Manitoba Beef Producers 2017 Annual Report

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Messages from the President and General Manager MBP 2017 Year in Review National Organization Reports




Gord Adams

Dave Koslowsky

Peter Penner

Heinz Reimer

District 1

Treasurer District 3

Ramona Blyth Vice President District 5

District 2

District 4

Larry Wegner District 6

MBP DIRECTORS......................................................................... PAGE 2 MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT.............................................. PAGE 3 MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER.............................. PAGE 4

Larry Gerelus

Tom Teichroeb

Dianne Riding

Ken McKay

District 7

2nd Vice-President District 8

2017 MBP YEAR IN REVIEW.............................................. PAGES 5 - 10 FINANCIAL REPORT................................................................. PAGE 11 REPORTS FROM: CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION................................ PAGE 12

Secretary District 9

District 10

NATIONAL CATTLE FEEDERS’ ASSOCIATION........................... PAGE 13 CANADIAN BEEF CHECK-OFF AGENCY................................... PAGE 14 CANADIAN CATTLE IDENTIFICATION AGENCY........................ PAGE 15 BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL ......................................... PAGE 16

Robert Metner District 11


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President District 13

Bill Murray District 12

Stan Foster District 14



Ben Fox President

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln


y fellow producers, it was a tremendous honour to serve as your MBP President in 2017. Twelve months have flown by in the blink of an eye, with much work undertaken and still more to do to help ensure a bright and sustainable future for Manitoba’s cattle industry. When I made my first speech as president to the membership at the 38th MBP AGM I touched upon four key words I believe describe our industry very well: strong, committed, vibrant and genuine. These types of attributes serve us well not only as individual farmers and ranchers, but also as your beef industry association. Please allow me to explain. Beef producers are as strong as they come. Our industry is tenacious in the face of adversity. Sure, challenges may come our way, but we are constantly looking for solutions. We also look for opportunities as we know that people value our high quality, nutritious beef. This type of strength and tenacity is very useful when our MBP directors and staff are advocating with governments for changes to policies and programs that will help propel our industry forward, not bog it down. I might add that a strong dose of patience is sometimes needed as some issues are not resolved as quickly as we would like. As an industry and an organization, we are extremely committed to ensuring that beef production in Manitoba is sustainable for generations to come, both from an economic and an environmental perspective. We represent the single largest group of livestock producers on the Manitoba landscape and our sector generates considerable economic benefits, sustaining not only our families, but also our rural communities and the larger provincial economy. We know how precious our natural resources are and as producers we are deeply committed to providing careful stewardship of the land we manage over successive generations. This benefits not only us, but also larger society. It is a message MBP drives home and time again with elected officials, public policy makers and the public alike. We believe producers should receive financial recognition for the broad array of ecosystem services they provide in managing privately-owned and public lands and MBP will continue to pursue this. Beef producers are a vibrant group. During my five years with the MBP board I have never ceased to be impressed by the enthusiasm demonstrated by cow-calf producers, backgrounders and feedlot operators around our province. Whether they are new entrants or seasoned veterans, cattle producers are passionate about what they are doing. As MBP directors and staff, we repeatedly remind decision makers in government of this fact – our members are in it for the long haul and they want and need a sound business climate in which to operate. That could mean having stronger business risk management programs, reduced regulatory burden or programs and services to encourage new entrants to our industry. Finally, beef producers are genuine. We take pride in being open and transparent in the way we conduct our operations. As an association we are sharing with all who will listen the good news about

beef production and working to dispel myths that may exist about it. We are frank and respectful in these conversations, working diligently to ensure people understand the importance of our sector and how many benefits and opportunities are associated with it. Throughout our Annual Report you will see updates on some of the issues which we worked on in 2017, although we don’t have room to cover them all. I’d like to touch upon a few key topics I see as affecting the future of our industry. The conversation about growing our herd continues within our sector and with the provincial government. Manitoba is blessed with a wealth

MBP President Ben Fox speaks during the 38th Annual General Meeting in Brandon. of resources that make it well suited to beef production, but we face a number of challenges which require permanent solutions. Some of these relate to our ability to effectively and efficiently use the landscape. MBP continues to advocate for lasting solutions to water-related issues that impede our ability to fully utilize privatelyowned and Crown lands to their full capacity. This will require investments in built and green infrastructure to reduce future flood risks, as well as strategies to provide resiliency against challenges like droughts. MBP spent considerable time in 2017 working on the costly and frustrating issue of predation. No producer wants to see their animals lost to or injured by predators. MBP has made a number of recommendations to the provincial government about how the risks can potentially be reduced. We have had some good conversations, strongly impressing upon the government the need for meaningful, collaborative actions. I am cautiously optimistic that we will make some demonstrable headway in the year ahead, but there is more work to do. The ability to source affordable pasture and forage land also affects our industry’s future

