantro Sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced 1. Combine soy sauce and chili sauce in large sealable freezer bag. Add beef strips and set aside. Combine stock, ginger root and garlic in stock pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 2. Stir in bok choy and noodles; return to simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Add beef and its marinade; return to simmer and cook for 3 minutes or until beef is just pink inside and noodles are tender. 3. Transfer about 1 cup (250 mL) noodles, meat and bok choy with tongs to each of 4 soup bowls. Top each with red pepper, green beans, onion and cilantro to taste and about 1 cup (250 mL) of the hot broth. Finish each with a few drops of sesame oil.

2013-01-26 9:53 AM


20 CATTLE COUNTRY February 2013

MANITOBA YOUTH WIN PUREBREAD HEIFERS SUBMITTED

MANITOBA PRODUCER AWARDED NUFFIELD SCHOLARSHIP

KELVIN HEPPNER, GOLDEN WEST RADIO A prestigious Nuffield scholarship has been awarded to a farmer from southwest Manitoba. Clayton Robins of the Rivers area is one of three 2013 scholars in Canada. He operates a mixed family farm near Rivers, Man., and is also executive director of the Manitoba 4-H Council. “It’s kind of overwhelming,” says Robins. “It’s been described to me by the ones who have been through it as a lifechanging experience, so I’m really encouraged.” The Nuffield Program aims to foster agricultural leadership and personal development through international study. Each scholar chooses a topic to research as part of their mandatory ten weeks of travel. Robins will be studying how to improve beef cattle performance by optimizing intake of dense energy forages. “I’ll be looking at the water-soluble carbohydrate concentration of forage plants, or simple sugars, and how increasing that sugar content

Jared Preston

Kolton McIntosh Rachel Howatt

Nuffield Scholar Clayton Robins

could lead to improved performance of beef cattle, and hopefully displace some time in feedlot,” he explains. There are many parallels between the 4-H and Nuffield programs, says Robins. “The Nuffield is a program about leadership development, which is the same model as 4-H. It’s just that the Nuffield takes it to a much larger scale and is truly global

in scope,” he says. “I consider myself to be very fortunate to be part of these two very prestigious programs.” Robins will be travelling to Argentina, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. He plans on conducting his international research after the national 4-H centennial celebrations, which will be held in Winnipeg and Roland at the end of May 2013.

The other two 2013 Nuffield Canada scholars are both from Ontario. Gayl Creutzberg of Wroxeter, Ont. will be looking at whether traditional food growing practices can help re-balance diets, strengthen local economies and create quality jobs. Blake Vince of Merlin, Ont. will research cover crops and the risks of cellulosic energy. For more information, visit nuffield.ca.

MANITOBAN WINS NATIONAL 4-H AND YOUTH JUDGING COMPETITION

00343.Cattle_Country_Feb_12.indd 20

purpose of starting their own purebred herd. More funds were raised at auctions during Manitoba Beef Producers’ annual meetings in 2010 and 2011, making it possible to continue this worthwhile cause in his memory. Grant invested a lot of energy in actively helping youth get started in the business and this seemed the most fitting way to utilize the funds. Over 20 applicants submitted essays, making the selection exceptionally difficult. The participants were evaluated on desire, need and previous expression of interest in the industry. The Grant Moffat Herdbuilder Awards will be presented again in 2013, with the application deadline being September 1, 2013. For application and donation information, visit www.grantmoffat.com.

CANADIAN WESTERN AGRIBITION It was an eventful week for Manitoba’s Megan Kemp at Canadian Western Agribition 2012. Kemp won Grand Aggregate in the 2012 Canadian National 4-H and Youth Judging Competition. Kemp, of Pilot Mound, Man., received a $2,500 scholarship, an opportunity to judge at the First Lady Classic and a buckle. She represented the Manitoba Youth Beef Roundup Team. A total of 57 youth from across Canada competed in the Canadian National 4-H and Youth Judging Competition. Competitors judged multiple species of livestock by examining, analyzing and explaining the market qualities of the livestock. Kemp was one of three

Megan Kemp receives her award from John Deere representatives at Agribition.

young 4-H stars of the agriculture industry who were presented with a scholarship. Kelsey Dale of Saskatoon, Sask. won second place receiving a $1,250 scholarship and Becky Domolewski of Taber, Alta. won third place receiving a

$750 scholarship, both awarded by John Deere. The award recipients were introduced and recognized during an awards breakfast at Canadian Western Agribition. Congratulations to all of the competitors and scholarship recipients.

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The 2012 Grant Moffat Herdbuilder Awards have been announced. Award recipients included Jared Preston, 17, from Ste. Rose du Lac, Man., Kolton McIntosh, 17, of Eriksdale, Man., and Rachel Howatt, 15, from Manitou. Each recipient was awarded up to $2,000 toward the purchase of a heifer calf selected from a Manitoba purebred sale. Jared Preston purchased a Charolais heifer, Kolton McIntosh selected a Simmental heifer and Rachel Howatt chose a Red Angus heifer. Grant Moffat, of Holmsyde Charolais in Forrest, Man., went missing in August, 2006. The funds generously donated by cattlemen, friends and relatives across the country were offered as a reward for tips leading to his whereabouts. After a year, a committee handling the funds made a decision to channel the money to Manitoba youth for the

2013-01-26 9:53 AM


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

VOL. 16 NO. 2 MARCH 2013

CANADA’S BEEF INDUSTRY NEARLY RECOVERED POST-BSE RON FRIESEN

Canada–since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Originally, Unrau expected it would take five years for the industry to recover from the aftershocks of BSE. Now it’s 10 years and counting. The impact would have been less severe had Canada not been such a large beef exporter. In 1980, only seven per cent of Canada’s beef production was sold outside the country. But the industry underwent a major shift during the 1980s and 1990s to become hugely export-oriented. In 2002, just before the BSE crash, Canada exported 69 per cent of all the beef and live cattle it produced. Eightyseven per cent of that volume went to the U.S. With export markets closed, producers were

faced with a mountain of beef and insufficient sales. Canadian consumers admirably stepped up to the plate in what practically became a civic duty to eat beef. But even though beef consumption increased in Canada–the only nation in which that happened after the discovery of BSE–there was no way the country could eat itself out of the crisis. International markets gradually re-opened but the pace was frustratingly slow. It wasn’t until late January 2013 that Japan, one of Canada largest pre-BSE beef customers, agreed to accept Canadian beef shipments from animals under 30 months of age (UTM). Previously, the Asian country would only accept

beef older than 30 months (OTM). Canada’s overall international beef market access has still not fully recovered to pre-BSE levels. The post-BSE hangover is reflected in Canada’s cattle numbers. According to Statistics Canada, cattle and calf inventories on Canadian farms as of July 1, 2012 were the lowest since 1994. After producers managed to sell surplus animals in the years immediately following 2003, herd liquidation accelerated and some farmers left the cattle business altogether. Although BSE was the biggest challenge facing cattle producers over the past decade, it was far from the only one. The U.S. country-oforigin food labeling rule

(COOL) hit the beef industry hard, just as exports to Canada’s biggest market were starting to recover. The rule, requiring meat sold at retail to be labeled as to its country of origin, forced U.S. packing plants to segregate American animals from Canadian ones in order to comply. Packers passed on their extra costs in the form of lower prices, causing losses to Canadian exporters in the millions of dollars. Other packers simply refused to accept imported animals in order to avoid the hassle and expense of segregating them. As if COOL weren’t bad enough, the robust Canadian loonie, currently trading above par against the U.S. greenback, has depressed returns from cattle and beef export sales for years.

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

E

ver since that black day in May 2003 when the discovery of an Alberta cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) nearly destroyed Canada’s beef industry, producers have waited and longed for a recovery. Now, nearly 10 years on, it may finally be here. Cattle prices are strong once again, international markets have nearly been restored and producers are finally seeing positive financial margins. “I’m confident that we’ve finally turned the corner,” said Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager, during the association’s recent annual general meeting in Brandon. Others are a bit more cautious. “We have recovered but not 100 per cent,” said Martin Unrau, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president. “The hangover from the BSE situation is still here.” Producers remember vividly how BSE hit the industry like a thunderbolt. Overnight, international borders slammed shut to Canadian beef exports. Packing plants slashed slaughter numbers and laid off staff. Feedlots were stuck with fat cattle that could not be sold. Cattle without a final destination backed up on farms and ranches across Canada. Market prices collapsed. Cows became almost worthless at 15 to 20 cents a pound. Industry officials at the time called it the single greatest catastrophe to hit the beef sector– perhaps even all of rural


2

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

Martin Unrau

A more recent blow to the cattle sector was last year’s crippling drought in the U.S. Midwest, which sent feed grain prices soaring and cut deep into producers’ bottom lines. Grain makes up roughly 60 per cent of the cost of fattening an animal to slaughter weight.

Here at home, producers were hurt by overland flooding in 2011 which severely damaged grazing land, especially around the lower Lake Manitoba basin. MBP continues to press the provincial government for on-going compensation to flood-ravaged cattle producers, whose pastures may take years to recover. Besides Lake Manitoba, flood-affected areas include the Interlake region, the Shoal Lakes area and land in the Assiniboine River valley below the Shellmouth Dam. At the other extreme, a prolonged drought in southwestern Manitoba has created serious feed shortages in some areas.

But there are signs of brighter times ahead. Statistics Canada notes the number of beef replacement heifers last summer rose 3.5 per cent, indicating that herd liquidation has bottomed out and producers are retaining more heifers on farms. That means herd numbers should start to increase in a year or two. “I think there’s opportunity for growth in the beef industry again,� Unrau said. “There’s a few things in the

way–higher feed prices are giving us a bit of a hard time. But I think when this levels off, we’ll be in a position for growth.� Dahl said he was heartened to see an increasing number of younger producers under 40 years of age at MBP district meetings last fall–a possible sign of a new generation of beef producers coming on stream. Also encouraging is a promise in the upcoming five-year Growing Forward

2 agricultural policy framework for a long-awaited livestock insurance program. The new federalprovincial agreement also emphasizes innovation, competitiveness and market development–terms which ring like music in the ears of market-oriented beef producers. It’s true that BSE left a lot of blood on the table in the form of decreased sales, lost income and emotional stress. Some producers did

indeed leave the industry. But cattle producers are a tough, resilient lot. Most of them hung in there and are starting to regroup, now that market signs are pointing in the right direction. “I think we are going to see some stability. There’s still optimism for folks that are in the industry,� said Ray Armbruster, MBP’s outgoing president. “The industry is going to come back. It’s going to rebuild.�

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DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

R.M. of Albert, Cameron, Whitewater, Edward, Brenda, Winchester, Morton

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwall, Oakland, South Cypress, Victoria, South Norfolk

R.M. of Woodlands, Rockwood, St. Andrews, Rosser, St. Francis Xavier, Springfield, Tache, Whitemouth, Lac du Bonnet, Brokenhead, St. Clements, LGD of Aleander, Pinawa

R.M. of Shell River, Shell Mouth, Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin, LGD Park

R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

R.M. of Riverside, Strathcona, Argyle, Lorne, Turtle Mountain, Roblin, Louise, Pembina

RAMONA BLYTH - SECRETARY

DISTRICT 6

TREVOR ATCHISON - PRESIDENT

R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

R.M. of Portage La Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, Dufferin, Thompson, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland, Montcalm

R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard

CHERYL MCPHERSON

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER - VICE PRESIDENT

R.M. of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

GLEN CAMPBELL

R.M. of Harrison, Clan William, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Landgford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

VACANT

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, R.M. of Fisher, Armstront

DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Caldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

R.M. of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa

BEN FOX

STAN FOSTER

RAY ARMBRUSTER - PAST PRESIDENT

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Deb Walger

154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

POLICY ANALYST

Maureen Cousins

Kristen Lucyshyn

FINANCE

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT LacĂŠ Hurst

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Kirby Gilman


March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

MBP THANKS THE GENEROUS SPONSORS OF THE 34TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: DIAMOND LUNCH PLATINUM BANQUET BEEF SPONSOR

COCKTAIL HOUR SPONSOR GOLD

Allflex Canada & Kane Veterinary Supplies Boehringer-Ingelheim Elanco Animal Health Farm Business Consultants Feed-Rite

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Manitoba Hereford Association

Landmark Feeds

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Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation

MNP

Manitoba Angus Association

730 CKDM

Manitoba Charolais Association

880 CKLQ

Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation

Viterra

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SILVER

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Austin Credit Union

Mansfield’s Western Shop Ltd.

Canadian Cattle Identification Agency

RBC Royal Bank - Brandon

CIBC

Paddock Drilling Ltd.

Cattlex Ltd.

The Hartford

Central Grain

Portage Mutual Insurance

Harvest Salvage

TD Canada Trust

Dairy Farmers of Manitoba

TRADESHOW PARTICIPANTS

Allflex Canada & Kane Veterinary Supplies bioTrack Livestock Management System Boehringer-Ingelheim Elanco Animal Health

Farm Business Consultants Feed-Rite

Horizon Livestock & Poultry Supply Invasive Species Council of Manitoba Landmark Feeds

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation

Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance

Manitoba Angus Association

Sterling Truck & Trailers Sales Ltd.

Manitoba Charolais Association Manitoba Forage Council Manitoba Hereford Association

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3


4

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

MBP THANKS OUR AGM SPEAKERS FOR MAKING THE MEETING A SUCCESS!

Grace Schriemer, Schriemer Family Farm, spoke on Labour Issues

Scott McKinnon, Canfax, provided a Canfax Update

Mike Lesiuk, MAFRI, presented a review of Price Insurance

Murray Flaten, MAFRI, presented a review of Price Insurance

Marlin Beever, MBP, provided workshops on the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) and Biosecurity

Jim Bambridge, Farm Credit Canada, spoke on Agriculture More Than Ever

Arnthor Jonasson, Resolutions Chair

Hon. Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, brought greetings on behalf of the province at the President’s Banquet

The Expert Panel on Animal Welfare L to R: Dr. Joseph Stookey, Animal Care Researcher; Dr. Jim Clark, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Ryder Lee, National Farm Animal Care Council; Scott Entz, Cargill Meat Solutions; and Panel Chair Neil Watson from Zoetis.

Dr. Allan Preston, TB Co-ordinator, provided an update for producers

National Organization Updates Mark Elford, Director, Canadian Cattle Identification Agency

National Organization Updates Larry Schweitzer, Director, National Cattle Feeders’ Association

National Organization Updates Martin Unrau, President, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

National Organization Updates Chuck MacLean, Chair, Canada Beef Inc.


March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

MBP MEETING SHOWCASES MAJOR AWARDS RON FRIESEN

Retiring Directors (l to r): Ray Armbruster, Kim Crandall, and Mac McRae. Missing: Brad McDonald

Marlin Beever is flanked by Hon. Gord Mackintosh (left) and Ray Armbruster

A

wards given for meritorious service and environmental stewardship highlighted the Manitoba Beef Producers annual general meeting in Brandon February 7 to 8. Marlin Beever, a former MBP president, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his long-standing contributions to the beef industry. JV Ranch, owned by Hylife Ltd. of La Broquerie, was the provincial winner of The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) for outstanding conservation practices. Ray Armbruster, MBP’s outgoing president, presented the awards during the President’s Banquet held in the evening of Feb. 7. Beever, who operates a cow-calf operation with his wife Eleanor on the family farm near Rivers, received the medal for his direction and leadership in the industry over the years. Beever is a long-time MBP director who came on the board in 1990 and remained until 2001. He served nationally with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and sat on many committees, including the CCA executive. Following his term as MBP past president, the board created a director at large position to accommodate a retiring director who has national responsibilities. In 2001, Beever was elected chair of the Beef Cattle Marketing, Promotion and Research Committee, better known as National CheckOff, serving until 2011. He was also a member of the working group formed to merge National Check-Off,

Beef Information Centre and Canada Beef Export Federation into Canada Beef Inc. Active in his community, Beever served as reeve of the RM of Daly from 1992 to 2002. He and his wife have two children, Rhian and Thomas. Beever received his award through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association after MBP nominated him. JV Ranch was the Manitoba winner of the TESA

award for natural resource stewardship practices which contribute to the environment while enhancing productivity and profitability. Each province awards TESA annually to a deserving producer. A national winner is announced at the CCA’s semiannual meeting, to be held this year in London, Ontario August 13 to 16. In presenting the award, Armbruster said JV Ranch “has made significant

progress in maintaining a practical management system that provides positive financial gains, as well as protecting the natural environment.” Some examples include: the use of intensive grazing to increase the number of pounds of gain per acre while allowing for better land use; increased pasture differentiation through the use of cross fencing; and selective winter feeding to

help avoid excessive nutrient build-up. Heinz Reimer accepted the award on behalf of JV Ranch. Financial statements presented at the meeting showed MBP ended 2012 with a $6,875 surplus after earlier projecting a $47,500 deficit. Treasurer Theresa Zuk said the association ended 2012 in the black after some significant cost-cutting,

which included scaling back face-to-face meetings, conducting more conference calls and not filling a vacancy for the field representative’s position. But Zuk pointed out check-off revenue from cattle sales was down 20 per cent during the first six months of the fiscal year because of a shrinking beef herd. She warned that the association needs to consider new sources of revenue, since

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

Heinz Reimer of JV Ranch with the TESA

further cutbacks will be difficult. Trevor Atchison (District 6) is MBP’s new president, replacing retiring president Ray Armbruster (District 7). The new first vice-president is Heinz Reimer (District 4), who succeeds retiring VP Mac McRae (District 9). New on the MBP board of directors are: Larry Gerelus, District 7 (replacing Armbruster); Cheryl McPherson, District 3 (replacing Brad McDonald); Ben Fox, District 13 (replacing Kim Crandall). A replacement for McRae in District 9 has yet to be named.

MBP members debated 40 resolutions during the two-day meeting. Resolutions passed at the annual meeting become association policy. The resolutions generating the most discussion involved the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council, which collects a refundable $2 a head levy on cattle sales in the province. Proceeds go toward the development of federally inspected beef slaughter capacity in Manitoba. Members passed a resolution calling on the province to end the check-off. Another resolution asked that MCEC

funds go toward facilities in rural Manitoba, not in Winnipeg. A third resolution demanded producers not be held liable for losses incurred by processing plants funded by MCEC. Members defeated a related motion asking that any MCEC check-off money remaining after the levy ceases go into an assurance fund to protect producers from livestock dealer bankruptcies. But they passed another motion to investigate establishing such a fund, similar to ones in Alberta and Ontario. The meeting adopted two resolutions on Crown land. One asked that leases for agricultural Crown land be transferrable to other agricultural operations without being opened up to other parties. The second requested that Crown land previously used for agriculture and since returned to the Crown be reinstated for agricultural use. The aftermath of flooding in 2011 figured in several resolutions adopted at the meeting. One called for a program to compensate flooded producers for lost pasture and forage production in 2012. Another demanded compensation for damage from “artificial flooding” caused by the Shellmouth Dam and the Portage Diversion. About 150 producers registered to attend the meeting.

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March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

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OUTCOME OF RESOLUTIONS SESSIONS AT MBP’S 34TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

Mover: Bill Finney Seconder: Bill Murray Outcome: CARRIED 16. Be it resolved that MBP lobby the Government of Manitoba for the establishment of a provincial agriculture Ombudsman. Mover: Glen Franklin Seconder: Greg Johnson Outcome: CARRIED

Bovine Tuberculosis

T

he following resolutions were presented for debate at MBP’s 34th annual general meeting. The resolutions were either passed at MBP’s 2012 fall district meetings or received as late resolutions. Of the 40 resolutions that came forward, 30 were carried, six were defeated and four did not proceed to debate (no mover and/or no seconder).

Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council

lobby the Government of Manitoba to end the and MCEC check-off and turn any surplus funds into an assurance fund to protect producers in the event of livestock dealer bankruptcy. Mover: Ramona Blyth Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: DEFEATED 5. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers investigate the establishment of an assurance fund, similar to the programs in Alberta and Ontario, to be established by a check-off from both producers and dealers. Mover: Mac McRae Seconder: Greg Johnson Outcome: CARRIED

1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to direct MCEC funds, both producer and provincial contributions, to a federal slaughter facility outside the city of Winnipeg. 6. Be it resolved that Mover: Heinz Reimer Manitoba Beef Producers Seconder: Richard Carr investigate a third party Outcome: CARRIED “dealer credit rating program” that would rest 2. Be it resolved that upon voluntary particiManitoba Beef Produc- pation by Manitoba liveers lobby to have beef stock dealers. producers in Manitoba Mover: No mover/not insulated from, and not debated be liable for, any losses incurred by processing Crown Lands plants owned or operated 7. Be it resolved that Manby MCEC. itoba Beef Producers lobby Mover: Glen Campbell the Government of ManiSeconder: Trevor Atchison toba to ensure that leases Outcome: CARRIED for agricultural Crown land 3. Be it resolved that be transferrable, including Manitoba Beef Producers intergenerational transfers, lobby that the Government to other agricultural operaof Manitoba end the MCEC tions without being opened check-off. to third party interests. Mover: Glen Campbell Mover: Theresa Zuk Seconder: Greg Johnson Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED Outcome: CARRIED

Dealer Defaults/ Assurance Programs

8. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers 4. Be it resolved that lobby the Government of Manitoba Beef Producers Manitoba to re-evaluate past

agricultural Crown land which has been returned to the Crown to be re-instated for agricultural use. Mover: Theresa Zuk Seconder: Trevor Atchison Outcome: CARRIED

Domestic Agriculture Programs

9. Whereas wildfires have devastated southern Manitoba for the last two years; and Whereas there are 36,000 acres owned by Nature Conservancy Canada that is not grazed, in addition to ungrazed Crown land, that present significant fuel for future wildfires. NOTE: The resolution was amended to delete this paragraph. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby to have the Disaster Financial Assistance Act amended to ensure that fence lines are covered in the event that they are damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster. Mover: Heinz Reimer Seconder: Richard Carr Outcome: CARRIED The friendly amendment was moved by Heinz Reimer and seconded by Trevor Atchison. 10. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby to have AgriStability removed as a required backstop to the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program. Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Ray Armbruster Outcome: CARRIED 11. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to compensate affected landowners for the

17. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to lobby the Government of Manitoba to pay a mustering fee to producers who test their herds for bovine TB. losses incurred for the ben- Mover: Ray Armbruster efit of the major centres, irri- Seconder: Glen Campbell gators, and Manitoba Hydro. Outcome: CARRIED Mover: Ray Armbruster Seconder: Trevor Atchison 18. Be it resolved that Outcome: CARRIED MBP continue to lobby for 12. Be it resolved that a mustering fee of $15/head Manitoba Beef Produc- for producers required to ers lobby the Government participate in bovine tuberof Manitoba to have pro- culosis testing. grams that include loss Mover: Ben Fox of 2012 production for Seconder: Ray Armbruster both pasture and forage Outcome: CARRIED on land impacted by the 2011 flood (this would be Environment in addition to transporta19. Be it resolved Manition and forage shortfall toba Beef Producers lobby compensation). Manitoba Conservation Mover: Jackie Jonasson and Water Stewardship to Seconder: Caron Clarke take responsibility for waOutcome: CARRIED ter holes and dugouts on private land that have been 13. Be it resolved that contaminated by waterManitoba Beef Producers fowl. lobby the Government of Mover: No mover/not Manitoba and the Govern- debated ment of Canada to amend AgriStability to include the AgriRecovery payments in an operation’s eligible income for the purpose of margin calculation. Mover: Caron Clarke Seconder: Stewart Tataryn Outcome: CARRIED

20. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to re-institute a refundable deposit for beverage containers in order to preserve rural Manitoba. Mover: Trevor Atchison Seconder: Ben Fox Outcome: CARRIED 21. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby to have the Government of Manitoba increase the limits and season on Canada geese to better control the population. Mover: Trevor Atchison Seconder: Dave Koslowsky Outcome: CARRIED

Production Management

22. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers work to have traceability driven by market forces and not directed by governments. Mover: Gord Ransom Seconder: Trevor Atchison Outcome: DEFEATED 23. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby MASC to ensure that the representation on the Board of Directors is representative of all regions of the province of Manitoba (specifically the rural municipalities of Piney, Stuartburn and La Broquerie). Mover: No mover/not debated

Supporting local agriculture.

14. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby government to ensure that beef producers can have access to Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program without enrollment in the AgriStability program. Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: No seconder/not debated 15. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby for ongoing loss of production in 2012 (and in subsequent years) on land flooded in the spring of 2011.

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CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

24. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers encourage producers to be aware of the insurance status of their fence lines and also to lobby insurance companies to cover fence lines. Mover: Heinz Reimer Seconder: Trevor Atchison Outcome: CARRIED

26. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby for the registration of more effective strychninebased gopher control products (e.g. Gopher Cop). Mover: Ray Armbruster Seconder: Tyler Fulton Outcome: CARRIED 27. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby for assistance in the reclamation of land flooded in 2011 (including but not limited to fences, forage restoration, etc.). Mover: Mac McRae Seconder: Caron Clarke Outcome: CARRIED

Manitoba to ensure that land purchased under the Shoal Lakes buyout program remain available for agricultural use. Mover: Stewart Tataryn Seconder: Ray Armbruster Outcome: CARRIED 29. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to address and remove problem beavers on both private and agricultural Crown land. Mover: Caron Clarke Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED

producers have the right to a system of arbitration for CFIA decisions. Mover: Ben Fox Seconder: Glen Metner Outcome: CARRIED

by Fred Tait, seconded by Heinz Reimer. The vote to debate the amended resolution was carried, but the vote on the amended resolution was defeated.

Transportation

35. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby against mandatory membership in general farm organizations. Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Ray Armbruster Outcome: CARRIED

31. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to amend the “over length” regulations to include hay and straw farm trailers (the same as other farm implements). Mover: Heinz Reimer Seconder: Bill Murray Outcome: CARRIED

25. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers work to ensure that feedlot operators are not further disadvantaged by horned and non-castrated animals, especially after the adoption of the revised Beef Code of 32. Be it resolved that Practice. 30. Be it resolved that Mover: Trevor Atchison 28. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers Manitoba Beef Producers Seconder: Michael Decock Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal govern- investigate the opportunity Outcome: DEFEATED lobby the Government of ment to ensure that beef to license 14 year olds to operate a tractor on a public road prior to obtaining a full motor vehicle license. Mover: Glen Metner Seconder: Don Ransom Outcome: CARRIED

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33. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue with lobby efforts to establish a second outlet from Lake Manitoba to ensure that the level of Lake Manitoba does not exceed 813 asl at any time. Mover: Jackie Jonasson Seconder: Caron Clarke Outcome: CARRIED

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34. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers shift the location of its Annual General Meeting to other parts of Manitoba, not exclusively Brandon, with the following friendly amendment at the AGM: but in a location where suitable accommodations are available. Mover: Heinz Reimer Seconder: Richard Carr Outcome: DEFEATED Note: The friendly amendment was moved

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38. Be it resolved that the membership of Manitoba Beef Producers supports the Board of Directors’ proposals for modernization of the organization’s bylaws, as they were presented at the fall district meetings and as published on MBP’s website. Mover: Theresa Zuk Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: CARRIED

Late Resolutions

39. Whereas the Agricultural Crown Lands Leasing Program’s purpose is to support the establishment of viable livestock enterprises in Manitoba by

40. Whereas most of Manitoba’s Crown land is available for use year round to the general public free of charge, e.g. berry pickers, hikers to name a few. Whereas Crown agricultural grazing lease holders pay for the use of the grass and also pay the municipal and school property taxes. Be it resolved that Crown agricultural grazing lease holders have similar options in regards to entry and access on leased Crown land as other taxpayers, e.g. Crown general permit holders and deeded land. Mover: Trevor Atchison Seconder: Bill Murray Outcome: CARRIED

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37. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers examine positive enticements (e.g. insurance programs) that would be made exclusively available to members in good standing. Mover: Bill Murray Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: DEFEATED

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36. Be it resolved that non-members will not receive support services from Manitoba Beef Producers (e.g., age verification, bovine TB mustering fee). Mover: Bill Murray Seconder: Heinz Reimer Outcome: DEFEATED

making Crown land available to resident farmers and ranchers and to encourage new and young farmers and ranchers in rural communities; Whereas livestock operations with a land base, both Crown and private, with a carrying capacity of 4800 animal unit months (AUM) or greater do not qualify for the program; Whereas 4800 AUM is equivalent to approximately 300 mature cows; Whereas many progressive livestock operations, including many operated by young farmers, are significantly larger than 4800 AUM; and Whereas the 4800 AUM program eligibility limit has not been reviewed in over 20 years. Be it resolved that MBP lobby the Government of Manitoba to review and change the 800 animal unit month limit for eligibility to the Agricultural Crown Lands Leasing Program to reflect the larger size of modern livestock operations. Mover: Stan Foster Seconder: Dave Mathews Outcome: CARRIED

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Clive Bond (204) 483-0229 Ken Drake (204) 724-0091

Bonded & Licensed in Manitoba & Saskatchewan


March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

PANEL EXPERTS SHED LIGHT ON ANIMAL WELFARE RON FRIESEN

Dr. Jim Clark

Dr. Joseph Stookey

Ryder Lee

Scott Entz

C

attle producers shouldn’t fool themselves into thinking they are immune to changes in animal welfare practices resulting from public pressure, speakers at a panel discussion told the recent Manitoba Beef Producers annual general meeting. All it takes is one extreme case of animal abuse to arouse the public and force authorities to act, said Ryder

Lee, federal-provincial relations manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. As an example, Lee pointed to the recent case of a Whistler, B.C. man convicted in connection with the killing of 56 unwanted sled dogs after the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. After details of the killings emerged in January 2011, the B.C. legislature reacted swiftly to a public outcry by

enacting strict animal care regulations for sled dogs. Producers shouldn’t think lawmakers would not take such measures against them if a similar case of animal cruelty occurred on the farm, Lee warned. “If things go off the rails, legislators will act,” he told the audience. Lee was one of four speakers on an expert animal welfare panel held during the

annual meeting in Brandon Feb. 7 to 8. In his presentation, he made a distinction between animal welfare groups, which simply want better treatment for animals, and activists who ultimately want the livestock industry shut down. Lee, who sits on the National Farm Animal Care Council’s (NFACC) Beef Cattle Code Development Committee, said industry

codes of practice are livestock producers’ best defense against public accusations of inhumane practices. NFACC released a draft copy of a new beef code for public comment in early January. For the first time the voluntary code, last revised in 1991, deals with pain mitigation in beef animals. It recommends calves should be dehorned at two to three months of age when the horn

is still in the bud stage. Calves should be castrated before they are three months old. Pain control should be used when castrating bulls older than nine months. Tail docking is not recommended. Practices causing pain should be carried out in consultation with a veterinarian. Lee said NFACC’s approach to developing codes of practice is unique in the world because it involves all


10 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013 industry players working together. But others warned Canada may not be as advanced in animal welfare standards as some might like to think. Dr. Jim Clark, national animal welfare manager for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said Canada’s regulations for transporting livestock lag far behind those of other major countries. For example, cattle may be transported 52 consecutive hours without food, water and rest–much longer than allowed in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the U.S. Dr. Clark said Canada’s transportation regulations for livestock have gone largely unchanged since the 1970s. The federal government is proposing amendments to develop clearer

definitions for certain terms, such as overcrowding. Lee urged producers to get ahead of the curve by telling their story to the public about how livestock are raised and handled. He warned against triggering a “doubt grenade� about animal welfare in the minds of consumers, which could hurt the industry. Dr. Joseph Stookey, an animal behaviour specialist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, said producers have traditionally taken a middle ground between people who want minimum welfare standards for farm animals and those who demand maximum standards. Lately, however, producers have gradually moved toward supporting greater standards, mainly because

changing public attitudes are pushing them in that direction, Dr. Stookey said. He said his own attitude toward animal care has shifted over the years because students often ask if there aren’t better ways of doing things. Scott Entz, vice-president and general manager of Cargill Beef in High River, Alta. said producers shouldn’t underestimate how a seemingly small episode can mushroom into a big problem. He mentioned a case in the U.S. in which one undercover video taken at a meat plant led to a 143 million pound beef recall. Cargill monitors all activities inside its High River plant by video and scrutinizes the footage later for things to improve.

Entz said consumer pressure for humane practices will only increase. For that reason, he encouraged producers to “frame the issue� by being more transparent about how they treat their animals. “Let’s set ourselves up for success,� he said.

Entz said animal rights activists go after food retailers, not producers, about humane practices. Fast food restaurants are targeted with labels such as “Murder King� and “Unhappy Meal� to give consumers the impression that the animals their food comes from are mistreated.

For that reason, producers should help the food service industry understand how livestock production works so they can properly inform their customers, Entz said. “I don’t think we’re losing the game. But I do think we’d better keep playing and up our game.�

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12 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

TAILGATE TALK FIRST COLUMN

TREVOR ATCHISON

W

elcome to my first president’s column for Cattle Country. I look forward to digging into many beef industry topics this year to keep my fellow producers informed about the issues that are important to our operations. My first duty is to once again thank the MBP staff for their dedication and work on a successful annual general meeting. They go above and beyond to pull the event together. I would also like to acknowledge the directors who have taken a role on the executive, and the entire board for their efforts representing you, the members. I would like to thank MBP’s retiring directors and their families for all of their hard work and dedication to the beef industry. They

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are: Ray Armbruster, Mac McRae, Kim Crandall and Brad McDonald. A special thank you to Ray who has agreed to stay on in the past president role for another year to carry on the many policies he has been involved in building. I welcome MBP’s incoming directors including Cheryl McPherson in District 3, Larry Gerelus in District 7, and Ben Fox in District 13. The District 9 director seat remains vacant at this time and if you or someone you know is interested in serving as a director in the area, please contact me at 204-8542510 or Mac McRae at 204467-9816. This year’s AGM featured presentations and discussions on a variety of topics and 40 resolutions were debated. Please read the results in this issue of Cattle Country in order to be informed of the direction that has been brought forth by producers. Your directors and staff will build policy around these important resolutions. Many of these resolutions are updates to current policy or they involve more specific direction on issues. One of the very relevant topics discussed at the AGM that I would like to touch on was animal welfare and the recently updated draft beef code of practice. I remind producers that the comment period on the code is open until March 8, 2013. I encourage all producers to read it and submit their comments online at www.nfacc. ca. This code directly affects

your operation and how we process and handle our herds. In 2013-2014, your MBP board will focus on many issues and one area we have been looking at is the declining cattle herd in Manitoba and the effects on the industry. We all know the root cause is not just one issue, but many issues combined. These range from environmental effects such as drought or flooding, to government regulations and red tape. Another reason for the decline is the lack of bankable disaster and production loss programs to help backstop producers. Other sectors in agriculture have benefited from these types of programs. Since our industry does not have similar programming in place, there are higher risks for beef producers who want to start-up or expand their operations. Your directors and staff will continue to push governments on issues such as informed access to Crown land, the need for workable EG&S programming, and ensuring the transition of the community pasture program is completed so the land is available for producers to graze their herds. Another priority will be ensuring that Growing Forward 2 (GF2) has adequate and accessible funding for programs such as Verified Beef Production and onfarm biosecurity programs. We will also continue to push for GF2 policy which supports industry-led research to help meet the growing

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producers that turn out compared to the number of producers in the province. If we total the attendance of our 14 districts we probably reach over 300 producers. But in my opinion, we can do better. After being around this organization for much of my adult life, I have probably attended 12 or 15 AGMs. In that time, I observed 100 or fewer producers voting and setting the course of action for the organization. The only time in the history of this organization when there was a larger turnout was when there were extremely controversial issues to debate. It is difficult to pinpoint one reason that can be defined as “the” reason why we don’t have more producers at the AGM. The time of year and the location for the meeting have been altered numerous times with the results more or less the same. I don’t think the content discussed at the AGM is that outrageous or anything that would keep producers away, in fact, it should attract them. Apathy may be another reason that some people don’t come out, but it can’t be the only reason for the numbers we are seeing. Of course, there are producers who just don’t have the time to attend because they are extremely busy with their operations and they can’t leave home, or they are calving, weaning, still hauling hay or working on something else. That is completely understandable. In the end, I have come to think that many of the people who don’t attend still believe

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competition for feed resources; as well as funding for innovative programs like the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) and marketing of our products through Canada Beef Inc. I saw a lot of new and familiar faces at the AGM, and I would like to thank all of those producers for making the time to attend the meeting. Connecting with producers, or better yet, members of MBP, does seem to be difficult at times. Since my first year on the board, better communication with members has been a one of my top priorities. Is communication between MBP and beef producers at a level which is acceptable to me? The answer is no. The list of reasons could be lengthy and vague but I can not blame someone or something in particular. Coming out of our AGM with just over 100 voting delegates is considered a successful turnout. But is it? In my own personal view it is a small success. Producer attendance increased by 25 per cent over last year but out of 8,000 producers in Manitoba, 100 or less gave the direction for the beef industry lobby for 2013-2014. Good, bad, or otherwise, that is what happened and it has happened for a number of years. Having had the opportunity to attend annual meetings in other provinces and having those folks attend MBP’s, I know we do pretty well on the attendance front given the percentage of

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that we are doing a good job on their behalf and they don’t feel the need to take time away from the pressing issues at home. For the most part, they are onside. I think producers believe in our association and they show up when they really want to share their input. And those who hold the opposite opinion possibly speak with a refund of some, or all, of their check-off dollars. In any case, if you are one of the people staying away from the AGM–maybe you think we need to go in a different direction on certain issues–I hope my comments bring you out to a district meeting and next year’s AGM so you can tell us how we can better serve you. Here is a question for all producers: how can your organization communicate more effectively with you? Please let us know. I look forward to your emails, phone calls, letters and speaking with you at an upcoming event. In closing, MBP’s most consistent and timely communications tool to reach producers is the very paper you are reading. Cattle Country has become a staple for beef industry information and it is one of the best ways for you to stay informed about MBP’s efforts on your behalf. A lot of work goes into each issue to ensure the information is as up-to-date as possible. We feature news and interviews with key industry leaders, commentaries from our GM and other expert contributors, important issues that are on the horizon, event updates and more. We always welcome comments on Cattle Country. Let us know what you would like to see in the paper. MBP also sends out a biweekly e-newsletter. We encourage all producers to subscribe by emailing us at info@mbbeef.ca. We are also updating our website in order to make information more accessible to our members and the public. Finally, if you spend time online we hope you will become our friend on Facebook and follower on Twitter to get the latest updates on what your organization is doing for you. It will be a busy and challenging year ahead for everyone at MBP and I look forward to working on your behalf as president.


March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE BEEF’S INFORMATION REVOLUTION

CAM DAHL

M

anitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has just completed its Annual General Meeting (AGM). I know I might be perceived as biased, but I think it was a great success. Producers from all across Manitoba came together to debate policy and give direction to the board. This will help drive what the organization tackles in the coming year. Staff at MBP put in many long hours to organize, book and coordinate this event. You have fantastic staff working on your behalf and the quality of the AGM is just one demonstration of that fact. I want to thank the producers who came out and made this year’s AGM such a success. We are your organization and we cannot do our job without your input and direction. But the information flow is not just one way. One of the roles of associations like MBP is to look down the road and give producers a bit of a heads-up about what is coming at them. That is what I would like to do now – polish my crystal ball and look down the road. It is almost a cliché to say that we live in an information age. New technologies from Apple or BlackBerry seem to be coming at us every second week. Televisions that used to have rabbit ears and 13 channels are now “smart” and give us access to billions of pieces of information from the comfort of our couch. While

it is true that we are in the information age, it has not been as quick to envelope the beef industry. That is changing and it is changing rapidly. The information revolution is coming to beef production. This will make us more efficient, competitive and profitable. If Canadian beef production is going to remain viable on the world stage, as an industry we need to embrace the opportunities that information management has to offer. The beginnings of this revolution are with us today. But often the systems are viewed as a large pain rather than a competitive tool that will allow us to differentiate Canadian beef from our competitors. Traceability is the best example of an information exchange system that is often viewed with skepticism. That is because most of us don’t view traceability as an information tool. Rather it is looked upon as a cost imposed upon our industry as a result of BSE. But the components of traceability will be able to provide you with the tools to improve your genetics, increase your return from your management skills and better connect with consumers. One of these new tools built around traceability is the Beef InfoXchange System, or BIXS. BIXS allows producers to capture, exchange and track specific individual animal data. For example, the system can give you the

carcass yield and grade data when your animals eventually go for slaughter. Not only does the system give you the individual data, it also shows you where you rank compared to the rest of Canadian production. BIXS will also facilitate targeted marketing plans for specific niche requirements on the world stage. If a particular client in Japan or another country wants to purchase a specific quality of cut, we can do a better job of meeting their needs through programs like BIXS. What is the end result for producers? This will allow you to adjust your breeding programs and marketing plans based on the productivity and quality of the cattle you produce. The program has the potential to help you improve your efficiency, lower your costs, and down the road increase what you are paid for your cattle. This is how information can help you become more profitable. BIXS is a flow of information from processors back to the producer. Information flow in the other direction– from producers to consumers–will also be an important marketing tool. Consumers are asking two key questions. First, “Where does my food come from?” and second, “How is my food produced?” Producers who can answer these questions will open up access to a different kind of consumer, one who is willing to pay a little bit more for their food. This applies to

individual operations but it also applies to Manitoba and Canada as a whole. If we, as an industry, can answer these questions more completely than our competitors, we will better differentiate Canadian beef on the world stage and do a better job of securing high value customers. How do producers answer consumers’ questions? Production management programs like Verified Beef Production (VBP) are key tools in the process. Verification processes like VBP, combined with traceability, will allow you to tell producers exactly how their beef was produced and exactly where it comes from. This is not as far-fetched or as far off into the future as you might think. Earlier this year, McDonald’s in Australia released a smart phone app called “Track My Macca’s.” Users can download the free

app, point their phone’s camera at a special code on the side of their burger box and see where the beef originated. Why is McDonald’s doing this? Because answering the question “where does my food come from” will help them sell more burgers and increase their profit. Part of that profit is shared with the producers who take on the information management practices that allow the program to function. Traceability, VBP and BIXS are just some first examples of the coming information revolution. Millions of dollars are being spent on genomics research. The end results of this research will allow you to better tailor your breeding programs based on the genetic analysis of your cattle, leading to better growth rates, increased feed efficiency and improved meat quality. The science of

genomics is rapidly changing–tests are now available that allow an animal to be tested for 50,000 genetic differences. Other research, such as Residual Feed Intake, or RFI, will help increase efficiency and lower costs. This research will also help lower your carbon footprint, which might just be a selling point that you can market to a willing buyer using programs like VBP and BIXS. When will the information revolution hit your ranch? That is not an easy thing to predict. But you have already seen the first changes on your operation. More information management tools like BIXS and VBP are starting to become available to you. I think the potential value of systems like these is going to grow exponentially in the coming months and years.

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Wilkinridge Stock Farm Sid Wilkinson Box 102, Ridgeville MB R0A 1M0 Ph/fax: 204-373-2631 Cell: 204-324-4302 wilkinridge@xplornet.ca Johnson’s Black Maines Patrick & Connie Johnson Box 1171 Killarney MB R0K 1G0 Ph: 204-523-8408 pjj@goinet.ca

McBride Maines Ross McBride Box 455, Gladstone MB R0J 0T0 Ph: 204-385-2442 Cell: 204-872-2442 mcmaines@mymts.net Myron and Myrna Lees Box 111, Mather MB R0K 1L0 Ph/fax: 204-529-2055 mmt.lees@hotmail.com Sean & Brandy Eggie RR#1 Comp 46, Swan River MB R0L 1Z0 Ph: 306-595-4789 Cell: 204-281-3182 seaneggie@hotmail.com

Magpie Maines John Hanbidge 816, Comp 163, RR#8 Saskatoon SK S7K 1M2 Ph: 306-374-0763 magpiemaines@yourlink.ca www.magpiemaines.webs.com Badger Hill Maine Anjou Doug & Geri Kerr Box 12, Ninette MB Ph: 204-528-3293 GeriKerr@mts.net Section 19 Cattle Co. Cam & Tracy Wood RR #4, Box 74, Portage la Prairie MB R1N 3A4 Ph: 204-239-1553 Cell: 204-856-6568 section19cattleco@gmail.com


14 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

MBP’S SUBMISSION FOR PROVINCIAL PRE-BUDGET CONSULTATIONS MAUREEN COUSINS, MBP POLICY ANALYST

F

lood and drought compensation, water management, herd health and beef industry priorities under Growing Forward 2 were among the items raised in Manitoba Beef Producers’ submission as part of the provincial government’s pre-budget consultations. MBP believes movement is required in areas like these to help ensure the long-term sustainability of our industry. The following is a brief overview of MBP’s submission.

Flood and Drought Compensation

MBP continues to seek swift payment of all outstanding 2011 flood claims so damage to the beef industry is not further compounded. Additionally, thousands of acres remained

flooded in 2012, affecting pasture and forage production. Affected beef producers require assistance to purchase forage and/or move their herds to areas that have adequate feed. There must be co-operation between the governments of Manitoba and Canada to deliver a 2012 forage shortfall and transportation assistance program. Ideally this should have been accomplished months ago to ensure producers have the ability to preserve their herds. MBP is seeking a program similar to the shortfall program instituted in 2011. It would assist livestock producers who are experiencing extraordinary costs due to the forage shortage caused by flooding or excess moisture conditions

that began in the spring of 2011. It would provide assistance to producers with shortfalls in the forage production needed to maintain the feed requirement for their livestock over the 2012/13 pasture and winter periods. Consideration should also be given to providing similar assistance to producers with forage shortfalls due to drought conditions in several areas of Manitoba. A transportation assistance program would help producers facing high shipping costs due to forage shortages caused by extreme moisture conditions that began in the spring of 2011. The program would take into account extraordinary transportation costs incurred from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.

Assistance would flow upon the submission and approval of an application from a producer.

Water Management Strategies

MBP believes long-term water management strategies are required both to help reduce the risk of future flooding and to provide for access to stable water supplies in the event of a drought. Lake outflows need to match inflows. Existing infrastructure and control structures do not allow for appropriate upstream and downstream water management. MBP is again requesting the provincial government create a second outlet to match the flow of the Portage Diversion to alleviate water from the flooded lakes. Regarding the Shellmouth Dam and associated flooding, MBP reiterated that producers in the Assiniboine Valley deserve predictability on the operation of the Shellmouth Dam. MBP is requesting that an operating plan for the dam be made public. Further, MBP requested that compensation owed to producers affected by artificial flooding related to the operation of the Shellmouth Dam be paid swiftly.

Disaster Financial Assistance

MBP believes governments must revise the Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) program to meet the needs of modern agriculture operations. Currently, producers with a net income of over $2 million are not eligible to apply under the DFA Program. MBP believes the program should be amended to remove eligibility restrictions based on a producer’s revenues. Potential artificial geographic restrictions that could render some Manitobans ineligible in certain instances also need to be reviewed. Allowances must be made in the DFA program to allow for compensation to flow to Canadians when the impact of a disaster extends beyond a 12 month period. Situations arising due to the 2011 flood and high

moisture conditions are a clear demonstration the DFA program is outdated and needs review. Reform of DFA is necessary so governments can move away from emergency ad hoc programs. A modernized standing disaster assistance program that is effective, has known criteria and known compensation levels is needed.

Mustering Fee

Producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area continue to participate in bovine tuberculosis testing. Testing efforts inflict considerable costs on producers and MBP has provided financial assistance to affected producers to help defray these costs. MBP has again asked the Manitoba government to reinstate its support for a mustering fee. The previously-funded TB Mustering Fee Program was well received by affected producers. The approximate cost to the provincial treasury at $6/head is $20,400 annually.

Herd Protection

MBP is seeking continued provincial government support for the Problem Predator Removal Program. The program is very valuable to the beef industry and the provincial treasury alike as paying compensation claims is costly. By investing in the program and ensuring producers have access to trappers when needed it helps reduce the number of livestock killed or injured, resulting in fewer compensation claims. Recent uncertainty as to the funding of the Problem Predator Removal Program created confusion among trappers and producers. Since its implementation, MBP and the Manitoba Trappers Association (MTA) have worked to inform producers and trappers of the benefits of the program. Producers now rely on calling the MTA to assist in removing predators on the landscape in a humane manner. Lack of removal program continuity could hinder uptake from producers in the program. MBP is also seeking 100 per cent compensation for

predator kills for the cost of raising the animal.

Growing Forward 2

MBP has appreciated the opportunity to meet with provincial and federal officials about the development of the Canada-Manitoba bilateral agreement under Growing Forward 2 (GF2). MBP’s top priorities during the GF2 consultations were: Implementation of a Cattle Price Insurance Program Adequate funding for non-business risk (BRM) programs Improved market access Increased spending for research and innovation MBP welcomed the commitment in GF2 to develop a livestock insurance program. Such a program would: Benefit all sectors, including cow-calf, backgrounder or grassers and finishers; Provide an avenue for the provincial government to move away from ad hoc and disaster relief programs not budgeted for; Backstop the livestock cash advance payment program and be a risk management tool for young farmers who do not qualify for AgriStability. MBP remains committed to working with governments on the timely delivery of a Cattle Price Insurance Program and would like to see program details in the 2013 provincial budget. MBP welcomed the 50 per cent increase in support for non-BRM programs under GF2. MBP is seeking ongoing support for several non-BRMs programs, including the development of food safety, biosecurity and traceability standards and systems. These types of programs help boost producer confidence at home and cultivate market access outside of Canada. GF2 also contains commitments related to environmental sustainability. MBP supports the continuation of the Environmental Farm Plan program. Cattle producers provide valuable ecosystem


March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 15 services as they manage tens of thousands of acres of working landscapes, including privatelyowned and Crown land. This needs to be recognized. MBP continues to seek the introduction of province-wide, Ecological Goods and Services (EG&S) programs. We believe incentive-based programming aimed at preserving wetlands, protection of species at risk and critical habitat, and other societal goals are best accomplished through incentive-based approaches, rather than heavy-handed regulation. MBP reiterated its request for the Manitoba government to make ongoing budgetary commitments to EG&S programming.

Market Development, Trade and ValueAdded Processing

MBP supports the focus on increased trade, market development and access in GF2. Manitoba exports approximately 80 per cent of its beef production. Enhanced trade with key markets, such as the European Union and countries in the Asia Pacific regions, could play a crucial role in diversifying our market base and

adding value for beef producers. MBP also wants assurances the beef industry will not be left behind in ongoing and/or future trade agreements. It is no secret that agriculture is a sensitive topic in all trade negotiations. MBP’s members are concerned that Canada may reach comprehensive new agreements that fail to include significant gains for agriculture and the beef industry specifically. Our competitors, such as Australia and the U.S., are also hoping to negotiate greater access. Canada’s beef industry can not afford to be left behind, especially if our competitors are successful in negotiating increased and more secure access to global consumers. While external trade is important to Manitoba’s beef industry, so too is trade within Canada. MBP is requesting the Manitoba government actively pursue amendments to the Agreement on Internal Trade to ensure Canada can meet its internal objectives to reduce and eliminate, to the extent possible, barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investment within Canada, and to establish an open, efficient and stable domestic market.

MBP is also asking the provincial government to open negotiations for entry into the New West Partnership. Manitoba’s participation in this partnership is long overdue. MBP supports the development of additional commercially-viable value-added beef processing in Manitoba. This could create jobs, increase the value of local beef production and open up new marketing opportunities. While strong and valid arguments can be made for initial public support for emerging opportunities, to be sustainable in the long run MBP believes new processing ventures must enter into a regulatory and business environment that allows them to operate commercially with support from investors rather than taxpayers or producers. It remains MBP’s position that greater investment should be made in creating a policy and business environment that will encourage the growth and development of the beef production chain–from cow-calf producers through to feedlot operators. This will help ensure viability for commercial investors who would then be interested in expanding Manitoba’s value-added beef processing capacity.

Research and Innovation

MBP appreciates the emphasis in GF2 on research. We believe priority areas should include feed, nutrition, production techniques, animal health and welfare, and genetics, to name a few. MBP believes public investment in beef research should be increased. The future success of the beef industry requires producers, industry and government agencies to work together to develop common priorities for, and delivery of, research, programs, and technology transfer. MBP, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Manitoba are building a common model to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of beef and forage research and extension. MBP has requested that allowances be made in the 2013 provincial budget to explicitly support this initiative and the projects developed through this common research and innovation delivery platform. Domestic regulations relating to the production, movement and trade of cattle and meat can

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U

% Producers are prevented from engaging in effective biosecurity practices % Unlimited public access to agricultural Crown land introduces a heightened risk for the spread of animal diseases % Unlimited public access hampers efforts to limit livestock / animal encounters in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area % Producers have borne the cost of property losses (e.g., fences, forage, livestock) because

of improper behaviour by the public accessing agricultural Crown land; and % Risks of personal injuries from livestock (and wildlife) are increased because the public has unlimited access to agricultural Crown land. Many, but not all, of these concerns arise from access to agricultural Crown land by off-road vehicles. Most producers are unaware that today, under the Off-Road Vehicles Act of Manitoba, there is already a requirement for permission before an off-road vehicle can be

areas such as harmonizing trucking regulations or working to remove barriers to interprovincial trade in meat products. The release date for Manitoba Budget 2013 has not yet been set.

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INFORMED ACCESS ON AGRICULTURAL CROWN LAND nlimited public access to agricultural Crown land has been an issue of concern for beef producers for many years. Manitoba Beef Producers continues to pursue a complete solution to this issue. Producers are looking for a reasonable ability to protect the integrity of the landscape leased and to protect the well-being and safety of the livestock, and their own livelihoods. The lack of a comprehensive informed access policy is a growing problem for our industry because:

affect the industry’s competitiveness. MBP is strongly encouraging the Manitoba government to work with its federal, provincial and territorial counterparts to reduce regulatory barriers that impede trade and co-operation. Within Canada this could include

operated on leased Crown land. The act states that “no person shall operate an offroad vehicle on Crown land allocated by lease or permit, without the express or implied consent of the lawful occupier of the property.” MBP knows that this provision is not a complete solution to the informed access issue. We will continue to work on getting a comprehensive informed access policy. But this provision of the Off-Road Vehicles Act may help with a significant number of the concerns producers have today.

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16 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

PLANS FOR COMMUNITY PASTURES ANGELA LOVELL

A

steering committee was set up in June 2012 to develop an alternative producer-led model for the administration of Manitoba’s community pastures from 2014 onwards. Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (AAFC) has administered Manitoba’s 21 community pastures for over 75 years, but it will begin divesting itself of responsibility for the pastures over a five-year period beginning in 2014. Responsibility for the land will revert to the Province of Manitoba, which owns most of the million acres of grazing land in the program. AAFC had originally announced that it would turn over the first five pastures in Manitoba in 2013, but after a request from the steering committee and MBP, the government decided instead to administer them as usual for the 2013 season to allow for the new administration model to be put in place. When AAFC announced its intention to wind down the Community Pasture Program, it created a lot of uncertainty as to what would be done with the provincial Crown land, which remains a big concern for patrons. “The uncertainty of what will happen is still one of the biggest concerns,” says Trevor Atchison, MBP president and member of the steering committee. “Especially in a year where a lot of places were dry and producers were short of feed, which compounded [those concerns] because they needed to be able to plan for next year and know whether their cows could go to that pasture.” In Saskatchewan, many different groups and interests were suggesting that they assume ownership of the land, including First Nations and pasture patrons. Initially, the Saskatchewan Government announced plans to sell off pastures to individual producers at fair market value, but many patrons there are now advocating for a system similar to the Manitoba model. The Manitoba Steering Committee has established the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures, (AMCP), a non-profit entity which it is proposed will assume responsibility for operating the pastures in 2014. AMCP has developed

a business plan that seeks to create as little disruption for patrons already using the community pastures as possible. “A five year business plan has been constructed and the mandate is to carry on operation of the pastures and care of the land in as much the same fashion as was done before,” says Atchison. Manitoba Beef Producers provided the impetus for the establishment of the steering committee and AMCP by bringing together the chairs of the pastures’ Patron Advisory Committees (PAC) from across the province for the initial June meeting and it has assisted in facilitating dialogue with the province, AAFC, municipalities and the PAC. Future fees for community pastures are another thing that patrons are concerned about. The federal government is raising fees for 2013 to 55 cents per head per day for cows and $30 per head for each calf up from 45 cents per head per day for cows and $25 per calf. Under AMCP’s plan, the cost will rise slightly in 2014 to 60 cents per head per day for cows and will hold the calf fees at $30 per head. The business plan also allows for continued employment of the existing pasture managers. “We are offering all the managers a job,” says Steering Committee Chair Barry Lowes. There may be a slight cutback in time and we are working on things that they can maybe do during the winter.” Pasture managers are currently employed by the federal government, but the plan is that they will continue on as employees of AMCP. Pasture managers live on the pastures and are responsible for the health and welfare of the hundreds of cattle and also horses that are in the program. They also maintain fences, infrastructure and equipment and bale hay and straw, while carefully managing the pastures to maintain productivity. In the winter time they collect fees, look after the re-application process for patrons and draw up grazing plans for the next season in consultation with the PAC. It’s a 24/7 job and the managers are dedicated people who have inspired a high level of confidence amongst the producers who leave

their cattle in their charge each summer. “They do a great job of managing the pastures, look after the cows well and know how to graze,” says Lowes. Up until now, part of the winter duties for pasture managers included caring for the pasture’s bulls, but under the AMCP’s business plan the current bull program will gradually be phased out. “The bull program will be phased out and we think it will take about four years,” says Lowes. “There are probably about 200 bulls and we will phase out 25 per cent of them per year, so that will give people who use that program ample time to make other arrangements.” There are still some details to work out with the province and the federal

government, including the transfer of assets and interim financing for the AMCP until it begins to receive patron fees in late 2014. The steering committee has also met with Nature Conservancy of Canada and Conservation and Water Stewardship about some of the protected wildlife areas which are a part of some community pasture acres, and how the pastures will continue to be grazed. “Once Nature Conservancy heard what we are going to do to graze properly they said basically that was their main concern,” says Lowes. “There are some spots here and there where there have been some [conservation] agreements made and they will stay the way they are.”

Meetings have also been held with 10 of the 11 municipalities which own land in the current Community Pasture Program and most seem happy with the proposed new arrangements. “They were all pretty much in favour of sending us a resolution to state they wanted to stay with [the new AMCP program],” says Lowes. “So that was very positive.” The continuity of community pastures has more far reaching, economic implications than just the loss of grazing land, says Atchison. “If the pastures were to close that could potentially reduce available pasture land and shrink the herd in Manitoba, and then you start losing services,” he says. “You may lose veterinarians, cattle auction

marts, all of those kinds of services when there isn’t enough of a cattle population to support them.” It is important to keep all of the community pastures under one umbrella organization, says Atchison, to ensure that they can remain viable and provide economic grazing opportunities for producers. “Not all of the pastures are profitable, so you need them all to make it work and we think there are some efficiencies that can be gained in there too, but those will take a year or two to flesh out,” says Atchison. “The consensus of those who are using the pastures is to keep them all operating under one umbrella to provide grazing for all producers in Manitoba.” angelalovell.ca

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March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

COMMENT ON THE BEEF CODE OF PRACTICE DEADLINE IS MARCH 8, 2013

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

T

he public comment period for the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle ends on March 8, 2013. Producers are encouraged to read and comment on the code. The 60 day online comment period is part of the National Farm Animal Care Council code development process. The comment period is open to anyone. It would be most useful if there is a great level of review and input from producers as they are the ones who will be closest to the content of the code.

The Codes of Practice

The codes of practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of different

species of farm animals. Codes are not intended to be used as production manuals, instead, the codes are designed to be used as educational tools in the promotion of acceptable management and welfare practices. The codes contain recommendations to assist farmers and others in the agriculture and food sector to compare and improve their own management practices.

The Beef Code

The Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle was developed from an original working draft contracted by the Ontario Cattleman’s Association to Dr. Frank Hurnick, Professor, Poultry and Animal Science, University of Guelph, in the early 1980s.

This draft was submitted to all provincial cattle organizations for review and input. As a result, the recommended code of practice for beef cattle was printed in 1991.

Participation

To provide input on the revised draft of the code, go to www.nfacc.ca/codesof-practice/beef-cattle. It is important to provide feedback, and well supported feedback, especially if you are requesting changes.

Development

The draft code is the work of the Code Development Committee. The details of who is involved in the revision of the code can be found at the NFACC website. The committee included producers of all stages of

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The Code Development Committee will consider the public comments as they work to finalize the draft ahead of publication at the end of March, 2013.

Everyone should read through the draft to see where his or her current practices fall in relation to the text. MBP hopes producers will submit their comments.

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18 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

THE BOTTOM LINE A LOOK AT THE PRICE PREDICTIONS RICK WRIGHT

A

s we turn the corner into spring, buyers turn their thoughts to purchasing grass cattle and forward production contracts. The predictions of lower cattle numbers in North America are in the back of their minds, prompting thoughts of strong prices for the fall and the need to aggressively purchase their inventory before the price goes up or we run out of cattle. On the other side of their brains, is the thought that drought conditions could erode the cash prices much the same as last year and that caution should be part of this year’s strategy. The dilemma is what to buy and how much to spend. If you look at the number of cows going to slaughter compared to last year, there is no doubt that there will be fewer cattle in the near future.

Markets are reporting double the number of slaughter cows in January compared to last year. Hay and feed shortages have prompted producers to sell their cull cows and poor producing cows rather than feed them. The math is simple: at $6.25 for 48-pound barley, it could take as much as 18 pounds to put on a pound of beef. The cost of gain would be over $2 to put a pound on a cow. To add insult to injury, the hard-fed fatter cows no longer bring the big premium price. In most cases they are worth less on the rail, but the increase yield determines a higher cash price at the auction. The demand for lean ground beef is very strong right now, with the emphasis on lean. Even if you only feed hay, you need a price increase of at least one cent per pound per week live on a 1400-pound cow just to break even. With feed prices today, there is no

advantage to feeding the cows you are going to sell. Canadian packers are killing a lot of cows because the retail beef demand is sluggish. Slaughter cow and bull exports to the U.S. have

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increased compared to the same time last year. Cow exports in January 2013 were 23,354 compared to 10,153 in 2012. Bull exports were 4,475 in January of this year compared to 2,694 for the same time period last year. The cattle inventory report for the U.S. released at the end of January showed 1.6 per cent fewer cattle in the U.S. compared to last year. There were 2.9 per cent fewer beef cows and calves than last year. The calf crop has declined to record lows, down 15 per cent since 1995. During the same time period, beef production has increased by 13 per cent, mainly because of better genetics, more efficiency in both the cowcalf and feedlot sectors and the use of growth promotants. The new class 2 beta agonists now being used in some of the feedlots accounted for as much as a 21 pound per carcass increase. In Manitoba, the auction marts reported lower volumes in 2012 than in 2011. Markets reported that between 10 per cent and 40 per cent fewer cattle were sold than in the previous year. There were a couple of major reasons for the decline. There was a larger than normal number of producers who exited the business, and a high percentage of their cows did not go back into the herds. There were considerably more heifers retained for breeding last year and many of those were not resold.

Within the province there were very few cattle purchased for backgrounding which were then resold; most of that inventory was retained ownership. Prior to BSE, approximately one third of the cattle at the auctions were going through the system for the second time. Cattle producers purchased extra cattle to feed, which enabled them to market feed grain through the cattle at a potentially higher price than the cash value of the grain. One other change has been the availability of the larger producers to take advantage of forward production contracts as a risk management tool. I asked a number of the buyers what their predictions would be for fall cattle prices. All agreed that corn and barley prices would dictate the cattle cash price at time of delivery and that the grain market right now is still very volatile. Each was asked what 900-pound grass steers would be worth on September 1, and what 550-pound top quality steer calves would be worth in October of 2013. Order buyer and cattle feeder, Brad Martin of Martin Livestock, predicted that the yearling steers would trade between $1.36 and $1.40, while the calves would sell for $1.60. Order buyer, Cliff Penno of Quintaine’s, felt that the yearlings could sell at $1.45 while calves could trade as high as $1.65 to $1.70.

Keith Montgomery, an order buyer from Saskatchewan, said that there is drought all over the world and he did not expect much relief in the grain prices this year. His prediction was $1.38 on the yearlings and $1.55 to $1.60 on the calves. Darrell McDowell, an order buyer for Prairie Livestock and a cattle feeder, said that he was optimistic for the fall, with prices for yearlings as high as $1.50 and for calves $1.70. His comment was that the corn will be more pivotal this year than ever before on the cattle prices. Robin Hill, manager at Heartland Virden, was much more cautious, pricing the yearlings at $1.31 and calves at $1.52. His predictions were based on the actual cash prices for those classes of cattle last year. Hill’s counterpart in Brandon, Keith Cleaver, predicted $1.35 to $1.40 on the yearlings with $1.65 on the calves. Doug Richardson of RJR Consulting, feeds cattle in both Canada and the U.S. He thought the yearlings would trade at $1.35 and the calves at $1.60. He stated that, in his opinion, there may not be enough cattle to fill all of the feedlot pens, but the increased feeding efficiencies in the industry would produce enough beef this year to meet the demand. Watch the next issue for more price predictions. Until then, Rick


March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

VET CORNER

RECOGNIZING CANCER EYE

2

DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

A

ccording to online reports, cancer eye (squamous cell carcinoma, SCC) in cattle accounts for nearly 12 per cent of all carcass condemnations. Once cancer eye develops, it grows rapidly and will spread–guaranteed. Without early recognition and treatment or culling, a cow can go from top value to bottom price within a few months. Don’t sit on the “unresponsive pinkeyes.� In my experience, early cancer eye is missed by producers because they are either not looking at the eyes or they think that the cow has a bad case of pinkeye that has not responded to treatment over several months. Check each eye on every cow twice yearly–at preg checking and at calving. Cancer eye caught early is easily and economically treatable. And, if you don’t want to treat it, that cow still has good market value. SCC is a serious animal welfare concern since it is associated with extreme pain. Only those with early lesions,

in which the eye is still intact and has vision, can be transported for slaughter. Trucking cattle with more advanced disease may net you a fine and buyers will be wary due to high condemnation rates. Procrastination will cost you big time in these cases. The causes of cancer eye are multifactorial and are similar to those of pinkeye. White-faced cattle with non-pigmented eyelids and conjunctiva are predisposed, though I am seeing more cases of cancer eye in goggled and solid coloured cattle, including a mid-age Black Angus cow (SCC confirmed at the lab). Eye irritants like flies and dust, viral infections like IBR and papillomavirus (warts) and weakened immune systems from vitamin and mineral deficiencies may be predisposing these animals to eye disease. Older cow age and worsening ultraviolet radiation are the most likely reasons for the increased number of cancer eye cases in recent years.

So how do you distinguish cancer eye from pinkeye? Remember that pinkeye will usually resolve within three to five weeks whereas cancer eye does not. Pinkeye happens quickly and often involves several animals including young stock. Unlike cancer eye, pinkeye is initially painful–the eye is spasmed shut with excessive blinking and lots of tearing. The eyeball appears cloudy and the white of the eye is red. The eyeball may ulcerate in more severe cases (see photo 1). In contrast, cancer eye develops over time in mature cattle. Four areas of the eye are most commonly affected–the limbus (junction of the colored and white parts of the eye at the three and nine o’clock positions), the third eyelid and the upper and lower eyelids. One or both eyes may be affected with one or multiple cancer spots. SCC progresses through four stages: plaques, keratomas, papillomas and

eventually carcinoma. Plaques are small circular white elevations on the affected area. Sometimes these plaques spontaneously regress. Keratomas look like hard, horn-like growths while papillomas look like warts. Carcinomas look nodular and cauliflower-like. As they grow, they become bloody, ulcerated and foul smelling. Left untreated, they will “eat� into the surrounding tissues and involve the entire eyeball, bone socket and surrounding parts of the face. The lymph nodes of the head, which are located under the ear and by the jaw, will become enlarged as the cancer begins spreading throughout the body. In photo 2, the third eyelid is affected. The mass has enlarged enough to stick out from under the third eyelid. There are also spots of cancer developing on the lower eyelid. This cow needs treatment ASAP and will be discounted if shipped. The key thing to remember is that pinkeye involves

1 the centre of the eyeball whereas cancer does not, at least initially before the mass enlarges. Cancer spots are raised masses whereas pinkeye is just cloudiness. Get in the habit of checking eyes regularly. Take pictures and ask your vet if you are uncertain. Some cancers are “sneaky� and start developing underneath the eyelids so they aren’t noticed until more advanced. If the eye looks odd, check it out. If you notice a plaque on an eye, recheck the cow in a month to see if it has regressed. If still present or getting larger, it isn’t going away and cancer is developing for sure.

Treatment recommendations depend on the stage of cancer and the value of the cow. Early lesions are removed by cryosurgery (freezing with liquid nitrogen) or local excision. More advanced lesions require removal of the eye. If the cancer has already spread, humane euthanasia is your only option. If cow prices are good and the cow is older, culling at preg test time or post-calving may be the most economical and the most humane. Don’t lose that option by waiting and hoping the problem will go away. Keep your eyes open!

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20 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

TUBERCULOSIS IN THE RIDING MOUNTAIN AREA: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE DR. ALLAN PRESTON, TB CO-ORDINATOR The Past

Tuberculosis (TB) is an ancient disease, a disease that affects a lot of different species, including elk, deer, cattle, bison and humans. I won’t go all the way back to review that ancient history, although looking back does help us then plan the road forward. TB in cattle was a very common occurrence in the early to mid 20th century. And TB in children due to the consumption of unpasteurized milk from infected cows, was a serious public health concern. Through an exhaustive test and slaughter policy, Canada was declared TB Free in 1985. In the Riding Mountain area, TB was documented in the late 1970s in two timber wolves that had died from other causes. In 1991, and again in 1998, TB was discovered in cattle herds in the Rossburn area. An elk was found with TB in 1992. Another positive elk was detected in 1998. These findings were the start of the ongoing battle to eradicate TB in the area. The presence of TB in the domestic cattle herd and the wild elk and deer population, resulted in the downgrading of Manitoba’s

TB status in 2003. The Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) was defined and this lower, TB-accredited-advanced status was applied to the RMEA. Movement control permits and periodic herd testing were implemented within the RMEA, along with wildlife surveillance to determine the prevalence of the disease in that wild population. Over the intervening years, some 2,600 herds of cattle and bison have been tested, involving approximately 220,400 animals. Since 1991, 14 herds have been identified as having TB positive animals in them. The last positive cattle herd was identified in May 2008. Two years earlier, the RMEA regained its TB Free status, and the movement control permitting system was terminated. On the wildlife side, surveillance programs have identified 46 elk and 11 white tailed deer with TB. Approximately 1,400 elk have been tested. Twohundred and fifty were recaptured, euthanized and tested as a result of a suspicious/positive result on the initial blood test. The last positive deer was detected

in 2009; positive elk were found in 2011. All of the positive elk were born prior to 2004. RMEA producers have made tremendous progress in instituting farm management practices that substantially reduce and/or eliminate contact between elk, deer and their cattle. These producers, in addition to having to present their herds for periodic TB testing, have also had to modify their farming practices, many times sacrificing cost-efficient winter feeding strategies, in order to protect the TB free status of the RMEA livestock herd.

The Present

The extensive epidemiological information collected over almost a twenty-year period tells us a number of things: the domestic herd in the RMEA is now deemed to be TB free; the surveillance on the deer population indicates a very low disease prevalence, probably less than one per cent. But there remains some uncertainty due to the fact that the surveillance numbers are below the targets needed; the same surveillance on elk, with adequate target numbers reached, indicates the TB prevalence in elk remains above a one per cent level, a benchmark that some use for declaring TB freedom. The disease is most prevalent in the Western Control Area, a north/south piece of the Park between Grandview and Rossburn in the Birdtail Valley, an area that is coincidentally

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approximately the same size as was the TB affected area in Minnesota. Surveillance in both the domestic and wild herds is concentrated in this area. Of the estimated 1,700 elk in the park, some 340 of them are located in this region. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is in the process of testing 3,400 head in 26 herds for the 2012-13 test year, a far cry from the 625 herds and 50,000 head that were tested at the peak of the testing program in the 200003 timeframe. Regarding wildlife surveillance for 2012-13, to achieve the elk surveillance target, Parks Canada will test 50 cows and 40 bulls in the core area while a co-operative effort between Parks Canada and Manitoba Conservation

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will test 135 deer to achieve the deer target. However, in spite of our collective best efforts, the persistent wildlife disease reservoir for TB continues to impact the status of RMEA cattle herds, at least in the eyes of our American neighbours. Manitoba, alone among all other Canadian jurisdictions, continues to have import testing requirements placed on its breeding stock seeking entry into the U.S.

