Manitoba Beef Producers 2021 Annual Report

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Messages From The President And General Manager

MBP Year In Review

National Organization Reports

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S MBP DIRECTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 2


2021 AN N UAL R EP O R T

Alfred Epp

Nancy Howatt

Andre Steppler

Kevin Duddridge

Steven Manns

Melissa Atchison

Tyler Fulton

Matthew Atkinson

Trevor Sund

Mike Duguid

Arvid Nottveit

Mark Good

Mary Paziuk

Jim Buchanan

District 1

District 3

District 5

District 2

District 4

District 6 (Vice-President)

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 3 MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 4 2021 MBP YEAR IN REVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 5 FINANCIAL REPORT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 10

District 7 (President)

District 8 (2nd Vice President)

REPORTS FROM: MANITOBA BEEF & FORAGE INITIATIVES INC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 11 CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 12

District 9

District 10 (Secretary)

CANADIAN CATTLE IDENTIFICATION AGENCY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 15 CANADIAN BEEF CHECK-OFF AGENCY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 14 NATIONAL CATTLE FEEDERS’ ASSOCIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 15

District 11

District 12 (Treasurer)

BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 16 HIGHLIGHTS OF 2021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 18

District 13


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District 14



TYLER FULTON, PRESIDENT 2021 will be remembered as a year of hardship for Manitoba’s beef producers, but it also revealed the toughness and grit of our farmers and ranchers. The drought overtook all other issues as it became a crisis that needed direct action to mitigate and manage the effects. However, you will also see within this report the multitude of other issues on which we continue to work on your behalf. Manitoba Beef Producers played a pivotal role in addressing the impacts of the drought, first by listening to producers about the conditions and their challenges and later forming plans to address the specific challenges. Some of the key responses included the opening of the Ag Action BMP 503 program to address water shortages for livestock, modifications to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s crop insurance programs to provide incentives to convert marginal cereal and corn crops for use as livestock feed and, finally the AgriRecovery program designed to support producers that were struggling to maintain their breeding herd. However, all of these measures only partially addressed the impact of the drought our farms. Communication and collaboration with staff at Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, along with Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) and Manitoba Forage & Grasslands Association (MFGA) was exceptional. Bi-weekly meetings with this group were held since the spring and provided a venue to raise concerns, develop and provide feedback on new policy and programs and simply to address issues as they came up in the worsening drought. This type of ongoing dialogue with other commodities and with elected and other officials at both the provincial and federal government level was extremely important as we worked to tackle many different aspects of the drought. The staff of MBP worked exceptionally hard in addressing the drought situation. David Hultin, our Communications Lead did an excellent job managing the media and key messages that led to an unprecedented awareness of the issue in the urban public and among policy makers. MBP was quoted or interviewed more than 200 times in media on the drought and many other topics, with coverage ranging from local to international media outlets. Maureen Cousins, MBP Policy Analyst, spent hours listening to producers describe their situations and hours more providing support and research for developing key drought initiatives. Her experience helped guide our discussions and responses with government officials. Our General Manager, Carson Callum ensured that we were all working cohesively to ensure progress on the issue and played a huge role in communicating to the public and government staff.  While under the stress of managing through this situation, he provided steady leadership to the whole team, putting in the extra time and effort required. I feel very proud of the whole team effort and want to thank all staff for their hard work. I also want to acknowledge the efforts of all the directors of MBP. I truly believe that the engagement and dedication of the directors in this organization brings great value to the industry. The diversity of opinions shared, the multiple regions represented, and the board’s collective knowledge and experience ensures that Manitoba Beef Producers stays grounded and accountable to our members. The challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have limited the number of opportunities to meet in person, but despite this, we have been able to maintain a strong, thoughtful board with progressive ideas and plans for the future. I feel very fortunate to have represented the organization and more broadly the industry over the last year. I have heard from dozens of beef producers whom I had not previously met, who are passionate advocates for our industry. While there are often differences of opinion on how to address an issue, I appreciate hearing all perspectives and please know that I attempt to represent them in our board’s conversations and decisions. Looking ahead to 2022, Manitoba Beef Producers will have a full agenda. Among our efforts will be advocating for improved policy on Agricultural Crown Lands, providing feedback into the development of a new Agricultural Policy Framework with further improvements to Business Risk Management programs, the continuation of the pilot Livestock Predation Prevention Project, and a special focus on the issue of climate change and conservation. It is clear to me that we have an opportunity to lead on environment-related matters. We can do this by providing credible means to sequester more carbon and provide high quality wildlife habitat, while also helping farmers and ranchers benefit from their longstanding sustainable practices. I remain optimistic about the future of Manitoba’s beef industry despite the challenges that we faced this past year. Favourable markets and weather, combined with passionate and hardworking farmers and ranchers will be a perfect combination to trigger a revitalization in our industry. MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS



GENERAL MANAGER CARSON CALLUM, MBP GM Greetings producers and industry stakeholders. I thought 2020 was going to be one for the record books in terms of challenges, but 2021 posed just as many. I do not mean to sound pessimistic or overly negative to start my report, but looking back on the year it’s hard not to think of the challenges the industry faced. However, there were lots of positives as well, and many opportunities I see for the industry moving forward. In this report, I am going to highlight some of the main areas of focus in 2021 from my perspective. Additional topics are covered in the complete Annual Report. As all in the agriculture sector know, drought was the main challenge of 2021. We started out the year with an extreme lack of snowfall. This resulted in a lack of spring runoff to fill up dugouts and other important water sources for cattle during the summer months. Soil moisture was also very inadequate to start off the growing season. MBP started advocacy efforts very early. Our initial focus was on water availability. We were pleased when Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development opened up BMP 503 to allow producers to develop other sources of water their livestock. Following the first few weeks of spring, it was clear the rains wouldn’t come in a sufficient amount to recharge pastures and improve crop/hay growth. This is when MBP shifted its focus from water to feed availability. In a joint industry effort, short-term changes were made by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) to encourage grain producers to convert their drought-damaged crops to feed. This change was beneficial for many producers. MASC also triggered the Hay Disaster Benefit for producers enrolled in forage insurance programs very early, which was helpful and demonstrated the severity of the drought. Business Risk Management programs are very important for producers to consider, and MBP continuously provides feedback on the suite of programs available through MASC and others, such as Livestock Price Insurance (formally Western Livestock Price Insurance). Advocacy for AgriRecovery was the main focus of our drought relief efforts over the summer. Working in collaboration with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and our counterparts in various provincial and national cattle groups, the beef sector was able to attain a substantial amount of AgriRecovery money committed by provincial and federal governments. We were happy to host Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and other respected officials from provincial and federal governments to help bring the issue to front of mind. In mid-summer when the drought was at its peak, some producers were forced to sell off a portion of their herds. When we stressed the need for AgriRecovery, MBP sought a two-pronged approach. One was a per head payment to assist in the extraordinary costs associated with maintaining a producer’s herd and the second was a program to help support producers rebuild to pre-drought levels. MBP was pleased to see a multi-pronged program launched, and has continued to seek adjustments to the current program to make it most responsive for producers. Many ag sector programs are supported through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership which ends in March 2023. Consultations are well underway for the Next Policy Framework (NPF) which will be the new framework for various program funding streams. MBP, CCA, and other provincial and national cattle associations have been heavily involved in providing feedback on sectoral priorities. The federal, provincial, and territorial agriculture ministers have met multiple times to determine the main areas of focus for the NPF and MBP will continue to provide feedback on this.

Climate change is a common policy theme in many government departments, and there will be a big focus going forward on efforts to reduce its impact in the agriculture sector. Tackling climate change challenges is also important to the beef industry, such as threats caused by severe droughts and floods. Beef production has the opportunity to be a major champion in this area given the ecosystem services it provides. I also believe the environmental benefits beef production provides are key to leveling the playing field between beef and other commodities. For example, if producers can see a financial return for maintaining grassland habitats we may see a slowdown in conversion of native grasslands to commodity grain-producing land. For years MBP has been involved in many environment-related files, with a recent one focusing on grassland enhancement support to producers with funding from the Conservation Trust. I look forward to many other potential funding streams for producers to access. This type of effort by producers and its tie-in to initiatives like the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef has many layers of benefit. It helps maintain precious habitats which have many societal benefits and it also improves public trust in the beef sector. A main focus of Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development is protein. The province’s goal is to make Manitoba a hub for high quality plant and animal-based protein options. Early in the year, I took part in the Manitoba Protein Summit, an event to drive collaboration and innovation in protein advancement. Over the year, I have been involved in multiple engagements about the protein strategy, recommending what would be beneficial to the beef sector, such as recognition of ecological goods and services. I cannot look back on 2021 without commenting on the COVID-19 pandemic’s continued impacts. It still affects how we are able to meet and advance files, but we have gotten very good at virtual platforms in the meantime. I was happy to see the vaccines role out and provide us a sense of normality over parts of 2021. We were very happy to hold some of our fall district meetings in person. I want to greatly thank our board of directors for all they have done, and the leadership of our president Tyler Fulton over the course of the last year as we dealt with pandemic impacts and drought issues. I also greatly thank the team at MBP with whom I have the privilege to work. Without their hard work and dedication to the sector, we would not have seen even close to the amount of support provided for drought impacts. On a personal front, it was another busy year in the Callum house. We welcomed a second boy to the family, Sullivan. Big brother Cohen has been a great help to mom and dad during this transition from one child to two, which is as busy as they say. They have been very supportive of me as I worked on the drought crisis and many other files throughout 2021. Here’s to a great year in 2022, and hopefully the snow keeps building up towards the spring. I am very honoured to continue to work on behalf of Manitoba beef producers on many different opportunities and challenges.