potential. MBP has repeatedly driven home to the provincial government the need for sound and transparent agricultural Crown lands policies and these talks will carry on in 2018. MBP also continues to advocate for the preservation of the community pasture system in Manitoba. In 2017 MBP provided input on issues of national focus that will have an effect on our industry going forward. This included proposed changes to animal transportation rules (particularly around hours in transit), as well as changes in the way producers will access veterinary products starting in late 2018. It is MBP’s position that policies in both these areas must be evidence-based and focused on delivering positive outcomes. We also provided input on changes that will be taking place around traceability and movement reporting. The use of manifests to report group movements is going to be critical going forward and we all need to be filling out the forms. This is a very important business risk management strategy that we as producers need to be successful at implementing for the benefit of our entire industry. If you have not already obtained a premises identification number, get in touch with your Manitoba Agriculture office about that. MBP knows that supporting beef and forage research is very important to our sector. We are proud of our role in Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives where valuable research and knowledge transfer activities are taking place through it. We thank all the partners for their involvement with MBFI, including the many generous sponsors who have seen the value of investing in it. MBP also recognizes that renewal is critical to the future of our industry. We need new entrants. MBP is developing a young producer strategy to give networking opportunities to young cattlemen and women. It is very encouraging to see so many young producers and other new entrants coming to our district meetings and AGM. They see a bright future here. In closing I would like to thank my wife Linda and my four children for their continued support as I spend time working on behalf of Manitoba’s beef producers. It is appreciated more than they realize. I would also thank to thank my fellow MBP directors for their ideas, input and ongoing support. We are heading into a period of transition with five directors wrapping up their time with the MBP board: Dave Koslowsky (District 2), Heinz Reimer (District 4), Ken McKay (District 10), Bill Murray (District 12) and Stan Foster (District 14). It has been a privilege to serve with all of you. Finally, I like to thank our staff for their commitment to creating a stronger cattle industry in our province. Together we have been a very dedicated group who have been working diligently to share the many positive benefits that raising cattle brings to our communities, our province and our country and to ensure a sustainable future for our industry. All the best to you and yours for a successful 2018! Our industry has a bright future ahead of it and by working together we can realize opportunities that will benefit our sector for decades to come. MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




Brian Lemon General Manager


s I finish my first full year as MBP’s General Manager, I can say it continues to be a pleasure to work on behalf of you, the beef producers of Manitoba. I have the privilege to work with an excellent and committed staff, and can assure every member that you certainly get full value for your money with their dedicated effort. I also get the opportunity to work with an incredibly dedicated group of directors who give so freely of their time for the betterment of our industry. I want to start my report with a bit of a reminder of how much we value the members’ contributions to MBP’s activities through their investment of their provincial check-off dollars. It is never lost on me that the ability of MBP to deliver meaningful results for beef producers relies on a producer’s choice to support us with their check-off dollars; that it is a test every day to ensure we show value for money to producers with everything we do. Unlike some other provinces Manitoba’s provincial beef check-off is mandatory but refundable. This means that it must initially get paid on every sale, but that producers have the right to opt out of the association and ask for a refund. Some provinces work within a regime where the provincial check-off is non-refundable. While a non-refundable regime might bring more certainty to MBP’s funding levels, it also wouldn’t provide us with the same daily test to ensure we bring value to producers. To be honest, I believe that the ability to refund is a positive, that makes sure that the board and the staff are accountable to the members. I have a short message to those producers who choose to request a refund and surrender many of their membership rights in MBP. While MBP respects their decision to exercise their right to refund, I would encourage them to allow MBP to explain how we bring value to all producers, including those who choose to refund. While not able to exercise the rights of membership (vote, make motions, etc.), these producers are certainly welcome to come to our district and annual meetings to listen and to ask questions to learn about how we are working for all Manitoba producers’ benefit. I am genuinely interested to understand why individuals choose to request their refund and to explain how they continue to realize on industry benefits funded by their neighbors and colleagues. I look forward to hearing from producers who request refunds, and will engage them in conversation at the end of which they will still be free to make their choice. A concern raised during MBP’s 2016 district meetings and one we are still working to address, is how to deal with larger producers who pay significant sums of provincial check-off and who potentially refund a percentage of their checkoff dollars. They could be leaving more checkoff with MBP than smaller producers, but forfeit their membership because they chose to request

a refund of a portion of the check-off paid. This involves many complicated questions and there is no easy option that make sense in every situation. It is being looked at by MBP staff and will potentially result in proposed bylaw changes. As I look back at the past year and the various issues that kept us busy, we continued to see progress on the bovine TB file. We worked with government officials to ensure nobody lets their commitment to achieving the final objective of TB freedom wane. Another disease also reared its head again this year with three confirmed cases of bovine anaplasmosis in southeastern Manitoba. The last time we had confirmed cases of anaplasmosis here the disease was still on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) list of federally reportable diseases. Since that time, the CFIA has determined that the disease does not pose a human health concern and doesn’t pose any trade implications thus, in this recent case MBP worked with provincial veterinary staff to inform the province’s choice of response. MBP also worked with the provincial government to ensure that productive animals were not needlessly destroyed. Predator losses were another significant priority for MBP. The file continues to be moving slower than we would like, but we are hopeful that the changes to leadership at Sustainable Development, including a new Deputy Minister well familiar with wildlife issues will bring renewed priority on this matter within the department. We continue to push both Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires and Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler to support the work of the industrygovernment working group, and an eventual pilot program to assist producers to deal with problem predators and ensure fair compensation for losses. The beef sector has a great story to tell in terms of the significant ecosystem benefits it provides. Our producers are the biggest reason why there are still grasslands on the prairies, and we need to be recognized for the benefits these perennial grasses and forages bring to the environment. We will continue to point out that our grasslands and pastures are part of the story that Premier Brian Pallister is using to convince the federal government that Manitoba deserves its own Made-in-Manitoba carbon pricing program. The Premier has been arguing that Manitoba made prior investments in clean energy (hydroelectricity) which needs to be recognized by Ottawa. In the same way, our producers have long been investing in carbon reductions by maintaining our grass and pastures as huge carbon sinks, pulling tonnes of carbon back out of the air. To ask Ottawa to recognize Manitoba’s past investments in clean energy and not recognize our producers’ past investments would be contradictory. Our grass and pastures provide benefits to air quality and the carbon footprint, to flood mitigation and