The Future

The preferred future is clear–continued TB free status for the domestic herd, and reaching TB free status in the wild population. The progress on the road to achieving this goal has been amazing; however, that progress in itself has led to a degree of complacency, and a lack of a sense of urgency to complete the task. The creation of a TB Co-ordinator position to renew the push to eradication is seen as a positive step. All of the key stakeholders including Manitoba Wildlife Federation, First Nations, Manitoba Beef Producers, Parks Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Manitoba Conservation and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, have reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the eradication goal. That commitment means appropriate funding from federal and provincial partners to meet the costs of the TB Management Plan on an ongoing basis. All of these

stakeholders pledge to work co-operatively with the producers, the landowners, and the residents of the RMEA, providing information, answering questions, addressing issues and concerns. Other jurisdictions, most notably the State of Minnesota, have succeeded–so can Manitoba. And our work, our success, may assist Alberta and British Columbia deal with similar emerging issues in their provinces. That said, eradication in the wild population means a very low prevalence of the disease, a prevalence that allows for the term “TB free” to be applied. Maintaining that freedom is contingent upon ongoing surveillance, presumably at a lower level, in all three susceptible populations. For the cattle and bison producers, the intent is to reduce the amount of TB herd testing that must be done. That reduction will be assisted by having producers work through an individual farm risk assessment, taking any additional steps that may be necessary to eliminate the possibility of TB transmission from elk and deer into their herds. The message is clear–attaining TB freedom does not mean that disease surveillance and testing will come to an end; however, the amount of surveillance and testing should be markedly reduced. To use a football analogy, we are in the red zone now. With that little extra push, we will succeed in getting the ball into the end zone.


March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 21

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP THE EDIBLE CITY

BRENDA SCHOEPP

W

hen we think of agriculture our minds drift to our fields, bins, cages and pens. Ask an urbanite what they think of when it comes to the production of food from the earth and they dream of gardens, herb boxes and paper bags of “fresh” produce from the farmers market. And although at first glance the two may seem miles apart they are actually country cousins–farming on different scales for the purpose of creating great food. The movement to green cities includes both environment and plants. Now more than ever we can grow a lot of food in a little space without soil. In a recent visit to Holland, I was touring a glasshouse selling $40 million of micro-herbs a year. Not bad considering that there was not one ounce of soil in the place. And as science increases our ability to bloom indoors and without soil, so does our opportunity to provide food for the city from within it. In Vancouver, the proposed 150 point city policy will make that city as “pretty as it is delicious” and provide work for those who love to be outdoors or indoors. The country’s first ever vertical garden will be functional this fall producing veggies by the ton for city residents. In Toronto, active agreements between the city and special interest groups such as The Urban Farm have allowed for expansion of the golden horseshoe inward rather than outside of city limits. While Winnipeg may be colder than other Canadian cities in winter, it nurtures several strong initiatives in urban agriculture. And in Montreal the famous LUFA was the first in the nation to introduce hydroponic glass house foods on the top of the town. Their vision of a city of rooftop farms is becoming a reality as the technology of capturing the heat from roofs is shared worldwide. Green initiatives are not always easy or straight

forward. A recent study indicates that in most Canadian cities up to 44 per cent of people grow a little something to eat. It could be a simple as a pot of parsley or a row of carrots among the carnations but there is always something growing. It may be that mankind was born to plant seeds and feed animals or it could be that there is something spiritual and miraculous about plant and animal life. Either way, urban agriculture, although small in stature, has woven its way into the very fabric of the majority of the lives here on earth. Sometimes it gets a little bit dangerous as cities follow Vancouver’s lead and introduce legislation to allow birds in the backyard, barnyard birds. This preverbal headache that will land squarely someday on CFIA’s shoulders is only going to get worse.

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver house the most voters and the greatest percentage of foreign-born Canadians. In Toronto alone, 45 per cent of the 2.6 million residents are foreign-born and many would appreciate having a chicken or two just out the backdoor. That would be a cultural norm from many homelands. Entrepreneurs have used the green movement to profit on the backs of urban land owners. One creative company in Vancouver has folks donate their yards for gardens and the company sells the produce at farmers markets. Farmers markets are the main focus of many expansions of the local food movement. The idea of the farmers market, which is no longer functional in Europe, was borrowed from old traditions, and was once the center of urban

commerce. They fell out of favor in the early 20th century in Canada and were almost lost when the urban elite abandoned the open market concept. Today, cities like Vancouver have policies in place to double the farmers markets and the urban farms as folks return to buying from the grower. Why? Choice, variety, connection and occasion. It is more than taste, color and freshness that draws folks to the market–it is the social aspect and the interaction. In Canadian studies, consumers were as interested in the experience as much as the produce. Although there are a variety of goods at the farmer’s market, most folks in Canada zoom in on vegetables, then fruit and baking. The road to the edible city is paved with education and experience. Cities such as New York

offer farm schools where urbanites can learn how to farm. The audience is varied but the focus is often on youth so that they have an opportunity to work and to understand where food comes from. In some areas, city farming is done in highly raised beds so seniors can be active foodies without having to bend down. It is also done in tiers of hydroponic pots or in a place that includes trees for shade and the introduction of good bugs and bacteria. While it is true that city fields will not feed the whole of the population, they contribute to a colorful and healthy life for Canadians. Agriculture is the cultivation of plants, animals, fungi and other forms to sustain life. It has also been called the science, art and business of producing crops by cultivating soil or raising animals. The science,

art and business–is that not beautiful? Agriculture is farming without the restraint of border, class, location, income, culture or politics. It is the greatest freedom known to man. No wonder our city cousins are so excited about meeting farmers and learning about farming. How else will they grow their lovely, green and edible city? Brenda Schoepp is a Nuffield Scholar who travels extensively exploring agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor she works with young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website www.brendaschoepp.com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2013.

13th Annual

Cattleman’s Classic Multi-Breed Sale

The Sale with Bull Power

New Date & Time

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Heartland Livestock 1:00 p.m. Virden, MB

Approximately 100 bulls sell! White, tan and dark red charolais (largest offering of red factor Charolais bulls in Manitoba) For Catalogues Contact: TRI-N Charolais Farms (Merv/Jesse Nykoliation) - 204-838-2107 Beaver Creek Charolais (Gord Nykoliation) - 204-748-1265 Connection Cattle Co (Barry Peril) - 204-878-2517 Broken Oak Simmental (Rob Sharpe) - 204-826-2519 Downey Farms (Allan Downey) - 204-649-2260 More Bros. Simmental (Everett More) - 204-748-1225 RSK Farms (Andrew Kopeechuk) - 204-573-9529 Greenbush Angus (Tim Baker) - 204-966-3320

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22 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

MASC PASTURE DAYS INSURANCE ENTERS FOURTH YEAR MANITOBA AGRICULTURAL SERVICES CORPORATION

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iable pastures for livestock to graze in summer are critical to most operations. Requiring only a minimum of financial input, summer grazing pastures let livestock producers free up their time and resources for other purposes. But when the summer grazing period is shortened by a late spring, summer drought or early fall frosts, a producer can face the mounting costs of providing supplemental feed from other sources when pastures can no longer support livestock. In 2010, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) introduced the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program, aimed to provide livestock producers with a risk management solution for weather-related grazing shortfalls. The program is now beginning its fourth year of operation.

For the introductory phase of this pilot program, 54 producers were enrolled in Pasture Days Insurance in 2010 from MASC agencies across the province. In 2011, 48 producers enrolled, with 45 returning from the previous year. Fifty-three producers signed up in 2012, the first year in which producers enrolled during the previous two years were assigned an adjusted coverage based on their actual experience. In 2013, the program is expanding to 91 producers from across Manitoba, which will allow the acceptance of up to 20 participants in each of the Dauphin and Neepawa insurance agencies, with the remaining 17 MASC insurance agencies limited to 3 participants. The program is designed to accommodate most types of livestock raised in Manitoba. Cattle, sheep, goats, bison, horses,

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donkeys, mules, elk, deer, llamas and alpacas are eligible livestock for the program. For this introductory pilot phase, however, only cattle producers have participated.

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“Each type of livestock is assigned a standard relative ‘Animal Unit’ (AU) value reflecting the relative grazing consumption,” said Doug Wilcox, MASC Manager of Program Development Insurance. “For example, a bull that generally consumes more feed than an open cow (1.0 AU) is assigned a higher value of 1.3 AU, while yearling calves that consume less on pasture are assigned a lower value of 0.6 AU.” Coverage for the Pasture Days program is based on the historic number of days that livestock spend grazing pasture. New program participants will receive the historic provincial grazing period average (130 days in 2013), while those with the program for the past two years have their coverage adjusted based on their actual experience. “By combining the reported number of livestock and pasture acres with the expected number of viable grazing days, a producer’s total coverage can be calculated, based on Animal Unit Days (AUD),” explained Wilcox. Coverage for Pasture Days Insurance is set at 90 per cent of normal AUDs, meaning a claim is paid if the actual grazing period is less than 90 per cent of the calculated AUDs, or the “pasture guarantee.” At year’s end, a producer can file a claim if the pasture guarantee isn’t achieved (e.g. supplemental feed was required or the livestock did not have adequate pasture to sustain themselves during the normal grazing period). Take an example scenario for a newly enrolled producer who is pasturing 30 open cows, 12 cow-calf pairs and a lone bull:

AU = 30 (1.0 AU x 30 open cows) + 15.6 (1.3 AU x 12 cow-calf pairs) + 1.3 (1.3 AU x 1 bull) = 46.9 AU AUD = 46.9 AU x 130 days = 6097 AUDs Pasture Guarantee = 6097 x 90 per cent coverage = 5487.3 AUDs Dollar Coverage = Pasture Guarantee x $1 = 5487.3 x 1 = $5487.30 In this scenario, a producer has coverage for 117 days (90 per cent of 130 days), so if the herd is put to pasture on May 1, there will be a payable claim if the producer is forced to provide supplemental feed or move the herd off pasture before August 26. Perhaps it was a drought-stricken summer, and this producer had to remove the herd from their dry and depleted pasture on August 20. With only 111 days on pasture: Actual AUD = 46.9 AU x 111 days = 5205.9 AUDs Pasture Shortfall = 5487.3 AUDs (guaranteed) – 5205.9 AUDs (actual) = 281.4 AUDs With a shortfall of 281.4 AUDs, the producer is eligible for an indemnity of $281.40. Premiums for Pasture Days Insurance are calculated: AU (46.9) x days of normal pasture period (130 days) x coverage level (90 per cent) x insurable value

($1) x the premium rate (2.6 per cent), which sets the total premium cost at $142.67 and the producer’s 40% premium share at $57.07. In its first three years of operations, Pasture Days has collected a total of $116,693 in premiums (producers’ share: $46,677) and paid out just over an estimated $225,000 in claims. As a pilot program, Pasture Days Insurance is still being assessed for viability and how well the program can serve Manitoba’s livestock producers. Feedback from enrolled producers has been crucial in identifying areas where the program needs refinement. As a result of this feedback, reporting of livestock and supplemental feed, and administrative complexity, are areas which have been identified as needing improvement. MASC will be working to address these issues in the coming months. Along with the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program, MASC also has its regular Pasture Insurance program for livestock producers insuring tame hay, along with a full complement of forage programs such as Tame Hay Insurance, Native Hay Insurance and Forage Establishment Insurance. For more information about the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program and MASC’s other pasture and forage programs, please contact your local MASC Insurance Agent or visit masc.mb.ca.


March 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 23

PUTTING A PRICE ON THE VALUE OF MANITOBA GRASSLANDS CHRISTINE RAWLUK, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR LIVESTOCK AND THE ENVIRONMENT

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rasslands cover approximately one third, or 2.4 million hectares, of the total farm land in Manitoba, with half in pasture and most of the remainder in hay production. In recent years, an increasing proportion of grasslands have been converted to annual crops, driven by the lure of record high commodity prices and a chance for economic gain. As a consequence, forage production may be pushed onto lower quality land, potentially leading to an overall reduction in forage quality and quantity. When compared on a price per yield basis, grasslands can not compete with returns on annual crops. The key to preserving pasture and hay land seems then to reside with increasing the value of grasslands. The socio-economic value of grasslands includes ecological goods and services– the many benefits grasslands provide to the environment and to society. However, even though it is widely acknowledged that grasslands are worth more than just the value of the forage produced, defining and assigning a dollar value to that worth is complicated. As most goods and services provided by grasslands are not paid for directly, they are easily overlooked in land use decision-making processes, resulting in either exploitation or inefficient use of the land. A clearer understanding of the key goods and services contributing value to Manitoba grasslands is critical for sound decisionmaking processes that balance grassland value with sustainable economic development.

A recent report by Suren Kulshreshtha of the University of Saskatchewan, and Kim Ominski, Karin Wittenberg and Michael Undi from the University of Manitoba, assesses the value of goods and services provided by Manitoba grasslands and identifies areas where more information is required to improve the estimate of the overall value of grasslands. Their valuation is based on nine goods and services that are relevant to Manitoba and where sufficient data exists: perennial forage production, carbon storage, nutrient cycling, water regulation, waste treatment, soil formation, erosion control, wildlife habitat and recreation. They estimate the socioeconomic value of grasslands in Manitoba to be $936 million annually, with a range of $702 million to $2,518 million per year, based on price fluctuations and variability in the value assigned to the goods and services used in this calculation.

of surface waters by surface water runoff is a high priority in Manitoba. Perennial forages reduce sediment erosion by creating a physical barrier that slows the overland flow of water and reduces the impact of falling rain. Deep roots facilitate water infiltration, stabilize slopes and trap sediments which reduce the amount of water flowing over land as well as the amount of sediments carried by that water. The extensive root systems of perennials also reduce the potential buildup of mobile nutrients such as nitrate-nitrogen near the surface by drawing soil water down deeper into the soil profile. The researchers assigned annual values of these water and soil benefits at $12 million for water regulation, $154 million for waste treatment, $32 million for soil erosion Non-market values: control and $26 million for water regulation, soil formation by grasswaste treatment, lands, based on the total Market-based values: soil formation, grassland area in Maniforage production, erosion control, toba. nutrient cycling and wildlife habitat and Grasslands also encarbon storage recreation able recreational activiThe total value of forage Adoption of agricultural ties such as hunting and production in Manitoba is management practices that wildlife viewing. Riparian approximately $525 million reduce nutrient enrichment areas allow for activities per year. Most perennial forage is in tame/seeded production (64 per cent) and native grasslands (35 per cent), used primarily for grazing, hay and silage production, with a small percentage for seed production. Soil nutrient content and land productivity are improved when nitrogen fixing legumes such as alfalfa are grown. The value of nitrogen (N) in grasslands was estimated at $127 million

such as fishing, camping, swimming, and paddling. The recreational benefit of grasslands in Manitoba is estimated to be $41 million per year. Grasslands also provide habitat for a variety of plants, birds and wild animals. They provide protection, habitat corridors and suitable areas for species reproduction. The value of grasslands for species refuge is connected to a population’s willingness to pay for grassland habitat conservation. Based on the total number of households in Manitoba, this value is estimated at $11 million per year.

Steps to improve the estimate

The accuracy of the estimated value of Manitoba grasslands will be improved by addressing gaps in available information. More Manitoba-specific data is required to be able to include additional important ecological benefits such as genetic, medicinal and ornamental resources; water supply and biological value, plus a number of societal benefits. A better-defined carbon storage value for Manitoba grasslands is

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The annual value of select goods and services provided by Manitoba grasslands Goods and Services

Total ($ million)

Forage production

$524.6

Carbon storage

$9.4

Nutrient cycling

$127.0

Water regulation

$12.2

Soil erosion control

$31.9

Soil formation

$25.5

Waste treatment

$153.9

Recreation and aesthetics

$40.7

Refugium function

$11.0

Total value:

$936.2

Range:

per year, based on the price of urea fertilizer and the estimated capacity of grasslands to capture atmospheric N and accumulate soil N. Carbon storage is higher on perennial grasslands compared with land under annual crop production. Carbon is stored in the soil and in the extensive root system of perennials, accumulating over time, particularly for thriving stands. The total annual value of carbon storage is estimated at $9.4 million, based on the rate of carbon uptake in grasslands and a carbon credit market value of $2.43 per tonne CO2. When accounting for the total amount of carbon stored in Manitoba grasslands, estimated at 250 million tonnes, this storage value jumps to $637 million. Therefore, depending on the formula used, the estimated value of carbon storage can vary considerably.

$702 to $2,518

needed. This requires more information about the rate of soil carbon removals and additions under different grassland types and management, the amount of carbon that can be stored, and to what extent different management practices impact carbon storage. Carbon sequestration in perennial lands has the potential to offset greenhouse emissions from forage-beef production systems. Current research underway led by Brian Amiro with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment will provide a more complete picture of carbon cycling and storage in grasslands. As more information becomes available on additional grassland goods and services, the total estimated value of Manitoba grasslands is expected to increase. For more information visit www.umanitoba.ca/ afs/ncle. Funded by Manitoba Beef Producers, Beef Cattle Research Council, Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council, ARDI, MITACS and GreenCover.

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24 CATTLE COUNTRY March 2013

PLAINS PROCESSORS CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY KELVIN HEPPNER

KELVIN HEPPNER, GOLDEN WEST RADIO

IT’S NURTITION MONTH ADRIANA BARROS, PHEc In light of international nutrition month, our featured recipe is All Kinds of Meatballs, courtesy of Canada Beef Inc. Hidden in these lean meatballs is grated carrot, cleverly incorporating added vitamin C and fibre to meatballs. This way, children (and adults) get their vegetables without even knowing it! Remember: ground beef must be cooked until well done. It is ready at 160˚F+/71˚C+. CANADA BEEF INC.

(L to R) Agriculture Minister Hon. Ron Kostyshyn; Elmwood-Transcona MP Lawrence Toet; Calvin Vaags; Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen, Emerson MLA Cliff Graydon, Carman MLA Blaine Pedersen; and RM of Dufferin Reeve Shawn McCutcheon at the announcement.

T

he Plains Processors slaughter plant north of Carman is undergoing a major expansion that will see its beef slaughter capacity increase from 80 to 1,000 head per week, while also becoming the province’s only federally inspected plant with significant capacity for beef. A ceremony marking the start of construction was held on Jan. 26, 2013. “We wanted to have the ground-breaking event just to make sure everybody knows, including the public and politicians, that this project is actually underway. Construction has started,” said Plains president and owner Calvin Vaags. “We felt that was important just because there has been so much speculation about slaughter plants in the province and it’s been quite a few years that this project has been developing.” Excavation work at the site has started and construction of concrete slabs is underway at a nearby colony. Vaags said the building’s shell will take form in February. “There’s quite a bit of internal construction that has to happen to make sure you can get your CFIA federal certification, so we fully expect that next year around Christmas time or shortly after we’ll probably have a ribbon cutting or grand opening event,” said Vaags. With North American cattle numbers as low as they have been in several decades, Vaags said he realizes there is already excess beef slaughter capacity in many areas.

“There is excess slaughter capacity in North America. The problem is that’s in certain spots. There are regions like Manitoba and Saskatchewan where there isn’t enough slaughter capacity,” he says, noting most Manitoba cattle are eventually processed in Alberta, Nebraska or southern Ontario. “The industry used to operate on solving those discrepancies in regions by transportation. That doesn’t work anymore. Freight costs are too high. It does not make sense to ship these animals all across the country.” Cattle farmers are looking forward to finally having significant federally inspected beef slaughter capacity within the province. “This is a missing link in our value chain,” said Ray Armbruster, who recently completed his term as president of Manitoba Beef Producers. “Manitoba Beef Producers has always supported the expansion of our industry, and obviously processing is a very important part.” He acknowledges there is already excess beef slaughter capacity in North America, but that capacity is thousands of miles away. He says this will be an opportunity for producers to save on transportation costs. “Smaller producers, smaller feedlots, they have an opportunity now where they don’t have to move their cattle across the country,” said Armbruster. Vaags points out the plant will not operate on the same scale as the large beef processing facilities in Brooks and High River,

Alta. “This plant will still be a relatively small plant when you compare it to the industry, but I think it will be the right size for Manitoba. Again, when this stage of the plant is at full production it’s going to do around 1,000 cattle or other ruminants per week, and it will have the capacity to do more than that with a little more capital investment,” he explained. Vaags is also the owner of The Carver’s Knife retail meat stores in Winnipeg. Originally a cattle producer from the Dugald area, he started the first store in 2004 after the Canadian cattle market crashed with the discovery of BSE in 2003. The expansion will cost about $13 million, with around $10 million in capital investment. Funding amounts coming from the federal government and the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC) have yet to be finalized. The opportunity to access a $2.8 million conditional loan through the federal Slaughter Improvement Program was lost due to delays in the construction process, but negotiations are underway on receiving federal support. So far, MCEC has contributed $950 thousand to facility. Winkler Meats is the only other federally-inspected beef slaughter facility in the province. Work is also continuing on building the new ProNatur, formerly Keystone Processors, federally-inspected beef slaughter plant in Winnipeg.

ALL KINDS OF MEATBALLS 1 lb (500 g)

lean ground beef sirloin or lean ground beef

1

egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (125 mL)

dry bread crumbs

1/3 cup (75 mL)

EACH finely grated carrot and shredded onion

1 tbsp (15 mL)

Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp (2 mL)

EACH salt and pepper

1. Lightly combine all ingredients; form into about thirty 1” (2.5 cm) balls. 2. Bake on lightly oiled foil-lined baking tray in 400°F (200°C) oven for 15 min, until digital rapid-read thermometer inserted into centre of several meatballs reads 160°F+ (71°C+). Variations: try adding the following to the basic recipe: 3. Italian: 2 tbsp (30 mL) pizza sauce and 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano. Serve with extra pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce. 4. Asian: 2 tbsp (30 mL) hoisin sauce and ½ tsp (2 mL) ground ginger. Serve with peanut sauce or sweet and sour sauce. 5. Mexican: 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder and 2 garlic cloves (minced). Serve with salsa.

CALL 1-800-772-0458 FOR REMOVAL FROM MAILING LIST OR ADDRESS CHANGE.


PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

VOL. 17 NO. 3 MAY 2013

CATTLE INDUSTRY DISMAYED BY TOUGHER COOL PROPOSALS RON FRIESEN

provisions not previously ruled upon,” CCA said. Canadian livestock producers had hoped the WTO panel ruling would end the long-running trade dispute over COOL, which has cost the industry billions of dollars in lower prices and lost sales. Instead, they are dismayed to learn the dispute seems far from settled, said Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager. “Unfortunately, it seems like we’ll be headed back to the WTO and the process will continue,” said Dahl. “I was hoping it would be over but it doesn’t appear that way.” A public comment period for the proposed COOL rule, published March 11 in

the U.S. Federal Register, ended April 11. The U.S. has until May 23, 2013 to comply with the WTO ruling. Rules published in the Federal Register usually have a 60 to 90 day comment period. The fact that this one is only 30 days long suggests the USDA “is pushing this rule through with a shortened comment period in order to implement something, regardless of how ill conceived, before the WTO May 23 deadline for compliance,” the CCA said in its statement. “This tactic not only increases discrimination against imported livestock, but also creates additional process and delay at the WTO.”

Canada and Mexico had successfully challenged COOL at the WTO after the final regulations became effective March 16, 2009. If the U.S. implements the revised rule as proposed, the two countries could go back to the WTO and say the Americans are still not complying. It would then be up to a WTO compliance panel to decide. Dahl said that

process, including an appeal, could take another six to eight months. Others believe it could take up to a year. Meanwhile, the federal government is threatening trade retaliation against the U.S. if the new rule goes ahead. “We do not believe that the proposed changes will bring the United States into Continued on page 2

Go to page three for information on four $500 MBP bursaries, available to members or their children!

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CANADA BEEF INC./C. CHOMIAK

The United States has stunned the Canadian cattle industry by making its controversial countryof-origin labeling (COOL) rule more restrictive instead of less so. The proposed new rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would require meat package labels to state where animals are born, raised and slaughtered. It would also end the practice of commingling meat from American and imported livestock. The result is a rule which will discriminate even more against Canadian animals. And, according to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), it will also increase the financial hurt to producers. “The USDA’s proposed rule, if adopted, will, in fact, increase the discrimination against imported cattle by adding labeling requirements and eliminating some of the existing mitigating flexibility, thereby significantly increasing the costs of compliance,” CCA said in a statement. The USDA was responding to a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel which, last year, found COOL unfairly discriminated against imported livestock. A WTO appeal panel later upheld the ruling. The WTO ordered the U.S. to bring COOL into compliance with its international trade obligations. But CCA says the proposed rule does exactly the opposite and makes a bad situation even worse. “The net result is a rule that not only does not comply with the WTO appellate body’s findings but will also violate WTO


2

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2013

John Masswohl, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

compliance with its WTO obligations,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in a statement. “Our government will consider all options, including retaliatory measures, should the U.S. not achieve compliance by May 23 as mandated by the WTO.” CCA calculates that COOL costs the Canadian livestock industry $3 million a day in lower returns for swine and beef cattle exports. It’s estimated that amount could triple to $9 million a day because of tighter restrictions under the proposed new rule. The Canadian Pork Council warned the U.S. economy would also be a big loser.

“It will undoubtedly result in the elimination of thousands of American jobs and will likely raise meat costs to American consumers,” CPC said in a statement. Some of the strongest criticism to the revised rule comes from U.S. industry and producer groups. A statement from the American Meat Institute says, “Only the government could take a costly, cumbersome rule like the mandatory country-of-origin labeling and make it worse as it claims to fix it.” Scott George, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said the proposed amendments “will only further hinder our trading relationships with our partners, raise the cost of beef for consumers and result in retaliatory tariffs being placed on our export products.” John Masswohl, CCA’s government and international affairs director, said the proposals would make COOL more draconian by requiring meat labels to show where each production step occurred. Currently, the rule allows plants to mix meat

from Canadian and American animals and label it as “Product of the U.S. and Canada.” The new rule requires labels to “specify the production steps of the animal from which the meat is derived that took place in each country listed on the origin destination.” For example, the labels would have to say “Born in Canada, Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.” or “Born in Canada, Raised in the U.S., Slaughtered in the U.S.” This will force American packers to segregate U.S. and Canadian cattle even more carefully than before because now they will have to show where the animals originated at every step along the chain, said Masswohl. The same applies to U.S. feedlots, which previously didn’t worry too much about segregation because commingling was allowed, Masswohl explained. “Not only are you now going to have additional segregation occurring at slaughter facilities, it’s also going to be required in the feedlots because they’re going to know where their feeder cattle came from.”

Effectively, the proposed revisions take COOL back to where it was in late 2008 when the interim final rule, which did not permit commingling, first appeared. Last-minute changes allowed commingling and slightly softened the economic impact to Canadian producers. It gets worse, Masswohl added. In January 2009, two months before the final COOL rule was implemented, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack sent a letter to meat packers asking them to voluntarily identify “Born, Raised and Slaughtered” on the label. Vilsack said USDA would monitor for compliance and decide if further enforcement was necessary. The industry never did comply voluntarily and Vilsack took no further action. When the case came before the WTO, Canada included Vilsack’s letter as part of its challenge and the panel found it violated U.S. trade obligations. “So now they are implementing something that was found to be in violation of the WTO in order to claim that they are

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complying with the WTO,” said Masswohl. “It’s absurd what they are doing.” USDA estimates compliance costs of the new rule to the American industry will be $32.8 million (U.S.), although the amount could range anywhere from $17 million to $47.3 million. But Masswohl said that only includes the expense of the labels and does not cover the extra costs to U.S. packers and feedlots. CCA predicts the new rule could be an economic blow to the American packing and livestock production sectors. “If implemented, this proposal will degrade the competitiveness of the U.S. meat industry and undoubtedly result in the elimination of thousands of American jobs,” the CCA statement said. Martin Unrau, CCA president, noted that a Cargill beef plant in Plainview, Texas closed down in February because of a shortage of cattle. That was mainly due to last year’s severe drought in the region. But COOL could result in additional U.S. plant closures because the added hassle and cost of extra segregation will make it even

tougher for packers to get the cattle they need to keep their doors open. “As you get in the way of moving cattle north from Mexico and south from Canada, you’re going to see more of that,” said Unrau. “That’s an excellent example of what can happen when you don’t have the right amount of cattle to fill plants. They’re only going to run at 50 to 60 per cent for so long and then they’re going to close. That’s all there’s to it. And people need to understand that.” There’s always the possibility that the USDA will get enough objections during the comment period to change the rule before implementing it. But Dahl said he’s not optimistic. “I don’t think the chances are high, to be honest,” he said. “I think we are going to see an extension of this process beyond May 23, unfortunately.” Masswohl said he fully expects COOL is headed for a WTO compliance panel, even with some lastminute alterations. “I cannot see any way that the United States will be in compliance with the WTO ruling by May 23.”

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DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

R.M. of Albert, Cameron, Whitewater, Edward, Brenda, Winchester, Morton

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwall, Oakland, South Cypress, Victoria, South Norfolk

R.M. of Woodlands, Rockwood, St. Andrews, Rosser, St. Francis Xavier, Springfield, Tache, Whitemouth, Lac du Bonnet, Brokenhead, St. Clements, LGD of Alexander, Pinawa

R.M. of Shell River, Shellmouth, Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin, LGD Park

R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

DAVE KOSLOWSKY

R.M. of Riverside, Strathcona, Argyle, Lorne, Turtle Mountain, Roblin, Louise, Pembina

RAMONA BLYTH - SECRETARY

DISTRICT 6

TREVOR ATCHISON - PRESIDENT

R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

R.M. of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, Dufferin, Thompson, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland, Montcalm

R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard

CHERYL MCPHERSON

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER - VICE PRESIDENT

R.M. of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds

LARRY GERELUS

DISTRICT 8

GLEN CAMPBELL

R.M. of Harrison, Clanwilliam, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Langford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

VACANT

DISTRICT 10

THERESA ZUK - TREASURER

R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, Fisher, Armstrong

DISTRICT 11

CARON CLARKE

R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Coldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 12

BILL MURRAY

R.M. of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa

BEN FOX

STAN FOSTER

RAY ARMBRUSTER - PAST PRESIDENT

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Deb Walger

154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

POLICY ANALYST

Maureen Cousins

Kristen Lucyshyn

FINANCE

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lacé Hurst

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Shannon Savory


May 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

CANADA-EU FREE TRADE AGREEMENT NEARS COMPLETION RON FRIESEN

Hopes remain high among Canada’s cattle producers for a trade agreement with Europe that could significantly increase beef exports to one of the world’s most lucrative markets. As of March 2013, though, a deal that is currently in its fourth year of negotiations, remained tantalizingly beyond reach. Access for Canadian beef to the European Union (EU) is one of the sensitive areas holding up a final settlement, according to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). Another unachieved goal is a commitment by the EU to recognize Canada’s federal meat processing system as equivalent to its own. “We are very close in terms of being able to do a deal,” said John Masswohl, CCA’s government and international relations director. “The difficulty is, the things that are close are very tough, difficult, politically sensitive things. Beef and pork are certainly among them.” Beef producers are looking for “real and meaningful” access to a market Canada is nearly shut out of right now, said Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager. “Any time we can diversify our market base, we are a more secure and more stable industry.” According to Canfax Research Services, last year

Canada exported a mere 386 tonnes of beef to Europe. The potential for beef sales to the EU is huge. “There’s tens of thousands of product at stake,” according to Peter Clark, president of Grey, Clark, Shih and Associates, an international trade consulting firm in Ottawa. However, negotiations on beef access last month were still deadlocked on details, Clark added. “The Europeans think we want too much beef and

we think they won’t give us enough,” he said. “Either we’re going to have to water down our demands or they’re going to have to be more realistic about what they should give us.” Parties involved hoped that negotiations toward a Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would wrap up in 2012. Both sides still say they are confident of reaching an agreement soon.

On the beef side, Masswohl said two issues have to be resolved for Canada to get meaningful access to the European market: the amount of market access and technical conditions. CCA had hoped for unlimited beef exports to Europe. However, Masswohl said it’s apparent now that market access will be through a duty-free quota of a yet-to-be-determined size. He believes it is essential that the quota is big enough to encourage Canadian

producers to produce cattle according to the EU’s hormone-free protocol. The EU does not import beef grown with hormone implants and beta-agonists, another kind of growth promotant, despite losing a World Trade Organization challenge to its long-standing policy. Certain technical conditions are also a hurdle to concluding CETA. Canada uses anti-microbial interventions, such as acid washes, on beef

carcasses for food safety purposes. Failure to use them increases the risk of E. coli and other bacterial contamination. Europe does not allow these procedures, although it recently approved the use of lactic acid in certain circumstances. Acid washes are standard in nearly all major Canadian beef packing plants and processors would be unwilling to forgo them just to satisfy the Europeans, said Masswohl. Continued on page 6

MANITOBA BEEF BURSARY Manitoba Beef Producers is pleased to offer four $500 bursaries annually for MBP members or their children attending a university, college or other post-secondary institution or pursuing trades training. Preference will be given to those students pursuing a field of study related to agriculture or to those acquiring a skilled trade that would be beneficial to the rural economy. Applications are available online at www.mbbeef.ca or by contacting MBP. Completed applications must be submitted by Friday, June 7, 2013. Eligibility: • must be at least 17 years of age as of January 1, 2013 • must be an active Manitoba beef producer or the child of an active Manitoba beef producer • must use the bursary within (2) two years

SUBMISSIONS MUST BE SENT TO MBP NO LATER THAN 4:30 P.M. ON FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013 TO:

Requirements: • must submit a typed 600 word (maximum) essay discussing “What the beef industry means to my family, my community, and Manitoba.” Also include the reasons you enjoy being involved in agriculture.* • must submit proof of enrolment in a recognized institution (e.g. transcript) • must submit a list of community involvement (e.g. 4-H, community clubs, volunteer work) • post-secondary program or trades training must be a minimum of one year in duration • provide the names of three references, including their addresses and telephone numbers

For more information, please contact MBP at 1-800-772-0458 or email: lhurst@mbbeef.ca

Manitoba Beef Producers Bursary Committee 154 Paramount Road • Winnipeg MB R2X 2W3 • Fax: (204) 774-3264 • E-mail: lhurst@mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2013

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN CATTLE COUNTRY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE POSITION OF THE MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH AND ENCOURAGE ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO VOICE THEIR OPINION.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

TAILGATE TALK KEY ISSUES MUST BE RESOLVED

TREVOR ATCHISON

As I write this it is the second week of April and the view outside my window much resembles the second week of December, and all of the weeks in between. I do hope that the glaciers have receded and spring is in the air when this edition reaches Cattle Country readers. In the past few weeks, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), along with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI), has sent out some communication regarding forage shortages, cattle body condition and the possibility of a flood coming. The flood will either be here or not when this paper finds you and the issue of your feed supplies and getting your animals through in adequate condition may still be on-going. There are resources to help you deal with these challenges.

Regarding body condition, one idea you may want to try is to call a neighbour and ask them to look at your herd. We see our cattle every day and we may not notice a change in body condition score (BCS). Concerning feed and rations, your MAFRI office has staff to help and perhaps your feed or supplement supplier could offer some advice or help to balance a ration. I would encourage producers who may have found extra feed to sell it now that we are closer to grass. Advertise by word of mouth, on MAFRI’s hay listing website or through other online classified listings to let others in need find it and purchase it.

producers. Some of the issues are ongoing, such as compensation for the impacts of the 2011 flood and 2012 drought. In early March 2013, staff and directors met with the provincial finance minister and agriculture minister to request action on these issues, as well as other items that needed to be addressed in the 2013 provincial budget. Our specific requests on the 2011 flood impacts were answered with the assertion that both levels of government would need to co-operate to bring a program forward. I am certain that anyone following this issue has seen the articles and news clips that say that governments Key Issues for Beef are reluctant to pay for the Producers same flood “twice.” MBP Recently, MBP has request- reminded the government ed specific action on many that it was decisions made issues facing Manitoba’s by officials which led to the

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extremely high water levels on Manitoba’s lakes and kept them there for far too long, leaving many areas unproductive in 2012 and beyond. In addition to the lack of mention of the 2011 flood and 2012 drought compensation in the provincial budget, the federal budget also did not have any compensation for the ongoing costs of the flood or drought, and this was a concern. Other items discussed at the provincial meetings included suggestions for details in Growing Forward 2. MBP wants to see producerdirected adequate funding provided for non-business risk programs, such as Verified Beef Production, funding toward ecological goods and services (EG&S), price insurance, and better hay and pasture insurance. We also requested continuing and increased support for herd protection programs and problem predator removal. Producers want to see herd protection compensation based on the cost of production, rather than the market value of predator claims. MBP is pleased about the formation of an interdepartmental and intergovernmental working group to address herd protection issues. MAFRI, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and MBP are part of this group, which is co-chaired by MBP and Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. We are also looking forward to the discussion on risk management programs in Growing Forward 2. We look forward to more details on cattle price insurance, which may be available within the next 12 months.

Proudly Made in Canada

In flood related news, I would like to take this opportunity to thank MBP District 11 Director, Caron Clarke, for her service on the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee. The committee provided one of the two independent reports on the 2011 flood. An initial review of these reports, which were recently released by the Government of Manitoba, is included in this issue of Cattle Country.

The Next Generation

An ongoing issue MBP is hearing about more and more from producers relates to the number of producers exiting the beef industry and the lack of new or young people getting into the industry. I have received some calls from a few producers who are concerned about this trend. I am also concerned and I’d like to discuss a few thoughts I have on this issue. Over the last two years, we have seen some very high prices for cattle that haven’t been enjoyed since before 2003. So, why haven’t these high prices attracted producers into the cattle business in a similar way that some young farmers have been heading back home to the grain and oilseed farms? Taking a look at my income and expenses for 2010 and 2011, I see that income was definitely up, but so were expenses. These expenses were possibly up a larger percentage than the increase we saw in cattle prices. Some expenses producers can manage, and some we are stuck with. Making plans to add value by advertising proper vaccination programs, matching the genetics cattle have to a market that pays more for the product, or some options to increase value are all worthwhile. Trimming expenses is another option but following the years since 2003, most producers already run a pretty tight ship. Then there are the options that young grain producers may have that beef producers don’t have, such as bankable insurance programs. Comparing the exiting of cattle producers to the small or limited newcomers to the grain sector may point to some clearly defined differences on the land. Grain producers have to work with the same weather related issues us cattle producers face and they are also hit with the increase in expenses. One main difference between the options available is that grain farmers have crop insurance. Where do cattle producers go when production or quality issues arise? We go back to our banker to extend us more credit to carry on.

When I first started with MBP, a friend and former fellow director, Martin Unrau, raised the idea that we need programs for cattle producers that are similar to what farmers in the grain sector have, if we are going to compete on the same landscape. Over three years ago, MBP took some ideas for changes to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) for hay and pasture insurance and these are finally very close to becoming available to producers. When going to the bank, programs like these will help out producers who are just starting out and those who are alreadyexisting. You’ve heard MBP talk about livestock price insurance. We are still hopeful that this will be available for producers in 2013. Some provinces appear to be further ahead of others in getting ready to roll it out. Producers need these bankable programs to stay on the landscape and be competitive. Looking ahead, herd numbers are still shrinking in Canada and the United States. I recently attended a Canfax presentation and the forecast was that the Canadian cow herd would decrease by another one per cent next January 1, similar to what happened this past January. The shrinking numbers all point to profitable times ahead in the cattle business, especially in the cow-calf sector. We need some of the weather issues to work themselves out to bring feed grains into check and hopefully bring prices that will attract people into, or back to, the cattle industry. In closing, an ongoing issue is communication within the organizations that represent cattle producers across this country. We are stressing the importance of this on a regular basis with national organizations and other provincial ones. Communication between MBP and you, its members, is vital. Please feel free to contact me at pvsf@rfnow.com or 204-772-4542, or anyone at the MBP office, with your concerns, questions and comments. Have a safe spring season!


May 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE FEED SHORTAGES AND INACTION ON FLOOD IMPACTS

CAM DAHL

MAUREEN COUSINS

It is May. Has spring finally arrived? As I am sitting down to write this in mid-April, spring still seems a long way away. Temperatures are still below zero, snow is piled high and we are all waiting to learn the severity of the flood of 2013. This has been a long winter for many of you. Feed supplies were short going into the winter. A combination of the ongoing impacts of the 2011 flood and drought in the southern parts of Manitoba meant reduced production. Compounding the problem was the significant demand from the drought regions of the U.S. that sucked hay out of all parts of the Canadian prairies. The unexpected length of winter has intensified the feed shortage problem. I know that many of you struggled, or are still struggling, to find adequate feed supplies to get your cattle to grass. Preparing for another flood has only compounded problems. Both Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) have taken calls from producers looking for ways to stretch feed supplies out until pastures become available. MBP and MAFRI have been working together to try to get the message out that there are options for producers. I urge anyone still facing feed shortages to call either of our organizations to discuss the options before the problem becomes unmanageable. We all know what caused the feed shortage. Last spring and summer there were still thousands of acres of hay and pasture land either flooded or unproductive as a result of the 2011 flood. Feed supplies were further diminished by the drought experienced in southern Manitoba. Affected beef producers required assistance last summer and fall to purchase and transport hay. Many of these producers received water in 2011 so that other areas of Manitoba were not flooded. They were promised and deserve compensation. It

Past MBP President Ray Armbruster addresses a room of over 300 rate payers who attended the Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee public town hall meeting on February 22, 2013 near Marquette, Man. The committee organized the meeting to press for ongoing compensation for those who were flooded in 2011.

is not right that producers are being forced to contemplate liquidating their herds because the required compensation has not been forthcoming. MBP is disappointed with both the federal and provincial governments over the lack of progress on this critical issue. There must be cooperation between the two levels of government to deliver the required forage shortfall and transportation program. Instead, they appear to be at a stalemate, blaming each other for the lack of progress. Those of you who were among the 300

plus attendees at the Marquette flood meeting had the unfortunate opportunity to witness this firsthand. I want every beef producer in Manitoba to know that we have not given up on this issue. To date, we have not received an acceptable answer from our political leaders. But, despite the passage of time, we know that the effects of the 2011 flood continue. We know that many of you have been impacted by the drought. And we know that the spring of 2013 has made things worse, both by its late arrival and because

land has, once again, been flooded. This issue of Cattle Country highlights some of the many key issues that are impacting our industry today and where we are fighting on your behalf. These include ongoing trade negotiations, mandatory country-of-origin labelling in the U.S., budget priorities of the Province

of Manitoba, to name just a few. While we work on these issues we will continue to fight for adequate support and compensation for those of you who face severe feed shortages and increased costs. Our key message to your governments is, “Manitoba’s economy cannot afford more downsizing in the beef industry.” A loss

of producers and herds will cost jobs in both urban and rural Manitoba. If beef production is allowed to decline, our communities will be hollowed out and our municipalities will lose the tax base required to provide the necessary services. Supporting you is in the best interest of every citizen of Manitoba.

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Continued from page 3 is meaningless and CCA would not be able to support a CETA agreement,” he said. Rob Meijer, president of Canada Beef Inc., said the EU is an attractive market for Canadian grain-fed beef because it is high quality and therefore potentially lucrative. “They value quality, they value safety, they value Rob Meijer, Canada Beef Inc. taste,” said Meijer. “They’ve got a high-end palate and “Because of these tech- Canadian beef serves that nical issues, you have none very well.” of the larger Canadian But Meijer agreed that a plants approved, or willing lot depends on whether the to be approved, to export EU will accept food safety to Europe. Unless the EU treatments practised in Caaccepts Canada’s safe food nadian plants. procedures as equivalent to “If, at the end of the day, theirs, the size of the quota it becomes a niche market

where they don’t want to allow certain interventions and they want to have certain restrictions on the way beef is produced, then the volumes are going to be extremely low.” Currently, Canadian beef is allowed into Europe through two quotas. The first is the so-called Hilton quota, implemented in 1997. Under it, Canada and the U.S. share a volume of 11,500 tonnes by product weight with a preferential tariff rate of 20 per cent. The second quota was created in 2009 by the World Trade Organization as compensation for the EU’s refusal to accept hormone-raised beef. Originally set at 20,000 tonnes, it was gradually

increased to 48,200 tonnes in 2012. Of that, Canada’s allocation is 3,200 tonnes. All this beef must be hormone-free and raised with a high-energy grain ration. Bison meat is also eligible under the quotas. But because it costs an extra 20 per cent to raise cattle to slaughter weight without hormones, producers need some promise of a return on their investment before they decide to produce it, said Masswohl. Also, as previously noted, the EU does not accept antimicrobial interventions that are standard in Canadian plants. As a result, very little Canadian beef currently enters Europe, despite the quotas.

These are barriers that must be overcome before Canada can get satisfactory access to the European beef market, Masswohl said. “You could end up with a quota of a million tonnes, but if the technical conditions aren’t right, then where’s the incentive for companies?” he asked. It’s essential that the quota, whatever its size, be duty-free and available to all beef, Masswohl stressed. “It has to be large enough to encourage Canadian cattle producers to produce according to EU protocols and for large Canadian packers to invest in the EU market. It has to be available only for Canada and administered

on a first-come first-served basis. “If we have duty-free access and if we have recognition that our facilities are equivalent to the EU’s so that they’re approved, we’re going to do well.” The United States recently signaled its intention to pursue its own free-trade agreement with Europe. This could make CETA a template for other trade pacts and a reason why negotiators are proceeding so carefully, said Martin Unrau, CCA president. “I think other countries are watching to see how we’re going to move through it and if we’re going to be positive about the CETA deal,” Unrau said.

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Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) welcomed an announcement about the creation of a new Guy Carpenter Professorship in Agriculture Risk Management and Insurance at the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business.

Dr. Lysa Porth was selected to head the professorship, which was announced on March 18, 2013. MBP congratulates Dr. Porth and looks forward to working with her in the future. “Manitoba Beef Producers strongly supports the creation of this position at the University of Manitoba,” said Cam Dahl, MBP general manager. “MBP especially thanks the insurance firm Guy Carpenter & Company for its considerable and ongoing investment in this project.” Beef producers face considerable risks that are not covered by current risk

management programs. The development of new, innovative risk management tools will help bring greater stability and opportunity for growth to the beef sector. MBP appreciates the work the federal and provincial governments have done to help establish the professorship. “This announcement is a great example of the federal and provincial governments working with industry to strengthen research and development,” said Dahl. MBP applauds this effort and encourages more initiatives like this in the future.

Recognizing Leadership in Conservation The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) is presented by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association each year to a producer who goes above and beyond standard industry conservation practices, setting a positive example for fellow producers and the general public. All beef cattle operations are eligible to apply for the provincial/national award. Applications are available online and can be sent to MBP. Deadline: July 1, 2013.

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May 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

MANITOBA BUDGET CONTAINS NO FEED OR FREIGHT PROGRAM, CAPS FARMLAND SCHOOL TAX REBATE MAUREEN COUSINS, MBP POLICY ANALYST The April 16, 2013 provincial budget and announcements made just prior to it will have an impact on Manitoba’s beef producers. The budget contained no relief for hard-hit producers needing a 2012 forage shortfall and transportation assistance program, hiked the provincial sales tax (PST) and placed a cap on the Farmland School Tax Rebate. There were also some fee increases that could impact the industry. “While we are pleased with the government’s commitment to Growing Forward 2, from the point of view of the cattle industry, other aspects of the budget were disappointing,” said Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) President, Trevor Atchison. “There was no recognition of the urgent need to help producers still reeling from the residual effects of the 2011 flood, as well as the 2012 drought,” added Atchison. “MBP will continue to pressure the federal and provincial governments to come to a timely resolution of this matter. We simply cannot afford to lose any more producers.” “And, even though a number of farm-related items are PST-exempt, the one point hike in the PST

will still hit producers and families in their wallets,” explained Atchison. “We had also hoped to see movement on the government’s 2011 promise to eliminate school taxes for farmers, but that didn’t materialize.” Instead, several changes were made to the Farmland School Tax Rebate, which will save the provincial treasury $6.2 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year, but continue to cost farmers. This includes capping the rebate at $5,000 starting with the 2013 property tax year and making the rebate available only to eligible farmland owners who are Manitoba residents. Producers should also be mindful of a change to the rebate application process, starting with the 2013 property tax year. According to provincial budget documents, “Applications for a rebate for a given tax year must be filed no later than March 31 of the following year. Applications related to the 2011 and 2012 property tax years have until March 31, 2014 to apply for the rebate for those years.” While there was no change on farmland school taxes, the seniors’ Education Property Tax Credit is being raised to a maximum $1,100. The government also said it intends to eliminate school

property taxes for all seniors by 2015. Certain fees collected by the provincial government are being increased. The government expects to collect an added $317,000 for various veterinary diagnostic test fees. The increases will allow it to recover 25 per cent of the cost of food animal testing and 100 per cent of companion animal testing. There will be changes in fees collected under The Environment Act to “construct, alter, operate or set into operation any Class 1 to 3 projects.” Examples of a Class 1 agricultural project under the act include feedmills, meat processing and slaughter plants, and rendering plants. Examples of Class 2 developments include a number of water development and control projects, including certain flood control projects and irrigation projects. The Odour Control Tax Credit has been made fully refundable to producers on qualifying property acquired after 2012. Overall funding for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) has fallen 5.4 per cent, with reductions sprinkled throughout the departmental budget. Just prior to the budget, service delivery from a number of rural government offices was reorganized.

Changes to MAFRI service service provided from purchasing from local agdelivery is, as follows: Hamiota or Minnedosa. ricultural producers was • Treherne - staff will be The MASC office re- announced in the budget, merged with Somerset mains. although no details were and service will be pro- • Neepawa - the office available at press time. vided from Somerset and will be merged with The budget also contains Portage la Prairie. Minnedosa and service a phased-in fuel tax rate for • Stonewall - staff will be provided from Carberry, natural gas used in motor merged with Teulon with Gladstone and Minnedo- vehicles as follows: three service provided from sa. The MASC office will cents per cubic metre for Teulon and Beausejour. remain. sales after April 16, 2013 The Manitoba Agricul- • Boissevain - service will until March 31, 2014; six tural Services Corporabe provided from Killar- cents per cubic metre from tion (MASC) office will ney, Melita, Souris and April 1, 2014 to March 31, remain. Brandon. 2015; and 10 cents per cu• Shoal Lake - staff will be A new local sustainable bic metre after March 31, merged with Russell and food initiative to increase 2015.

TWO REPORTS INTO 2011 FLOOD RELEASED, MORE THAN 100 RECOMMENDATIONS MADE MAUREEN COUSINS, MBP POLICY ANALYST The Manitoba government estimates it could cost more than one billion dollars to implement the recommendations contained in two long-awaited independent reports into the 2011 flood. Released April 5, 2013, the reports of the 2011 Manitoba Flood Review Task Force and the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee contain recommendations aimed at enhancing preparedness and reducing the risks associated with future floods, such as improved flood control works. Many of the Task Force’s recommendations focused on the need for improved forecasting, like providing flood forecasters with better data, equipment and supports.

The Task Force identified shortcomings in the existing system, noting, “The flood forecasting model being used ... is a snowmelt model and is unable to produce reliable runoff forecasts for rainfall events” and “Contrary to traditional understanding, most of the largest floods in Manitoba are the result of rainfall on top of, or shortly after, the snowmelt event.” The Task Force also recommended the Manitoba government look at more water storage, such as dams, as well storing water in tributaries along the Assiniboine River. It says such steps would “reduce the frequency of operation and the magnitude of diversions through the Portage Diversion, provide

water supply benefits in the region and reduce the reliance on Shellmouth Dam for low flow augmentation in the lower Assiniboine River.” Upgrades to the Portage Diversion were recommended, including modernizing the monitoring and control systems, and upgrading the outlet structure on the diversion channel where it enters Lake Manitoba. A program is needed to upgrade the Assiniboine River dikes between Portage la Prairie and Headingley. The Task Force recommended a study be initiated to examine the operating protocols at the Shellmouth Reservoir, with the objective of enhancing the agricultural productivity of the valley bottom lands by releasing

proportionally more water in the spring and subsequently reducing summer flooding without necessarily compromising water supplies later in the year. The report also recommends investigating “the merits of a buy-out of floodprone valley bottom lands downstream of Shellmouth Dam, which would increase the operational flexibility of Shellmouth Dam and eliminate future downstream flood damages and liability.” Recommendations of the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee included: • Making the Emergency Channel permanent; • Redirecting the current Reach 3 to the channel outlets south of Willow

Point on Lake Winnipeg; • Building a second channel between Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin; • Lowering the range of Lake Manitoba from the current range of 810.5 to 812.5 feet, by half a foot, to 810.0 to 812.0 for a period of five years (to help allow marshes and beach ridges to re-establish); • Modifying the current operating rules for the Fairford Control Structure, such that during recovery from flood conditions on Lake Manitoba, the Fairford Control Structure is kept wide open until the lake recedes to the middle of the range; and • In designing the permanent outlet from Lake St. Martin, consideration be

given to both the desirable lake level range for Lake St. Martin (797 to 800 feet above sea level) and to the effects of an additional outlet from Lake Manitoba to Lake St. Martin. Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said the government has already begun work on or completed 75 per cent of the two committees’ recommendations. He accepted all recommendations of the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee. More in-depth details of the two reports will be provided in future editions of Cattle Country. The reports are available at: www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/ index.html


8

CATTLE COUNTRY May 2013

VET CORNER

BABY CALF PNEUMONIA DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

Attention to detail and optimizing management at all levels of cow-calf production will help minimize your calf pneumonia risk. pressure changes and temperature fluctuations, can be all it takes to initiate a pneumonia outbreak. Be vigilant and diligently check your calves. Early detection and treatment with a long-acting broad-spectrum antibiotic and anti-inflammatory is critical to treatment success. When viruses are part of the problem, however, response to therapy will be less successful. Bacterial and viral vaccines should be considered at spring turnout (or earlier, if pneumonia is seen in very young calves). Which vaccine to use depends on your herd history and the disease incidence in your area. Your veterinarian can help you tailor a program to specifically meet your herd’s needs. The first step is often getting an accurate diagnosis by

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doing necropsies and submitting tissue samples for testing. Eyeballing the lungs can be misleading, so spend money on lab fees. BRSV, PI3, Histophilus and Pasteurella multocida are most commonly isolated in my practice area, so my recommended vaccine programs reflect those findings. Focus on getting a strong immunity to the viruses as they cause the initial damage to the respiratory tract, allowing the bacteria to invade and cause further disease and damage. An intranasal vaccine, like Zoetis’ Inforce 3, can be safely given at birth for the prevention of pneumonia in young calves. It is available in single dose vials, making vaccination of young calves much more convenient and cost-effective. Timing of vaccination

JEANNETTE GREAVES

This year’s never ending winter has created challenging calving conditions for those that have pushed their calving season back to the warm months of April and May. Calving on pasture with lots of space is not an option for many producers this year. Overcrowding and mismothering in the face of adverse weather conditions have created pneumonia problems in several herds. Attention to detail and optimizing management at all levels of cow-calf production will help minimize your calf pneumonia risk. Usually pneumonia happens when the passive immunity (antibodies) from the dam’s colostrum naturally wanes and if the calf has not been previously exposed to pneumonia-causing viruses and bacteria, such that it begins to develop its own natural immunity. Viruses (IBR, BVD, BRSV) and bacteria like Mannheimia hemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, Histophilus somni and Mycoplasma, are present in carrier animals in a herd and passed from the nasal cavity of the cow to the nasal cavity of the calf at a very early age. They do not tend to cause any disease unless there is a stressor that triggers a weakening of the immune system. Stressors, such as cold rain/snow, wind, atmospheric

and which products are used will vary depending on if calves get pneumonia at a really young age or not until they are a few months old. Culture and drug sensitivity results can also help you select an economical and effective treatment program. Although the earlier-mentioned risk factors are, for the most part, uncontrollable, there are some things that you can do to help boost calf immunity. Even in well-managed beef operations, over 25 per cent of calves have not received adequate amounts of colostrum. Studies have shown that these calves are 12 and a half times more

EXperience

likely to have health problems in the feeding period, long after weaning. Inadequate colostrum intake is largely a management problem. Poor nutrition, an inadequate cow vaccination program and high numbers of first-calf heifers result in poor quality and reduced amounts of colostrum. Poor teat conformation and leakage or nursing prebirth also result in questionable colostrum supplies. Delays in calf nursing, whether due to mismothering, difficult birthing, adverse weather conditions or predation risks, also limit the success of passive transfer. Poor cowherd mineral and vitamin programs set up

the whole herd for increased disease problems, ranging from grass tetany, milk fever, calving problems, retained placenta, infertility, calf losses, lower herd immunity (scours, pneumonia, joint ill, mastitis, metritis, bacteria, viral and protozoal infections and parasitism) and lower milk yield and growth. It never pays to cheapen your feed costs by eliminating your mineral program. If calf pneumonia haunts your operation, know that help is available. Meet with your veterinarian to beef up your management and vaccination programs to wean more pounds this fall.

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May 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

VET CORNER

CALF SCOURS DR. TANYA ANDERSON, DVM

birth since it lacks most antibodies, including those that fight the infectious agents that cause scours. Keep calves warm and dry so that they can vigorously nurse and receive adequate colostrum early in life. Mud, overcrowding, dirty bedding, calving heifers and cows together, wintering and calving in the same area, snow, rain, wind and extreme temperature fluctuations all create increased disease challenges for the newborn calf. Find out what is causing your scour outbreak so that you can implement specific changes to your herd health program to prevent similar problems in subsequent years. Infectious causes of calf scours may be grouped as follows: Bacteria (E.coli, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens), viruses (corona, rota, BVD), protozoa (Cryptosporidia, Coccidia) and yeasts and molds. But remember that, regardless of the cause of the scours, treatment of all diarrheic cases remains similar. Calves don’t die from the infectious cause of the scours, they die from dehydration, acidosis and electrolyte loss.

All scouring calves need fluid therapy—even those that are alert enough to follow their dams and move away when approached. If you keep the calf hydrated, its own body defenses will usually be able to control the infectious agents involved. Think about why your doctor recommends lots of fluid intake while battling a bad cold. If calves get dehydrated, they are at risk of developing acidosis and electrolyte loss, necessitating a trip to the vet clinic’s scour ward. Yes, treating these “active” calves seems like a waste of time and valuable supplies but early intervention will save you time and money in the future. Treat today because this problem will get a lot worse tomorrow. And, while treating, separate the sick calves so that you don’t spread the infection through the whole calf crop. Oral fluid therapy, with products like Revibe or Calf-Lyte, is appropriate for calves that are still nursing, alert and standing with good muscle tone. Calves with mild dehydration can be successfully treated with these oral fluids. However, if their eyes are sinking despite fluid

PREMISES IDENTIFICATION UPDATE

JEANNETTE GREAVES

Diarrhea, coined scours, is the most common cause of sickness and death in preweaned calves. An outbreak can cause huge financial losses to cow-calf producers with upwards of 50 per cent death losses in severe episodes. Infectious agents, like viruses, bacteria and parasites, attack the lining of the gut and cause water loss through the damaged wall. Left untreated, calves will rapidly die of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Scours is a disease resulting from mismanagement—at both the cow and calf level. This same mismanagement can also result in the increased incidence of other health issues, like pneumonia and navel infection. Colostrum quality and quantity is adversely affected if the energy and protein requirements of the pregnant cow are not met. Deficiencies of vitamins A and E and trace minerals also increase the incidence of disease, as does a failure to vaccinate cows with a scour prevention vaccine. Pay attention to the newborn calf—it is most vulnerable to disease at

therapy, or you find them weak and barely able to get up, bring them into the vet clinic. Calves that are more severely dehydrated (eyes sunk in, prolonged skin tent) or those that are weak, wobbly or unable to get up will require more aggressive intravenous fluid therapy. These calves are becoming acidotic with electrolyte imbalances. Their intestines can no longer absorb fluids so continued drenching will just cause a distended painful abdomen. Failure to hook these calves up will result in death. Don’t wait to call your vet until your calf is barely responsive. These types of calves can be brought back from the brink of

Black Angus Bulls

been established between the PID you get from the Government of Manitoba and the CLTS. This means you will have one less premises ID number. The existing PIDs issued by the CCIA have been phased out, as of April 30, 2013. The next time you are on the CCIA’s data base, take a few moments to convert your account to your Manitoba PID, issued by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI). This can be accomplished through the following steps:

1. Login in to the CLTS. 2. Go to My Account— Premises page. 3. Click on the Premises ID that you want to link. 4. Click the “Edit” button in the premises detail info page. 5. Enter “Provincial Prem ID” and “Change Reason”, and then click “Update”. Of course, to do this you will need to have your Manitoba PID. You can get this at any MAFRI office. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call MBP at 1-800-772-0458.

Scour prevention is much preferable over scour treatment. Sit down and discuss your herd’s risks with your veterinarian before next year’s calving season. Learn what your options are: nutrition, calving ground management, cow grouping, vaccination programs and newborn calf management tips. Don’t lose your money and sanity dealing with calf scours.

MBP STAFF Beef producers across Manitoba have expressed significant frustration about the lack of co-ordination between the Canadian Livestock Traceability System (CLTS) and the Manitoba Premises Identification Number (PID). Because of this, producers have had multiple identification numbers for the same location. This is an issue that is finally being addressed. On April 9, 2013 the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) announced that a link has

death but it is costly. Treatment for these calves is an emergency. Early treatment with oral fluids is cheaper, faster and carries a better prognosis. Scared of the esophageal feeder? Don’t be afraid to ask for a demonstration on its proper use and for tips on how to tube those tiny calves. Try a variety of models to see which works best for you.

www.nerbasbrosangus.com & www.nerbasbrosangus.blogspot.com

Shellmouth, MB CANADA 204-564-2540


10 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2013

DIVERSIFIED BEEF FARMERS NAMED 2013 OUTSTANDING YOUNG FARMERS SUBMITTED Tyler and Dorelle Fulton, from the Birtle, Man. area, have been chosen as the province’s 2013 Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF). The beef farmers operate their cow-calf operation with a farming philosophy based on balance, and will represent Manitoba at the Outstanding Young Farmers national event later this year. The Fulton’s were announced as the representatives at an OYF event held at Elkhorn Resort, attended by Hon. Ron Kostyshyn, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; MP Robert Sopuck; MLA Stu Briese; and Manitoba 4-H Council Executive Co-ordinator Clayton Robbins. The other honourees included beef producers Allan and Carolyn Nyloliation from Crandall, organic beef producer Bryce Lobrea from Pipestone, and dairy farmers Steven Boerchers and Ellen Gorter from Beausejour. “Successful farm businesses depend on continuous

innovation while managing undue risk,” said Steven Snider, OYF regional chair representative. “Tyler and Dorelle are off to a strong start with their operation as they keep these principles in mind every day. This approach bodes well for their family farm and exemplifies why they have joined the ranks of Canada’s outstanding young farmers.” For the past six years, the Fulton’s have been operating their farm as a joint venture with Tyler’s parents. Their 450-cow beef herd is balanced with a backgrounding beef lot and hay export business. Raised on a mixed beef, grain and strawberry farm, Tyler was influenced at an early age by his parents’ work with the cattle producers’ association and farm debt review board. After graduating from the University of Manitoba (BSc. in Agribusiness) in 1999, he worked in risk management for 10 years, and continues in a part-time

role with H@MS Marketing Services, developing tools and strategies to help hog producers manage market price risk. Dorelle was raised in Winnipeg, and started her professional career there as a chartered accountant. Like Tyler, she continues parttime, off-farm work as a financial advisor with Parks Canada. The Fulton’s farming philosophy of balance includes three key areas: balancing family and work, environmental and economic sustainability, and risk management and operational innovation. In addition to raising their five-year-old twins Evan and Mae, Tyler and Dorelle round out their farm operation with community involvement that includes the local school and library boards. Celebrating 33 years of identifying great agricultural successes, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize

Tyler and Dorelle Fulton receiving their award from Hon. Ron Kostyshyn.

farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from onfarm sources, participants

are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer CropScience, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,

and is supported nationally by AdFarm and Farm Management Canada. Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2013 will be chosen at the National Event in Regina, Sask., from November 1217, 2013.

LOOKING BACK AT THE AGM PRESIDENT’S BANQUET AUCTION RAISES $6,800

MBP STAFF Guests attending the 2012 AGM President’s Banquet helped raise funds in support of two important charitable causes. The banquet was held on February 7, 2013 in the Imperial Ballroom at the Victoria Inn, Brandon, during the Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) annual general meeting. Former District 13 Director Kim Crandall was the auctioneer for the evening. Over 20 live auction lots garnered bids ranging from $75 to $950, bringing in $6,800. Items were generously donated by a long list of supporters and included everything from alfalfa seed to monster truck tickets. The top lot of the evening was a $500 sale credit from the Manitoba Simmental Association, which sold for $950. That was followed by a pair of custom made leather chinks, designed and donated by Suzette Crandall, which sold for $550. A Tough Duck package donated by Richlu Manufacturing and a golf

THANK YOU TO THE GENEROUS AUCTION DONORS: True North Sports & Entertainment Ltd.

Heinz and Elsie Reimer

Ray and Susan Armbruster

Ag West, Portage and Neepawa

Kerry and Jeremy Pilkey Breault Custom Silage - Clayton and Shawna Breault Manitoba Simmental Association Asessippi Ski Resort Reit-Syd Equipment in Dauphin

Guests check out the auction items.

package from Cam Dahl went for $525 each. The funds were divided equally for the Major Jay Fox family trust fund and Cystic Fibrosis Canada Manitoba. MBP wanted to show its support for the Fox family in remembrance of our past president and friend, Major Jay Fox, who passed away suddenly on December 23, 2011. MBP

was pleased to have Angie Fox and two of the couple’s four children, Devon and Charlee, join us at the banquet. MBP’s board and staff extend caring thoughts to the whole family. MBP also wanted to show its support for the Crandall family by donating to Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Unbeknownst to Kim Crandall as he was bid

calling, half of the money he was helping raise was going to a cause related to his own family. Kim and his wife Suzette have a son, Connor, 15, who is affected by CF. MBP wishes Connor, Kim, Suzette, Keirstin and Kelsey the very best. Thank you to all of the bidders, donors and everyone who helped make the auction a success.

Defoort Stock Farm - Gordon and Sue Defoort

Total Farm Supply

M & J Farms - Miles and Bonnie Glasman BrettYoung Black Sand Cattle Company - Craig Davidson Steads Farm Supply in Boissevain and Westway Feeds - David Stead and Ron Manness Cam Dahl

Suzette Crandall

Chuck MacLean, Canada Beef Inc.

Richlu Manufacturing

Allflex

Winn Man Farms - The Beyaks

Horizon Livestock and Poultry Supply

The Fort Garry Hotel

Mazergroup

Co-Op Feeds Brandon


May 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

CFIA DISCONTINUES ANTHRAX CONTROL PROGRAM RON FRIESEN

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is pulling out of a longstanding federal program to control anthrax in livestock and to help offset its effect on producers. CFIA will no longer investigate and quarantine farms with anthrax. It will also cease testing, collecting samples, vaccinating herds, cleaning up infected sites and compensating producers for carcass disposal. Anthrax is still a federally reportable disease but producers now have to shoulder the effort and cost of controlling it. “Unfortunately, it will fall to the producers. That’s my understanding,� said Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager. “If anthrax does occur, it’ll be a shift in cost.� CFIA announced the changes in 2012. They took effect April 1, 2013. In a notice to the industry last year, CFIA said it plans to “modernize� its policy for managing reportable animal diseases. “By taking steps to modernize its approach to anthrax, the CFIA will be able to focus more resources on emerging disease and foreign animal diseases. This is where federal involvement is critical and aligns with current disease realities.� CFIA did not consult with provinces before making the move. Dr. Wayne Lees, Manitoba’s chief veterinary officer (CVO), said CVOs from the four western provinces are conferring about how to respond to the changes. They plan to develop guidelines to help provinces respond to anthrax outbreaks, now that Ottawa is no longer involved. A final protocol should be in place by late summer, when anthrax season usually begins. The protocol will be designed to help all provinces respond to anthrax control in the same way. Dr. Lees said provinces will provide oversight in handling infected carcasses, cleaning up disposal sites and ensuring the disease does not spread. But CFIA did not transfer any money to help pay for those things. So provincial ability to assist producers is limited, Dr. Lees said. “The chances of having a program equivalent to the federal one are pretty slim at this point.�

Both Dahl and Dr. Lees encouraged cattle producers to consult with local veterinarians about vaccinating their herds, especially in areas that have previously experienced anthrax. Anthrax vaccine costs around $17 for a 10-dose vial and $80 for a 50-dose vial, although prices vary from clinic to clinic. Dahl said producers should plan ahead because the vaccine is a prescription drug and may not always be available when needed. “Because of what this is, it’s not sold over the counter and it’s not always easy to get.� Besides vaccinating their animals, producers are also urged to practice biosecurity measures. Those include: not cutting hay or feed too close to the ground to avoid contamination; cleaning and disinfecting equipment and footwear that may have had contact with contaminated soil; and keeping clothes worn while tending to sick animals separate from the rest of the household laundry. Anthrax is an acute bacterial disease transmitted by spores, which can survive for years or even decades in the soil. It can only be contracted by ingesting spores and is not spread by direct contact. The disease affects cattle, sheep, goats, horses and bison. Although once common in Western Canada, anthrax had become rather infrequent until a 2000 outbreak occurred in southeastern Manitoba. Cases have appeared periodically ever since. Manitoba saw one case of anthrax in the R.M. of Whitehead in 2011 involving a herd of cattle. Saskatchewan also reported a case in cattle that year. In 2012, Saskatchewan reported one case in cattle and two in bison. Dr. Lees said anthrax is more common when a flood is followed by drought. Floodwaters flush dormant spores to the surface. Later, when dried-up potholes are the only place where grass is growing, cattle go there to graze and ingest the deadly spores. Dr. Lees said anthrax is almost always fatal in livestock once it is contracted. But the cause of death is not always obvious. A dead animal with no visible signs found on a pasture may have succumbed to anthrax, blackleg

or a lightning strike. Only a veterinarian can determine cause of death. An animal that contracts anthrax can be dead within a few hours. By the time a producer learns about it, his livestock losses could be fairly high, Dr. Lees said. “Folks who have had anthrax in their area should be strongly encouraged to vaccinate.� Dr. Lees said CFIA will cease support services for

Check out our Market Report online UPDATED WEEKLY

three other livestock diseases—rabies, chronic wasting disease (CWD) and anaplasmosis—effective April 1, 2014. Producers will have to assume responsibility for managing these diseases as well, because provincial governments may have limited ability to take up the slack. “I expect there will be more of these programs that will change their focus,� he said.

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The story of Canadian agriculture is one of success, promise, challenge and determination. We know, because we live it every day. Be proud. Champion our industry. Share your story, hear others and learn more at www.AgMoreThanEver.ca.

MBP is a proud champion of this cause


12 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2013

TYPICAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES TERRY BETKER

Financial management, understandably for a lot of producers, is not all that interesting. For some, it is a management area that can, at times, be confusing and difficult to understand. However, as the business of agriculture evolves and as farms advance, financial management is requiring more attention. Based on my observations, the information provided in the following article outlines some of the more typical financial management practices producers do—or don’t do—that fall into the category of “room for improvement.” Note that not all producers do all of these things all of the time. Some producers are better financial managers than others. Everyone has different skill sets and interests when it comes to managing a farm business. This list is not exhaustive and is presented without any specific order.

General Comments on Financial Management

expenses, as opposed to • Having too much of the setting desired financial total debt due in the next performance targets and 12 months; an amount that The annual set of finan- managing (production and is greater than the farm’s cial statements belongs to the related expenses) to achieve ability to earn the money farmer and this is for their them. and turn it into cash. information and use. How• Not structuring debt reever, a great number of pro- FINANCIAL payment commitments ducers treat the statements MANAGEMENT to match cashflow patas if the main purpose is for CATEGORIES terns. third parties, for example, Liquidity • Using trade credit and/ the Canada Revenue Agency • Not having enough workor credit cards inapproand lenders. The statements ing capital to self-finance priately. fulfill these roles but the prioperations for the next mary purpose should be to year. A shortfall must Solvency provide information that the be made up from other • Not understanding the farmer can use in managing sources. Obviously, the potential implications of the business. greater the shortfall, the the additional risk assoGenerally, producers could more serious the problem. ciated with adding longbe much better at applying fiRequires regular moniterm debt, especially with nancial information to their toring as it can change repayment over 15 or business management decidrastically in one year. more years. sions. The majority lack an • Purchasing capital assets • Purchasing assets withunderstanding of where they through the operating out any plan and/or not need or want to be financialloan as opposed to setting having a capital budget. ly, in the future. up a term loan. • Purchasing assets on Common among pro- • Selling market inventory impulse or “to keep up ducers is the financial in a response to an imwith the neighbours.” management mindset that mediate cash shortfall as • Carrying too much debt as accepts financial perforopposed to proactively compared to the amount mance as an outcome of the aligning marketing with of equity there is in the year’s production and related cashflow needs. business.

Profitability

• Being over capitalized where there is too much investment in equipment, resulting in increased amortization and interest costs that, in turn, decrease net profit and therefore, profitability. • Equity growth that comes primarily from capital appreciation as opposed to earnings. • Having assets that are no longer used (should be converted into cash).