Carson Callum General Manager


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Maureen Cousins Policy Analyst

Deb Walger Finance

David Hultin

Communications and Marketing Lead & Editor, Cattle Country

Jennifer Patryluk

Administrative Assistant

Ray Bittner

Livestock Predation Pilot Project Lead


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Tyler Fulton – President Melissa Atchison – Vice President Matthew Atkinson – 2nd Vice President Mike Duguid – Secretary Mark Good – Treasurer


ANIMAL HEALTH Melissa Atchison – Chair Trevor Sund – Vice-Chair Jim Buchanan Kevin Duddridge Mike Duguid Steven Manns

AGM/Nominations/Resolutions Nancy Howatt – Chair Andre Steppler – Vice-Chair Melissa Atchison Jim Buchanan Steven Manns

COMMUNICATIONS Nancy Howatt – Chair Andre Steppler – Vice-Chair Kevin Duddridge Alfred Epp Steven Manns Mary Paziuk

CROWN LANDS Matthew Atkinson – Chair Mike Duguid – Vice-Chair Mark Good Steven Manns Arvid Nottveit Mary Paziuk

ENVIRONMENT Mike Duguid – Chair Trevor Sund – Vice-Chair Matthew Atkinson Melissa Atchison Alfred Epp Arvid Nottveit Andre Steppler

FINANCE Mark Good – Chair Mary Paziuk – Vice-Chair Mike Duguid Kevin Duddridge Arvid Nottveit

GOVERNANCE Arvid Nottveit – Chair Alfred Epp – Vice-Chair Jim Buchanan Nancy Howatt Andre Steppler

Production Management Mike Duguid – Chair Trevor Sund – Vice-Chair Matthew Atkinson Kevin Duddridge Arvid Nottveit Mary Paziuk

RESEARCH Melissa Atchison – Chair Matthew Atkinson – Vice-Chair Mark Good Nancy Howatt Arvid Nottveit Trevor Sund

Who is MBP? Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is the exclusive voice of the province’s cattle industry, representing approximately 6,000 producers in the cow-calf, backgrounding and finishing sectors. MBP is a non-profit organization with a producer-elected board of 14 directors representing different geographic areas of the province. Its vision is a vibrant, prosperous, respected, sustainable beef industry in Manitoba. MBP’s mission is to represent the province’s beef producers through communication, advocacy, research, education, and leadership within the industry, to governments and to the public. These efforts take place to strengthen the sector’s viability, improve prosperity and ensure a sustainable future for the beef industry in Manitoba for the benefit of our beef producers and all Manitobans. How is MBP’s work funded? MBP’s activities are funded through the collection of check-off dollars. Two check-offs with a combined total value of $5.50/head are levied at the point of sale on all cattle sold in Manitoba. Of this, a $3/head mandatory, refundable provincial check-off goes toward financing MBP’s activities on behalf of the local beef industry, as well as its membership in organizations such as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) and others. MBP’s levy is collected under the authority of the Cattle Fee Regulation under The Cattle Producers Association Act, a piece of provincial legislation. As well, a mandatory non-refundable $2.50/head Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off is collected on all cattle sold in Manitoba and the monies are transferred to the Canadian Beef Check-off Agency. Goals of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off are to increase sales of domestic and export beef and to find better and more efficient methods of producing beef and beef cattle. The Canadian

Beef Cattle Check-Off provides industry funding for the Beef Cattle Research Council which is responsible for the industry’s national research program, as well as to Canada Beef for market development and promotion. Funding is also provided for public and stakeholder engagement, administered by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in partnership with Canada Beef and under the oversight of the Canadian Beef Advisors. For additional information about MBP’s 2020-21 budget, see page 10. How are MBP’s activities organized and executed? MBP’s activities are guided by the board of directors’ broad direction and executed by three full-time and three part-time staff members and MBP’s Executive and Committee members. Full-time staff include general manager Carson Callum, policy analyst Maureen Cousins, and communications coordinator David Hultin. Part-time staff are finance person Deb Walger, administrative assistant Jennifer Patryluk, and Ray Bittner, project lead for the Livestock Predation Prevention Pilot Project. MBP employs contract staff from time to time to deliver initiatives such as the Verified Beef Production+ Program or special projects. MBP also has two wholly owned subsidiary corporations – the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program Inc. (MLCA) and Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI), each with their own independent staff and governance structure, but which do report information to MBP. Both the MLCA and MBFI boards of directors have representation from MBP’s board members. MBP directors sit on internal committees where they provide input and help develop positions around specific types of issues or opportunities. Some committees serve an organizational function, such as helping to organize the district meetings and annual general meeting, or planning MBP’s participation in events and communications activities aimed at promoting the industry.

MBP is also represented at several national and provincial organizations and external committees. This affords MBP the opportunity to bring forward Manitoba-specific perspectives on topics such as business risk management programs, traceability, animal care, research, trade, sustainability initiatives and many more. Examples include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Assiniboine River Basin Initiative: Alfred Epp, Maureen Cousins Association of Manitoba Community Pastures: Carson Callum Beef Value Chain Roundtable: Carson Callum, Maureen Cousins Beef Cattle Research Council: Melissa Atchison Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off Agency: Mary Paziuk Canadian Cattle Identification Agency: Nancy Howatt Canadian Cattlemen’s Association: Tyler Fulton, Mike Duguid, Matthew Atkinson Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef: Andre Steppler, Arvid Nottveit, Carson Callum, Maureen Cousins Invasive Species Council of Manitoba: Mike Duguid, Maureen Cousins Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee: Arvid Nottveit Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Board: Melissa Atchison, Tyler Fulton until June AGM, followed by Matthew Atkinson Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association: Mike Duguid Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance: Mark Good, Nancy Howatt, Mike Duguid, Kevin Duddridge, Arvid Nottveit National Cattle Feeders Association: Harry Dalke until February, followed by Audrey Kuik-Schweitzer, Carson Callum Verified Beef Production Plus Program: Alfred Epp





Strategic direction MBP’s activities focus around a number of key objectives: telling the industry’s story via advocacy and enhanced communications; building the industry with innovation, improved economic competitiveness and profitability; and, serving MBP’s members by developing the organization and its capacity. These strategic objectives dovetail with MBP’s mission to strengthen the viability of Manitoba’s beef sector and to ensure a sustainable future for our province’s beef industry. The following is an overview of some of the key matters affecting Manitoba’s cattle industry in 2021 and activities undertaken by MBP in support of the sector. Production Conditions Drought conditions made for an extremely challenging production year. In early spring MBP began drought-related advocacy work with government officials. MBP requested the reopening of BMP 503: Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas under Canadian Agricultural Partnership Ag Action Manitoba Program. It provides cost-shared support for water source development projects. This was achieved and a large number of producers accessed the program. As conditions continued to deteriorate, MBP focused its efforts on the worsening feed situation. MBP successfully asked the Manitoba government to provide access to non-agricultural Crown lands for grazing purposes, although access for haying was not allowed in 2021. MBP requested but was unable to secure from the province a rental rate freeze for drought-hit producers leasing Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) for grazing and haying. MBP advocated with officials from Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (MB ARD) to provide incentives to encourage producers with damaged crops to make them available as sources of alternate feed for livestock producers. On July 22 the federal and provincial governments agreed to changes to AgriInsurance in this regard. Specifically, a 60 per cent adjustment factor to in-field appraisals was applied on small grain cereal crops (all varieties of wheat, oats, fall rye, barley, and triticale). MBP worked with other farm groups, MASC and the province to get the word out to crop producers to consider making the damaged crops available. Also on July 22 the Hay Disaster Benefit (HDB) under AgriInsurance was triggered early, another MBP request of governments. The HDB provided an additional $44/tonne (for every tonne below coverage) to insured forage producers to help offset the added cost of replacement feed and transportation due to the severe shortage of forage throughout Manitoba. Normally triggering of the HDB is not announced until early in the new year, which was going to be problematic for producers needing immediate assistance to source feed. That same day the federal government identified the initial list of prescribed regions for the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision. This included 102 prescribed regions in southern and central Manitoba. The Canadian cattle industry, including MBP continues to advocate for the livestock tax deferral provision to cover all classes of cattle. Having it span over more than one year has also been requested to allow for more flexibility in producers’ re-stocking decisions.

On July 22 MBP toured Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on a multi-generation Manitoba cattle operation, showing her the effects of the drought on pasture and forage production and on water supplies. The implications of producers being forced to sell part or all of their herds was discussed. This included the financial effects on operations, productivity impairment in multi-year droughts (damages to pastures and forages) and equally important, the stress facing farm families. James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman and Derek Johnson, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Interlake-Gimli, and departmental officials from both levels of government also participated in the discussions. Regarding other programs, Manitoba invoked the late participation provision of AgriStability (which MBP had requested), and Manitoba agreed to increase the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75%. MBP provided extensive feedback as the federal and provincial governments undertook the AgriRecovery assessment process and examined program development. The federal government committed $100 million and the province $62 million toward programs under the AgriRecovery Framework. Manitoba’s three programs announced in late August included: Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance, Livestock Transportation Drought Assistance, and Herd Management Drought Assistance. In terms of specific asks related to these programs, MBP requested a per head/day payment similar to the approach used in Saskatchewan and Alberta, but in the end a receipts-based approach was taken in Manitoba. In recognition of producers having had to downsize their herds, MBP asked for a herd recovery plan to provide financial assistance as producers seek to replenish breeding stock. Examples of other assistance sought by MBP included: aid for unanticipated infrastructure requirements such as fencing or watering needs; sharing the costs of hauling water; implementation of a forage restoration program; aid for feed testing and source water testing; interest only payments on MASC loans; and, knowledge transfer activities related to alternate feeds. At year’s end MBP was continuing to provide feedback to governments to ensure the resources committed under the Canada-Manitoba AgriRecovery Drought Assistance programs can be most effectively utilized to help move Manitoba’s beef sector through and beyond this devastating disaster. It will take time to assess the lasting effects of drought on Manitoba’s beef cattle numbers. According to Statistics Canada’s July 2021 Livestock Estimates report, year over year for the period ending July 1 the number of cattle on beef operations was up slightly by 18,600 to 998,400 head; cattle on cow-calf operations was up by 21,700 to 776,600 head; feeder and stocker operations were down by 1,100 to 156,800 head; and, feeding operations had 65,000 head, down by 2,000 head. Manitoba’s herd size is expected to drop in future estimates due to drought-related downsizing, but it is not known how long this effect will last. Business Risk Management Programs There was continued advocacy work around making business risk management (BRM) programs more responsive to beef producers’ needs. This included work on the removal of the reference margin limit (RML) under AgriStability, a change proposed by the federal government in late 2020 which required the support of provincial and territorial governments. In March the governments agreed that the reference margin limit would be removed retroactive to the 2020 program year, and to extend the enrolment deadline for the 2021 program year to June 30, 2021. MBP believes removing the RML should help increase the predictability and bankability of the program and ultimately make it more equitable, particularly for cow-calf producers, but also others in the sector. Before the change, triggering a payout required a significant drop in a producer’s margin; however, with the removal of the RML, a 30 per cent drop in the current year may trigger a payout. Regarding AgriInsurance, MBP was pleased that the transportation allowance within the Forage Insurance dollar value and Hay Disaster Benefit for the Forage Insurance program was updated to $16 from $8 per tonne for Select and Basic Hay, and to $24 from $20 per tonne for the Hay Disaster Benefit. This will be beneficial for policy holders. As well, individual productivity indexing for silage corn was introduced.