water management, to biodiversity and species at risk, as well as to water quality. We have a great environmental story to tell. Crown lands was another active file in 2017 and will keep us busy in 2018. Provincial legislators, in one of their final acts prior to the Christmas break passed regulatory changes and enacted a new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation, combining and replacing the prior Agricultural Crown Lands Leases Regulation and Agricultural Crown Lands Grazing and Permits Regulation. The impetus to make a change to the regulations was Manitoba’s entry into the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, but the province used the opportunity to make broader changes to the regulations. MBP certainly supported the province’s efforts to modernize the previous regulations to bring more transparency and predictability to the allocation process. MBP provided comments to Manitoba Agriculture about where we want to see improvements in the agricultural Crown lands program, but was not consulted on the draft regulations and did not have an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes prior to them receiving Royal Assent. There is still lots of work to be done following up on the regulatory changes as much of what impacts producers is found in the policy interpretations. MBP looks forward to an open and public consultation process on the new policy development. Finally, we can’t have an annual wrap-up without mention of the weather. Weather-wise this past year was pretty good for Manitoba farmers. With the exception of some spring flooding, for the most part, most of Manitoba was able to get an early and productive start. The annual cropping sector had an incredible start due to a very dry May, and cattle producers were able to get a good start as well after a very wet and challenging fall and freeze-up in 2016. In closing, this past year has certainly had its share of challenges, but also saw a decent season as well as some better prices for our cattle. As we look forward to 2018, there is always reason for optimism. The district meetings and AGM are a great chance to get out and meet producers and hear your concerns and your ideas. I encourage you all to come out and get engaged and challenge us to continue to bring value for your check-off investments. If you are not happy with what we are doing, the only way we know is if you talk to us. If you are not a current member of MBP, I ask you to consider talking to me about why you choose not to support MBP and see if there is a way that we can bring you value. On behalf of the rest of the staff − Maureen Cousins, Chad Saxon, Elisabeth Harms and Deb Walger - I look forward to working with you and on your behalf in the coming year. Thank you.

S TA F F Brian Lemon

General Manager 4

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Maureen Cousins Policy Analyst

Chad Saxon

Communications Coordinator

Elisabeth Harms Executive Assistant

Deb Walger Finance


MBP’S 2017 YEAR IN REVIEW Who is MBP? Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is the exclusive voice of Manitoba’s cattle industry, representing approximately 6,500 producers involved in various aspects of the beef cattle industry. This includes 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 $4/head is 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 of on behalf of the local beef industry, as well as its membership in organizations such as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA). 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 $1/head national check-off (NCO) is collected on all cattle sold in Manitoba. The purpose of the NCO is to promote sales of domestic and export beef and also to find better and more efficient methods of producing beef and beef cattle. To achieve this, NCO funding is used support activities of the Beef Cattle Research Council and Canada Beef. At MBP’s 37th Annual General Meeting in February 2016 the membership voted in favour of increasing the NCO from $1/head to $2.50/head marketed to help achieve the goals set out in the National Beef Strategy. The Strategy is organized around four key pillars: 1) Beef Demand: Increase carcass cutout value by 15% by 2020; 2) Connectivity: Enhance synergies

within industry and connect positively with consumers, the public, government, and partner industries; 3) Productivity: Increase production efficiency by 15% by 2020; and 4) Competitiveness: Reduce cost disadvantages compared to main competitors by 7% by 2020. MBP worked with staff from the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency to make the updates needed to the provincial agency agreements to enact the proposed increase to the NCO. It is expected to be implemented in Manitoba in the spring of 2018. Each provincial cattle association determines how their contribution to the NCO is allocated in their respective provinces. In 2017 MBP allocated 85.5 cents nationally to beef promotion and marketing activities and seven cents nationally towards national research priorities. As well, 7.5 cents was retained by MBP locally to help fund research. For additional information about MBP’s 2016-17 budget, see page 11. How are MBP’s activities organized and executed? MBP’s activities are guided by the board of directors’ broad direction and executed by 5.5 staff members and MBP’s Executive and Committee members. In 2017 these included General Manager Brian Lemon; Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins; Communications Coordinator Chad Saxon; Office Assistant Elisabeth Harms; Acting Project Coordinator Anne Rooban; and, part-time finance person Deb Walger. MBP also employs contract staff from time to time to deliver initiatives such as the Verified Beef Production+ Program. MBP also has two wholly owned subsidiary corporations – Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program Inc. (MLCA) and Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI), each with their own independent staff and governance structure, but which do report information to MBP. Both the MLCA and MBFI boards have representation from MBP’s board and regularly report information to MBP. MBP directors each sit on internal committees where they provide input and help develop positions around specific types of issues or opportunities. In some instances topics overlap between committees, such as those related to water management which can have both production management and environmental impacts. Some committees serve an or-