Financial Efficiency

• Not understanding where operating financial efficiencies are, or aren’t, in their business. Operating financial efficiencies refers to achieving returns, or margins, over production, operating and fixed expenses. • Not differentiating between total net profit (“bottom line” net profit that includes incidental revenue and expenses)

and net operating profit (or profit that is generated by the core farm business). There is volatility in the industry. Profit margins are generally narrow. Investment (operating and capital) is large and increasing. These are all reasons that point to the increasing importance of financial management. Check out the earlier summary and see where, if at all, there may be room for improvement in your operation. You don’t have to become a financial management expert. If it’s not your cup of tea, source external resources that can provide you with the information and management support you need. Terry Betker, Backswath Management Inc., is a farm management consultant. He can be reached at 204-7828200 or by emailing terry. betker@backswath.com.

UPDATE ON CATTLE PRICE INSURANCE MBP STAFF

Since that agreement, the governments of the four western provinces have been working with the federal government on the design of the new program. Significant progress has been made and we are getting insight into how the structure of the new program may work. Western Canadian cattle price insurance will be based on the program that has been available in Alberta since 2009. The program will likely be a western Canadian offering with one administration site covering all four provinces. This will save money and help keep the premiums down. Western Canada will be divided into areas or zones that see similar prices and price changes. For example, calf prices at the auction mart in Ashern will not move the same as calf prices in Brandon, so these two areas will be in different regions. Each producer will be able to select the local price that they want to insure. A higher selected insurance price will result in a higher premium. For example, a

producer who chooses to lock in a price that will assure a profit will pay a higher premium than a producer in the same area who chooses to lock in at a break-even price. The program will trigger a payout if the regional daily price is below the insured price when the cattle are brought to market. This will be true even if the producer is an extraordinary marketer and sold their individual cattle well above the regional average. This discussion is slanted towards cow-calf producers. However, it is critical to note that a separate offering will be available for feedlot operators. The zones or regions for the feedlot program will be independent of the calf insurance program. This will help ensure the accuracy, and therefore the effectiveness, of the program for all links in the production chain. The negotiations between the western provinces and the Government of Canada are not yet complete, so we don’t have an

TARA FULTON

A workable cattle price insurance program has long been an objective of beef producers in Manitoba. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has been actively lobbying and working with governments to make this a reality. Beef producers are missing a critical risk management tool that is available to other farmers. Not only does this make it more difficult for you to manage price risk, it also makes it more difficult for you to compete for available land. Effective crop insurance for grain producers is one example of a risk management program available to other sectors of agriculture. There is no equivalent programming for the beef sector. However, we are getting close to closing this gap and realizing our goal for cattle price insurance. During the last meeting of federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers, there was an agreement to implement livestock price insurance under the business risk management section of the Growing Forward 2 suite of programs.

exact date for the roll-out of the new program. However, at this time, we believe preparations are on target to have the program finalized towards the end of 2013 or early in 2014. Of course, there are significant details that remain unknown. We don’t know how many regions or zones will cover Manitoba or where their boundaries will be located. And most importantly, we do not have an estimate of program premiums. These are critical issues that will determine

if the new program will be of value to your operation. MBP will continue to work with governments to help ensure the negotiations of these final details consider your needs. Despite remaining uncertainties, we are pleased with the progress that has been made. MBP may have some specific questions for producers as the development of the program continues. Of course, the directors that you have elected to sit on our board will be the primary sounding board. We

will also be using the pages of Cattle Country and our bi-weekly e-newsletter to get these questions directly out to you, our members. Your answers will help tailor the final program design. To sign up for the e-newsletter, email info@ mbbeef.ca. If you have any questions on this issue please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We always value your input and comments. Call us toll-free at 1-800772-0458 or email info@ mbbeef.ca.


May 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

THE BOTTOM LINE NEW SEASON OUTLOOK

RICK WRIGHT Cattle producers are struggling to understand the cattle markets this spring. Those who purchased cattle in the fall to background until spring are facing losses of over $100 per head on cattle weighing over 800 pounds. The lightweight grass market is still strong but running approximately 10 to 20 cents below last spring’s prices. The demand for breeding heifers to resell next fall is non-existent. The main culprit has been the cost of feeding the cattle and the slow beef movement on the retail level. On the feeding front, with corn at over $7 per bushel, combined with a shortage of dried distillers grains (DDGs) and other feed substitutes, the cost of a pound of grain has reached near record highs. There was good news at the end of March 2013, with the release of the grain stocks report. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pegged U.S. corn

stocks as of March 1, 2013 at 5.4 billion bushels, well above the average analyst estimate of about five billion. Stocks of soybeans and wheat also came in above expectations and the USDA said farmers would plant the most acres of corn since 1936. The estimated inventory of 5.4 billion bushels was sharply higher than expected. The report showed over 150 million bushels above the highest pre-report estimate and over 400 million, or 20 per cent, above the average, implying considerably less corn usage since December 1, 2012. Before the report, there was major concern that there may not be enough old crop inventory to cover the demand for the spring and early summer. This concern influenced the higher than average prices of the current corn and barley inventories. The ethanol usage of corn has been sharply lower but this stock figure implies sharply lower feed use

as well, even though meat and poultry production has been higher during that period. A good portion of that increase is due to higher cattle weights, which have been driven by the impacts of beta-agonist feed additives that cause very efficient gains late in the animals’ feeding period. But hog and chicken numbers are larger than last year, and experts doubt that feedlot efficiency alone can drive that kind of change in corn feed usage. The results of this report dropped grain prices for both old crop and new crop prices. The cattle futures responded with increased prices until the speculators decided to leverage shortterm profits, pushing the markets lower. Beef movement has been slow; beef is overpriced compared to pork. Packers on both sides of the border have reduced their weekly kills of fed cattle and have turned to cows to keep the kill lines operating.

For the last week of March 2013, in the U.S., steer and heifer slaughter was running at a weekly pace of 449,000 head per week, down 6.2 per cent compared to levels one year ago. Cow and bull slaughter, on the other hand, was running almost 13 per cent higher than a year ago. The increase continues to be driven by more dairy cows coming to market than a year ago. Some beef cow producers also continue to struggle with limited feed supplies and the sharp decline in feeder cattle values clearly has undermined the profitability of some herds, prompting some producers to exit the business. Regional feed shortages have decreased the demand for bred cows, with a large percentage of the bred cow sales going to the packers rather than back into production. Some feedlot operators have, in their feedlots, finished cattle that have been

priced and are nearing 40 days on delayed delivery. These contracts are well above the current cash market but the slow delivery restricts the feedlots’ ability to purchase new inventory. The feed conversion on these big cattle cuts into the profits of the feeder, while the increased carcass weight produces more beef per head. The biggest obstacle in the beef market is price point. Beef is expensive in the stores compared to some other meats. Pork is underpriced compared to beef! Even though grilling season for beef is just around the corner, pork will be front and center in the coolers, competing for consumer dollars. The good news is that chicken prices are high as well. In spite of broiler production that is three per cent higher, yearto-date, than one year ago, chicken prices are near or at record levels. Long term finished cattle prices look better for later in

the year as slaughter totals tighten to reflect the smaller feedlot placements of this past winter. Feedlot cattle included in the on-feed report showed that current inventory supplies of cattle on feed remain limited, down almost seven per cent versus a year ago. Prices still look favourable for the fall. USDA is predicting that, with the large projected corn crop, the average price could drop to $4.80 per bushel. Futures prices for finished cattle in the fourth quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014 are stronger than current prices. If the projected corn crop gets to the bin, demand from the south for Canadian cattle will be strong. Currently, there are between 7,000 and 8,000 feeder cattle going south per week out of Canada. This would be a drop in the bucket compared to the potential export opportunities in the future.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2013

STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP THE IMPORTANCE OF A FOOD POLICY

BRENDA SCHOEPP

Enabling policy is the backbone of any successful economy. It allows for creative, innovative ideas to grow and thrive to the point of sale. Enabling policy includes domestic and foreign policy that supports entrepreneurs and sustainability in established business. In my view, it is measured in terms of a healthy and educated middle class, lively rural communities and an increase in international trade. We are blessed in Canada. We have endless resources and opportunities, a supportive federal Minister of Agriculture, who is knocking on doors globally, and a resurgence of interest in farming and ranching. Although it appears that young folks are leaving the farm for work it is also true that some are leaving shortterm for agricultural education. Colleges are packed with youth and with middle age people trying their hand at food production as early retirees. The scene and the changing demographic is rather unconventional but realistically, farming today is without the restraint of border, class, age, gender, location, income, culture or politics. At the same time, urbanization is very real and is occurring worldwide. The majority of the world’s population is soon to live within 60 kilometres of a shore and the migration of people from the country continues. Globally, urbanization is contributing to the reduction of the labour force for agriculture and the erosion of rural economic health in small towns. Often these small towns were dependent on low attrition and the continuation of family farms and ranches. It is because of this concern that I am often asked in my rural travels how we could save the family farm. Some would start the debate with a question of “does the family farm need saving?” to which I would respond that the majority of farms and ranches in Canada are family owned and operated. In that context then, the definition of family farm includes corporate holdings, feed yards and agribusinesses. I do, however, question the validity of the question in terms of potential solutions. A more appropriate discussion may be where agriculture fits

within the framework of a larger societal policy. Throughout time, every civilization has evolved around food. Water and fertile land have been the backbone of survival and trade routes then expanded the farmed and ranched goods and services. Food and water have been weapons of war and it is for food that we must readdress the policy of rural Canada. Doing so is a tough sell in a country that has the highest level of food wastage worldwide, at nearly 40 per cent. As a population we are often overpaid, overweight, overleveraged and under appreciative. There is a very real disconnect between the farmer and the consumer because there is little need for that connection. Domestic and imported food in this country is readily available as we maintain our status as one of the top ten importers of food and top ten exporters of commodities and products worldwide. At the same time, other countries view our nation as an opportunity and invest in production land and facilities. Despite the strong feeling I encounter, both for and against outside investment, there is a reason for it. Someone, somewhere, understands the value of food. Food security is about

As a population we are often overpaid, overweight, overleveraged and under appreciative. There is a very real disconnect between the farmer and the consumer because there is little need for that connection. assets and arteries, both of which Canada can supply and that makes our land and our farms attractive to outside investment and further pressures family farms. Although we have never been destroyed in an event such as war, I recently asked General Rick Hillier, Canada’s former Chief of Defence Staff, about agriculture and food policy as it relates to the restructure of war torn countries. The “core” of recovery is agriculture and General Hillier is firm on the role of farming in the stability of a nation. He gave the example of the history of Afghanistan and the time of the Russian invasion. A full 80 per cent of this nation was dependent on agriculture as their means. For nine years, starting in 1979, Russia pounded Afghanistan but of all the horror that shook the Afghan people, it was the destruction of the irrigation systems that broke

the cultural fabric and the frontier spirit. Without water for crops, the once diverse farmers were now lost and frightened, and without a central production system. The people lived on the brink of starvation. Rural development and education go hand in hand and Afghanistan continues to hunger for both, but folks are flocking to the city (urbanization) in hopes of a better life. Intense urbanization leaves a country vulnerable, especially in Afghanistan where 55 per cent of the population is under 14 years old. They are vulnerable to the disruption of food delivery, vulnerable because most of the population is in one spot and vulnerable because of import dependencies that are often foreign owned. For us to counter the cry to save the family farm it may be necessary to take a very bold step and walk beyond the farm gate

to the urban kitchen for the purpose of identifying food as a societal need, protected under social, rather than agricultural, policy. The relationship of food and agriculture is clearly evident to us because we are in the game. But consumers often see us as just farmers and do not understand our role in the continuation and security of a civilization or a healthy economy. If we educated the consumer and asked them to realize that farmers are the sole source of food, I would expect their view of agriculture may change. It may indeed spur the discussion of where agriculture belongs in terms of policy and a new passion for all farms may spread from the city to the country. Canadians pay little for food as a percentage of income and we have the distinction of being on the land. We do not, however,

enjoy the respect or reputation we need to survive the backlash of severe food inflation or shortages. On the other side of the fence, farmers face rising production costs and are generally removed from the processing profit centres. Either way, when the going gets tough, agriculture will be forced into creative solutions and will need enabling policy to support them. If the business of food fell under social policy then both farmers and consumers would be protective of each other. The question is—at what cost? The answers are certainly not clear but until we look collectively at the continuation of agriculture beyond just the sustainable model in a win-win way, we will not move closer to long-term solutions as a nation, regardless of where agriculture resides. Brenda Schoepp is a Nuffield Scholar who travels extensively, exploring agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor, she works with young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website www.brendaschoepp.com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2013.


May 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

DIRECTOR PROFILE BEN FOX, DISTRICT 13

MBP STAFF

Ben Fox and family.

I wanted to get involved as a director to help promote the cattle business so that there is a beef industry that is viable for me to operate in, and around one day for my kids to take over. Fox is also a cattle buyer for JBS Foods Canada Inc. and Lakeside Feeders, which keeps him on the road during the week. Linda is a Farm Production Extension Specialist for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives in Ste. Rose du Lac. A place where life seems never dull, they are enjoying the beauty of raising their three young children Emma (7), Sutherland (6) and Benjamin (2), in the midst of production agriculture. Fox feels it is very important that his children understand where their food comes from and the work and dedication it takes to get it there. “It is gratifying to watch the kids feeding their animals or planting their own crops in the garden.” Fox says they all enjoy the work and the lifestyle of raising beef and he is proud to raise his family on the ranch. “Living a production agriculture lifestyle means there are a lot of opportunities to

help our kids develop and achieve their goals. The life lessons they are learning now are essential for success later in their lives, whether they come back to the ranch or not.” In his free time he likes to stay involved in the community, serving as Vice President of the Board of the Dauphin Agricultural Society. While on the ranch, he likes the time he has to ponder what he wants to do with his operation. “Right now I’m focused on calving and planning the summer pasture rotations. We are looking at trying to extend our grazing further into the fall to make things more economical,” he said. When it comes to MBP, Ben attended his first district meeting about five or six years ago in Eddystone, to support his brother Major Jay. He appreciates that MBP is a grassroots organization standing up for the beef industry in Manitoba. “I wanted to get involved as a director to help promote

the cattle business so that there is a beef industry that is viable for me to operate in, and around one day for my kids to take over,” he said. Fox became the District 13 director in 2013 and he has jumped right into the role. He serves on MBP’s animal health, Crown lands, and research committees. He also serves on external groups, such as the feedlot committee and as MBP’s alternate representative on the National Cattle Feeders’ Association. Some of the issues Fox is most interested in include trade and topics like countryof-origin labeling (COOL), education of beef producers and promotion of the beef industry to urban dwellers. He wants to ensure that beef producers understand the work that MBP does on behalf of their operations. “I hope they know that MBP is lobbying on their behalf each and every day to make certain that the beef industry is sustainable in our province. It’s self preservation to pay

the check-off to MBP and ensure there is a future to continue your ranching way of life.” A piece of advice he would offer a fellow young or beginning producer is all about doing your best for your business and customers, while enjoying the work. “I’d remind them to ‘under promise and over deliver,’ and also to do what they love to do,” he explained. When it comes to communicating with the public, Fox wants to help people

learn more about who is raising their food. “Beef producers have the best interests of the entire beef production chain in mind—the animals, the families who raise them and the consumers; they are all imperative and the importance of their well being is essential to our success.”

Food Fact

Ben’s favorite way to eat beef is a nice slow cooked prime rib roast or a well prepared ribeye steak. BARB JACK

New Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) Director, Ben Fox, is a fourth-generation beef producer who is working to ensure the sustainability of the beef industry in Manitoba. One of his reasons for becoming MBP’s District 13 director is to ensure that “beef producer” remains a viable career option for people just like him. Fox was born in Lloydminster, Sask., the fifth of six children to Lyal and Virginia Fox. Raised on his parent’s seed stock operation, his love for agriculture and the beef industry was established at an early age. He then attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., where he earned his BSc. in Animal Science. He says opportunities and family ties made the decision to come back to Manitoba the right one. “I’ve always wanted to be involved in the beef industry, to run my own show so to speak,” said Fox. “I knew there was a tremendous amount of opportunity in primary agriculture production in Manitoba.” Ben and his wife Linda own and operate Justamere Ranch, a purebred Polled Hereford and commercial Angus cow-calf operation, located just southeast of Dauphin, bordering Riding Mountain National Park.

District 13

MBP was proud to host its beef booth at the 2013 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair again this year in Thru the Farm Gate. Special thanks to the Jack Family of Portage la Prairie for featuring their cattle. Pictured here is Shania Jack tending to Tequila Rose and Alexander Keith.


16 CATTLE COUNTRY May 2013

SPRING YOUR HEALTH FORWARD BY EATING CLEAN ADRIANA BARROS, PHEC.

Gather a room full of men and women and ask how many have followed a diet in their lifetime. The majority will lift their hand, whether it was an extreme fad diet that excluded fats or carbohydrates or only drinking juices or eating soup. Stop! This is the reason the scale is yo-yoing! Your body is begging for consistency. Stick to eating clean! Eating clean is a new buzz phrase in the nutrition world. Defined, eating clean means finding a healthy balance amongst all the rules and learning how this can be the last change to a new and healthier you. Eating clean is a term made famous by Tosca Reno and her Eat-Clean Diet series. This article does not endorse the suggestions or claims given in these books, but is simply a reflection on how components of this diet can be used by a majority of individuals. Eating clean simply means basing your diet on whole foods. A diet structured around consuming whole foods means avoiding processed and refined foods, which are prepackaged items often found in the centre of the grocery store, at convenience food stops or at quick-service (fast-food) restaurants. This diet is an attempt at managing what you put in your mouth in order to prevent or regulate chronic diseases, lose weight and help remove toxins from your body that were deposited from food additives in your diet. Getting started may take some adjusting. Here are some basic principles to follow in order to get your kitchen cabinets,

refrigerator, freezer and pantry clean. • Eat whole foods. These are foods that if packaged individually, would only have one ingredient. Examples are lean red meats and poultry, whole pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables, natural dairy products like eggs, unsalted nuts and seeds. A wonderful example of preparing a meal using whole foods would be a lean beef oven roast paired with locally grown root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots and onions. • Avoid processed foods. Processed foods basically have a label attached to the product. This rule is very stringent according to this diet, and I think good judgement should be applied to following this guideline. A good rule can be if the ingredient on the label is difficult to pronounce or non-recognizable, do not buy it. Examples of acceptable processed foods with a label can be whole grain pasta or rice, canned tomatoes, pulses or lentils, frozen vegetables or fruit, and dairy products such as natural cheeses. • Eliminate refined sugar. Over consumption of sugar is linked to obesity and that leads to many other diseases, including the risk of developing cancer. Eliminating sugar can be very tough, especially when it is added into almost every packaged product for flavour or preservation. Start by replacing white sugar with honey or raw cane sugar. If a craving for sweets comes along, battle it with a fresh

piece of fruit. Avoid sugar added cereals, canned fruits packaged in syrup and especially canned soft drinks. • Eat three times per day with one to two small snacks in between. Eating every three hours keeps your body satisfied and running efficiently. Your body will not store excess calories because it is confident another meal is coming, your blood sugar will remain stable and you will never find yourself dying for a cookie. This type of habitual eating keeps your metabolism revved up, running high and should not leave you feeling deprived. • Combine healthy meals using all four food groups. When the combination of protein, carbohydrates and fats are mixed, your body is receiving all of its essential macronutrients in one sitting. An example of balanced eating can be as simple as adding healthy fats, such as canola oil or avocados, with lean high quality protein, such as beef strip loin steak. A meal can become complete by adding a side of complex carbohydrates, such as quinoa with vegetables and a sprinkling of cheese. This is the ticket to a successful meal that not only nourishes your body but works at keeping you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal time. The next step to a new you is the action of cleaning out your pantry and cupboards. Start with removing processed foods containing ingredients that are difficult to pronounce and packages with high amounts of refined sugars. Start fresh this spring and summer season by trying out a diet that avoids highly processed foods and start filling your crock-pot, grill, oven or stove top pots and pans with fresh foods found in the outer isles of the grocery store. Start eating clean with home cooked meals. Try a beautifully grilled strip loin steak with sautéed mushrooms, courtesy of Canada Beef Inc. and also found through foodManitoba.ca. This recipe is easily served family style.

CANADA BEEF INC.

This diet is an attempt at managing what you put in your mouth in order to prevent or regulate chronic diseases, lose weight and help remove toxins from your body that were deposited from food additives in your diet.

STRIP LOIN STEAK WITH SAUTÉED MUSHROOMS 2

Beef Strip Loin Grilling Steaks, 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick (each 8 oz/250 g) Freshly ground black pepper or Montreal Steak spice

2 tsp (10 mL)

Canola oil

2 cups (500 mL)

Sliced mushrooms (button, crimini or baby portabella)

2 tbsp (30 mL)

Minced shallots

2

Cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup (50 mL)

Dry white wine

1 tsp (5 mL)

Dried thyme or tarragon

1 tsp (5 mL)

Worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp (1 mL)

Salt

1. Pat steaks dry; season with pepper or steak spice. Grill over medium-high heat about five minutes per side for medium-rare. 2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots; cook until shallots are softened, about four minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in wine, thyme and Worcestershire sauce; cook, stirring often, for two to three minutes or until wine is reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Trim steaks, as needed, discarding trim. Carve crosswise into thin slices. Serve topped with sautéed mushrooms.

CALL 1-800-772-0458 FOR REMOVAL FROM MAILING LIST OR ADDRESS CHANGE.


Published by Manitoba Beef Producers

VOL. 17 NO. 4 JULY 2013

Cattle Producers Battle Serious Feed Shortages RON FRIESEN

Home in the Valley.

helped improve pasture conditions and restore soil moisture levels. But that raises another problem. Producers were forced to turn cattle out before pastures had a chance to recover from a long cold winter and a late spring. MAFRI recommends against putting cattle on pasture before emerging grass has reached the threeleaf stage. A rule of thumb is that turning cows out one week too early in spring loses three weeks worth of grazing in fall. Beef specialists also say grazing too early can cost up to 45 per cent of a pasture’s forage yield. Unfortunately, many producers began grazing pastures early this year because the shortage of feed gave them little choice. A factsheet written by MAFRI beef specialists and published by MBP this spring suggests ways to minimize the impact of early grazing. Producers may practice “skim grazing”—moving

cattle quickly through a pasture so they graze only the tips of leaves. This allows the plant to continue building its root reserves. Also, producers may sacrifice one pasture by keeping cattle on it until other pastures are ready for grazing. This will require feed to supplement poor pasture yields. MAFRI also recommends fertilizing hay fields to improve their productivity. Adding 50 pounds per acre of nitrogen and 30 pounds of phosphorus, for as little as $48 an acre, can double forage yields. With feed costing $110 per tonne, a producer needs only another half tonne of growth (about three to four inches) to cover costs. Other options for easing the feed crunch include stockpiling forages by leaving regrowth standing for late fall grazing; planting winter annuals for grazing next spring; and seeding early grass varieties.

Friesen also encourages producers to test feed for quality and nutritional content to make sure they are neither underfeeding nor overfeeding their animals. “You can trim a few bucks an animal just by testing your feed and doing a proper ration. A few bucks here and there add up, especially in years like this when hay is so expensive,” he explained. Friesen said forages respond quickly to adequate moisture if daytime temperatures are warm enough. Alfalfa plants in spring can grow five or six inches a week if conditions are ideal. “The yields will come. Hopefully we will get enough this summer to help build back those inventories.” The concern now is that the summer of 2013 may be a repeat of the two previous summers, when cool damp weather in spring suddenly gave way to hot

dry conditions and a poor hay crop. If that happens again this year, it could be disastrous coming on top of pastures already depleted by early grazing. Continued on page 2

Postmaster: Please return undeliverable copies to: MBP, 154 Paramount Road, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3 Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement Number 40005187 Postage paid in Winnipeg.

“On-farm inventories are lower now than they’ve been since I’ve been around,” said Glenn Friesen, provincial forage specialist for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI). “Guys got through the winter by culling herds, learning to trim feed costs where they could and feeding just about everything under the sun,” he explained. A combination of flood and drought over the last two years has proved devastating for cattle feed stocks in many parts of Manitoba. Widespread overland flooding damaged hay and pasture land throughout the province in the spring of 2011. The hardest hit area was around Lake Manitoba, where over 400,000 agricultural acres were flooded. The rains then stopped around the end of June and the weather turned hot and dry, searing pastures not affected by excessive moisture. The same weather pattern occurred in 2012. Some of the worst drought took place in the southeast region but dry conditions hurt hay and forage yields in other regions as well. Severe drought in the United States last year helped make a bad situation worse. Brokers from as far south as Texas scoured the Prairies last summer, paying top dollar for hay and sucking supplies out of regions that were short to begin with. So far this year, the drought seems to have eased. Ample snowfall last winter and heavy rains across much of southern Manitoba in late May

Jeannette Greaves

A severe feed shortage may be forcing Manitoba cattle producers to sell off their animals, stalling efforts to rebuild the province’s beef herd. The number of cattle coming to market has fallen sharply over the past year, suggesting herd numbers are down and producers simply have fewer animals to sell, said Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) general manager. Dahl bases his conclusion on the provincial check-off collected on every beef animal sold within Manitoba. He said MBP check-off collections are down 20 to 25 per cent during the association’s current fiscal year, which ended June 30. Dahl said the drop in check-off money is the direct result of fewer cattle being sold. He said the main reason for the drop in sales is a serious feed shortage over the last two years, caused by flooding in some parts of the province and drought in others. “There is no question that the feed situation has forced producers to exit the industry or significantly downsize their herds,” said Dahl. Industry analysts were hoping the cattle cycle had bottomed out last year and producers were starting to retain more heifers on their farms. But feed shortages have halted many producers’ efforts to rebuild their herds, Dahl said. Since 2011, too much water in some parts of Manitoba and not enough precipitation in other regions has brought on-farm hay inventories to their lowest level in years.


2

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

“That will be a challenge and if we don’t get enough rain throughout the entire summer, I would be concerned about yield shortages on pastures later this year,” Friesen said. Friesen also gave a heads-up about alfalfa winterkill in the northern U.S. dairy belt this year, which could put renewed pressure on feed supplies here. Early reports suggest winterkill in alfalfa may be widespread throughout parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, southern Minnesota

and Iowa, although no one is sure why. Reports also indicate producers are converting alfalfa fields to corn in order to cash in on high corn prices. That could mean more visits to Manitoba this summer from U.S. brokers looking to buy alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mixtures, Friesen said. “They were up here last year and the pump has been primed. The paperwork is done, relationships have been built and this may become an annual thing now.”

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DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

R.M. of Albert, Cameron, Whitewater, Edward, Brenda, Winchester, Morton

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwall, Oakland, South Cypress, Victoria, South Norfolk

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

Dave Koslowsky

RAMONA BLYTH - SEcretary

DISTRICT 6

TreVOR ATCHISON - President

R.M. of Riverside, Strathcona, Argyle, Lorne, Turtle Mountain, Roblin, Louise, Pembina

R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

R.M. of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, Dufferin, Thompson, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland, Montcalm

R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard

Cheryl McPherson

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER - Vice President

R.M. of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds

Larry Gerelus

DISTRICT 8

glen campbell

R.M. of Harrison, Clanwilliam, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Langford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

R.M. of Woodlands, Rockwood, St. Andrews, Rosser, St. Francis Xavier, Springfield, Tache, Whitemouth, Lac du Bonnet, Brokenhead, St. Clements, LGD of Alexander, Pinawa

R.M. of Shell River, Shellmouth, Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin, LGD Park

R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas

VACANT

DISTRICT 10

Theresa zuk - treasurer

R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, Fisher, Armstrong

DISTRICT 11

Caron Clarke

R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Coldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 12

bill murray

R.M. of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa

BEN FOX

Ray Armbruster - Past President

Manitoba Beef Producers

communications coordinator

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Deb Walger

154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

policy analyst

Maureen Cousins

www.mbbeef.ca

stan foster

Kristen Lucyshyn

finance

executive assistant Lacé Hurst

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Shannon Savory


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

An Uncertain Future for Flood Victims Sandi Knight Joe and Lydia Johnson

Sandi Knight A weed and debris covered field where a claim for aerial application of desiccant was denied. Sandi Knight

An aerial flood photo of Big Point Retreat.

The end of May marked a two-year anniversary for people around Lake Manitoba but there was no celebrating to be had. While May 31, 2011 is forever ingrained in their memories, it is for all the wrong reasons. Gale force winds gusting from 90 to 100 kilometres per hour caused extensive damage all along the south shore. Those extreme winds caused tidal movement of the water—up to four miles inland—swallowing up farmland and property in its path; destroying and damaging homes and cottages. At that time, the lake was just below 815 feet, well above the top end of the operating range of 812.5 feet, but not yet at the unimaginable peak of 817.15 feet reached by mid-July. The resulting effect on the lives and livelihoods of people in the 11 municipalities around the lake was devastating then and is still being felt today. In a May 30, 2011 interview with Marcy Markusa of CBC, Stan Struthers (then Minister of Agricultural, Food and Rural Initiatives) spoke about diverting water from the Assiniboine into a lake already at naturally occurring high water levels. “We decided on top of that to flow even more water through the Portage Diversion. We made that decision for all the right reasons…” As for the province’s accountability, “We accept responsibility,[…]. Infrastructure that we put in

place is designed to minimize the impact on Manitobans but we need to realize that some Manitobans paid a price to protect the rest of us. That means […] fair compensation…” This was reiterated by Struthers on June 1, 2011 at a meeting in Langruth. “We are working on […] a multi-year, comprehensive, compensation package. If it is two years down the road and nothing is happening, I want to know about that.” In fact, the Water Resources Administration Act states, “A compensation award is to be based on the full value of the artificial flood damage to the claimant’s eligible property or his or her economic loss due to artificial flooding.” Many around the lake agreed—flooding a few to save many was the right decision, however, promised compensation has not been fair and comprehensive for all. While many were satisfied with payments made for 2011, others are still waiting on claims that were denied through the appeal process. This includes claims on fallapplied fertilizer (2010) on flooded crop land and aerial application of desiccant to kill four to five foot tall weeds on fields that were also strewn with debris (pieces of dock, trees, patio furniture, tires, bottles and more). The $108/ acre paid for flooded crop land did not come close to covering potential income on fields where wheat, canola or beans would have been grown. Numerous costs have

not been covered; expenses continue to be incurred. Compensation was not paid for 2012 despite many producers around the lake having diminished or no income. Some land was still under water that spring and many pastures were covered with a thick layer of black silt. Cattails were prolific and foxtail barley thrived on soil now rich in salinity. No one is sure when, or if, native hay land will return to production. Cropping should be better this year but yields will likely be diminished on the saline soils. Pastures and native hay land still remain unproductive. Loss of income will continue to be incurred. At the Manitoba Legislature on May 30, 2013, the opposition repeatedly questioned the NDP on its lack of multi-year compensation. Questions directed to Struthers were answered either by Premier Greg Selinger or Steve Ashton, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation. Their mantra was consistent—they have spent $840 million in compensation, $1.2 billion on fighting the flood and had nine stand-alone provincial programs. Selinger stated, “That program had an unprecedented degree of generosity and, also, an independent appeal commissioner was put in place if any specific circumstances of an individual were not

properly addressed […] and that commissioner has the ability to add additional support […] if he believes it has merit. The program is 100 per cent paid by the government of Manitoba over and above the federal guidelines […]. We have done more than any other province in the history of this country with respect to disaster financial assistance because the events in Manitoba were unprecedented in 2011. And now we’re moving ahead rapidly with a program for long-term mitigation.” That mitigation refers to the May 29, 2013 announcement of $250 million to build permanent outlet channels on Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. “Rapidly moving ahead” means construction will begin in 2016, pending environmental approvals and engineering studies. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2021. This is good news but the timeline is concerning. Selinger said, “It is going to make these peoples’ lives more stable for the future.” But what about the past two years and the next eight? Incomes have been reduced; land values diminished. People are still displaced and some have left the province. The economic impact on municipalities around the lake has been significant. Until operation outlets are in place and we are told what

www.mbbeef.ca

A pasture fence line two miles south of Lake Manitoba, October 8, 2011.

the lake levels will be kept at, the future is uncertain. The Portage Diversion has been operational nine out of the last 11 years; chances are it will be used again between now and 2021. In the past 37 years, the capacity of the Assiniboine River between Portage and Winnipeg has diminished from 24,000 cfs to 18,000 cfs, due to lack of maintenance. Perhaps increasing capacity for the natural flow of water could reduce the use of the Portage Diversion while we wait for construction to be completed? Stability, along with a guarantee of a livelihood and pre-flood land valuations, would be more than welcome. Strong, vibrant communities around the lake would contribute to the economic well-being

of our province. But waiting eight years? Will the people around Lake Manitoba have to continue to pay the price for holding water for those downstream on the Assiniboine? Perhaps Selinger, Struthers and Ashton should sit down and talk with the victims of this man-made and government-controlled flood; hear their stories and understand the true impact it has had, and continues to have, on their lives. Everyone agrees—the 2011 flood was unprecedented; we did pay the price. Now we must continue to work together in order to receive full, fair and adequate compensation from 2011 and beyond. The two years are up Minister Struthers— we’re still waiting…

As of June 5, 2013:

Lake Manitoba: 812.66 feet Assiniboine River at Portage: 10,700 cfs Portage Diversion: 4,210 cfs

This video is a vivid reminder of what happened along the shores of Lake Manitoba in 2011.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKzBt5QAVE

Link to Question Period May 30, 2011

www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/hansard/2nd-40th/ vol_50b/h50b.html#OQ


4

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

The views expressed in Cattle Country do not necessarily reflect the position of the Manitoba Beef Producers. We believe in free speech and encourage all contributors to voice their opinion.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

TAILGATE TALK Taking Aim at Issues

Trevor Atchison

As I write this, we are finally heading into summer. Beef producers were sure pleased when Manitoba found spring and we had some grass with cattle grazing. Right now, hay crops look like they are in fair condition, which is good to see. Hopefully producers will be in for a more bountiful year than what we saw in 2012. A long standing but key issue Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has been working on is bovine tuberculosis (TB). MBP is working with TB Coordinator Dr. Allan Preston on this issue. Weekly calls with both levels of government, departments and staff, have proved to be successful. At the end of May 2013, MBP submitted a research proposal for Growing Forward 2 funding on behalf of the producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). There was a short timeline to get this proposal together and it took considerable effort from MBP staff to prepare it and then have it submitted to the MBP board for approval. If the application is accepted by the federal government for Growing Forward 2 funding, this TB initiative could bring a substantial amount of funding for MBP to administer to producers who choose to participate in the project. In general, the TB issue has been helped by renewed commitment from the four ministers involved: Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Hon. Ron Kostyshyn, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; Hon. Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship; and Hon. Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment. They have provided a direct push through their departments to move on the eradication of TB from the RMEA. We thank the key government staff who are helping to move this issue forward. MBP will hear about approval for the Growing Forward 2 application this summer and the hope is that if approved, the

Work safe, take time to do the job right and make sure you are well rested. The health and well-being of everyone on the farm is our most valuable asset and we need to protect that. programs can be built going into the fall. You can read more about TB progress in this issue of Cattle Country. The community pastures steering committee has been quite active and there are several updates to share. You can read more about this issue in an article on page 16, written by General Manager Cam Dahl. I am MBP’s representative on the steering committee and I can assure you that we have been working diligently on this issue. Our business plan was sent to a consultant for further development and it came back to the committee in late April 2013. The consultant’s report showed what we had expected; that it was going to be tough to operate the pastures at a slight profit. A meeting with the producer advisory committee (PAC) chairs was held in mid-June to get further direction from those who use the pastures and on how to move forward. The process of reviewing the community pasture situation has been somewhat slow because the steering committee’s requests must get filtered through governments. It can often be frustrating when you are forging ahead by drafting strategies and plans, but not knowing if requests will be granted. We have publicly heard commitment from Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister Ron Kostyshyn that they want to see this situation work out for producers. Minister Kostyshyn himself has called the steering committee’s work a success on several occasions. We need this brought to a resolve by the middle of

summer, due to the fact that five community pastures in Manitoba will be closing November 1, 2013 and five more will close by March 31, 2014. U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) has been making headlines lately and we need to see positive developments that will change things at the ground level for producers. One positive note is that Minister Gerry Ritz has held consultations on COOL and recently released a list of items that retaliatory tariffs could be placed on if Canada sees the need to push it that far. This step must be taken if we do not see any response from U.S. law makers. Your MBP directors who serve on the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), along with MBP staff, continue to be vocal on this issue. They are emphasizing the negative impacts COOL brings for producers and the industry, and your directors will continue to voice the seriousness of this issue on your behalf to industry leaders and governments. We are not alone in this situation and there is support on both sides of the border to rectify this issue for the beef and hog industries. Looking internally, the MBP board approved the 2013-2014 budget at its June 2013 meeting. It was a tough task working to fit all of our requirements into the budget, but the finance committee did an excellent job in finding workable numbers to keep MBP operating and working on issues to ensure the sustainability of the beef industry in Manitoba. Reports are coming in that show the cull rate

of cows going to market is quite possibly higher than in recent years, and we hope that our income budgeted will match up to reality at this time next year. If it does not match what we planned for, other spending reductions will have to be looked at as well as other sources of revenue for MBP in order for the organization to continue to serve the beef producers of Manitoba. It is a possibility that our future support of the national organizations MBP pays membership to and supports financially could see a reduction in funds coming to them, and we look

Beef for Soldiers

to those organizations to implement the same priority planning sessions that MBP has carried out in order to direct limited funds to the areas that really need it, and to evaluate where the load can be lightened. Recently, I, along with fellow directors, their spouses, and Jackie Dann and her daughters, helped serve soldiers and their families at CFB Shilo as part of the Steaks for Soldiers campaign. Dignitaries from the Brandon area also took part, including Reg Helwer, MLA Brandon-West, and Merv Tweed, MP for BrandonSouris. This event was a great success and the soldiers and their families were very appreciative of the volunteers who provided a small token of time and product. As producers, we were honoured to provide a meal and time of fellowship for the men and women who serve our country. This year the event was held in conjunction with Family Day at the Shilo base and hamburgers and allbeef hot dogs were on the

menu and enjoyed by all. The base chefs cooked the meat and provided all of the trimmings, while we helped hand out the food. A truly special thank you to Harvey Dann and Jackie Dann, who created this initiative a few years back and managed to raise the funds required to carry out these great events across Canada each year. In closing, I would like to encourage my fellow beef producers and all workers and family members on farms across Manitoba to keep their focus on safe farm practices during this busy season. I have recently experienced first-hand the negative impacts that farm incidents can bring to my operation and family and I do not want my fellow producers to have to go through similar situations. Work safe, take time to do the job right and make sure you are well rested. The health and well-being of everyone on the farm is our most valuable asset and we need to protect that. I wish everyone a safe and productive summer!

On June 1, 2013, Manitoba Beef Producers directors and CCA representatives helped serve 1,500 burgers to troops and their families at CFB Shilo. The event was organized as part of the Steaks for Soldiers campaign, led by Harvey Dann and Jackie Dann, which shows support and appreciation for Canadian soldiers. The burgers were supplied by Preferred Meats Inc., with transport provided by Gardewine North. The Steaks for Soldiers program began in 2007. Shortly after the first event, Manitoba business people Harvey Dann and Jackie Dann independently spearheaded the Steaks for Soldiers campaign with the intent to bring the program to bases across Canada as a way for beef producers to extend their gratitude to the Canadian Forces. Since they took charge of the campaign, the Steaks for Soldiers program has been held at CFB Edmonton, CFB Shilo, CFB Valcartier and CFB Petawawa.

www.mbbeef.ca


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE Research Key to a Healthy Industry

CAM DAHL

I think the winter that seemed to never end, is finally over. While the slow spring was an inconvenience for most Manitobans, I know it was much more than that for many of you. Severe feed shortages have forced producers to bring cows to market before their time. This is a trend that is not good news for the beef herd in Manitoba and will have an impact on the rebuilding that we had begun to see. The impact of the feed shortage is one of the key policy issues covered in this month’s edition of Cattle Country. Among other key issues, this edition of the paper also tackles the ongoing saga of mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) in the U.S., an update from Manitoba’s Tuberculosis (TB) Coordinator and a review of the progress on the transition of the community pasture program. Our team of journalists, writers, editors and Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) staff put a lot of effort into Cattle Country. We want to bring you a paper that provides updates on key issues in our industry and provides you with information you need to improve your bottom line and grow your operation. Your feedback on these key issues is important to me and all of MBP. I encourage you to write, email or call if you have comments, suggestions or concerns with anything that is covered in these pages. It is important that we hear from

you. After all, this is your organization. Your feedback and direction are critical to our success. Beef and forage research in Manitoba has been in the news lately, sometimes for good reasons, but also for all the wrong reasons. First, to the good news. As I write this, I am anticipating the announcement of federal funding support for the second National Beef Science Cluster. This will see millions of dollars invested in beef and forage research across Canada. This commitment to research will have a lasting impact. A significant portion of this funding is expected to flow to Manitoba and projects supported by MBP, both through provincial and national check-off dollars. But not all of the news is good on the research front. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has also indicated that it will be consolidating research activities across Canada as a costcutting measure. One of these cuts is the beef and forage work currently being carried out at the research station in Brandon. AAFC has indicated that some beef and forage research will continue, just at Lacombe, Alberta, and not in Manitoba. To say that MBP is disappointed in this announcement would be an understatement. MBP strongly supports scientific research. I have made this statement a lot lately but it deserves repeating, and then repeating again.

Effective research ensures that new tools and business practices are demonstrated to be practical in working conditions. Researchers, industry and governments must ensure that real efforts are put into extending the results and impact of research to you. Research is so important to us. In fact, it is explicitly part of our organization’s mission statement. Why do we invest heavily in research? It is because research is the key to the future competitiveness of our industry. Obviously, being competitive in world markets is important to beef producers. But it is also important to the local communities where we buy our gas, groceries and equipment. It is important to our urban centres because of the jobs that our industry generates. And our competitiveness should be important to governments if they are interested in the health of Manitoba’s economy. Research must generate new forage options that can help increase yields and improve profitability. Breakthroughs in animal genetics will revolutionize how each individual producer approaches their breeding programs. New management practices, many centered on new ways of managing information, will

help producers reduce costs and get more from their marketing efforts. MBP continues to stress the benefits from investment in research precisely because of the potential production and marketing gains we see on the horizon. The threat of failure is real. If we do not realize these benefits, our producers run the very real risk of being overtaken in world markets by countries like Brazil, Argentina and Australia. We all know that “research” is more than just smart people in lab coats at a remote location somewhere in the world. Effective research touches the ranch directly. Effective research ensures that new tools and business practices are demonstrated to

be practical in working conditions. Researchers, the industry and governments must ensure that real efforts are put into extending the results and impact of research to you. People who spend most of their time in offices call this technology transfer, which means ensuring that producers have the information necessary to take advantage of new developments. MBP sees “tech transfer” as one of our key roles in research. Extension will be a key required component for all future research proposals supported by MBP. We, as an organization, are also going to focus resources to ensure that “tech transfer” actually occurs. Producers will not see the benefits of

research if this goal is not accomplished. Our disappointment in the recent announcements from AAFC regarding the Brandon Research Centre—and we are disappointed—does not mean we are going to stop supporting beef and forage research that is relevant to Manitoba’s beef industry. We will just have to adapt. We will look for additional partnerships, whether it is done nationally through the Beef Research Cluster, with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI); the University of Manitoba, or others who are interested in advancing our industry in Manitoba. Advancing research is simply too important for us to ignore.

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

Round-up of Bills Being Debated at the Manitoba Legislature Maureen Cousins, MBP Policy Analyst Although agricultural issues have not been the primary focus of Manitoba’s recent legislative session, some bills were brought forward that are of interest to the beef industry. The following is a synopsis of those bills.

Bill 24: The Endangered Species Amendment Act

Introduced by Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister, Gord Mackintosh, this bill overhauls Manitoba’s Endangered Species Act so that in addition to protecting endangered species, it will include new provisions aimed at protecting essential habitats for endangered wildlife and plants on provincial Crown land. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased that in announcing the legislation the provincial government acknowledged that, “Grazing is an important management practice to

maintain healthy grassland ecosystems and populations of species at risk, such as buffalo grass and burrowing owls, and would not be affected by the new legislation.” However, because they are not explicitly excluded, MBP wants to ensure this legislation will not impact production practices used by beef producers on agricultural Crown lands. MBP has, and will, continue to outline these concerns to the Manitoba government. Bill 24 contains four key components: 1. Ecosystem protection; 2. Enhanced protection of species at risk; 3. Updated enforcement powers; and 4. Increased penalties for offences under the Act. For example, an ecosystem may be designated as endangered or threatened. Once designated, an ecosystem protection zone can

be established to protect examples of the ecosystem located within the zone. Certain activities may be regulated, governed or prohibited in the zones, and entry may be restricted or prohibited. Recovery strategies will be developed to promote the recovery of endangered and threatened ecosystems. A new provision will allow for a plant or animal species to be designated as a species of “special concern” if it is at risk because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats. Strategies must be implemented to manage the population of these species. As well, recovery strategies must be prepared to prevent further reductions of endangered and threatened species, and to reintroduce an extirpated species. Enforcement powers are more explicitly set out. For example, officers will be able to enter and pass through or

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over private land without being liable for trespass; stop vehicles and inspect any plant or animal species found in the vehicle; and make an arrest without a warrant if they witness an offence under the Act; among other powers. Penalties under the Act are increased. Fines for an individual that once ranged from $1,000 to $5,000 now top out at $50,000, while fines for a corporation that previously topped out at $250,000 could now reach as high as $500,000. Also new is that a court may require the convicted person to pay an additional fine that takes into account any monetary benefit or estimated monetary benefit they accrued due to their offence. Finally, items seized from a person convicted of an offence may be forfeited to the provincial government. Producers are also reminded that Manitoba’s endangered species legislation applies to species wherever occurring in the province, including on private lands.

Bill 31: Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act

Introduced by Family Services and Labour Minister, Jennifer Howard, the changes will, among other elements, strengthen protection when a worker refuses unsafe work; require a workplace safety and health representative in every workplace with five or more workers; and require (by regulation under the Act) mandatory safety and health orientations for all new workers. The changes will also allow for public reporting of orders and penalties under the Act, such as stop work orders, improvement orders and penalties made or imposed. The position of Chief Prevention Officer will be created. This officer will provide advice and recommendations to the minister on preventing workplace injury and illness. Duties include preparing an annual report outlining steps being taken to prevent workplace injury and illness, as well as the effectiveness of these activities. In November 2012, the Minister’s Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health recommended that changes be made to the use of needles in workplaces. Specifically, it would have required the use of safety-engineered needles on farms and

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ranches, similar to the policy for needle usage in medical workplaces. However, Manitoba Beef Producers has worked effectively with provincial officials to show why these proposals were not practical in beef operations. We are pleased to note that Bill 31 does not include this proposal.

Bill 37: The Emergency Measures Amendment Act

Introduced by the Minister Responsible for Emergency Measures, Steve Ashton, this bill overhauls the Emergency Measures Act, updating and clarifying a number of its provisions. Key among them is that peace officers will be allowed to apprehend—without a warrant—people who fail to comply with an evacuation order to take them to safety. This includes the officers being able to enter a premises without a warrant to remove someone they believe isn’t complying with an evacuation order. Once the person has been taken to a safe place, they must be released. A person who has been apprehended may be ordered to pay costs incurred by the government related to that apprehension. Municipalities can recover their costs related to an apprehension in the same manner as taxes may be collected. As well, the provincial government will be allowed to arrest without a warrant and charge a person who interferes with the operation of, or who damages, any emergency infrastructure, including a water control work (e.g. the Portage Diversion). Specifically, it will be an offence to interfere with or to obstruct (or damage) the operation or intended operation of any emergency infrastructure, whether or not a state of emergency or a state of local emergency has been declared. A peace officer who witnesses a person interfering or obstructing with emergency infrastructure may arrest them without a warrant under certain circumstances, such as to prevent the continuation or repetition of the offence, or the commission of another offence. It can also be done to secure or preserve evidence related to an offence. Bill 37 also more clearly sets out provincial and local governments’ roles during

an emergency and clarifies the circumstances in which a state of emergency may be declared or extended.

Bill 39: The Government Efficiency Act

Introduced by Finance Minister Stan Struthers, this legislation consolidates the functions of eight agricultural boards or agencies, reducing their number to three. The Crown Lands Act is amended to eliminate the Agricultural Crown Lands Appeal Board, assigning its functions and responsibilities to the appeal tribunal under The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Act. The appeal tribunal will be able to recommend policy changes to the minister on matters related to agricultural Crown lands. MBP has been assured by provincial officials that the function of the Agricultural Crown Lands Appeal Board should remain the same as the process moves to the appeal tribunal. The Manitoba Farm Mediation Board will be eliminated and the Manitoba Farm Industry Board (MFIB) will be established in its place. The Farm Practices Protection Board, the Farm Machinery Board and the Farm Lands Ownership Board will be eliminated, and their functions and responsibilities will be assigned to MFIB. The MFIB chair may establish panels to: 1) determine matters before the board or to perform other duties, functions or powers of the board; or 2) in the case of a mediation panel, to determine the matters related to why the panel is established.

Other Legislation

Some legislation expected this session, like a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides and updates to The Noxious Weeds Act, did not materialize. Public consultations on potential changes to The Noxious Weeds Act took place in 2012, as did consultations on the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides. It is not known when there will be further movement on either file. At the time of publication, it was not yet known when the current legislative session will end. Proposed provincial laws are available at: http://web2. gov.mb.ca/bills/40-2/index. php.


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

High Costs Make Times Tough for Young Beef Producers ron friesen

It isn’t just capital expenses that make beef production almost prohibitively expensive for a young producer starting out. It’s also the everyday costs of running an operation. Born and raised on a cattle farm in southeastern Manitoba, Colt Winnicky would love to be a full-time beef producer. Right now, however, he can’t. It is just too expensive. “It would be nice to be my own producer,” says Winnicky (23). “I don’t mind doing the work and all that. It’s just that you need the money to start out first.” How to get enough money to own and operate a commercial beef cattle operation is a problem facing Winnicky and every other young producer in Manitoba these days. It is no secret that Winnicky and his two brothers—Keith (26) and Marc (21)—are exactly the kind of people Manitoba’s beef industry badly needs, especially as producers approach retirement age and look for ways to hand over their operations to the next generation. Unfortunately, high investment costs and rising operating expenses make it difficult for a young producer to get into the business. Take land costs, for example. Winnicky says his father Don (50), used to pay $10,000 to $30,000 for a quarter section of open land near Piney, where the family farms. Recently, Marc bought a quarter section of bush and had to pay $60,000 for it. It isn’t just capital expenses that make beef production almost prohibitively expensive for a young producer starting out. It is also the everyday costs of running an operation. Just the other day, Winnicky ordered new tires for his pickup truck. The price? It was about $300 per tire, which is roughly 50 per cent more than when he first started driving. When Winnicky learned to drive, gasoline was under one dollar a litre. Now it is around $1.30. The cost of hay last fall was $140 a ton, up from $70 the previous year. Fuel, feed, fertilizer, twine and net

wrap—everything a beef producer uses—becomes more expensive every year. Winnicky and his brothers make decent money working full-time in the oil patch near Alida in southeastern Saskatchewan. Whenever the boys are on layover in between shifts, they make the five-hour drive home to help on the farm owned by their parents, Don and Bev. But oil patch wages by themselves are not enough for a person to finance a beef operation. Winnicky figures if his family were to help him out, he would still need up to $200,000 to strike out on his own. Without that help, the startup cost might be as high as $500,000. Currently, all three boys own some of their own cattle. Colt owns 20 cows, Marc has 22 and Keith has around 50. Don and Bev own the remainder of the 200-cow herd. The family shares operating costs by working together. So far, however, the dream of becoming beef producers in their own right is just that—a dream. It may come true some day, but the rising cost of raising beef cattle in Manitoba is a big hurdle for a young producer to climb. “The price of everything has gone up—even food and all that—but wages haven’t gone up enough to make up for it,” Winnicky says. Kathy Larson agrees. An economist with the Saskatchewan-based Western Beef Development Centre, Larson has statistics derived from producer surveys to prove it. (Larson’s figures are for Saskatchewan but they would be similar to Manitoba.) Since 2001, the average herd size has nearly doubled while the number of farms with cattle has fallen by over 30 per cent. Market prices, which collapsed in 2003 after the discovery of a BSE-infected cow in Alberta, have recovered to pre-BSE levels. Larson says prices for

cow-calf producers in 2012 were anywhere between three and 16 per cent higher than in 2001. Average annual fall run prices for 550-pound steers were 5.5 per cent higher in 2012 than 2001. Cull cow prices were 16 per cent higher. But a glance at the cost side of the ledger shows that expenses are generally running well ahead of improved market returns. According to Larson, barley prices were 80 per cent higher in 2012 than in 2001. Bred heifer prices were 24 per cent higher. Fuel prices were up by a whopping 75 per cent. Average hourly wage rates for hired labour were 62 per cent higher. Meanwhile, the value of farmland has risen by 73 per cent. Larson’s cost of production study shows the average break-even price for beef producers is $1.25 a pound. In the last 12 years, the price for a 500-pound steer during the fall run has been above $1.25/lb. only 50 per cent of the time. Add it all up and the conclusion is obvious.

Colt Winnicky would like to be a full time cattle producer but high investment costs and rising operating expenses make it difficult for young producers like him to get into the business.

“The profits have not been high enough to outweigh the losses,” Larson says. The lack of profitability is often cited as one reason why young farmers hesitate to get into beef production. Jason and Theresa Zuk are two producers who did take the plunge. Currently in their fifth calving season, Theresa (36) and Jason (38) own 250 cows on their operation south of Arborg. The Zuk’s and their two boys love the lifestyle, but the rising cost of raising cattle makes it tough to get ahead. “It would be easier for me to tell you what hasn’t increased. Everything has gone up,” Theresa says.

www.mbbeef.ca

Theresa says producers who want to get into beef will almost certainly have to work off-farm to supplement their income. She herself works part-time as a bookkeeper. Jason is on the farm full-time. He tried working off-farm but found it was just too much. Theresa stresses she does not want to come across as negative because she and her family chose to be beef producers and went into it with their eyes wide open. Still, it would be nice not to feel pressured by operating costs going through the roof, she says. Trevor Atchison, Manitoba Beef Producers president,

says young producers would be more confident of entering the industry if they had a livestock production insurance program. Cattle producers have long felt they are at a disadvantage to grain farmers, who have comprehensive crop insurance covering yield losses to drought, hail or other natural disasters. Not having similar coverage for livestock limits a beef producer’s ability to borrow money, says Atchison. “It makes a lending institution a little bit leery about how far they will go because you do not have a backstop, as you do with a crop insurance program.”


8

CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

New COOL Rule Condemned for Non-compliance Ron Friesen

“Canada will consider all options at its disposal, including, if necessary, the use of retaliatory measures.” The United States faces trade retaliation from abroad and possible job losses at home after issuing its revised country-of-origin food labeling rule on May 23, 2013. Canada is threatening to retaliate against the U.S. for the country’s failure to bring Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) into compliance with international trade law, as ordered last year by the World Trade Organization (WTO). “Canada will consider all options at its disposal, including, if necessary, the use of retaliatory measures,” Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast said in a joint statement. The new rule, virtually unchanged from one proposed this past March, will also make it difficult for U.S. packing plants to access foreign cattle to help fill their slaughter space. This could result in plant closures and the loss of American jobs, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) warned.

“If they can’t accept those cattle, then they can’t run at capacity. Companies won’t need all the facilities they have,” said John Masswohl, CCA’s government and international relations director. In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its new COOL rule after a 2012 WTO dispute panel found the previous rule unfairly discriminated against imported cattle and hogs. Canada and Mexico had previously challenged COOL at the WTO after the final rule took effect March 16, 2009. The dispute panel agreed that COOL discriminates against foreign livestock. It told the U.S. to bring the rule into compliance with its international trade obligations. An appeal body upheld the ruling and gave the U.S. until May 23 to comply. CCA and other producer groups had hoped USDA would change COOL so imported live animals and meat would not have to be segregated all the way

along the production chain. The extra expense of doing that gets passed back to Canadian producers in the form of lower returns for their animals. CCA says the rule costs its producers over $630 million a year. The Canadian Pork Council says hog farmers lose $500 million annually because of COOL. CCA and other groups say the new rule is worse than the old one and will hurt their industries even more. “What they did defies logic and common sense,” Masswohl said. The new rule requires retail labels on meat packages to specify each step along the chain, according to the country where it occurred. For example, the labels would have to say, “Born in Canada, Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.” or “Born in Canada, Raised in the U.S., Slaughtered in the U.S.” This is different from the previous rule, which allowed plants to co-mingle meat from Canadian

and American animals and label it as, “Product of the U.S. and Canada.” Masswohl said the new rule forces American packers to segregate animals even more carefully than before because now they have to show where they originated at every step along the way. The same applies to U.S. feedlots. Some U.S. industry groups who oppose COOL expressed dismay at the new rule. “It is incomprehensible that USDA would finalize a controversial rule that stands to harm American agriculture, when

comments on the proposal made clear how deeply and negatively it will impact U.S. meat companies and livestock producers,” said Mark Dopp, the American Meat Institute’s senior vice-president of regulatory affairs and general counsel, in a statement. The rule takes effect immediately, although USDA says it will not actively enforce it for the next six months. The next step for Canada and Mexico is to request a WTO panel to decide if the U.S. is complying with the previous panel ruling. Masswohl said it could

take up to a year, including an appeal period, for a final decision on that. If the compliance decision goes against the U.S., Canada and Mexico are allowed to impose special tariffs against U.S. imports in retaliation. Regardless of the outcome, Masswohl said Canada will continue to fight against the new COOL measures. “We’re going to fight until it is done,” he said. “If Americans start to lose some jobs because of this, then some congressmen and senators might start to pay attention.”

All New Season!

Great Tastes of Manitoba Love cooking with beef? Watch Great Tastes of Manitoba! MBP’s beef expert, Adriana Barros, has teamed up with Ace Burpee of Virgin 103’s The Ace Burpee Show, for a brand new season of Great Tastes of Manitoba (GTOM), the most popular cooking show in the province. During each show, Adriana, MBP’s beef guru, shares her updates on classic beef dishes and introduces viewers to the best new beef recipes. Each week GTOM will show viewers how easy it is to cook and bake with various Manitoba foods. Featured food experts will offer tested recipes that use simple ingredients to make everything from appetizers to desserts. The show’s beverage expert makes meals even more memorable with suggestions for wines, beers, spirits and cocktails that pair well with each recipe. The first show of the season airs on September 14, 2013. MBP’s beef shows will air on the following dates: November 2, 2013 December 21, 2013 March 29, 2014

May 17, 2014

Watch the episodes online at www.foodmanitoba.ca.

Adriana and Ace show viewers how easy it is to cook with locally sourced foo ds.

If you need fresh new meal ideas for your family, watch Great Tastes of Manitoba on CTV, Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. www.mbbeef.ca


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

Local Producers and TB Co-ordinator Work to Rid RMEA of TB Angela Lovell

Following the Canadian BSE crisis, cattle producers are acutely aware that a disease, or even the potential for a disease to be present in their cattle herd, can have a devastating effect upon their livelihoods. Producers in and adjacent to the Riding Mountain Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Eradication Area (RMEA) are doing all they can to ensure that TB, a disease that has, in the past, been found in cattle in the area as a result of direct contact with TB-infected wildlife, is eliminated as a threat to their herds. Dr. Allan Preston, who was appointed TB Co-ordinator for the province of Manitoba in December 2012, says that probably 80 per cent of the producers in the RMEA are well aware of the risk posed by TB and are taking measures to try and mitigate it. Dr. Preston says it is imperative that producers in the area reduce or eliminate the opportunities for wildlife-cattle interaction, to prevent the potential spread of TB from wild to domestic animals. On-farm biosecurity measures, such as barrier fencing, guard dogs and careful siting of winter feeding locations, are being implemented as the first line of defense against the potential for TB infection. The RMEA is one of only seven jurisdictions in the world that has confirmed

TB infection through wildlife-domestic animal interface. So, as much as the situation of cattle producers in the RMEA is fairly uncommon, their ongoing efforts to produce cattle in the face of these problems is a reminder that disease potential is an omnipresent threat that can very quickly bring protocols raining down on the heads of livestock producers that they neither expect nor welcome. Ray Armbruster is well-acquainted with how devastating TB can be, not just to a herd, but to a family. Some of his cattle herd tested positive for TB in 1997-98 and that resulted in the destruction of every one of his 130-head herd, along with some horses and family pets. Although some compensation was available for the destroyed cattle, the family suffered severe financial hardship for several years as they had to re-establish their herd from scratch, take multiple off-farm jobs and completely change their production practices. “After our herd was completely destroyed we knew we had to take measures on our own to try and reduce the interaction between our cattle and the wildlife,” says Armbruster. “We abandoned the facilities where we had kept and fed our cattle and developed another location for production

and over wintering. Here we were able to reduce the interaction and protect our winter feedstocks from the deer and elk with barrier fencing and guard dogs.” Armbruster had voluntarily implemented mitigation strategies long before the Manitoba Bovine Tuberculosis Management Program was established in 2000 by a Task Group that included the Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; Parks Canada; Manitoba Conservation; MBP; Manitoba Wildlife Federation; and First Nations adjacent to the park. The program established regular testing of cattle herds in the area along with disease surveillance in the wild elk and white tailed deer population, and encourages producers to implement mitigation measures. Armbruster says despite all the measures he has taken there is never a 100 per cent guarantee that no interaction will take place, so he has to remain vigilant and exercises a zero tolerance policy towards wildlife around the feeding area. He allows hunting on the property to help keep numbers down and if necessary will remove the animals himself if he feels they are a threat to the cattle. The financial burden

Dr. Wayne Clayton

On-farm biosecurity measures, such as barrier fencing, guard dogs and careful siting of winter feeding locations, are being implemented as the first line of defense against the potential for TB infection.

In May 2013, Dr. Noel Harrington (left) met with REMA producers, including Ray Armbruster, to discuss TB eradication.

of producing cattle in the RMEA is growing and that has caused a loss of beef producers in the area at a rate that is much higher than anywhere else in the province or Canada. It is not just that producers are faced with less efficient feeding options, because they aren’t able to take advantage of low cost alternatives such as bale and swath grazing, but there are missed marketing opportunities too in years when cattle need to be tested. “In testing years we are marketing our cattle around testing so we are not always using the best opportunity through the marketplace,” says Armbruster. In a testing year his cattle need to be brought in early to get them prepared and conditioned for testing. “Instead of being able to graze as long as we can and take advantage of a nice open fall, we have to get the cattle and once you

TB Update: Meeting Held in May

Meetings of both the Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Policy Steering Committee and the Bovine TB Task Group were held May 15, 2013. The Steering Committee is made up of senior federal and provincial government representatives and Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer, and its role is to set the goals and objectives for Manitoba’s TB Management Program and the TB Coordinator. The two main outcomes of the meetings were the further development of the TB surveillance plan for wildlife and cattle and the need to maintain awareness of the program amongst producers. “We are probably looking at three or four more years of fairly intensive

start feeding them you are not going to turn them out afterwards.” Part of the work being done by the TB Co-ordinator is to seek some sort of financial assistance for producers and the RMEA, and Dr. Preston is optimistic about the discussions on this topic that are taking place with the various levels of government and agencies involved. The ever-present risk of TB presents a challenge for cattle producers in the RMEA in many ways and while Armbruster welcomes the idea of some

kind of financial assistance he also notes that most producers understand the importance of and are willing to continue to do their part in the constant process of surveillance and prevention. “I don’t think until anyone goes through a herd destruction they can fully understand just how devastating it is,” he says. “Everyone wants to get to that end goal of TB free in both species—livestock and wildlife—so everybody needs to do their part.” www.angelalovell.ca

Did You Know?

Beef producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area participate in regular TB testing, while also carrying out management practices that aim to limit interactions between wild deer, elk and cattle.

Loan period extended to 24 months! (For Cattle and Bison Only)

surveillance and at the end of that period of time we hope to be in a situation where we are as close as we are ever going to get to being TB free,” says TB Co-ordinator, Dr Allan Preston. It is a realistic goal given that there have been no positive TB cases in cattle since 2008, none in deer since 2009 and none in elk since 2011. That does not mean, however, that producers should ease up on their preventative measures, like barrier fences, guard dogs and off pasture hay storage. “Awareness is key in making sure that people do not relax and give up on the key things that have given success to this point,” says Preston.

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12-10-22 4:26 PM


10 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

4-H Celebrates 100 Years Clayton Robins and Sherry Torchinsky, Manitoba 4-H Council

L-R: MAFRI (first and second photo); Manitoba 4-H Council; and FarmForum

4-h

100 YEARS

For 100 years youth have been participating in 4-H activities.

In 2013, 4-H, one of the most widely recognized and highly respected youth development programs in Canada, is celebrating its 100 year anniversary in Canada. Started in Roland, Man., in 1913, 4-H works on a club-based model centered on hands-on projects, while also teaching communication skills and team building. Skills development, leadership and citizenship training have been aims of the organization from the beginning and continue to be the focus today. While the earliest 4-H clubs were multi-purpose with an emphasis on crops and homemaking skills, by the 1930s beef clubs had started and gained popularity. Since then, beef projects have consistently garnered large numbers of members and in 2013, these clubs make up 25 per cent of 4-H membership in Manitoba. Many activities have been held across the country to celebrate the 100th anniversary. The 4-H Canada AGM was held in Winnipeg May 28 to June 3, 2013, in

honour of Manitoba’s role as the birthplace of 4-H. In conjunction with the meeting, a Manitoba Social and a Gala reception were held on May 29 and 30, respectively. On May 31, Premier Greg Selinger joined other special guests at 4-H Night at the Museum in Roland, Man. Special presentations were made and member projects were displayed, including 4-H project cattle. Fireworks capped off the memorable evening. Then, on June 1, the McConnell 4-H Beef Club celebrated being recognized as the oldest consecutively running club in Canada, with the unveiling of a cairn and special presentations. Since 1913, 4-H leaders have helped shape Manitoba’s youth into strong citizens of the province, the nation and the world. These leaders have remained innovative in developing programs that nurture citizenship, leadership, responsibility and independence in youth. Through their volunteer efforts these leaders have taught young future leaders the importance of hard work, setting and achieving personal goals, and

instilling an obligation of service to community and others.

Recognizing 4-H leaders

In recognition of their efforts, long-time 4-H leaders were invited to 4-H Day at the Manitoba Legislature in April 2013. Premier Selinger and Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn presented them with certificates and tokens of appreciation at a reception. The 4-H leaders were able to sit in on question period, where their presence was acknowledged by an MLA. On May 23, 2013, in the provincial legislature, MLA Blaine Pedersen moved a resolution to recognize the contribution of the 4-H program and urged Manitoba Agricutlure, Food and Rural Initiatives to continue its support of the program. Seconded by MLA Ralph Eichler, this resolution was passed unanimously. On July 10, 2013, in recognition of their contributions, 4-H Manitoba leaders will be honoured with induction into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame at

Since 1913, 4-H leaders have helped shape Manitoba’s youth into strong citizens of the province, the nation and the world.

a ceremony in Winkler, Man. This is only the second time that a group of people has been recognized since the inception of the Hall of Fame and all 4-H leaders can take pride in this honour.

Upcoming 4-H activities

Continuing the 100th anniversary celebrations, 4-H Fun Fest will be held at the Carman Country Fair, July 11 to 13, 2013. Members of 4-H from around the province will bring their projects to compete for prizes and a chance to win a trip to the 2013 Nova Scotia 4-H Pro Show in September.

Horse, beef and dairy shows are a highlight, along with a supreme showmanship competition. July 11 will be devoted to multi-purpose members, who are encouraged to bring projects for competition as well. Fun activities include an Amazing Race, a pool party and participation in the fair parade. This summer, the 26th annual Manitoba-Japan Homestay Program will see 10 Manitoba 4-H members travelling to Japan in July and 20 Japanese students will be hosted by 4-H families for two weeks in August. In honour of the 100th

anniversary, dignitaries of the Japanese York Benimaru Foundation will be joining the delegation in Manitoba to celebrate our long-standing partnership. Throughout the summer fair circuit, numerous Beef Clubs will be holding special Centennial Anniversary activities in conjunction with their regular achievements and inter-club events. All Beef Club alumni, members and leaders, are encouraged to contact their local club or Ag Society for more details of the celebratory events, classes or displays that are being planned in their area.


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

McConnell Beef Club Recognized for being the Longest Continuously Operated 4-H Club in Canada angela Lovell

Margaret Boyd, Jack Boyd and Agnes Bridge are all instrumental to the McConnell Beef Club.

Current 4-H members, family and community members stand with the cairn, donated by Kim McConnell (far left, front). Nicole Madsen

Current members of the McConnell Beef Club. Nicole Madsen

when those kids became teenagers and started applying for trips and awards, those scrapbooks were invaluable because they had a complete 4-H record of what they had done and awards they had won. Some of them actually came back and thanked me later.” Over the years, some things have changed, like the size of the cattle and the prices being paid for them. Margaret recalls that, “the judges, at one time, used to favour a trim, slim little steer and it was mainly Herefords and Angus that were always the first choice. Then the Simmentals and Limousins came along and the smaller cattle weren’t able to compete for a few years.” Advances in communications and transportation also meant that kids had the opportunity to go to other places and see what other clubs were doing. Many McConnell Beef Club kids went to Toronto, Ont. and Victoria, B.C., as well as Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill. They even had an exchange trip with 4-H kids from Nova Scotia in 1982. Today, the focus of 4-H is more on the beef projects— the uniforms, rallies and parade floats of old are gone. There are still 11 members at the McConnell club, although they have to travel a lot further than they used to. “As there are fewer kids to go in these clubs, they are farther and farther apart,” says Margaret. “When we grew up the club was pretty much all local McConnell kids but now we are part of the south Parkland region and there are families from a much wider area.” Kim McConnell does a lot of public speaking and participates in many meetings, and there are many times he has been grateful for the skills that 4-H taught him. “Those pillar components of 4-H, from meeting skills, to reporting, to public speaking, to the discipline of starting a project and seeing it through, are as important today as they have ever been and they will be as important tomorrow as they have ever been,” he says.

Nicole Madsen

give something back to the community and organization that has done so much for me.” Kevin Hyndman, the current leader of the McConnell Beef Club, well remembers the McConnell School and the fundraising bingo and dance that the club held there every year. “The prizes at the bingo were meat related,” he recalls. “They had a steer butchered and gave away steaks and roasts. The place was packed every year and there were tons of kids running around having fun and playing hide and seek.” He also recalls the dancing, as parents and grandparents enticed their kids onto the dance floor and showed them how to polka and waltz. “When I went to dances when I was at university it was easy to tell the kids that were part of the McConnell Club because they all knew how to dance,” says Hyndman. The McConnell Beef Club has always been blessed with good leadership, adds Hyndman. Two of those leaders, Jack and Margaret Boyd, had many memories to share about the McConnell Club at the celebration, which was attended by around 150 people. Jack was a club leader from 1965 to 1994, but had been involved with the club since returning to Margaret’s family farm when her dad retired in the late fifties. Jack had learned how to make rope halters at university and it was that skill that Bruce Paterson, the club leader at the time, asked him to come and share with the kids. Throughout the years, Margaret assisted Jack with lots of club activities, which officially became a 4-H Beef Club in 1952. Her school teacher training came in handy when it came to helping teach the kids public speaking and communication skills. She recalls being less than popular with the kids when she insisted they make scrapbooks. She says, “They complained bitterly, asking, ‘Oh, why do we have to do this?’ But

Nicole Madsen

In 1922, some of the children attending the McConnell School in western Manitoba got the day off to attend the McConnell Boys & Girls Club annual fair. This one entry in the school’s register, plus subsequent entries in local records, which show that the club continued to operate every year since 1922, have earned the McConnell Beef Club (which the Boys & Girls Club later became), the title of longest continuously operating 4-H club in Canada. In fact, there is some anecdotal evidence that the club was operating even before 1922 but no documentation has yet been uncovered to confirm this. The McConnell School and its small namesake community are now long gone but existing members and alumni of the McConnell Beef Club recently held a celebration in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of 4-H in Canada. The event took place on June 2, 2013 and included the unveiling of a cairn to commemorate the club at the Hamiota Museum. The cairn, which is located next to the McConnell Railway Station that was relocated to the site some years ago, was donated by Kim McConnell, the President of the Canadian 4-H Foundation and an alumni of the McConnell Beef Club. McConnell, founder of AdFarm, who was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame last year, says it was receipt of that honour that prompted him to reflect on his childhood and the formative influences that he felt had prepared him for such a successful career. “My parents and the McConnell 4-H Beef Club were the main foundational pillars that allowed me to do more than I ever thought would be possible,” says McConnell. “So, I thought there could be no better way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of 4-H than to dedicate this cairn to the oldest active club in Canada and to

Kim McConnell and a current 4-H member reveal the cairn.