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, visited Manitoba in July to see the drought situation firsthand. She is pictured with MBP President Tyler Fulton and District 10 Director Mike Duguid. Photo credit: David Hultin/MBP 6

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Agricultural Crown Lands Advocacy efforts continued around changes the Manitoba government has made as part of its modernization of the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Leasing Program. Key focal points of MBP’s efforts included: assuring the continued ability of producers to utilize unit transfers; restating the need for a five-year overall phase-in period for the rental rate increase; securing the right to informed access whereby those wishing to access ACL would need to notify the lease or permit holder prior to entry; ensuring there is adequate staffing to administer all program elements, including providing technical guidance, monitoring and enforcement; and, seeking clarification around potential opportunities for interested lease holders to purchase ACL parcels in a swifter fashion. MBP has long sought government recognition and incentivization of the ecosystem services lease holders provide in managing ACL, such as helping to provide mitigation and adaptation to climate change. For example, MBP had asked that some monies generated through the auction process for leases and permits go into a designated ACL sustainability fund. Producers could access the fund to implement cost-shared beneficial management practices (BMPs) to enhance the carrying capacity of the land or provide environmental benefits. A resolution carried at MBP’s Annual General Meeting in February 2020 requested the provincial government set aside 25 per cent of the revenue generated through ACL leases to an ACL improvement program. In late October 2021 the federal and provincial governments announced they were investing up to $1 million in a new one-year Agricultural Crown Lands Forage Productivity Pilot Program. The cost-shared program is providing targeted financial assistance to ACL forage lease holders to adopt BMPs to sustainably increase productivity on their forage leases. Eligible items under the program included grazing management plans, water source development and watering systems, cross-fencing for pasture management, and forage rejuvenation such as forage establishment and brush management.

hired Ray Bittner as the project lead. The three main aspects of the project include: On Farm Predation Risk Assessments; testing the effectiveness of Risk Management Practices (RMPs); and, communication of potential risks and management practices that could help reduce risk. MBP conducted a survey to gauge predation’s impact on Manitoba livestock operations, with a strong level of responses from beef and sheep producers. Outreach to potential producer co-operators began in early 2021. Project participants have begun using a number of RMPs on their operations to test their effectiveness in reducing the risk of negative livestock-predator interactions. These include: game cameras, predator resistant pens, deadstock pens, solar foxlights, GPS collars, fladry wire, Electro Net, and veterinary assessments. This project will help producers affected by predation to develop individual risk management plans, while also supporting broader industry-wide efforts to test a variety of risk management approaches. It will share knowledge of best practices to help reduce predation losses. More project participants will be sought in 2022, and information about the project and available RMPs will continue to be shared with producers via Cattle Country, MBP’s website, media interviews and other avenues as they arise. Elsewhere on the wildlife management front, in early November it was announced that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) had been discovered for the first time in Manitoba in two mule deer in the western and southwestern regions of the province. CWD is an incurable fatal disease affecting members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose and caribou, but it is not known to infect cattle. The provincial government was undertaking steps to control the spread of the disease, including hunting and targeted removal. Environment and Water-Related Matters

MBP sought adjustments to the ACL lease and permit auction process to make future auctions more responsive to bidders’ needs, and to address outgoing lease and permit holders’ needs. Concerns had arisen about using an online process versus in-person auctions due to the pandemic. MBP requested that thorough instructions be posted well in advance of future auctions to address questions about the registration process for virtual auctions, as well as around bidding and payment processes. MBP asked if a working list of parcels potentially becoming available could be posted early to allow producers to view them during the production season, not during the winter months. MBP noted it would be useful to use the latest satellite imagery to provide updated photos of available parcels to help producers assess them. And, MBP asked for a system whereby all bidders names are revealed before bidding commences, not just identifying the winning bidder.

MBP has received additional funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for the continuation of the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) Keep Grazing project for the period 2019 to 2022. The project’s aim is to help protect important habitats for at-risk plant and animal species in a designated region of southwestern Manitoba. Some of the targeted grassland species include: Sprague’s Pipit, Ferruginous Hawk, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Loggerhead Shrike, Burrowing Owl and Baird’s Sparrow. MBP has again engaged the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) on the delivery of this project. The enhancement of grasslands – and the associated species at risk habitat – is being achieved primarily through the implementation of enhanced livestock grazing systems. Landowners invest significant in-kind time and resources into implementing projects, with ECCC funding supporting the purchase of grazing infrastructure, such as fencing or watering systems.

Outgoing lessees are very concerned about being able to recoup the value of their ACL improvements under the new system. MBP noted there would be less hesitancy about making such investments if there were greater assurances fair value would be received for them at the end of the lease. In terms of valuing improvements, MBP has suggested having an independent, third-party assessment done when the parcel comes up for auction so the producer knows what they will be paid for their improvements. This could include an assessment of the physical infrastructure. Further, MBP believes it would be beneficial to have a guide that identifies the value of various types of improvements being made as their value is being considered at the end of a lease. MBP believes Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development could play a key role in having this tool developed, as it already has a number of production guides. Having a fair and transparent process for valuing improvements would help reduce the need for arbitration to settle disputes.

This project shows that species at risk conservation and agricultural production can coexist. With the majority of native grasslands in Manitoba being managed by private landowners, this project provides these land stewards with tangible evidence that the public is willing to support, and invest in the public good that results from their land management.

Wildlife Matters Predation-related challenges pose a significant concern for Manitoba’s livestock producers, who pride themselves on providing quality animal care and husbandry. MBP continues to advocate for strategies to help reduce the risk of negative wildlife-livestock interactions. MBP co-chairs the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group (LPPWG), which includes representatives from MB ARD, MASC, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Manitoba Trappers Association and the Manitoba Sheep Association (MSA). In 2020 it was announced that MBP would receive up to $300,000 in provincial government funding toward the three-year pilot Manitoba Livestock Predation Prevention (LPPP) Project. Added funding for this work is coming from MBP and the MSA, and MBP

MBP had been investigating options to potentially expand SARPAL-type activities to other regions of Manitoba. MHHC has now partnered with MBP to support nature-based approaches to climate change. The Conservation Trust is a Manitoba Climate and Green Plan Initiative, administered by MHHC. The MBP – Grassland Enhancement Program has had considerable uptake and success in the first year. Twenty agreements totaling $247,998 of landowner incentives payments to implement of a variety of best management practices (BMPs) have been signed and are mostly implemented. These actions will enhance over 8,700 acres of grasslands in the Eastern Mixed Grass Priority Place to enhance sustainable cattle operations with a focus on multi-species biodiversity co-benefits. In addition, over 6,700 acres under these agreements secure uneased lands from agricultural conversion for 10 years ensuring that the positive ecological impacts from BMP implementation are sustained. In its outreach to governments and the public, MBP focused on communicating the positive environmental impact beef production plays on soil health, carbon sequestration, and maintaining biodiversity on grasslands. The sector has a powerful story to tell in this area, and significant headway is being made on this with consumers and policy makers. A key example of this is type of work is MBP’s support for the enhancement of the FortWhyte Alive (FWA) Prairie Soil exhibit and the development of associated program-





ming in its newly-renovated Richardson Interpretive Centre and Climate Action Lab. Situated in south Winnipeg, FWA is a place for people to learn about natural ecosystems and in a typical year it reaches more than 110,000 visitors and 35,000 school children. The soil exhibit is a collection of three dioramas with narrative panels telling the story of prairie soil health as it has evolved over time from pre-settler contact through to today. As well, an MBP video highlighting the synergies between livestock production and the protection of critical ecosystems for species at risk will be shown at the facility. It is expected that the soil exhibit and lab will help bring climate change challenges and solutions in a unique prairie context to largely urban visitors. FWA has also worked closely with Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association on the soil health, livestock production synergies and regenerative agriculture details of the Climate Action Lab. MBP participated in several environment-related consultations in 2021. For example, MBP provided feedback on a federal consultation into proposed Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System Regulations. MBP advocated for the use of incentive-based programming to recognize and reward ecological goods and services provided by the agriculture sector which benefit larger society, including reductions in GHG emissions. MBP asked that Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) consider amending the proposed regulation to recognize carbon offset projects implemented by producers prior to 2017. MBP also asked ECCC to provide clear and transparent guidance around ownership of GHG reductions under various types of scenarios, such as on projects producers may undertake on lands they rent from a private party or lands they lease through programs such as Manitoba’s Agricultural Crown Lands Leasing Program. MBP cautioned that increases to the federal carbon tax will impact the competitiveness of Canadian beef producers. Input was provided on the proposed Nutrient Target Regulation under The Water Protection Act. MBP asked that the provincial government continue making investments in activities aimed at reducing nutrient loading, such as providing financial support for built and natural infrastructure projects, for beneficial management practices delivered through mechanisms such as Growing Outcomes in Watersheds and Ag Action Manitoba, and for other types of environmental initiatives. MBP noted the role beef producers play in maintaining wetlands on their operations. These wetlands provide a critical array of ecosystem services, including filtering nutrients, storing carbon and creating resiliency during times of droughts and flooding.’ Water management remains a key area of focus for MBP. Comments were provided for a consultation on the province’s water management strategy. Of particular importance to Manitoba’s beef industry are areas such as building resilience to a variable and changing climate as it pertains to water resources, and addressing water infrastructure challenges and opportunities. Timely construction and completion of critical water infrastructure projects is important to the sector. MBP reiterated its ask that the provincial and federal governments work with stakeholders to swiftly resolve outstanding matters related to the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels project so it can move forward. MBP noted the value of investments in rural water infrastructure for agricultural production. MBP believes this needs to be considered in the context of ensuring resilience for the livestock sector, such as rural water pipelines to support pasture and forage production and to water animals. Animal Health and Care MBP provided feedback on proposed provincial legislation: Bill 62 – The Animal Diseases Amendment Act and Bill 63 – The Petty Trespasses Amendment and Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act. These bills address matters such as protecting biosecurity on farms and ranches, and clarifying the laws around trespassing and liability (duty of care). Maintaining high biosecurity standards is very important for livestock producers as the introduction of foreign animal diseases could compromise animal health, may have costly economic consequences, and could lead to possible trade implications. MBP reiterated the need for informed access by members of the public seeking to access agricultural Crown lands, something not currently required. MBP noted that rural crime and trespassing can harm cattle operations, causing financial losses, endangerment to people and livestock, possible biosecurity breaches and result in damages to pastures, forages and infrastructure. Both bills were passed in the spring of 2021, with implementation details pending. MBP provided feedback to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as part of its proposed modernization of the regulatory framework for the Feeds Regulations. MBP recommended that this process include a comprehensive and well-articulated implementation plan to help effectively guide the affected parties, such as the use of plain-language guidance documents and training exercises. Clearly identifying