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

Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives − Board of Directors: Ramona Blyth (President), Peter Penner, Dave Koslowsky, Larry Gerelus, Larry Wegner Canadian Cattlemen’s Association – Heinz Reimer, Ramona Blyth, Tom Teichroeb Canada Beef – Heinz Reimer National Cattle Feeders’ Association – Larry Schweitzer, Ben Fox and Brian Lemon Canadian Cattle Identification Agency – Larry Gerelus Cattle Implementation Plan – Maureen Cousins Beef Cattle Research Council − Larry Wegner Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef – Brian Lemon or Maureen Cousins Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association – Gord Adams Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance – Heinz Reimer (Chair), Larry Gerelus, Larry Wegner, Tom Teichroeb, Ken McKay Bovine TB Task Force Committee – Bill Murray, Larry Gerelus, Brian Lemon, Maureen Cousins Beef Value Chain Roundtable – Brian Lemon or Maureen Cousins Assiniboine River Basin Initiative – Gord Adams and Maureen Cousins Invasive Species Council of Manitoba – Bill Murray Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative – Maureen Cousins

COMMITTEES EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Ben Fox President Ramona Blyth Vice President Tom Teichroeb 2nd Vice President Peter Penner Treasurer Dianne Riding Secretary ANIMAL HEALTH Gord Adams Chair Bill Murray Vice-Chair Heinz Reimer Ken McKay AGM/NOMINATIONS/ RESOLUTIONS Dave Koslowsky Chair Dianne Riding Vice-Chair Stan Foster Larry Wegner COMMUNICATIONS Dianne Riding Chair Gord Adams Vice-Chair Ramona Blyth Larry Gerelus CROWN LANDS Bill Murray Chair Stan Foster Vice-Chair Larry Gerelus Ken McKay Robert Metner ENVIRONMENT Larry Wegner Chair Heinz Reimer Vice-Chair Bill Murray Stan Foster Ken McKay FINANCE Peter Penner Chair Tom Teichroeb Vice-Chair Heinz Reimer Ramona Blyth Dianne Riding GOVERNANCE Dave Koslowsky Chair Peter Penner Vice-Chair Tom Teichroeb Robert Metner PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Tom Teichroeb Chair Ramona Blyth Vice-Chair Gord Adams Peter Penner Robert Metner RESEARCH Larry Gerelus Chair Larry Wegner Vice-Chair Peter Penner Robert Metner MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S


2 0 1 7 A N N U A L R E P O R T MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS ganizational function, such as periodically reviewing MBP’s bylaws, 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. Strategic direction MBP’s activities focus around three strategic 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.

Eichler and his departmental staff, MBP also engaged with other key ministers and their staff including Sustainable Development Ministers Cathy Cox and Rochelle Squires and Infrastructure Minister Blaine Pedersen, and with government agencies such as Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation. Growing the herd will require a collaborative effort to address the aforementioned items, as well as to tackle other issues and opportunities, be that addressing labor shortages, making investments in research and knowledge transfer, reducing regulatory burden or seeking ways to add value to our high quality Manitoba beef. A multipronged approach is required to help drive future growth and MBP remains committed to working with governments and members of the value chain to achieve sustainable growth in the province’s beef and cattle industries.