12 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

From the Desk of the TB Co-ordinator

Bovine Tuberculosis Update Progress Update and Future Goals

Dr. Allan Preston, TB Co-ordinator

Members of the TB Policy Steering Committee and TB Task Group. Dr. Wayne Clayton

disease in the wild population is at a very low level— almost undetectable. The next objective was to improve communications between and among all of the parties. This happened through producer meetings in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA), and at the MBP and MWF Annual General Meetings. There were also interactions with local Rural Municipality Councils and the Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) Liaison Committee, the RMNP Biosphere Reserve, the TB Task Group, and the Scientific Advisory Committee. These interactions, along with continuous interface with bureaucratic staff in the four relevant government departments and agencies, and getting print information in the local press, has greatly improved communications. Producers, in particular, are noting that their voices are being heard, their concerns are being addressed and that progress is being made. However, being heard doesn’t always lead to the outcome that may have been expected. Some producers have complained vigorously about herd health impacts related to repeat tuberculin testing. I had an independent consultant look at this issue in Canada, the United States, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and the results do not support the claims. There is simply no evidence that repeated tuberculin injections have any negative herd health implications. Many of these same producers have lobbied hard for a different test for TB, specifically a blood test similar to what is used as a screening test in wildlife. While work on this front continues through a research project funded under the Beef Cattle Research Council, the response from the consultant and the five countries mentioned, is that no new testing approach is on the horizon for at least the next three to five years. A key objective was to establish some yard markers for the TB eradication program to measure the progress and to identify an endpoint. Again, progress is being made, although really pinpointing the end point remains an elusive

Dr. Wayne Clayton

I am more than half way through my first year as Tuberculosis Co-ordinator (TC) and so it is time for an update on the progress made to date, as well as an appraisal of what remains to be done. When I took on this role, I had a pretty clear idea of the areas where improvement was needed— and I’m pleased to report to the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) membership that considerable improvement has taken place. One of the first objectives was to reaffirm the commitment of all parties to the goal of eradicating tuberculosis (TB). This included meetings with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) Minister, Gerry Ritz; Environment Canada Minister, Peter Kent; Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) Minister, Ron Kostyshyn; Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister, Gord Mackintosh; Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP); the Manitoba Wildlife Federation (MWF); and the First Nations adjacent to the park. They all provided unanimous support for this goal. The provision is that eradication be accompanied with the mutually agreed upon goal of maintaining a sustainable elk and deer population at the same time. The wording of the goal has been modified to reflect what eradication really means in the wild population, where attaining complete eradication is, perhaps, impossible. In the wild herd, eradication means lowering the disease prevalence to an undetectable level, given our current surveillance program. This year’s surveillance is complete and all results are negative. Approximately 2,400 cattle were tested and we now are five years out since the last positive TB animal was identified. For elk, 50 bulls and 50 cows from the core area were tested—again with negative results. The last positive elk case was identified two years ago. Finally, 135 white tailed deer were sampled—all results were negative. The last positive deer was identified in 2009. All in all, these are very good results that tell us the cattle herd is clear and the

In May, Dr. Ian Alexander (fourth from left) visited cattle producers in the RMEA.

goal. As long as the disease reservoir exists in the wild, then some level of surveillance will be required. That being said, the proposed wildlife surveillance program for 2013-14 may well lead us to one more year of intensive surveillance, followed by a considerable reduction to maintenance levels for future years. On the cattle side, indications are that surveillance requirements will likely hover around the 5,000 to 6,000 head per year level, for perhaps three to four more years, until we are confident that the disease prevalence in the wild herd is undetectable. Development and refinement of surveillance models for both wild and domestic populations will hopefully accelerate the movement to less surveillance being required. The continued improvement in on-farm risk biosecurity and risk mitigation efforts will also play a role in reducing the level of testing required. The end is indeed in sight! A final key objective outlined early in the TB

Co-ordinator role was to gain recognition for the financial impact of TB on the RMEA producers and to seek some sort of financial assistance. All parties have indicated their recognition of this financial impact and are working co-operatively on a solution. While a per head mustering fee from the federal government is unlikely, work proceeds on a more comprehensive herd-based approach that recognizes the valuable contribution that producers are making. They are essentially modelling a disease surveillance and response system that has considerable value to governments and agencies as they deal with other similar wildlife/ farmed animal disease situations across the country. Stay tuned. I am optimistic that we will have a financial package in place by the time the 2013-14 testing season begins. The 2013-14 TB Management and Implementation Plan is just about complete. The four departments/agencies have agreed to a commitment of close to a million dollars to fund the plan

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and that does not include the financial support package just mentioned. In these uncertain fiscal times, both federally and provincially, the pledge of these program dollars and staffing support indicates just how serious everyone is about eradicating bovine TB. With the endpoint now in sight, we can certainly not afford to “ease up on the gas pedal.” One final note…senior players from AAFC and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), including Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), Dr. Ian Alexander, recently visited the RMNP area and met with some area producers in order to get an appreciation for the landscape, the interface between the wild population and the resident

cattle herds, and to look at Parks Canada programs and TB lab facilities. I believe this is the first time that the federal CVO has visited the RMEA. This tour lends credence to the importance of this issue to those “from away” and our visitors now have a much clearer view of the challenges RMEA producers face to ply their trade as beef producers living in an ecosystem shared with elk and deer. There’s nothing like seeing it for yourself! I’ll be back in December with another update. If the next six months go as planned, we’ll all be in pretty good shape by then. Contact Dr. Allan Preston at (204) 764-2571 or email prestonstockfarms@ outlook.com.


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Vet Corner

Bull Management Dr. Tanya Anderson, DVM

“Expect that an active, mature bull may lose up to 200 pounds in body weight over the course of an intensive breeding season. Poor nutrition or lack of parasite control over the winter will rob your bull of necessary reserves to carry him through the breeding season.”

Connect With Manitoba Beef Producers!

VOL. 17 NO. 3 MAY 2013

RON FRIESEN

The United States has stunned the Canadian cattle industry by making its controversial countryof-origin labeling (COOL) rule more restrictive instead of less so. The proposed new rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would require meat package labels to state where animals are born, raised and slaughtered. It would also end the practice of commingling meat from American and imported livestock. The result is a rule which will discriminate even more against Canadian animals. And, according to PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), it will also increase the financial hurt to producers. “The USDA’s proposed rule, if adopted, will, in fact, increase the discrimination against imported cattle by adding labeling requirements and eliminating some of the existing mitigating flexibility, there- provisions not previously RON FRIESENthe U.S. Federal Register, Canada and Mexico process, including an by significantly increasing ruled upon, ap” CCA said. ended April 11. The U.S. had successfully challenged the costs of compliance,” peal, could take another Canadian livestock pro- has until May 23, 2013 to COOL at the WTO after six to eight months. CCA said in a statement. Others ducers had hoped the WTO comply with the WTO rul- the final regulations became believe it could The USDA was re- panel ruling would end take up to a the ing. effective sponding to a World Trade long-running trade inventories are March 16, 2009. year. “On-farm dispute feed shortage Rules published A severe in the If the U.S. implements the Organization Meanwhile, the federal (WTO) over COOL, than they’ve lower now which has cost Manitoba Federal Register be forcing may usually revised dispute panel which, last the industry billions I’ve beenrule as proposed, government is threatening since to sell of dol- have a 60 been cattle producers to 90 day com- the two countries could go trade retaliation year, found COOL unfairly lars in lower prices against the Friaround,” said Glenn stalllost ment period. off theirandanimals, back to the WTO and say U.S. if the new rule discriminated against im- sales. goes forage Thethe factesen, ing efforts to rebuild that thisprovincial one is the Americans are still not ahead. ported livestock. A WTO Instead, province’s for Manitoba they are beef specialist dis- herd. only 30 days long suggests complying. appeal panel later upheld mayed to learn “We do not believe that and the number Agriculture, dispute the cattle “is of USDA The pushing thisFood It would then be up to the proposed changes will the ruling. seems far from (MAFRI). Initiatives settled, Rural said rule has fallen through to market with coming a shorta WTO compliance panel bring the United States into The WTO ordered the Cam Dahl, Manitoba the got inthrough past year, the ened comment“Guys overBeef period to decide. Dahl said that U.S. to bring COOL into Producers sharply Continued on page 2 herds, culling general by winter manorder numbers to implement somesuggesting herd compliance with its inter- ager. costs to trim learning producers regardless of how are down and thing, ill feed national trade obligations. “Unfortunately, ithave could and feedthey seems wherethe conceived, animals before fewer WTO But CCA says the pro- like we’ll be simply headed about everything ing just May Dahl, 23 deadline saidto Cam sell, back for comto posed rule does exactly the the WTO and ” he explained. the process the sun, ” the under Producers CCA said Beef pliance, Manitoba in its opposite and makes a bad will continue, ” said Dahl. A combination of flood statement. general manager. (MBP) situation even worse. “I was hoping it would over the last and drought con-tactic his“This bases not Dahl only “The net result is a rule be over but it doesn’t two years has proved devasprovincial discrimination the increases on apthat not only does not pear that way.clusion ” for cattle feed stocks against ev- tatinglivestock, on imported collected check-off comply with the WTO A public commentanimal parts of Manitoba. but also in many creates within additional ery beef peri- sold appellate body’s findings od for the proposed overland COOL Widespread and delay said MBP He process at the Manitoba. but will also violate WTO rule, published March 11collections in WTO.” are flooding damaged hay and check-off Home in the Valley. down 20 to 25 per cent dur- pasture land throughout ing the association’s current the province in the spring Friesen also encour- dry conditions and a poor through a hardest hit area helped improve pasture cattle quickly The 2011. of hay crop. If that happens fiscal year, which ended pasture so they graze only ages producers to test was around Lake Manitoba, conditions and restore soil again this year, it could be June 30. the tips of leaves. This al- feed for quality and nulevels. Dahl said the drop in where over 400,000 agricul- moisture content to make disastrous coming on top But that raises another lows the plant to continue tritional flooded. were acres tural dithe is check-off money sure they are neither un- of pastures already depletits root reserves. The rains then stopped problem. Producers were building rect result of fewer cattle nor overfeed- ed by early grazing. derfeeding may producers Also, beforced to turn cattle out Continued on page 2 being sold. He said the around the end of June and ing their animals. fore pastures had a chance sacrifice one pasture by and hot turned weather the in drop the for reason main “You can trim a few to recover from a long cold keeping cattle on it until sales is a serious feed short- dry, searing pastures not other pastures are ready for bucks an animal just by testwinter and a late spring. age over the last two years, affected by excessive moisyour feed and doing a MAFRI recommends grazing. This will require ing caused by flooding in some ture. to supplement poor proper ration. A few bucks The same weather pat- against putting cattle on feed parts of the province and here and there add up, espeyields. pasture emerging before pasture tern occurred in 2012. drought in others. MAFRI also recom- cially in years like this when Some of the worst grass has reached the three“There is no question hay is so expensive,” he exleaf stage. A rule of thumb mends fertilizing hay fields that the feed situation has drought took place in the plained. is that turning cows out one to improve their producforced producers to exit the southeast region but dry Friesen said forages week too early in spring tivity. Adding 50 pounds industry or significantly conditions hurt hay and respond quickly to adeloses three weeks worth of per acre of nitrogen and downsize their herds,” said forage yields in other re30 pounds of phosphorus, quate moisture if daytime specialBeef fall. in grazing well. as gions Dahl. as little as $48 an acre, temperatures are warm Severe drought in the ists also say grazing too ear- for Industry analysts were enough. Alfalfa plants in yields. forage ly can cost up to 45 per cent can double hoping the cattle cycle had United States last year With feed costing $110 per spring can grow five or yield. forage pasture’s a of situabad a make helped and bottomed out last year many tonne, a producer needs six inches a week if condiUnfortunately, producers were starting to tion worse. Brokers from as tions are ideal. producers began grazing only another half tonne of retain more heifers on their far south as Texas scoured “The yields will come. pastures early this year be- growth (about three to four farms. But feed shortages the Prairies last summer, Hopefully we will get cause the shortage of feed inches) to cover costs. have halted many produc- paying top dollar for hay Other options for enough this summer to gave them little choice. ers’ efforts to rebuild their and sucking supplies out of build back those inA factsheet written by easing the feed crunch help regions that were short to herds, Dahl said. ventories.” MAFRI beef specialists include stockpiling forSince 2011, too much begin with. The concern now is that regrowth leaving by ages MBP by published and So far this year, the water in some parts of the summer of 2013 may this spring suggests ways standing for late fall grazManitoba and not enough drought seems to have be a repeat of the two preto minimize the impact of ing; planting winter anprecipitation in other re- eased. Ample snowfall last next vious summers, when cool grazing for nuals grazing. early rains gions has brought on-farm winter and heavy weather in spring Producers may practice spring; and seeding early damp hay inventories to their across much of southsuddenly gave way to hot grass varieties. ern Manitoba in late May “skim grazing”—moving lowest level in years.

VOL. 17 NO. 4 JULY 2013

CATTLE PRODUCERS BATTLE SERIOUS FEED SHORTAGES

Go to page three for information on four $500 MBP bursaries, available to members or their children!

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CATTLE INDUSTRY DISMAYED BY TOUGHER COOL PROPOSALS

TO: POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

of an intensive breeding season. Poor nutrition or lack of parasite control over the winter will rob your bull of necessary reserves to carry him through the breeding season. Thin bulls may also be suffering from other health problems. In contrast, fat bulls are lazy, more prone to injury and often have impaired fertility due to “testicular heating” from scrotal fat and stress-induced hormonal imbalances. Pair younger bulls with older and experienced sires because mating ability is a learned behaviour. Social ranking within groups also can influence sexual activity. Dominant bulls paired together often spend more time fighting than breeding, especially if bull to female ratios are lower. The use of bulls with above average scrotal size, a high percentage of normal sperm (>80 per cent) and social dominance may allow bull to female ratios as high as 1:50 to 1:60. Optimal bull management can improve your bottom line by allowing a producer to reduce bull numbers while enhancing fertility rates. Make the breeding soundness evaluation your “fertility insurance.” It is much more than just a “semen test!”

POSTMASTER: PLEASE RETURN UNDELIVERABLE COPIES TO: MBP, 154 PARAMOUNT ROAD, WINNIPEG, MB R2X 2W3 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT NUMBER 40005187 POSTAGE PAID IN WINNIPEG.

Sperm motility is a measure of the sperm concentration and individual motility. Samples with a high per cent normal sperm generally have excellent motility as there are fewer defective sperm that have an impaired “swimming” capacity. Libido and mating ability are not assessed during the “semen test” but instead must be observed at home by watching breeding behaviour. Sit on the fence or do regular pasture checks throughout the whole breeding season to ensure your bull is doing his job. Cull bulls with poor sex drive, poor conformation (post legs, cow hocked, corkscrew claw) or stiffness due to back arthritis, founder or overgrown claws. Ensure that penile protrusion is normal with no abnormal swellings and that mating actually occurs. Promptly treat footrot, sole abcesses, sandcracks and interdigital fibromas. Remember that high fevers (not the Liquamycin to treat the cause of the fever) can impair sperm production. Excessively fat or thin bulls may have problems with semen quality, libido or mating ability. Expect that an active, mature bull may lose up to 200 pounds in body weight over the course

JEANNETTE GREAVES

body condition), as well as reproductive organ assessment via a rectal exam and scrotal palpation. Finally, semen collection and analysis is done. If your bull is satisfactory, be sure to vaccinate him. Don’t let your bull be the weak link that introduces disease into your herd. The three major components of the semen test associated with pregnancy rate are scrotal circumference, sperm motility and per cent normal sperm. Scrotal circumference (SC) is a measure of the sperm factory size. It is highly heritable and associated with higher sperm numbers, better semen quality and enhanced growth quality of offspring. Bulls with larger testicles sire heifers that reach puberty at a younger age. With females, earlier age at puberty has been associated with improved lifetime fertility and pounds of calf produced. Breed standards have been developed and are listed on the back of the breeding soundness evaluation form. Bulls that do not meet the minimum standards should be culled. Similarly, beware of the young bull with extremely large testicles. Many have sperm accumulation due to altered sperm development and never produce good semen.

CANADA BEEF INC./C. CHOMIAK

This time of year, many turn their attention to the other half of the herd— the often neglected half— the bull battery. No bull, no calf crop, no profit. Despite this simple fact, many people learn about the necessary need for bull management the hard way—after they have had a wreck. Since reproductive performance is the most important single economic trait in a beef herd, breeding bulls must be highly fertile and able to impregnate all available cows as early in the breeding period as possible. The breeding soundness evaluation or “semen test” provides a relatively quick and economical procedure for screening bulls before sale or use. In one study, bulls classified as satisfactory, questionable and unsatisfactory obtained average pregnancy rates of 75 per cent, 52 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. Roughly one quarter of untested bulls had lowered fertility. Have your bull semen tested prior to purchase and two to four weeks before each breeding season. Many problems can occur over a 12 month period so yearly examinations are advised. Bulls are assessed for physical soundness (good eyesight, feet and leg structure, and

Contact MBP for options! Ph: 1-800-772-0458 PH - (204) 772-4542 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

Agricultural Diploma Program Helps its Students Use Social Media to its Advantage Michelle Gaudry, University of Manitoba

Jonathan Vaags (22), a farmer from Dugald, Man., is the owner of cow-calf operation J Vaags Cattle Company and he is a student at the University of Manitoba. Summertime on the farm can get really busy. Vaags finds that social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and fellow young farmers, especially during seeding. “People will post ‘done seeding!’ or put up pictures of their calves. It’s a quick and easy way to know what people are up to.” However, young farmers like Vaags are also using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube, to source information pertaining to production and machinery. “Just this past week we were watching demos on YouTube of a piece of machinery we are interested in buying,” says Vaags. So, how does he use social media for his own enterprise? “I use Facebook for buying bulls. Some breeders use it to advertise and will put up their profile and show how they manage their farm. I like knowing where my bulls come from.” Vaags also follows various news and production groups on Twitter, such as Manitoba Farm Journal and Manitoba Beef Producers, to source up to date information on weather, corn prices and phosphorus shortages. Vaags has learned about this technology and many other tools as a student in the Agricultural Diploma Program at the University of Manitoba. “Growing up on the farm, I know how to do a lot of things but now I am learning about why I do things a certain way. Through the Diploma Program I have learned a lot in regards to cow-calf production. That information is really useful for my enterprise.” For example, one particular assignment Vaags found really practical in the Beef Production course was to explore the use of social media to find information about beef production, marketing and current news in the

industry, but also to use it as a tool to promote the beef industry, including individual farm operations. Dr. Kim Ominski teaches the beef production course. She says, “The beef course covers a wide range of topics in beef production systems, marketing, merchandising and current affairs. The purpose is to encourage students to think outside the box regarding the use of social media. They are very familiar with it as a means of communicating with their friends. But it also holds tremendous potential as a means of sourcing information and communicating with a larger, non-agricultural audience.” “I couldn’t believe how much information was out there,” says Vaags. “I noticed a growing trend of consumers sourcing locally grown food and wanting to know where their food comes from, the story behind their food. Social media is definitely helping with that.” “You can also learn a lot about production and management practices from looking at other farms’ websites. When researching social media, if people are posting information about their own farms, it will always be good. The negative information is usually from outside sources. It is really important as a viewer to think of where this information is coming from and if it is from a reliable source.” Michele Rogalsky is the director of the School of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba. She says that miscommunication about the agricultural industry is one of the challenges they are trying to help the students in agriculture overcome. “We are challenging our students in our Communications and Leadership courses to get the message out to the general public that farmers are stewards of the land and are addressing sustainability. There are a lot of errors in the messages out there and these messages are not always based on facts. We are encouraging our students to have that dialogue with

Jonathan Vaags and some of his herd.

“The beef course covers a wide range of topics in beef production systems, marketing, merchandising and current affairs. The purpose is to encourage students to think outside the box regarding the use of social media.” the non-agricultural sector that is so influential; share what they know and be ambassadors for their industry.” For producers, young farmers and entrepreneurs like Jonathan Vaags, the Diploma Program develops knowledge and experience that can be applied to a real farm. It offers a variety of courses, including livestock management courses for beef, dairy, swine and poultry, forages and pasture management, cereal and oilseeds, entomology, farm machinery and introduction to management planning. All students are required to complete a Management Planning Project, which puts together all of the knowledge they have learned in the two-year program and applies it to a real farm, or a case farm, situation. They develop a business plan that includes financial statements and looks at the

financial viability of the various enterprises on the farm. “We want our students to analyze their farms, or a farm, for one full year with its existing resources. They will look at the financial aspects of the farm, and they will look at risks and production practices. They will have the opportunity to be exposed to different alternatives in this program and they are going to assess those alternatives, run the numbers on them, do their research and then be able to defend them,” says Rogalsky. These financial statements are then presented, by the student, to a panel of bankers or financial advisors and people in the industry. Members of various panels this year included Trevor Atchison, president of Manitoba Beef Producers; Roberta Galbraith from Manitoba Canola Growers; Harold Froese from Access Credit Union; and Ian Grossart,

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a beef producer from Brandon, Man. “These individuals are really impressed by our students,” notes Rogalsky. “Producers have to be managers and Agricultural Diploma students come out with the skills to develop financial statements, examine their costs and returns, and assess the viability of their operation. When they are ready to go secure credit to expand or to be involved in the operation, they come with a really good skill set.” The program is designed to meet the needs of the students who intend to go back to the farm and for those who plan to work off farm in the agricultural industry. Another benefit of the program is that after completing the two year diploma and becoming a technical agrologist in Manitoba, diploma graduates can receive two years of credit towards a

degree. This is called the 2 + 2 option. Jonathan Vaags’s cowcalf enterprise is growing. He started with 20 calves and now, two years later, his herd has grown to 120 head. The skills he will acquire in the Agricultural Diploma Program will help him realize his vision for J Vaags Cattle Company, which is to one day expand his operation to 1,200 head. He will complete the program with the ability to manage and critically assess all aspects of his enterprise, to adjust and cope to change, and to answer more of the “whys” of farming. This bright young farmer will be a great leader and ambassador for the beef and the agricultural industry. Learn more on the University of Manitoba’s website, www.umanitoba.ca.


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Feeding Alfalfa to Beef Cattle John McGregor, MFC Extension Support For most producers, including alfalfa in their hay and pastures is a no brainer. Alfalfa fixes nitrogen, providing free fertilizer for grasses, and improves feed quality by boosting the protein level. Alfalfa has also been shown to provide a good source of highly digestible protein and energy in beef diets. However, alfalfa quality will vary depending on harvest day. One of the key issues limiting quality is cutting the hay at the stage of growth that will provide adequate levels of nutrition to meet the needs of all your classes of cattle. As an example, your beef cows require a ration that will provide between seven and 12 per cent crude protein (CP) and total digestible nutrients (TDNs) between 55 and 65 per cent (depending on the stage of gestation). Your calves, on the other hand, require CPs of 12 to 14 per cent and TDNs between 63 and 75 per cent, depending on expected average daily gain (ADG). Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) has a guideline as to what the relative feed value (RFV) requirements of forages should be for various classes of livestock. As you can see in figure 1, at the top of this page, the RFV requirements can vary depending on whether you are feeding beef cows or stocker cattle. Determining when your hay is at, or close to, the required RFV can be a challenge. Other than weather, one of the

problems is that most tame hay fields consist of a mixture of alfalfa and grass. Most grasses are higher in fibre compared to alfalfa, and therefore you reach your targeted RFV more quickly than alfalfa. If you want the same quality forage (RFV) with an alfalfa-grass mixture versus pure alfalfa, you need to start harvesting one week earlier (normally). Although alfalfa generally has a higher RFV than grass, knowing the RFV of the alfalfa in the mixture can help you determine when the combination of the alfalfa and grass is approaching the RFV that you require to meet your cattle’s nutritional requirements. In table 1, below, you can see how knowing the RFV of the alfalfa in your forage mixture can provide you with a fairly good guideline as to what the RFV of the various mixtures may be in your hay field. One note of caution when using this table is that RFVs may vary depending on the percentage of alfalfa in the stand. If you wait until your hay is more mature before cutting it, you will get higher yields. However, the material will be much lower quality and, in some cases, it won’t meet the nutritional requirements of your cattle without additional supplementation. See table 2, below.

Figure 1.

Determining the RFV of Forage

Deciding when to harvest quality forage in Manitoba is often a guessing game. Traditionally, the optimum time to harvest the first cut of alfalfa has been determined on the basis of the appearance of the first bloom. However, bloom development may be delayed by climatic conditions and is not always the best guideline. To address this problem, the Manitoba Green Gold program was established to determine the ideal date to take that first cut. By knowing when alfalfa in your area is approaching the RFV that you require,

you can plan your harvest accordingly and produce a high quality feed. It can also help you schedule your harvest so that you can produce feeds of varying quality to meet the different nutritional needs of your herd. Taking higher quality forage has some additional advantage in that it allows you to blend with lower quality feed sources, such as straw, to extend feed supplies. It also gives you the option of selling your higher quality forage (possibly at a high dollar value) and purchasing lower quality forage (at a lower dollar value).

Sign up for Green Gold Program email reports by contacting John McGregor at john@mbforagecouncil.mb.ca.

Alfalfa Alfalfa/Brome

Protein %

ADF %

NDF %

RFV

19.8

35.2

40.7

140

17

37.7

46.8

118

Alf/Orchard

16.8

39.5

49

110

Alf/Timothy

18.1

39

46.9

116

Alf/Reed Canary

18.8

39.4

46.3

117

Alf/Tall Fesuce

16.6

40.4

52.1

102

Reference: Jim Johnston, New Liskard, 1995

Table 2: Effects of Cutting Stage on Forage Quality Alfalfa

Timothy

Green Gold Program: www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/forages/bja05s00.html Manitoba Forage Council: http://mbforagecouncil.mb.ca/resources/green-goldprogram RFV of Grass-Alfalfa Mixtures: www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/forages/bja05s00.html How Stage of Maturity Affects Hay Quality: www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/ faq14096 Livestock Nutrition Pricing: www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/nutrition/ bza40s08.html

2013 Grant Moffat Herd Builder Award Submitted

Table 1: RFV of Grass-Alfalfa Mixtures - Same Maturity Mixture

The following websites contain more information:

Stage of Maturity

% CP

% NDF

% ADF

Early Bud

20.2

49.3

32.0

Late Bud

19.0

47.0

29.4

Early Bloom

17.6

52.0

31.5

Joint

11.1

68.7

38.0

Pre-bloom Head

10.2

70.6

40.4

Fully headed

7.9

72.8

40.7

Adapted from Dr. Peiquiang Yu. When is the best cutting time for alfalfa? And when is the best cutting time for timothy hay?

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Grant Moffat, of Forrest, Man., an active Charolais breeder, photographer, newsletter editor, youth supporter and agricultural journalist, has been missing since August 18, 2006. A decision was made to channel the Grant Moffat Fund towards a program to help Manitoba youth get a start in the purebred beef industry.

Future Cattle Producers Take Note

The Grant Moffat Herd Builder Award is open to all Manitoba youth (purebred and commercial) under the age of 21 years, as of January 1, 2013, who are interested in the cattle business.

The application deadline is September 2, 2013

Winners must purchase a registered heifer calf (breed of your choice) at a Manitoba purebred cattle auction by December 31, 2013. You must buy from outside the family farm. Send your application to marmac@inetlink.ca or mail to: Grant Moffat Fund RR 1, Box 57 Brandon, MB R7A 5Y1 Visit www.grantmoffat.com for more details and past winners.


16 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

community pasture update mbp staff

The Steering Committee has been working on this mandate together with officials from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) and AAFC. Key to this work has been the development of a business plan to ensure that the new pasture program can function effectively and be financially sound. The draft business plan has been reviewed by the consulting firm MNP. The ultimate goal for the business plan is to ensure the long-term sustainability of a producer-run pasture program in Manitoba. What does this mean in plain English? The Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) needs to use a business model that will not lose money. The analysis by MNP shows that from a financial perspective, that the business plan proposed for use by the AMCP needs some adjustments. For example, MNP is recommending cost saving measures that would see a number of pastures come under combined management, namely: • Mulvihill, Sylvan and Dale/Narcisse; • Portage and Woodlands; • Spy Hill Ellice and Ellice Archie; and

• Cote San Clara and Bield. It is important to note that these recommendations are just that—recommendations. They have not been either endorsed or rejected by PAC Chairs. On June 12, 2013 MBP once again brought together the PAC Chairs to review the recommendations from MNP and to give further direction to the Steering Committee. At this session, PAC Chairs unanimously agreed to continue with the formation of the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures. The goal remains to have all the current pastures included in the new operating plan. Further cost savings will need to be found in order to make this goal a sustainable reality. Immediately following the meeting, each individual PAC Chair and pasture manager was asked to review the costs that MNP had incorporated into their analysis (MNP used actual historical costs that they received from AAFC). Each pasture has been asked to identify areas where longterm savings are possible. The adjusted cost data will be used by MNP to revise the business plan. This revision was to be submitted to MAFRI by July 1,

Tara Fulton

On June 1, 2012 Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) facilitated a meeting of the Chairs of the community pasture program’s producer advisory committees (PAC). That meeting quickly followed the announcement from the Government of Canada that the community pasture program would evolve away management and administration by Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (AAFC). At that time it was the overwhelming desire of the PAC Chairs to have the pastures transition to a program that would be administered by producers, that included all of the current pastures and that ensured the pasture program functioned essentially as it is operating today. A Steering Committee was formed at that meeting to develop a transition plan for the future administration of the pastures. The Steering Committee includes: • Barry Lowes (Chair), Ellice Archie; • Trevor Atchison, Manitoba Beef Producers; • Kim Crandall, Ethelbert; • Darren MacMillan, Woodlands; • Neil Scott, Pasquia; and • Alvin Stuart, Pansy-Gardenton.

2013. PAC Chairs did acknowledge that it simply may not be possible to have a long-term sustainable business plan that includes pastures that have chronically operated at a loss. However, it was the strong consensus of the Chairs that not including an existing pasture in a future operating plan will only occur if all other options have been exhausted. The transition of the pasture program will begin at the end of the 2013 grazing season. It is important to emphasize that no changes will occur during the current grazing season. AAFC has announced that Westbourne, Lakeview, Gardenton, Pansy and

Sylvan Dale will transition out of federal management by the end of 2013. An additional five pastures will transition away from federal management just prior to the 2014 grazing season. These pastures are Mulvihill, Portage, Lenswood, Birch River and Pasquia. Unanswered questions do remain. For example, what will happen to the assets (e.g., trucks, cattle handling equipment, etc.) on the pastures that are currently owned by the Government of Canada? Will these assets be turned over to the AMCP to facilitate the operation of the pastures going forward? Will the Government of Canada consider amending the

order in which pastures transition away from federal management if that would put the AMCP on better financial footing? Will either the Government of Manitoba or the Government of Canada offer transition assistance to help ensure that the AMCP is ready to effectively take on the pastures as they transition away from federal management? While the unanswered questions are significant, MBP is confident that the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures is on the right track. Real progress is being made on the development of a madein-Manitoba approach to community pasture management.

Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up Submitted

Get set for the 6th Annual 2013 Manitoba Youth Beef Round-up (MYBR)! Join in the fun from August 2 to 4, in Neepawa, Man. The Round-up is an all breeds junior event offering the opportunity to participate in the cattle show, marketing, showmanship, grooming, sales talk, quiz bowl and other competitions. This educational, fun weekend is a unique opportunity to participate with juniors from other breeds and parts of Manitoba and Canada—with the goal of meeting new friends and learning about the livestock industry.

Who can participate?

Any young cattle producer under 25 years of age (Limousin participants must be under 21), as of January 1, 2013. Whether you are a commercial, purebred, 4-H or a new junior, you are welcome to attend!

Features:

• Hosting the 2013 Canadian Junior Limousin National Show! • Prize money for cattle classes! • Chance to be on the MYBR Agribition Judging Team! Find more information at www.facebook.com/ManitobaYouthBeefRoundUp or contact Lois McRae at (204) 728-3058 or Rilla Hunter at (204) 838-2019.

www.mbbeef.ca


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

The Bottom Line

Mandatory COOL Changes Harm the Market

Rick Wright The impact of the new and tougher mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) rules got an immediate reaction from the cattle industry on both sides of the border. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is moving ahead with its plans to enforce more detailed rules for COOL. The World Trade Organization (WTO) gave the United States until May 23, 2013, to comply with its ruling that the current COOL regulations discriminated against imported livestock and certain meat products. The Government of Canada argued before the WTO that COOL actually worked to the detriment of the meat industry on both sides of the border by increasing costs, lowering processing efficiency and otherwise distorting trade across the Canada-U.S. border. The WTO ruled in Canada’s favour in 2011. On the May 23 deadline, instead of relaxing the rules, U.S. regulators proposed tougher requirements, arguing the changes would place the country in compliance with the WTO by applying the same rules to meat produced in the U.S. and other countries. Cattle feeders in the U.S. immediately backed away from Canadian-origin lighter feeder cattle that will be ready for slaughter in the spring of 2014. The Canadian feeder market was already lacking enthusiasm and the announcement from the USDA put everyone on edge. Lightweight cattle, under 650 pounds, that were

still on the cows were hardest hit, with the grass cattle and heavy feeders trading barely steady with domestic demand. The changes to the rules did not affect the cow market. The cattle feeding industry will be watching and waiting to see how the packers will react to the changes. Under the old rules, meat processors could co-mingle beef trim and other wholemuscle cuts from different countries, as long as they were labeled appropriately. The new rules would ban co-mingling meat cuts from different sources, other than for ground meat. The worst scenario will be that some packers and processors may decide to stop sourcing Canadianborn cattle. Some may decide to pass the extra costs back to the feeders, which would create discounts. Some of the packers rely on Canadian cattle for a consistent supply and these new rules will negatively affect their competitiveness in the market place. The same scenario will be played out in the south as well, where feedlots and packers rely on Mexico for inventory. The “great unknown” will also affect the forward contract prices for yearlings off the grass this fall. Last year, the majority of higher priced contracts were offered in June 2012, with the American demand driving up the price. With record corn plantings in the U.S., and above average participation, there was potential for prime contracts again this year. Up until May 23, there were outlets for all classes of Canadian cattle in

the U.S., at a price. On many classes of cattle, the Americans were short a few dollars to purchase large volumes but, as always, theirs was the floor price. After May 23, that changed when cattle feeders in the U.S. started re-evaluating their business plans. Not everyone in the U.S. is in favour of mandatory COOL and we do have some allies south of the border. The leading American beef companies are implying that the new rules would make it impractical to buy foreign livestock. Bill Thoni, Cargill’s vice president of cattle procurement, stated in a letter to the USDA: “The new rules create even more difficult segregation requirements that will even further injure production in Canada, Mexico and importantly, the United States.” He said that Cargill’s February shutdown of its Plainview, Texas plant was due to an unreliable supply of cattle. The Canadian government has threatened a possible retaliatory strike against U.S. imports. The government has released a list of U.S. commodities for possible retaliation, which will be published in the Canada Gazette. If Canada decides to go through the WTO process it could take up to two years for a ruling, time that the cattle industry does not have to spare. If tariffs are being considered for imported beef, consumers can expect to pay more for their beef and pork. With record setting retail beef prices currently in the stores,

you have to wonder if and when the consumer push back will start. Scott George, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which is the American equivalent of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, issued this statement on the new rules: “We are deeply disappointed with this shortsighted action by the USDA. Our largest trading partners have already said that these provisions will not bring the United States into compliance with our WTO obligations and will result in increased discrimination against imported products and in turn retaliatory tariffs or other authorized trade sanctions. As we said in comments submitted to USDA, ‘any retaliation against U.S. beef would be devastating for our producers.’ While trying to make an untenable mandate fit with our international trade obligations, USDA chose to set up U.S. cattle producers for financial losses.

Moreover, this rule will place a greater recordkeeping burden on producers, feeders and processors through the born, raised and harvested label.” Canadian packers currently export about 30 per cent of the beef and 70 per cent of the pork produced in Canada. Meat exporters claim that the new rules would hurt cattle and pig shipments that have already dropped during the last four years, due to existing COOL regulations. In 2012, Canada imported 170 million kilograms of beef and veal worth $1.15 billion from the U.S. and 211 million kilograms of pork, worth $912 million, making Canada the country’s biggest beef customer. Imports of Canadian hogs to the U.S. fell 40 per cent from 2008 levels, to 5.652 million in 2012, while cattle imports from Canada plunged by half, to 786,373 head, according to USDA data. 
 The opponents of mandatory COOL have long argued that consumers do not really want mandatory labeling if

they have to pay more at the counter to get it. Consumer choices are still driven by price point.
 Opponents argue that all food imports already must meet equivalent U.S. safety standards, which are enforced by U.S. officials at the border and overseas; scientific principles, not geography, must be the arbiter of safety. Once again, Canadian cattle producers are caught in the “political squeeze.” At a time when producers are exiting the business at an alarming rate, industry will be looking to the federal government to take firm action to level the playing field. Now is the time to quit talking and take action. It has been ten years since BSE and the Obama administration can no longer be allowed to use mandatory COOL as a thinly veiled protectionist program to punish its number one beef customer. In my opinion, it is time to stop being the “polite Canadians” and show the bullies to the south that we have had enough!

Telling Cattle Tales in the City Touch the Farm - Red River Exhibition

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) was excited to present Cattle Tales for a second year at Touch the Farm at the Red River Exhibition, from June 14 to 23, 2013. Thousands of visitors had the opportunity to enjoy this interactive exhibit about the beef chain from pasture to plate. Each year MBP is proud to collaborate with

the Red River Exhibition and beef industry partners to present this valuable showcase which provides knowledge to urban consumers on beef industry practices. Thank you to all Cattle Tales partners for another great year! • Red River Exhibition • Hi-Qual • Masterfeeds • Steve’s Livestock

• Superior Technologies Weighing & Controls Inc. Thank you to the following MBP directors for staffing the booth: Cheryl McPherson, Glen Campbell, Ted Artz, Ramona Blyth and family, and Dave Koslowsky and family, as well as staff Lacé Hurst and Kristen Lucyshyn. Special thanks to Karen Emilson, MBP Tradeshow

Spokesperson, and Harold Unrau, Grunthal Auction Mart, for their time and energy; and for supplying and managing the two cow-calf pairs for the exhibit throughout the entire 10 day show. Thank you!

www.mbbeef.ca

Left to Right: Harold Unrau, Karen Emilson and Cheryl McPherson at Cattle Tales.


18 CATTLE COUNTRY July 2013

Straight from the Hip Empowering Our Youth – Our Future

Brenda Schoepp

Empowering means to enable, liberate, engage, free and permit. It is the drawing out of the very best in a person without the constraints of expectation or entitlement. It is the inside growth of a human being that gives them the power and the drive to change their life, succeed in school and business, to lead and to love. Empowerment is unconditional support. I was once asked to describe the antithesis of empowerment. If you Google this question, you will find all kinds of references to limiting knowledge or processes. I believe it to be something very different. The antithesis of empowerment, or the creature that kills it, is conditional support; a “strings attached” support that has nothing to do with growth and may have everything to do with conformity. Here’s an example. A young girl wants to join the mechanics club and is without any previous background or the required tools. The first response by a parent may be mumbling about heavy work and cost. Or, it may be conditional on other grades or be a “we’ll see” answer. This is a slow start to empowerment and really, is just an expression of the parents’ fear. A more empowering response may be, “Of course. That may lead you to discover a whole new set of skills and meet new friends. How interesting! I cannot wait to hear about your first meeting. Now, how do you choose to meet your other obligations and what can we do together to ensure your current commitments are addressed? Is there anything that needs changing?” Notice how the ownership of the choice stayed with the girl who wanted to join the mechanics club.

She may love or leave mechanics, but it was her choice to join and her choice to find ways to make it work within the family. Giving others guidance is important but real empowerment comes to them— and to you—when they are permitted to own their actions, words, mistakes, successes and commitments. I recall my son coming home and announcing that he was getting an earring. I responded with, “That is an interesting choice and will look great on you.” Left with the choice and unconditional support, he did not get an earring. And it would not have mattered if he did because an earring does not define or limit the talent within a man. Mentorship is the way to empower an individual. It is not teaching or regulating. It is the bringing forth or the bringing up of all that is unique about an individual. I started professional mentoring years ago and what always amazes me is how talented individuals are. Remember that these are often men, women and children who are stuck, troubled, uncertain, fearful, out of touch with themselves or others, and always doubtful of their abilities. We don’t have to talk long before they realize that how they see themselves and who they actually are, differ. It is like watching a plant grow in the pasture years after it was seeded. Who knew it was there? It is never too late to work with a mentor or to be one. Not only is it important to mentor but also to find mentors for ourselves so that our view of the everchanging challenges in life is broadened. This is a unique, trusting relationship with someone who supports, encourages, connects and

advises you without strings. Start today by hanging with the right crowd and looking for that someone who will have your back. Or, start opening yourself to mentoring. Need help? Read my story at http://brendaschoepp. com/consulting-mentoring. Recently, I was approached by a young woman in tears who was under a lot of pressure with a new business. Her parents, she said, simply did not understand. Listening for details, it was clear this was no ordinary change. This was a new business in another country to which she was moving to in 90 days...with small children! She was the only daughter and a business partner with her parents in the current ranch. She had made a choice as an adult but was caught in the emotional details. Change for parents can be challenging—especially when real love is involved. I kindly reminded her that

being a parent is not limited to age and to respect, and that the parental static she felt she was getting was simply an expression of their love and fear for her. She had made a choice and set a goal. There was no doubt in my mind that she would succeed and I told her so, but her challenge for the day was to see things for what they were. When we are in one spot and choose to be in another (literally or figuratively) then there is a distance between those two points that we call “the journey.” It is like the market changes between the day we buy a contract and the day we deliver on the contract. The volatility in between is called noise. We have a choice to be part of the noise or to mentor so the journey for the individual is less distractive—even when it hurts us to let go. Likely one of the greatest gifts to our youth will be the skills to survive financially.

I did not say to give them the money to survive—that would be cheating them of the dignity of making choices—but to encourage business smarts from the moment they enter our lives. I think of a young wife who wrote me lately saying she is so proud of her husband who, at the age of 32, owns eight quarters of land, 350 cows and provides for her and her children, all the while encouraging her to live her dreams. Sound idealistic? Not really. It is a story of a young man mentored and encouraged, who came to strongly believe in himself, can distance himself from the noise on the journey and who practices an extraordinary set of financial disciplines. My own mentor reminded me years ago that if I do one thing for myself as I face the future, it should be to learn how to read a balance sheet. He was right. As I look back on my life, the earliest

gift I could have given those around me was to believe in myself and to find a financial mentor! Empowering the youth who are our future is to encourage creative thought and a set of disciplines. It is to stop being part of the noise and to respect individual choices. We do this now in a mentorship role because given the chance, our youth will boldly surpass the confines of our expectations! Brenda Schoepp is a Nuffield Scholar who travels extensively, exploring agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor, she works with young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website www.brendaschoepp.com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2013.

MBP Offers Age Verification Age Verification is associating a birth date with an animal that was born on your farm and tagged with a Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) RFID button tag. To age verify, you must set up and activate an account on the Canadian Livestock Tracking System

(CLTS) website www.clia. livestockid.ca. This site contains detailed instructions. If you do not have access to a computer or the internet, you can have a third party, such as Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), submit your information on the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS).

Manitoba Beef Producers provides this service free of charge. MBP requires a minimum of 24 hours notification in order to process requests. Age Verification information should be faxed to (204) 774-3264 or emailed to info@mbbeef.ca. Both the producer and MBP must

complete a Third Party User Application. Information required for Age Verification: • Name • CCIA account number • Phone number • Where to send the birth certificate (back to the producer, auction mart etc.)

www.mbbeef.ca

• Indicate if you would like a copy of the birth certificate • Tag numbers • Birth date (yyyy/mm/dd) • Indicate whether birth date is an AB (actual birth date) or CS (calving start date) For more information and to age verify your cattle,

please contact Lacé Hurst at Manitoba Beef Producers at (800) 772-0458 or info@ mbbeef.ca.


July 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

How To Keep Energy Levels Up On Long Days Adriana Barros, PHEc.

Dark chocolate energizes the mind, similar to a cup of coffee. It’s also an excellent source of minerals and antioxidants. Throughout the work It is a highly nutritious in the Caribbean any day we often find ourselves grain and because it is a longer. Coconut water in need of a pick me up. complex carbohydrate, is now widely available Whether your profession it is a source of protein and is not a health food keeps you behind a desk and fibre. The beauty gimmick. Coconut waor on the prairie fields, the of quinoa is that it can ter is loaded with elecdays can be long. Strugimpart any flavour it is trolytes and minerals, gling with what to put in paired with and can be and it is ideal for lasting your lunch box can someserved hot or cold. Quihydration, especially on times become stressful, esnoa salad mixed with hot summer days. Copecially if your current diet fresh vegetables and conut water not only is leaving you hungry. grilled steak pieces can has twice the amount Don’t become known as make a great lunch out of potassium found in a regular customer at the loon the field, as long as it bananas but it also has cal pizza joint just yet! The can be kept in a cooler. anti-aging, anti-carcifollowing is a list of six tips 4. Dark Chocolate: Yes, nogenic, anti-viral and to combat hunger and, most you read correctly! Dark anti-bacterial properties importantly, energize you chocolate energizes the (Med India Network for so you can stay focused and mind, similar to a cup Health). able to do your job effectiveof coffee. It’s also an exOrganizing your lunch ly from dawn to dusk. cellent source of min- box the night before can 1. Water: Each morning erals and antioxidants. keep extra cash in your we awake dehydrated These work at prevent- pocket and leave you feelfrom not drinking anying cardiovascular com- ing ready to work the long thing while we are sleepplications, preventing hours you need to without ing. The first thing we diabetes and improving feeling deprived and exshould do every morncavities (Fit Day). Be hausted. Most importantly, ing is have one glass of sure the chocolate you stop to eat during your water, approximately are snacking on is at work day. It is important! 500 millilitres. Because least 70 per cent cocoa Keeping well hydrated and the human body is made to receive health ben- having appropriate snacks up of over 50 per cent efits. available, like the ones water, it is essential to 5. Handheld Fruit: A listed earlier, will help keep keep our bodies workquick sugar rush might energy levels high. ing optimally. Water be all you need as long Great lunch time meals hydrates our cells and as it incorporates some are often leftovers, re-creatkeeps our body happy, energizing vitamins, ed to become portable and and prevents symptoms minerals and a source convenient, such as stuffing of headaches and faof fibre all in one. Tak- nutrient dense beef, vegetatigue. Keep a litre of waing a break and enjoy- bles, quinoa or brown rice ter with you throughout ing an apple or banana in a whole-wheat flour torthe day to stay hydrated. will rush natural sugars tilla. Just remember to pack 2. Almonds: An easy and through your veins giv- leftovers in a cooler with quick snack, almonds ing you a boost of en- solid ice packs in order to can be enjoyed throughergy. The sugar found keep foods fresh throughout the day while workin fruit will not leave out the day. ing. They are a source of you feeling down in the This month’s recipe, healthy fats and protein, dumps an hour later like provided by Canada Beef and they can help curb many alternative pack- Inc., is Grilled Beef Burhunger and serve as a aged snacks. Bananas ritos with Monterey Jack mid-day snack to boost are a source of potas- Cheese. These burritos energy. A one ounce sium and B-vitamins, can be reheated or kept serving of almonds is while apples provide in a cooler and eaten dur23 whole pieces—this our bodies with vitamin ing a break on the field. makes for a decent snack C and fibre. These are With all four Canada Food (Patel, 2013). good energy boosting Guide groups represented, 3. Quinoa: Quinoa is a food choices. these burritos will fuel you complex carbohydrate 6. Coconut Water: This is with the energy needed on and a source of protein. not just for those living your longest of days.

Works Cited

Grilled Beef Burritos with Monterey Jack Cheese 1 1/3 lb (0.6 kg)

Canadian Lean Ground Beef Chuck (or Ground Sirloin or Lean Ground Beef )

1 tbsp (15 mL)

Chili powder

1 tsp (5 mL)

Cround cumin

2 tbsp (30 mL)

Chopped fresh parsley

1

Egg

½ cup (125 mL)

Bread crumbs

3 oz (85 g)

Canadian Monterey Jack, grated (or Cheddar, Mozzarella or Gouda), salt and pepper.

12

Whole wheat tortillas

Toppings: 4 oz (114 g)

Canadian Monterey Jack, grated

¼ cup (50 mL)

Sour cream

1

Tomato, diced

8

Lettuce leaves

1. Combine ground beef, chili powder, cumin, parsley, egg, bread crumbs and Monterey Jack in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 2. Divide mixture into 10 to 12 portions and form into sausage shapes. 3. Place on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook, turning frequently, until digital instant-read thermometer inserted lengthwise into each ground beef sausage reads 160°F (71°C), about 10 minutes. 4. Briefly warm tortillas on grill to soften. Top with beef, Monterey Jack, sour cream, diced tomato and lettuce. Roll and serve.

Fit Day. (n.d.). 6 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from Fit Day: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/6-healthbenefits-of-dark-chocolate.html#b Med India Network for Health. (n.d.). Coconut Water-Health Benefits. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from Med India Network for Health: http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/coconut-water-health-benefits.htm#. Patel, A. (2013, June 5). HuffPost Living Canada. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/15/foods-that-boost-energy-_n_1779032.html#slide=1385680

www.mbbeef.ca

CALL 1-800-772-0458 FOR REMOVAL FROM MAILING LIST OR ADDRESS CHANGE.



Published by Manitoba Beef Producers

Courtesy of Ed White, The Western Producer

September 2013

Orval Procter used this land as pasture. It has been under water since 2011.

Mentors help young producers become industry leaders. Page 6

RON FRIESEN

KEY POINTS

Orval Procter was hoping to sell his cattle operation, which is located near Woodlands, Man. Instead, stuck with land more like a marsh than a farm, he now faces an uncertain future. A provincial appeal board has rejected Procter’s land value claim and upheld a value which is less than a third of what he feels the land is worth. For Procter, who had to re-mortgage his property to deal with the financial pressure of constant flooding, the ruling is a bitter disappointment. He has already sold off a quarter of his cattle herd and now has two choices: try to maintain his herd on a shrinking land base or get out of beef altogether. But what else would he do?

• Procter’s private appraisal three times higher than province’s offer. • Procter appeals to program. • Appeal rejected. “I’m not sure,” says Procter. “I’m 56 years old. I have no other training. I’ve got a young family.” Procter is one of many farmers in the Shoal Lakes area of Manitoba’s Interlake region who are unhappy with a provincial program to buy land affected by chronic long-term flooding. The Shoal Lakes Agricultural Flooding Assistance Program, introduced in May 2011, was intended to provide financial aid to flood-affected producers by either compensating them

or buying unproductive land. To date, the voluntary program has paid out $13 million to producers selling flooded property and/ or their entire farms. In all, 46 clients have sold 217 parcels of land containing 30,600 acres. Four offers are still outstanding. The program has also paid out another $5.26 million in compensation for lost agricultural production, feed freight assistance and emergency costs. Recently, however, it has become mired in controversy over how much land offered for buyout is actually worth. Private land assessments conducted for some landowners put values much higher than the province does. The controversy boils down to a disagreement over the interpretation of fair market value. Is that the value of the farmland alone

Special Section:

Go to page 8/9 to read about the 2013 Manitoba Beef Producers Bursary Winners!

or does it also include other factors, such as local improvements? Proctor says it is the latter. As far as he is concerned, the province has failed them twice—first, by not dealing effectively with the area’s flooding problems from the start, and second, by lowballing the value of land offered for buyout. Procter’s problem began when he applied to have two parcels of land totaling nearly 300 acres bought out under the provincial program. An appraisal conducted for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) put the value of the land at $99,800. A separate appraisal done privately for Procter, by a professional appraisal service, estimated the market value of the land at $305,000. Procter appealed to the Land Value Appraisal Commission (LVAC), which held a hearing May 17, 2013. Through his lawyers, Procter argued MAFRI’s offer was grossly undervalued, while the department maintained it was at fair market value. In a decision released June 19, LVAC sided with MAFRI. The commission said the difference in

estimated value “results from a difference of opinion as to the highest and best use of the lands. The respondent (MAFRI) concludes the highest and best use to be agricultural. The appellant (Procter) concludes the highest and best use to be residential.” Because Procter’s land was not close to a provincial road, LVAC concluded that, “due to the distance of the Procter lands from a provincial highway and/or good provincial road, we concur with the opinion of the respondent that the highest and best use of the land is agricultural.” It left the province’s offer unchanged. Procter says much of the land surrounding his property contains small holdings and residences, including at least four new homes built within a mile of his property. “I would think that if they were considered, then they could not justify the ruling that the highest and best use of my property was only agriculture,” he said. Equally disturbing to Procter and some other landowners is the way the Continued on page 2

Market favourable in the near future. Page 14

Postmaster: Please return undeliverable copies to: MBP, 154 Paramount Road, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3 Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement Number 40005187 Postage paid in Winnipeg.

Shoal Lakes Buyout Program Upsets Local Landowners

The laws are changing. Do safety practices on your operation pass the test? Page 10


2

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2013

Continued from page 1 province’s assessments were carried out in the first place. They maintain the province conducted not one round of assessments, but two. Procter alleges the second set, which contained values lower than the first, was carried out because the province wanted to spend as little money on land acquisition as possible. That apparently happened to Brian McCulley, who received two assessments, one at market value and another at a lower farmuse value. MAFRI offered McCulley the lower amount but changed its mind after McCulley produced a copy of the first assessment. MAFRI insists there was no two-tier assessment process and all offers made were at fair market value. Darren Bond, a MAFRI business development specialist in Teulon, Man., said eligible applicants were contacted by a Crown Lands and Property Agency (CLPA) land acquisition officer. The officer reviewed the property and forwarded the file to a CLPA appraiser, who produced a certified appraisal report. The report was submitted to MAFRI, who reviewed and approved it. Then the CLPA officer set up another meeting with the client to present the offer. However, Bond acknowledged some assessments conducted early in the process were adjusted. “We wanted to make sure that we were operating in line with our terms and conditions and our Treasury Board approval to make sure that these offers were made to

eligible applicants. We wanted to make sure we were operating under the rules that were given to us,” Bond said. “When we saw the higher valuation amounts, we had some concerns to make sure that we were operating in accordance with our approval from the Treasury Board and our program terms and conditions. So, we went back to CLPA, in communication with our clients in doing so, and they explained to us why these values were higher, mainly because of the residential and small holdings value added to it. Then, from there we had an understanding of this and we offered fair market value to the clients.” To Procter, the admission supports his allegation that assessments were lowered because the province deemed the original too costly. So far, eight people have appealed their appraisals. None were successful. Procter admits not everyone is dissatisfied. The Shoal Lakes Flooded Landowners Association, which Procter chairs, is down to 25 members from its original 60. Many have accepted offers and moved out. Even so, Procter believes the process is slanted against the landowner. And, although he can not prove it, he feels a decision had already been made before the hearing because the commission upheld the province’s original assessment without changing a dime. “To me, that just says the price was decided before we ever went to appeal and the job of the committee was to make sure that’s all that was paid. That’s what it feels like.”

Update on Traceability, Movement Documents and Premises Identification Theresa Zuk Traceability has often been a difficult issue for producers. At times, we have seen governments push our industry in directions that we have not supported. Producers have often indicated that they see little or no commercial value to the steps that have already been taken, like the RFID tags you are all required to put on your cattle. In fact, we have seen a commercial benefit to our efforts. Markets have opened up after BSE that would still be closed today if we had not taken the steps towards traceability. Don’t get me wrong, I do not support the often convoluted path we have taken to get here. Our industry has often been pushed into more costly and complex solutions simply because different levels of government and/or sectors of the beef production chain could not work together. Take premises identification (PID) for example. It is clear that an updated and validated starting point for traceability is required in order to track animals through the system. But

because the PID system was developed differently in each province, until recently there was no link to the national cattle identification system and the traceability goal was not met. All of you who have attended district meetings in the past few years know of the concerns that Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has had with the provincial PID system and the lack of a connection to the national traceability program. I am pleased that this problem has been overcome and the provincial PID system is now linked to the Canadian Livestock Traceability System (as previously reported in Cattle Country). This is good news as it means you are no longer being asked to have multiple PIDs—one for Manitoba and one for the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA). This linkage between the Manitoba PID system and the national traceability network has been a long-standing demand by MBP. We had repeatedly stated that this shortcoming must be fixed before any “next steps” on traceability were contemplated. “Next steps” are coming. I know this will not

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be welcomed by many producers but additional regulations on the traceability front will soon be in place. The Government of Canada has recently passed the Safe Food for Canadians Act. When the regulations for this new act come into force, in about 18 months, you will be required to use a manifest to transport cattle. In other words, you will need to have a manifest in order to take your cattle to an auction mart. A valid Manitoba premises ID will be one of the required boxes to fill in on this manifest. Given that this requirement is coming and given the fact that we do have the linkage between the provincial PID system and the national traceability system, it is time to start thinking about stopping by your local Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Growing Opportunities (MAFRI GO) Office the next time you are in town and pick up the one-page PID application. This will become a necessary part of doing business, if it has not yet. I don’t want to leave you with the impression that all you will see are new regulations and costs. I do see the potential for real commercial benefits from the systems that are being built. Traceability is often viewed with skepticism because most of us do not view traceability as an information tool. Rather, it is looked upon as a cost imposed upon our industry as a result of BSE. But the components of traceability will be able to provide you

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with the tools to improve your genetics, increase your return from your management skills and better connect with consumers. One of these new tools built around traceability is the Beef InfoXchange System, or BIXS. BIXS allows producers to capture, exchange and track specific individual animal data. For example, the system can give you the carcass yield and grade data when your animals eventually go for slaughter. Not only does the system give you the individual data, it also shows you where you rank compared to the rest of Canadian production. BIXS will also facilitate targeted marketing plans for specific niche requirements on the world stage. If a particular client in Japan or another country wants to purchase a specific quality of cut, we can do a better job of meeting their needs through programs like BIXS. What is the end result for producers? In the future, this may allow you to adjust your breeding programs and marketing plans based on the productivity and quality of the cattle you produce. The program has the potential to help you improve your efficiency, lower your costs and, down the road, increase what you are paid for your cattle. This is how information can help you become more profitable. Theresa Zuk is a Manitoba Beef Producers Director and Representative to the Board of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA).


September 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

COOL Faces International Court Challenge Ron Friesen A coalition of American and Canadian meat and livestock groups has launched a legal challenge against the U.S. government’s mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law. The coalition wants a U.S. court to strike down the rule as illegal and unconstitutional. It is also asking for a court injunction to halt implementation while the case is being heard. The groups involved include the American Meat Institute, the American Association of Meat Processors, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Canadian Pork Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Producers Council, the North American Meat Association, and the Southwest Meat Association. Their legal challenge is the strongest effort yet to invalidate the COOL rule. The coalition filed a lawsuit in a U.S. district court July 8, 2013. It submitted a second request July 26 asking for a temporary injunction to prevent the rule from being implemented until the case is resolved. “The lawsuit, when it was originally filed, asked for a permanent injunction against the COOL rule, essentially throwing out the rule. The filing we just did asks for a temporary injunction requesting that the rule not take effect while the lawsuit is pending,” said Eric Mittenthal, the American Meat Institute’s vice-president for public affairs, in a July 26 e-mail to Cattle Country. The controversial rule took effect May 23. It is actually the latest version of a five-year-old measure which, up to now, has cost Canadian producers $3 million a day in lower prices for pig and beef cattle exports, according to industry estimates. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) says the new version of COOL makes things even worse and could triple those losses. COOL says food sold by U.S. retailers must be labeled according to the country where it originated. The labeling requirement means U.S. meat packers must separate imported animals from domestic ones. This results in more work and higher costs, which are passed back to Canadian producers in the form of lower prices. Originally implemented in 2008, COOL previously allowed packers to co-mingle meat from foreign and domestic animals. This softened

the economic impact a little because packers could mix meat from Canadian and American animals and label it “Product of the U.S. and Canada.” A 2012 World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel struck down that rule, following a challenge by Canada and Mexico, saying it unfairly discriminated against imported livestock. The WTO told the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make COOL comply with its international trade obligations. Instead, USDA toughened the rule, requiring meat labels to say where each production step occurs. Now labels must say, “Born in Canada, Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.” As a result, the U.S. industry, including feedlots, will have to segregate U.S. and Canadian cattle and hogs. Feedlots previously didn’t worry about segregating animals because comingling was allowed. USDA maintains all COOL does is inform consumers where their food comes from. But coalition members say the rule goes beyond what the law permits. “We are fighting this on the basis that the government cannot force us to label country-of-origin just because of customer curiosity,” said Colin Woodall, vice-president of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Washington, D.C. “In order for the government to force it, it has to have an impact on the health, safety or welfare of the product. And country-of-origin is only about marketing. It has nothing to do with health, food safety or the overall quality of the product.” In their legal submission, the coalition says COOL violates both the U.S. constitution and the law “because there is no legal justification for the new ‘Born, Raised and Slaughtered’ regime, and because these new rules will impose significant burdens on, and radically restructure, the way meat is produced and packaged in this country.” The groups are also calling for a preliminary injunction to halt COOL’s implementation “because plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their challenges to the new COOL regulations and because they shortly will face irreparable harm from the implementation of those regulations.” Woodall said COOL is not hurting U.S. ranchers economically right now but

it will if Canada and Mexico are allowed to slap punitive tariffs on U.S. beef. The two countries are the top U.S. beef export markets. “It will have a huge impact on the bottom line of cattle producers around this country,” said Woodall. Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico have requested a WTO compliance panel to determine if the U.S. is following the original panel’s directive to bring COOL into line with international trade rules. If that appeal succeeds, the WTO would allow Canada and Mexico to impose retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. imports. The Canadian government has already released a list of U.S. commodities that could be targeted for retaliation. Ottawa says it could seek retaliatory compensation of $1.1 billion annually, the amount by which COOL is affecting Canadian producers’ incomes.

A final resolution to the compliance case could still be a year away. John Masswohl, CCA’s government and international affairs director, said Canadian producers would be satisfied if USDA made a “surgical

amendment” to COOL to allow co-mingling. “We would still be open to that if the USDA were to offer a reasonable approach that eliminates the discrimination on imported livestock,” Masswohl said.

CCA so far has spent over $2 million of its members’ money to fight COOL, both at the WTO and now in the U.S. courts. USDA says it will phase in the new rule over six months and will not actively enforce it until November.

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING Meet with MBP representatives and fellow beef producers to discuss the timely beef issues affecting your district and industry. Elections will be held in even numbered districts. DIRECTOR

DATE

TIME

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 11

Caron Clarke

Oct-28

6 p.m.

Ashern Royal Canadian Legion

3 Main St. E, Ashern

Beef on a Bun served

District 2

Dave Koslowsky

Oct-29

6 p.m.

Cartwright-Mather Merry Makers Club

600 Broadway St., Cartwright

Beef on a Bun served

District 8

Glen Campbell*

Oct-30

7 p.m.

Gladstone District Community Centre

75, 5th St., Gladstone

Coffee Break

District 14

Stan Foster

Nov-01

6 p.m.

Durban Community Hall

612, 1st St. N, Durban

Beef on a Bun served

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-04

7 p.m.

Gilbert Plains Royal Canadian Legion

19 Burrows Ave. N, Gilbert Plains

Coffee Break

District 10

Theresa Zuk

Nov-05

6 p.m.

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

Beef on a Bun served

District 3

Cheryl McPherson

Nov-06

6 p.m.

Elm Creek Community Hall

70 Arena Rd., Elm Creek

Beef on a Bun served

District 6

Trevor Atchison*

Nov-07

6 p.m.

Oak Lake Royal Canadian Legion

291 Assiniboine St. W, Oak Lake

Beef on a Bun served

District 4

Heinz Reimer

Nov-08

6 p.m.

Ukrainian Home of Vita Hall

209 Main St. N, Vita

Beef on a Bun served

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-18

6 p.m.

Shoal Lake Community Hall

315 The Drive, Shoal Lake

Beef on a Bun served

District 12

Bill Murray

Nov-12

6 p.m.

Westlake Community Hall

Hwy. 68, Eddystone

Beef on a Bun served

District 9

Vacant

Nov-13

6 p.m.

Sungro Centre

360 Veterans Ln., Beausejour

Beef on a Bun served

District 1

Ted Artz

Nov-14

6 p.m.

Medora Community Hall

40, 1st Ave., Medora

Beef on a Bun served

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-15

6 p.m.

Carberry Memorial Hall

224, 2nd Ave., Carberry

Beef on a Bun served

*Director retiring

CALL 1-800-772-0458 OR EMAIL INFO@MBBEEF.CA FOR FULL DETAILS www.mbbeef.ca


4

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2013

The views expressed in Cattle Country do not necessarily reflect the position of the Manitoba Beef Producers. We believe in free speech and encourage all contributors to voice their opinion.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

TAILGATE TALK

MBP Tackles Many Topics of Concern

Trevor Atchison One of the perks of being president of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is an annual invitation to help judge the Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up. This outstanding event is held annually in Neepawa, Man. at the beginning of August. The attendance this year was excellent, with over 30 new members attending. My role at the RoundUp was to help judge the cook-off competition and this year they also added the marketing contest to the duties. It was great to see all participants enjoying themselves and fully engaged in the activities at the event. The cook-off required the very difficult task of showing up hungry. Anyone who knows me is aware that is usually

something I leave for the long days in the field only! I also had the task of eating or tasting each cookoff group’s meal, each of which included a steak, fresh vegetables (like garden fresh potatoes and carrots), plus a dessert. Now, once again, those who know me realize the tough part was sharing with the other four judges, who were board members of the Alberta and Canadian Limousin Associations. We did have 17 teams to judge though—with so many steaks to test, sharing turned out to be a nonissue. We enjoyed our way through each delicious meal before us and did arrive at a winner, which you can read more about on page 7. Congratulations to all of the Round-Up par-

Other provinces are already moving forward with these types of initiatives and MBP doesn’t like to see our producers left behind. We need the same opportunities. ticipants and I’d like to give a special kudos to organizers and parents who put on this valuable event. It covers all aspects of beef production and the industry, and without those volunteers, events like this would not happen. The participants at events like Round-Up are the beef producers of the future, they are the future of our beef industry, and hopefully Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). Along with MBP staff, I recently sat down with Man-

itoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) Minister, Ron Kostyshyn. Several issues were presented and discussed, with the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC) at the top of the list. MBP was advised that a new chair, Frieda Krpan, has been appointed to MCEC. One of the chair’s tasks is to conduct a review of what MCEC has done to date, opinions on what is ahead, and what it will mean for the future of MCEC now that the provincial government stated it will not offer a loan guarantee to MCEC. As you know, the province has not been matching producers’ two-dollar checkoff dollars since 2011. A commitment was made to publicly release the results of this review before the end of 2013. Livestock price insurance was also discussed with Minister Kostyshyn. In July the Minister met with agriculture ministers from across the country and implementation of a western livestock price insurance pilot program was part of the agenda. The timeline to roll out the program is early 2014. There are still a few outstanding details to work out as far as backstops for the program. Not only will price insurance offer stronger risk management options for producers, we are hopeful that it will be an option for security on Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance funding. This would make the Cash Advance much more readily available to you. During the meeting with Minister Kostyshyn, we also had general discussions around Growing Forward 2 and details about programming. Directed by board member input, MBP staff have spent considerable time and effort building solid Growing Forward 2 applications. Some of these

www.mbbeef.ca

applications are awaiting funding approval so that we can ensure programs—such as Verified Beef Production, and animal welfare and biosecurity programs—are available for beef producers. Other provinces are already moving forward with these types of initiatives and MBP doesn’t like to see our producers left behind. We need the same opportunities. We have been told that Minister Kostyshyn and MAFRI staff are planning to unveil the final details of Growing Forward 2 in late August or early September. We hope to have the details on the programs in the next issue of Cattle Country. There is ongoing progress with the eradication of Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) in Manitoba through the TB Co-ordinator Dr. Allan Preston and the multi-stakeholder working group set up to enhance ongoing eradication efforts. The working group includes senior officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Parks Canada; the Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; Manitoba Conservation; MBP; conservation groups; and First Nations. It is our hope that we will hear back in the very near future on approval of the federal research program MBP applied for on behalf of affected producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). Earlier this year, MBP held a one-day, in house strategic planning session to prioritize Manitoba’s beef industry issues and where to direct MBP’s resources. We looked at issues to possibly remove from the “key” priority list, for example, issues that have been pushed as far as they can go, or others which are stuck in govern-

ment processes. The list of priorities is high and the list of issues to strike off was short. There always seem to be issues to add, both large and small, or issues which require MBP’s involvement. Community pastures is one issue that we hope to continue to facilitate, with the goal of helping the people directly involved in the pastures take the lead. MBP staff have been putting a lot of effort into continued communication with government and to keep the process moving. MBP staff have also been putting effort into preparing research proposals. This is just one more example of MBP tackling issues throughout the year and getting the job done. MBP has also participated in regular conference calls held by our national organization, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), to update the industry on U.S. mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL). The movement on this issue is quite slow. The CCA has joined a coalition of meat and livestock organizations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to fight the implementation of COOL in court. This initiative is very costly and as we move forward and incur more cost to a shrinking check-off base, perhaps a different approach will need to be investigated. Your MBP directors who sit as CCA board representatives will carry the position of Manitoba to the CCA and report back to you on the path forward. In closing, I invite all beef producers to attend their upcoming MBP district meetings. MBP will be there to listen to your concerns and to have some objective discussions on many key issues affecting your operation and industry. We hope to see you there. Have a safe and successful harvest season.


September 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE Stay Safe

CAM DAHL I hope the summer is treating you well. This time last year we were looking at limited hay crops and raising concerns about feed shortages for the coming winter. Fortunately this year, while not ideal for everyone, it is looking to be much better. Strong demand for beef and adequate access to feed for feedlots should mean strong prices for cattle this fall and winter. You all deserve a few years of this kind of forecast. Sometimes we have the tendency to give lip service to the notion of common sense and being safe on the farm. We think we are paying attention and that accidents or injuries will not happen to us. But the facts do not back up these beliefs. Agriculture is an inherently dangerous industry. Every day, we work with large animals that can cause serious damage. Large machinery is essential to our daily chores. Over time, the risks become part of the routine. We stop paying attention. In a rush, we take shortcuts and park common sense, just for a moment. Those brief lapses have meant many trips to the emergency room and worse. I recently heard an anecdote of a rancher who was trying to finish bailing before a severe thunderstorm. I am sure 99 per cent of beef producers know the situation and have done exactly the same thing. But is getting those few extra bales in before the rain really worth the risk of being in your tractor in the middle

of severe weather? Fortunately, in this case no one was hurt. But why do we take the risk? And we do take risks. I can remember sitting down for Manitoba Beef Producers board meetings and looking around the table at directors who were limping, wearing slings or casts, and who were on pain medication. We shrug and say: “That’s ranching.” But our industry’s safety record is more than just bumps and bruises. From 2000 to 2012, over a quarter of all the workplace fatalities in Manitoba occurred in agriculture. This is a very sobering statistic. This is a time of year when farm accidents happen. We are busy. Whether the year is a success or failure is often decided in the next few weeks. Hours are long and we are often tired. This is when we may take shortcuts. We don’t put the shield back in place (just have to take if off again anyways). We try to unplug equipment before shutting it down completely. We go too fast on the ATV. We put cattle through the chute before welding the broken pieces (a broken arm or worse can be the result). This brings up the single biggest piece of safety advice that anyone can offer: slow down! Take the time to ensure that whatever you are doing is being done safely. Sometimes this will mean that the baling won’t get done today. Sometimes this will mean that the bull gets away or the repairs will have to wait. But getting home in one piece is more important. After making safety a priority for you, take the time to ensure it is a

priority for your family and for your hired workers. Sit down and talk about safety on the ranch. Set up a safety checklist for everyone to review—we can give you some samples. Stop to correct the bad safety habits of those working for you. Think about the safety of the suppliers, service people or visitors who may come to your farm. Remember that ranch safety is your responsibility. Don’t forget about the dollars and cents arguments around farm safety. If you or another key player on your ranch gets injured, it can have serious economic consequences for your operation. Not only will you need to hire a costly replacement, you will also likely see a drop in your ranch’s productivity. Your replacement will not have your wealth of knowledge about your operation, or work as efficiently. And, your insurance premiums may rise too if you have an accident. I talked about the responsibility you have for safety on your ranch. The word “responsibility” does not just have moral or familial connotations; it also has real legal meaning. I did not want to take this time to focus on specific government regulations but I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that the Manitoba government is paying attention to farm workplace hazards. In this issue, Maureen Cousins reviews some of the regulatory requirements. You have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of your family and hired help working on your ranch. Manitoba Workplace Health

and Safety has increased its enforcement activities and it is specifically looking at agriculture. If you have hired help, even casual or part time help from the neighbour’s kids, this will impact you. Feel free to call Manitoba Beef Producers if you want to learn more.

KEY POINTS • Risks can become routine. Don’t get complacent. • Slow down! • New regulations mean the government is paying attention to farm workplace hazards.