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and conveying the requirements and expectations will help facilitate adaptation and compliance. In its comments MBP touched upon the importance of cattle producers having access to nutritionally sound and safe feed products, particularly when concerns arise about potentially toxic levels of contaminants such as ergot. How mycotoxin challenges are managed can potentially affect not only animal health, but also feed availability and affordability. MBP asked for continued CFIA dialogue with the beef sector, the animal nutrition sector and the research community around best approaches to managing mycotoxins in feed that take into account the aforementioned factors. It is hoped that continued research into the effects of mycotoxins on cattle (such as tolerance levels) will provide useful guidance as to how to better mitigate against potential risks associated with feed production and consumption. Through its representation on the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, MBP continued to raise the importance of addressing ongoing concerns about ID tag retention issues. MBP also identified the desire among producers to potentially have access to a wider variety and style of RFID tags and new technology. At year’s end the federal government was still finalizing expected changes re: traceability/movement reporting for the livestock sector, such as move-in and move-out reporting requirements. These changes are intended to make traceability more accurate when issues arise, such as a disease trace-out and the beef industry has been advocating to ensure any changes are least disruptive and burdensome to the sector. New federal regulations for the humane transport of livestock came into force on February 20, 2020 with a two-year transition period on the enforcement of feed, water and rest (FWR) interval provisions for the cattle sector. There are also a number of record keeping requirements. MBP, along with other industry stakeholders have expressed concerns to government officials that by reducing the hours in transit it means cattle will have to be unloaded more frequently, potentially increasing the risk of injury and illness during the loading/unloading and comingling processes. The beef cattle transportation success rate is more than 99 per cent and it is important that any regulatory changes not negatively impact this. Enforcement of the humane transport requirements continue and producers or transporters could be cited for violations. More information on changes to FWR requirements is expected early in the new year. Building sectoral capacity: research Among MBP’s strategic objectives are building Manitoba’s cattle industry through innovation, improved economic competitiveness and profitability. MBP strongly supports investments in research, innovation and knowledge transfer. Twenty three cents of every Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off (national check-off/NCO) dollar collected in Manitoba goes towards conducting and promoting research activities re: beef cattle, beef and beef products. See the Beef Cattle Research Council at www.beefresearch. ca for more details. A further 6.5 cents of every NCO dollar collected in Manitoba is retained for Manitoba projects that reflect MBP’s research priorities and which align to national priorities. Over the past year, MBP investments have gone toward research projects such as: assessing the impacts of cattle grazing on the proliferation of foxtail barley in wet meadow rangeland communities; use of multispecies annual forage crops to promote healthy

Manitoba Beef Producers took part in ‘Fields to Forks’ and our featured farm family was Andre and Katie Steppler, along with their children, who reside in the Miami area. Photo credit: Chris Thenhaus/CTV



soil microbial communities and improve forage yield and sustainability; response of rangeland ecosystems to extreme drought; perennial forage grain for fall grazing of beef cattle; strategic supplementation to improve beef performance in grazing; assessing the relationship between tick abundance on pastures and on cattle, and the risk ticks represent to cattle and livestock workers; extension re: livestock vaccination; the Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team forage testing trials; and a project re: cattle as a natural systems solution to effectively utilize resources and mitigate climate change.

accompany the two beef episodes when they air, providing viewers with the farm to table connection. This season’s beef producer participants included the Plett family from the Stead area and the McRae family from the Brandon area. As well, Tim Sopuck of Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation is featured in one of these segments, talking about the environmental benefits of beef production. Public reaction to these webisodes was extremely positive. Access GTOM episodes, recipes and the webisodes at the newly-updated show website: .

MBP remains a key partner in Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI), the collaborative beef and forage research and demonstration farm at three sites in the Brandon area. The other partners are Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association and Ducks Unlimited Canada. MBP strongly believes the applied research and knowledge transfer activities being undertaken through MBFI can play a critical role in advancing Manitoba’s beef and forage industries, ensuring they are well positioned for future generations of producers.

MBP hosted or participated in a number of producer-focused webinars. In April the MBP webinar “A Conversation on Many Aspects of the Industry” featured beef producer Jill Harvie, market analyst Anne Wasko and mental health expert and producer Cynthia Beck. This dynamic group of leaders shared their personal and professional experiences in the Canadian cattle industry while offering practical tips related to fostering mental health.

Core funding for MBFI is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. As well, MBP provides financial, administrative and governance support to MBFI. Organizationally MBFI’s direction and activities are overseen by an elected board of directors which includes producers. MBP thanks the core partners and all the other generous partners (including corporations, companies and academic institutions) for their ongoing commitment to MBFI’s success. For more details on MBFI’s activities in 2021 see page 11 or visit to learn more. Governance Some changes to the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association (operating as MBP) administration by-law were passed at the 42nd Annual General Meeting in February. These changes included affirming the use of electronic means to both notify of and to conduct district meetings, AGMs and special meetings, something which became increasingly necessary due to the pandemic. To allow for more flexibility, the by-law changes also adjusted the period in which MBP’s district meetings can be held prior to AGM. Review of the administration by-law continued in 2021, with more proposed amendments going forward to the 43rd AGM in relation to the composition of the districts and regarding director term limits. Due to pandemic’s continued impact in fall 2021, MBP held seven in-person meetings in even-numbered districts where director elections were required, and two virtual meetings for producers in odd-numbered districts and those in even-numbered districts who had missed their meeting. Telling our Story: Communications, Outreach and Sponsorship MBP undertakes a range of activities aimed at communicating with its members, and to engage with the general public to help inform them about beef production. Pandemic-related restrictions again hindered in-person public outreach activities in 2021 so MBP focused on radio, TV, social media, and other offerings. For example, during the summer MBP participated in Bell Media’s Fields to Forks campaign, a series aimed at raising awareness of agriculture in Canada. The sector profile featuring beef producers Andre and Katie Steppler of Steppler Farms of the Miami area ran on CTV Winnipeg and the digital content was posted to the campaign’s website. As well, MBP director Matthew Atkinson was interviewed about a day in the life of a beef producer. And, director Melissa Atchison took part in the companion piece “On the Farm” that aired on Brandon’s Bell Media radio stations. MBP was involved with several virtual cooking events. These included Cooking With Matt, a four-part Facebook Live series during July and August whereby Brandon’s Bounce Radio host Matt Gates cooked beef burgers with MBP’s food expert Tamara Sarkisian, RD. In April, Winnipeg radio station QX104FM held a QXNation Cooks with Manitoba Beef Producers online contest that gave three lucky listeners a chance to join morning show hosts Brody and Randy for a virtual cooking party featuring beef recipes developed and demonstrated by Sarkisian specially for this promotion. And in February, with the assistance of Canada Beef there was also a virtual cooking event with 25 Manitoba 4-H club members. MBP took part in the 32nd season of Great Tastes of Manitoba (GTOM), a popular cooking show on CTV Winnipeg. Videos involving two Manitoba beef producers families

In mid-July MBP hosted a virtual discussion with producers about the drought. MBP provided updates on the situation, including its advocacy activities. It was an important opportunity for producers to share feedback with MBP on potential initiatives to help them deal with the effects of the disaster. In mid-September MBP, along with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, Keystone Agricultural Producers and the Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association hosted a webinar which gave an overview of the AgriRecovery programs to assist producers affected by the drought. Collaboration is very important when it comes to MBP’s ability to engage with diverse audiences. For example, MBP has a longstanding relationship with Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba (AITC-M) and was a core level supporter of it in 2021. Its work focuses on providing accurate, balanced and current information for use as education resources in school curriculum and on enhancing awareness of agriculture in schools. MBP is also a supporter of the Manitoba 4-H Council as 4-H activities are important to the children of many Manitoba cattle producers. Media engagement is vital to MBP’s advocacy work. Throughout 2021 MBP directors and staff participated in dozens of media interviews (local, national, and international) about the drought. This helped raise both public and policy makers’ awareness of its impact on the sector. Other interview topics included: changes to business risk management programs, meat prices, livestock predation, cattle production, the environment, provincial legislation, agricultural Crown lands, and more. MBP took part in more than 200 interviews in 2021. Member communications efforts remained a priority too. The primary outreach vehicle continues to be our newspaper Cattle Country which is distributed to producers, value chain members, government officials and others eight times annually. Subscribers to our biweekly e-newsletter continue to grow, as do the number of people gleaning information through our social media channels. To sign up for the e-newsletter contact MBP Communications Lead David Hultin at You can follow us on Facebook, and check us out on Twitter via @ManitobaBeef. Serving our members: looking ahead MBP will continue to advocate on behalf our members as we work to advance Manitoba’s beef industry in 2022. Many familiar issues will be revisited, from production challenges to agricultural Crown lands, predation, water management, BRM tools, public trust and more. New issues and opportunities will undoubtedly emerge and MBP’s board of directors and staff will be there to tackle them. MBP thanks our producer members for your ongoing support. Moving the dial on policy issues is not always swift or easy, but your insights and support of our advocacy efforts is sincerely appreciated. Similarly, MBP appreciates the collaborative efforts between the various industry associations and other value chain members to help the sector respond to the various challenges, such as those arising from the pandemic. This level of cooperation has been invaluable. And, MBP thanks elected officials and government staff at all levels for ongoing engagement on issues and opportunities affecting Manitoba’s beef industry. As always, our organization is stronger when we hear from our members, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 1-800-772-0458 or via For more information, please visit MBP’s website at



The information below is excerpts from MBP’s audited financial statement for the 2020-21 fiscal year as prepared by accounting firm MNP. To get a copy of the complete statement, contact the MBP office.