Wildlife management One of the main issues on which MBP worked in 2017 was wildlife management. Negative interactions related to wildlife are among the most frequently 2017 in context cited concerns beef producers raise with MBP. These include challenges such as: The operating environment affecting cattle production – be that driven by problem predators preying on cattle and calves; flooding and associated damnatural or economic factors or public policy, helped shape MBP’s activities in age caused by beavers; crop and other damages caused by waterfowl, birds and 2017. other species; and, the threat of the transfer of diseases from wildlife to livestock. From a production perspective, conditions were mixed. A strong late winter Predation is a key concern. Producers want and need their cattle to be safe storm led to some cattle losses in mainly the western and southwestern areas of and healthy. Wolves, coyotes and other predators kill, harass or injure livestock, the province. The threat of significant spring flooding in some parts of Manitoba leading to significant economic losses and production challenges. In 2017 MBP was a concern. Fortunately, due to favorable spring met with both Sustainable Development Minister weather conditions the extent and duration of floodCathy Cox and later Sustainable Development Minising was considerably reduced. By later summer and ter Rochelle Squires and Deputy Minister Rob Olson fall dry conditions were becoming more common, and departmental staff to describe the devastating leading to a small number of wildfires, some cattle impact that predation is exacting and how frustratcoming off pastures early and concerns about feed ing it is for affected beef producers. Similar concerns supplies in some areas. From an economic perspecwere also raised with the Agriculture Minister and tive, prices in 2017 were up from 2016 but not at the departmental staff. historic levels seen in 2015. MBP identified to the province a number of The number of beef producers continued to strategies it believes could help reduce the risk of trend downward in Manitoba, with the average numpredation. This includes financial support for a pilot ber of head on operations increasing. Data released project aimed at reducing the risk of predation, rein May 2017 from Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census moving problem predators and ensuring producers of Agriculture showed there are now approximately are fairly compensated for losses. The payment of 6,500 beef operations in Manitoba, down from 7,000 compensation for all predation-related losses, not when the 2011 Census of Agriculture was conductjust verified kills, as well as finding ways to substaned. On cow-calf operations, the average beef herd tially reduce the risk of future losses remain as top areas of concern for the beef industry. MBP sought rose from 74 head in 2011 to 84 in 2016. Feedlot operations grew on average from 185 head in 2011 Manitoba Beef Producers added virtual reality to continued support for the Problem Predator Removal Program and noted there is value in building this to 212 head in 2016. On a positive note, there was its library of promotional materials in 2017. The type of capacity among both producers and the trapagain a slight uptick in the size of Manitoba’s over- On The Ranch VR system debuted at Discover ping community. MBP also believes there is value in all cattle herd. Manitoba had 1,175 million head of Agriculture in the City 2017, which was held at the province providing strong wildlife management cattle as of July 1, 2017. That was up 1.7% year over The Forks Market in March. programs, including population counts to gauge year and up 10.3% from January 1, 2017. Statistics Canada reported in July that Canadian cattle producers retained slightly more predator populations in agro-Manitoba as well as their dietary habits. MBP also continued to co-chair the Livestock Predation Protection Working breeding stock in 2017. Within this context, helping to ensure there is a climate in which the prov- Group (LPPWG). It includes representatives from provincial and federal departince’s beef industry can grow and thrive remains a priority. MBP believes there ments and agencies, livestock commodity groups and the Manitoba Trappers are tremendous opportunities to build the province’s beef herd if the business, Association. Its purpose is to review existing predator management initiatives regulatory and infrastructure conditions are right. Throughout the year there and provide recommendations to the Manitoba government around improved were extensive interactions with both provincial and federal elected officials and strategies and tools to help deal with it. Countless acres of privately-owned and Crown land well suited to raising public servants on an array of issues and opportunities facing Manitoba’s beef industry. The following are some of the highlights of MBP’s advocacy work in 2017. cattle have been flooded due to beaver activity, and infrastructure such as roads damaged. Effective strategies are needed to manage this. Resolutions carried at past MBP AGMs have called for the provincial government to change the Growing the herd Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government moved into the second trapping season regulations from a restricted to an open season for beavers and year of its mandate and a number of its programs, policies and legislative chang- wolves on occupied agricultural areas. MBP has asked that this be considered. es will impact future growth in the beef industry. In its April budget the provincial Another resolution called for a $50/beaver removal incentive paid by the progovernment committed to a broader Livestock Growth Strategy. This is expected vincial government. MBP asked the provincial government to explore a beaver to dovetail with its Protein Strategy. Details of both initiatives are still being de- removal incentive beyond the limited support provided through the Farmland veloped. MBP sought assurances from the provincial government that if there are Beaver Damage Control program that was offered through Growing Forward 2. MBP has also raised concerns with the province and Manitoba Agricultural opportunities to integrate the beef sector into these strategies that they must Services Corporation about damage being caused by other species, including be realized. MBP continued to engage with Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and de- blackbirds and others. partmental staff about the government’s goal to grow Manitoba’s cattle herd to pre-BSE numbers. Early in the year MBP identified to the Minister several areas Crown lands Beef producers make extensive use of provincial agricultural Crown lands it deems key to achieving herd growth, including ensuring that growth is driven by market demand. Other important elements related to growth include: hav- for both pasture and forage purposes. Ensuring these lands remain available to ing strong business risk management tools reflective of cattle producers’ needs; beef production is essential for future growth in the sector. MBP continued to a positive regulatory environment that encourages growth; sound Crown land advocate with the Manitoba government on several matters related to Crown policies; retaining Manitoba’s community pastures; opportunities to restore acres lands including: the need for informed access; challenges related to wildlife manto cattle production and to provide it at economically feasible prices; improved agement on Crown lands; stocking rates; timely advertising of lands available for wildlife management to reduce risks such as predation, crop damage, and, flood- lease; concerns related to lease hold improvements; and rental agreements. The ing caused by beavers; effective water management strategies; and, having a ability of new entrants to access agricultural Crown lands was also raised as both a concern and an opportunity. robust beef value chain and the ability to access markets. In the fall the provincial government advised MBP that as part of Manitoba’s While many of these discussions around herd growth were with Minister TELLING OUR STORY: ADVOCACY ACTIVITIES