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DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

R.M. of Albert, Cameron, Whitewater, Edward, Brenda, Winchester, Morton

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwall, Oakland, South Cypress, Victoria, South Norfolk

R.M. of Woodlands, Rockwood, St. Andrews, Rosser, St. Francis Xavier, Springfield, Tache, Whitemouth, Lac du Bonnet, Brokenhead, St. Clements, LGD of Alexander, Pinawa

R.M. of Shell River, Shellmouth, Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin, LGD Park

R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

Dave Koslowsky

RAMONA BLYTH - SEcretary

DISTRICT 6

TreVOR ATCHISON - President

R.M. of Riverside, Strathcona, Argyle, Lorne, Turtle Mountain, Roblin, Louise, Pembina

R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

R.M. of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, Dufferin, Thompson, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland, Montcalm

R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard

Cheryl McPherson

DISTRICT 4

HEINZ REIMER - Vice President

R.M. of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds

Larry Gerelus

DISTRICT 8

glen campbell

R.M. of Harrison, Clanwilliam, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Langford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

VACANT

DISTRICT 10

Theresa zuk - treasurer

R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, Fisher, Armstrong

DISTRICT 11

Caron Clarke

R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Coldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 12

bill murray

R.M. of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa

BEN FOX

Ray Armbruster - Past President

Manitoba Beef Producers

communications coordinator

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

Deb Walger

154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

policy analyst

Maureen Cousins

www.mbbeef.ca

stan foster

Kristen Lucyshyn

finance

executive assistant Esther Reimer

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Shannon Savory

designed by

Cody Chomiak


6

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2013

Mentors Share Wisdom With the Leaders of Tomorrow Angela Lovell The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program recently announced its participants for the 2013-14 year, which brings together 16 mentors and mentees from across Canada. “The CYL program is about developing leadership skills in individuals who are going to be young producers, are interested in becoming young producers or who already are young producers,” says Betty Green, one of three Manitoba mentors who is also Provincial Coordinator of Verified Beef Production for the Manitoba Beef OnFarm Safety Program. The CYL program was established by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) in 2010 and grew out of an industry recognition of the need to train and develop young leaders to assume the leadership roles in the cattle industry of tomorrow, explains Jolene Noble, CYL Program Coordinator. Mentees who apply for the program undergo a rigorous selection process, which begins with a questionnaire about why they want to be part of the program and what they hope to learn. This year 22 applicants were short listed and went on to a spring forum in Ottawa, Ont. Here, the final 16 were chosen by a panel of judges after a round table format to enter the program. Once the final mentees are chosen, the mentor selection committee reviews their applications and identifies potential mentors who they believe can assist the mentees in meeting their goals. The mentors are then contacted and invited to participate and it is hugely important to make sure that the goals of

the mentees align with the skills and experience of the mentors, says Noble. “Our mentor selection committee works really hard to ensure they are choosing the right mentors and getting the right fit for the mentees,” she says. Once the mentees and mentors are paired, the mentees create a personalized roadmap setting out the specific goals and objectives they want to achieve with the CYL program. This allows the mentors to see how and where they can help. Carollyne Kehler is Betty Green’s assigned mentee. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Science at the University of Manitoba, where she is studying beef cattle transport and its effects on cattle condition and carcass quality. Kehler’s grandparents ran a dairy farm and her experiences helping out on the farm, as well as her involvement in 4-H and her passion for horses, helped her develop a lifetime interest in agriculture. Her goal is to establish a commercial cowcalf ranch with her husband, and she is hoping her involvement in CYL will teach her some valuable skills to help her reach that goal. “My goals are to get some experience by helping out on a working ranch and see how it is managed,” says Kehler. “I also want to learn more about the record keeping portion of a ranch and what tools are available to help us manage our records. I also want to discuss with Betty the strategies of research extension and how knowledge is transferred from researchers to producers. And just to learn about how I can get involved and make a difference in the beef industry by

getting involved with organizations like Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP).” Her mentor, who served as past president of MBP, is certainly well equipped to help Kehler with many of her goals, but a big part of the mentorship relationship is the additional resources, expertise and network of people that Green can connect Kehler to. “There is no one person that can help Carollyne fulfill all of her goals but I know who to call,” says Green. “Either someone who I would have looked to as a mentor or just through contact over time and knowing that is the connection that needs to be made. It has taken us 40 years in farming to accumulate that list of mentors or contacts and for a young producer who can step in and capture even a portion of those, and in this case before they actually start farming, has got to be invaluable.” For this year, CYL has introduced a new initiative called CYL Step 2, which incorporates participation in industry advocacy events and more formal training in the areas of succession planning, business skills development and governance training. Each mentee is provided with a $2,000 travel budget to attend industry events and for visiting mentors. There are also a lot of networking opportunities for CYL participants. “A lot of the participants don’t realize how vast the beef industry is and how many opportunities there are,” says Noble, who adds that part of the program is about exposing them to these opportunities and the many ways they can become involved in the

Carollyne Kehler with her mentor, Betty Green.

industry and its organizations at all levels. The mentorship aspect of CYL doesn’t just involve learning more about a chosen objective; it also allows the opportunity for personal growth, which is equally important to the program, says Noble. “Any time you pair up a younger person with a person with more experience in their field there is huge potential for personal growth,” she says. “Quite often we are looking for mentors who will push our young leaders’ limits and get them a little outside of their comfort zone to really maximize the personal growth that happens within the program.” What prompted Green to agree to be a mentor for the first time this year was the idea that she could maybe help a young producer who is entering the industry. She says, “I am really fortunate because

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mentor than Green, and appreciates all of the things she is learning from her, but the true value of the program, she feels, is in the care taken to match the mentors and mentees and the formalization of the relationship between them. “The mentors are pretty well matched up to the objectives you want so you are not just getting information from anybody, you are getting information from someone who is really focused on the subjects that you need to experience,” she says. “It gives you an experience that you would have a really hard time getting without the program because your mentor is committed to helping you, so you don’t have to feel guilty about asking them to give time and teach you things. We are both committed to the program already so I know I can really dig deep and get a lot of information from my mentor.”

Regular Cattle sales every Tuesday at 9:00 A.M.

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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH AND 30TH @ 12 NOON

February 4-5, 2014 MBP’s 35th annual general meeting takes place February 4-5, 2014 at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, Man. Plan to attend!

Carollyne is very enthusiastic and her goals are clear. When I looked at them, I could see the ways that I could contribute towards that.” “I think being involved in the CYL program is exciting and just being asked is an honour,” adds Green, who doesn’t regret her decision to become a mentor and realizes that she is learning a lot from the relationship too. “Carollyne’s enthusiasm and her view of our industry as a new entrant are invigorating. It makes me re-evaluate things. For example, yesterday we were talking about data collection and record keeping and I was showing her how I was doing it and she made a couple of really good suggestions because she is so much more familiar with technology than I am.” Kehler says she could not have wished for a better

Fall Horse and Tack Sale

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST - TACK @ 10 A.M. HORSES TO FOLLOW Sales agent for HIQUAL INDUSTRIES Specializing in Livestock Handling Equipment For info regarding products or pricing, please call our office

For on-farm appraisal of livestock or marketing information, call:

Pictured above: Cole Johnson, 9, a member of the Dolly Bay 4-H Beef Club at the Lundar Fair June 14, 2013. Cole won Champion Heifer of the club with his heifer Magic. He loves 4-H and everything about cattle and farming. Cole says he has started his herd. The future farmer! Congratulations to Cole and to the Dolly Bay 4-H Beef Club, which celebrated its 100th anniversary on July 6.

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HAROLD UNRAU - Manager/Sales Rep. 1-204-434-6519 office or 871-0250 cell

www.grunthallivestock.com g_lam@hotmail.ca


September 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Manitoba Youth Beef Round-up Largest Ever This year’s participants.

MBP President Trevor Atchison (right) taste tests a delicious Cook-off recipe while the team awaits the results.

Submitted The 6th Annual Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up keeps on growing. This year it drew the largest number of participants ever. The event was held along with the Canadian Junior Limousin Weekend, August 2-4, 2013. Seventy-seven enthusiastic junior cattle producers from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta attended the event in Neepawa. Excitement in the cattle industry brought out a topnotch group of interested cattle producers and 111 head of cattle. The Round-Up is a great way for juniors representing all cattle breeds between the ages of five to 25 years, to work together, learn new skills and meet new people. It all started six years ago when Bert McDonald, Blair McRae and Lois McRae

had the idea to initiate an all-breeds junior show in Manitoba. One of the drivers was the rising cost of hosting individual events. The group gathered together representatives from the breed associations to move forward and the response was very strong. The idea was to try an all breeds event that was not only a cattle show but an event with emphasis on an educational weekend for all young cattle producers. Enthusiasm has increased every year, with participation continually on the rise. The cattle industry is continuing to prosper when one-third of the members for the weekend were new to the Round-Up, which is encouraging to see. The weekend started off with a workshop day on Friday, and included workshops presented on high tensile

fencing (Grant House, Kane Vet Supplies), artificial insemination (Bert McDonald and Blair McRae) and injections (Marshall McDonald). On Saturday, August 3, members participated in a list of exciting competitions, such as sales talk, photography, graphic design, judging, team marketing and team grooming. These events took place along with the cattle show and educational competitions for both individuals and teams. One of the highlights of Saturday was the Cookoff. Up to five members on a team prepare a steak and present a theme. Judges included Trevor Atchison, President of Manitoba Beef Producers; Limousin Representatives, Wayne Burgess and Jim Richmond of Alberta; and new Canadian Limousin President, Brian Lee of Ontario. The judges

were impressed with the taste of the steaks, presentation, themes and costumes. Congratulations to the winning team, which included Rachael Verwey, Lane Nykoliation, Andria Bertram and Sydney de Koning. On Sunday August 4, the members took part in showmanship and cattle conformation classes. Judges for the day were Darren Ippolito of Kisbey, Sask. and Bill Campbell of Minto. This year, the Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up presented two $1,000 scholarships. Recipients of the new awards were Justin Kristjansson of Forrest and Laura Horner of Minnedosa. The Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up Agribition Team was announced at the event. It will be made up of Laura Tolton of Carberry, Rachael Verwey of Portage la Prairie, Kolton McIntosh of

This happy crew served up its meal Duck Dynasty style, beards and all. In front are (left to right): Naomi Best, Ty Nykoliation and Jonathan Karsin. Back: Morgan McCormick and Kolton McIntosh.

Eriksdale, and Jared Preston of Ste. Rose du Lac. The team will represent the Round-Up in Regina, Sask. at the 2013 Canadian Western Agribition in November. Special thanks to the Round-Up Committee: Lois McRae (Chairperson), Rilla Hunter (Treasurer), Bert McDonald, Blair McRae, Wenda Best, Naomi Best, Dillon Hunter, Albert Rimke, Samantha Rimke, Candace

Johnston, Ken Williams, Andrea Bertholet, Vonda Hopcraft, Melissa McRae, Travis Hunter, Karen Williams and Tracy Pizzey. Thank you to everyone who attended, judged and sponsored the 6th Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up. It was a great success. Visit the Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up Facebook page. Show pictures can be viewed on www.grantpix.com.

Important Predator Workshops Producers encouraged to attend Predators are a growing problem for beef producers in all parts of Manitoba. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has worked with governments and other stakeholders to form the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group to help develop different approaches to deal with this issue. Membership includes Manitoba Beef Producers (Co-Chair); Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship (Co-Chair); Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Manitoba Trappers Association; and the Manitoba Sheep Association. This fall, the working group will host six predator workshops across

Manitoba. The workshops will run from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and will include: • Presentations and demonstrations from the Manitoba Trappers Association. • A presentation on the problem predator program and helpful information from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. • Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation will be on hand to make a presentation and answer questions on compensation for predator damage. • Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives will take part in the workshop through presentations and be available for questions. The predator workshops will take place in these locations:

Boissevain

September 18 Beckoning Hills Activity Club

La Broquerie

September 19 La Broquerie Hotel

Fisher Branch

September 25 Ukrainian National Home

Rossburn

September 26 Town Hall

Swan River October 2 Super 8

Ste. Rose du Lac October 3 Ste. Rose Jolly Club

For more information, please contact Manitoba Beef Producers at info@mbbeef.ca or 1-800-772-0458 www.mbbeef.ca


2013 8

CATTLE COUNTRY September 2013

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

2013 BURSARY WINNERS Cassie Scott

Raina Syrnyk

Boissevain, Man.

I grew up on a farm and have spent my entire life there with my parents and two sisters. My dad runs a cattle farm with his brother and nephew. We own our own cattle, as well as custom feed for many other cattle farmers. This is our family business and it is very important to everyone in our family. Growing up on a cattle farm means more to me than I can put into words. Because I live on a farm, I got involved with the 4-H beef club at the age of five, and I am currently the president of the same beef club right now. It has given me a great understanding of everything that is cattle: how to care for them, treat them, feed them, and more. I have sold 10 of my own steers at the 4-H sale. This sale keeps me involved in the beef industry and especially in the community. Nine local businesses have bought my steer over the years and this is a key opportunity for my family. Our cattle farm has gone through three generations and it is just starting on the fourth. Cattle are our complete source of income and we provide beef

locally to our community, as well as to people from across Manitoba. My dad has kept me involved by teaching me about cattle and getting me to work with him on the farm. With the knowledge and skills to process and ship loads of cattle, feed cattle and raise their calves, I know how to successfully run a business and provide beef to Manitoba. The beef industry is important to Manitoba because it is one of the most agricultural and beef-based provinces in Canada. The beef industry provides a substantial and important part of the economy in Manitoba, and keeps the province thriving. Agriculture, of which beef is an integral part, provides close to a third of the total gross domestic product of Manitoba. There are many reasons why I enjoy being involved in agriculture. I care about our family business and I love to be out and working on the farm whenever I can. I have a personal interest in the animals and I love being out with the cattle, which makes me want to pursue a career as a large animal veterinarian in a rural community. As well as living on a farm, it is a privilege to provide my community, Manitoba and the world with high quality beef. My family has been active with Manitoba Beef Producers for four generations, in the cow-calf aspect as well as the finishing market for steers. Cattle are an integral part of my life and business, and they are an important part of our community’s history; it is very much an agricultural-based town. Beef producers are a major supporter of our economy and are essential to Manitoba.

Dori Fee

Entering University of Manitoba

Ethelbert, Man.

Entering University of Manitoba

The Canadian beef industry plays a vital role in rural and urban life across the country to individuals, family farms and communities. Manitoba itself has about 8,000 beef cattle producers, making it one of the largest herds in Canada. Beef production provides multiple family farm operations in Manitoba with a source of livelihood and income, while supplying urban residents with nutritious food products. It also provides provincial residents with jobs at local businesses that are needed to maintain the beef production industry. As a whole, the beef industry is very important to my family, my community and my province as a business and as a lifestyle. The agriculture industry offers my family a guaranteed occupation for the rest of our lives. Almost every single person in the world depends on the agri-food industry and therefore, we, as farmers, will always have a job to fulfill. As a young girl, the beef industry taught me and other young individuals the importance of responsibility, a hard-work ethic and to have a caring nature. I have gained skills and knowledge growing up around beef cattle and this experience has taught me about our land and livestock, and it will always remain important to me with the occupation I pursue. These qualities are significantly helpful to me and other young people who are working toward post-secondary education, employment and future endeavors.

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In my community, the beef industry also serves to sustain jobs in farm supply companies, processing businesses, transport services and multiple other agri-business systems. These jobs attract people to our community, which in turn, becomes very important to the economy and economic development of our area. Without cattle production, these services in my community would not be needed and fewer jobs would be available in the community, causing the population size of our area to decrease. Community population is very important to the small town that I live near; a decrease could cause important businesses to relocate or our local schools to shut down. Not only does the beef industry supply jobs, it provides a healthy and reliable food source for local people and other communities in Manitoba. This beef serves as a trusted source of quality Canadian beef. I enjoy being involved in Canadian agriculture. It has helped me develop as a person since I was very young. Eight years of being in the 4-H beef club, and showing cattle, has become a very special and influential factor in my life, and it has taught me many values. In exchange, I have received an interest in caring for animals and the meat production process. The farming culture allows me to be a part of a very important aspect of our province’s food production. The genetic advancement of Canadian cattle interests me a lot and has encouraged me to follow a career path as a veterinarian and embryo technician. In closing, the beef industry means many things to my family, my community and Manitoba. Being involved in the industry teaches us lifelong values and morals, which will help us feed the increasing world population in the future. It encourages us to promote the importance of our products to the world and it secures jobs in rural communities, which may not be there otherwise. The beef industry helps hold together our local rural communities, which are important to the development of Manitoba in the future.


September 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

Manitoba Beef Producers 2013 Bursary Winners Manitoba Beef Producers is pleased to announce that four outstanding Manitoba students who plan to pursue post-secondary studies related to agriculture and the rural economy have been selected for 2013 MBP bursaries. Each bursary winner receives $500 toward his or her studies. The selected students are all children of active Manitoba beef producers or beef producers themselves. MBP is proud to invest in these students and the future of agriculture in Manitoba. We congratulate all of the winners and we wish them a successful year ahead as they pursue their studies. This year, applicants were asked to submit an essay discussing: “What the beef industry means to my family, my community and Manitoba.” MBP thanks all bursary applicants and wishes them success in their studies. Each year MBP awards four bursaries to MBP members or their children attending a university, college or other post-secondary institution or pursuing trades training. For more information, please visit www.mbbeef.ca.

Sydney Sprenger

Tyler Workman

Alexander, Man.

Entering Dalhousie University

The beef industry is essential to my family’s way of life, as well as the economic and social aspects of my community and province. The industry is important because it provides the world with nutritious food and other by-products. It also helps support other local businesses and Manitoba’s economy overall. Finally, beef production has its own significance to me and has helped inspire my interest in agriculture as a whole. My family and I moved to Manitoba six years ago, with the mission of maintaining a century heritage family farm. We had never farmed before but my father used to come out every summer as a boy and he loved the work and duties that come with running a farm. Most of our neighbours farm cattle and within the year, we had started a herd of our own. Now we have 30 head of beef cattle, my brother and I are members of our local 4-H beef club, and I would be lost without the companionship of our cows. There is something to be said for the pride I feel raising healthy and producing livestock. My family farms cattle as a business but I see it as a learning experience and hobby in my young years. Through 4-H, we handle our cattle daily, learn the cow’s anatomy, proper feeding techniques, breeding, and the ultimate

Minto, Man.

reasoning behind its productionmarketing and food production. It is an interactive process but one that has taught me far more about beef than I ever would have known. Each year, our 4-H club has a show to demonstrate the work we have done, and in turn, the community partakes in the sale. Our local town and area is very much a farming community, and people understand the necessity of encouraging younger generations to learn and continue on in this industry, which is so essential to our daily lives. The beef industry is important to our local community because so many farmers depend on it economically as a business. Beef producers help support the grain market industry and also many occupations, such as mechanics and engineers, who focus on the equipment used in the industry. There are also other professionals who focus on the scientific side of the industry to increase and better the quality/production rate in beef production. It is no wonder cattle farming is such a prime market in this agricultural section of Canada. We are blessed with the healthy grazing and farming land we are surrounded with in this beautiful province, and it is due to these abundant, convenient resources and the large demand in the meat market, that Manitoba producers are able to account for the third largest head of cattle in Canada. It takes these collective farming communities and non-profit organizations like Manitoba Beef Producers to protect, represent and support this growing industry. That is why farming cattle is so important to me; because I can see the need for it and I am interested in pursuing a degree in agriculture to keep these farming communities sustainable, for the interest of my family’s business, my community and Manitoba.

Entering University of Manitoba

The beef industry is very important to my family, community and Manitoba. My grandparents have always grain farmed but they also had a feedlot in the 1960s and 1970s, with the help of my dad and uncles—when they were old enough. After my dad finished his degree in agriculture, he came home to farm and started a cow-calf operation in 1987. He started with commercial cows and then got into the purebred business, as well as commercial with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. I am working for my dad with grain and cattle farming so now there are three generations working together. My grandparents don’t have any cows now but grandpa still helps out with chores. My brother is in university and has a full time job in the summer, and my mom works off the farm—but they help out when they can. The farm is my family’s main source of income. Our family has been involved in our local 4-H beef club for many years, starting with my grandma showing cattle in the local Rally. My dad and uncles, my cousins, and my brother and I, have all participated. We did well with our Pee Wee calves, winning grand champion animal. My brother has won grand champion steer twice with home grown steers

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and I have won home grown heifer and steer. We have done well with the group of three classes and showmanship, as well. I enjoy showing cattle at Rally Day and hope to do well this year. Our Boissevain Beef Club is celebrating the 100th year of 4-H in Canada. In our community there are quite a few cattle farms. Most of them are north of us by the Souris River and south by Boissevain. They are family farms and their kids have helped out and some are taking over the farm. The local Co-ops, livestock farm supply store, equipment dealers, abattoirs and the vet clinic all get business from these farms. The beef industry is important to Manitoba, just like our community. It gives families a way to make money, it supports businesses they deal with, and their cattle are used in Manitoba or sold to other provinces and to the United States. A lot of people have jobs because of the beef industry. Beef cattle are good for the environment if things are done right. Land that can’t be used to grow crops can be used for pasture. Also, manure spread on fields helps the soil with natural fertilizer and makes it easier to work. I enjoy being involved in agriculture because with living and working on a farm, it has shown me a lot of responsibility and that hard work can pay off. Since I was young, I have always been interested in how things work and how to manage a grain and cattle farm. I like to work with machinery and with new technology. My dad likes that I can help him with the new computerized equipment. I am planning to go into agriculture to get a degree at the University of Manitoba, to learn more about farm management. I am interested in agronomy and agriculture business. I am looking forward to a career in agriculture and maybe taking over the farm some day.

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10 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2013

Producers Need to be Aware of Evolving Workplace Safety and Health Rules Maureen Cousins The Manitoba government’s Five-Year Plan for Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention, will be rolled out soon and agricultural producers should be paying attention. The action plan is aimed at making all Manitoba workplaces safer and producers need to be mindful of their obligation to provide a safe workplace. This applies not only for themselves and family members working on the farm but also for their hired help. From 2000 to 2013, more than a quarter of all Manitoba workplace fatalities occurred in the agriculture sector. That is the single largest percentage for all the major industry sectors in the province. In 2012 alone, there were three fatalities, 279 time loss injuries and 497 overall injuries in the agriculture sector. The province’s action plan contains recommendations arising from three separate reports that were released in April 2013. The reports include the Fair Compensation Review, the Report of the Chief Prevention Officer, and the recommendations of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health respecting The Workplace Safety and Health Act. For example, the Fair

Compensation Review looked at several matters, including how Workers Compensation Board (WCB) employer premiums are set and ways to strengthen employer incentives for injury prevention. It also examined concerns about the incidence of WCB claims suppression. The province’s Chief Prevention Officer made recommendations about how to enhance prevention services and programs offered by the WCB and Workplace Health and Safety. The provincial government’s new plan also builds on its previous workplace health and safety initiatives, such as the 2009 requirement for the agricultural sector to provide mandatory workers compensation coverage. The plan contains 10 action areas that range from injury prevention services, to tougher safety and health laws, to providing a fair structure for setting employer assessment rates. Producers should note there will be an increased focus on employer engagement in higher-hazard sectors, which includes agriculture. Specifically, the action plan states, “Manitoba will develop a new survey tool, with a priority focus on higher-hazard industries, to significantly improve

data on areas where prevention efforts are lacking, where stronger enforcement is needed and where meaningful prevention practices are having a positive impact and could be replicated elsewhere.” This could include more on-the-farm visits from provincial officials with the aim of assessing risks and trying to reduce the potential for accidents. Since 2000, the government has doubled the number of safety and health staff, as well as increased the number of annual workplace inspections by a factor of five. It is projected there will be 13,000 workplace inspections in the provincial government’s KEY POINTS 2013-14 fiscal year, compared to 5,880 in 2007-08. • New legislation focuses on “Dedicating more reworkplace safety. sources to prevention will help make Manitoba one of the safest places to work in • This includes the safety of hired North America,” said Famhelp and family members. ily Services and Labour Minister, Jennifer Howard. • Double the amount of workplace “Enforcement is also an iminspections predicted for 2013-14. portant part of injury prevention and our safety and health laws will be among activities that present • Tougher consequences the strongest in the counfor employers who punimminent risk to life or try. Safety and health offiish workers for exercishealth; cers will now have the tools ing their rights. needed to ensure compli- • Immediate penalties for Vulnerable workers— backsliding after an imance.” provement order has including young workers, The action plan also new workers and newcombeen issued; outlines the government’s intention to provide legisla- • Stronger protections when ers to Canada—are another a worker refuses unsafe focus of the action plan. tion, allowing for: Mandatory workplace safework; and • Immediate fines for ty orientations will be required for all new workers. A one-stop information system will be established so employers and workers will be able to access information on safety services as well as to report injuries or unsafe workplaces. The provincial government has several online resources related to workplace health and safety. The SAFE Manitoba website contains important

information, such as descriptions of the responsibilities of employers, supervisors and workers under Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Act. The site also contains tools producers may find interesting. For example, there is an Injury Cost Calculator. While it does not provide examples specific to the agriculture sector, the scenarios are enlightening nonetheless. For example, one scenario involves a construction worker who falls and breaks an ankle. Both the injury costs for the worker (including replacement and productivity costs) and the recovery costs for the employer are examined. The number of days calculated to recover the injury loss is 17. These costs can have a significant impact on all affected. In the fall of 2013, the Workers Compensation Board is expected to release a new strategy aimed at eliminating claim suppression, inappropriate return-to-work practices and providing recognition and rewards for employers that practice injury prevention.

For more information:

www.gov.mb.ca/labour/safety www.safemanitoba.com/farms www.wcb.mb.ca

www.mbbeef.ca


September 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Improving Carbon Storage in Grasslands Christine Rawluk and Michelle Gaudry Climate change, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture—and more specifically, methanegenerating dairy and beef herds—is consistently at the centre of these discussions. However, focusing only on cattle misses a critical component of any livestock production system; the benefits associated with the many acres of perennial grasslands. A more accurate estimation of greenhouse gas emissions is net emissions, which includes both sources and sinks of greenhouse gases within an agricultural system. This holistic approach not only accounts for methane emissions but also the carbon stored in grassland systems. Soils covered in grassland are storehouses of carbon. Breaking up grasslands releases carbon and over time depletes the soil of this important reserve. Since the plains were first cultivated by early settlers, much of the original stores of soil carbon have been depleted. On the crop side, this trend has been reversed more recently with the increased adoption of conservation tillage and a reduction in the amount of land in fallow. On the livestock side, an improved appreciation of the role of grasslands for long-term carbon storage is gaining ground. Adoption of land management practices that build soil carbon will reduce net greenhouse emissions from cattle farms by helping to offset methane emissions.

Manitoba farmland consists of more than two million hectares of pasture and hayland. The benefits of these grasslands are well established: reduced soil erosion; improved soil structure; increased water infiltration and storage; and increased soil organic matter and soil carbon. The total amount of carbon stored in Manitoba grasslands is estimated at 250 million tonnes (equal to a carbon storage “value” of up to $637 million). Producers are faced with continued economic pressure to convert this land, when feasible, to annual crop production. At the same time, governments are developing policy on land-use practices that focus on environmental sustainability. This is putting pressure on cattle producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and means cattle producers play a pivotal role in reducing the net emissions through their management decisions. We now need to know more about how land management practices affect soil carbon gains and losses. A research study conducted by Brian Amiro and Trevor Fraser, who is now a Technician at the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment at the University of Manitoba measured changes in soil carbon when a long standing perennial field was converted to an annual crop. “We saw a loss of almost one per cent of the current soil carbon stock in the first year,” says Fraser. “Although

this may not sound like much, it is more carbon than perennial grassland can store in an entire season. It would take several years to get that back, even if this was returned to grassland.” “The idea is to keep the carbon in the ground where it can improve soil structure and properties,” he explains. “Perennial crops are more likely to gain carbon while annual crops are more likely to lose carbon. A continuous perennial rotation is the best strategy to build carbon stock but this may not be practical or feasible for producers.” However, there are still steps that can be taken to reduce the extent of this loss over time. Generally speaking, any strategies that maintain vegetative cover will minimize carbon losses and optimize carbon gains. One strategy is to practice continuous cropping without periods of fallow or include perennials in the rotation to help restore some of the carbon that is lost during the years of annual cropping. Another strategy is to delay breaking the land until later in the growing season when growth has slowed and temperatures are cooler. “As temperatures fall, plant growth slows, soil organisms are less active, so carbon losses will be lower at this time than if the land is plowed earlier in the season,” observes Fraser. “In the long run, by adopting beneficial management practices that minimize soil carbon losses, you can preserve

Trevor Fraser.

The equipment used to measure carbon dioxide fluxes over fields or, in this case, perennial grasslands.

current carbon stocks and potentially store more carbon over time.” This research is part of a larger project at the University of Manitoba’s National Centre for Livestock and the Environment to develop new

coordinator with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment (NCLE). Michelle Gaudry is a student in the Diploma in AgriculChristine Rawluk is ture Program, at the Unithe research development versity of Manitoba. technologies and identify beneficial management practices aimed at reducing greenhouse gases from both cropping and livestock systems.

New Season of Great Tastes of Manitoba The cast of Great Tastes of Manitoba.

Host Ace Burpee and MBP Beef Expert Adriana Barros.

Love cooking with beef? Watch Manitoba’s most popular cooking show Great Tastes of Manitoba! Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is a proud partner in Great Tastes of Manitoba and we are excited about the brand new 24th season. MBP’s Beef Expert Adriana Barros and Ace Burpee of Virgin 103’s

The Ace Burpee Show have teamed up for a new set of beef themed shows. This season offers up beef recipes that your guests will enjoy at parties and holiday celebrations, as well as recipes for gourmet meals made easy. As MBP’s beef guru, Adriana shares her updates on classic beef

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dishes and she also introduces viewers to the best new beef recipes. The show’s beverage expert from Manitoba Liquor Marts adds to the show with suggestions for wines, beers, spirits and cocktails that go perfectly with each recipe. Watch Adriana and Ace as they showcase

some delicious recipes on the upcoming beef shows, which will air on the following dates on CTV Winnipeg at 6:30 p.m.: October 26 December 14 March 29 May 17 Watch past episodes online at www.foodmanitoba.ca.


12 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2013

Federal and Provincial Activities and Announcements Affecting the Beef Industry Maureen Cousins The following is a roundup of some recent activities and announcements by the federal and provincial governments that affect Manitoba’s beef industry.

Ecological Goods and Services programming

The second round of environmental initiatives under the Growing Forward 2 Growing Assurance component was announced July 31, 2013. It deals with Ecological Goods and Services (EG&S) programming. The application deadline was August 15. Up to $750,000 is being provided in 2013-14 to help producers implement beneficial management practices (BMPs) focusing on water quality. Targeted areas included: water retention structures, natural area maintenance and enhancement, wetland restoration and constructed wetlands, riparian area enhancement, buffer and grassed waterway establishment, perennial cover for sensitive land, and shelterbelt/tree establishment. Unlike some previous initiatives, this program funding flows to the Conservation Districts (CDs) who will work with producers to implement the BMPs. Participating producers do not have to cost share on eligible projects but need to obtain a valid Environmental Farm Program Statement of Completion. It is not yet known when the next program intake will occur. Examples of eligible practices that may be funded include: alternative watering systems to manage livestock (only riparian pastures are eligible); establishment of forages for buffers; native rangeland restoration or establishment; and construction of water retention structures to reduce the risk of flooding and drought and for nutrient recovery. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is disappointed with the approach being taken. We have long advocated for EG&S programming that will assist beef producers who are making an effort to preserve grasslands and wetlands, and who are contributing to water quality through grazing practices. Unfortunately, this announcement does not meet the objectives

MBP has frequently discussed with both levels of government. Because the programming was developed without input from the beef producers of Manitoba we are concerned it may be difficult to practically implement and could fail to meet governments’ stated objectives as well. MBP will continue to apprise governments of the importance of seeking industry input prior to program rollout to help ensure their success. For more program information producers should contact their Conservation District (CD) office or Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Growing Opportunities (MAFRI GO) office. Producers not in a CD should contact their GO office for direction. The catalogue of BMP categories and eligible practices is also available at www. manitoba.ca/agriculture. Click on the Growing Forward 2 link.

Livestock price insurance program

MBP was pleased to see the July 19 commitment by the federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers to “expediting the implementation of a western livestock price insurance pilot program.” MBP has long sought a livestock price insurance program that is bankable and affordable for producers and governments. The beef sector is at a competitive disadvantage because of the lack of a price insurance program. A timely program rollout is essential. This commitment to cattle price insurance has been re-iterated publicly by MAFRI Minister, Ron Kostyshyn, who has indicated that he would like to see a pilot program made available in Manitoba in early 2014. MBP will continue to work with both provincial and federal officials and Ministers to ensure that you get a product that works for you. We are also working on having livestock price insurance be made available as a backstop for the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program to make the cash advance more accessible to you.

as the chair of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC). She replaces Dr. Barry Todd, former Deputy Minister of MAFRI, who retired earlier this year. In other MCEC news, the Council stated in its 2012 Annual Report (released in April) that, “the provincial government recently indicated that it will not provide a loan guarantee and has asked MCEC to replace that financing arrangement with new private investment.” To view the MCEC’s annual report, see www.mancec.com.

Cosmetic pesticide ban will proceed

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister, Gord Mackintosh, confirmed on June 28 that the provincial government will be proceeding with a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides. Legislation will be introduced in the next session that will lead to the replacement of the sale and use of synthetic chemical lawn pesticides with federally-approved bio-pesticides instead. This will involve products applied to areas such as lawns, driveways, school grounds and playing fields, among others. Agricultural lands and gardens, golf courses and sod farms are supposed to be exempt. The provincial government said synthetic products will also be allowed to manage high-risk noxious weeds and poisonous or invasive species. The Minister added that the government’s

strategy will involve further consultation and will include components such as strengthened noxious weed management to protect agricultural lands for production. The proposed legislation would take effect December 2014 and include a one-year grace period for homeowners to adapt to it. MBP has previously raised key concerns with a proposed pesticide ban. These include the creation of urban reservoirs for noxious weeds and the solidification of the perception by some that pesticides approved for use by Health Canada are unsafe. MBP remains

concerned about a growing trend of seeing environmental and health regulations based on public perception rather than being grounded in sound science.

Ban on use of coal for heating delayed

Part of the provincial government’s climate change strategy involved a ban on heating with coal that was to take effect on January 1, 2014. However, the government announced in late July there will be a grace period of up to July 1, 2017 for coal users to adapt to the ban— provided that an approved conversion plan is filed by June 30, 2014.

The government expects coal users to convert to other energy sources, such as biomass. Some financial assistance may be available to help coal users with the conversion process through the Biomass Energy Support Program. See www.gov.mb.ca/ agriculture/agrienergy/ ene00s07.html. The program application deadline is October 1. It includes, “financial support for capital and/or infrastructure upgrades that are required to effectively manufacture or consume biomass fuel, including expansion of existing facilities or development of new capacity.”

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New MCEC chair appointed

Effective July 19, the provincial government appointed Frieda Krpan of St. Laurent

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September 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Vet Corner

Standing Behind Your Product KEY POINTS

Every bovine that leaves the vet clinic has a Canadian Cattle Identification Program (CCIA) tag. That tag number, as well as the client’s name, are recorded in a log that is kept at the clinic, as per Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requirements. When I am audited, the inspector goes through that log and, if desired, he can review my appointment book and records to see the reason for each animal’s visit. In the unfortunate event of a disease outbreak, the log would be used to find potential herd exposures and to develop quarantine zones. But, what if that 15 digit number was used by feedlots, packers and even the consumer? Do you want your name associated with your product? Answering anything but YES means you aren’t helping the beef industry remain competitive in today’s world. Our knowledge of genetics and gene testing has grown tremendously in the last few years. Bull selection is the fastest way

• Are you proud of your product? If not, you’re not helping the industry.

to improve the genetics of a cow herd. You can use carcass expected progeny differences (EPDs) and new technologies, such as leptin gene mapping, to select for heritable quality traits like ribeye area, marbling, tenderness and feed efficiency. Enroll in programs like the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) to obtain feedback information on the health, feedlot performance and carcass data for your calves. Then take action on the results to improve your herd. Be sure your calves are ready to sell, whether at weaning or following backgrounding. Properly developed immune systems minimize sickness after weaning and result in improved feedlot performance. Ensure adequate colostrum intake and cull cows that regularly wean poorer calves. Work with a nutritional consultant to develop a least cost but effective feeding program. Malnourished cows have poorer conception rates, prolonged calving intervals and poorer milk production, which results in

Tara Fulton

Dr. Tanya Anderson, DVM

• Genetics and gene testing can improve your herd. • A well maintained herd is good for your pocket book. prolonged calving seasons and uneven unhealthy calf crops. Develop a preventive herd health management program with your veterinarian and implement standard treatment and vaccination protocols. Review these protocols on a yearly basis as herd risk factors may change and new products are continually being developed. There is legal liability for violative residues. Know what a withdrawal period means and understand that withdrawal times may vary depending on how a product is given (pour-on, injection —intramuscular, intravenous and subcutaneous), dosed (no more than 10 mL per site at least two inches apart) and the reason for treatment. Follow

the label recommendations and consult with your veterinarian if using in an extra-label manner or are unsure of a diagnosis and its current treatment. The future performance of your calf in the feedlot and on the rail depends on your management practices. Poor injection techniques at birth will cause decreased meat tenderness and scarring. Antibiotic residues from gentamycin, which is used by some producers to treat calf scours, will cause violative residues at slaughter over 18 months later. Well-maintained and designed handling facilities ease cattle movements and minimize injury to both livestock and handlers. Castration, dehorning, implanting and injections

are much easier to do with proper restraint. Give all injections in the neck and not the backend. Regularly change and disinfect needles to minimize swellings, abcesses and scarring, which can lead to decreased meat tenderness and increased trim. Dedicate syringes to products. Mixing and matching syringes to give vaccines and antibiotics can cause product ineffectiveness or adverse drug reactions. Similarly, store products appropriately and follow approved disposal practices. Take advantage of continuing education opportunities in animal health through your veterinarian, local Manitoba

Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) office, farm publications and even online. Informed and involved staff and family members have improved morale and are more motivated to continue performing excellent work. Put your name behind your production practices and the beef that leaves your gate. Make your calves the top pick for feedlots by implementing sound management practices and spreading the word. Work with, rather than against, the other stakeholders in the industry. Your profitability and the future of the beef industry depend on it.

Invasive Spotted Knapweed Spreading Kelvin Heppner, Manitoba Farm Journal, Golden West Radio An invasive weed species with the potential to cause more harm to pasture and rangelands than leafy spurge appears to be expanding its territory in southern Manitoba. Until 2010, the only known infestation of spotted knapweed in the province was at a gravel pit near Sprague. That year it was found near Beausejour and Birds Hill Park. New patches of spotted knapweed have now recently been confirmed in and just west of Winnipeg and south of Steinbach along Highway 12. There is also a suspected patch at the base of the escarpment near Roseisle. “There is an old adage in the invasive species world, ‘if you want to get rid of leafy spurge, introduce knapweed,’” says Doug Cattani, a researcher in the plant science department at the University

of Manitoba. “That sort of puts it into perspective why we are concerned about it getting into our range and pasture land. We know what leafy spurge has done to a lot of our areas and we don’t need something else to come along that is even worse.” Spotted knapweed can be mistaken for Canada thistle. “From a distance, it has the purple flower with that base but the leaves are quite different. They are not spiny or prickly and the portions of the leaf blades are very narrow,” says Cattani. He says suspicious plants should be reported to a municipal weed supervisor or to the Invasive Species Council of Manitoba. The course of action after an infestation is confirmed depends on the number of plants. “If it is a single

plant, it can easily be pulled. We generally recommend bagging them and burning them. If it looks like the stand has been there for a number of years, a herbicide application is usually needed,” says Cattani. “It is a short-lived perennial. The first year is generally as a seedling rosette, so it is not something that you may easily identify.” Spotted knapweed has infested hundreds of thousands of acres in Alberta and British Columbia. It can be found across much of the western U.S, as well, including in North Dakota. Animals will only graze the weed if there is no other vegetation available. The plant’s roots emit a toxin that prevents the growth of native species.

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14 CATTLE COUNTRY September 2013

The Bottom Line

Demand for Manitoba Cattle Should be Strong

Rick Wright

is available, cattle feeders will feel more comfortable purchasing inventory at current price levels. • With JBS Food Canada purchasing XL Foods in Brooks, Alta., contracting opportunities for cattle changed dramatically. Last year XL and other large feeders contracted the majority of yearlings available for delivery from August to December. This year, JBS decided not to contract any yearlings and purchase on the cash market. Many of the other feeders on both sides of the border choose the same strategy. This left the majority of the yearlings open for cash bids in August and September. August cash sales were averaging $140.00 at 900 pounds. • With record corn crops projected for this harvest there should aggressive competition for the Manitoba yearlings. Alberta will be shopping in Manitoba, as well as Ontario and Quebec. Calf prices in Manitoba should be strong, as well. The trend to later calving continues in Manitoba resulting in less wet nosed calves for sale in the fall. Prime pasture conditions will mean that producers will leave their cattle out on pasture as long as possible, which will mean more late

The fall cattle run is just around the corner and what a change from last year. Most of the fundamentals are pointing towards a strong market for cattle producers. Demand for Manitoba cattle should be very strong this fall. The yearling supply in Manitoba is very close to last year’s numbers and the inventory is held mostly by larger operators with over 500 head on the grass. The majority of these cattle are sold direct or forward contracted; very few come to the auctions for sale. There are a few changes this year: • There is lots of grass and pastures are in good condition, which will result in the yearlings staying on the grass two to three weeks longer than last year. • As I sit down to write this, the exchange on the dollar has moved to a favourable position to export cattle to the U.S. Demand to the south is strong with the shortage of cattle on the American side. Yearling sales in the south have been strong, with “sand hills” yearlings out of Nebraska selling for over $1.45 at 900 pounds. • Once harvest of this year’s corn crop is underway and new crop corn at new crop pricing

October and November calf deliveries than normal. Despite the wet summer conditions, there will still be adequate hay supplies of hay and forage for the upcoming winter. Producers may decide to carry more of their calves over until the New Year, especially if we have a wet harvest resulting in more feed grains. Reports from the United States are that producers will start to rebuild their herds this year after a prolonged drought depleted numbers there over the past three years. In Manitoba, market operators are reporting that they are all booking a large number of herd dispersals for the fall. Slim profit margins, strong grain prices and strong land prices are responsible for many Manitoba livestock producers exiting the business. There are many acres of grassland being torn up and converted to grain land. The other factor in the decline of cattle numbers is that there is no new “blood” getting into the cow-calf business. The return on investment is not enough to attract young people into the industry. There are a few young farmers that love the cattle business and are willing to carry on the family farm but in general, there are just too many other opportunities to get good paying jobs with a good annual income—that are complete

with benefits—that require a lot less work and stress. Reports out of Alberta indicate that a number of feedlots are shutting down completely or are reducing the number of cattle that they intend to feed. A rough count showed that confirmed closures and reduced inventory requirements will account for approximately 140,000 head less pen space being used in Alberta this fall. Cattle feeders across Canada are nervous about the projected feeder cattle prices for this fall despite the prospects of lower feed grain costs. Higher than projected costs of gains on feed last year kept many of the feedlots in the red again. Closeouts for finishing steers came in at five to 10 cents per pound over budget, while heifers were totally unpredictable. Some heifer closeouts were 20 to 25 cents per pound over budget. Producers could see a larger than average price spread between heifers and steer calves this fall. The spread on the yearlings off grass is 8 to 15 cents per pound. The spread on the heifer calves could be as much as 25 cents this fall. The finished cattle prices look good for the first quarter of 2014 and despite the uncertainty over the new mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules, there will be U.S. demand

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• Good pasture conditions mean more late October/ November calf deliveries than normal. • Cattle feeders nervous about projected feeder cattle prices. for Manitoba cattle. The Americans are not usually big players on the calf market, but some U.S. firms do background calves in Manitoba. The U.S. will put the floor price on the cattle; Canadian feeders will have to outbid the south to own inventory. The proposed Cattle Price Insurance Program for Manitoba could have stimulated more backgrounding by local investors and

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• Demand for Manitoba cattle expected to be strong.

feeders this fall. However, it looks like it will not be available until spring, at the earliest. Similar programs in Alberta and Ontario allowed smaller cattle feeders a chance to take some low cost risk management, which helped producers reduce losses this spring and summer. The key to a strong cattle market this fall will be cheaper feed grain prices. Corn acreage in the U.S. was pegged at 97.3 million acres, the largest in the past 75 years. A projection for the 2013 national crop production is 31 per cent higher than last year’s—14.1 billion bushels, assuming a 158-bushel average yield. Should the bumper crop come to pass, look for a corn market in the $4.00 to $4.50 range. Soybeans have already hit a 13 month low and could trade at $3.50 lower than last year. Here’s hoping!

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During harvest this fall, pay extra attention to overhead power lines. Contact can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. When moving farm equipment, move slowly and carefully. Know the height of your equipment and plan a route that avoids any potential contact with power lines. Look carefully in all directions, including up. Lower dump truck boxes and grain augers before moving them and remember clearance can change depending on weather conditions—power lines will hang lower in hot weather. To ensure safety, maintain at least three metres of power line clearance at all times. Locate new barns, sheds or granaries a minimum of nine metres away from power lines. Under no circumstances should anyone but trained Manitoba Hydro staff lift a power line to allow machinery or buildings to pass below. For more information contact your nearest Manitoba Hydro office or visit hydro.mb.ca.


September 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Straight from the Hip telling our story

Brenda Schoepp As I prepare to leave for more global research in agriculture, I am recalling the innovations I saw on farms to engage the public in the production of food. We tend to be a little private in Canada about our farms but in many parts of the world, this is not the case, nor is it an option. As agricultural policy is now often rolled into food policy, it becomes the consumer’s right to ask the hard questions and to visit the very farms on which their food is grown. As a host for international visitors (we had 70 in 2012), I am often shocked at the things they know about the area in which I live. One Dutch guest had a map of all the unique farms in my community that she wished to visit for her research. I did not know these dynamic businesses were there and joyfully took the driver’s seat on the road to discovery with her. Perhaps one of the best summer exercises we can do is be a tourist in our own community. More importantly, ask yourself how do your visitors see you? Show and tell is often a big hit in school. It seems to be the one time when every family secret is revealed. And it never becomes outdated, even though a five year old I knew took a power point presentation for her kindergarten class! Even as adults, we learn best by seeing and interacting with a host. In Holland, I saw many farms with board rooms for industry meetings, roadside stands and interior glass walled barns so we could see the animals. In the United Kingdom, the big focus was on education; farms have many field days and school visits are the norm. The feature day in the UK is Open Farm Sunday, when hundreds of farms throw the doors open to the public. The interactive website (www.farmsunday.org) lets you have a sneak peak at the farm before choosing. Check it out and see just how exciting a farm day can be. More importantly, look at what can be done with a few or a lot of acres, with

a value added or commodity farm, and with a small family or a big crew. The possibilities seem rather endless. For nine years, Quebec farmers have opened their doors to the public for an Open Farm Day (journée Portes ouvertes sur les fermes) in September. Tens of thousands pack the narrow roads for the excitement of visiting the farm. These are fun filled days of great food and adventure and we have enjoyed many of these farms. It opens your eyes to production practises in other provinces and you get to taste some great home grown foods. The open door day in September nicely compliments the artisan status that farms hold in Quebec, which allows for farm gate sales. In Australia, city families are matched with farm families for a day of fun, friendship and understanding. The site www. farmday.com.au explains that process and the adventure is heavily supported by industry. Think of

the real knowledge transfer in a day. We often have an extended Lebanese family visit us from the city. It is the most important day of the year for them and they love going home with a car loaded with veggies, meat and flowers from our extensive gardens. Together, we learn about each other’s culture and food. This year, Alberta had its first ever open farm day (www.albertafarmdays. com). This two day affair featured great eats and farm visits, throughout the entire province. In Manitoba, open farm day is September 15, 2013 (www.openfarmday.ca). As was last year, thousands of city folk are expected to taste, experience and explore the very best of Manitoba farms. It is the ultimate show and tell and you don’t have to be urban to enjoy—my hubby wants to travel Manitoba’s Cinnamon Bun Trail. Better yet, sign up to open your farm next year—the mutual gain is well worth the little extra time. If nothing more, look at the

Last year thousands of people from Manitoba’s cities flocked to farms for Open Farm Day. Get involved with this year’s event! Learn more at www.openfarmday.ca.

websites of all the farms hosting or watch the videos and discover who is doing what in your very own backyard. Enjoy the innovation and diversity in this great business of agriculture!

Brenda Schoepp is a Nuffield Scholar who travels extensively exploring agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor, she works with

young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website, www.brendaschoepp.com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2013.

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Cooking Healthy Can be Easier Than You Think... And Fun Too! Adriana Barros, PHEc. The third season of the year means harvest, back to school and back to busy schedules. This might leave home made dinners on the back burner, only to be replaced with quick fixes like take-out or ordering in. This does not have to be the case! The easiest way to combat a busy schedule is to be organized and this can be simple if everyone is able to do their part. Dividing dinner tasks and staying organized are not new concepts, however, they require dedication and support from those around you in order to be successful. Following are a number of tips and ideas that can be easily brought into your kitchen.

Get organized!

Keep a large dry erase calendar on the refrigerator. This is the best way of staying on top of all family events— from weddings to birthdays, soccer games to parentteacher conferences. Make sure the calendar is large enough to get the whole family’s activities written down in one place. You might even want to colour code the markers for mom, dad and the kids’ activities.

Get everyone involved!

Based on the scheduled activities your family has every week, designate responsibilities to each family member in order to get dinner on the table at a reasonable time each night. Examples of how kids can help include setting the dinner table, peeling and cutting vegetables, or making a tossed salad. Let the older children take the lead; they can read the recipe that is being used for dinner and get started on age appropriate tasks. This could include browning and seasoning ground

beef! Giving your children set designated tasks will not only make them feel involved, they will also learn responsibility and the importance of working together to accomplish a larger goal. Developing disciplinary skills does not need to be boring and it can happen in the kitchen!

Plan ahead!

Grocery shop only once a week and have a list. The fact of the matter is, you will typically forget items and overspend when you enter the grocery store without a list. Before deciding to go to the store, make sure you have checked through your fridge, freezer and pantry. This will avoid forgetting items and you will then know exactly what you need. After you have a good idea of the ingredients you currently have in your kitchen, make a meal plan. It does not need to be intimidating; it is just a list of family dinners for the week. Typically, this is seven meals. However, you can make double batches and recreate several dinners if you cook one large roast at the beginning of the week. For example: • Monday: Double batch of ground beef for Monday and Tuesday. Monday could be hamburgers and tossed salad. • Tuesday: Meatballs and spaghetti squash. • Wednesday: Roasted chicken with roasted root vegetables and potatoes. • Thursday: Leftover meatballs from Tuesday. This could be meatball minestrone soup with Greek salad. • Friday: Large slow cooker cross-rib roast for the weekend. Friday could be pulled beef tacos with coleslaw.

• Saturday: Pulled beef sandwiches with baked potatoes. • Sunday: Pulled beef quesadillas with tossed salad. Once the set meal plan has been created it is then appropriate to create one single grocery list.

Cook like company’s coming!

Make big batch meals. This means creating leftovers that can then be used for a few extra meals when you are in a pinch during a busy week. Start with having your cupboards stocked with pantry items to make marinades, spice rubs and sauces to season meats. Your best friend in the kitchen should be your slow cooker; it is fabulous at getting all the hard work done for you. And do not be fearful of leftovers! By cooking a large cross-rib roast and shredding all the meat at once you will have many meal possibilities that can be stored in the freezer for two to three months. Recreating meals from ground beef or shredded beef can be endless. Here are a few options the whole family will love. • Calzones/pizza; • Quesadillas; • Dinner salads (Tex-Mex salad, Cobb salad, pasta salad); • Hard or soft tacos; and • Wraps /submarine sandwiches.

It’s time to get cooking!

Getting the whole family involved in making dinner is a wonderful bonding activity AND there are many lessons in leadership that children can learn in the kitchen. This month’s recipe is courtesy of Canada Beef Inc., Slow-Cooker South Western Pulled Beef. Pulled beef is an excellent recipe to double and use leftovers for, for several meals throughout busy weeks ahead.

Slow-Cooker South-Western Pulled Beef 2 tbsp (30 mL)

Vegetable oil

4 lb (2 kg)

Beef cross-rib or boneless blade pot roast

1 cup (250 mL)

Beef broth

28 oz (796 mL)

Can, EACH crushed tomatoes and whole tomatoes

1

Pouch, onion soup mix

2 tbsp (30 mL)

EACH tomato paste, chili powder and ground cumin

¼ tsp (1 mL)

EACH black and cayenne pepper

2 tbsp (30 mL)

All-purpose flour

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven or heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat; brown beef all over, turning with tongs. Transfer to slow-cooker. Drain fat. 2. Reduce heat to medium. Add broth, tomatoes, onion soup mix, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne to Dutch oven. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring up any brown bits. Pour over beef. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours until beef is fork-tender. 3. Skim fat from liquid. Leave meat in sauce, remove twine. Whisk flour into 1/4 cup (50 mL) cold water; whisk into sauce in slow-cooker. Cover and cook on high, stirring once, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Use two forks to pull the beef into shreds.

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Published by Manitoba Beef Producers

Jeannette Greaves

OCTOBER 2013

District Meetings Page 2, 16

RON FRIESEN

KEY POINTS

An empty rubble-strewn lot on Marion Street in Winnipeg is all that is left of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council’s (MCEC) dream to build a new federally inspected beef processing plant in Manitoba. MCEC has stopped collecting a $2-per-head levy to raise funds for a plant to slaughter Manitoba cattle and expand the industry in the province. Levy collection officially ended September 1, 2013. The lot owned by an MCEC subsidiary will be sold and levies collected over the past 12 months will be returned to producers who request their funds back. MCEC itself will eventually disband. This is the end of MCEC’s hopes for revitalizing a beef processing sector

• MCEC stops collecting $2-per-head levy. • Plans to retrofit old hog slaughter facility for cattle cancelled. • Producers urged to send in levy rebate forms by January 2014. which, today, is nearly nonexistent in a province once known as a hub for Canada’s meat packing industry. When MCEC was formed in 2006, its mandate was to invest in beef processing and conduct market research to enhance opportunities for Manitoba cattle producers. But plans to retrofit an old hog slaughter facility in St. Boniface into a stateof-the-art beef plant never bore fruit. In 2011, the federal government abruptly withdrew $10 million it had

promised the project two years earlier. “The project in St. Boniface was not going to go ahead. There were no other major projects on the horizon. In the circumstances, it did not seem appropriate to be continuing with this particular vehicle,” said Anders Bruun, a Winnipeg lawyer hired by the province to wind up MCEC’s affairs. Bruun stressed that Ottawa’s decision to pull out of the project was not the only reason for MCEC folding its tents, but it was the major one. The MCEC board tried to keep plans for the plant alive even after the feds withdrew their funding but it was without success, Bruun said. “They worked hard and sweated mightily trying to make something happen and in the end it wasn’t there.”

The province launched MCEC in an attempt to develop domestic beef slaughter capacity after BSE closed foreign borders to Canadian cattle in 2003. The $2-per-head levy on in-province cattle sales was designed to “encourage cooperation between producers and government, and will ultimately accelerate the creation of Manitobaowned slaughter projects,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk at the time. The mandatory levy was non-refundable at first. But the government made it refundable after many producers objected to having to pay it. Since 2006, the levy collected just over $8 million, with $2.4 million refunded to producers on request. The province also committed

Turn to page 2, 16 for information on upcoming district meetings.

nearly $4.9 million in matching funds. MCEC spent $5.7 million developing the Marion Street project based largely on the expectation of funding through the Federal Slaughter Improvement Program, also established after BSE to encourage domestic beef slaughter capacity. But construction never began, despite demolition of the old facility, engineering plans for the new one and environmental approvals. Sufficient private investment for the plant failed to materialize as well, said Bruun. “Everyone backed away from the thing in some fashion or another except the board. They kept on trying to make it work and did so for two years without success.” Hopes for a federally inspected beef plant in Manitoba now rest with Calvin Vaags, who is building a $13 million expansion of the Plains Processors abattoir in Carman, which he bought in 2008. Vaags hopes to be federally certified once construction is complete. Continued on page 2

Special section on animal care Page 7-9

Postmaster: Please return undeliverable copies to: MBP, 154 Paramount Road, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3 Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement Number 40005187 Postage paid in Winnipeg.

MANITOBA CATTLE ENHANCEMENT COUNCIL ENDS LEVY

Beef Code of Practice released Page 3


2

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2013

Continued from page 1 A federally inspected meat plant located in Winkler does not process beef. At their annual meeting in Brandon last winter, Manitoba beef producers called for MCEC to end the levy and redistribute funds to producers. The same resolution has passed two years running. Cam Dahl, Manitoba Beef Producers general manager, said producers ran out of patience with an agency that spent their money but

never seemed to show anything for it. The fact that a third of the money collected was refunded indicates producers’ frustration, Dahl said. The end of the MCEC project is the second failed post-BSE attempt to build a beef plant in the province. Producer-owned co-op, Ranchers Choice, could not generate enough investment capital to build a hoped-for plant in Dauphin. Manitoba’s beef processing sector is now no further ahead than it was

before BSE. Only a relative handful of provincially inspected plants slaughter beef cattle. Otherwise, producers have to ship finished animals to plants in other provinces. Access to slaughter facilities in the U.S. is limited because of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Dahl said the high cost of building and operating a slaughter facility, plus tough times in the beef packing industry, are main reasons for the lack of success.

As an example, he pointed to a beef processing plant in Aberdeen, South Dakota, which filed for bankruptcy protection this summer less than a year after opening. Last January, Cargill announced it was idling its plant at Plainsview, Texas because of a shortage of cattle caused by last year’s drought in the Midwest. Other plant closures are expected as producers continue to ratchet down their herds. North American beef cattle

Your Vote, Your Voice: MBP Director Elections Vote for Your Local Director

Being a member of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) means you have a say in the future of your organization. MBP encourages all beef producer members to attend their local district meeting to nominate candidates and vote. Your vote is both a right and a responsibility, and we look to you in choosing your directors and putting in place the leadership MBP needs to succeed.

Nominations for District 6, 8 and 9

MBP’s Nominations Committee has been looking for new director candidates in Districts 6, 8 and 9 due to directors completing their terms. Candidates have been identified but nominations for these districts remain open. For inquiries and to nominate someone, please contact Nominations Chair Ramona Blyth (District 5 Director) at 204-685-2470 or info@mbbeef.ca.

Become a MBP Director

Being a MBP Director is a rewarding way to make a contribution to Manitoba’s beef industry. It is a way to share your knowledge

and expertise while gaining valuable skills and experiences promoting your product and lobbying government on behalf of your fellow producers. Directors can participate on committees dealing with issues they are passionate about, such as animal health, the environment, trade, production management, Crown land and more. Directors can be involved at the provincial and national level to shape the industry and make a difference to the bottom lines of all beef producers. MBP directors have moved on to serve as leaders at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, National Cattle Feeders’ Association, Canada Beef Inc. and many other groups.

MBP values your time

MBP’s board and staff know the value of your time and the requirements of running a beef operation. The board works to ensure your time as a director will be used efficiently and in a way that minimizes your time away from your ranch. Consider becoming a MBP director. Contact us for more information at 1-800-772-0458.

numbers are the lowest in decades. “It is a difficult link in the chain to compete in. It is such a tough business,” said Dahl. He said that Manitoba should now concentrate on developing a healthy beef industry from the ground up instead of building plants without enough cattle to fill them. “We need to look at ways of increasing the health of the entire sector. That includes our feedlots. We are not going to have viable

Farm Women’s Conference Great Opportunity to Learn and Network Angela Lovell From Farm to Fork to Facebook is the theme for the 2013 Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference, to be held at the Canad Inns in Portage la Prairie, November 17 to 19, 2013. Now in its 27th year, this signature event for farm and rural women of all ages is a great opportunity to learn something new, expand networks of friends and farming colleagues, and have a lot of fun doing both. This year’s event will explore what is new in social media and what it can offer for the farm. A panel of successful Manitoba women will explain how they have used social media to help promote their businesses. Attendees can even learn how to set up, write and publish a blog. Speakers include Deri Latimer, who will help teach attendees how to shift their emotions and enjoy positive mental health in their everyday lives. Gerry Friesen, “the

This year, elections for the MBP Board of Directors will be held in even numbered districts and district 9. Producers are encouraged to attend their district meeting to nominate and elect a local director. See the schedule on page 16.

processing here in Manitoba unless we have a viable feedlot industry,” said Dahl. “We need to make sure that all parts of the sector are healthy, growing and vibrant. Then a plant becomes a commercial success.” In the meantime, Bruun urged producers to apply for levy rebates as soon as possible and no later than the end of January 2014. Application forms are available at auction markets and on line from MCEC at www.mancec.com.

recovering farmer,” will share his life experiences as a farmer and counsellor, and will share some tips about how not to be “sleepless in Manitoba.” Kalynn Spain, on a quest to know where her food is coming from is building an online directory of 75 Manitoba farms. The Manitoba Canola Growers will host a cooking demonstration and eight select-a-sessions will answer questions like: how much can you afford to pay for land or how much do you need for your retirement? There will be tips on managing price risk on the farm, developing a human resource plan and a psychological strength training session. Up to 5.5 management training credits will be available for selected sessions. For more information on the full program and to register, check out the website at www.manitobafarmwomensconference.ca, or the Facebook page at www.facebook. com/ManitobaFarmWomensConference.

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

R.M. of Albert, Cameron, Whitewater, Edward, Brenda, Winchester, Morton

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwall, Oakland, South Cypress, Victoria, South Norfolk

R.M. of Woodlands, Rockwood, St. Andrews, Rosser, St. Francis Xavier, Springfield, Tache, Whitemouth, Lac du Bonnet, Brokenhead, St. Clements, LGD of Alexander, Pinawa

R.M. of Shell River, Shellmouth, Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin, LGD Park

R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

RAMONA BLYTH - SEcretary

VACANT

BEN FOX

Dave Koslowsky

DISTRICT 6

R.M. of Riverside, Strathcona, Argyle, Lorne, Turtle Mountain, Roblin, Louise, Pembina

R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood

DISTRICT 10

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, Fisher, Armstrong

R.M. of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, Dufferin, Thompson, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland, Montcalm

R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

glen campbell

Cheryl McPherson

HEINZ REIMER - Vice President

R.M. of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds

TreVOR ATCHISON - President

Larry Gerelus

DISTRICT 8

R.M. of Harrison, Clanwilliam, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Langford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

Theresa zuk - treasurer

Caron Clarke

R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Coldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 12

bill murray

R.M. of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa

stan foster

Manitoba Beef Producers 154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

Ph: 1-800-772-0458 PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

GENERAL MANAGER Cam Dahl

policy analyst Maureen Cousins

www.mbbeef.ca

Ray Armbruster - Past President

communications coordinator Kristen Lucyshyn

finance

Deb Walger

executive assistant Esther Reimer

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR Shannon Savory

designed by

Cody Chomiak


October 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

New Beef Code Stresses Pain Management Ron Friesen Pain mitigation for castration and dehorning is one of the new features in the revised Canadian beef industry code of practice released in early September. Beginning in 2016, cattle producers will be required to use pain control, in consultation with a veterinarian, when castrating bulls older than nine months. That age limit will be lowered to six months in January 2018. The new code also recommends castrating calves before the age of three months whenever practical. It says castration, “must be performed by competent personnel using proper, clean, well-maintained tools and accepted techniques.� As well, the code recommends disbudding calves at two to three months of age and mitigating pain when dehorning calves. Dehorning should be done properly and in consultation with a vet. The requirement for mitigating pain during dehorning also takes effect January 2016. Pain mitigation was not included in the old beef code, which was published in 1991. But the need to control pain during certain practices is part of the new reality for animal husbandry, say members of the committee which drafted the code. The new code takes effect right away. However, producers are being given a phase-in period to adjust to the requirements. “That is what the code committee thought was the best balance of what is practical to help get people doing it,� said Ryder Lee, the drafting committee’s industry liaison member. The code is voluntary but producers are expected to follow it as part of their regular management practices. Although the pain mitigation guidelines and age limits are new, producers should have little trouble adjusting to them because most are following them now anyway, said Trevor Atchison, Manitoba Beef Producers president. “A lot of producers are already in compliance with the code. Therefore, the number of producers adversely affected by it will be limited because most are following it anyway,� Atchison said. The beef code is a product of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) and was drafted by NFACC’s code development process. NFACC oversees the development of codes of practice

for Canadian farm animals. Committees that draft the codes include representatives from all industry stakeholders, including farmers, veterinarians, transporters, processors, retailers, government and animal welfare organizations. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada funds the project that coordinates the drafting of all codes. Although the codes are voluntary, some provinces, including Manitoba, refer to them in their regulations. As a result, regulators can use them as measuring sticks when investigating animal abuse cases. Industry officials say it is important for producers to adhere to codes in order to show they are following normal practices and to protect themselves against wrongful accusations of animal abuse. Codes of practice can be used as reference points for enforcement officers when they assess allegations of animal abuse. It is also a tool for courts to use if abuse charges are laid against farmers. If producers can demonstrate they are following the code, charges may be dismissed. Not everyone is happy with the age limits for dehorning and castration, as set out in the new code. Bill McDonald, CEO of the Winnipeg Humane Society, said pain mitigation should apply during all stages of an animal’s life, not just starting at a certain point. “I think they have to recognize that one day past an eight-month window to a nine-month window does not cut it. Pain mitigation has to be managed from whenever the decision about doing the procedure is made. Pain is pain,� McDonald said. We’d like to see that it more stringently applies all through the ages of whenever producers determine to do these procedures.� McDonald said he recognizes pain management at all ages would be more timeconsuming and costly to the producer. But if people want food animals treated more humanely, they will have to pay for it at the grocery store checkout, he said. “In effect, that practicality has to be borne at the end of the day by the consumer. Lee said the committee had to balance recommendations for pain mitigation with the practicality of doing it, especially when large numbers of animals are involved. “That was part of our discussion: are these things achievable by most producers? The committee thinks

that these things are positive for the animal, achievable by producers and defendable to anybody looking at it.� Lee, who is federal-provincial relations manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, said the committee also had to guard against making recommendations producers can’t keep. He said some countries have tried major new animal husbandry initiatives only to see them fall flat. For that reason, changes need to be realistic and should come incrementally, Lee said. “We have seen around the world how making grand sweeping changes has met with resistance or failure. That is part of how this code process works—taking the situation now, improving it and continuing along the road of continuous improvement.� The new code goes to significant lengths to recommend against mistreating animals. It encourages producers to take courses in cattle handling techniques and urges them to avoid using electric prods wherever possible. It also devotes a section to euthanizing animals, using “an acceptable method� to cause “the least possible pain and distress.� That includes keeping equipment for euthanasia, such as guns and captive bolt devices, in proper working order. The code also says downer animals must not be dragged or

moved before being euthanized. (That is currently the law in Manitoba.) McDonald said humane societies, for the most part, have no huge concerns with the way beef animals are managed in Canada. The industry generally does not have hot button issues, such as gestation crates for sows and battery cages for layer hens. But Atchison said cattle producers must not be complacent about public perception. He said it is possible people might see cattle outside in the dead of winter and think they should be in a barn. For that reason, it is important to have a code of practice to confirm that beef cattle are range animals, he said.

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2013-09-05 10:38 PM


4

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2013

The views expressed in Cattle Country do not necessarily reflect the position of the Manitoba Beef Producers. We believe in free speech and encourage all contributors to voice their opinion.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

TAILGATE TALK Action packed autumn

Trevor Atchison As fall approaches, producers are thankful for the warm temperatures that will allow many of us to put up good feed supplies despite adverse weather conditions throughout the year. Because of this, the beef industry in Manitoba is in a lot better shape now than this time last year. Hay supplies are adequate in most areas and bountiful in others. I encourage producers to take stock of their feed pile early in the fall and secure extra supplies soon to avoid having to search later and face the sourcing issues that we experienced in 2012. I have been part of the producer Steering Committee that is leading the efforts to develop the producer-led Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) that will take over the management of community pastures

as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) withdraws from the program. I know producers who use these pastures are anxiously waiting for the details so they can plan their grazing for next year. The Steering Committee has been given strong assurances from the Government of Manitoba that all pastures will be available for grazing in 2014, just as they have been in the past. I am hopeful that a public announcement to this effect will have been made by the time you read this column. AMCP and Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) have sent indication to the ministers involved that producers need to have answers before cattle leave pastures this fall. We do not have all of the details on exactly how management will be carried out in 2014 because the playing

field has changed in the past few weeks and the AMCP has been put into the position of having to adjust its business plan. For example, throughout our negotiations over the past 18 months, AAFC has given a clear indication that the assets at each pasture would remain with each pasture and be transferred to AMCP at no cost. This would have been a significant help during the transition period but, in early September, AAFC removed this as an option, forcing us to change plans in the middle of the game. AMCP and MBP will continue to work with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) to finalize the management plan and ensure that funding is in place to secure long-term sustainability for the pasture program and that the required support is available through the transition period.

I am repeatedly asked what my thoughts are regarding calf prices this fall, what bred cows will be valued at, yearling prices, and the like. I am no expert on cattle prices—I too ask and read what experts have to say. But I am optimistic for the year ahead. Current reports are that the U.S. corn crop will come in setting a new record, or close to it. This will lower feed costs for the coming feeding season. North American cattle numbers are at their lowest level in two decades. There is an oversupply of feeding and slaughter capacity, which will lead to a lot of competition for all classes of feeder cattle and fat cattle. There are some issues that somewhat dampen my optimism. For example, mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is significantly increasing the cost of getting Canadian cattle into the U.S. plants, which are desperate for supply. Canada’s efforts to reverse the negative impacts of COOL have suffered setbacks in recent months. As you know, in May the U.S. Administration proposed new labelling requirements that will actually increase the cost of the COOL regulations. On September 11, 2013, the U.S. District Court failed to grant a preliminary injunction to block the implementation of these harmful requirements. The Canadian livestock sector, along with its coalition partners, like the American Meat Institute and the U.S.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, is seeking an expedited appeal to have this decision overturned. Our industry will also continue to push the U.S. to end mandatory COOL, through the World Trade Organization, for example. But we all know that these cases take time and this trade barrier is going to continue to take money out of the Canadian beef industry. There will be more news on COOL over the next few months and MBP will keep producers upto-date on these important developments. The recent announcement by MAFRI Minister, Ron Kostyshyn, to end the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC) check-off and wind down the organization was welcomed by MBP. Our members have given direction through discussions and passing resolutions that requested the check-off be ended. MBP has been assured by Minister Kostyshyn that funds will be in place to meet the requests for refunds that come in between now and when MCEC closes its doors on August 31, 2014. MBP has asked to be directly involved in the wind down of MCEC’s operations to help ensure accountability and transparency to the beef producers of Manitoba, who have contributed millions of dollars to the organization since its inception in 2006. At our board meeting in August, MBP directors and staff set the agenda for our

district meetings, which are coming up this fall. The district meeting schedule is on page 16. I encourage all beef producers to come out, bring your issues to the table and hear updates on how MBP is working on your behalf. As members of MBP, the resolutions you bring forward at these meetings set the policy and direction of the organization. The directors in Districts 6 and 8 are completing their terms, which expire at the annual general meeting in February. I am one of those directors. We also have a seat to fill in District 9. It is important that we fill these director roles. If you would like to let your name stand for director, or if you know of someone who would be a good addition to MBP’s Board, please contact me and I will ensure that MBP’s Nominations Committee brings your name forward at your district meeting. Some candidates have been identified but nominations for these districts remain open. District meetings are the venue for you to be heard and to have your issues addressed. Issues that affect your operation are important and MBP is here to help. If MBP does not hear about these issues, we can not help address them. In closing, I wish everyone a great harvest and fall run. It is soon time to relax with family at Thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing you and focusing our goals for the future at district meetings this fall.