Non-Consolidated Statement of Financial Position As at June 30, 2021



2,461,903 87,453 250,000 15,476 2,814,832 204,692 19,184 517,274 20,000 3,575,982

1,561,240 54,850 261,392 15,067 1,892,549 204,692 10,081 500,000 20,000 2,627,322

586,315 346,618 932,933

203,582 76,819 280,401

204,692 2,438,357 2,643,049 3,575,982

204,692 2,142,229 2,346,921 2,627,322

1,532,809 (27,981) (209,224) 1,295,604

1,560,573 (26,938) (187,549) 1,346,086

6,169 36,081 97,638 421,564 13,826 575,278 1,870,882

52,600 49,976 97,464 285,269 6,068 491,377 1,837,463

14,177 (10,000) 1,966 292,925 1,780 53,837 2,915 3,932 9,089 55,912 8,770 149,515 19,650 10,500 73,294 330,200 367,327 87,700 6,265 1,479,754

8,221 (26,900) 3,023 356,224 695 117,137 8,720 4,748 10,004 53,153 10,546 206,030 11,290 19,982 75,082 197,382 431,737 85,616 6,798 1,579,488



(95,000) 296,128

(80,000) 177,975

Assets Current Cash and short term investments (Note 3) Accounts receivable Marketable securities (Note 4) Prepaid expenses and deposits Internally restricted cash (Note 5) Capital assets (Note 6) Investments (Note 7) Due from Manitoba Livestock Cash Advances Inc. (Note 8)

Liabilities Current Accounts payable and accruals (Note 9) Deferred contributions (Note 10)

Net Assets Internally restricted (Note 5) Unrestricted

Non-Consolidated Statement of Operations For the year ended June 30, 2021 Revenue Support Fees collected from producers under regulation Dealer commission Fees refunded

Other revenues Annual meeting Interest and sundry Newspaper revenue Project income Verified beef program Total Revenue Expenses Amortization Bad debts (recovery) Board meetings Canadian Cattleman’s Association fees Demonstration farm expenses (Note 11) Directors’ expenses (Note 12) General manager Information technology Insurance Memberships in other organizations Office equipment, supplies and postage Producer communications Professional fees Provincial promotions Rent SARPAL project Salaries and benefits Special projects Telephone

Excess of revenue over expenses before other items Other items

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Cash contributions to Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Inc. (“MBFI”) (Note 11) Excess of revenue over expenses


MANITOBA BEEF & FORAGE INITIATIVES INC. DR. MARY-JANE ORR, MBFI GENERAL MANAGER Through 2021 Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) has continued to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of operating in a pandemic under ever changing public health restrictions. As a not-for-profit research and demonstration farm in partnership with Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association (MFGA), and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (MB ARD), we are positioned to quickly adapt to changing requirements to support collaborators in their research needs. At MBFI’s Annual General Meeting new directors Matthew Atkinson, an MBP director from District 8, and Laura Plett, a producer from Stead, were confirmed to our board of directors. They join Tracy Gilson (Chair), Kristine Tapley (Vice Chair), Tyler Fewings (Treasurer), Melissa Atchison, and Lawrence Knockaert on the 2021-2022 board. MBFI recognizes the service and dedication of outgoing directors Tyler Fulton and Ken Gross. We thank you for your commitment to MBFI and wish you all the best in your future work! The 2021 summer student cohort, including Lauren McKee, Maeghan McDonald, Rylee Paterson, and Josie Pedersen were a fantastic group that arrived ready to learn and work hard. We are thankful for the opportunity to work with the next generation of beef producers and share the experience with students new to farm production. MBFI Extension Coordinator Jordan Dickson had a beautiful baby girl this fall and we wish the proud new parents all the best over the coming year! MBFI has welcomed Ron Kristjansson to the team, joining Leah Rodvang and Clayton Robins. MBFI is deeply appreciative of our dedicated board of directors, full time staff, summer students, and collaborators that have been highly adaptable and worked diligently to fulfill our mission to advance the Manitoba beef and forage industry by engaging stakeholders, evaluating on-farm innovation, and providing extension for sustainability of farmers, the public, and the environment. In short, our mission is to engage, evaluate, and extend. Engage MBFI works to engage stakeholders in the beef and forage industry to build relationships across academic institutions, industry, producers, students, and the public. MBFI is excited to partner with organizations to create opportunities for hands-on learning, build public awareness of agriculture, and collaborate in on-farm research project development. Highlights from 2021 include working with 4-H Manitoba in their purchase of a model dystocia simulator that will be housed in the MBFI Learning Centre. The full-size cow and calf model will demonstrate the birthing process and techniques to assist in-utero mal-presentation. Stay tuned for news in 2022 for opportunities to see the model in action. Another highlight is the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding for research collaboration between Assiniboine Community College (ACC) and MBFI, recognizing the mutual benefits gained through promoting research activities and production extension. Over the school year MBFI has hosted ACC student site visits to our farm stations and is working one-on-one with students in multiple Capstone projects. Evaluate

2022. A sampling of potential topics includes continued work with annual forages in diverse mixtures for greenfeed production and grazing, regeneration of saline areas, comparing different forage mixes for sod seeding in a marginal pasture, forage species demonstration plots at both the Brookdale Farm and First Street pasture, comparing grazing at different utilization and rest periods, and overall benchmarking of soil health, pasture health, and livestock performance. To make a project suggestion or for more information check out MBFI’s webpage at or email Extend Extension and education programming at MBFI is founded in on-farm research and demonstration studies to promote excellence, efficiency, and sustainability of practices. Over 2021, an increased emphasis was placed on creating virtual content through collection of video content from project leaders and in hosting webinars. In our first webinar, Dr. Samuel Wauer (Merck Animal Health) presented on how to make the learning curve less steep on implementing artificial insemination. The President’s Student Leadership Project student group, in collaboration with MBFI and DUC, hosted a webinar for university students to raise awareness of the role of beef cattle in grassland conservation in Manitoba. MBFI also hosted a webinar for cover cropping on the Canadian Prairies, with Callum Morrison presenting findings from the 2020 Prairie Cover Crop Survey. Video content and webinar recordings are available for viewing through our website ( In-person field tours were slow to start in the summer, and we were eager to be a host site for the Manitoba Soil Science Society field tour. The format was designed for smaller groups with presentations in the field from Michelle Erb (MB ARD) and Curtis Cavers (University of Manitoba) at an open soil pit showcasing the Newdale soil series, Brandon University graduate student Adriana Avila working with Dr. Alex Koiter on the effect of grazing management of riparian zones on phosphorus distribution, and Dr. Terence McGonigle (Brandon University) on estimating soil carbon stocks to 100 cm depth in different pasture systems. Later in August, MBFI hosted a Brookdale Farm field day showcasing increased grass productivity under planned rotational grazing, a demonstration of estimating grazing days, diverse annual forages to extend grazing, and a snapshot of findings from the 2020 Prairie Cover Crop Survey. Activities in the Brookdale Farm Learning Centre have slowly started up again with bookings for industry meetings at a reduced capacity with vaccination requirements. In December I was thrilled to participate in a Holistic Management course at the Learning Centre. While restricted to the small group size, it provided a great opportunity to get to know producer participants and educators while learning tools to improve the MBFI farm operations. Planning for events in 2022 include in-person and virtual hybrid events for grazing planning, ins and outs of electric fencing, and solar power options for watering systems. Looking forward to 2022, MBFI is eager to publish findings from completed field studies, continue building partnerships, and to provide extension programing that can be tailored to diverse audiences.

Evaluation of on-farm innovations and proposed beneficial management practices at MBFI’s farm stations provide a place to see practices in action and a basis of observed data for management decisions to support industry and environmental sustainability. In the 2021 field season there were four Tier I demonstration projects, designed as case studies, and six Tier II projects designed with randomized treatment replication and or control treatment to assess if the practice(s) perform better than a comparison under the conditions at MBFI. Demonstration project leaders are now busy completing annual reports to be published on MBFI’s webpage in the spring of 2022. There were also seven active academic research studies hosted at MBFI over the last year. As a component of MBFI’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership grant, we are eagerly working towards completing plans to increase our capacity for livestock and crop monitoring research equipment. Investment in research tools and new technologies is focused on addressing current gaps in capacity and on creating opportunities beyond current projects to attract researchers and incentivize innovative studies. Virtual fencing is one highlight that we will be excited to showcase at MBFI as the technology becomes available in Canada. Looking forward to the 2022 field season a new project intake is currently underway, with proposals to be reviewed by MBFI’s Research Advisory Committee in early

Leah Rodvang, MBFI Research Technician presenting at 2021 Field Day. Photo credit: MBFI

M A N I T O B A B E E F P R O D U C E R S 11


CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION BOB LOWE, CCA PRESIDENT MBP MEMBERS OF CCA BOARD: TYLER FULTON, MIKE DUGUID, MATTHEW ATKINSON Over the past year, our sector demonstrated its unwavering perseverance as we worked to navigate and overcome more adversity with the devastating impacts of droughts, wildfires, and floods, as well as managing the uncertainty created by the pandemic. We still don’t have a complete picture of the impacts of the drought, as further obstacles and stress are expected for beef producers and ranchers in the west and parts of Ontario moving into 2022. In addition, we are monitoring the impact of the devastating flooding in British Columbia on cattle producers and supply chains. We are thankful for the quick rollout of AgriRecovery programs from both the federal and provincial governments, which provide support for winter feeding costs, improving access to water, and impacts from wildfires. As further drought-related issues are identified, CCA will continue to work alongside our provincial partners to communicate these impacts and advocate for potential solutions to the federal and provincial levels of government.

UNFSS CCA represented the unified interests of the Canadian beef industry at the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in September. We proudly shared our story and highlighted our role in environmental stewardship, food security, and innovation. Advocacy at this global level positions Canadian beef producers favourably in conversations about food and food production, with the goal of enhancing consumer support and public trust. CCA’s leadership paid off and ensured our sustainability efforts were recognized on a global scale! Canadian livestock producers were recognized on the world stage for their sustainability efforts by the Government of Canada at the UNFSS. Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Induction

After 18 years, May 2020 marked the end of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) era in Canada with the World Organisation for Animal Health recognizing Canada as negligible risk for BSE. CCA worked closely with the Government of Canada to see the application for negligible risk come to fruition. This change in risk status will help facilitate expanded access to foreign markets for various beef products currently limited by BSE era restrictions. CCA is now focusing on the removal of the remaining BSE era market access restrictions, as well as the alignment of packing house requirements with international recommendations.