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entry into the New West Partnership Trade Agreement a change was required to Crown lands regulations, specifically that non-Manitobans will now be allowed to apply to lease agricultural Crown lands in this province. MBP provided a detailed submission to the province on challenges related to both the Agricultural Crown Lands Leases Regulation and the Agricultural Crown Lands Grazing and Hay Permits Regulation and associated policies. For example, MBP stated that it is important that Crown lands be distributed in the most predictable and transparent manner possible and that their use be both effective and efficient for producers. MBP also identified that much of the negative experience and dissatisfaction that cattle producers have had with the Crown lands program had been based on policy interpretation and implementation by provincial officials going beyond the regulatory requirements, such as the relation between animal unit months and the ability to lease lands. As well, MBP indicated that it believes that leases and permits should be restricted to producers who have an ownership stake in the cattle being grazed on the Crown lands and in the case of hay permits, to producers who own cattle. And, MBP raised concerns about another issue cited by producers – the need for meaningful follow-up and enforcement of the Crown lands regulations. Anecdotal examples brought to MBP’s attention include but are not limited to instances of long-term lease holders who are no longer involved in the cattle industry, and lease holders who re-lease Crown lands to others. In late December the Manitoba government released its new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation. This is an amalgamation of the two separate regulations related to forage leases, hay and grazing permits, and cropping leases, with several changes. In the fall of 2018 Manitoba will move to a tendering process for the leases and permits. MBP noted the former system of allocation was often frustrating for producers and lacked transparency, so having a more open process is important. However, MBP does have a number of concerns, such as the effect of this change on costs to producers.. The provincial government will be consulting on Crown lands policies in 2018. Among MBP’s priorities and concerns are: all Crown grazing and forage lands should remain available for cattle production, along with the ability to secure hay permits; Crown lands must remain affordable and available to Manitoba producers; the bid process for the land should be open and transparent, providing clear pricing signals to producers; and, recognition that beef producers are sound stewards of the lands and that provincial conservation objectives should work in balance with the objectives of producers. Next agricultural policy framework MBP provided considerable feedback to federal and provincial officials about what Manitoba’s beef industry would like to see in the next agricultural policy framework. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) will replace Growing Forward II when it ends March 31, 2018. Among the priority items for which MBP sought continued support in the framework were: sound business risk management programs, including the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program; the Verified Beef Production+ Program; the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures; investments in research endeavors such as Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc.; and, the Environmental Farm Plan Program. MBP also identified challenges related to labour supply, succession planning and attracting new entrants as areas where CAP initiatives could be beneficial. Lack of high-quality labour is one of the biggest issues constraining the feeding and processing sectors and it also affects cow-calf producers. Attracting young/ new entrants to the industry is equally important if the provincial herd is to grow. MBP requested the framework include programs to assist entrants to acquire the necessary capital and financing to get started. Further, MBP requested that it include programs to train, educate and attract labour to the sector. And, MBP asked that the framework provide improved financial supports to new beef producers and better tools to assist in managing farm transfers/successions. MBP cited the value in federal-only programming available under previous agricultural policy frameworks and sought continuation of these types of initiatives. For example, access to Agri-Marketing funds was instrumental in advancing efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis from the domestic cattle herd and wildlife in and around Riding Mountain National Park. MBP asked that access to programs like Agri-Marketing and Agri-Risk Initiatives continue to be available to provide provincial associations with the ability to access support to advance local initiatives and deliver objectives that benefit both local producers as well as potentially having valuable national impacts. Insurance and lending tools Each year MBP provides input to the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) about its programs as effective business risk management programs and lending tools are very important to the beef sector. Regarding the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage, MBP cited concerns about the lack of coverage for corn or other crops intended for extended grazing (alternative feeding systems). MBP also noted ongoing producer concerns related to blackbird damage to corn as well as damage caused by birds to silage wrap. Regarding the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Livestock Predation, MBP reiterated the importance of having a simple and effective

claims confirmation process. MBP also noted the value in MASC’s continued representation at the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group. Silage corn insurance coverage, as per the concerns raised in the fall of 2016 following excess moisture conditions, was again raised with MASC. MBP had asked that MASC amend its coverages and policies for the 2016 production year and going forward so that silage corn crop insurance covers the loss of the producers’ ability to use the corn as a silage feed source and also fully compensates producers for this type of loss. MBP believes it is inappropriate to provide coverage assuming that producers are able to shift management plans or realize any latent value from a field planned as silage. MBP discussed with MASC calculation methods with respect to lost production quality under greenfeed insurance. MBP suggested that the current mechanism to adjust production of forage crops (including hay, greenfeed and silage corn) for poor quality does not adequately account for the true loss of feed value. It was suggested to look at other measures such as total digestible nutrients or using a non-linear formula to better account for quality losses. MASC agreed to give this further consideration. Mitigating other potential risks Helping finding ways to mitigate risks to beef production is extremely important and an ongoing area of activity for MBP. In 2017 there were continued discussions with both the provincial and federal governments about the importance of having effective water management strategies. This includes the need for the swift completion of the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels to help alleviate future flooding related to Lake Manitoba. MBP has asked that any producers whose operations are affected by the construction of the Lake Manitoba outlet channel be fairly compensated for any immediate and lasting disruptions to their operations. There are ongoing discussions with officials about other water-related and infrastructure-related challenges around the province and finding ways to help mitigate them. MBP wrote to Premier Brian Pallister about concerns brought forward from