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October 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE

Revised Beef Code of Practice is Science-Based and Practical

CAM DAHL Welcome to fall! This is still my favorite time of the year, despite the fact that the arrival of fall means that winter is not very far away. Fall is also the beginning of “meeting season” for producers. Hopefully attending your district meeting for Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is at the top of your list. The specific dates and locations for each meeting are listed in this edition of Cattle Country, on page 16. Cut out this section and put it on your fridge to remind you of the dates. The agenda for this year’s set of meetings is full of information that will help you in your operation, in addition to giving you the opportunity to have input into how MBP is run and how your check-off dollars are spent. A highlight for this year will be the unveiling of a new suite of forage insurance programs by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation. This is something that has been a long standing request from MBP’s membership. You might notice a bit of a theme throughout much of this edition of Cattle Country. The revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle, which is a voluntary guideline for responsible care of beef cattle, has just been released. MBP has had the opportunity to review and comment on draft versions of the new code and we believe that the revised code is both practical and

science-based. In fact, the vast majority of beef producers already are complying with the new code. A logical question is, “Why do we need a Code of Practice if most beef producers are already doing the right thing?” Until recently, agriculture has really not paid a whole lot of attention to consumers’ interest in how we produce beef because society was mostly content to simply go to the local Co-op or Safeway for groceries, with little thought of what happened before food got to the store. There is that old line about school kids (or sometimes 20 year olds) thinking their milk comes from Sobeys. This is changing and we need to pay attention. There are examples all around us of what happened to an industry when a few people make its production practices a target. Seal pelts generated good income for decades—until the industry lost the acceptance of consumers. Hog and poultry producers are being pushed to adjust their practices—not because of new government regulations but because their customers and consumers have demanded change. More and more consumers are asking, “Where does my food come from?” They care about the answers. As a consequence, retailers and restaurants, our customers, are paying attention. So should we. We may not like this additional attention. We may

believe that someone in Toronto or Montreal has no business wondering what you are doing on a ranch in Manitoba (we don’t stick our noses into their workplaces, after all). But from a business perspective, we would be wrong to ignore this trend. It is critical that the general public has confidence that those of us in animal agriculture take proper care of our livestock while they are under our control. A written Code of Practice will help us give that assurance. The revised code is sciencebased and will help us deflect the misinformation coming from those few activists who do not think we should be raising beef at all and whose efforts are aimed at driving you off the land. The make-up of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), the organization that has published the revised Code of Practice, is also critical to ensuring society’s understanding and acceptance of our way of raising beef. The beef industry is represented on NFACC but we are not alone. The council also includes researchers, beef producers, veterinarians, transportation representatives, humane societies, animal enforcement and government. The involvement of civil society in the development of the revised code will help make certain that our industry’s efforts to ensure the highest standards of animal care are

supported and understood by a broad spectrum of Canadian society. The beef Code of Practice is not a regulatory issue for producers. You do not need to fear government inspectors arriving on your ranch to confirm your compliance. But in the near future you can expect buyers writing compliance with the code into contracts before they purchase your animals. And they might even be willing to pay a bit more for that. I encourage all beef producers to read the revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle. You can find it on NFACC’s website, www.nfacc.ca. Or you can simply call MBP at 1-800-772-0458. We would be happy to take your call, send you a copy of the code and of course, answer any questions you may have. See you in a few weeks at your district meeting!

KEY POINTS • Make your voice heard at the MBP District Meetings. • The revised beef Code of Practice is good for business. • It is critical that the public has confidence in the way we handle our herds.

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6

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2013

VET CORNER

Responsible Castration and Dehorning Practices Dr. Tanya Anderson, DVM

KEY POINTS

The Code of Practice for the care and handling of beef cattle is in the process of being revised. Unfortunately, many producers are unaware that such a document exists but the good news is that the overwhelming majority of cattlemen do already have their operations “to code.” Astute producers know that proper care and handling of cattle ensures that a farm operation remains financially viable and is held in high regard by society. My next few articles will cover different aspects of the revised code. This month we will be reviewing two age old and necessary procedures— dehorning and castration. Over the last 20 years (the current code was released in 1991), new scientific advances and the development of new techniques have allowed us to perform these painful procedures in a more humane, yet effective, way. Horns cause injury to other animals, people and facilities. Horns are also the single most common

• New science and techniques allow producers to perform procedures more humanely.

cause of carcass wastage due to bruising. The best way to dehorn cattle is to not breed horns. Most beef breeds now have polled genetics without compromising other production traits. If you do have horned calves, dehorn them at a young age before the horn bud attaches to the skull (around two months of age). Be sure that you remove the horn-producing cells (the ring of skin at the base of the bud or horn). Failure to do so results in abnormal scur-like growths. Disbudding (done before the horn bud attaches to the skull) and dehorning techniques include hot-iron, cautery or cutting with a knife, shears or dehorning spoons, cups or tubes. Many studies have confirmed what we all know—dehorning hurts. However, additional research has shown that pain is less if we do two things: 1) dehorn at a young age; and 2) use pain medication. The least painful and most humane way to dehorn is using caustic paste

• When dehorning, be sure to remove the horn-producing cells. • Delaying castration will require you to use more restraint and carries the risk of complications. on calves under one week of age. But you need to do it right, which means at the right age and with the right technique. Paste is best applied to calves under two days of age because this is generally before they have figured out how to scratch their heads on walls or with a hind foot. Clip the hair and apply only a dime-sized amount on the hornbud. Keep the calf dry for a day while the paste works. If a calf rubs the spot or gets in the rain, the paste can run off and cause burning of the area below the horn. This could even cause blindness. Applying a ring of

Vaseline around the horn bud will also help keep the paste in place, especially if you prefer to use a squeeze type product with a more liquid paste. Another, but more painful alternative, is to dehorn with a hot-iron or butane burner. Again, do at a young age (less than two weeks). If you delay dehorning until after six to eight weeks, you will need to use pain medication and local anesthetics. Seek your veterinarian’s advice if you find yourself in this “didn’t get around to doing it” situation.

Castration prevents unwanted pregnancy, reduces aggression and improves meat quality. Both surgical (knife) and non-surgical (burdizzo, elastrators/banding) are effective methods. Again, this is a no-brainer: castration is painful. But, like dehorning, it is less painful if it is done at an early age, preferably within the first week of life. Code recommendations are to castrate calves prior to three months of age wherever practically possible. Remember that delaying castration will require more restraint and carries

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the risk of additional complications. Definitely use pain medication if castrating older animals. Many studies have been done comparing differences in pain response and impacts on growth and performance between the various methods of castration. Banding has generally been found to be the “most humane” and effective, while the burdizzo is known to have a higher failure rate (from both an equipment and operator standpoint). Use of local anesthetic is still a source of debate because of the impracticalities of use during processing large numbers of calves. However, the use of pain medications that can be injected, like Anafen or Metacam, are effective, easily administered and economical, especially for young calves. Castrate with the green rubber bands at birth while dehorning with your cautery paste. And for those diehards that insist that performance is enhanced by castration after weaning, there is a “new” treatment out there—the implant at birth when the ring is put on! Castration and dehorning should be done by cow-calf producers. On arrival at the feedlot is too late, both from an animal welfare (pain control) perspective and from a management perspective. Feedlot operators want to focus on calf health and feed performance. Cowcalf operators need to focus on producing the product—a calf ready to go on feed. Do your part in the production chain and be responsible to both your industry and society.


October 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

SHOULD THIS ANIMAL BE LOADED? Guidelines for Transporting Cattle, Sheep & Goats Do Not Load Do Not Transport Delay Transportation and Reassess Exhaustion Calving/lambing/kidding Dehydration Weakness/unstable Acute mastitis Ketosis Fever: cattle > 102.5°F 39.1°C sheep/goats > 103.3°F 39.6°C

Load Healthy Animals

Do Not Transport to a Sale Transport With Special Provisions Direct to Slaughter

Euthanize Non-ambulatory (see box below) Fractures of limb or spine Arthritis in multiple joints Cancer eye (severe) Cancer/leukosis (extensive) Extremely thin Pneumonia (unresponsive with fever) Prolapsed uterus Water belly Nervous disorders, such as rabies must be reported to CFIA • Hernia that impedes movement

• • • • • • • • • •

As Soon As Possible • • • • • • • • • • •

Abscess Blind Frost bite Cancer eye (eye intact) Lameness Left/right displaced abomasum (without weakness, toxicity) Lumpy jaw Penis injuries Laboured breathing Prolapsed vagina or rectum Animals that have given birth within 48 hours

Within 12 Hours Seek advice from your veterinarian Advise inspector at the destination plant. • Bloat* (if not weak or already down) • Hardware with localized signs • Intestinal accidents • Recent injury* • Urethral blockage (acute)* • Broken tail or jaw • Smoke inhalation *Animals must travel in a small compartment, either individually or with one quiet animal.

Animals with multiple conditions may not be t to transport.

Non-ambulatory animals: Unable to stand without assistance, or unable to move without being dragged or carried (downers). Do not load or transport.

Lame animals:

Emergency On-Farm Slaughter

• Animals should not be loaded if at risk of going down in transit. • Animals that can’t bear weight on all four legs may be in pain and are at risk of going down during transit. These animals are often euthanized at sales and plants.

If an animal is t for human consumption but not t for transport (i.e. injured but not sick) emergency on-farm slaughter may be an option. Please consult with your provincial government for more information on the availability of emergency on-farm slaughter in your province.

Lactating animals: Dry o heavy lactating cows before shipping when possible or ship directly to an abattoir.

Guidelines for Dealing with Compromised Cattle, Sheep & Goats Federal Transportation Regulations (2010) Health of Animals Regulations

www.inspection.gc.ca

DO

• Segregate animals of di erent species, or substantially di erent weights and ages, or if incompatible by nature. • Provide proper ventilation, drainage and absorption of urine. • Have su cient headroom for animals to stand in a natural position. • Spread sand in the vehicle or have vehicle tted with safe footholds, in addition to appropriate bedding. • Ensure that animals unloaded for feed, water and rest remain at least ve hours and longer, if necessary, for all animals to receive food and water. • Ensure that calves too young to exist on hay and grain are provided with suitable food and water at intervals of no more than 18 hours.* • Ensure that animals segregated in trucks receive extra protection from cold and wind chill; supply ample bedding. • Euthanize animals promptly when you identify conditions outlined in the “Should this Animal be Loaded?” chart.

Lameness Descriptions Rendering Animals Compromised or Un t for Transport Use these descriptions to determine whether an animal requires special provisions during transportation or whether it is un t for transport.

*Note: The Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals Transportation suggests no more than 12 hours between intervals for calves.

Transport with Special Provisions - Compromised

DO NOT

• Transport a sick or injured animal where undue su ering may result. • Transport when the animal is liable to give birth during the journey, unless under the advice of a veterinarian for medical care. • Continue to transport an animal that is injured, becomes ill, or is otherwise un t to travel beyond the nearest place it can be treated. • Use goads or prods on the face, anal, udder or genital area. • Load or unload animals in a way that would cause injury or undue su ering. • Crowd animals to such an extent as to cause injury or undue su ering. • Transport livestock in trailers not designed for safe handling of that species or class of livestock. Source: Transporting Livestock by Truck (CFIA)

Transport with special provisions if the following is true: The animal has imperfect locomotion, a slight limp; the lame leg may not be immediately identi able. Rationale Even a slight lameness is a condition that can deteriorate very quickly, especially when the animal must negotiate ramps during the loading and unloading process, justifying the need to avoid auction markets and assembly yards. This animal is also at risk of becoming non-ambulatory during transport and can only be transported with special provisions to the nearest suitable place where it can be humanely slaughtered (local slaughter), or cared for. From the Compromised Animal Policy www.inspection.gc.ca.

Guidelines for Transporting Cattle, Sheep & Goats and Guidelines for Dealing with Compromised Cattle, Sheep & Goats used from Caring for Compromised Cattle (2010), used with permission from Farm & Food Care Ontario, with updates from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website www.inspection.gc.ca.

www.mbbeef.ca

INFORMATION PULLOUT

• • • • • • •

7


8

CATTLE COUNTRY October 2013

Body Condition Scoring

CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE CARE AND HANDLING OF BEEF CATTLE - 2013 Body condition scoring (BCS) is a hands-on method of assessing the amount of fat cover on an animal, and is an important tool in managing beef cattle and optimizing the use of feed resources. In Canada, we use a 5-point BCS system, originally developed in Scotland. American beef producers typically use a 9-point system. BCS is determined by assessing the degree of muscle and fat cover at specific landmarks on an animal’s body, specifically over the spinous (vertical) and transverse (horizontal) processes of the short ribs (loin) and (in fatter cattle) the tail head and ribs. Be aware that body condition scores are most applicable to mature cattle and may be of little use for cattle under one year of age.

What’s the Score: Beef Cow

BODY CONDITION SCORING (BCS) GUIDE

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

INFORMATION PULLOUT

LABELLED ILLUSTRATION OF A BEEF COW Illustration of a beef cow with a BCS score of 3.

HIP B ONE/H OOK

WITHERS

THURL

V ERTEBRAE

TAIL H EAD TAIL DOCK

PIN BONE RUMP

CHINE LOIN BARREL

CROSS SECTION OF THE LOIN AREA Generic Cross Section of the Loin Area. BCS 1

BCS 2

BCS 4

BCS 3

BCS 5

BODY CONDITION SCORES FOR BEEF COWS Overview of all the body condition scores for beef cows

BCS 1: ENTIRE ANIMAL • Extremely thin • No fat in brisket or tail docks • All skeletal structures are visible • No muscle tissue evident • No external fat present • Dull hair • Survival during stress doubtful BACK BONE • Individual vertebrae well defined, sharp • Can place fingers between each vertebrae SHORT RIBS • Visually prominent • No fat present • Very sharp to the touch

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October 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

BCS 2: ENTIRE ANIMAL • Thin • Upper skeleton prominent (vertebra, hips, pin bones) • Muscle tissue evident, but not abundant • Some tissue cover around the tail dock, over the hip bones and the flank BACK BONE • Individual vertebrae can be felt, but not as sharp • Can’t place fingers between vertebrae SHORT RIBS • Feel individual ribs, sharp rather than very sharp • Identify individual ribs visually

BCS 3:

INFORMATION PULLOUT

ENTIRE BODY • Ideal flesh for calving • Ribcage only slightly visible • Hooks and pins visible, but not prominent • Muscle tissue nearing maximum • Fat deposit behind shoulder obvious • Fat in brisket area • Tail docks easily felt BACK BONE • Somewhat defined • Difficult to feel top of vertebrae SHORT RIBS • Completely covered with fat, beginning to spread over rump • Individual ribs only felt with firm pressure

BCS 4: ENTIRE BODY • Skeletal structure difficult to identify • Obvious fat deposits behind shoulder, and at tail head • Fat on brisket and over shoulder BACK BONE • Flat appearance to the top line • Can’t feel individual vertebrae SHORT RIBS • Folds of fat beginning to develop over the ribs and thighs • Can’t feel individual ribs, even with firm pressure

BCS 5: ENTIRE BODY • Obese • Flat appearance dominates • Brisket heavy • Bone structure not noticeable, “blocky” appearance • Tail head and hip bones bones almost completely buried in fat and folds of fat BACK BONE • Flat back • Can’t feel backbone SHORT RIBS • Completely covered by fat • Mobility impaired by large amounts of fat

Information from What’s the Score? Body Condition Scoring for Livestock CD-ROM, Agdex 400/40-1, available for $25 from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development by calling toll free 1-800-292-5697 or visiting the website at www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex9622. Used with permission from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

www.mbbeef.ca


10 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2013

INVESTING IN YOUR BEEF INDUSTRY A $3 per head checkoff is collected at the point of sale on all cattle sold in Manitoba. Of this, $2 per head goes toward funding the activities of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) on behalf of the local beef industry, and $1 per head goes towards the National Check-off Agency to fund its activities. The MBP (formerly MCPA) levy is collected under the authority of the Cattle Fee Regulation.

NATIONAL CHECKOFF (NCO)

The national check-off is a mandatory, non-refundable levy of $1 per head collected on cattle sales throughout Canada to fund research and marketing activities on behalf of the entire industry. It is collected from cattle producers when they market their cattle by provincial organizations, using their existing collection

systems involving auction markets, order buyers, brand inspectors and others who handle cattle sales. The goal of the national check-off is twofold: to increase sales of domestic and export beef and to find better and more efficient methods of producing beef and beef cattle. The national check-off generates over $8 million annually and is a critical source of revenue to fund initiatives that will advance the industry and build strong markets for Canadian cattle and beef. The national checkoff solely funds research and marketing activities and does not provide any funding to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, which is funded separately through provincial organizations. The national check-off provides industry funding for the Beef Cattle Research Council (www.

BIXS 2 in Development Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is working on creating the next version of the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) to offer more to users. The first of a sequence of releases of BIXS 2 is targeted for the fall of 2013. This first release will emphasize easy import and export of data and a tool to help purchasers source important animal attributes within the beef supply chain. Last winter, the BIXS team began a process to evaluate the current version of BIXS to pinpoint shortcomings and decide on a pathway forward. The team interviewed commercial beef industry software development and service firms, packers, feedlots, retail interests, existing value chains and others to discover the precise benefits needed from BIXS. This feedback was used to build a specification of the next version of BIXS. BIXS 2 will be easier and quicker for users to get onto and get data in and out of. Import and export functionality will be improved and it will handle many thousands of users and millions of records. The new version will be animal-centric, where actions are applied to animals and recorded across their lifetime up to detailed carcass data acquisition. BIXS is presently funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

KEY POINTS

Hugh Page

CHECK-OFF INFORMATION

• $3 per head checkoff collected on all cattle sold in Manitoba. • $2 goes toward funding MBP. • $1 goes to National Check-off Agency. Money collected funds research and marketing for the entire industry. Goal is to increase sales and find more efficient ways to produce beef cattle.

beefresearch.ca), which is responsible for the industry’s national research program, as well as funding for Canada Beef Inc. (www. canadabeef.ca) and its work in domestic and U.S. marketing and market development in Mexico, Asia, and, more recently, Russia and the Middle East. While the national check-off provides the

core industry funding for research and marketing, it does not fully cover the costs of all programs and activities. Supplementary funding

is obtained by leveraging the national check-off, attracting $6 for every $1 of producer check-off funds. The national checkoff provides “industry

funds” used as the basis to access matching dollars from other sources. For more information, visit www.mbbeef.ca.

COMPLETE COWHERD DISPERSAL, On The Farm Monday, October 28th, 2013

Our farm has been sold, so with some apprehension and many reservations, we will be having a COMPLETE HERD DISPERSAL, including the herd bulls, at the farm on MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013 this will be an opportunity to buy into an established, successful and unique breeding program Bull calves and open heifers will sell at our 10th ANNUAL BULL AND FEMALE SALE on MONDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2014 Check our website for pictures and videos as they become available! WWW.KOPPFARMS.COM This is not just a herd of papered cows. This is a herd that will raise herd bulls and top end replacement heifers year after year. In order for a cow to remain in our herd, she MUST produce a quality calf that meets our criteria. This cow herd has been built by buying the best herd bulls and the best females in the country over the last 25 years, and is now capable of producing the most powerful and consistent bulls and heifers in the Simmental industry.

Inquiries welcome

For more information or viewing of cow herd contact us any time Edmund, Pauline & Laura Steven, Amanda, Madison & Kailey Kopp Box 41, Amaranth, MB R0H 0B0 Ph:204.843.2769 · Fax: 204.843.4558 Edmund’s Cell: 204.856.3064 Steven’s Cell: 204.843.0090 Email: steven@koppfarms.com

www.mbbeef.ca


October 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

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35

M ANITOBA BEEF PRODU C ERS

years strong

FOCUSED ON OUR FUTURE

Photo Courtesy Addison Studios Photography www.AddisonStudios.com

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MBP Members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39). The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

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Bruce Vincent, Libby, Montana “With Vision, There Is Hope” Ag Advocacy as a business line item Tickets included with full registration or $50 in advance

MBP welcomed new Executive Assistant Esther Reimer to the team on September 3, 2013. Esther is MBP’s first point of contact for members and we encourage you to contact her at ereimer@mbbeef.ca for your Age Verification needs or any questions you may have.

Contact the MBP office for information on advertising in Cattle Country or visit www.mbbeef.ca/cattle-country to review a 2013 rate card.

Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program Rob Smith Cattle feeder associations have a long history in Western Canada. The Feeder Association Loan Guarantee Program was first established in Alberta on September 23, 1936 and guaranteed 25 per cent of the deficits incurred by the lender in respect of borrowings by the first associations. The first lender was the Dominion Agricultural Credit Company Ltd. and the total amount of the guaranteed borrowings was $200,000. In over 70 years of operation, the program has provided a guarantee for $6.94 billion of private financing for feeder association members in Alberta. Each year, it finances 17 to 24 per cent of the calf crop. Currently, Alberta has over 50 local feeder associations. Since that time, livestock associations loan guarantee programs have been established in all western provinces, as well as Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

Details of the western provinces’ programs

British Columbia currently accommodates feeder associations and breeder

associations (restricted to the purchase of bred heifers only) under their loan guarantee program. In Saskatchewan, the Production Association Loan Guarantee Program was established in 1984 to facilitate the establishment of cattle feeder associations. Since that time, the program has been expanded to five-year financing for bred cows and bred heifers, as well as sheep and bison for breeding and feeding purposes. In 2004, the Feedlot Construction Option was approved to support the construction of feedlot facilities. As of 2010, there were approximately 78 associations with approximately 3,500 members. In Manitoba, the Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program was established in 1991. Its goal was to facilitate the establishment feeder associations so that members could retain or purchase feeder cattle. The program was later changed to allow the purchase of open heifers for breeding on a nine month contract and dry cows for feeding on a five month contract. In 2007, the program was again amended to facilitate the establishment

of breeder associations for the purpose of purchasing breeding cattle. Manitoba currently has seven active feeder associations and one breeder association. As of April 30, 2012 there were 360 individuals who were members of feeder associations, with 69 active contracts and 10,444 head of cattle on feed. Total purchases of feeder cattle (these are the latest numbers available) for 2007 to 2011 were as follows: • 2007 – 35,009; • 2008 – 29,199; • 2009 – 27,801; • 2010 – 30,230; and • 2011 (11 months only) – 18,353. This indicates that there has been a decline in the number of cattle being fed over this period of time and although membership has been steady, there has also been a decline in active contracts. This is not surprising considering the difficulties the cattle industry has endured since BSE in 2003 and the average age of cattle producers. The breeder association has had some fluctuations in membership and cattle numbers but over time, has stayed around the current membership of approximately 30

members and about 3,000 head of breeding stock. The Livestock Loan Guarantee Programs in all western provinces essentially operate on the same format in that each province, through a government lending agency, provides a 25 per cent guarantee to the lender, for each association, of the outstanding loan balance in the case of a default. In each province, the association loan limits and individual contract limits may vary.

Manitoba in-depth

In Manitoba, each association is currently limited to loans totaling no more than $5 million, although a limit increase to $7.5 million is being considered. Each individual of either a feeder or breeder association is currently limited to $300,000. To establish a new feeder or breeder association requires at least 15 individuals to form a company under the Cooperatives Act. Each association operates as a stand-alone company that elects its own board of directors, hires its own staff and tenders for banking services. Each association must also abide by the regulations of the Manitoba Livestock Associations

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Loan Guarantee Program, which is administered by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). Because ownership of the cattle stays with the association, all cattle must be branded with the association brand when purchased. As the individual loans are paid by the association, the cattle are released to the member. To take part in the program, individuals must apply for membership in an existing association or, with a minimum of 15 members, form their own association. For a feeder association, once approved, the member must have on deposit five percent of their approved limit. For a breeder association, the member must have 10 per cent on deposit. The contract terms for the feeder associations are

12 months, with a possible extension to 15 months. For a breeder association, the contract term is up to seven years. Some of the benefits of financing through the Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program are: • Since the cattle are owned by the association no other assets are encumbered and are therefore available to use as security for other borrowing activities, such as lines of credit. • Once approved, members have access to a reliable source of credit at short notice and at rates generally not available to individuals. • Each association is member-controlled. • Members have the benefit of the experience of other members.

For more information on feeder and breeder associations in Manitoba, please contact: Rob Smith, Executive Director The Association of Manitoba Feeder Cooperatives Box 241 MacGregor, MB R0H 0R0 Phone: 204-745-8720 Email: rdsmith@inetlink.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2013

Straight from the Hip Tomorrow’s Leader is Here, Today

Brenda Schoepp

KEY POINTS • Leaders are driven with passion, core beliefs and values. • Leaders stand accountable for their farm, company and their people. • Mentorship vital to coach, guide and develop leaders.

OCTOBER

do, or we can do together, to solve the problem?” Have you ever thought about how your core values and beliefs are an inspiration to other people? When I was done, a young lady from Manitoba said she picked up a clear Christian message. Yes indeed—it was meant to be so! I have often used the farm kitchen table as a perfect model of preparedness. Is it not amazing that you can drop in at any farm in any country and the hosts come out with a meal from a seemingly empty cupboard? This is because the farm is the ultimate example of preparedness. Just as the garden is grown for use over the winter, so too is the pantry or freezer stocked for that “just in case” moment! Have you ever thought about how your preparedness sets you apart?

Tuesday, Oct. 1 Thursday, Oct. 3 Tuesday, Oct. 8 Thursday, Oct. 10 Tuesday, Oct. 15 Thursday, Oct. 17 Tuesday, Oct. 22 Thursday, Oct. 24 Tuesday, Oct. 29 Thursday, Oct. 31

Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Angus Influence Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Hereford Influence Regular Sale

NOVEMBER

2013 Fall Sale Schedule

Some things just blow your hair back and, at that moment, you feel a bit validated. I was speaking recently at the Youth Ag Summit in Calgary and while there, was pleased to meet the great leaders of tomorrow; several were from Manitoba. As I entered the conference a woman from South Africa, who had been following my work for the past year, jumped at the chance to talk to me. I was so humbled by the experience that it took everything I could to not to weep in front of her and the 117 other global delegates. Whether we stumble or parade through life is not of consequence. What is of importance here is that as we move through it—someone is watching. The transparency of our actions makes it even more so. And they look to us—look up to us—to show them the attributes of agricultural leaders. What makes a great leader? I broached this subject in my presentation and I would like to share this with you, today. As I have traveled the world, I have eaten everything from radish to rattlesnake, brie to baby camel. It was

all good. This food was prepared in my honour on every stove imaginable; from a $500,000 Euro affair that was 14 feet long to a one square foot brick oven fueled by cow dung. And it was prepared with love. The people that I shared these meals with were rich and poor, they were of every race and religion, they were from farm and city, they were able and disabled, they were men and women… and they were all beautiful. What made them so was that among and within them, they were leaders. Leaders are driven with passion from a deep place of core beliefs and values. They are centered and grounded, even when life or business gets rather frantic. Calm and assured in their principles, they are a constant. In addition, those leaders stand accountable for themselves, their farm, their company and their people. The born leader does not claim that the tree jumped onto the road when they smash up the family car. Rather, they own the problem and admit to the error, following up with a collective solution that works. “I smashed the family car and apologize. What is it that I have to

Tuesday, Nov. 5 Thursday, Nov. 7 Tuesday, Nov. 12 Thursday, Nov. 14 Friday, Nov. 15 Tuesday, Nov. 19 Thursday, Nov. 21 Tuesday, Nov. 26 Thursday, Nov. 28 Friday, Nov. 29

Presort Calf Sale Angus Influence Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow and Heifer Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Complete Herd Dispersal

9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.

Presorts MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be pre-booked and in by NOON on Thursday prior. Age verification papers must be dropped off with cattle.

Heartland Livestock Services

Examples of young leaders from Manitoba: the 2013 Agribition Judging Team from the Manitoba Youth Beef Round-Up. (Left to Right): Rachael Verwey, Laura Tolton, Jared Preston and Kolton McIntosh.

In all places and at all times, I find true leaders to be generous and kind. They do not have to shout out their name for attention. Everyone knows who they are because they respect them. They care enough to remember your name and to ask what is important to you. They understand that to truly be a leader, one has to first serve, because when we are servants, we are not greater (or less) than any other. And servitude comes as natural as the sun rising for these men and women, boys and girls. Have you ever thought about how your kindness will change and empower others? I feel the leader of tomorrow will have something else in their kit bag as well—a way of leading through inspiration and a way of attracting the right people and keeping them for the betterment of their community and their nation. This is why

mentorship is so very important. Mentorship is not coaching or guiding. It is not providing solutions. It is the drawing out of the best that is within a person so they may find their own solutions. It is “unconditional” in its format and “unconventional” in its approach. To mentor is to find that seed laying latent in the pasture and to provide the right environment for it to grow. It is to empower, enable, liberate and permit. Mentorship is the giving of oneself in servitude solely for the benefit of the other. All great leaders carry a passion that burns from a core belief that aligns with their values. They are prepared at all times for all things and do not let incidences hinder their leadership. They own their mistakes and with great skill and kindness, they empower those around them. As they are there for the long haul, they are okay with the idea of

mentoring so that someone else at any point in time can fill their shoes. It is leading without fear of self or threatening others. The room at the summit was full of young men and women of courage and determination from around the world. Groomed and prepared, they were equipped for the transparent world in which we live and they were ready to lead it without apology to the next level of excellence. Brenda Schoepp is a Nuffield Scholar who travels extensively, exploring agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor, she works with young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website, www.brendaschoepp. com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2013.

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October 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

Proposed St. Vital Transmission Complex Could Affect Some Agricultural Operations Station and the other will run to the La Verendrye Station. The addition of the new lines is supposed to improve system reliability and to accommodate growth and demand for electricity in south-central Manitoba. A map of the proposed routes can be seen at: www.hydro. mb.ca/projects/expansion/ stvital/st_vital_alt_routes_ map_130802.pdf. Manitoba Hydro held open houses in Dominion City, Mitchell, Winnipeg and Oak Bluff in late August seeking public feedback on the proposed transmission line routes. This information is being used as part of Manitoba Hydro’s environmental assessment and route selection process.

MBP participated in the Winnipeg open house. Manitoba Beef Producers has also been consulted by Manitoba Hydro about the potential impacts of the transmission line on agriculture. MBP provided feedback on issues such as line placement and how this may interfere with farm infrastructure and use of farm equipment, create access issues or result in land being taken out of production. Concerns related to biosecurity, particularly the potential to spread weeds or animal diseases, were raised as well. MBP believes both contractors and permanent Manitoba Hydro staff must be well versed in industry-specific

NOTICE TO CATTLE PRODUCERS IN MANITOBA EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 MANITOBA CATTLE ENHANCEMENT COUNCIL (MCEC) HAS STOPPED COLLECTING THE $ 2 PER HEAD LEVY ON CATTLE SOLD. CATTLE PRODUCERS ARE ENTITLED TO APPLY FOR A REFUND ON ALL LEVIES COLLECTED BETWEEN:

locations have not yet been announced. For more information about the proposed project see: www.hydro.mb.ca/projects/expansion/stvital/index.shtml.

If you have questions about the project, call Manitoba Hydro Licensing & Environmental Assessment at 1-877-343-1631 (toll-free) or 204-360-7888 (in Winnipeg), or email LEAprojects@ hydro.mb.ca.

DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca - Call our office to list your cattle!

October

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has been participating in public consultations that Manitoba Hydro is undertaking on its proposed St. Vital Transmission Complex, and producers still have an opportunity to provide feedback on the project. Although this is a different project than the controversial debate over the Bipole III transmission line, it too is expected to have an impact on some agricultural operations in southeastern Manitoba. The project involves the construction of two 230-kilovolt transmission lines originating at the St. Vital Station in southeastern Winnipeg. One line will run south to the Letellier

biosecurity concerns during the construction of the line and as part of its ongoing maintenance. MBP is seeking additional clarification from Manitoba Hydro about its biosecurity policies and practices. MBP also addressed the issue of compensation. MBP would like to see an option for annual compensation payments as opposed to a lump sum payment if an agricultural operation is affected by the placement of a transmission line. More open houses on the St. Vital Transmission Complex project will be held in October to discuss the preferred route for the line, potential route adjustments and possible measures to mitigate impacts of the transmission line. Dates and

2013 Fall Sale Schedule

Maureen Cousins, MBP Policy Analyst

Wednesday, Oct. 2

Presort Feeder Cattle Sale

Monday, Oct. 7

Butcher Cattle Sale

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Presort Feeder Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 16

Presort Feeder Cattle Sale

Angus Influence

10:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 21

Butcher Cattle Sale

Wednesday, Oct. 23

Presort Cattle Feeder Sale

10:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m.

Friday, Oct. 25

Bred Cow Sale

11:00 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 28

Butcher Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Presort Feeder Cattle Sale

Charolais Influence

10:00 a.m.

Monday, Nov. 4

Butcher Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 6

Presort Cattle Feeder Sale

The regulation specifies refunds as follows:

Angus Influence

10:00 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 8

Bred Cow Sale

11:00 a.m.

THE APPLICATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY MCEC WITHIN 1 YEAR AFTER THE MONTH END IN WHICH THE FEE WAS DEDUCTED

Monday, Nov. 11

Butcher Cattle Sale

Wednesday, Nov. 13

Presort Cattle Feeder Sale

Monday, Nov. 18

Butcher Cattle Sale

Wednesday, Nov. 20

Presort Cattle Feeder Sale

1 SEPTEMBER 2012 – 31 AUGUST 2013

However, we would like for those eligible to apply for refunds within those time periods, to do so as soon as possible, in order for MCEC to be able to process as many refunds as possible in a timely manner. THE REFUND FORM IS AVAILABLE ON THE MCEC WEBSITE: www.mancec.com click on forms. Please ensure that in order to process your application quickly, all supporting documents (receipts) are included, and the name of the applicant(s) is the same as the name on the receipts. The application also needs to be signed by the applicant(s).

November

Wednesday, Oct. 30

9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m.

Angus Influence

10:00 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 22

Bred Cow Sale

11:00 a.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23

Springcreek Simmental Female Sale

Monday, Nov. 25

Butcher Cattle Sale

Wednesday, Nov. 27

Feeder Cattle Sale

Friday, Nov. 29

Bred Cow Sale

9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.

BROCK TAYLOR - 522-6396

THE REFUND FORM IS ALSO AVAILABLE THROUGH YOUR LOCAL AUCTION MARTS OR YOU CAN PHONE THE MCEC OFFICE AT: 204 452 6353, EXT. 21 OR TOLL FREE: 1 866 441 6232

Heartland Livestock Services www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY October 2013

The Bottom Line Was MCEC Doomed From the Start?

Rick Wright Say goodbye to the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC)! The decision by the Farm Products Marketing Council to stop the mandatory collection of the $2 per head check-off in Manitoba was one of the best kept secrets in years. Manitoba Beef Producers and the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association has been calling for the end of MCEC, or at least full transparency as to where the money was being spent, for years. Developed in 2006 during BSE, the council tried in vain to develop a federally inspected packing plant in Manitoba. The notice sent to dealers and some industry groups on August 30, 2013, detailing the end of the MCEC was a complete surprise to most of the Manitoba livestock industry. No one outside the MCEC board and staff

know what finally persuaded the MCEC to dismantle the council. Perhaps it was the lack of funding from the federal government, the dwindling cattle numbers or the failure of other packing plants recently built in the midwestern United States. The concept of developing a large slaughter plant in Manitoba appeared sound in principle but it was doomed from the start. The first problem was location. The cow plant was planned to be built near Dauphin, which geographically, would not serve the majority of the producers in Manitoba and had no immediate supply of workers wanting work in a slaughter facility. Then there was the purchase of used equipment from a defunct plant in Washington State, which was an impulse purchase and cost a lot of money. Rancher’s Choice prompted the province to set up MCEC in an attempt

to provide stable funding to the idea. In 2011, the province withdrew the matching funds agreement promised to the MCEC, which reduced the amount of cash available for investments in supporting processing projects in Manitoba. The council was made up of appointments by the NDP government and none of the positions on the council were filled by people who had any experience in the livestock processing or marketing business. There were no Harvey Dann’s or Larry Butler’s, no Jim Quintaine or any one with hands-on experience in the meat business. In the end the council was made of Chair, Frieda Krpan; Treasurer Albert Todosichuk; Gaylene Dutchyshen; Charles Gall; and David Wiens. These were all people who had a vision and worked very hard with no personal gain but they are names that are not synonymous with the livestock business in Manitoba.

Why the government did not recruit those with knowledge of the business to sit on the council, I will never know. I am not an expert in the processing and wholesale meat business but there were a number of people with skill sets that would have given the council more credibility. In their defense, the MCEC did hire a number of consultants and formed management teams to help develop the proposed plant on Marion Street in Winnipeg. Their goal was to process 250 head per day. Did they get their monies worth? We will never know. According to the MCEC annual reports, in their best year they collected approximately $1,422,000. Refund requests from producers ranged from a low of 27 per cent in 2007 and 2008, to a high of 37 per cent in 2009. The rest of the years the refund levels were just over 30 per cent. An independent third party has been hired to

oversee the wind down of MCEC. Producers can get refunds for levies deducted over the 12 months prior to September 1, 2013. The decision that the MCEC made to dismantle the council was the right one to make. The packing industry is not an easy business to learn and we can look all around and see other processing projects that were started by people with good intentions, but they failed. The most recent was Northern Beef in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The brand new, state-of-the-art packing plant killed its first animal in 2012. They had the capacity to kill 2,500 cattle per day. They were located in a setting that is similar to Manitoba, in cow-calf country. They had public and private funding and those involved were very confident that their business plan was sound. There are still some questions that will need to

be answered. What happens to the surplus money that has been left by producers over the years remains to be seen. Who owns the land and buildings on Marion Street? Is there any resale or salvage value on the money invested in that site to date? Regardless of the potential losses, they will be less today than a completed processing plant sitting idle after failing as a business. The challenge I see in the future is keeping the Manitoba provincial abattoirs as viable businesses. We found out in Manitoba during BSE just how important those local abattoirs were to the Manitoba cattle industry. Most of those still in business are getting older and will need major upgrades to meet regulatory requirements in the future. Maybe the remaining money should be used to assist those businesses or be used to get the Cattle Price Insurance Program off and running in Manitoba. Until next time…

Prairie Scenes

Scenes like this played out across the Prairies this fall. Have you captured a prairie scene that you’d like to share with Cattle Country? Email the editor at info@mbbeef.ca for possible inclusion in a future issue. Austen Anderson

Your Land. Your Livelihood.

Your Legacy.

Register today for an environmental farm plan workshop. Take care of your land and chances are it will take care of you. Protect your operation today and for generations to come by implementing an environmental farm plan. An environmental farm plan (EFP) is a voluntary, confidential self-assessment designed to help you identify the environmental assets and risks of your operation. Free workshops

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) is conducting free EFP workshops. When you attend these workshops, you will be guided through an EFP workbook and learn environmentallyfriendly methods of: s crop and pest management s manure storage and handling

Bulls being moved to grass at Anderson Cattle Company Inc. in Swan River, Man.

s livestock and pasture management s nutrient management s …and much more

Note: To remain valid, environmental farms plans must be renewed every five years. Check the date of your Statement of Completion to ensure you are still eligible to apply for financial assistance.

The story of Canadian agriculture is one of success, promise, challenge and determination. We know, because we live it every day. Be proud. Champion our industry.

For workshop locations, dates and times visit your local Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives GO Office, or go to manitoba.ca/agriculture.

Share your story, hear others and learn more at www.AgMoreThanEver.ca.

MBP is a proud champion of this cause EnvrmntlFrmPlningAdCttlCntry2013.indd 1

www.mbbeef.ca

13-09-06 9:12 AM


October 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Transform a Special Meal into a High End Experience at Home Adriana Barros, PHEc.

For the spectacular meal, don’t fuss too much. Make foods you are comfortable with and remember, the best steak houses offer the most traditional meals. When a special occasion charms our lives, such as an engagement, a career promotion, or a milestone celebration, it is often common to celebrate by dining at a high end steak house. While I recognize that dining at a fancy restaurant is a popular Canadian tradition, I would like to ask, “Why not celebrate by cooking a gourmet meal at home for someone special instead?” There is no doubt your guest will be able to taste and recognize the care and thought you put into a fancy meal. It also becomes more special when you and your guest can taste premium beef tenderloin or fillet mignon on your plate at home—for a fraction of the restaurant price. Making a reservation far in advance, travelling into the busy city centre during the cold winter months ahead and then over paying for a dining experience that can be recreated at home is not always necessary. When planning a special occasion for a loved one, preparation and organization is all you need. Table setting is the easiest method of making any dinner feel special. Using a table cloth, napkins and a simple centre piece is often all that is needed. If it is a romantic occasion, scentless candles can quickly transform any room. The best part about hosting your special occasion at home is that there are no loud tables nearby interrupting your conversations, no loud kitchen staff and no bored wait staff checking on your table every few minutes. Dress up a little; just because you are at home and cooking a fabulous gourmet dinner does not mean you need to look like a chef that has been in the kitchen for 14 hours. Put on a semi-formal outfit before your guests arrive. Put on a great playlist too;

music is relaxing and can set the tone for the evening. For the spectacular meal, don’t fuss too much. Make foods you are comfortable with and remember, the best steak houses offer the most traditional meals. Keeping dinner simple and delicious is important. I recommend preparing a premium beef roast or steak, a starch (either rice or potatoes) and a side of vegetables. Adding sauces and an appetizer is optional. If fussing over an appetizer isn’t your thing, there are many specialty markets or freezer aisles in grocery stores that offer convenience foods that can easily be reheated and served quickly. And if baking sweets is not a hidden talent or you simply do not have the time, pick up dessert from your favourite local bakery. In an effort to recognize that some of our readers might need some added help in executing an easy gourmet meal, I focused an episode of Great Tastes of Manitoba on just that! Make sure to tune in to CTV on October 26 at 6:30 p.m. I will be preparing three recipes; all of which are simple gourmet meals that are perfect for entertaining. What’s more, they all use beef cuts, which is ideal for any special occasion, for a fraction of the cost. Do not suffer from sticker shock and do not allow the price of beef tenderloin to freak you out. It is a premium beef option and it is ever so tender and absolutely delicious. Beef tenderloin has special occasion written all over it and in comparison, the price of feeding two to four people from the butcher shop does not even cover one steak dinner with wine and dessert at a restaurant. Here are a few quick pointers: • The trick to cooking a

terrific gourmet meal is using a simple marinade. Beware though— there is no need to use a complicated marinade with a tender cut of beef as it is already flavourful. • Remember to take the guess work out of it and always use a meat thermometer. It is a true shame to overcook beef tenderloin. • Make side dishes you have mastered. This should not be the element of the meal that stresses you out. For detailed instructions on making Herbed Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze, tune into Great Tastes of Manitoba October 26. Or you can check out the YouTube video at www. foodManitoba.ca Celebrate the end of harvest this autumn with a special dinner. Do not break the bank by booking a reservation at a restaurant; call the butcher and order a premium cut of beef. Your guests will be very touched by the effort put into the special meal. Keeping the menu classic and simple is the best option. Let the main course steal the show and better yet, do not fuss over it.

Fresh Herbed Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze 2 lb (1 kg)

Beef tenderloin oven roast, tied

1 tsp (5 mL)

EACH salt and pepper

1 Tbsp (15 mL)

Fresh thyme, chopped

2 Tbsp (25 mL)

Fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 cup (125 mL)

Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 cup (75 mL)

Canola oil

1/4 cup

Balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup

Fine berry sugar

2 Tbsp (25 mL)

Spiced rum

1 tsp (5 ml)

Dijon mustard

1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. 2. Season the roast with salt and pepper, generously. 3. Add fresh herbs to a blender or food processor with oil to make a paste. Cover the roast with the herb paste mixture and place on a baking sheet or roasting pan. 4. Place an oven safe meat thermometer in the centre of the roast and place in it in a preheated oven. 5. Roast the meat in the oven for 10 minutes at 425°F. Then cover with tin foil and lower the oven temperature to 275°F. 6. Make the sauce. Over medium heat add vinegar, sugar, rum and mustard and stir until reduced by half and until the mixture has become a syrup. 7. Remove the beef from the oven once it reaches 140°F, for medium-rare doneness. Allow to rest 10 to 15 minutes. The beef tenderloin will reach 145°F. 8. Slice into thin slices and pour balsamic reduction over top.

B e c o m e a M BP A G M S p o n s o r

B o o k T o d ay !

Manitoba Beef Producers 35th Annual General Meeting Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, Brandon February 4-5, 2013 MBP’s Annual General Meeting is a unique opportunity to promote your business to Manitoba’s top beef producers. MBP offers a sponsorship option to suit your needs. Please contact us at (204) 772-4542 or info@mbbeef.ca. Thank you for your support.

www.mbbeef.ca


YOUR DISTRICT MEETING, YOUR FUTURE

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is your organization. We exist only to serve the needs and interests of the beef industry in Manitoba. In order to be effective, we need to hear from you. We are always open to your calls, letters and emails. However, face-to-face conversation is always better. This is why we would like to take the time to highlight our district meetings. MBP holds these sessions every year. It is your

opportunity to meet with your board member and senior staff of your organization. Your district meeting is also your opportunity to tell us what is on your mind. What have we been doing well? Where can we improve? What policy areas deserve greater focus? MBP will be a better organization because of your direct feedback. Your local district meeting is also a chance for you

to hear about developments in key policy areas that are critical to our industry. This includes developments in animal welfare, Growing Forward 2 programs, trade, slaughter capacity, insurance, community pastures and more. These issues will shape the beef sector in the years to come and they will impact your operation. It is important that you are upto-date on critical policy matters and MBP takes this role seriously.

Your district meeting is not only an opportunity to provide feedback and gain insight on the future direction of the industry; it is your chance to provide clear direction through resolutions passed on the floor. Again, MBP is your organization and we welcome this direction. Your local district meeting will be a valuable time of discussion on key topics, debate on resolutions and an opportunity to interact

with your elected leaders and fellow beef producers. We hope to see you there. If you can not attend your district meeting, please mark your calendar and join us February 4-5, 2014, for MBP’s 35th Annual General Meeting at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, Man. Please contact MBP at 1-800-772-0458 or info@ mbbeef.ca for more information on your district meeting.

ATTEND YOUR MBP DISTRICT MEETING BOARD OF DIRECTORS Meet with MBP representatives and fellow beef producers to discuss the timely beef issues affecting your district and industry. Elections will be held in even numbered districts. DIRECTOR

DATE

TIME

LOCATION

ADDRESS

District 11

Caron Clarke

Oct-28

6 p.m.

Ashern Royal Canadian Legion

3 Main St. E, Ashern

Beef on a Bun served

District 2

Dave Koslowsky

Oct-29

6 p.m.

Cartwright-Mather Merry Makers Club

600 Broadway St., Cartwright

Beef on a Bun served

District 8

Glen Campbell*

Oct-30

7 p.m.

Gladstone District Community Centre

75, 5th St., Gladstone

Coffee Break

District 14

Stan Foster

Nov-01

6 p.m.

Durban Community Hall

612, 1st St. N, Durban

Beef on a Bun served

District 13

Ben Fox

Nov-04

7 p.m.

Gilbert Plains Royal Canadian Legion

19 Burrows Ave. N, Gilbert Plains

Coffee Break

District 10

Theresa Zuk

Nov-05

6 p.m.

Bifrost Community Centre

337 River Rd., Arborg

Beef on a Bun served

District 3

Cheryl McPherson

Nov-06

6 p.m.

Elm Creek Community Hall

70 Arena Rd., Elm Creek

Beef on a Bun served

District 6

Trevor Atchison*

Nov-07

6 p.m.

Oak Lake Royal Canadian Legion

291 Assiniboine St. W, Oak Lake

Beef on a Bun served

District 4

Heinz Reimer

Nov-08

6 p.m.

Ukrainian Home of Vita Hall

209 Main St. N, Vita

Beef on a Bun served

District 12

Bill Murray

Nov-12

6 p.m.

Westlake Community Hall

Hwy. 68, Eddystone

Beef on a Bun served

District 9

Vacant

Nov-13

6 p.m.

Sungro Centre

360 Veterans Ln., Beausejour

Beef on a Bun served

District 1

Ted Artz

Nov-14

6 p.m.

Medora Community Hall

40, 1st Ave., Medora

Beef on a Bun served

District 5

Ramona Blyth

Nov-15

6 p.m.

Carberry Memorial Hall

224, 2nd Ave., Carberry

Beef on a Bun served

District 7

Larry Gerelus

Nov-18

6 p.m.

Shoal Lake Community Hall

315 The Drive, Shoal Lake

Beef on a Bun served

*Director retiring

CALL 1-800-772-0458 OR EMAIL INFO@MBBEEF.CA FOR FULL DETAILS

BECOME PART OF THE GROWING BREED...ANGUS!

DISTRICT 1 Ted Artz Pierson, MB

DISTRICT 2 Dave Koslowsky Killarney, MB

DISTRICT 3 Cheryl McPherson Sanford, MB

DISTRICT 4 Heinz Reimer (Vice President) Steinbach, MB

DISTRICT 5 Ramona Blyth (Secretary) MacGregor, MB

DISTRICT 6 Trevor Atchison (President) Pipestone, MB

DISTRICT 7 Larry Gerelus Shoal Lake, MB

DISTRICT 8 Glen Campbell Onanole, MB

DISTRICT 10 Theresa Zuk (Treasurer) Arborg, MB

DISTRICT 11 Caron Clarke Ashern, MB

DISTRICT 12 Bill Murray Makinak, MB

DISTRICT 13 Ben Fox Dauphin, MB

DISTRICT 14 Stan Foster Benito, MB

PAST PRESIDENT Ray Armbruster (Past President) • Rossburn, MB

Sales for Angus Tagged Cattle Gladstone Auction Mart Grunthal Livestock Auction Heartland Livestock Service: Brandon Virden Interlake Cattlemen’s Co-op Killarney Auction Market Ste. Rose Auction Mart Winnipeg Livestock Sales

204-385-2537 204-434-6519

March 4, 2014 October 15, November 12

204-727-1431 204-748-2809 204-768-2360 204-523-8477 204-447-2266 204-694-8328

October 15, November 5 October 16, November 6, 20 October 30 October 21, November 18 November 7 October 4, 18, November 8

Manitoba Angus Gold Show November 1, 2013 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon for the Manitoba Livestock Expo

Check out the new ALL Angus Tagged, Age Verified, Traceable and Vaccinated Sales! www.ranchersendorsed.com

www.mbangus.ca

For more information, contact either the Manitoba or Canadian Angus

MANITOBA 1-888-622-6487

CALGARY 1-888-571-3580

DISTRICT 9 Vacant

CALL 1-800-772-0458 FOR REMOVAL FROM MAILING LIST OR ADDRESS CHANGE.


Published by Manitoba Beef Producers

Jeannette Greaves

November 2013

Predator Workshops Page 3

Good Grain Prices Put Pastures at Risk Page 7

RON FRIESEN Improved cattle prices this year could finally halt the long downward slide in Manitoba’s beef cattle numbers, according to an industry analyst. Prices for slaughter and feeder animals are at or near record levels, feed prices are softening and producers could actually make some money this year, says Janet Honey. As a result, a longawaited herd rebuilding program could finally be in the cards. The number of beef animals in Manitoba has been declining for years. Producers have downsized or liquidated herds because of a combination of factors, including BSE, Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), the high cost of feed and a strong Canadian dollar. This time however, things may be different and the bottom of the cycle may finally have been reached, said Honey, a former Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI)

KEY POINTS • Fewer animals on the market could raise cattle prices. • U.S. has lowest beef production in 21 years, which means packing plants may bid aggressively to access supply. • COOL and a lack of beef packing facilities in Manitoba is affecting producers.

livestock market analyst and now a private industry consultant. “I would say so, because as soon as cattle production starts to become profitable, producers start keeping back heifers and rebuilding herds. That means fewer animals on the market for slaughter, which then raises prices,” Honey said. Honey bases her analysis partly on a sharp decline in corn prices resulting from reports of a potentially record corn crop in the United States. The price of corn and other feed grains went

through the roof last year because of a crippling drought in the U.S. Midwest. But the drought has since eased and so have feed prices. Honey said corn, which was selling for around $7 a bushel at the start of 2013, was down to $5 a bushel this summer and could go lower in 2014. This may encourage producers to retain calves instead of selling them after the fall cattle run, said Honey. “If there is quite a significant drop in the number of animals sold as calves, it could be because producers are going to be feeding them, hoping for higher prices in February or March,” she said. “We probably have the best outlook now than we have had for a few years.” The last 10 years have definitely been a struggle for Manitoba beef producers, who have seen their equity severely eroded by a number of domestic and economic factors. Manitoba’s beef cow herd fell to 443,700 head on July 1, 2013, the smallest since 1993, according

to Statistics Canada. That was five per cent lower than the 468,700 head reported by StatsCan in 2012. Manitoba has the third largest beef cow herd in Canada, after Alberta and Saskatchewan. The province continues to lose cattle producers as many sell their herds and turn to growing more profitable crops. Statistics Canada estimates Manitoba this year had 85 fewer beef and dairy farms than the 7,455 it recorded in 2012. One reason for the loss is the long-term fallout from BSE, after the U.S. border closed to Canadian live cattle when a cow in Alberta was found with the disease in May 2003. The border reopened in July 2005 to cattle less than 30 months of age. But a series of other blows followed, including the COOL rule, rising feed prices spurred by U.S. ethanol policy, and a strong Canadian dollar, which disadvantages exports. Honey said nearly a third of Manitoba beef

farms in 2011 had zero or negative net operating income. Margins for many cattle feeding operations declined in 2012, as higher average finished cattle prices were offset by higher feed and fuel costs. Local factors, such as flooding in the Interlake and Westlake regions, and drought in the southeast, added to the sell-off of beef cows. But Honey said there are positive signs coming out of the United States that a long-awaited industry turnaround may finally be on the way. So far this year, the U.S. has recorded its lowest beef production in 21 years, which means packing plants will be short of cattle and so they may bid aggressively to access supply. Returns for finished cattle in the U.S. have improved. Honey said September 2013 was the first month for making money on fat cattle since early 2011. She also said Manitoba market prices have almost Continued on page 2

35TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING & PRESIDENT’S BANQUET February 4-5, 2014 Your AGM Invite Page 16

Postmaster: Please return undeliverable copies to: MBP, 154 Paramount Road, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3 Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement Number 40005187 Postage paid in Winnipeg.

Higher Prices Improve Beef Industry Outlook


2

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2013

Continued from page 1 recovered to pre-BSE levels in 2001, when prices for a Grade A steer hit an all-time high. Unfortunately, Manitoba producers are not capturing the full benefit of higher prices because of COOL and the lack of

a beef packing industry in this province. U.S. packing plants continue to discount Canadian live cattle because COOL requires packers to keep foreign and domestic animals and meat separate along the production chain. Manitoba producers also pay more

in freight to ship finished animals to Alberta for slaughter because there is very little federally inspected beef processing here. “We are just not getting the prices here we should, particularly in Manitoba, because we have to ship to Alberta

or the United States. We are being penalized both from the west and the south.” Producers may be motivated to keep more calves for backgrounding this winter to sell early in 2014 as yearlings or later in the year as short-keeps, Honey suggested.

But she warned it will take a while before actual signs of herd rebuilding become evident. That will be determined by an increase in the number of cows on farms, which may not show up until 2014 or 2015, even if producers start retaining more heifers.

Read more on this topic in Rick Wright’s column, The Bottom Line, on page 9.

Government Activities Roundup: Food Safety Initiatives Funded Under GF2, Biosecurity, CFIA Changes and More Maureen Cousins, MBP Policy Analyst Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased that producers participating in the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program will be able to access funding under Growing Forward 2. On October 9, 2013 the federal and provincial governments announced Manitoba’s Growing Assurance – Food Safety initiatives under GF2. Two million dollars is being allocated in 2013-14 for approved projects. Funds will be available to producers to adopt assurance systems and BMPs related to biosecurity, animal and plant health, traceability and animal welfare. For example, beef producers participating in the VBP program may be eligible for funding related to the purchase of RFID reading equipment and software; on-farm food safety or traceability software; neck extensions for chutes; scale or calibration devices for medicating feed or water; sharps containers; and electric thermometers. There may also be assistance toward the first audit for the VBP program. Producers implementing biosecurity measures may also be eligible for funding. This could include the purchase of isolation or quarantine pens for sick or incoming animals; cleaning or disinfection stations for fomites; and

a veterinary beef biosecurity herd assessment. In both instances, producers must have successfully implemented and passed their first audit for the VBP program. A combined total of $2,000 is available for the first VBP audit and approved safety equipment for audited producers. A combined total of $5,000 is available for the beef biosecurity herd assessment and biosecurity CanadaGAP measures. Applications will be approved on a first come, first served basis until the program is fully subscribed. It is important to note that you must receive an approval letter from the program before you start your project. For complete details and application forms, visit www. gov.mb.ca/agriculture/growing-forward-2/strategic-initiatives/index.html and scroll down to the sections dealing with food safety. Or contact the nearest Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) GO office. MBP supports efforts to expand the Canadian beef industry’s voluntary VBP program to include modules related to biosecurity, animal care and environmental stewardship. The addition of modules like these, which will complement the on-farm food safety component, will help meet marketplace and customer/societal

expectations related to beef feedback on policies and procedures Manitoba Hydro and production. its contractors use on various Manitoba Hydro and construction and mainteBiosecurity nance projects and looks forMBP President Trevor ward to continued engageAtchison and staff met with ment in this area. Manitoba Hydro officials Biosecurity is also the in late September to discuss responsibility of each probiosecurity protocols, both ducer who must ensure that related to the construction everyone who enters their of new transmission lines, as property is adhering to good well as ongoing maintenance biosecurity standards. MBP of their infrastructure on has produced a Manitobalands used by beef producers. centric biosecurity manual Atchison provided an available to those who attend overview of beef industry bi- our biosecurity workshops or osecurity concerns. Specifi- contact our office. cally, the movement of people, vehicles, equipment and Flood News tools to and from livestock Due to a drop in the waoperations must be closely ter level on the Interlake’s monitored and appropriate flooded West Shoal Lake, the biosecurity measures used to Manitoba government anlimit the potential to spread nounced it will elevate and animal diseases and invasive rebuild about one kilometre plant species and weeds. of PR 518. This will permit MBP also provided Mani- the road to be reopened to toba Hydro staff with copies of one-lane traffic in the area. the Canadian Beef Cattle On- The government’s goal is to Farm Biosecurity Standard. have construction begin this Its purpose is to help reduce fall or early winter. the risk of introducing and The province also released spreading endemic, emer- updated information on 2011 gency and foreign infectious flood costs. As of October 1, diseases in the Canadian herd. $451,253,969 has been paid The standard is built around under the Disaster Financial several principles, including Assistance program. This insound management around cludes 202 public claims from the movement of people, ve- local governments, provincial hicles, equipment and tools, departments and First Naand training on biosecurity tion communities paid out in the amount of $351,471,808. practices and principles. MBP was happy to have Nearly $100 million in private the opportunity to provide claims have been paid.

CFIA Changes

The Recent organizational changes at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are not expected to have an impact on producers. Effective October 9, the CFIA no longer reports to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Instead it will join the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada in reporting to the federal Minister of Health. For example, this change will involve who is responsible for oversight of meat inspections in federal facilities. Some activities will still be overseen by the federal Agriculture Minister. This includes non-food safety agricultural activities related to economic and trade issues,

as well as animal health and plant protection work. Matters relating to the federal Health of Animals Act and regulations will continue to be overseen by the Agriculture Minister. This will include areas such as disease eradication, animal identification and transportation. According to a statement on the CFIA’s website, “This reorganization will strengthen Canada’s food safety system by bringing all three authorities responsible for food safety under one Minister. This will ensure clear focus, easy collaboration and timely communication with Canadians when it comes to food safety. This change also further underscores the CFIA’s commitment to food safety as a top priority.”

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

R.M. of Albert, Cameron, Whitewater, Edward, Brenda, Winchester, Morton

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwallis, Oakland, South Cypress, Victoria, South Norfolk

R.M. of Woodlands, Rockwood, St. Andrews, Rosser, St. Francis Xavier, Springfield, Tache, Whitemouth, Lac du Bonnet, Brokenhead, St. Clements, LGD of Alexander, Pinawa

R.M. of Shell River, Shellmouth,Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin,LGD Park

R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

Dave Koslowsky

R.M. of Riverside, Strathcona, Argyle, Lorne, Turtle Mountain, Roblin, Louise, Pembina

RAMONA BLYTH - SEcretary

DISTRICT 6

TreVOR ATCHISON - President

R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood

VACANT

DISTRICT 10

Theresa zuk - treasurer

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, Fisher, Armstrong

R.M. of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, Dufferin, Thompson, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland, Montcalm

R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

glen campbell

Cheryl McPherson

HEINZ REIMER - Vice President

R.M. of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds

Larry Gerelus

DISTRICT 8

R.M. of Harrison, Clanwilliam, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Langford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

Caron Clarke

R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Coldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 12

bill murray

R.M. of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa

BEN FOX

Manitoba Beef Producers 154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

stan foster

Ray Armbruster - Past President

policy analyst Maureen Cousins

communications coordinator Kristen Lucyshyn

finance

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

executive assistant

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Cam Dahl

Deb Walger Esther Reimer

Shannon Savory

designed by

Cody Chomiak

www.mbbeef.ca


November 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

New Approach to Managing Problem Predators Kristen Lucyshyn Problem predator interactions on Manitoba’s landscape are increasing, and producers and governments are changing the way they approach the issue of herd protection. A new working group has been formed to look at the predator issue. The Livestock Predation Protection Working Group’s goal is to find new ways to address the challenges related to predators and reduce the losses producers are experiencing. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has been encouraging more of a collaborative effort on predator management in the province. “Herd protection is a growing problem for beef producers all over Manitoba and this is a priority item for MBP,� said Cam Dahl, MBP general manager. “Last year, MBP approached Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh about setting up a multiparty group to look at herd protection issues. The working group was created after this initial discussion.� The group includes co-chairs MBP and Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship; Manitoba Trappers Association (MTA); Manitoba Sheep Association; Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI); Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC); and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Free Livestock Predation Protection Workshops have been hosted by the group in Boissevain, La Broquerie, Fisher Branch, Rossburn, Swan River and Ste. Rose du Lac. During each workshop, livestock producers, trappers and government representatives looked at livestock and wildlife management strategies, ideas to help reduce the negative interactions between livestock and wildlife, and innovative ways to limit predator damage. Mamoon Rashid, MAFRI Business Development Specialist for the Livestock Knowledge Centre, discussed wildlife confrontation and the need for innovations to help ward off predators from livestock operations. Some of the ideas included the use of livestock guardian dogs

and new fencing options for certain areas, like pastures and feedlots. Rashid encouraged producers to get creative and use available resources to manage predator issues. “No one thing will work for each person, everyone has to come up with innovations for their operations and assess their situations,� said Rashid. “Maybe that means getting help from MAFRI, the Manitoba Trappers Association or Manitoba Conservation. There are a lot of resources out there and producers need a plan for their own facilities.� The predator issue has been growing steadily over the past 10 years. According to MASC, the number of predator claims has increased each year, from 492 in 1999 to almost 2,100 in 2012. In 2012, MASC reported that approximately $1.07 million was paid out for predator claims. Coyotes were the top predator, with 75 per cent of the claims; wolves came in at 20 per cent; black bears, cougars and foxes made up the remaining five per cent. During the workshops, Dean Berezanski of the Furbearer & Human-Wildlife Conflict Management Unit, Wildlife Branch, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, discussed the Problem Predator Removal Program, compensation, trapping regulations and licenses. Berezanski said the Problem Predator Removal Program is available to assist livestock producers through targeted animal removal using experienced trappers. Typically, producers must have experienced the loss of an animal and made a claim through MASC. MASC will adjust the claim and provide the producer with information on contacting the MTA to have a trapper assigned and to inspect the area to see if they can solve the predator problem. Berezanski also shared information about getting involved in trapping. “The cost of a trapping license is pretty low in Manitoba compared to other provinces; five dollars for what we call an open area and 10 dollars for registered trapping licenses,� said Berezanski. “Like other provinces, you have

to pass the Trapper Education Course if you are a first time Manitoba trapper.� If you have held a trapping license or taken a course elsewhere, you may also be eligible to obtain a Manitoba trapping license. Neil Brandstrom, an experienced trapper and MTA director, provided workshop attendees with practical information on working with trappers and how to get into trapping. He noted it is important for producers and trappers to work together on predator issues. “Get to know your local trappers, support them and give them permission to go on your land. Contact a trapper in September, not after you’ve already had a problem.� Brandstrom noted that trappers can catch an animal when the fur is prime and rather than wasting the resource, you’re utilizing it. He reminds producers that there is no money in getting a coyote when there is no value. Between April to October, the fur has no value at all. Mike Wright, a grain and beef producer near Kenton, Man. attended the Boissevain workshop. Wright, who is also a trapper who does predator removal, said the program to remove predators must be maintained and strengthened.

Neil Brandstrom, MTA director, displays a pelt at the workshop.

“They need to keep this program going so that producers have another tool to fight them because the fatality numbers are at an all-time high,� said Wright. “Part of the problem is that they have lost fear of man because pelts have not been worth anything over the past four or five years, so they are braver.� Dahl said beef producers face many challenges and when it comes to reducing predator losses, the workshops are just a beginning. “The working group’s efforts will continue,� said Dahl. “We will be assessing what types of herd protection strategies are working in other places and whether they would work in Manitoba.�

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2013

The views expressed in Cattle Country do not necessarily reflect the position of the Manitoba Beef Producers. We believe in free speech and encourage all contributors to voice their opinion.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

TAILGATE TALK An Update on Industry Issues

Trevor Atchison At this point in the year, with the wet conditions in some areas, I know there is harvesting yet to be done and feed supplies to get moved home. Beef producers do have a bright spot this season—prices are at a level not seen for some time. Demand is strong on almost all classes and this will help send the signal, at the very least, for the decline of the herd to stop and for rebuilding to begin. As you read this issue, district meetings will be in full force. Please check the schedule on page 9 and attend your local meeting if you are able to. Bring your questions and comments to us while you are there. It is your opportunity to set direction for your organization. In this month’s column I want to provide some updates for producers on issues I have touched on over the past few months.

On the traceability front, in the coming months you will hear more about Premises Identification (PID) numbers issued by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI). You may also be asked: Do you have a PID number? Let me clarify that this is a different number than the one producers received from the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA). You can read more information about PID on page 8. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) lobbied hard on the issue of PID. In the beginning stages of these talks, MBP asked the province to co-ordinate its stand-alone Premises Identification system with the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS). In the end, the province went ahead with a separate Manitoba system and the process requires producers to apply

for their PID number and then submit that number to the CCIA. The second step of submitting the number to the CCIA is just as important as the first step for future components of traceability. I know that many producers are wondering what is happening with the community pastures issue. This initiative is moving ahead very slowly. The federal government has made it clear that it will not supply the existing equipment along with the divested pastures. This caused great concern because there was a commitment made to supply the equipment. I am pleased at the news that MAFRI has agreed to assist the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) by working on transition funding sources so we can move forward. We are working toward the point when AMCP gains control of all of the pastures; at which time we expect they will be self-sustainable.

Attention Hunters

Help protect Manitoba’s big game populations The Manitoba government has enacted measures to protect wild elk and deer from disease. By law, all hunters must submit biological samples (head, upper neck and lungs) of elk and deer taken in certain Game Hunting Areas (GHAs) to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship. Samples are examined for any signs of disease. Hunters who fail to submit these samples will be prosecuted. Samples are required from elk and deer taken in GHAs 5, 6, 6A, 11, 12, 13, 13A, 18 and 18B (west of PR 366), 18A, 18C, part of 22 (west of PTH 83), 23, and 23A. Please submit fresh, not frozen, samples within 48 hours of the kill. Note that antlers of male elk or deer are not needed and should be removed before submitting the sample. A number of local businesses are participating by accepting samples from hunters. Please check the website listed below, or the 2013 Manitoba Hunting Guide for a location nearest you.

AMCP has been assured by MAFRI that the 10 pastures slated to be turned over for the 2014 grazing season will have cattle grazing them. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP has sent a request to MAFRI Minister, Ron Kostyshyn, and Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, Gord Mackintosh, asking for their expedited assistance in this process. Around the time Cattle Country reaches you, the federal government will officially turn over the first five community pastures to the province. Beef producers who require these pastures to maintain their herds need answers now and we will continue to work on this critical issue. At this time of year, producers in the Riding Mountain TB Eradication Area (RMEA) are receiving notices of testing. MBP will discuss the TB issue at the district meetings and provide updates. If you have been on Facebook, read a newspaper or watched TV lately, you have probably heard about a new marketing campaign from a Canadian burger restaurant chain selling their “better beef” burgers. I would like to go on a bit of a rant about this subject. My question is: Are they trying to say they have got better beef raised by better ranchers? Also, who are and where are these better ranchers? Is it you, or your neighbour? The chain’s definition of “better” relates to those who raise beef without steroids or growth hormones while using an “environmentally sustainable” approach. It

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holders to get a system or classification of these types of added attributes in place. My thoughts are that those who are trying to get extra value out of niche marketing through branded beef programs may be pushed out by large retailers. As soon as they decide that we need to have products produced according to their requirements, it raises the industry standard, while the returns to our industry may or may not be any higher. Are we going to get paid more if we have to comply with the requirements Retailer X asks for? How will we extract extra dollars, in the way branded beef producers do now? There are a lot of unanswered questions. Is a sustainability round table for beef something that MBP needs to be a part of? Your board of directors said yes. We want you to be aware that MBP will be sending someone to these meetings to provide input on your behalf to ensure this process develops in a manner that will allow our beef operations and our organizations to be environmentally and economically sustainable into the future. I look forward to the district meetings and I hope to see many producers attend. Also, please plan to attend the 35th Annual General Meeting and President’s Banquet, February 4 and 5, 2014 at the Victoria Inn, Brandon. It is important for all beef producers to get involved, debate resolutions and discuss the issues that affect our beef industry. Hope to see you there!

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all gets complicated when a retailer is setting the standard by which it tells its customers the food they eat is better than some other food. The steroid or implant debate has been going on for many years. Science has proven they are safe for use. But retailers are not concerned with these facts, just the opportunities to use these terms to sell their products and outdo the competition. One thing we can be sure of is that the intent is not to make more money in order to pay producers more for this “better beef.” Also interesting to note is that the Canadian burger chain involved does not use 100 per cent Canadian beef. The beef is also coming from Australia and the U.S. They failed to highlight that fact in the advertisements, which again, let us remember, state this is better beef. As a Manitoba beef producer, I remain disappointed by this campaign. This leads me to a new development which was borne from the Beef Value Chain Roundtable. The concept in mind is a sustainability round table for beef. This has less to do with the industry clarifying whether we are actually sustainable or not and more to do with determining a baseline of the environmental, animal husbandry and feeding practices that producers use today. It involves identifying where improvements are required and how to make those changes. There is a push from retailers and food service stake-

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November 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE We Must Educate Consumers About Modern Agriculture Practices

CAM DAHL

KEY POINTS

I have just begun my annual trek across Manitoba to attend each of the 14 district meetings. I look forward to these sessions each year. It is important to me, and to Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), that the organization remain grounded with direct contact to producers. We are your voice and your organization. Come out to your district meeting and ensure that your voice is heard. What is MBP doing right? What key policy areas might not be getting enough attention? Is the organization off track on some matters? Come out and let us know. Your district meetings are also your opportunity to elect your representative to MBP’s board of directors. This year, elections will be held in the even districts. We know that there will be new directors representing District 6 and District 8, as Trevor Atchison and Glen Campbell are nearing the end of their six year terms on the board. There is also a vacancy in District 9 to fill. Come out and vote. Tell us how we are doing and where we can improve. Bring your resolutions, which we will take to our annual general meeting in February. MBP really does want to hear from you. The district meetings also provide us with an opportunity to give you a feel for what we think the industry will face in the coming year. One of those issues is growing marketing efforts aimed at differentiating products with consumers. Local. Organic. Hormone free. Gluten free. No pesticides. Nothing artificial. These are the buzzwords in food marketing today. Who can object to all of these wholesome sounding concepts? These are not ad campaigns from little stores, but strategic marketing efforts by our largest grocery stores and restaurant chains. I applaud every producer who is able to access niche markets like “local” or “organic” and to increase their incomes through hard work and their marketing skills.

• Voting at district meetings ensures your voice is heard. • Producers need to reverse consumer opinions that believe agriculture practices from “the good old days” are better than our modern systems. • The VBP program allows producers to demonstrate they are following food safety practices. • Be ready to answer the question “Where does my food come from?” If you can’t, someone else will...possibly with the wrong information.

However, I do have a problem when some of these multi-million dollar marketing campaigns spread inaccurate and damaging information about the way the majority of our food is produced. Two things strike me about these current advertising trends. First off, the “good old days” were not nearly as good as today’s advertising makes them out to be. Some in society seem to want to push producers and farmers back to the rural lifestyle and production practices of the 1940s and 1950s. In other words, houses with no running water, wood heat, a standard of living below poverty, one room school education, even longer work hours, etc. The second thing that strikes me about these trends is the portrayal of modern commercial agriculture as being bad for our health and bad for the environment. This view is both wrong and dangerous. Let us take a look at some of the claims made by the latest foodie trends, like the notion that food in great-grandma’s time was somehow safer. Canada has a strong science-based food safety system. Year after year, statistics from

the Public Health Agency of Canada show that modern agriculture is delivering food that is safer than the year before. The days gone by are not so good when one actually looks at the facts around incidences of food-borne illnesses. What about the claims that agriculture from years gone by had less impact on the environment? Modern grazing practices are an integral part of grassland ecosystems and help us meet everyone’s conservation objectives. Economically viable beef production also provides society with many environmental services, such as preserving wetlands. Beef production both creates jobs as well as delivers important environmental goods and services for all Manitobans. So, how should agriculture respond to this growing romanticized trend towards consumers seeking food produced like it was 1930? We could just complain about misguided city folk. But that will not change the way our customers are selling the food we produce. Instead, agriculture needs to get out front and guide these trends. We need to show our urban cousins the effort we make to protect the environment and to care for our animals. This is the only way consumers will be informed about how agricultural production takes place today and how it continues to evolve. This is why MBP and our sister organizations continue to develop and promote the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program. VBP allows producers to quantitatively demonstrate that they are following the best on-farm food safety practices on their ranch. Twothirds of Canada’s beef now comes from cattle operations that have been trained under VBP. The program is in early stages of exploring add-on modules for biosecurity, animal care and environmental stewardship. The addition of these modules will help those producers who wish to have a further opportunity to answer the consumers’ question: Where does my food come from?