Former CCA President, Stan Eby, was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame (CAHF) in November. As CCA President from 2004-2006, Stan’s leadership and guidance during the early years of BSE contributed to the re-establishment of export markets, effective disaster relief for beef producers and ranchers, and changes to the international response to BSE. During another year of adversity for beef Stan Eby (Photo Credit Laurie Karson) farmers and ranchers, Stan’s induction into the CAHR is a bright light. Stan is known for his calm and consistent leadership, which was a strong asset during his term as CCA President and as the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association President during the Walkerton water crisis. Thank you and congratulations, Stan!


25th Anniversary of The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA)

Our trade priorities focus on growing and expanding access for Canadian beef in key markets such as China, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) as well as pushing for trade limiting restrictions to be removed on Canadian beef with the goal of leveling the playing field for Canadian beef farmers and ranchers.

Through TESA, our industry celebrates the efforts undertaken by cattle producers to protect and preserve the environment – TESA celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. We aim to showcase real stories of Canadian cattle producers, so Canadians can get a glimpse into the care and commitment that is taken to raise cattle, while protecting and preserving the environment.

Despite the hardships facing our industry this year, there were also pivotal moments of success and momentum for cattle producers worth noting: Canada attains BSE negligible risk status

CCA is also working hard to optimize trade with the EU. Canadian beef producers have not reaped the same success as their EU counterparts due to many technical barriers, ranging from specific production protocols to meeting documentation requirements, impeding Canadian exports into the EU. In addition, CCA is following developments on trade negotiations of particular interest to Canada’s beef industry, such as Canada-U.K., the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Indonesia, and the Canada-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Agreement. We expect the Asian region to hold the largest growth potential in beef demand over the next 25 years and securing more access into these markets is a priority for us. COP26

Fisheries Act Since the new Fisheries Act came into force over two years ago, the federal government has consulted with stakeholder on the regulations that CCA provided comments and recommendations on. There is a second wave of consultations announced to address revisions to the interim Codes of Practice, and CCA will engage in 2022. Next Agricultural Policy Framework

CCA’s Fawn Jackson participated in a session at the United Nations Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26) with other industry leaders from around the world on farmers’ climate ambitions and highlighted how sustainable beef production in Canada is an important part of the solution. The goal from our involvement in these international discussions is to help influence a small shift towards a more positive narrative surrounding the livestock industry in the global arena.

CCA is working hard to bring strong recommendations forward for consideration for the Next Agricultural Policy Framework (NPF). As negotiations proceed, it is our hope that a forward-looking framework is developed with an increased funding envelope and policies designed to foster a competitive business environment as well as tackle ...Continues bottom of next page the impacts of climate change.

Fawn Jackson speaking at COP26. Photo credit: CCA 12 2 021 R E P O R T T O M E M B E R S

Congratulations to this year’s recipient – the Manning Family Farm – from Falmouth, Nova Scotia, who are leaders in their community and the beef sector at large with their outreach efforts to the general public and their open-door policy to educate consumers wanting to know more about how beef cattle are raised in harmony with the environment.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau (third from left) along with the CCA and Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers of Agriculture. Photo credit: CCA


CANADIAN CATTLE IDENTIFICATION AGENCY PAT HAYES, CHAIR MBP MEMBER OF CCIA BOARD: NANCY HOWATT It will come as no surprise that 2021 has been a challenging year. CCIA has done well by implementing COVID protocols, working remotely and relying more heavily on our digital systems. Despite the difficulties 2021 brought, we would be remiss not to mention some of the major milestones and accomplishments that came about this year. Relocation of CCIA We have had a longstanding goal of owning our own building consisting of both office and warehouse. By having dedicated space of our own and room for a distribution centre we have the potential to increase our in-house services and become more self-reliant to better serve the industry as we move forward. We have been actively seeking a new property since March 2020 and are excited to announce we have finally found our permanent home in SE Calgary. The move happened in mid-September, and we are enjoying the new building and all its wonderful features. Improved Tag Retention – Destron and Shearwell We’ve heard concerns about lost tags, missing backs and poor tag retention. We’ve been listening and have worked directly with manufacturers on this issue, we are pleased to offer additional options for improved traceability solutions. Tag retention will be a major focus of our 2022 ad campaign. The new Destron DMR RFID tag is an upgraded and improved version of the Destron eTag. Improvements include a fully molded outer tag housing for better durability, water resistance and an improved tag locking mechanism for greater retention. Additionally, we would also like to announce the first loop RFID cattle tag, exclusively to the CCIA webstore. Tamper evident and manufactured from corrosion-resistant stainless steel for excellent retention, the tag is considered a game changer among animal indicators. The one-piece tag is an additional option when it comes to official, approved tags. The button style remains available as well for those who prefer it. The Destron DMR and Shearwell metal tag will be available through the CCIA webstore early fall at: or call CCIA Client Support toll free at 1.877.909.2333. CCIA Annual General Meeting

Don Hargrave of the Beef Farmers of Ontario, Yvonne Mills of the Canadian Bison Association and Cam Daniels of the Canadian Meat Council were welcomed to the CCIA Board of Directors. The remainder of the CCIA Board remains the same, led by Pat Hayes of Val Marie, SK, (Canadian Cattlemen’s Association representative) who stands as the Board Chair with Lyle Miller (Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association representative) as Vice Chair of the industry-led, non-profit. The remainder of the Executive Committee consists of Howard Bekkering (Alberta Beef Producers representative), Finance and Audit Committee Chair; Doug Sawyer (CCA representative) and Ken Perlich (Livestock Markets Association of Canada representative) are the Executive Members. Moving Forward with Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) There is a growing interest in Ultra High Frequency (UHF) technology-based tags and equipment as a management tool for livestock producers. Recent work by industry has uncovered opportunities and challenges for implementing the technology in Canada, which is highly supported by the feedlot and packer sectors. While CCIA is technology neutral, we have a project completed which reviews all the relevant literature available on the subject and its application to the livestock industry, which was completed with support and funding by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and Canadian Cattleman’s Association. Visit to learn more. Industry has indicated that there are benefits to be captured using the technology beyond the capabilities of the current Low Frequency technology tags. Even ahead of international standardization of numbering schemes, which is required for national adoption of the technology in Canada, introduction and testing of the technology is being seen as beneficial. CCIA is receptive to industries wishes but require changes and additions to current systems to allow the new technology to achieve its greatest benefit for all stakeholders. CCIA is exploring ways to rapidly introduce UHF management tags into the existing system in a cost-efficient manner that supplies benefits of the technology to on-farm data collection and supports traceability. Traceability integrity is enhanced and data capture is simplified by pairing a UHF tag number with a CCIA tag number and storing the cross reference in the CLTS.

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) held a virtual Annual General Meeting in April in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Business Risk Management ...Continued from previous page

In early November, CCA was invited to participate in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agriculture Ministers’ meeting outlining the priorities of the NPF that’s set to replace the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) ending in March 2023. Over the course of the meeting, a large emphasis was placed on the environment and climate change and CCA contributed to discussions about the role of beef producers in tackling climate change and environmental protection, as well as addressing the important role our sector plays in securing environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration and biodiversity protection.

CCA and provincial cattle associations collaborated to improve business risk management programs this year. The removal of the reference margin limit (RML) under AgriStability was a welcomed change that will provide greater equity to cow-calf producers under the program. Enhancements were also made to Livestock Price Insurance (LPI) program, including the extension of calf settlement windows into January and February, extended calf program availability into June and extended hours to buy a policy and claim a settlement. CCA and provinces also lobbied for quick rollout of targeted AgriRecovery programs from both the federal and provincial governments, which provided drought and wildfire support.

Humane Transport Regulations

Youth Leadership Programs

CCA has requested a one-year extension on the feed, water, and rest transition period from February 2022 to February 2023 to allow for science-based research to be completed and reviewed to ensure the best outcomes in humane transportation are achieved.

The CCA’s Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) Mentorship Program welcomed its new group of participants for the upcoming program year this fall.

Research funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Beef Cattle Research Council is underway to build upon earlier research to better understand the effects of unloading and reloading cattle, rest stop duration and the associated animal welfare outcomes. Published results from the two trials under the project show that rest stops do not provide significant health or welfare benefits to transported calves. The final trial of the project is investigating longer transport intervals and the effect of rest stops. This research is expected to be completed in spring 2022.

The CCA’s Young Cattlemen’s Council also welcomed new executive members at their Annual General Meeting held in Calgary this past summer. Carley Henniger (BC) was elected President and Martin Clausen (AB) will serve as Vice President. The Council would like to thank Holly Sparrow (SK) for her hard work and dedication as YCC President for 2020-2021. We look forward to working with our industry stakeholders and Parliamentarians, to move our priorities forward, creating a win-win-win, for beef producers, Canada’s economy, and our environment. There are likely more tough days ahead, but with hard work and perseverance, we can make positive things happen for our industry in 2022. M A N I T O B A B E E F P R O D U C E R S 13


CANADIAN BEEF CHECK-OFF AGENCY CHAD ROSS, CBCA CHAIR MBP MEMBER OF AGENCY BOARD: MARY PAZIUK COVID-19 has changed so much of the world we live in, that it is hard to remember what life was like before Zoom calls and social distancing. But the last year has really shown how resilient and collaborative our industry can really be. We have had to adjust how we do business in a lot of ways for our national and provincial organizations, while at home on our beef ranch, we’ve had to find ways to keep our families, friends and employees safe and still continue to provide top quality beef to Canadians and the world. Our check-off dollars went to work hard last year, supporting flexible marketing strategies to meet consumers where they were shopping and delivering most, and investing research dollars into projects that helped producers stretch their feed supplies and increase efficiencies while holding on to cattle in a backlogged market situation. Investments into maintaining and growing public support for beef and beef producers was paramount this year, and our industry continues to focus on the science that shows how beneficial cattle and beef really are to our environments and bodies. Last year, $17.2 million in check-off was collected in Canada, to help drive value for Canadian beef and veal producers. Add that to the $1.2 million in import levy collected, and nearly $19 million was invested into making our industry more efficient and profitable. We have worked to educate producers, stakeholders and those along the value chain about the collection and remittance of check-off, which has in turn, reduced slippage. Our goal of being a lean organization continues. It is important to us to remain engaged and encourage engagement, an area that remains a priority for us, like it does from coast to coast. We are always looking for ways to change our strategies and remain flexible, making sure to get our message to where producers are. As markets fluctuate and the way we raise and produce cattle changes, so must our strategy for investing checkoff dollars. Different points in the cattle cycle highlight the need for different investment priorities for our industry, so we have to be ready to watch for those market signals and remain flexible. Through the National Beef Strategy, our industry can continue to focus on the priorities that will move us forward together, which includes a funding strategy to meet the goals that will affect the profitability and future of Canadian beef producers. The Strategy recommends both funding allocations for each provincial cattle association, as well as the measurable goals that will continue to pull our industry into the future. And it is the job of our national beef organizations, including our provincial partners and our three national service providers, to help deliver on those measurable goals. Speaking of our service providers, I have to give each of them a round of applause. This year has not been easy, and they have all stepped up to the plate to continue working for our industry without missing a beat. At Canada Beef, Michael Young has brought such an impressive leadership style for the marketing arm of our industry. Canada Beef continues to thrive with Michael at the helm, and it is so encouraging to see the marketing strategies being put to work on behalf of our beef and veal producers. It is certainly something to be proud of. At the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), Andrea Brocklebank has been a rock for our industry. Through crises and prosperity, Andrea has continued to lead the BCRC and the industry’s research strategies to do what they do best, which is to help beef producers do what they do best. Under Andrea’s leadership, research capacity has been retained and grown, which is an incredible accomplishment for our industry.