MBP directors and staff were in Ottawa in May to meet with Members of Parliament and federal government staff. Among the MPs the MBP delegation met with was Robert Sopuck, MP for Dauphin-Swan River. From left to right: Sopuck, Director Dianne Riding, President Ben Fox, Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins and General Manager Brian Lemon. beef producers about how water is being managed beyond our borders, especially in the watersheds which directly drain water into Manitoba. These concerns were raised in the context of flooding. MBP believes direct government-to-government dialogue and collaboration on water management issues is essential, both to improve water management across shared watersheds for mitigation of flooding and drought and also for improving water quality. While MBP recognizes the challenges all agricultural producers face in managing water, it is essential these be addressed in a responsible manner that does not simply transfer the drainage challenges from one area to the next. MBP remains a member of the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative, a collaborative initiative working across jurisdictions to create a resilient Assiniboine River Basin with respect to water-related issues. MBP also continued its involvement with the Aquanty project which is developing a HydroGeoSphere modelling system of the Assiniboine River Basin and its sub-basins. Once completed this decision-support tool will focus on the role forages and grasslands can play in helping to mitigate floods and droughts.



2 0 1 7 A N N U A L R E P O R T MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS The Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) is undertaking a national animal health emergency management project, the goal of which is to enhance Canada’s livestock industry’s capacity for managing sector-wide disease-related emergencies. MBP worked with the CAHC on the development of an association-level plan to help it deal with an emergency such as a foreign animal disease. As well, a set of producer-focused guidelines is being developed to help Manitoba producers understand what they should expect on their own operations and how to develop strategies to deal with a potential emergency. This work will continue in 2018.

aging producers to undertake practices that enhance cattle production as well as habitats for specific species at risk. This could include fencing that supports improved grazing, watering systems designed to improve cattle distribution, native pasture establishment and other practices. As of December 31, 2017 there was $219,000 allocated to projects with signed agreements with landowners. The intent of the three-year program is to deliver information and incentives to cattle producers to enhance pastureland with the goal to improve grass quality and maintain a healthy habitat for species at risk. These SARPAL projects are targeting prairie native grassland in an area that includes the Poverty Plains, Lyleton Grasslands, Blind Souris River Valley, Belleview and Maple Lake Region. Cattle producers play a vital role in conserving species because their land management and grazing activities can co-exist and help meet the needs of many of those species. The program runs until March 2019.

The environment MBP provided extensive feedback to the Manitoba government in 2017 on several environment-related matters. In March MBP unveiled its carbon policy. Ensuring that Manitoba’s beef producers are recognized for their work in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emis- Animal health sions is one of the key recommendations in MBP’s policy. With respect to carbon MBP is pleased that progress continues to be made on the bovine tuberpricing MBP’s position is that on-farm agricultural emissions should be exempt. culosis (bTB) issue. No live animal testing was planned by the Canadian Food There should be investments in research to further reduce GHG emissions such Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the 2017-18 season in the Riding Mountain Eradias improved forage varieties and grazing strategies. Investments in initiatives cation Area (RMEA). This was based on the assumption that wildlife submissions and tools to enhance producer resilience related to climate change and severe and livestock slaughter data continue to be abundant and results consistently weather events are also very important to the beef industry. Further, it is essen- negative. Submission of hunter-killed samples remains key for wildlife surveiltial to ensure trade competitiveness is maintained by aligning implementation lance. of any additional costs and credits with those of our major trading partners. In 2017 two new provincial government grant programs were made available Finally, governments should enact policies to encourage that agricultural lands to help fund activities in the RMEA. One grant is targeted at RMEA producers remain in (or are returned to) pasture and forage production and grasslands, thereby supporting Manitoba’s cattle industry. MBP was pleased when the province announced in October that its proposed Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan exempts from the carbon tax fuel used on farms, as well as agricultural emissions. Manitoba’s $25/tonne carbon pricing takes effect in 2018. The Plan is built on four proposed strategic pillars: climate, jobs, water and nature and includes 16 keystones for priority action. For example, the water pillar focuses on agriculture and land use, wetlands and watersheds, flood and drought and water quality, while the nature pillar looks at elements such as wild species and habitat and conservation. MBP provided extensive input into the proposed plan. In the fall, the Manitoba government consulted on three separate but The announcement of $1.2 million in funding under the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural intertwined initiatives around water Land (SARPAL) initiative was made on March 2. From left to right: Tim Sopuck, CEO of the Manitoba management and watershed planHabitat Heritage Corporation; Winnipeg South MP Terry Duvguid; Christian Artuso of Bird Studies Canada; ning. One involved a new ecological Shane Robins, Executive Director, Manitoba Conservation Districts Association and Brian Lemon, General Mangoods and services program -- Growager, Manitoba Beef Producers. ing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW). It is based on the Alternative Land Use Services program and built around the following principles: sustainability; taking part in an on farm risk assessment (OFRA) aimed at reducing interactions a targeted, watershed-based approach; locally-delivered, farmer focused; mea- between livestock and wildlife. Producers in the RMEA Core Area can apply for surable results; and, use of evidence-based evaluation systems. MBP strongly a grant of $500 and those outside of the Core Area are eligible for a $150 grant requested financial recognition through such programming for the extensive for completing the OFRA. To be eligible for the risk assessment grant, producecosystem services provided by beef producers. ers must also complete the linkage of their Premises Identification location(s) in MBP also provided input into the two related consultations which focused the RMEA to their Canadian Cattle Identification Agency accounts. This linkage on watershed-based drainage and water resource management, as well as the will allow animals examined for bTB at slaughter to be traced back to the herd role of conservation districts in managing water. The province committed to a level and further demonstrate that livestock shipped from the RMEA are free of no net loss principle of water retention. In December Manitoba introduced The this disease. Producers who complete this linkage are eligible to apply to for a Sustainable Watershed Act aimed at strengthening watershed management further payment of $150 as part of the Manitoba Bovine TB Data Incentive. Work continued on the creation of a scenario tree model which will examine through measures focused on wetland protection, drainage management and enforcement, water quality and a modernized conservation districts program. the risk of bovine TB occurring. Manitoba Agriculture staff evaluated biosecurity measures such as the use of cattle guard gates as a deterrent to wildlife. MBP MBP will provide input on this proposed legislation in 2018. appreciates the participation of affected producers in these initiatives and recognizes governments for their commitment to these important projects. MBP SARPAL MBP received $750,000 in funding from Environment and Climate Change has asked that federal and provincial government departments and agencies Canada for a Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) proj- continue to provide supports, programs and policies to maintain the regulatory ect. In 2017 MBP began delivering voluntary, incentive-based habitat enhance- bTB-free status in the domestic herd and have United States import restrictions ment actions with beef producers in areas of southwestern Manitoba to protect lifted. These efforts should include an emphasis on completing disease eradicaimportant habitats for at-risk plant and animal species. While contracting ex- tion efforts and then shifting to prevention activities. MBP has sought the conperts at Manitoba Heritage Habitat Corporation on this initiative, MBP is encour- tinuation of the TB Coordinator Allan Preston’s position under the new Canadian 8