Answering this question is also one of the purposes of the recently revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle. The new code is practical and sciencebased. Beef producers have had the opportunity for input into the development of the new code. Animal welfare representatives, enforcement agencies and other representatives from civil society were also directly involved in developing the new code. The wide representation will help ensure that our efforts to promote the highest standards of animal care are supported and understood by Canadians. Having standards and codes of practice is the first step. Confirming these best practices are being followed will be step two. There may be some who feel that having customers

ask questions like “Are you a VBP producer?” is interference in their ranch. But, as we have seen in other industries and sectors of agriculture, we can either try to get in front and inform these trends, or have others like Tim Hortons and Walmart impose arbitrary and impractical stan-

dards on us without our consent or input. Producers need to be ready to answer the question “Where does my food come from?” Failure to do so will mean others will answer it for us and history has shown that it is never good to have others tell our story.

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CATTLE COUNTRY November 2013

VET CORNER

Shelter and Water Dr. Tanya Anderson, DVM This month we will continue our review of the newly updated Beef Code of Practice for the care and handling of beef cattle. A review of animal welfare investigations of beef herds indicates that a perceived lack of feed, water and shelter are the basis of almost all the complaints. Animal protection officers will be using the code as one evaluation tool. This article will review the winter shelter and water requirements. Our long winters create unique requirements in animal husbandry and care. Attention to the needs of cattle is required during prolonged cold and adverse weather conditions. Although cattle do acclimatize as the fall progresses, by growing hair and changing their metabolism, they still need management to ensure that they can maintain a positive energy balance during

KEY POINTS

the darkest days of winter. Adequate amounts of quality feed, and access to water, bedding and shelter, are required to ensure that cattle enter the spring in good condition— ready to calve, rebreed and wean a calf in the fall. This is Manitoba; prepare for adverse weather! The code states that, “Cattle must have access to areas, either natural or man-made, that provide relief from weather that can create serious adverse health risks.” Research has shown that cattle are almost three times more likely to seek shelter in a forest and spend 25 per cent less time lying down during winter precipitation. Trees and bush should not be fenced off in winter pastures unless portable windbreaks or livestock sheds, providing the complete herd (all the animals) protection, are readily available. Huddling

• Producers must pay attention to cattle during the long winters. • Quality feed and access to water, bedding and shelter will ensure cattle are in good shape, come spring. • Trees and bush provide protection so do not fence them off. • If you don’t care for your cattle, you create a bad image for everyone. like Emperor penguins for shelter is unacceptable. Rain creates mud, which can result in injury from foot trauma and slippage. Mud and manure caked hair loses its insulating properties, compounding the loss of insulation from wet bedding or worse, no bedding. Add in cold weather and these effects dramatically increase

the maintenance energy requirements of cattle. Lack of shelter, bedding and suboptimal body condition are a recipe for disaster. Check cattle daily during adverse conditions to ensure that you catch any problems early. Animals unable to cope must be assisted by provision of extra feed, potable water and shelter, as needed. Straw based rations can potentially cause progressive starvation under severe weather conditions—even if formulated. Use the ration analysis as a guideline only but do not forget to look at the cows. If your cows are losing condition, something is wrong and you must fix the problem ASAP. If you can not, or will not, get out of the cattle business. You won’t be making any money and you are creating a bad image for the industry. Your cattle need to have

access to water of adequate quality and quantity all year round to fulfill their needs. A requirement in the Beef Code of Practice is that a backup water source must be available if you are only relying on snow for water. Problems can arise if snow quality is lacking or if snow is unavailable. It is inexcusable to not have a Plan B. A large amount of research has been done in recent years showing that snow is an acceptable source of water for wintering cows IF feed quality, cattle body condition and weather conditions are favourable. Clean powdery snow that can be licked up is much preferred while trampled, wind-blown or crusty snow is avoided. Cattle will drink between five to 14 gallons of water a day. The amounts required depend on their production

stage and weather conditions. Snow should not be used as the sole water source for animals with extra water requirements or those that can not afford to expend energy “melting” the snow. Lactating, newly weaned calves, cattle with a poor body condition score (of less than 2.5 out of 5), and those on poor quality feeds should not be relying on snow alone. Manitoba winters are unpredictable. What works one year does not necessarily work the next. Evaluate your winter plan. Monitor water sources, feeding habits, shelter/bedding, cow behaviour, manure consistency, body condition and health to detect problems early and be prepared to make adjustments. Have a backup in place and access to additional resources if the need arises.

“Feed that works as hard as you do!”

BRAD CRAMER Regional Manager 204-750-4263

PHIL UNRAU Beef Specialist 204-750-0122

JANINE SOUQUE Beef & Dairy Specialist 204-750-2928

DENIS HAGUE Dairy Specialist 204-745-7440

Fall Cattle Drive Specials on Now! Hi-Pro Feeds prides itself in producing high quality complete feeds, supplements and premixes. We carry a full line of bagged feed, mineral and pet food. For all your winter feed needs, contact one of our specialists at Hi-Pro Feeds! www.mbbeef.ca


November 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

7

Where Have all the Fence Posts Gone? Angela Lovell The fence posts are disappearing from the landscape as high land values and good grain prices over the last few years are pushing the trend towards converting pasture, hay land and other marginal lands to cropland. “There are some cattle producers who are downsizing and ripping up hay land, and either putting it into crop or renting it out,” says Ramona Blyth, a beef producer near MacGregor and Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) District 5 Director. “There are probably so many different factors playing into it but it does seem to be a trend. You are re seeing less and less hay fields and pastures and more and more canola fields.” According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 Snapshot of Canadian Agriculture, total pasture land, including tame and natural pasture, decreased by 4.3 per cent over the period 2006 to 2011. Tame hay and alfalfa land decreased by 14 per cent and woodlands and wetlands decreased by 8.8 per cent. “When canola prices are over $10 a bushel you can’t blame people for plowing up pasture because if the land can grow grain, a producer is likely going to make more money on that land than they can with pasture and cattle,” says Bill Murray, Makinak beef producer and MBP District 12 Director. He has seen local land recently converted to crops that has been in pasture as long as he can remember. The recent introduction of new shorter season varieties of crops, like corn and soybeans, is also giving farmers more options to grow a “cash” crop. “Two years ago soybeans in this part of the world were unheard of and I would say 15 to 20 per cent of the acres this year are in soybeans,” says Murray. Another factor driving land conversion is the age of beef producers. “I think age has got a fair bit to do with this too,” says Murray. “They get to the point where instead of keeping more cows, they decide to plough up the pasture and grow canola to make more money. This is especially the case for producers who are already grain farming; it is less work for them to

KEY POINTS • Pasture land is being converted because of high land values and good grain prices. • Aging beef producers are often selling to grain producers because some young people do not want to get into the cattle business. • Total pasture land decreased 4.3 per cent, 2006-2011. grow another quarter of canola than it is to keep more cows.” There is also a trend towards growing more feed grains like corn, rather than hay. Dave Koslowsky is a beef producer near Killarney and serves as MBP District 2 Director. Koslowsky has not converted any pasture land but says he has downsized his hay land and is growing more crops for feed than he used to. “We feel we are getting a bigger bang for our buck by growing corn for feed, versus hay,” he says. “We generally get more tons of feed with corn than with hay.” According to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) spring 2013 Farmland Values Report, farmland values in Manitoba increased an average of 13.9 per cent in the second half of 2012, the second highest provincial increase in the country. Farmland values in Manitoba have risen consistently since 2001 and this is the highest increase seen since FCC began reporting results in 1985. These high land values mean that increasingly, as beef producers sell their land, it is grain producers who are buying it. “Some people are leaving the industry and when they put their land up for sale it does not seem to be beef producers buying it because the profitability is not there to pay that high of a price,” says Blyth. “Instead, it is grain producers who are buying the land. And it comes down to financing as well. They can go to the bank and get loans to put crop in whereas it is harder to get loans to buy cattle because there is no backstop for it, there are not any livestock insurance programs yet, like there are for crops.” Low profitability in the cattle sector is not helping attract young producers to

the industry either, who, faced with high land costs, have to make a choice between grain and livestock. “One producer I know broke up a bunch of pasture because he has two sons who want to farm,” says Koslowsky. “They were not interested in cattle so he converted his pasture land to crops.” Pasture land, which is more often than not the most marginal land on the farm anyway, is not always the easiest land to bring into production. “It is a process,” says Koslowsky. “You do not just spray it out and the next year you have good crops; it takes a few years to get that native land into production.”

As the trend towards larger farms drives the need for even more acres of highly profitable grains and oilseed production, the elimination of more and more pastures and hay land could have some long term implications for the livestock industry. “We have learned over 30 odd years in the cattle business that you have to self insure; you need to have those extra acres and extra hay bales to compensate for a bad year,” says Blyth. “Last year was a prime example. We always had a surplus of hay and straw. Last year we were in a drought situation and we used up our surplus, so this year we had to put in extra acres of feed for cattle and

sourced extra straw to build up that surplus. “It comes down to having years of experience and going through those situations. But for the young producer, they can be caught short if they choose to put more acres into crops and not build that surplus feed supply,” he added. Murray predicts that availability of straw could be a potential problem in the future too. “Between land being converted from pasture to crop land and the advent of the 100 per cent grain farmer who runs a rotary combine and is chopping all the straw, I think availability of straw will be an issue in a very short time,” he says. “We’re down to two or three farmers in

our area who run conventional combines that you can get straw from. It is not something you think about until you need some.” While crop prices remain buoyant, in the short term it seems more acres of grains, oilseeds and pulses are going to appear on the landscape. To reverse that trend, it is going to take some changes and stability in the cattle industry over the long term, says Blyth. “If the calf prices come up, I can see more optimism for the producers. Price insurance needs to be in place for producers so they know they are going to have a guaranteed baseline of income,” she says.

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY November 2013

Premises Identification Numbers Can Now be Added to Your CCIA Account Heather Martens, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) has worked with the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) to ensure that Premises Identification (PID) numbers issued by MAFRI can now be added to your CCIA account. A separate CCIA premises is no longer required, meaning that producers will have one less number to track. It also means that tracking and managing an animal health event will be more effective when every second counts. Premises Identification is mandatory for owners or operators to identify their primary livestock site, under The Animal Diseases Act. Once you have received the Manitoba PID number, it is recommended that you add it to your CCIA account. This way it is easy to remember where you put your PID number, as it will be with the rest of your traceability information. Simply log into your CCIA account; click “My Account”; click “Premises” tab; if there is an existing

number there, click edit, then delete the number and type in the new PID number received from MAFRI (be sure to use uppercase MB); enter the reason for the change (Added Provincial Premises ID) and click “Next.” If there is no number shown on the Premises page, click “Register Premises”; select “Manitoba”; click “Next”; type in short name of premises (eg. Home Quarter); then type in the PID number (be sure to use uppercase MB); and click “Next.” If you need assistance adding the number to your account, please call CCIA at 1-877-909-2333. MAFRI uses PID to help minimize the impact when an animal disease incident or natural disaster occurs. Premises Identification numbers are used in CCIA’s Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS). Going forward, there will be a greater emphasis from both governments and industry, ensuring we can track animal movements. This will be accomplished through the use of manifests, which require a PID.

Reporting events to the CLTS, such as moving in and moving out, requires a PID number. The age verification process has an option to report the number but is it not required. A PID number may also be requested by your vet, if you need to have lab work done, as it is required for the lab sample forms. It is important to note that the information can only be used by government officials for animal health and traceability purposes, which are outlined in the Animal Premises Identification Regulation, The Animal Diseases Act. Premises Identification is an important part of a traceability system, along with animal identification and movement. MAFRI is part of the national

Industry Government Advisory Committee (IGAC) on traceability, which is made up of industry and government representatives. The committee develops national standards and policies, examines costs and benefits, and works together to achieve the common goal of a national traceability system. Manitoba Beef Producers, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and CCIA have representatives on the working groups that are developing the path forward on traceability. Provincial governments were asked to lead PID because of the access to land records that are used to make sure that the land listed on the application is the correct location. In an emergency, it

Table 1 Farms/Stables

is very important to have the correct information, again, because every second counts. A premises is a legal land location where livestock or poultry are grown, kept, assembled or disposed of (see Table 1). The Premises Identification program collects basic land and contact information and by combining this with GIS-based software, MAFRI can now produce maps, reports and biosecure routes in minutes, compared to the several days or even longer it used to take to try to gather all of the information and produce results. Premises Identification has over 5,500 premises identified already and has been used in multiple disease outbreaks/investigations, as well as flood and

Veterinary Clinics/Hospitals/Labs

Feedlots

Community Pastures

Rendering Plants

Auction/Livestock Sale Facilities

Hatcheries

Zoos/Petting Zoos

Assembly Yards

Abattoirs

Fair Grounds/Race Tracks

Attend Your MBP District Meeting!

For

Beef Producers of Manitoba Call Now: 1-204-275-1109 or 1-888-505-2611

Contact

LINK ATTEN DNA Insurance www.dnainsurance.ca latten2@shaw.ca

Heather Martens is the Traceability Coordinator with MAFRI.

Pastures

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fire situations. Producers who want to know if there is an incident in the area that may affect the health of their livestock or family have chosen to identify all their premises. MAFRI cannot notify those operations that it does not know exist. Again, the information can only be used for animal health and traceability purposes. Identify your premises today. Visit www. manitoba.ca/agriculture/ pid or your local MAFRI GO office for an application, more information, or to update an existing PID number. A letter with the PID number will be mailed to you after the application is processed.

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November 7 District 6 – Trevor Atchison 6 p.m., Oak Lake Royal Canadian Legion

November 15 District 5 – Ramona Blyth 6 p.m., Carberry Memorial Hall November 18 District 7 – Larry Gerelus 6 p.m., Shoal Lake Community Hall www.mbbeef.ca


November 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

9

The Bottom Line

A Positive Year for Sellers, Despite Some Issues

KEY POINTS • Both Ontario and Quebec are contenders on the Manitoba feeder markets this fall. • Decent pasture conditions and a late harvest have delayed deliveries of cattle to the marketplace in Manitoba. • Some black clouds, including COOL and political upheaval in the U.S. The political upheaval in the United States also has some sectors of the livestock and meat industry concerned. Despite the shutdown of many U.S. government services, meat inspectors at the packing plants and import locations are considered

essential services and are still working. Despite all of the challenges still facing the cattle business, this fall looks like it will be a very positive year for the sellers. To support these prices, consumers are going to have to pay

more for their beef products in the stores next year. I hope the consumers realize that when they are paying more for Canadian beef, they are still getting good value for some of the world’s best and safest beef. Until next time…

DLMS INTERNET SALES EVERY THURSDAY AT www.dlms.ca - Call our office to list your cattle!

Monday, Nov. 4

November

prices paid for those fragile, perishable new-crop calves. As in past years, some of the cattle feeders will look for local backgrounders to precondition calves for delivery at a deferred date. One other black cloud is the COOL ruling. There is a lot of concern about how the rules will be interpreted. One major packer in the U.S. indicated that they would not be killing C class cattle at their mid-western plant. This means that cattle born and fed to slaughter weight in Canada will not be accepted at that plant. A large percentage of cattle finished in Manitoba in the past have been slaughtered at this plant so this will have a major impact on the finishing business in Manitoba. For a very brief time the same company considered not killing B class cattle as well. These are cattle that are born in Canada but fed and harvested in the United States. For a brief time, this took Nebraska feeder cattle buyers off the Canadian market. Currently, the company has reconsidered and interest from American buyers for Manitoba feeder cattle is aggressive. Until COOL is settled, there will be a certain amount of reluctance to buy long term Canadian feeders for export. The saving grace is that with the shortage of cattle in the U.S., American cattle feeders have to look elsewhere to purchase inventory. If there was a surplus of feeder cattle on the south side of the border, the demand for Canadian cattle would be under pressure.

December

The beneficiaries of this year’s abundant crops and surplus feed grains across Canada and the United States will be the cow-calf producers—a bonus that is far overdue for this segment of the livestock industry! For the work and investment the cow-calf sector invests, this fall’s prices have been too long in coming. Producers who ran grass cattle were also rewarded with decent profit margins this fall because of higher than projected yearling prices. This year there was definitely a major split in the profit margins on the grass cattle. Inventory that was purchased last fall made very little profit due to the high cost of feed last fall, winter and spring. Depressed cattle prices in the spring allowed those buyers who purchased at that time to realize larger profits for a shorter investment time. Those who backgrounded cattle to over 800 pounds and sold them in the spring of 2013 took tremendously high losses on the sale of their spring inventory. As a result, there are a large number of local buyers who are considering not purchasing as many calves this fall as they had in past years. That purchasing strategy should have resulted in lower calf prices this fall but the void created by the lack of some large volume local orders has been more than filled by feeders in the rest of the country. Both Ontario and Quebec are contenders on the Manitoba feeder markets this fall. Demand from the U.S. was strong on the yearlings, despite uncertainty about the new Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules and a fluctuating dollar. Some Americans are backgrounding calves in Canada this fall and Alberta is gearing up to re-establish itself as the major cattle feeder in Canada. Decent pasture conditions and a late harvest have delayed deliveries of cattle to the marketplace in Manitoba. Traditionally, we sell the bulk of our new crop calves in

September and October. This year, the calf run is working about three weeks later than normal. A lower inventory of producing beef cows and more producers calving in April, May and June has changed the dynamics of the Manitoba fall calf market. Instead of selling calves before the large runs in the west, we now directly compete with the western Saskatchewan and Alberta calf runs, making Manitoba more dependent on orders from the east to purchase our calves. This year, I expect that there will be more smaller local orders wanting to purchase some calves in an effort to market their feed grains through the cattle. By mid-October, barley prices in western Canada had dropped considerably, making the business of cattle feeding more attractive than past years. Custom feeding rates at the custom lots are running about 83 to 88 cents on steers, depending on the allowable maximum daily gain. Heifers will cost between five and 10 cents per pound of gain more to feed. Despite all of the optimism in the cattle business there are still some major challenges for the cattle markets this fall. Transportation has become a major problem. Livestock haulers that are licensed and willing to make the long trip to Ontario or Quebec have become an endangered species. Higher fuel costs have forced some companies to up their rates to 11 cents per pound, compared to eight cents last year. There also seems to be less freight coming west via trucks and more travelling by containers on the rail system, while some vendors in the east refuse to load freight into trucks that haul livestock, despite the fact that the trucks are cleaned and sanitized to brand new standards. Buyers are having to book trucks two weeks in advance and are forced to pay premium prices for transportation. With the cattle run compressed into the later fall, there could be days when the lack of trucks could negatively affect the

2013 Fall Sale Schedule

Rick Wright

Butcher Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 6

Presort Cattle Feeder Sale

Angus Influence

10:00 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 8

Bred Cow Sale

11:00 a.m.

Monday, Nov. 11

Butcher Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 13

Presort Cattle Feeder Sale

10:00 a.m.

Monday, Nov. 18

Butcher Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 20

Presort Cattle Feeder Sale

Angus Influence

10:00 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 22

Bred Cow Sale - Dispersal

11:00 a.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23

Springcreek Simmental Female Sale

Monday, Nov. 25

Butcher Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 27

Feeder Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 29

Bred Cow Sale - Dispersal

Monday, Dec. 2

Butcher Cattle Sale

11:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 5

Feeder Cattle Sale

Friday, Dec. 6

Bred Cow Sale - Dispersal

9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 9

Butcher Cattle Sale

Tuesday, Dec. 10

No Borders Charolais Female Sale

9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 11

Feeder Cattle Sale

Friday, Dec. 13

Border Side Select Female Sale (Formerly Spring Creek Sale)

Saturday, Dec. 14

Bred Cow Sale - Dispersal

11:00 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 16

Butcher Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 17

Bonchuk Farms Simmental

9:00 a.m.

Production Sale Wednesday, Dec. 18

Feeder Cattle Sale

9:00 a.m.

Friday, Dec. 20

Bred Cow Sale

11:00 a.m.

Saturday, Dec. 21

Black Diamond Simmental Dispersal Sale

www.mbbeef.ca

BROCK TAYLOR - 522-6396

Heartland Livestock Services


10 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2013

Beefing up the Wetlands The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation Wetlands across the Canadian prairies numbered in the many millions before land was tilled and converted for agricultural use. As mechanization of farming operations increased, so did the rate of wetland loss. Today, the increasing specialization and size of farms continues to result in the loss of enough wetlands to cover about 35 quarter sections each year; however, through the activities of beef producers like the Canart brothers, this trend is being reversed and prairie sloughs are being recognized as important components of a viable farming operation, particularly in beef production. Ryan Canart is the Manager of the Upper Assiniboine Conservation District, a watershed-based organization tasked with the role of managing water resources in its region. He, along with his brother Aaron, are also

beef producers and offer custom grazing services. The Canart brothers feel wetlands are vital components of the landscape and a valuable asset to their operation so they are actively restoring the drained wetlands on their land. “Sometimes we can have too much water but it is the times of too little that I worry most about. The more water storage I have on my land, the more secure my operation will be,” noted Ryan. “There is really no downside to wetland restoration. There are wildlife benefits, improvements in biodiversity and primary production, and we are being good neighbours by holding ‘our’ water and not flooding out our downstream neighbours or damaging municipal infrastructure,” said Ryan. The Canart restoration project has restored 41 wetland basins on 480 acres. In total, this project has reclaimed 77.6 acres of wetlands. This project was

funded through the Wetland Restoration Incentive Program and delivered by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. The anticipated beef production benefits of this project are being examined through a study led by the Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan. Working with sites in southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan, this study is looking to see how wetland restorations impact forage growth within the basins. Although there are wide year-over-year changes in forage production within restored and drained wetland basins, initial study results suggest that the restoration of wetlands does not lower the production capacity of the restored basin. If these results continue, this means that a producer is not losing forage production but is gaining water-holding capacity on his land.

Ryan feels that his restored wetlands are producing “over their weight” in biomass. “I see, at times, a dramatic yield response, within the forage stand, to a little standing water. Under the right management, we have not taken 77.6 acres out of production; we have enhanced the pasture unit to produce more than was possible under the pre-restoration state.” All Manitoba landowners can now participate in a new

wetland restoration program being funded by Environment Canada’s Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund. Designed as a way to keep phosphorus on the landscape, this program will pay landowners to restore currently drained wetlands under a 10-year agreement. The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation and Ducks Unlimited Canada will work with willing landowners to restore the currently drained wetlands on their property.

In doing this, these organizations will cover all restoration costs, complete the required licencing paperwork, hire local contractors and provide the landowner with a cash payment based on the area of wetlands restored. For more information on the program, visit the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation’s website at www.mhhc.mb.ca or contact 204-729-3502. Alternatively, contact Ducks Unlimited at 204-729-3509.

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) was pleased to once again be part of Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba’s (AITC-M) Amazing Agriculture Adventure, held September 17 to 19, 2013 at Richardson’s Kelburn Farm, and the University of Manitoba’s Farm and Food Discovery Centre at the Glenlea Research Farm. During the event, over 1,000 fourth and fifth grade students from Winnipeg and surrounding communities visited 16 different stations representing agricultural commodities and experienced livestock upclose. At the beef station, students learned about beef in their daily lives through

100 Acre Woods Photography

Bringing Agriculture to Students

a beef product activity and they got to hear what it is Ramona Blyth and Carollyne Kehler. like to be a beef producer— Glen Campbell and Kristine Blair. from beef producers themselves. A special thank you to all of the volunteers, including MBP directors Glen Campbell (District 8) Box 351*Killarney, MB*R0K 1G0*kjpenner@hotmail.ca and Ramona Blyth (DisBox 351*Killarney, MB*R0K 1G Box 351*Killarney, MB*R0K 1G0*kjpenner@hotmail.ca Box 351*Killarney, MB*R0K 1G0*kjpenner@hotmail.ca trict 5), and University of Manitoba students Kristine Blair, Carollyne Kehler and Carson Callum. Also, a big thank you to Trevor Carlson and family at Up the Creek Cattle Co. Ltd. for Keystone Center * Barn 2 showcasing their cow-calf Keystone Center * Ba KeystoneBrandon, Center *Manitoba Barn 2 pair, Nessie and Duke. Congratulations to To View Sale Catalogue Head to Brandon, Manitob Brandon, Manitoba Website, Facebook & Twitter AITC-M on another sucTo Sale Catalogue To View Salewww.buyagro.com Catalogue View Head to www.mbhereford.ca cessful event. MBP is a Website, Facebook & Twitter Online Sale Viewing & Bidding proud patron sponsor of http://facebook.com/mb.hereford.assoc www.buyagro.com www.buyagro.com www.mbhereford.ca . AITC-M http://www.livestockplus.ca

About the Amazing Agriculture Adventure • A hands-on, interactive event geared towards Grades 4-5 science curriculum. • Students move through 16 to 18 stations that cover a variety of agricultural topics. • The program costs $3 per student (2013 cost). • In 2013, programs were held in Winnipeg, Brandon and Russel.

More Herefords Means More Efficient.... Mea More Herefords Means MoreEfficient.... Efficient.... More Herefords More Herefords Means More Manitoba Hereford Assoc.Assoc.Here Manitoba Manitoba Hereford Assoc. Manitoba Hereford Good Gold Sale The MHA would likeGold to wish Good As Good AsAs Gold Sale The MHA would like to wish

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December 6, 2013

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Keystone Center * Barn 2 Brandon, Manitoba Check OnB The Viewing MHA would like Us Out https://twitter.com/MBHereford Online Sale & Online Sale Viewing & Bidding http://facebook.com/mb.hereford.assoc To View Sale Catalogue Head to Website,aFacebook & Twit http://www.livestockp http://www.livestockplus.ca to wish everyone https://twitter.com/MBHereford www.buyagro.com www.mbhereford.ca Merry Christmas and Online Sale Viewing & Bidding http://facebook.com/mb.heref a Happy New Year!! http://www.livestockplus.ca https://twitter.com/MBHer Check Us Out On Website, Facebook and Twitter

www.mbhereford.ca • facebook.com/mb.hereford.assoc • twitter.com/MBHereford www.mbbeef.ca


November 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

Global Food Securities: Is Vaccination an Answer? Lorne A. Babiuk, O.C., SOM, PhD, DSc, FRSC, Vice-President (Research), University of Alberta The global community is facing significant challenges with regards to providing adequate supplies of healthy food for a significant number of people globally. For example, it is estimated that one billion people go to bed hungry every day. With a target of an additional two billion people expected to populate the globe by 2050, the need to produce more food will become intense. Food security for the world is not just geared to feeding the world but lack of food can lead to economic instability and regional conflicts. It is critical that developed countries exercise their global responsibility to assist lower income nations achieve self-sufficiency in food supply. A further benefit to improving prosperity of these nations is that they will be able to purchase goods from Canada to further improve Canada’s economy. In developing countries, especially in subSaharan Africa, the majority of livestock producers are women raising a few animals to help feed their families. These animals are their main equity, and any loss of even a single animal can have a major impact on the welfare of the family unit. Infectious disease has a great impact on livestock production in the developing world. Infectious diseases not only kill livestock and reduce productivity, but the presence of diseases prevents the trade of these animals to more established nations. These trade barriers have a significant impact on export trade and gross domestic product of the region. Take BSE in Canada, for example. Only a dozen or so animals were diagnosed with BSE in 2003, yet our borders were closed to export as a result. Canadian cattle producers lost an estimated $8 billion. These statistics demonstrate the impact that diseases can have on a community and a country. Another challenge with infectious diseases of animals is that they can be zoonotic. These diseases are spread from animals to humans and back to

animals, leading to morbidity and mortality in people and in animals. Currently, over 70 per cent of all newly emerged and re-emerging diseases (30 in total in the past 30 years) are zoonotic. An example is E. coli 0157:H7. Although not a disease of cattle, per se, cattle are a carrier and they can spread the disease into the environment and can cause disease in humans if exposed to contaminated water (which is what happened in Walkerton, Ontario) or beef products (hamburger disease) containing E. coli. To help address some of these challenges, a team of Canadian scientists from Manitoba (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), Saskatchewan (Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization), and the University of Alberta have teamed up with collaborators in Africa to develop a series of vaccines to help combat a number of key diseases that currently exist in Africa, which could come to North America. The diseases targeted include lumpy skin disease of cattle, sheep and goat pox; African swine fever; peste des petits ruminants (PPR); and rift valley fever. We are particularly interested in rift valley fever since it causes very high mortality in animals and people. This virus is similar to west nile virus, which also originated in Africa and recently migrated to North America. Rift valley fever is much more dangerous than west nile virus so if it ever entered North America, the consequences would be very devastating. Thus, we have a dual interest, to protect animals and people in Africa but also to reduce the chances of the diseases entering North America. With funding from the Canadian federal government, through a food security program through the International Development Research Council called Canadian International Food Security Research Fund, our team received funds to develop a vaccine to protect animals against the earlier noted diseases. The challenge

instrumental in eradicating wildlife rabies from • Infectious disease Western Europe. Therenot only harms cattle fore, we proposed that if production in other we could cripple the lumpy countries, but, if skin disease virus so that it the disease comes to could infect animals but Canada, it could cripple not cause disease, it would our industry too. be a great vaccine against lumpy skin disease. • Funding from the This was achieved by Canadian government identifying specific genes is helping a research in the virus that, if reteam develop a moved, would cripple the vaccine to protect virus. We were successanimals in subful in achieving this goal Saharan Africa from and showed that this virus five diseases. does not cause disease in • If successfully, this ruminants. Our next goal vaccine will help is to insert the specific producers in that genes involved in inducing region and will also immunity and protection ensure Canada is against rift valley fever and prepared, should the peste des petits ruminants diseases be found in into lumpy skin disease. our cattle herds. When this is achieved, we will have a very thermal stable virus (lumpy skin for vaccine producers was disease) that will induce that the vaccines must be developed cheaply, to ensure uptake in subSaharan Africa, and must be able to withstand prolonged exposure to high temperatures. As such, we are combining all of the vaccines into a single production system. In parallel, we are developing the vaccine to be thermally stable under variable environmental conditions (no refrigeration). The approach that we are using is to select the lumpy skin disease virus as the vehicle for delivering all of these vaccines. This virus belongs to the pox family, which is known for its thermal stability. This was revealed after it was discovered that the virus was viable for years in scabs taken from small pox lesions. Based on this knowledge, a rabies virus vaccine for wildlife was developed whereby the rabies virus glycoprotein gene (the glycoprotein is the major protein of rabies virus involved in inducing immunity and protection from rabies) was inserted into a pox virus. This vaccine was then used in baits to immunize fox against rabies virus. This approach reduces the spread of wildlife rabies to domestic livestock. Introduction of vaccine in baits has been

KEY POINTS

www.mbbeef.ca

immunity to the pox viruses of cows, goats and sheep, as well as against rift valley fever and PPR. Therefore, in a single production of a vaccine, the producer will be able to vaccinate and protect against five diseases (equivalent to five different vaccines) at the cost of production of only one vaccine. The next challenge will be to not only ensure safety and efficacy of the vaccine but to identify a producer of the vaccine, achieve regulatory approval and finally, roll out the vaccine to the user community. In the case of sub-Saharan Africa, approximately two thirds of all the small holder producers are women who manage less than 10 animals. We are currently identifying best practices as to how we can reach these user communities and help them embrace

the use of vaccines to improve their livelihood. We hope these vaccines will control and contain these diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. However, should these diseases arrive in North America, we will be able to rapidly immunize our national herds to not only protect and prevent the spread of disease in livestock, but to limit its spread to humans. This is an example of how Canadian science can be used as a pre-emptive strike for a potentially future calamity. This activity not only helps the developing world but also is an insurance policy for Canadians. I’d like to thank the federal government for the foresight to support this project in food security, and for having the confidence that success will be achieved.


12 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2013

All About Brand: Canada Beef Inc. Forum and AGM Canada Beef Inc. Canada Beef Inc. held its Second Annual Forum and AGM from September 19 to 20, in Calgary, Alta. The event was well attended by over 160 industry partners and stakeholders. The theme for this year’s Forum was Building Brand Loyalty – A Commitment to the Brand and the opening forum kicked off with a keynote presentation by Lani Lorenz Fry, Manager Global Brand Strategy, John Deere Worldwide. This was followed by an hour-long closed-door session with Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister, Edward Fast. The ministers fielded questions from the group on a variety of topics including Country of Origin Labeling and foreign market access. Canada Beef Inc. launched the Brand Promise, a

resource that will assist all those using the Canadian Beef Brand Mark in understanding and delivering the commitments promised. The four Brand Pillars—Product, Producer, Quality and Safety, and Sustainability—provide our customers with the “Reasons to Believe.” The remainder of the day was spent with various Canada Beef Inc. presentations, industry panel discussions, keynote speakers and some great Canadian beef meals. “Our Annual Forum allows Canada Beef Inc. to share the work we have done over the past year, as well as bring together a diverse group of industry members and speakers to network and share information and insights on topics that impact us all,” said Rob

The newly acclaimed board members.

Meijer, President, Canada Beef Inc. The Annual General Meeting included year-in-review presentations from the Board of Directors and executive staff, and board elections. The newly acclaimed board members are: Grant Huffman (BC), Chuck MacLean (AB), Trevor Atchison (MB), Kirk Jackson

(QC), Jennifer MacDonald (NB), John MacDonald (PE), Terry Prescott (NS), Anthony Petronaci (CMC), Willie VanSolkema (CMC) and Lonnie Lake (Foodservice). Arden Schneckenburger was voted by the board to replace retiring director Paul Sharpe from Ontario. Immediately after the AGM on

Friday afternoon, key executive positions were elected. For the 2013-14 year, Chuck MacLean will again serve as chair of the board; Arthur Batista was elected as vice-chair; Jack Hextall will serve as chair of the Finance committee; Jennifer MacDonald will resume her role as chair of the Governance

committee; Mike Kennedy will also return as chair of the Planning and Priorities committee; and Willie Van Solkemma will serve as chair of the Foreign Trade Advisory committee. The Annual Report and meeting proceedings are available online at www. canadabeef.ca.

NOTICE TO CATTLE PRODUCERS IN MANITOBA

Cows on the Mooove! Commercial Cattle Transport Research

EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 MANITOBA CATTLE ENHANCEMENT COUNCIL (MCEC) HAS STOPPED COLLECTING THE $ 2 PER HEAD LEVY ON CATTLE SOLD.

Consumers and producers alike often pass semi-trailers of cattle cruising down the highway. How do we ensure that those cattle are being hauled safely and with the highest standards of welfare? The answer is by understanding the factors that influence animal well-being and carcass quality. Until recently, there has been a lack of research in Canada on cattle transport, specifically winter transport conditions. In 2012, a large Alberta-based survey was completed, which characterized the current status of the beef transport industry in Western Canada. The study used descriptive data received at the processing plant regarding cattle condition and journey parameters. A follow-up study is being conducted, led by Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein of Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, in Lethbridge, Alta., with the collaboration of Dr. Kim Ominski, of the University of Manitoba. Dr. SchwartzkopfGenswein has extensive experience in transport research and has been spearheading the Western Canadian research work in this area, including the survey in Alberta. I am one of

CATTLE PRODUCERS ARE ENTITLED TO APPLY FOR A REFUND ON ALL LEVIES COLLECTED BETWEEN: 1 November 2012 – 31 August 2013 The regulation specifies refunds as follows: THE APPLICATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY MCEC WITHIN 1 YEAR AFTER THE MONTH END IN WHICH THE FEE WAS DEDUCTED However, we would like for those eligible to apply for refunds within those time periods, to do so as soon as possible, in order for MCEC to be able to process as many refunds as possible in a timely manner. THE REFUND FORM IS AVAILABLE ON THE MCEC WEBSITE: www.mancec.com click on forms. Please ensure that in order to process your application quickly, all supporting documents (receipts) are included, and the name of the applicant(s) is the same as the name on the receipts. The application also needs to be signed by the applicant(s).

THE REFUND FORM IS ALSO AVAILABLE THROUGH YOUR LOCAL AUCTION MARTS OR YOU CAN PHONE THE MCEC OFFICE AT: 204 452 6353, EXT. 21 OR TOLL FREE: 1 866 441 6232

Carollyne Kehler, MSc., Animal Science Department, University of Manitoba

www.mbbeef.ca

two students working on this research; the other is Christy Goldhawk, from the University of Calgary. During the winter of 2012-13, we began the task of completing data collection of the first phase of our twophase transport project. The first phase was conducted in Manitoba from January to April of 2013 and focused on long distance transport of cull cows to Alberta for processing. The second phase of the project will be focused on both long and short distance transport of fat cattle, and is scheduled to take place between November 2013 and February 2014. Information for the cull cow phase of the trial was collected before, during and after transport. Measurements taken included cattle live weight, body condition scores (BCS), handling scores, prod-use scores, (un)loading scores and trailer floor condition (amount of bedding etc.). (Un)loading and handling scores included the speed the cattle entered or exited the trailer, if the cattle tripped, slipped or fell, as well as a number of other aspects. The trucks were outfitted with equipment to measure location using GPS, tempera-

ture and relative humidity and motion of the trailer using accelerometers in all five compartments of the trailer (nose, deck, belly, back and doghouse). Once at the plant, we collected information on live weight, bruising, dress weight and carcass grade. Data collection for the second phase of the project on fat cattle follows a similar method. Why go through the effort of doing a Western Canadian winter transport study? The answer is that it will provide the beef industry with science-based information about transport conditions and how they affect cattle welfare and carcass quality, which will facilitate improvements to cattle transport. This research would not be possible without the funding and support of the Beef Cattle Research Council and Manitoba Beef Producers. There were a number of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives staff who committed to tedious hours of work in frigid early mornings; their help will not be forgotten. We also thank the staff at the assembly yards, trucking companies and processing plants.


November 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

How BCRC is Working for You Beef Cattle Research Council

KEY POINTS

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef research. Its mandate is to determine research and development priorities for the Canadian beef cattle industry and to administer national check-off funds allocated to research. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the national checkoff. It operates as a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The BCRC was established to sponsor cattle and beef research, and technology development in priority areas. The council also facilitates and encourages collaboration and co-ordination among researchers, other funding agencies and industry in order to maximize the benefits obtained from investments made in research.

• Funding will lead to several benefits, including advocacy, supporting the Canadian beef advantage and support for sciencebased policy.

Research Performance Reporting & Evaluation

The BCRC has partnered with Canfax Research Services to develop and implement an economic assessment tool that will aid in assessing the economic returns to beef research in Canada, developing BCRC research priorities and tracking the economic benefit of BCRC funded research over the long term. Results are expected in 2013-14.

The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster was a four year initiative focused on advancing research of priority through the collaboration of Canada’s main public and industry beef research funder. Research funding was allocated for the period between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2013. Industry and government funding commitments through the cluster totaled approximately $10.4 million, which was directed to 32 research projects. Results will be reviewed and communicated in 2013-14.

Bringing Research to the Ranch

Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster (Growing Forward 2)

2013 Fall Sale Schedule

Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster (Growing Forward)

and advocacy information; • Support of the Canadian Beef Advantage; • Maintenance of professional capacity to ensure that research facilities with experienced professionals are in place to respond to emerging or critical issues in an expedient manner; and • Encouragement for greater uptake of research knowledge and technologies by industry.

topics, fact sheets on in-progress and completed projects, and blog articles that help producers make informed decisions on implementing innovation into their production practices. The website also delivers BCRC-produced videos, webinars and other extension tools. During the second cluster, cost-of-production decision making tools will be created, the website will be expanded to include fact sheets from other beef research funding organizations, and a greater emphasis will be placed on engaging researchers with industry. Communications from the BCRC can also be found through the CCA’s Action News, provincial cattle organizations’ newsletters, email updates and magazines, and through a regular research column that appears in Canadian Cattlemen magazine.

NOVEMBER

The BCRC continues to advance the implementation of its Knowledge Dissemination and Technology Transfer Strategy, which is focused on converting applied research into effective tools that drive Verified Beef industry competitiveness. ProductionTM program A new extension webIn addition to sponsoring site, www.beefresearch.ca, research and technology deprovides access to general velopment, the BCRC also information on research oversees and supports the

DECEMBER

Joint industry and government commitments to the second cluster total $20 million, including $14 million in funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the national check-off and provincial beef industry groups. In addition, direct investments were made by provincial governments. Funding will be directed to 26 studies to be completed by March 31, 2018. Like the first cluster, investments in the second cluster will lead to several benefits: • Maintenance or improvements in production competitiveness; • Support for science-based policy, regulation and trade; • Provide public education

• More than 17,000 beef operations are trained in VBP.

beef industry’s on-farm food safety program, Verified Beef ProductionTM (VBP). VBP reports continued growth with increasing numbers of beef cattle operations trained each year. More than 17,100 beef operations across Canada are currently trained. This represents an estimated 67 per cent of all Canadian beef production. In addition, more than 1,000 cattle operations have participated in the optional validation audit to become registered with the VBP program.

Allocation of Cluster 2 Funding by Research Priority Area

Animal Health Forage & & Welfare Grassland 22% Animal Health 30% Forage & & Welfare Grassland 22% Food Safety 30%

10% Food Safety 10%Feed Grains & Feed For more information E ciency To learn more about BCRC 29% Feed Grains & Feed initiatives and take advantage Beef Quality E ciency of our extension resources, vis-9% it our website at www.beefre29% search.ca and join our mailing Beef Quality 9% list at www.beefresearch.ca/ blog/subscribe.

Tuesday, Nov. 5 Thursday, Nov. 7 Tuesday, Nov. 12 Thursday, Nov. 14 Friday, Nov. 15 Tuesday, Nov. 19 Thursday, Nov. 21 Tuesday, Nov. 26 Thursday, Nov. 28 Friday, Nov. 29

Presort Calf Sale Angus Influence Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow and Heifer Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Presort Calf Sale Regular Sale Complete Herd Dispersal

Tuesday, Dec. 3 Thursday, Dec. 5 Tuesday, Dec. 5 Tuesday, Dec. 10 Thursday, Dec. 12 Tuesday, Dec. 12 Tuesday, Dec. 17 Thursday, Dec. 19 Tuesday, Dec. 19

Regular Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale

9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m

Presorts MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be pre-booked and in by NOON on Thursday prior. Age verification papers must be dropped off with cattle.

35th Annual Keystone Konnection Simmental Sale Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Canada Room, Keystone Centre, Brandon, MB. *Full Fleckvieh Bulls and Females *Red and Black Females *Breds and Opens View the catalogue online at www.marmacfarms.net

For information contact: Keystone Sale Management Blair and Lois McRae Phone: 204-728-3058 Email: marmac@inetlink.ca

Heartland Livestock Services www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY November 2013

Straight from the Hip Global Beef Production Findings

Brenda Schoepp Fellow scholar Ed Green has completed his look at beef production around the globe. Based in England, Green’s research was focused on how beef production could adapt to changes in global demand and global food culture. For his project, he traveled to 18 regions in eight countries. His research is a fascinating read and as a facilitator to his visit to Canada, I would like to share some key findings. We know that demand for beef is growing in areas of affluence and there is interest because of a higher standard of living. What this looks like in terms of beef product is interesting. In his interview with American meat exporters, he found that the orders are not changing and the interest in beef in places like Russia is still focused on liver, heart and kidney. In China, the short plate, tripe and intestine can trump the loin or rib and places like Japan and South Korea continue to salivate for plate, chuck, fingers, skirt, round and offal. From a global perspective, Green found that beef production is and will continue to gravitate towards the nations and regions of lower cost production. We can argue about the sustainable practices in some areas and question some in others, but growth will favour grass over grain. I, too, can support this information as I found that worldwide

dairy production is very important in areas where land is at a premium. The dairy industry then provides beef through spent cows and dairy males. With the interest in grass based systems comes the need to optimize growth through genetic selection of cattle for the grass. Green sees this as an important part of growing the beef industry, particularly in the UK. The ability of cattle to lay down marbling and have some performance without growth promotants is a challenge. He does not see adopting any change in feed enhancements or growth promotants but finds a great need to better select cattle for the grass environment. Surprisingly, we often looked to the UK as grazing experts but Canadians have done a great job of adapting and adopting, and we are now leaders in this area. Our practices are on route back to England for implementation. It is always interesting to discuss the different points of view of the sectors within the beef industry. Green saw a clear divide at home between producer and processor that resonates worldwide. Like Canada, the UK has a relatively small budget to market beef and to promote it outside of the country. We are not alone in haggling through licensing in other countries and, as in Canada, the UK sees the value in brand creation and value added. The credit which is now

KEY POINTS • Demand for beef is growing, although different countries are ordering different cuts. • Canada should focus on a complete value added approach to hit specific markets. • A lack of “on the ground” marketing may hurt Canada’s industry. considered the driver behind beef sales is referred to in his document as the “fifth quarter” and that is reflective of the value of by product. Packers had different concerns. While packers in the UK are small by our standards, North American packers too were focused on the security of the beef supply and already were struggling with delivery windows. Declining beef consumption and the ability to access cattle for reasons of efficiency were big in the conversation with packers. As for recommendations, Green felt that there was a take home message from every country he visited. From North America, the economies of scale and the innovative marketing of cattle were of particular interest. Without a board of trade that includes live cattle or beef contracts, the lack of risk management in the UK puts North Americans in an envious position, as does electronic grading. Our use of technology on farm, especially in Canada, is something to also take

back to the UK. Of particular interest is the adoption of real time data bases and individual production data in beef herds. The high cost of production in the UK, particularly because of regulation, is impeding the one size fits all model. Green suggests that these high cost areas—and Canada is also one—should focus on a complete value added approach to hit very specific market targets. The one area for improvement of which Canada takes first for effort was traceability, as the report suggests this is imperative for trade. It was suggested that our slow adoption will eventually open the doors for private industry to take on the task of traceability. The lack of “on the ground” marketing from the UK and Canada was very evident. Other countries were very aggressive on site and I have found this to be true as well. In

fact, Green found in Hong Kong and China that some beef buyers were not even aware that they could import from the UK. In addition, the opportunity to modernize beef cuts was fully evident. As an example, Green found a real need to produce beef trim in condensed ready rolls for slicing and cooking in a hot pot.¹ The report also highlighted the advantage we have in forward contracts and other innovations in marketing. That marks a big difference between Canada and the UK. As for change, Green just went home and got started. He is even partnering with several countries and companies around the globe. Now that is truly leading positive change in agriculture!

agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor, she works with young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website, www.brendaschoepp.com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2013.

Footnote

1. A hot pot refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontBrenda Schoepp is a ons, egg dumplings, and Nuffield Scholar who travseafood. els extensively, exploring

ATTENTION BEEF PRODUCERS Financial assistance is available to help you adopt beneficial management practices (BMP).

Producers who see a fit with the seven programs below are encouraged to update or complete an Environmental Farm Plan. PROGRAMS: • Water retention structures • Wetland restoration • Constructed wetlands • Riparian area enhancement • Natural area maintenance and enhancement • Buffer and grassed waterway establishment • Perennial cover for sensitive land Work with your local Conservation District to receive funding support. Projects of this nature allow you to increase value and productivity of your farming business while also providing increased ecological services to the watershed. Environmental Farm Plan workshops will be held at Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development GO offices on November 21, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Photo (Left to Right): MBP President Trevor Atchison, CCA President Martin Unrau and MBP Vice President Heinz Reimer. MBP welcomed Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) President Martin Unrau as a guest during its board meeting in Winnipeg on October 2, 2013. President Unrau provided updates on important industry issues the CCA is working on, such as trade, mandatory Country of Origin Labeling and Price Insurance. MBP thanks President Unrau for joining us for this meeting.

Please contact your local Conservation District office for more information.

www.mbbeef.ca

Brought to you by Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District.


November 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Forget Skinny… Be Healthy Adriana Barros, PHEc. A widely perceived belief is that skinny people are healthy and those overweight are unhealthy and need to improve their diet and lifestyle. This is not always the case; being a skinny fat person can be more dangerous and lead to more severe health conditions. The medical term for what is commonly called a “Skinny Fat Person” is Metabolically Obese Normal Weight (MONW), which categorizes those who appear to be lean on the exterior of their body but are actually unhealthy on the inside. Here I will discuss what this condition is and its effects, which medical tests are necessary for diagnosis and how a diet of whole foods paired with exercise can help prevent this hidden health concern. A skinny fat person has a body shape that carries little muscle and too much hidden fat, which can only be seen at a doctor’s office after specific tests are done. These individuals do not have visual warning signs; in fact, they often fall under the radar. In my opinion, it is far better to be larger and fit than thin and out of shape. We have all seen the individual who never seems to exercise, who can drink sodas daily, and indulge regularly in a diet of breads, pastas and desserts…and still appear thin. They are lean and supple on the exterior; however, a closer look inside can reveal some severe health problems. The drastic truth can only be seen in a doctor’s office when appropriate tests are administered. Here is a list determined by Dr. Mark Hyman from the Huffington Post, of four important blood tests that should be examined. • Fasting blood sugar or glucose (normal less than 90 mg/dl); • Triglycerides (normal less than 100 mg/dl); • HDL (good cholesterol (normal greater than 60 mg/dl); and • Blood pressure (normal less than 120/80, ideal less than 115/75). Ways of conquering this health problem are as simple as moving around and as simple as getting your heart rate up, as little

as three times per week. Put a sedentary lifestyle in your past. It is a silent killer. Here is a list of simple, unconventional activities that can help improve your health and get your blood pumping. • Take the stairs. We have all heard it before but why is it important? It creates muscles in your thighs and glutes, and increases bone density. Most importantly, it increases your heart rate. • Parking across the parking lot and include a total of 30 minutes of brisk walking a day. This increases blood flow to the heart, burns calories and is a simple way to get fit. • Enjoy the outdoors! This is my favourite activity and one I try to follow. Take the dog out for more walks; enjoy the beauty of each season by taking a stroll on a long road or in a park; or join a recreational class or team. The best way to stay active is to be with others sharing the same goals. Maintaining a balance is often the hardest part. Do not allow a number on the scale dictate how you feel and what you can eat. If there is one rule to follow, I would have to say to try to eat a diet of whole foods. Stay away from packaged food products and high sugar drinks. Life is meant to be enjoyed and for me, food is a big part of that. Putting in some good sweat equity can be rewarded with an incredible post workout meal. Here are a few reasons Canadian beef can be incorporated into a good post workout meal (Karine Barlow, 2013). Canadian beef is… 1. A nutritional powerhouse, with 14 essential nutrients plus energy. 2. An excellent source of high quality protein for muscle growth and repair. 3. A lean choice; fat content is similar to skinless chicken and fish. 4. One of the best sources of iron, needed by every cell in your body. 5. Packed with B vitamins, for energy and healthy brain function.

6. An excellent source of zinc, to support a strong immune system. 7. A calorie-wise choice for achieving a healthy weight. 8. Part of a heart healthy diet to manage cholesterol. The skinny fat person is rarely categorized as unhealthy but looks can be deceiving and can result in dangerous health concerns if untreated. The positive aspect to remember is with small changes, it is possible to reverse this health state and become a thin healthy person without medication. Remember to enjoy a balanced lifestyle of regular exercise and whole foods. In celebration of whole foods and tasty Manitoba beef, our featured recipe is one from this season of Great Tastes of Manitoba: Striploin Medallions with Caramelized Pear and Cranberry Sauce. This recipe and more can be found on www.foodmanitoba.ca. Thanks for reading and enjoy the autumn season.

STRIP LOIN Medallions with Caramelized Pear & Cranberry Sauce 4

Beef strip loin medallions/steak, 1” (2.5 cm) thick (about 6 medallions)

1 Tbsp (15 mL)

Cold butter

2 Tbsp (30 mL)

Canola oil (divided)

1

Shallot, minced

1/2 cup (125 mL)

Dried cranberries, roughly chopped

1/2 firm pear

Anjou or Bosc variety, chopped

1/2 cup (125 mL) EACH

Dry red wine and low-sodium beef broth

1 tsp (5 mL)

Dijon mustard

1 oz

Spiced rum Salt and pepper

Works Cited

1. Mark Hyman, M. (2012, 08 26). Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 5, 2013, from The Huffington Post: www. huffingtonpost.com/drmark-hyman/skinnyfat_b_1799797.html. 2. Karine Barlow, R. (2013, 08 21). Beef Blog: A blog about Canadian Beef. Retrieved 10 5, 2013, from Canadian Beef: http://canadianbeefinfo.wordpress. com/2013/08/21/workbeef-into-your-postwork-out-eating-plan.

1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat with oil. 2. Season the medallions with salt and pepper and sear five to six minutes per side or until 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare. 3. Remove from heat and tent with foil. 4. Add shallots, cranberries and pears to skillet. Stir in beef drippings until slightly softened. 5. Add red wine and beef broth to deglaze the skillet. 6. Mix in Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce by half. 7. Right before removing sauce from heat at desired consistency, add spiced rum and butter. 8. Stir until melted and spoon sauce over strip loin medallions.

B e c o m e a M BP A G M S p o n s o r

B o o k T o d ay !

Manitoba Beef Producers 35th Annual General Meeting Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, Brandon February 4-5, 2014 MBP’s Annual General Meeting is a unique opportunity to promote your business to Manitoba’s top beef producers. MBP offers a sponsorship option to suit your needs. Please contact us at (204) 772-4542 or info@mbbeef.ca. Thank you for your support.

www.mbbeef.ca


EVENT INFORMATION February 4 to 5, 2014 • Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre • 3550 Victoria Avenue • Brandon, MB Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) looks forward to meeting with its members at the upcoming 35th Annual General Meeting. Whether you are a beef producer or in the feedlot sector, this event is geared to you. The meeting is an opportunity to engage with MBP directors and fellow producers, debate issues that affect your bottom line and set policy that will impact the future of your industry. We encourage all producers and beef industry stakeholders to attend.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4

MORNING Breakout Sessions • Revised Beef Code of Practice: What Does it Mean for You? • New Forage Insurance Programs Tradeshow opens at 11 a.m. Lunch for Registered Guests AFTERNOON MBP Business • Reports from the President and General Manager • Financial Report Resolutions • MBP members set policy direction for 2014-2015

• Awards • Keynote Speaker: Bruce Vincent, Libby, Montana “With Vision, There Is Hope” Ag Advocacy as a business line item

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5

MORNING Panel • What Does Sustainability Mean for Our Social License and the Future of Beef Marketing and Production? Updates from National Organizations • Canadian Cattlemen’s Association • National Cattle Feeders’ Association • Canada Beef Inc. • Canadian Cattle Identification Agency Update from Bovine TB Co-ordinator

EVENING President’s Banquet • Reception • Dinner

*Adjournment at 12:15 p.m. Note: Take in the 2014 Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association’s AGM in the afternoon at the hotel.

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR NEW AWARD Manitoba Beef Producers Lifetime Achievement Award The Manitoba Beef Producers Lifetime Achievement Award was developed to recognize Manitoba beef producers who have made significant contributions to the beef industry and their commitment to excellence, exemplifying leadership and involvement in their community and province. Individuals and families are eligible for the award. The first recipient of the Manitoba Beef Producers Lifetime Achievement Award will be recognized at the President’s Banquet during the 35th Annual General Meeting on February 4, 2014. The recipient should be present at the event. The recipient will receive an award with the honour and their name inscribed on it. The recipient’s name will be added to a Manitoba Beef Producers Lifetime Achievement Award plaque at the Manitoba Beef Producers office. NOMINEE CONSIDERATION Nominees for the Manitoba Beef Producers Lifetime Achievement Award will be considered in the following areas: 1. Must be a current or past member of Manitoba Beef Producers. 2. Active beef advocate with a genuine interest in the beef industry. 3. Achievements and lasting benefit of their contribution to the beef industry. 4. Excellence in being involved in the beef industry as a leader, mentor, volunteer. 5. Their use of innovation and strategies for successful business.

Nomination forms are available from the MBP office by calling 1-800-772-0458 or online at www.mbbeef.ca. Nominations are due on Monday, December 2, 2013.

MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS 35TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.MBBEEF.CA OR MAIL OR FAX YOUR REGISTRATION TODAY! EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION $75 PER PERSON

PERSON 1: q EARLY BIRD $75 q GENERAL $90

• Must be purchased by Friday, January 3, 2014 at 4 p.m.

NAME:________________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50).

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• Non-refundable.

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MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 PER PERSON GENERAL REGISTRATION $90 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 3 • Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). • Non-refundable.

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CITY/TOWN: ___________________________________________ PHONE: _______________________________________________ FAX: __________________________________________________ EMAIL: _______________________________________________ PERSON 2 (IF REQUIRED): q EARLY BIRD $75 q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 q GENERAL $90 q YOUNG PRODUCER *Complimentary with mentor’s registration NAME: ________________________________________________

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ADDRESS: _____________________________________________

• MBP members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39).

CITY/TOWN: ___________________________________________

• The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

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• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). MAKE CHEQUE PAYABLE TO: Manitoba Beef Producers 154 Paramount Road, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3 PHONE: 1-800-772-0458 FAX: 204-774-3264

RESERVE A ROOM: Call the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre toll free: 1-800-852-2710 Quote booking number: 248089

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Book early to get your best value!

Addison Studios Photography www.AddisonStudios.com

35TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and president’s banquet


Published by Manitoba Beef Producers

Jeannette Greaves

December 2013

New Forage Insurance Page 6

RON FRIESEN

KEY POINTS

Manitoba producers’ worst fears about the new U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule are coming true after an American meat packing giant stopped buying Canadian slaughter cattle this fall. Tyson Foods Inc. announced in October 2013 it will no longer buy finished Canadian cattle because of the high cost of complying with COOL. Tyson is the third largest buyer of cattle in the U.S. and used to purchase 3,000 Canadian cattle a week. Its decision is expected to send shock waves through the market and cause Canadian cattle producers to take a severe hit on prices. “When you take a significant buyer like Tyson out of the marketplace, you really challenge the ability to get true price discovery,”

• Tyson Foods Inc. will no longer buy finished Canadian cattle. • Company spokesperson calls COOL requirements to identify steps along production chain impractical. • Company will continue to buy Canadian calves for U.S. feedlots. said John Masswohl, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s (CCA) government and international relations director. CCA estimates the previous COOL rule, which required packers to separate foreign-born animals from U.S. livestock, depressed Canadian prices by $25 to $40 a head. The new rule, which makes

segregation requirements even more stringent, could affect prices by up to $100 a head, Masswohl said. Tyson’s announcement has put Harvey Dann, a Manitoba cattle buyer, out of business. Dann, who together with his daughter Jackie owns Alert AgriDistributors Inc., has bought local cattle for Tyson since 1985. He shipped his last load to the U.S. on October 17. But Dann says Tyson is not to blame. “It is the U.S. administration not honouring their deal through the World Trade Organization. You’ve got a protectionist administration. That’s all it is. I don’t blame the company one bit,” he said. Originally implemented in March 2009, COOL required meat and certain other foods to be labeled according to their country of origin.

This created a hassle for packing plants, which were forced to keep U.S. and foreign livestock separate in order to comply. This resulted in major price discounts for Canadian cattle and pigs. Some U.S. plants stopped buying Canadian animals altogether. In 2012, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled COOL unfairly discriminated against Canadian and Mexican animals. It ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to revise COOL to bring it into compliance with international trade rules. USDA published its revised rule on May 23, 2013. But to the dismay of Canada and Mexico, which brought the original WTO challenge, the new rule is even tougher. The previous rule allowed plants to mix meat from U.S. and Canadian

animals and label it as “Product of the U.S. and Canada.” But the new rule requires country of origin identification for each step along the production chain. Labels must now say “Born in Canada, Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.” or “Born in Canada, Raised in the U.S., Slaughtered in the U.S.” Tyson calls the new requirement impractical. “Unfortunately, we don’t have enough warehousing capacity to accommodate the proliferation of products requiring different types of labels due to this regulation,” Worth Sparkman, a Tyson spokesperson, was quoted as saying. “As a result, we have discontinued buying cattle shipped to our U.S. beef plants directly from Canada, effective mid-October.” Tyson says it will continue buying Canadian calves for U.S. feedlots.

Register for MBP’s 35th Annual General Meeting! See page 10 for details on the AGM. Read the Resolutions on page 11. Photo Courtesy Addison Studios Photography www.AddisonStudios.com

Competing for Land Page 8

Humane Transport Page 17

Postmaster: Please return undeliverable copies to: MBP, 154 Paramount Road, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3 Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement Number 40005187 Postage paid in Winnipeg.

Tyson stops buying Canadian slaughter cattle


2

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

Continued from page 1 But fallout from Tyson’s decision is affecting prices for Canadian feeder animals, which U.S. feedlots must also segregate to comply with COOL. U.S. feedlots buy Canadian animals at a discount because they know they will be further discounted at slaughter plants. “We are seeing some pretty big discounts on our Canadian cattle right now,” said Brian Perrilat, senior

analyst with Canfax Research Services in Calgary. “We’re seeing a good 20 to 25 cents a pound discount to the United States.” Industry officials worry the effect on sales and prices resulting from the new COOL rule will discourage producers from rebuilding their herds, which have been consolidating for several years. This is the time of year when producers make decisions about culling or retaining animals for the coming

year and Tyson’s decision could play into that. “We think that cattle producers faced with those price discounts will not expand and some may choose to produce something else,” Masswohl said. “In terms of will there be expansion or contraction for the coming year, this certainly has a very negative impact on those decisions.” Perrilat said herd liquidation in Canada may have bottomed out but has yet to recover.

“We’ve stopped a lot of the mass liquidation but we definitely haven’t turned the corner to growth yet, that’s for sure.” Industry officials predict the U.S. economy could also suffer from the new COOL rule. American beef packing plants are already running below capacity because of low herd numbers and need all the cattle they can get. By making it more difficult to access Canadian cattle, some plants may be forced to close and lay off workers,

said Martin Unrau, CCA president. “There just are not enough cattle to satisfy all those plants and keep them running economically,” Unrau said. “It’s not rocket science. Those plants have to run at a certain level to be viable.” Meanwhile, a WTO compliance challenge by Canada and Mexico to the new COOL rule is underway. The two countries claim the rule does not comply with the previous WTO panel ruling and are seeking permission

to impose retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. goods. Masswohl said a panel has been established and a hearing is scheduled for February 2014. A final outcome is not likely until later in the year. A coalition, including Canada and the American meat industry, recently asked a U.S. court to prevent COOL from being implemented while the challenge is underway. The court denied the request.

MBP Connects with Producers at District Meetings mbp staff Policy reports, elections and beef on a bun were served up at Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) 14 district meetings held across the province. Beef producers gathered to hear about what MBP has been doing on their behalf and to provide direction for the organization. MBP wrapped up the district meetings on November 18, 2014. MBP was pleased with the turnout and interaction between producers and MBP. MBP General Manager Cam Dahl provided an indepth presentation at each meeting, which included a financial review, a look at the new beef code of practice and updates on key issues affecting the beef industry. A highlight during each of the meetings was a presentation from Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) on revisions to Manitoba forage insurance programs. MBP thanks MASC staff for collaborating with us to offer this important information to beef producers. Producers also received updates on topics such as community pastures, market access, bovine tuberculosis and important policy issues for 2014. Producers who would like copies of the presentations can contact MBP at info@mbbeef.ca. During the meetings, beef producers brought forward 27 resolutions, which can be found on page 11. These

resolutions will be voted on at MBP’s Annual General Meeting, February 4 and 5, 2014 in Brandon. Resolutions determine the priorities of your organization. Please attend the Annual General Meeting to vote. Elections were held in even numbered districts and District 9. All eligible directors let their names stand. Two directors have reached their term limits: MBP President and District 6 Director Trevor Atchison; and District 8 Director Glen Campbell. New directors were nominated in these two districts, including Larry Wegner of Virden (District 6) and Tom Teichroeb of Langruth (District 8). Dianne Riding of Lake Francis was nominated in District 9, which was previously vacant. MBP thanks all directors for their commitment to the beef industry and their fellow producers.

MBP looks forward to connecting with producers and communities during the district meetings each year and an important part of the meetings is time to come together to enjoy a meal and connect with peers and industry stakeholders. MBP thanks all of the generous sponsors of the beef on a bun meals at the meetings. Special thanks to all of you for supporting your beef producers and agriculture in your communities. We also thank the directors and their families for providing GM Cam Dahl presents at the District 4 Meeting in Vita. some of the desserts for attendees to enjoy. Thank you to all of the beef producers, government officials and industry stakeholders who attended the district meetings. We hope to see you at the An- District 1 (Medora): Westway Feed Products - Ron Manness and Stead Farm nual General Meeting in Supplies - Boissevain February! District 2 (Cartwright): Greenvalley Equipment

Thank you beef on a bun sponsors!

District 3 (Elm Creek): Penn West Meats and Cherway Limousin District 4 (Vita): Masterfeeds - Peter Kraynyk and Southeastern Farm Equipment - Corey Plett District 5 (Carberry): Rosehill Cattle Company Ltd. - Harold & Ramona Blyth District 6 (Oak Lake): TD Canada Trust - Brandon Branch District 7 (Shoal Lake): Myles Meir - The Meat Man, Oakburn and Agassiz Feeds - Bob and Vi Grove, Shoal Lake District 9 (Beausejour): True North Packers (formerly Plains Processors) District 10 (Arborg): Arborg Livestock Supplies District 11 (Ashern): Noventis Credit Union District 12 (Eddystone): Dauphin - Ste. Rose Veterinary Clinic District 14 (Durban): Swan Valley Consumers Co-op - Ag Division

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 5

DISTRICT 9

DISTRICT 13

DISTRICT 14

R.M. of Albert, Cameron, Whitewater, Edward, Brenda, Winchester, Morton

R.M. of Elton, North Cypress, North Norfolk, Cornwallis, Oakland, South Cypress, Victoria, South Norfolk

R.M. of Woodlands, Rockwood, St. Andrews, Rosser, St. Francis Xavier, Springfield, Tache, Whitemouth, Lac du Bonnet, Brokenhead, St. Clements, LGD of Alexander, Pinawa

R.M. of Shell River, Shellmouth,Hillsburg, Boulton, Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Ethelbert, Mossey River, Dauphin,LGD Park

R.M. of Minitonas, Swan River, Mountain, The Pas

TED ARTZ

DISTRICT 2

Dave Koslowsky

R.M. of Riverside, Strathcona, Argyle, Lorne, Turtle Mountain, Roblin, Louise, Pembina

RAMONA BLYTH - SEcretary

DISTRICT 6

TreVOR ATCHISON - President

R.M. of Wallace, Woodworth, Daly, Pipestone, Sifton, Whitehead, Glenwood

VACANT

DISTRICT 10

Theresa zuk - treasurer

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 7

R.M. of Bifrost, Gimli, Fisher, Armstrong

R.M. of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, Grey, MacDonald, Dufferin, Thompson, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland, Montcalm

R.M. of Russell, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice, Birtle, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Archie, Miniota, Hamiota, Blanshard

DISTRICT 11

DISTRICT 4

glen campbell

Cheryl McPherson

HEINZ REIMER - Vice President

R.M. of Richot, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, La Broquerie, Franklin, Stuartburn, Piney, LGD Reynolds

Larry Gerelus

DISTRICT 8

R.M. of Harrison, Clanwilliam, Rosedale, Glenella, Saskatchewan, Odanah, Minto, Langford, Landsdowne, Westbourne, LGD Park

Caron Clarke

R.M. of Siglunes, Grahamdale, Eriksdale, Coldwell, St. Laurent

DISTRICT 12

bill murray

R.M. of Lawrence, Ochre River, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa

BEN FOX

Manitoba Beef Producers 154 Paramount Road Winnipeg, MB R2X 2w3

Ph: 1-800-772-0458

stan foster

Ray Armbruster - Past President

policy analyst Maureen Cousins

communications coordinator Kristen Lucyshyn

finance

PH - (204) 772-4542 FX - (204) 774-3264 info@mbbeef.ca www.mbbeef.ca

executive assistant

GENERAL MANAGER

CATTLE COUNTRY EDITOR

Cam Dahl

Deb Walger Esther Reimer

Shannon Savory

designed by

Cody Chomiak

www.mbbeef.ca


December 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

3

Cattle industry hails EU free trade agreement Ron Friesen A landmark trade agreement between Canada and Europe has given Canadian cattle producers something they have long wanted—a foothold in the lucrative European beef market. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) will give producers duty free access to 64,950 tonnes of beef, valued at nearly $600 million, once the deal is fully ratified. Although part of the volume will be shared with the United States, a 50,000 tonne quota is reserved for Canada alone. That includes 35,000 tonnes of fresh and chilled beef, plus 15,000 tonnes of frozen beef. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) hailed the deal as a major step forward for its producers, who up to now have been nearly shut out of the European beef market. “We did well to get to where we got,” said Martin Unrau, CCA president. “We got something that was workable. We’re happy with it.” Canada and the European Union (EU) jointly announced CETA on October 18, 2013. It is a wide-ranging trade agreement affecting a host of services and commodities, including beef and pork.

However, the deal is only an agreement in principle and has a long way to go before Canadian beef starts heading for Europe’s shores. Canada and the EU have a year to hammer out a technical agreement to recognize each other’s packing plants and food safety protocols as equivalent. They must also develop a protocol for establishing that Canadian beef is free of hormones, betaagonists and other growth promotants, which are not permitted in Europe. CETA has to be officially ratified by the federal government and the provinces, as well as EU member nations. It is believed that, at best, Canadian duty-free beef will not start going to Europe until some time in 2016. But industry officials do not see that as a problem. In fact, they say, it will give Canadian producers and the industry time to get things in order so they can hit the ground running when European doors finally do open. John Masswohl, CCA’s government and international relations director, said some producers raise hormone-free beef right now, only they do not document it as such. Having an official verification system in place will give those producers a leg up on their competitors once the trade deal is fully in effect, he said.

The other important step will be to get the Europeans to recognize Canada’s meat inspection system as equivalent to their own. That is critical because most Canadian plants use anti-microbial interventions, such as acid washes on beef carcasses, for food safety purposes. Europe generally does not allow those procedures. At present, only two Canadian plants, both in Alberta, meet EU standards for both hormonefree beef and food safety protocols. As a result, very little beef is sold to Europe, even though there are quotas that theoretically allow it. According to Canfax Research Services, Canada exported only 386 tonnes of beef to the EU in 2012. But the agreement to work toward harmonizing technical barriers means Canada can start exporting beef under existing quotas even before CETA is fully implemented, said Masswohl. There are currently two quotas Canada can use to export beef to the EU, although they are underutilized because of high in-quota tariffs and technical barriers. The so-called Hilton quota, implemented in 1997, consists of 14,950 tonnes (carcass weight) shared between Canada and the U.S. It has a duty rate of 20 per cent, which will be reduced to zero under CETA.

A second quota, created by the World Trade Organization after the EU refused to accept a ruling against its hormone ban, currently stands at 48,200 tonnes with no duty. Six countries, including Canada (which holds a share of 3,200 tonnes), qualify for it. “If we can get the technical barriers out of the way, we are up and running even before the agreement gets implemented,” Masswohl said. All beef going to the EU will still have to be hormone-free. But Masswohl said meat from calves born this spring could qualify for export under existing quotas if technical issues can be resolved. It costs producers an extra 20 per cent to raise cattle to slaughter weight without using hormone

implants. But Masswohl said the high value of beef going to Europe will more than make up for the additional expense. CCA estimates beef exports to the EU under CETA will fetch $11 a kg (fresh) and $6 a kg (frozen). Currently, Canada’s highest value market is Japan, which averages around $6 a kg. The EU will import high end cuts, which means only about 100 kg of a carcass will qualify for export. Still, CCA expects Canada will need to produce 500,000 head per year under the EU protocol to fill the quota. Unrau said there is no rush right now to find those extra cattle because the Canadian herd is still rebuilding after years of consolidation.

He described CETA as a long-term deal that will help in the effort to increase Canada’s beef cattle herd. Unrau said CCA had hoped for a higher quota initially. But to critics who suggest the deal is more sizzle than steak, Unrau said the 64,950 tonnes is better than the 40,000 tonne figure rumoured last spring as the amount the EU was willing to offer. Even more important is the fact that both sides are committed to synchronizing food safety systems so they can be recognized as equivalent, said Unrau. “That was at the top of CCA’s list,” he said. Unrau said the federal government has assured CCA it will make achieving equivalency a high priority.