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Leading the Public and Stakeholder Engagement (PSE) team, Amie Peck has continued to drive new and exciting programs and strategies to share the stories of our industry and our beef and producers with the world. The Guardians of the Grasslands film has been an absolute joy to watch spread across the country, and it makes me feel so good about the hands that we’re leaving our industry in. Our service providers work incredibly hard on our behalf, so be sure to take a moment and thank them for everything they do to drive our industry forward. We are so lucky to attract and retain top talent in the beef industry, and I want them to know how much the beef producers in Canada appreciate the work that they do. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our provincial and national partners for being so engaged with the Agency. It is always a pleasure to work with the board and staff from these organizations, and we continue to foster positive working relationships as we grow. It can be hard to remain flexible and engaged in a world where business has to move forward virtually, but I appreciate the commitment from our friends across the country to work hard for our producers in Canada. Lastly, I want to thank every one of you who is a part of Canada’s beef and veal industry. I know it hasn’t been easy and things like profitability, consolidation, public perception and the all mighty dollar often work against us, but when we put our heads down and go to work each day, we know that our industry continues to do what’s right for us today, and what’s right for our children tomorrow.


NATIONAL CATTLE FEEDERS’ ASSOCIATION JAMES BEKKERING, NCFA BOARD CHAIR MBP MEMBERS OF NCFA BOARD: HARRY DALKE FOLLOWED BY AUDREY KUIK-SCHWEITZER Activities and accomplishments of the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) reached new heights in 2021 as we stepped out to execute on a new five-year Strategic Plan adopted by the Board of Directors last year. While there are numerous initiatives and objectives under the plan, all of them drive back to NCFA’s core organizational goals—sustainable growth and prosperity, improved competitiveness, and industry leadership and collaboration. I am especially pleased to report on four very significant achievements this year. First, NCFA succeeded in working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to develop a new “Trusted Trader” designation with USDA-APHIS. In 2020, NCFA was alerted that the US would restrict all convoy shipments of cattle travelling under a single Canadian Export Health Certificate (CHC) to a maximum of three trucks. This change would have dramatically complicated the logistics of shipping fed cattle south. Under the new “Trusted Trader” designation negotiated between Canada and the US, Canadian exporters of fed cattle can continue operating as usual with larger convoy shipments under a single certificate. Securing a positive regulatory outcome in Canada is one thing. Securing one south of the border is another thing altogether. Second, NCFA was pleased to serve as an essential voice of Canada’s beef industry in responding to new proposed feed regulations published this year in Canada Gazette-I. This comprehensive regulatory package is the result of a decade-long effort to modernize Canada’s livestock feed regulations, and one with which NCFA has been involved since the beginning. The final proposals meet many of the goals important to cattle feeders and also reflect critical input that NCFA has made over the years. While implementation remains a challenge, CFIA has welcomed NCFA’s offer to assist in the development of guidance documentation, brochures, and on-farm model systems needed by producers to meet the new requirements. Third, NCFA successfully partnered with other national cattle and beef industry stakeholders to arrive at a Joint Industry Statement calling for the development of ultra-high frequency (UHF) tags for Canadian cattle, and their eventual adoption as mandatory approved indicators for cattle traceability purposes. Broad acceptance of UHF technology across the beef value chain is no small accomplishment, and will keep Canada competitive with developments internationally, allow for faster tag reads of groups of cattle, and better position the industry to meet enhanced traceability regulations still in the works at CFIA. Finally, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) granted Canada “negligible risk status” for BSE in May 2021. NCFA was pleased to work with our national industry partners and the project team at CFIA to prepare the successful OIE application. This development will be a game-changer for Canada’s beef industry as we look to expand global trade opportunities and pursue adjustments that will provide a critical boost to our international competitiveness. The accomplishments above reflect only a small portion of NCFA’s efforts over the past year—a year marked by numerous events testing Canada’s fed cattle producers. NCFA has worked a very assertive government relations program aimed at communicating to decision-makers the challenges arising from a widespread drought unprecedented in both scope and scale, as well as fires, floods, rising feed costs, and acute labour shortages in our trucks, in the plants, and on our farms. All of this is occurring against the backdrop of an ongoing global pandemic coupled with new regulatory requirements on cattle transportation and electronic logging devices (ELDs). NCFA has staked out positions on this entire swath of issues and has worked diligently to protect and promote the interests of Canada’s cattle feeding sector.

A particularly critical submission was made in advance of the Federal-ProvincialTerritorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers meeting on the next Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Agreement. In that submission, NCFA urged the ministers to add “improving competitiveness” as a pillar of the next CAP Agreement and pursue meaningful reform to the current suite of agriculture Business Risk Management (BRM) programs by ensuring timely payments, removing the current $3 million cap on Agri-Stability, and increasing the payout rate to 85%. NCFA was also busy appearing and briefing the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, Citizenship and Immigration, International Trade, and Finance. NCFA held a “top-to-top” meeting with the CFIA President and the Senior Executive Team, followed by meetings with Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), officials within the Animal Health Directorate and the Import-Export Division, and officials at Health Canada’s Veterinary Drug Directorate (VDD). The September 2021 federal election afforded a unique opportunity to advance the interests of Canada’s cattle feeders. As part of our election outreach, NCFA submitted to each federal political party a list of agriculture priorities to include in their election platforms, and unfolded a social media campaign designed to draw attention to our issues and concerns. NCFA has always believed that industry collaboration and cooperation—multiple voices speaking with a consistent, coherent, and complimentary message—strengthens the beef industry by increasing leverage with government and encouraging action on our concerns. Throughout 2021, NCFA worked with a wide range of industry and government partners on numerous working groups: • • • • •

Working Group on Animal Health Canada Working Group on Animal Transportation Working Group on SRM Requirements in Canadian Beef Plants Working Group on UHF Tag Technology Working Group on Climate Change (Agriculture Carbon Alliance)

The National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) was created in 2007 to serve as the voice of Canada’s fed cattle producers on issues of national importance that impact our sector. Across 2021, I believe we have accomplished that mandate in spades. As NCFA Chair, I extend my sincere appreciation to all our industry partners and each and every one of our dedicated directors for your collective efforts during the past year. A special word of thanks goes out to our talented provincial staff representatives, and our committed team of consultants on the ground in Ottawa. A special word of thanks goes out to Mr. Peter Brackenridge who has decided to finally “retire” after capably guiding NCFA on our many regulatory files over the years. On behalf of the entire NCFA team, we wish you all the very best Peter. At the same time, we extend a hearty welcome to Mr. Cameron Prince as he steps into this important advisory role. As a former VP of Operations with the CFIA, Cam is well-positioned to lend his expertise to NCFA on behalf of Canada’s cattle feeders.

Across 2021, NCFA made over two dozen separate submissions to the federal government. On the trade front, submissions were made to Global Affairs Canada on potential new free trade agreements with Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and India. On the regulatory front, submissions were made to the CFIA on a set of pre-proposals for enhanced traceability, cattle imports and exports, and improving regulatory competitiveness. Additional submissions were made to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on current carbon pricing policies and development of a new federal GHG offset system. Communications were also sent to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the need for continued access to foreign labour and to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) on proposed changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

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THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL MATT BOWMAN, CHAIR MBP MEMBER OF BCRC BOARD: MELISSA ATCHISON Investments in Research The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. The BCRC is led by a 14-member Council, comprised of 13 producers and one member at large, and is funded in part through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. In 2020/21, the BCRC received on average $0.67 of every $2.50 of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off collected by the provinces. This funding was leveraged with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Beef Cluster funding, where industry contributed 26% or $1.16 million and government contributed 74% or $3.27 million. In addition, the BCRC leveraged other Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off dollars with an additional $3.4 million in research funding from government and industry partners through initiatives outside of the Beef Science Cluster. Renewed Five-Year Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy The BCRC and its industry partners released a renewed Five-Year Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy in July 2021 to help target funding toward achieving high-priority beef research and extension objectives. The strategy supports increasing productivity while building upon the sector’s leadership in environmental, social and economic sustainability. It builds upon the success of previous iterations and complements the National Beef Strategy’s ambitious 10-year goals.

It is intended to guide investments of the BCRC and other Canadian beef research funding agencies for the most efficient use of limited funding. It also encourages greater collaboration across funding agencies through a portfolio approach to research investments, ensuring key research, capacity and extension priorities are addressed in a coordinated manner. The Strategy was developed for and by a broad range of producers, researchers, extension specialists, government, funding agencies and other industry stakeholders. For the 7-page Strategy Overview or the full 66-page Strategy, visit Beef Science Cluster III in Year Four of Five Projects funded under the current Beef Science Cluster III under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) run from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2023. The third Cluster is a $21.7 million program, with AAFC contributing $14.1 million and BCRC and industry partners contributing a total of $7.6 million over the five years. The BCRC manages 27 Cluster projects, including Science Coordination.

The BCRC currently funds:

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Most multi-year research projects are underway, with a few wrapping up in 2022. Some preliminary findings include: • increased productivity in mid-rotation native forested rangeland sites through an integrated forage, cattle and timber management approach, • new alfalfa varieties that are better able to tolerate drought and flood conditions and • rotating classes of antibiotics used in feedlots may help maintain effectiveness rather than relying solely on macrolides. A summary of all Cluster III research projects is available in the 2020/21 BCRC Results Report. Priority Research Projects Underway In addition to projects within the third Science Cluster, BCRC funds research projects aimed at achieving specific goals of high priority to the beef industry. Proof of Concept Informs Research Investment The BCRC funds short-term projects to examine and validate the feasibility of pursuing larger, more defined research investments in particular areas. These proof-of-concept (POC) projects are funded jointly by Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off dollars leveraged with government and/or industry partner funding, with some being funded solely by private industry.

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT Nutrient export through surface runoff is a concern for producers, lawmakers and the public, yet little research has been done in a Canadian-specific context to assess the issue. Drs. Kim Ominski and Don Flaten at University of Manitoba, along with other Canadian researchers, are developing a model to evaluate grazing impacts on water and nutrient cycling. Having accurate models to predict nutrient runoff will help beef cattle producers prevent runoff with better understanding of how management practices affect pasture watersheds. This study also will provide accurate, Canadian data for future watershed management policies. Other BCRC-funded priority research projects are exploring: • improved feed efficiency through individual cow variability in fibre digestibility, feed efficiency and methane emissions, • reduced supplementation costs through strategic forage selection, • in-plant validation of harvest processing equipment sanitization best practices and • the modes of action of yeast as a direct-fed microbial for feedlot cattle. Summaries of all projects are available at

Building Research Capacity Through Industry-Funded Chairs NSERC/BCRC Industrial Research Chair in One Health and Production-Limiting Diseases Funded by the BCRC, the federal government and the University of Saskatchewan, veterinary researcher Dr. Cheryl Waldner was announced as the new NSERC/BCRC Industrial Research Chair in One Health and Production-Limiting Diseases in 2021. Dr. Waldner will undertake a major five-year research program to address priorities of Canada’s beef producers across the beef value chain—from improved herd health and expanded surveillance of antibiotic use and resistance to increased uptake of best practices for herd management. Research capacity expanded further as new researcher, Dr. Emily Snyder, was hired to backfill Dr. Waldner’s previous research position.

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT A BCRC-funded study benchmarking calving management practices on Western Canada cow-calf operations highlighted a few tweaks to common practices that could significantly improve the survival of calves from difficult births. The research, led by Drs. Jennifer Pearson and Claire Windeyer of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, shows proper resuscitation that does not include hanging a calf upside down, non-dairy colostrum replacers and complete calving records can have a big impact on a calf’s survival to weaning age.


Dr. Cheryl Waldner, NSERC/BCRC Industrial Research Chair in One Health and Production-Limiting Diseases. Photo credit: BCRC

Producer Resources and Industry Engagement BCRC continues to develop and distribute numerous producer and stakeholder resources including fact sheets, interactive decision-making tools, videos, articles for industry magazines, webinars, blog posts, infographics and radio clips. As drought conditions set in, for example, BCRC staff promoted existing drought-related extension resources and developed new ones. This included blog posts, webpages and a webinar on drought management, alternative feeds and feeding strategies and water management. Resources related to early weaning of calves and winter feed management have also been developed, and work is underway to support drought recovery strategies. The 2021/2022 BCRC Webinar Series covers backgrounding, record keeping and grazing plans, all focused on practical, science-based information for Canadian beef producers. Some of the live webinars also qualify for continuing education credits for registered veterinary technologists. Register and watch recordings at For More Information To learn more about BCRC initiatives and to access resources and decision-making tools for beef producers, visit

Drs. Emma McGeough and Yvonne Lawley at University of Manitoba conducted a study to see if intercropping corn and legumes could provide higher protein winter grazing. In this study, a high-protein forage intercrop mix of Graza Radish, Hairy Vetch, Italian Ryegrass and Red Clover was grown in between corn rows. Despite severe drought conditions, the legumes established and feed tests showed pastures would produce high-quality feed to meet the dietary requirements for cows. This proof-of-concept project led to another BCRC-funded project looking at intercropping legumes over multiple years with cattle grazing and different agronomic measures such as row spacing. Other examples of BCRC-funded POC projects include: • studying chemical-free sanitizers to prevent E. coli contamination and reduce food waste and • evaluation of feedlot water bowls for pen-level surveillance of antimicrobial-resistant bovine respiratory pathogens. Summaries of all projects are available at

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HAMIOTA FEEDLOT TOUR In July Hamiota Feedlot, working in conjunction with the National Cattle Feeders Association (NCFA), hosted a tour with elected officials from the federal and provincial governments to discuss issues of importance to the cattle feeding sector. Larry Schweitzer and Audrey Kuik-Schweitzer touched upon a range of topics, including but not limited to: rural infrastructure needs; challenges in securing labour; ensuring that Canadian producers are competitive in the global marketplace context; and, the importance of fully leveraging potential trade opportunities for Canadian beef. Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) policy analyst Maureen Cousins also participated in the tour as MBP is a member of the NCFA. Kuik-Schweitzer is Manitoba’s representative to the NCFA on behalf of MBP. MBP extends its thanks to Hamiota Feedlot and the NCFA for arranging the tour and the discussions, as well as to the elected representatives for attending. L-r: Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris; Len Isleifson, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Brandon East; and, Dan Mazier, Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River- Neepawa. Photo provided by Hamiota Feedlot

QXNATION COOKS Great food deserves to be shared so Manitoba Beef Producers teamed up with Winnipeg radio station QX104FM in April for some fun in the kitchen. The online contest gave three listeners a chance to join morning show hosts Brody and Randy along with MBP food expert Tamara Sarkisian, RD for a virtual cooking party featuring scrumptious Japanese enoki beef rolls as well as a Thai beef noodle salad that were developed specially for this promotion. Both recipes can be found on the MBP website in the consumer section.

Donation to FortWhyte Alive MBP and Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association representatives at the cheque presentation for the refreshed soil diorama at FortWhyte Alive. Photo credit: David Hultin/MBP

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MBP Spring Webinar For many folks being a part of the agriculture sector can bring a sense of personal fulfillment along with the potential for a perfect storm of mental health challenges. Factors like the weather and market uncertainty can make for sleepless nights. And the ongoing global health pandemic has upended everything we know and forced everyone to adapt to continually evolving sets of health orders. Against the backdrop of these and other stressors – some of which are and aren’t unique to the cattle industry – Manitoba producers and their families were invited to join in a virtual conversation on fostering mental well-being. Over the course of the evening participants had the opportunity to hear from a dynamic group of leaders within the Canadian cattle industry who shared their personal and professional experiences while offering practical tips in a supportive environment. MBP thanks Cynthia Beck, Jill Harvie, and Anne Wasko for participating in the webinar.

MP & MLA Tour with Mike Duguid In July, Kevin Lamoureux, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North and Cindy Lamoureux, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Tyndall Park toured the operation of Manitoba Beef Producers District 10 Director Mike Duguid and his son Scott. It was a valuable opportunity to provide the elected officials about various aspects of beef production in Manitoba, including its important environmental role, such as preserving grasslands, providing habitat for different species of animals and plants, and storing carbon. The damaging effects of the drought on the beef sector were also discussed with them. L-r, Mike Duguid, Kevin Lamoureux, Cindy Lamoureux. MBP thanks the Lamoureuxs for coming out to learn more about Manitoba’s beef industry.

Cooking with Matt Manitoba Beef Producers teamed up with Matt Gates at Brandon’s Bounce 96.1FM radio over the summer to create four new and delicious BBQ burger recipes. Viewers on Facebook watched as Matt “measured with his heart” and cooked up classic homemade beef burgers with coleslaw, smoked burgers, smash burgers, and a mac & cheeseburger. All four recipes are available on the MBP website in the consumer section.

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Great Tastes of Manitoba Great Tastes of Manitoba, the television cooking series and its associated digital channels, were back for a 32nd season! Great Tastes is a farm-to-table cooking series hosted by popular Winnipeg media personality, Dez Daniels. Each episode features local food experts who showcase the nutritious, affordable, delicious ingredients grown by Manitoba’s farmers. Viewers are also introduced to the farm families and agricultural communities behind the scenes. All the recipes featured on the show are triple tested for guaranteed results and developed with the home cook in mind. This year, along with a brand new 13-episode series, ‘Great Tastes’ launched a new website which is home to over 500 recipes, full episodes, and 26 unique stories direct from farms across the province. It is a virtual master class for anyone wanting to know more about how food is produced in Manitoba, and it gives consumers a glimpse into the lives of the farmers who work hard to bring these local ingredients to their tables. Also, new for Season 32 was an expanded partnership with Supper Central. The series was filmed on location in their Kenaston Commons kitchen and they took the opportunity to feature select ‘Great Tastes’ recipes as meal kits available for purchase in-store and online. Meal kits make trying a new recipe so much easier because all the ingredients are prepped and ready to cook.

Established in 1991, this unprecedented television success story is uniquely Manitoban. The series is Manitoba’s most-watched food show, and one of the longest running locally produced television programs in Canada. ‘Great Tastes’ is produced by Frank Digital in partnership with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, and Manitoba’s farmers and ranchers through their non-profit industry associations: Manitoba Beef Producers (represented by Season 32 Food Expert Tamara Sarkisian, RD) Manitoba Canola Growers Association, Manitoba Chicken, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, Manitoba Pork, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, Manitoba Turkey Producers. Full episodes of ‘Great Tastes’ can also be streamed on demand at greattastesmb. ca or on the @GreatTastesTV YouTube channel. You can follow along with exclusive behind the scenes content, recipe tips, meal plans and more at @GreatTastesMB on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Great Tastes of Manitoba – Plett family Laura Plett, of Sawmill Creek Livestock near Stead, enjoys some family time between filming segments on her property for Great Tastes of Manitoba. Laura’s story, “Farming in the Forest” aired on October 23 and is available online at

Great Tastes of Manitoba – McRae family Beef farmers Brett and Chantel McRae of McRae Land and Livestock were the featured farm family on the December 4 episode of Great Tastes of Manitoba. Their episode, “Young Leaders focus on Land and Livestock” can be streamed online at

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Bibeau press conference The Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, at The Forks in Winnipeg announcing short-term changes to support drought-hit producers. Photo credit: CCA

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