Important Important Changes Changes to to thethe Farmland Farmland School School TaxTax Rebate Rebate What What theythey mean mean to farmland to farmland owners owners

As partAsofpart the of Manitoba the Manitoba government’s government’s ongoing ongoing commitment commitment to support to support the rural the rural economy economy and provide and provide tax relief taxto relief farm tofamilies, farm families, you are you eligible are eligible to receive to receive up to up to an 80% anrebate 80% rebate of the of school the school taxes levied taxes levied on your onManitoba your Manitoba farmland. farmland. Here are Here some are of some the of recent the recent changes changes to theto rebate: the rebate: New deadline New deadline for 2011, for 2011, 2012 and 2012 2013 and rebates 2013 rebates – – • • Your deadline Your deadline to apply to apply is nowisMarch now March 31, 2014. 31, 2014.

• •

RebateRebate application application forms forms can becan downloaded be downloaded online.online.

Applying for thefor 2010 the rebate 2010 rebate – Your–deadline Your deadline to apply to apply is December is December 31, 2013. 31, 2013. • Applying Changes to theto 2013 the rebate 2013 rebate – Budget – Budget 2013 introduced 2013 introduced • Changes more changes more changes starting starting with the with 2013 theproperty 2013 property tax year: tax year:

» the rebate » the rebate will bewill available be available only toonly owners to owners of eligible of eligible farmland farmland who who are Manitoba are Manitoba residents residents » the annual » the annual rebaterebate is limited is limited to $5,000 to $5,000 per applicant per applicant and their andspouses, their spouses, common-law common-law partners partners and controlled and controlled corporations corporations

Applying • Applying for thefor 2013 the rebate 2013 rebate – If you – If received you received a rebate a rebate for 2012, for 2012, an application an application was mailed was mailed to youto inyou October in October 2013. 2013.

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4

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

The views expressed in Cattle Country do not necessarily reflect the position of the Manitoba Beef Producers. We believe in free speech and encourage all contributors to voice their opinion.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

TAILGATE TALK Industry Issues Roundup

Trevor Atchison Winter seems to have arrived again in Manitoba, as we know it always does. I know around our outfit, though, we never seem to be quite ready. From the reports I hear, others are getting ready for winter by the number of calves heading through sale barns in recent weeks. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cows going through the same process, which does not bode well for the herd size in Manitoba. There are many factors causing this. I have discussed this issue in previous columns but it is a topic of conversation anywhere beef producers are in a crowd, and also at every level of the industry. I think that recently it has become clearer that the reasons behind more herds being sold relate to the demographics of producers, coupled with high commodity prices for grains and oilseeds. “Cowboys” have been retiring out of the cattle business probably since it began. This is nothing new. Land transition has also happened in the past. The current trend is to switch from grass to grain, but looking back, I recall the trend was switching from grain to grass. This was not all that long ago, actually.

The issue is less about the producers who are getting out of beef and more to do with not many new ones coming in. If you are in the cattle business, you are seeing this. That is why one of Manitoba Beef Producers’ (MBP) goals is to level the playing field between the livestock sector and the grain farming sector. It has taken awhile to get there and we are not all the way there yet, but with the introduction of the new forage insurance programs and the development of pasture insurance, this will even out the production side of the equation. On the pricing side, MBP was very pleased to hear price insurance mentioned in the recent Speech from the Throne. This also has been something MBP has been asking for, for some time, and we await the roll-out of this much-needed program. As I mentioned, this program will help level the playing field much more than anything in the past. MBP staff and directors have recently finished the 2013 round of district meetings across Manitoba. I thank all of the producers who attended and spoke up to give input into their association. Taking a

look at this year’s and last year’s attendance, we see that it is up by about 10 per cent and support in general for MBP remains very strong. I believe the reason for this is the process by which MBP operates—taking your input through resolutions and acting on them on your behalf. I am pleased that there was quorum at all 14 district meetings and that the three districts with elections this year had nominees come forward. This means that each district will be represented at the table for 2014-15. The new directors will be introduced at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Included in this issue of Cattle Country are the resolutions that were moved and carried at each district meeting. I encourage producers to read through them and if you have questions or comments, plan to bring them forward at the AGM in Brandon, February 4-5, 2014. If you need more information or have questions ahead of time, please call the office to speak with your director or myself at 1-800-7720458 and we will do our best to answer your questions. In my previous column I spoke about the initial stages of a national

strategic plan, or review, of the beef industry. The first few meetings have been held and we are seeing progress; plans are moving ahead. The aim is to build a framework for the entire industry chain to better communicate, work together and create efficiencies where needed to maximize the check-off dollars you invest, which enable your beef associations to work on your behalf. All but two provincial industry organizations attended. Although these organizations are spread throughout the country, many of them share common issues, concerns and road blocks. MBP will continue to attend these sessions in order to bring Manitoba’s interests to the forefront. On the issue of community pastures, many patrons of the first five community pastures that closed (and those who use the next five slated to close in March 2014) are still waiting for information about how community pastures will operate in 2014 and beyond. The Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) steering committee and MBP are also awaiting answers. We are eager to receive a reply to our request to keep the process moving but to date

Merry Christmas from the Manitoba Angus Association Thank you to the Angus customers and consumers of 2013!

Big sister Reese welcomes new addition, Wyatt.

New baby Wyatt Ellice Atchison, born on November 14.

we have not received this from the provincial government. It is my hope that by the time this paper hits your mailbox, there will be news. What we want to see is that the pastures will be operating under an umbrella group well into the future. In closing, I would like to announce that my wife Melissa, daughter Reese and I are happy to have a new addition to our family: our son Wyatt Ellice

Atchison born on November 14! Everyone is doing great. I hope all producers will be able to take some time to relax and enjoy the upcoming holidays. As always, please remember to stay safe and make sure everyone working and living on the farm stays safe too during this busy time. Merry Christmas from my family to yours! I look forward to seeing you all at the AGM in February.

Season’s Greetings

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www.mbbeef.ca


December 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY

5

GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN

MY SIDE OF THE FENCE Keeping Manitoba Beef Producers Relevant

CAM DAHL

KEY POINTS

The greatest risk to the long run sustainability of agriculture associations is not flawed government policy or a cataclysmic event in the industry. No, the greatest threat to the longevity of associations like Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is a loss of connection and relevancy to its membership. It is not difficult to see why farm groups lose touch with their members. Both board and staff can get caught up in the day-to-day struggle with ill-conceived or absent government policy. We spend a lot of time designing and re-designing government programs, industry initiatives, market development, research and the latest trends in both the electronic and traditional media. If you raise beef in Manitoba, MBP is your voice and your organization. If we are going to be a successful organization we need to hear directly from our members. What are we doing right? What key policy areas might not be getting enough attention? Is the organization off track on some matters? This conversation with producers must be renewed on a regular basis if we, as an association, are to be successful in both the short-run and long. So, what are MBP’s priority areas? What have we been spending our time and effort on? How is MBP doing? Getting feedback on these questions is a key reason why I always look forward to my annual trek across Manitoba to attend each of the 14 district meetings held by MBP. I was very pleased with the number of producers who took the time to come out this busy season. Thank you to you all. The resolutions that will be debated at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Brandon, February 4 to 5, 2014, are published on page 11. Please take time to review the positions and suggestions brought forward by your fellow beef producers. We hope you will attend the AGM to vote on the resolutions coming out of the district meetings. This direct contact with producers helps keep the whole association,

• Staying connected with members is a top priority of MBP. • In order to be successful, MBP also needs to hear from its members; what are we doing right? What policies need more attention? • The role of the government was a big topic of discussion at the recent district meetings. • Government investment in research can have a big payoff for the agriculture industry. including me, grounded on the issues that matter most to the people who matter most: the beef producers of Manitoba. Come out. Tell us how we are doing and where we can improve. MBP’s ongoing work with governments was one of the things we talked about at the district meetings. The role that governments should, and should not, play in our industry has likely been a topic of discussion since the Selkirk Settlers first brought cattle to what is now Manitoba. I believe government has a role to play in ensuring the ongoing stability and viability of agriculture because it is so important to both urban and rural Manitoba. For example, governments should be there when natural disasters threaten to drive producers off the land. The 2011 flood is just one example of a case

If you raise beef in Manitoba, MBP is your voice and your organization. where it is in society’s best interest for government to step in to ensure that this critical industry can thrive in the future. That is an issue we are still working on. I also strongly support government investment in research. This is because taxpayers get a very high rate of return when government dollars are invested in agriculture research. Governments also have a role to play in insurance programs, like effective forage insurance or a livestock price insurance program. These are two areas in particular that have been a focus for MBP. Governments also have a responsibility to help Canadians secure access to international markets and to protect our industry from protectionist measures, like mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) or pseudo-heath concerns that are only thinly veiled attempts to block trade. All levels of government have a role to play in the management of disease, for example, bovine tuberculosis in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). Disaster relief, investment in research, insurance programs and ensuring access to markets are all priority areas where MBP is lobbying on your behalf. But ensuring the viability of beef production in Manitoba is not just a job

IN MEMORY Major Jay Fox

for governments; the industry itself has key roles to play as well. Your check-off dollars go towards research, often triggering a matching investment from governments to help ensure a maximum return on your investment. Producer funds are also used in the promotion of the Canadian beef brand, both internationally and here at home. Canada and the U.S. are still our biggest markets. We are striving to increase the sale of Canadian beef outside of North America, but we can not forget our best customers. How is the beef industry

responding to emerging trends in the domestic market? For example, how do we answer the question: “Where does my food come from?” This is why MBP and our sister organizations across Canada continue to develop and promote the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program. VBP allows producers to quantitatively demonstrate that they are following the best practices on their ranch. Two-thirds of Canada’s beef now comes from cattle operations that have been trained under VBP. The program is in the early stages of exploring

add-on modules for biosecurity, animal care and environmental stewardship. The addition of these modules will help those producers who want a further opportunity to differentiate Canadian beef from the rest of the world. Agriculture is a key driver for the Manitoba economy and a large chunk of our GDP. Agriculture is also a key driver of innovation and technology innovationdevelopments that are often adapted by society at large. The industry supports thousands of jobs in our urban centres, such as Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage la Prairie. Agriculture is the backbone of our rural communities. We need to work together to ensure that this critical primary industry remains headed in the right direction.

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CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

MASC Unveils New Forage Insurance Programs Recent years have frustrated Manitoba’s forage and livestock producers, with good crops in some years and others mired in excess moisture or drought (or both). Those difficult years have sometimes left producers scrambling to find overwinter feed for their livestock. In response, the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) has overhauled its forage programming, unveiling the all-new 2014 Forage Insurance. Flexible and affordable, MASC Forage Insurance offers Select Hay Insurance for producers wanting maximum insurance protection; Basic Hay Insurance for producers wanting a lower cost whole-farm alternative; and several additional coverage options and benefits that give added value to Forage Insurance. MASC Forage Insurance covers five different hay types (alfalfa, alfalfagrass mixtures, grasses, sweet clover and coarse hay). One new feature of Forage Insurance is considering the age of a forage stand. New stands of alfalfa, alfalfa-grass and grasses (four years old or less) are more productive than older stands (older than four years), and are now assigned higher long-term average yields (Probable Yields, or PY) than older stands. MASC’s six forage regions also account for production variances by geographic area. Select Hay Insurance provides production and

quality guarantees on all five different hay types. Each hay type is insured separately and producers may individually select 70 or 80 per cent coverage for each type, with no offsetting between types for coverage and claim calculations. If your stands of grasses produce less than your guaranteed coverage, you will receive an indemnity for the grasses shortfall, even if your stands of other hay types produce higher than their respective coverage guarantees. Also, coverage is changing from an Individual Productivity Index (IPI) system to an Individual Coverage (IC) system that will be more responsive to each producer’s actual yield. Basic Hay Insurance offers lower cost, wholefarm production coverage on the same five hay types, with one coverage level of 80 per cent and a choice between high dollar ($55 per tonne) and low dollar ($33 per tonne) coverage (based on 2013 prices). To keep the premium cost reasonable, there is no quality guarantee. For coverage purposes, each hay type has its own PY but all hay types are combined into an aggregate yield for claim calculations. If a producer experiences an overall production shortfall, he will receive an indemnity equal to the shortfall amount (in tonnes) at the dollar value selected. Along with a choice of Select Hay Insurance or Basic Hay Insurance, MASC Forage Insurance offers additional coverage

options that can be tailored to fit an individual’s needs. Producers who insure alfalfa under Select Hay Insurance can also top up their quality coverage with the Enhanced Quality Option, which provides a higher Relative Feed Value (RFV) guarantee. If a producer’s actual alfalfa RFV falls below the guaranteed RFV, an indemnity is calculated: select hay alfalfa acres x coverage (tonnes) x RFV shortfall x dollar value (for 2014, the dollar value is set at $0.90 per RFV-tonne). In each claim-free year, a producer’s probable RFV increases by five points to a maximum of 150, and in each claim year a producer’s probable RFV decreases by five points (minimum RFV 115). Producers who insure coarse hay (stands comprised of native hay species and other types of hay not included in the other specific categories) can sometimes find themselves unable to harvest any production due to wet conditions at harvest time. To protect against this, producers who insure coarse hay can select the Harvest Flood Option. The Harvest Flood Option offers producers two levels of coverage: $20 per acre (low dollar) or $35 per acre (high dollar). A base deductible of 20 per cent is subtracted from the acres too wet to harvest and then the amount of remaining acres is multiplied by the selected dollar value. For example, in 2014, if a producer has 100 acres that are not able

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to be harvested due to excess moisture, the 20 per cent deductible is applied (100 acres – 20 acres) and the remainder is multiplied by the selected dollar value (80 x $35 = $2,800). The Harvest Flood Option deductible individualizes over time, based on whether a producer has a claim or not. In a claim year, the deductible will increase by 10 per cent, but will decrease 10 per cent in a non-claim year. Pasture Insurance is available to producers enrolled in Basic Hay Insurance, as well as producers enrolled in Select Hay Insurance who have selected the same coverage level for each hay type (i.e. all 70 per cent or all 80 per cent). The same level of coverage selected for Basic Hay Insurance or Select Hay Insurance is used for Pasture Insurance, so if a producer has a 15 per cent shortfall in production compared to their Select Hay

Insurance coverage, the producer will be paid for 15 per cent of their Pasture Insurance coverage. Producers enrolled in Select Hay Insurance or Basic Hay Insurance automatically receive additional benefits at no extra cost. The Forage Restoration Benefit will compensate producers who suffer losses on hay or forage seed crops due to excess moisture on or before October 1. Compensation is provided to help cover the cost of establishing a new forage stand. Lastly, the Hay Disaster Benefit compensates producers for the increased cost of purchasing and transporting replacement hay when there is a severe province-wide forage crop loss. Meant to reduce the need for future emergency assistance programming, the Hay Disaster Benefit is triggered when there is a significant provincial hay yield loss (i.e. more than 20 per cent

of insured producers report yields of less than 50 per cent of the long-term provincial average), and the producer has a claim under Select Hay Insurance or Basic Hay Insurance. When triggered, the Hay Disaster Benefit will pay $40 per tonne of the shortfall in production on a producer’s claim. MASC’s Forage Insurance offers a comprehensive risk management tool for livestock and forage producers that is both flexible and affordable. To see how Forage Insurance can work for you, visit www.masc.mb.ca/ forages and use the Forage Insurance Calculator to simulate different scenarios. The calculator provides an estimate of the applicable premiums and coverages for the various available program options. For more details on how to apply for Forage Insurance, visit your local MASC Insurance office.

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8

CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

Competing For Land There is a lot of competition for land these days, which is driving up prices and making it harder for younger producers to find and purchase land of their own.

Who You Know

Quite often, it is a case of who you know when it comes to getting land. More often than not, young farmers rely on family, friends or neighbours to rent or sell them land. “A lot of the land that I have bought or am renting is all through family,” says 26-year-old Brett McRae, who raises cattle south west of Brandon and bought his first section of land from an uncle. If that is not an option, they need to be “in the know” about who is retiring or likely to be selling in the near future and then move fast to get ahead of the competitors. Otherwise they risk finding the land they have had their eye on literally scooped from under their noses. “You don’t have to go very far to hear the horror stories of land prices that are ridiculous and of guys fighting over land,” says McRae. “Around here, it doesn’t seem that bad yet though.” Part of the problem is that, increasingly, land is being purchased by outside investors who, stinging from recent downturns in the stock market, see farm land as a good, secure investment. A buoyant grain cycle is another factor. With good grain and oilseed prices over the last few years, grain farmers have more cash to buy land outright or come up with large down payments, says Terry Betker of Backswath Management. “They are basing some of their decisions on how much they can pay for land on the historic ability to generate cash flow,” he says. “Right now, it is hard for a young cattle farmer to compete with some of these young grain farmers.” Amanda Woychyshyn (26) and her husband Greg (32) have just started looking around for some land to purchase and already know it is going to be tough to find anything in their area, north of Minnedosa. They already have 50 head of commercial and purebred Simmental cows but need to expand now that the cattle producer they were

working for is getting out of the business. “We will be looking mainly for cattle ground but if anything is dual purpose or can be torn up and used for grain land it raises the price right up,” says Amanda. “There is a lot of competition between the Hutterite colonies and we have got some bigger grain farms too, and those kinds of guys you just can’t compete with because they are going to go out and pay whatever they want to get land.”

Finding the Money

Finding available land is one thing; buying it is another. It is not always easy for young cattle producers starting out to get financing for land from banks and credit unions. Inflated land prices can make it hard for young producers to come up with the down payment and to pencil in numbers that make sense to a bank and prove that they can service the debt. “In a lot of situations the price of land has outstripped the earning ability of the land to pay for itself, so to have the productivity of that land make the payments is really difficult,” says Betker. “Young producers do not have a lot of history, so proving debt serviceability is a challenge.” McRae has not applied for a loan to purchase land yet, although he is aware that it may be a challenge, given his experience with obtaining an operating line. “I went in this year to get an operating loan and it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be,” he says. “Maybe that is just my perception of it but what I am finding so far is that with loans for cattle and so on, there are so many different variables that are harder to pencil out with cattle. With grain it is pretty easy—I put in my fertilizer, seed, chemical, fuel and I get so much a bushel for it and there are so many bushels an acre and there is your margin. With cattle, I have to winter them, pasture them, feed them and everything varies so much on how you do things and the price when you go to sell them.” Manitoba Beef Producers’ President, Trevor Atchison, says the new forage insurance program recently announced by the Manitoba government is a step in the right direction to help provide

young cattle producers with some backstop insurance to help them get the financing they need, but more is needed. “If we have the forage insurance program and get the cattle price insurance that the industry has been lobbying for, those two components will add to the ability of producers to borrow money because the insurance coverage will cover the payments if they have a bad year, just as it does for grain farmers,” says Atchison.

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Angela Lovell

Building Relationships

Amanda and Greg Woychyshyn both grew up on cattle farms and already have a business plan and a track record that they hope will stand them in good stead when they do find some land and need a loan to purchase it. “It is not as if we are starting from scratch and know nothing about the business,” says Amanda. “We both have 20 Greg and Amanda Woychyshyn. plus years under our belts. Brett McRae. We have got a really good cow base started that we have built up over the last 10 years, so we are hoping that the bank will decide that we are a good candidate.” Building a relationship with the banker is a vital component for young people, and not one that 1. Have a plan. Identify producers in the area that may be retiring soon and start to build a relationship with them. Make your intentions clear; that is always easy to do, says you are interested in purchasing their land and let them get to know you Betker. “In general, banks better. look for collateral, like security; they look for cash 2. Watch the grain market carefully. If it starts to go sideways or soften there flow and the ability to will be some landowners who will want to sell before land prices drop. It make the payments; but may be a good time to make a move. they also look for character, which is basically 3. Collaborate with other producers in the area who you know and trust to the lender’s opinion about try and help everyone achieve their goals. Perhaps you can agree which the management ability land you are interested in and will not compete for, and which is up for of the loan applicant, the grabs to everyone. young farmer,” he says. “If they trust the person, 4. Put as much money as you can into productive units, like cattle. If you can make a margin on a cow, the more cows you have the more margin they have a good relationyou will make. ship with them and they believe in their management ability, they will go 5. Try to accumulate as much cash as possible for a down payment, because cash in the bank is more attractive to a lender than equity. beyond what might be normally acceptable.” 6. Build as much working capital as you can and use off-farm income if you The problem is that need to. Given the volatility of agriculture, having liquidity is going to be most times the banker’s increasingly important. primary relationship is with the young farmer’s 7. As part of the business plan have a component for management parents, and so it is temptdevelopment. Identify what areas you need to improve on and select ing for the young guy to courses to take to help fill the gaps and commit to ongoing management want to try and benefit development. from that relationship, but, advises Betker, it may 8. Have some professional resources identified. Even if you are not using them all at the moment, know who your accountant, lawyer, veterinarian, be better if he or she goes agronomist, consultants and marketing people are going to be. to see the banker alone. “The young producer has got to create his or her 9. Check out the new Growing Forward II programming through Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. There are a lot of programs own relationship,” he says. for young farmers to help with business strategy and planning, financing “They have got to come in and other areas. and present themselves as being capable. They 10. Social media is a valuable asset. Use it to make connections and should have a plan and an relationships that may help. idea where they see themselves, and be able to ar- (Thank you to Terry Betker, Backswath Management, for help creating this list). ticulate that to the banker.

Tips for Finding and Buying Land for Young Producers

www.mbbeef.ca


December 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY I think that would make a significant difference.” There are also a lot of programs these days aimed at young farmers. An example is Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) Transition Loan program, which assists young producers between the ages of 18 and 39 with purchasing land or assets. The seller is paid in disbursements over five years and FCC guarantees the full sale price to the seller. Interest is charged only on the amount disbursed and FCC will, if the purchaser qualifies, finance the down payment for up to seven years. The purchaser can choose to make interest-only payments to improve cash flow or principal-plusinterest payments to help build equity. “We have heard from good friends of ours who have gone in with these programs and it definitely helps them to get going,” says Amanda. “If you are not paying as much interest in the first few years

and want to apply it to circle who you think might Regardless of the chalyour operation it helps be interested in retiring lenges, the Woychyshyns give it a boost.” in the next few years and and McRae remain optithen start to build a rela- mistic that they will get the Making tionship with these peo- land they need eventually. Connections ple,” says Betker. “I know “I might not get it for the The Transition Loan cases where the young price I want but eventually is designed to help young farmer has been able to I think I will get some land producers but it also makes make a workable deal with somewhere,” says McRae. it more tax effective for someone who just re“There is going to be farmers selling their land ally would rather sell it to something out there and by receiving payments them and see a young guy there are people who are defiover time instead of a lump on a neighbourhood farm nitely willing to help us,” says sum. The good news is that than investment people Amanda. “We are not going many retiring farmers re- come in.” to get left out in the cold.” ally want to sell to young producers in the area, but the problem is, they do not always know they are there or looking for land. “I have heard from different guys that have sold that they didn’t want to sell to these big corporate guys because they know young people will never see the land again if they sell to them,” says Amanda. Young producers should do their homework about The RE/MAX Market Trends Report: Farm Edition who is likely to be selling 2013 says the price of farmland in southwestern in the area and not be shy Manitoba rose by more than nine per cent in the about approaching them, last year, from an average of $1,200 to $1,500 per advises Betker. “Get the acre, to $1,350 to $1,600 per acre. municipal maps out and

DID YOU KNOW?

PUBLISHED BY MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS

DECEMBER 2013

JEANNETTE GREAVES

New

segregation requirements even more stringent, could affect prices by up to $100 a • Tyson Foods Inc. will head, Masswohl said. no longer buy finished Tyson’s announcement Canadian cattle. has put Harvey Dann, a • Company Manitoba cattle buyer, out spokesperson calls of business. Dann, who COOL requirements to together with his daughidentify steps along ter Jackie owns Alert production chain Agri-Distributors Inc., impractical. has bought local cattle for Tyson since 1985. He • Company will shipped his last load to the continue to buy U.S. on October 17. Canadian calves for But Dann says Tyson is U.S. feedlots. not to blame. “It is the U.S. adminissaid John Masswohl, the tration not honouring their Canadian Cattlemen’s As- deal through the World sociation’s (CCA) govern- Trade Organization. You’ve ment and international re- got a protectionist adminlations director. istration. That’s all it is. I CCA estimates the pre- don’t blame the company vious COOL rule, which one bit,” he said. required packers to sepaOriginally implemented rate foreign-born animals in March 2009, COOL refrom U.S. livestock, de- quired meat and certain pressed Canadian prices other foods to be labeled by $25 to $40 a head. The according to their country new rule, which makes of origin.

KEY POINTS

This created a hassle for packing plants, which were forced to keep U.S. and foreign livestock separate in order to comply. This resulted in major price discounts for Canadian cattle and pigs. Some U.S. plants stopped buying Canadian animals altogether. In 2012, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled COOL unfairly discriminated against Canadian and Mexican animals. It ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to revise COOL to bring it into compliance with international trade rules. USDA published its revised rule on May 23, 2013. But to the dismay of Canada and Mexico, which brought the original WTO challenge, the new rule is even tougher. The previous rule allowed plants to mix meat from U.S. and Canadian

animals and label it as “Product of the U.S. and Canada.” But the new rule requires country of origin identification for each step along the production chain. Labels must now say “Born in Canada, Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.” or “Born in Canada, Raised in the U.S., Slaughtered in the U.S.” Tyson calls the new requirement impractical. “Unfortunately, we don’t have enough warehousing capacity to accommodate the proliferation of products requiring different types of labels due to this regulation,” Worth Sparkman, a Tyson spokesperson, was quoted as saying. “As a result, we have discontinued buying cattle shipped to our U.S. beef plants directly from Canada, effective mid-October.” Tyson says it will continue buying Canadian calves for U.S. feedlots.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from MBP’s Directors and staff. Have a safe and happy holiday season! Continued on page 2

The next issue of Cattle Country will be out in February. Don’t miss your chance to showcase your products and services in this issue! Contact the MBP office for more information. 204-772-4542 ereimer@mbbeef.ca

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Competing for Land Page 8

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RON FRIESEN Manitoba producers’ worst fears about the new U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule are coming true after an American meat packing giant stopped buying Canadian slaughter cattle this fall. Tyson Foods Inc. announced in October 2013 it will no longer buy finished Canadian cattle because of the high cost of complying with COOL. Tyson is the third largest buyer of cattle in the U.S. and used to purchase 3,000 Canadian cattle a week. Its decision is expected to send shock waves through the market and cause Canadian cattle producers to take a severe hit on prices. “When you take a significant buyer like Tyson out of the marketplace, you really challenge the ability to get true price discovery,”

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MAKING CALVING LESS STRESSFUL AND MORE PROFITABLE!


10 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

EVENT INFORMATION February 4 to 5, 2014 • Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre 3550 Victoria Avenue • Brandon, MB Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) looks forward to meeting with its members at the upcoming 35th Annual General Meeting. Whether you are a beef producer or in the feedlot sector, this event is geared to you. The meeting is an opportunity to engage with MBP directors and fellow producers, debate issues that affect your bottom line and set policy that will impact the future of your industry. We encourage all producers and beef industry stakeholders to attend.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4

MORNING Breakout Sessions • Revised Beef Code of Practice: What Does it Mean for You? • New Forage Insurance Programs Tradeshow opens at 11 a.m. Lunch for Registered Guests AFTERNOON MBP Business • Reports from the President and General Manager • Financial Report Resolutions • MBP members set policy direction for 2014-2015

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5

MORNING Panel • What Does Sustainability Mean for Our Social License and the Future of Beef Marketing and Production? Updates from National Organizations • Canadian Cattlemen’s Association • National Cattle Feeders’ Association • Canada Beef Inc. • Canadian Cattle Identification Agency

YOU’RE

INVITED! 35th Anniversary President’s Banquet Imperial Ballroom, Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre, Brandon Evening of Feb. 4, 2014 All beef producers and agriculture stakeholders are invited to join us for this exciting event. Tickets are $50 each in advance. *Banquet ticket is included with a full meeting registration

Featuring: • Reception • Grand Roast Beef Buffet • Awards • Keynote Speaker: Bruce Vincent, Libby, Montana

Update from Bovine TB Co-ordinator *Adjournment at 12:15 p.m. A Verified Beef Production Workshop will be held at 1 p.m. All producers are welcome.

President’s Banquet

“With Vision, There Is Hope” Ag Advocacy as a business line item

Tickets available by calling MBP at 1-800-772-0458 or order online at www.mbbeef.ca.

M ANI TOBA BEEF P R O D U CE R S 35 TH ANNUA L GENERAL MEETING

R EG I S TE R ONL INE AT W WW.M BBEEF.C A O R M A I L O R FAX YOU R R EGI S T R AT I ON TO DAY! EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION $75 PER PERSON

PERSON 1: q EARLY BIRD $75 q GENERAL $90

• Must be purchased by Friday, January 3, 2014 at 4 p.m.

NAME:__________________________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50).

ADDRESS: _______________________________________________________

• Non-refundable.

POSTAL CODE: ___________________________________________________

Book early to get your best value!

q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40

CITY/TOWN: _____________________________________________________ PHONE: _________________________________________________________

MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 PER PERSON

FAX: ____________________________________________________________ EMAIL: _________________________________________________________

GENERAL REGISTRATION $90 PER PERSON - AFTER JAN. 3

PERSON 2 (IF REQUIRED): q EARLY BIRD $75________________ q MEETING ONLY (NO BANQUET) $40 q GENERAL $90 q YOUNG PRODUCER *Complimentary with mentor’s registration

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). • Non-refundable.

NAME: __________________________________________________________ NEW! YOUNG PRODUCER MENTORSHIP OFFER

ADDRESS: _______________________________________________________

• MBP members are encouraged to mentor and register a young producer (ages 18 to 39).

CITY/TOWN: _____________________________________________________

• The young producer receives a complimentary registration with a mentor’s registration.

PHONE: _________________________________________________________

• Package includes admission to all MBP meetings, lunch on February 4, coffee breaks, 1 FREE Banquet ticket (value: $50). MAKE CHEQUE PAYABLE TO: Manitoba Beef Producers 154 Paramount Road, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2W3 PHONE: 1-800-772-0458 FAX: 204-774-3264

RESERVE A ROOM: Call the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre toll free: 1-800-852-2710 Quote booking number: 248089

POSTAL CODE: ___________________________________________________ FAX: ____________________________________________________________ EMAIL: _________________________________________________________ EXTRA BANQUET TICKET NAME: __________________________________________________________ q BANQUET $50 *Banquet tickets are non-refundable.

www.mbbeef.ca

Addison Studios Photography www.AddisonStudios.com

35TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and president’s banquet


December 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 11

RESOLUTIONS FOR THE UPCOMING ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) held its 14 annual district meetings throughout the province in October and November. These meetings provided producer members with information about policies, issues and actions undertaken by MBP.

the refundability of the provincial check-off, such as those proposed in the following paragraphs, would also require amendments to the Cattle Producers Association Act and can not simply be realized by a vote of members at the AGM.

Following are the resolutions that have been proposed and carried at the MBP district meetings. Some districts are not listed because they chose not to bring forward resolutions to the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Note that some districts have adopted similar resolutions. These may be combined for debate and voting purposes at the AGM.

It is important to draw attention to a number of resolutions that deal with the provincial checkoff. If the members present at the AGM approve one of the resolutions that propose an increase in the check-off amount, the approved increase will come into effect July 1, 2014. There are also resolutions dealing with the refundability of the provincial check-off. Changes to

MBP has also published these resolutions online at www.mbbeef.ca to help ensure that beef producers in Manitoba are aware of the changes that have been proposed by members attending the district meetings. These resolutions will be voted on at the MBP Annual General Meeting, February 4-5, 2014 in Brandon. Please attend the meeting to vote.

District 2 - October 29, 2013 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers increase the provincial check-off by $1 per head.

District 10 - November 6, 2013 1. Whereas “night lighting” (*See note) poses a significant safety issue for both people and livestock in rural Manitoba.

District 4 - November 8, 2013 1. Whereas the reclassification of anaplasmosis by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will result in decreased surveillance and support to producers; and

Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship and the RCMP to ensure that regulations prohibiting “night lighting” are universally enforced throughout the province.

Whereas this disease can result in significant and ongoing costs for the beef industry.

Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to ensure that adequate surveillance, laboratory facilities and producer supports are in place to adequately deal with this disease. 2. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to amend the Cattle Producers Association Act to make the check-off non-refundable.

*Note: Night lighting is the illegal practice of hunting at night using lights.

2. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to lobby the Province of Manitoba for the policies and programs required to ensure the continuation of the Community Pasture Program in Manitoba. 3. Whereas rural Manitobans depend on a reliable power supply for their personal safety, as well as to ensure proper care for their animals; and

Whereas a lack of timely emergency repairs puts both people and livestock at risk.

District 5 - November 15, 2013 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers increase the provincial levy by $1 per head.

Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro to ensure that emergency services to rural Manitoba are improved from current levels.

2. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to change the refundability of the provincial check-off so that only 50 per cent of the check-off can be refunded.

District 11 - October 28, 2103 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba for full disclosure, transparency and accountability for the producer and government funds collected by the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council.

3. Whereas the Community Pasture Program provides an environmentally sustainable use of the land and the process has been provided to manage that land retaining the same principles.

Whereas the community pastures provide a valuable resource for the preservation of species at risk.

Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to remove the school tax rebate cap for the community pastures. District 6 - November 7, 2013 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers increase the provincial check-off $0.50 per head in 2013-14 and that there be another $0.50 per head increase in 2015/16.

2. Whereas elk can cause significant damage to crops and fences. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to issue more elk tags for game hunting in regions where elk are known to cause problems. 3. Whereas the Government of Manitoba made a commitment to fully compensate producers for losses incurred in the 2011 Lake Manitoba flood and for ongoing losses beyond 2011. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers remind the Government of Manitoba that this ongoing compensation has not been forthcoming; and

2. Whereas freeze-up and snowfall do not happen at the same time every year and;

Be it further resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to meet this commitment.

4. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to return all drainage inlets into Lake Manitoba to pre-2011 flood levels as is directed by The Emergency Measures Act.

Whereas Manitoba’s manure management regulations do not have adequate flexibility;

Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producer lobby the Government of Manitoba to build flexibility into manure management regulations to accommodate fluctuations in weather conditions. District 7 - November 18, 2013 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers increase the provincial levy by $1 per head. District 9 - November 13, 2013 1. Whereas the flooding of the Shoal lakes and Lake Manitoba caused significant damage to fence lines on both Crown and private land. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to provide support for the repair of these fence lines; and Be it further resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to take measures to ensure that lake levels remain below levels that caused the original damage.

District 12 - November 12, 2013 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby to have needleless injectors funded through the Growing Assurance – Food Safety On-Farm program under Growing Forward 2. 2. Whereas McDonalds is continuing to utilize 100 per cent Canadian Beef; Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers carry, free of charge, McDonald’s advertising in Cattle Country to show our appreciation for McDonald’s support. 3. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers demand a full accounting and audit of all the activities of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC), from the inception of the organization through to the end of the MCEC checkoff on September 1, 2013.

2. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers increase the provincial check-off by $1 per head.

District 13 - November 4, 2013 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers continue to lobby the federal and provincial governments for a $15 per head mustering fee to compensate producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) who participate in TB testing.

3. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba to provide the support necessary to continue the Community Pasture Program.

2. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the Government of Manitoba for full compensation, including the cost of raising an animal, for predation losses. 3. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers work to increase the understanding of the requirements for organic beef production. 4. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers provide services only for beef producers who are members in good standing of the association. District 14 - November 1, 2013 1. Be it resolved that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the federal and provincial governments to provide the RFID tags at no cost. Note: No resolutions in Districts 1, 3 and 8.

www.mbbeef.ca


12 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

Producers who were artificially flooded due to the operations of the Shellmouth Dam in 2011 and 2012 now have access to a provincial compensation program. The Shellmouth Dam Artificial Flooding Compensation Program is expected to help approximately 100 producers. The application deadline is February 6, 2014. To apply go to www.gov. mb.ca/emo/general/shellmouth.html. This website contains a link to the Shellmouth Dam Compensation Regulation under The Water Resources Administration Act. The regulation explains the claimant’s duties, along with details about compensation Funding to for property damage and Enhance Business economic loss. As well, it Management outlines the appeals process Practices New Forage if the claimant is not satisPrograms The new GF2 Growing MBP also welcomes the fied with the compensation Competitiveness Program federal and provincial gov- award. contains $1 million in fiernments’ support for the nancial assistance in 2013new AgriInsurance forage VBP Program 14 to help young Manitoba program for beef and forage Expanding producers enhance their producers. The Canadian Cattle- business management pracFor several years, MBP men’s Association (CCA) tices. has sought reforms to the has received $717,500 from The Next Generation suite of forage insurance the AgriMarketing Program program is available to proprograms to make them under Growing Forward 2 ducers aged 18 to 39 that, more workable and bank- (GF2) to develop new mod- within the past six months, able risk mitigation tools. ules for biosecurity, animal have completed both the Some enhancements to care and the environment in Gaining Ground Agribusithe forage insurance pro- the Verified Beef Production ness Assessment and a finangram include increased (VBP) Program, which is cial analysis with a MAFRD flexibility in the level of cov- the industry’s on-farm food Farm Business Management erage, individual coverage safety program. – Business Development Sperather than a regional ap“Canadian beef pro- cialist. proach, differentiated cover- ducers are good at raising Approved applicants will age for different forages and cattle and their use of cred- receive cost-shared funding mixes, and a disaster com- ible production practices to a maximum of $5,000 for ponent. Like crop insurance, reflect that care,” said CCA specified professional cona portion of the premium General Manager Rob sulting services, such as the costs will be paid by the fed- McNabb. “Adding impor- creation of business strateral and provincial govern- tant elements, like animal egy plans, human resources ments. care and environmental management plans or finanThe deadline to sign stewardship, to our indus- cial management plans. up for forage insurance is try-led on-farm program There is also a maximum March 31, 2014. provides our sector with of $7,500 available for speFor complete details see the ability to further man- cific skill development prothe article on page 6 of this age these areas and provide grams, such as videoconferedition of Cattle Country, visit choice for consumers.” ences, webinars, workshops www.masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/ MBP strongly supports and seminars. The Next program_forages.html or the expansion of the VBP Generation Catalogue procontact your local Mani- program and has, for sev- vides a rundown of eligible toba Agricultural Services eral months, been offering expenses. Corporation (MASC) rep- biosecurity workshops to There is a monthly proresentative. interested producers. An ex- gram intake and the deadMBP believes price in- panded VBP program will line is the first Friday of the surance and forage insur- help the beef industry dem- month. Applications will be ance will complement each onstrate to its customers and considered until the proother in providing new risk consumers the sustainability gram is fully subscribed. mitigation tools for beef practices used on farms and There are three other producers. ranches. new Growing Forward 2

programs—Growing Value, Growing Actions and Growing Visions—will receive $4.6 million in federal-provincial funding for 2013-14. These are targeted at agriprocessors and agricultural organizations. For more information on GF2 initiatives visit www. gov.mb.ca/agric ulture/ growing-forward-2/index. html.

Manitoba Hydro Consultations

Manitoba Hydro is holding public consultations on several transmission projects proposed for southeastern Manitoba. This includes the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project. The project would involve construction of a 500 kilovolt transmission line in southeastern

Manitoba and associated station upgrades at Dorsey, Riel and Glenboro. The projected in-service date is mid-2020, with an estimated cost of $350 million. A series of alternative routes, including three potential border crossing points at the Manitoba/ Minnesota border, are being considered. Project open houses were held in mid-November and additional public feedback is being sought throughout the planning process. Proposed routes can be seen at www.hydro.mb.ca/ projects/mb_mn_transmission/mmtp_alternative_routes.pdf. For more details about the project visit www. hydro.mb.ca/projects/mb_ mn_transmission/index. shtml.

For questions or to provide feedback, call Manitoba Hydro Licensing & Environmental Assessment at 877-343-1631 or email LEAprojects@hydro.mb.ca. Manitoba Hydro is also holding public consultations for its St. Vital Transmission Complex project. A proposed route for the new 230 kV transmission line from St. Vital to Letellier, as well as a new 230 kV line from St. Vital to La Verendrye, have been identified. For more details on this project, including the proposed route, visit www. hydro.mb.ca/projects/expansion/stvital/library.shtml. Questions and comments about this project can be directed to 877-3431631 or to LEAprojects@ hydro.mb.ca.

DECEMBER

Shellmouth Dam Compensation

Tuesday, Dec. 10 Thursday, Dec. 12 Thursday, Dec. 12 Tuesday, Dec. 17 Thursday, Dec. 19 Thursday, Dec. 19

Regular Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale

9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m

JANUARY

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased the provincial government has reaffirmed its commitment to introduce livestock price insurance for the beef and hog sectors in the year ahead. The promise was contained in the November 12, 2013 Throne Speech. However, no further details were available at press time. MBP and other industry stakeholders have vigorously lobbied for a price insurance program that is bankable and affordable for producers. MBP believes a proactive insurance program should help close the gap between the effectiveness of existing business risk management programming and the need for stabilization in the cattle industry.

Eligible Manitoba producers are reminded to apply for GF2 funding to adopt assurance systems and BMPs related to biosecurity, animal and plant health, traceability and animal welfare. A combined total of $2,000 is available for the first audit and approved safety equipment for audited producers. A combined total of $5,000 is available for the beef biosecurity herd assessment and biosecurity GAP measures. 
 For complete details and application forms, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/ growing-forward-2/strategic-initiatives/index.html and visit the sections dealing with food safety. Or, contact the nearest Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) GO office.

Tuesday, Jan. 7 Thursday, Jan. 9 Tuesday, Jan. 14 Thursday, Jan. 16 Tuesday, Jan. 21 Thursday, Jan. 23 Tuesday, Jan. 28 Thursday, Jan. 30 Thursday, Jan. 30

Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Regular Sale Presort Sale Regular Sale Bred Cow Sale

9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 1:00 pm

2013/2014 Winter Sale Schedule

Maureen Cousins

Presorts MUST be booked in advance. Bred cow sales must be pre-booked and in by NOON on Thursday prior. Age verification papers must be dropped off with cattle.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

www.mbbeef.ca

Heartland Livestock Services

Daryl Sawatzky

Government activities round-up Renewed commitment to livestock price insurance, Shellmouth Dam compensation program and more


December 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 13

From the Desk of the TB Coordinator KEY POINTS

A year has gone by since I was appointed to the Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Co-ordinator role; an appointment made to assist in driving the TB control and eradication effort in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) to its conclusion. My term as the co-ordinator has been extended for another year. A glass half full person would say this indicates that progress has been made and the position has continued merit; the glass half empty person would say this indicates that I have not been successful in getting the job done! There is an element of truth in both statements. Let us first look back over the past year and over the 20 plus years since this TB problem raised its ugly head. We tested 2,712 cattle in 28 herds last year and all were negative; we examined 136 White Tailed Deer (WtD) and all were negative; and we sampled 157 elk and all were negative. Over the years, we have tested 222,300 domestic livestock in 2,600 herds, finding one or more cases of TB in 14 herds. We have sampled 9,044 WtD, finding 11 positives; and 5,213 elk have been examined with 46 testing positive.

• The last positive cattle herd was detected in 2008.

The last positive cattle herd was detected in 2008; the last positive WtD in 2009; and the last positive elk in 2011. The cost to the public purse is in the $25 to $30 million range. The cost to RMEA livestock producers has been staggering as well. Many have chosen to give up the fight and left the industry. The RMEA regained its TB Free status in 2006, yet, because of the residual threat from a persistent wildlife disease reservoir, domestic livestock and wildlife TB surveillance continues. The Bovine TB Management Plan for 2013-14, with a budget just under $2 million, continues to drive us towards three goals: 1. Maintenance of TB Free status for the RMEA, for Manitoba; 2. Reduction of TB prevalence in the wild cervid population to a level that is undetectable with the current surveillance program; and 3. Maintenance of a sustainable elk and WtD population in the RMEA and RMNP. I’ll touch on three key activities for the current year. This is a pivotal year, likely the last where significant levels of active, aggressive disease surveillance

Tara Fulton

Dr. Allan Preston

• This year is likely the last where significant levels of aggressive disease surveillance will be required. • A new testing model is being developed under a multi-year Growing Forward 2 project.

will be required, depending, certainly, on all test results being negative (or at least having any positives easily explained). For example, a positive in a mature elk born prior to 2004 is not an unexpected finding. The first key activity is wildlife surveillance. We will collect a minimum of 135 hunter killed WtD samples from the core area, along with any elk that hunters have harvested in that same area. We will undertake an accelerated elk surveillance program, removing up to 40 bull elk and 60 cow elk from the core area for testing. The modeling work done clearly indicates that this aggressive surveillance will allow us to reach our second goal much more quickly, without

jeopardizing the sustainability of the population. The second goal is domestic livestock surveillance. Because of incomplete data and a model that is still being developed, the targets for cattle testing are much more subjective, more apt to test more herds than necessary to be “on the safe side.” The remaining herds in the core area not tested last year—35 herds that hold approximately 3,300 head—will be tested. An additional 34 herds, that hold approximately 3,200 head scattered throughout the RMEA, have been selected for testing as well. That selection is based upon perceived increased risk status. The third goal is a large, multi-year Growing Forward 2 project that was developed by Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) and funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Both groups hope to 1)

develop a new testing model; 2) improve data collection and analysis; and 3) provide better knowledge and education transfer to RMEA producers. I’ll leave it to MBP to provide more detail. The result of these three key activities is anticipated to be a situation where TB surveillance in future years will focus on hunter killed elk and WtD samples, and slaughter surveillance for domestic livestock. Herd testing for TB will not end tomorrow but, with negative results this year and a much better model with more objective outputs as to surveillance needs, you can certainly expect that the number of herds and the number of livestock to be tested in future years will decrease markedly. There are always some disappointments—the most significant one this past year was our collective failure

to garner financial support from governments through a mustering fee for producers being required to test their herds. The costs of testing are real and significant; there is expressed desire to assist producers, but, to date, the funds and the mechanism to provide them to producers have not been found. The other major disappointment was our collective inability to complete the model development on the land use side and on the livestock side. The completion would have, quite possibly, led us to require less herd testing in 2013-14, rather than more. I’ll update you again at the MBP AGM in February. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact me at 204-764-2571 or on my cell at 204-764-7015. I can also be reached at prestonstockfarms@outlook. com or akpreston@mtsm. blackberry.com.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from MBP’s Directors and staff. Have a safe and happy holiday season! Continued on page 2

Attention Producers Verified Beef Production Co-ordinator for Manitoba, Betty Green, has a new email address: BETTY L. GREEN

V B P P R O V I N C I A L CO O R D I N AT O R - M A N I T O B A

betty.green@email.com 204-803-4536 (cell)

B e c o m e a M B P A G M Sp o n s o r

B o o k T o d ay !

Manitoba Beef Producers 35th Annual General Meeting Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, Brandon February 4-5, 2014 MBP’s Annual General Meeting is a unique opportunity to promote your business to Manitoba’s top beef producers.

Box 339 Fisher Branch MB R0C 0Z0 P 204.372.6492 F 204.803.4536 E blgreen@xplornet.com

Contact Betty for program and registration information.

MBP offers a sponsorship option to suit your needs. Please contact us at (204) 772-4542 or info@mbbeef.ca. Thank you for your support.

www.manitobaverifiedbeef.org www.mbbeef.ca


14 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

Cattle Producers Value Shelterbelts Most beef producers value shelterbelts not just as shelter for their animals but for the many other positive impacts they have, such as soil conservation and moisture retention. “I would say that most beef producers have a positive attitude towards shelterbelts,” says Dr. Gillian Richards, research assistant with the Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Brandon University. “Over 70 per cent of producers interviewed used shelterbelts in their beef operation.” Dr. Richards is involved in a research project to determine the attitude of cattle producers towards shelterbelts. “Very few of the producers interviewed had taken them out and most understood the benefits.” An Alberta study of 188 site years of data measured the effect that shelterbelts had on the yield of different crops across different soil zones. Hay crops were the most responsive to field shelterbelts, with a maximum yield increase of 29 per cent at some sites. Wheat and canola had a similar response, with a maximum increase in yield of 14 per cent. Barley was less responsive, with a maximum yield increase of five per cent. Although shelterbelts do increase the productivity of the land, their benefit is not always immediately apparent or acknowledged. “There is an economic argument [for shelterbelts],” says Ryan Canart, District Manager of the Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District (UARCD), which has also been involved in the RDI research projects. These projects are being funded by the Federal Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program. Canart, who also runs cattle near Hargrave, says he has seen for himself a positive yield impact on his adjacent pastures and hay land. “Nobody has actually taken the time to draw that information out and make it clear that there is a net economic benefit and more management options.” A shelterbelt can potentially protect soils and crops for a distance that is up to 25 times its height, depending on topography and other obstacles in the vicinity, and creates a microclimate on its downwind side that can reduce wind velocity by up to 30 per cent. Shelterbelts help retain soil moisture by trapping snow

Upper Assiniboine River CD

Angela Lovell

The regrowth potential of the poplar species. Winter Doug Caldwell, on the pilot site, looks west towards corn grazing. kill, or more likely fall herbicide damage, caused some top die back but aggressive regrowth can soon make up for the setback.

A double row of poplar, during establishment (planting).

and preventing evaporation, reduce soil erosion and prevent crop damage. These environmental benefits can improve overall cattle performance, especially during winter. Information from the University of North Dakota shows that cattle consume, on average, five to 10 per cent more feed when temperatures fall below -5˚C and up to 25 per cent below -15˚C. “You insulate your home to keep your heating bills low, so if you can [provide shelter] and keep your cows happier, they will not eat as much and your input costs will not be so much per calf or per pound gained,” says Douglas Caldwell, who has a demonstration shelterbelt/ alley cropping project on his farm between Kenton and Rivers, as part of the UARCD and RDI research project. Caldwell had been winter bale grazing using temporary electric fences but noticed that the cows would still disappear into the yard when it was really cold or stormy and stop eating. As part of a research project to assess shelterbelts in combination with alley cropping, UARCD helped Caldwell design a permanent grazing system that would provide shelter and winter feed for the animals at the same time. In a 90-acre north field they installed a double row of trees along the fence lines. They planted lilacs in the lead row to maximize snow

catchment, and then another seven rows of hybrid poplars, around 1,300 feet long, in lines forming alleyways. In these alleyways, Caldwell grows corn that the cows feed on throughout the winter. He divides the field into eight to nine acre corn paddocks, each of which will feed 125 cow-calf pairs for two weeks, from mid November to mid February, when he brings them back to the yard for calving. Although the corn is providing more shelter at the moment for the cows than the newly planted trees, which are only four to five feet high, he sees it as a longer term investment in a system that is already working well and saving him money. He estimates he has reduced costs through less fuel usage and eliminating corral clean out and manure spreading. “For the ten to 12 weeks that the cattle were out there grazing last winter, I put 1.5 hours on my loader tractor,” says Caldwell. “In the two months following that, when they were calving in the yard and we were bedding and so on, we put between 80 and 90 hours on the tractor. There are substantial savings right there on the fuel and our time.” In addition, he has the benefit of free fertilizer from the animal waste that stays on the land and the cows manage any crop residue in the spring, breaking it up and working it in via hoof

A schematic of the pilot site, showing rows, spacing and other field parameters.

action, making it easy for Caldwell to go in and re-seed the corn crop. “Someone asked me to put my cost savings in simple terms and I said, ‘if, at the end of the season, someone hands you seven well fed steers, would you take them?’” says Caldwell. “That is what this is. It is $2,000 to $3,000 right away in fuel savings and with the condition of the animals and all the other factors you are going to save money and time, and you have made an investment for your kids’ farming future.” To encourage more shelterbelts on the land, it is necessary to first understand how they are perceived by different sectors of the cattle industry and

www.mbbeef.ca

then decide the best way to communicate the value to producers and other stakeholders, says Dr. Richards. RDI is exploring the concept of social marketing as a tool to promote the use of shelterbelts. Social marketing uses marketing principles and techniques to influence target audience behaviours to benefit society, as well as the individual. “Examples of successful social marketing would be encouraging recycling or diabetes education,” Dr. Richards says. “It is a whole process, not just an advertising campaign.” “The social marketing approach is to try and find out what is motivating and what isn’t motivating for

producers,” says Canart. “And then we need to change up our argument so that it is motivating to them to consider the use of shelterbelts.” For Canart, who is in the process of planting a number of shelterbelts on his property as part of a longer term plan, the message is already clear. “I am setting up my land base to be more conducive to lower cost production of year round animal husbandry,” says Canart. “I think planting the shelterbelts is an investment allowing diversification down the road. It gives you more options and is more resilient and sustainable than monocultural environments.”


December 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 15

Maureen Cousins It has been a busy few weeks on the flood front with the release of a report on water levels during the 2011 flood, the launch of a review of operating guidelines for key flood control works and commitments to several flood-related infrastructure projects.

Another Flood Review Released

operation of water control structures and that virtually all property damage around Lake Manitoba occurred while the lake was below natural levels as a result of the drawdown from the Fairford Water Control Structure.” The government did acknowledge that approximately 9,600 hectares of pasture land around Lake Manitoba were artificially flooded due to the operation of the Portage Diversion in the summer of 2011. Interestingly, the government also stated that it is “currently collecting LiDAR data (a technology that uses laser and radar to produce highly accurate measurements) to be used in developing a compensation adjustment for affected producers.” No other details were provided. The report is available at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding.

On October 16, 2013, the Manitoba government released a technical review of Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin and Assiniboine River water levels during the 2011 flood. The review was completed by the province with assistance from KGS Group. Findings will be used to “guide plans for future flood control works.” There are a couple of items of note. The government stated, “The review shows that while the Assiniboine River reached its highest recorded flow, and Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin reached their Another Review highest recorded levels, flood Announced impacts would have been The province has anfar more severe without the nounced a review of the

operating guidelines for the Red River Floodway, Portage Diversion and the Fairford Water Control Structure. Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said review findings will be used to establish interim operating rules for the water control structures while work is underway on a new Lake Manitoba outlet and the Lake St. Martin Channel. Harold Westdahl, who previously chaired the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee, will lead the review. Public consultations will be a component of the review. “The province’s water control structures were designed to work as a flood protection system and none of these three structures operate independently,” said Ashton. “This review will help us ensure they operate effectively to complement each other and continue to protect Manitobans from the threat of flooding and other severe weather.”

Infrastructure Commitments

There were several floodrelated infrastructure commitments in the province’s recent Throne Speech. These include construction of a permanent outlet for Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin; work on the Portage Diversion, Shellmouth Dam and Assiniboine River

dike enhancements; and ongoing work on 2011 flood recovery repairs at water control infrastructure, such as the Gardenton Floodway and the Wawanesa Dam. No timelines were indicated for completion of these projects. Efforts to rebuild Highway 75 to achieve interstate standards for flood

Sandi Knight

Another report into 2011 flood released, new review announced, and more commitments to flood infrastructure

will also continue. This will include the construction of new bridges over the Morris River (north of Morris) and the Plum River (south of Morris). As well, the province is still determining whether the Morris River will be diverted to enter the Red River farther north of where it does now.

Lake Manitoba Forage Restoration Project Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) is working with local ranchers on a pilot project to look at the best way to restore land flooded by Lake Manitoba in 2011. The area around the lake is a valuable hay and pasture resource for cattle producers. The flooding increased the amount of salinity in the soil, which has hindered forage production and land reclamation and restoration. The affected areas are recovering at various speeds, depending on how long the land was flooded. Pasture and hay land sites near Delta, Langruth, Crane River and Vogar were used for the pilot. Soil tests were taken at the sites in the fall of 2012, once most of the water from overland flooding had receded.

There are several different kinds of research being done at these sites, including variety trials, fertility treatments, weed control and grazing management. At the pasture sites, grazing cages and fencing are being used to restrict grazing pressure to twice over grazing, continuous grazing or no grazing. The pasture sites were treated with glyphosate to control weeds and broadcast seeding for forages was used in the spring of 2013. Hoof trampling or harrowing were used to push the seed into the soil. Halo alfalfa is a variety with enhanced saline tolerance. It was used to seed the sites, along with a custom blend of forages, including Salinemaster and AC Saltlander green wheat grass. The custom

blend contains 50 per cent alfalfa, 26 per cent hybrid brome grass, 16 per cent orchard grass and eight per cent timothy. The Salinemaster blend contains 40 per cent AC Saltlander green wheat grass, 30 per cent tall fescue, 20 per cent smooth brome grass and 10 per cent slender wheat grass. Broadcast seeding was done on the hay field sites in May 2013 and sod seeding was done in June and August. Various combinations of glyphosate, fertilizer and seeding treatments were applied in a checker-board pattern. Three alfalfa varieties—Halo, 4010BR and VR Total—were seeded on each of the three seeding dates. Switch grass, AC Saltlander green wheat grass, a custom blend and Salinemaster blend were also seeded.

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Development

Dry matter hay yields were noted in each of the treatments in September and the identification and prevalence of the species growing in each plot were recorded. The sites will be monitored for dry matter forage

www.mbbeef.ca

yields and changes in species composition to see what combination of treatments work best to restore forage after flooding. MAFRD expects to continue with the project for the next four years. The sites will be showcased on producer

tours and the results will be presented at farmers’ meetings and outlined in MAFRD fact sheets. For details on the sites, contact the MAFRD GO Office in Ashern, Ste. Rose du Lac or Portage la Prairie.


16 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

The Bottom Line

2013 Ends Strong but 2014 Depends on COOL’s Outcome

Rick Wright By the time this gets to print, 2013 will be almost over and cattle producers will be wondering where the time went so fast! This year turned out to be very positive for the cattle industry, by the end of the year. While the year started with sluggish prices and spotty demand in the first quarter, mainly due to high feed grain prices and shortages of hay and other forage, reports of record low producing cow numbers and cattle inventories sparked some interest from the feeding industry. With this, the cattle futures started to show some signs of recovery. The favourable planting conditions in the spring, along with projected record acres of corn and soybean plantings, gave the hope of strong yields and lower grain prices. This news continued to drive optimism in the cattle industry. However, although very optimistic, cattle feeders on both sides of the border were still very cautious purchasing inventory until harvest got started. Yields and grades ended up meeting expectations and the grain market started to drop like a stone, resulting in rapidly increasing cattle prices. Yearlings off the grass showed profits and the calf market opened very strong with demand for Manitoba calves coming from all directions. Despite a 15 to 20 cents per pound spread between heifers and steers, producers retained very few heifer calves this fall. In spite of reports that Manitoba has started a rebuilding phase of its cow herds, those with their feet on the ground and mud on their boots will tell you that there will be fewer beef cows and bred heifers in Manitoba at the end of 2013 than there were at the start! Auction markets and direct buyers in Manitoba have reported record numbers of cull cows and bulls coming to town all year long. Every auction market is hosting more bred cow sales this fall and sales are full with some of the markets booking only dispersals or large consignments. The disturbing news is that many of the producers who are exiting the business are the larger well-managed

operations, which means some of the best herds in Manitoba are going to be broken up and dispersed across the country, and many of the heavy weight cows will end up going to slaughter. With good quality ageverified cows selling for over 70 cents per pound, producers are getting good trade-in value to put towards replacement cows. The market looks like a person can buy pretty good bred cows from reputable dispersal herds for around $1,500 per head. There is a large selection of good cows to choose from, so keeping replacement heifers this year is not a popular option. There were very few heifers bred this summer for resale and a terrible bred heifer market last fall discouraged speculators from breeding programs this year. To give you an idea of the number of cows going out of production, Canadian exports to the U.S. packers, as of October 19, 2013, were 228,330 cows. This compares to 137,644 in the same time period last year. Butcher bull exports were also up to 60,550 this year, compared to 38,334 in 2012. Regardless of what the bean counters say, Manitoba will not start rebuilding its cowherd until at least 2014, and possibly 2015. There is no new money coming to the cow-calf business in Manitoba! Younger mixed farmers are getting out of cows and expanding their grain operations. Older producers feel that this year’s strong calf prices have created an exit opportunity. Marginal land that was once pasture is being broken up, fences are being torn out and the acres are being put into grain production. The final straw is that for the investment, even at today’s prices, an acceptable return for the work involved is not being recognized. By the time this issue is in print we should have a more definite direction on the Country of Original Labeling (COOL) regulations in the U.S. For Manitoba producers and feeders, the current rules and a decision by Tyson Foods Inc. not to kill C-Class cattle will almost cripple the cattle finishing business in Manitoba. If the dollar drops to the low 90 cent range, American

KEY POINTS • While the year started out slow, it turned out positive by the end for the cattle industry. • Harvest yields and grades have met expectations, resulting in rapidly increasing cattle prices. • Auction markets reporting record numbers of cull cows and bulls. • Some challenges remain, such as younger farmers getting out of cattle, COOL uncertainty and a lower dollar.

feedlots will suck the cattle out of Manitoba at an alarming rate, making it very difficult for local feeders to compete. Not only will they take the cattle but they will also get all of the synergies of the feeding business, leaving us with infrastructure, expertise and no cattle. In Alberta, some of the packers to the south have indicated that they may not kill B-Class cattle (born in Canada and fed in the United States). This will keep the feedlot industry alive in Alberta and guarantee a supply of finished cattle for the packers there. Feeder cattle exports have already surpassed last year. As of October 26, 2013, we have exported 340,270 head of feeders, compared to 228,270 feeder cattle in 2012. Prime Minister Harper is optimistic that the U.S. administration will back off on the new requirements of COOL and has threatened tariffs if the Americans do not rethink the proposed status. He may be partially right, as over 100 senators have signed a petition to amend the Farm Bill that covers COOL. With a surplus of cheap corn, strong retail prices and a cattle shortage in the U.S., Canadian feeders, especially in Manitoba, will face tough competition to stay profitable. If the COOL issue is not settled in Canada’s favour, we should expect a major change to the dynamics of the cattle industry in Manitoba in 2014. Until Next Year…

SHOWCASE YOUR SERVICES AND PRODUCTS! Manitoba Beef Producers’ AGM includes a trade show, giving you the opportunity to showcase your products, services and companies directly to the end user. The AGM will be held February 4-5, 2014 at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre in Brandon. If you are interested, contact MBP at 800-772-0458.

NOTICE TO CATTLE PRODUCERS IN MANITOBA EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 MANITOBA CATTLE ENHANCEMENT COUNCIL (MCEC) HAS STOPPED COLLECTING THE $ 2 PER HEAD LEVY ON CATTLE SOLD. CATTLE PRODUCERS ARE ENTITLED TO APPLY FOR A REFUND ON ALL LEVIES COLLECTED BETWEEN: 1 December 2012 – 31 August 2013 The regulation specifies refunds as follows: THE APPLICATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY MCEC WITHIN 1 YEAR AFTER THE MONTH END IN WHICH THE FEE WAS DEDUCTED However, we would like for those eligible to apply for refunds within those time periods, to do so as soon as possible, in order for MCEC to be able to process as many refunds as possible in a timely manner. THE REFUND FORM IS AVAILABLE ON THE MCEC WEBSITE: www.mancec.com click on refunds. Please ensure that in order to process your application quickly, all supporting documents (receipts) are included, and the name of the applicant(s) is the same as the name on the receipts. The application also needs to be signed by the applicant(s).

THE REFUND FORM IS ALSO AVAILABLE THROUGH YOUR LOCAL AUCTION MARTS OR YOU CAN PHONE THE MCEC OFFICE AT: 204 452 6353 OR TOLL FREE: 1 866 441 6232

www.mbbeef.ca


December 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 17

Vet corner

Body Condition Scoring and Humane Transport

This month we will continue our review of the newly updated Code of Practice for the care and handling of beef cattle, with an emphasis on body condition scoring and determining if an animal is fit for transport. Body condition scoring (BCS) and its assessment means different things to different people and that is where the problems arise. The system was designed to assess the fat coverage for mature cattle and is less suitable for young stock, which deposit muscle and then fat as they grow. Fat deposit locations also can vary with cow age or breed. Learn the theory and then apply it to your herd. A hands-on approach to body condition scoring is required—eyeballing through the truck window or over the fence is inaccurate. Longer winter coats at this time of year can hide ribs. Big bellies do not mean a cow is fat but rather, that she is full of feed or perhaps is one of your older cows. Review the body condition scoring charts in the new Beef Code of Practice and use the handy cut-out section available in the October issue of Cattle Country. Keep it simple and categorize cattle as either too thin (a score of 2 or under), ideal (2.5 to 3) or too fat (over 3.5). The anatomical assessment points are over the short ribs, hipbone and tailhead. Have your veterinarian do the scoring during pregnancy testing and practice along with

him/her. I also suggest viewing a video of Naomi Paley, who is a livestock specialist with Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, demonstrating body condition scoring. Visit www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca. Get to know your herd this fall during pregnancy testing and in the spring at calving time. Be prepared to segregate animals into different feeding groups; heifer development, second-calvers and thin cows, and those only requiring ongoing maintenance of body condition. Feeding your herd as one group will result in over feeding some cows while under feeding others. This, in turn, will result in wasted feed dollars for overfat cattle while underfed cattle raise lighter calves due to poor colostrum and milk production, or delayed conception. Continued feed mismanagement can result in high numbers of open cows—well over one out of three, in many cases. This brings us to another topic: cull cows in the fall. The majority of culls are due to failed pregnancy, advanced age or health concerns. Remember to follow the mandatory transportation guidelines as outlined in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Health of Animals Regulations and the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle. Failure to follow these rules can result in criminal negligence charges and fines. Emaciated cattle have no value. Period. Their

What is Body Condition Scoring? Body condition scoring (BCS) is a hands-on method of assessing the amount of fat cover on an animal, and is an important tool in managing beef cattle and optimizing the use of feed resources. In Canada, we use a 5-point BCS system, originally developed in Scotland. American beef producers typically use a 9-point system. BCS is determined by assessing the degree of muscle and fat cover at specific landmarks on an animal’s body, specifically over the spinous (vertical) and transverse (horizontal) processes of the short ribs (loin) and (in fatter cattle) the tail head and ribs. Be aware that body condition scores are most applicable to mature cattle and may be of little use for cattle under one year of age.

KEY POINTS

Jeanette Greaves

Dr. Tanya Anderson, DVM

• You must be handson when assessing body condition; eyeballing does not cut it. • Segregate animals into different feeding groups to ensure properly fed cattle. • Do not delay treatment and allow the continued deterioration of livestock. • Animal welfare is good for everyone!

best-before cull date expired long ago. Humanely euthanize them on the farm and evaluate what went wrong. It is unacceptable to delay treatment and allow continued deterioration of livestock for any reason. Emaciation does not happen overnight and is a result of inattention. Many of the cases that I see are due to chronic

lameness or advanced disease (like cancer eye, Johnes, kidney infection, hardware or other internal infections). Cattle in poor body condition are risky to load and transport. They are weak and unstable, and at risk of becoming downers in transit. Many are in pain or sick, and are ineligible for slaughter. Do not wait to act.

If you have an animal losing weight or not acting right, contact your veterinarian. If an animal is just thin due to poor pasture conditions or delayed weaning, put them on feed for a few weeks before shipping. Early and timely intervention will ensure your investment retains value—economically and morally.

With today’s cow prices, there is no excuse to not provide appropriate treatment for lameness, cancer eye or other infections. Even when prices are poorer, no action is never an option. As I have said before, animal welfare is good for everyone: the consumer and the industry. Look after your cattle and they will look after you.

Your Land. Your Livelihood.

Your Legacy.

Register today for an Environmental Farm Plan workshop. Take care of your land and chances are it will take care of you. Protect your operation today and for generations to come by implementing an environmental farm plan. An Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is a voluntary, confidential self-assessment designed to help you identify the environmental assets and risks of your operation. Free workshops

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) is conducting free EFP workshops. When you attend these workshops, you will be guided through an EFP workbook and learn environmentally-friendly methods of: • crop and pest management • manure storage and handling

• livestock and pasture management • nutrient management • …and much more

Note: To remain valid, environmental farm plans must be renewed every five years. Check the date of your Statement of Completion to ensure you are still eligible to apply for financial assistance offered under the Growing Assurance - Environment and Ecological Goods and Services programs. Application deadline is February 14, 2014.

For workshop locations, dates and times visit your local Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development GO Office, or go to manitoba.ca/agriculture.

www.mbbeef.ca

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18 CATTLE COUNTRY December 2013

Straight from the Hip Working Ourselves to Extinction

Brenda Schoepp Lisa Genova’s inspirational book, Left Neglected, is the story of a young executive woman who, through a car accident caused by searching for her cell phone, suffers brain damage. The trauma leaves her unable to feel or perceive anything on her left side. Much like when someone has a stroke, her world suddenly changed. She now only had sight and feeling on her right side. She struggled to be connected to herself and to once again feel whole. Genova’s work resonated with me on many different levels and it was the perfect read after living the laid back lifestyle of New Zealand. On the Prairies, where we are busy working ourselves to the point of extinction, there is a constant pressure to perform. I have lived that life and died that death. In living that life, I gave up first words, first steps, and first dates, all for “the industry.” And although many of those years were tough and rewarding as a single parent and struggling entrepreneur, I still believe that if there was an encore, I would have lived my life differently. I would have asked a mentor to guide me and a business coach to train me. I would have built my business around my family, not on my little family, and I would have learned that there would not be a dire consequence in saying “no.” When the going

got tough and I got going, it would have been a team effort rather than a fragmented series of tradeoffs that eroded precious family time and connections. In dying that death and living again, I had a second chance, even after learning to walk, talk, read and count accurately again. And that is why a book like Left Neglected is so close to my journey and such a testament to what we are capable of overcoming in our lives. In this story, the main character Sarah is fighting to regain herself from her handicap. A poster on the wall, with ATTITUDE in bold and a clenched fist pictured, always intrigued her. When she was facing the fear of her limited abilities in going home from rehab, a caregiver reminded her of how lucky she was; how fortunate that she was not killed in the car accident or that her children were not in the car. How lucky she was to know herself and her family and to be able to articulate her feelings and needs. She took one last look at the gym that she was taking therapy in and saw the poster on the wall. To her amazement, there was not a clenched fist in the poster but two hands clasped together, with the word GRATITUDE in bold. A change in perspective revealed a new meaning to Sarah that she could carry into her life. There are days when we zip through life on

attitude but would it not be better to live days a little more slowly in gratitude? We could go further faster, but what about the journey? We could jam our children into anther event or, instead, we could sit down with them and play cards. We could zip around the dance (or kitchen) floor with our beloved. We could even take one tenth of our time for our own personal growth and building family and community relationships. And maybe, just maybe, we would be the richer for the change. The good life is an individual measurement and a private choice. But if you find yourself reliving close calls rather than lovely moments or facing your days in complete exhaustion rather than taking in your surroundings with joy—if you find yourself hating your job, your farm or your family—perhaps it is time to step back before the inevitable crash as you are looking for something and be grateful for what is working on your left side! I often think of my dearest friend Lynn, who we lost this summer. She loved life and was forever cheerful and happy. She would laugh and tease and was always appreciative of a visit. She could bring sun into anyone’s day. What she could not do was walk or feed herself. What she could not do was read a book or get dressed. What she could not do was send an email

The good life is an individual measurement and a private choice.

or control the temperature in her room, snuggle under a blanket when she was cold or see out her window. But as she lay in her bed, day after day and year after year, she lived her life with gratitude and would tell you with all sincerity that hers was a good life. Sarah and Lynn remind us that our lives are short beautiful pieces of history. We can choose to work ourselves to extinction or write the script. Brenda Schoepp is a Nuffield Scholar who travels extensively, exploring

agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor, she works with young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder

of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website, www. brendaschoepp.com. All rights reserved. Brenda Schoepp 2013.

Thank you to our advertisers! They help make Cattle Country possible! For information on how to become an advertiser in this newspaper, contact the Manitoba Beef Producers office at 204-772-4542.

Watch Beef on Great Tastes of Manitoba Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is serving up beef for the holidays! MBP Beef Expert Adriana Barros and Host Ace Burpee present “Two-Bite Beef Appetizers” on the upcoming episode of Great Tastes of Manitoba. Recipes include delicious Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes, Savoury Beef Crostini and Pineapple Sirloin Beef Pops. Watch the show on Saturday, December 14, 2013 on CTV Winnipeg at 6:30 p.m.

View the recipes and past episodes online at www.foodmanitoba.ca. www.mbbeef.ca


December 2013 CATTLE COUNTRY 19

OVERVIEW OF PRODUCTION REQUIREMENTS TO EXPORT TO EU Canadian CATTLEMEN’S Association The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) has provided an overview of the production requirements for cattle used to produce beef for export to the European Union (EU). The following information provides a general overview of what is involved in the approval process required to ship beef to the EU. Producers are encouraged to contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for complete information.

Cow-Calf Operation Enrolment Procedures

For beef to be eligible for shipment to the EU, it must come from cattle raised without growth promotants

such as hormone implants or beta-agonists and from operations that are enrolled in the EU Growth Enhancing Product (GEP) free protocol. To start the process, cow-calf operators and backgrounding/feedlot operators must contact a CFIA approved veterinarian and request an on-farm GEP assessment. The CFIA approved veterinarian will explain the program and requirements to the farm/feedl