2 017 R E P O R T TO M E M B E R S

Agricultural Partnership. Elsewhere on the animal health front, MBP has asked the federal government to consider improved labeling of feed containing potentially dangerous concentrations of ergot to ensure producer awareness so they are able to better manage this and other contaminants. MBP said that current research must be taken into consideration to ensure the regulatory climate reflects existing conditions and knowledge of contaminants such as ergot. Ergot can have very serious animal health implications and MBP believes it is very important that producers are armed with clear information about what they are feeding their cattle. In August 2017, bovine anaplasmosis was reported in southeastern Manitoba, the first time since 2013. It is a bacterial disease that attacks red blood cells. It has no impact on human health or food safety. It is no longer a federally reportable disease, so this changes how the CFIA deals with it in that there is no testing of imported animals for it, and no destruction of infected animals. MBP believes that, given the occurrence of anaplasmosis marginale in Manitoba and in neighbouring states, as well as the ability of individual producers to manage it within their herds, the disease is best managed by private veterinarians working with producers and through industry awareness. MBP has requested that the provincial government continue to cover the cost of the lab fee for producers testing their cattle for bovine anaplasmosis, and, that Manitoba Agriculture continue to engage with MBP about the possibility of using surveillance strategies to determine the prevalence of the disease in ticks and livestock. Federal matters MBP representatives visited Ottawa in late May and early June, meeting with Members of Parliament such as James Bezan, Robert Sopuck, Ted Falk and Larry Maguire to discuss issues such as water management, animal transportation requirements, trade, carbon pricing, the next agricultural policy framework, growing Manitoba’s beef herd, and supporting research and innovation, among others. As well MBP representatives met with staff from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Health Canada and the CFIA to discuss topics such as bovine tuberculosis, veterinary drug policy changes, and business risk management programs. MBP also participated in outreach activities undertaken by the National Cattle Feeders’ Association to federal MPs and departmental officials in Ottawa. During the year MBP provided input into several federal government consultations. These included proposed changes to Canada’s Food Guide, as well as the creation of a food policy for Canada. MBP’s position with respect to both consultations was that the federal government should recognize the important role that beef can play in providing a balanced diet. MBP noted that beef producers are already taking many steps to ensure that the proposed goals of Canada’s food policy are being achieved, i.e. growing high quality, safe, nutritious and affordable food while conserving our natural resources. MBP provided feedback regarding the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. MBP believes it is essential that the existing ability of the three member nations to enter each other’s respective markets without tariffs or quotas on beef and live cattle must be retained. As well, it is important that the rules of origin which are used to determine the types of products that can be traded duty free among Canada, the US and Mexico remain as they are currently written. MBP cited the importance of preserving the dispute settlement mechanisms within NAFTA. And, MBP asked that there be continued efforts to ensure that technical barriers to trade within agreements such as NAFTA and others are mitigated or eliminated wherever possible. MBP raised concerns with respect to proposed federal tax changes and their potential implications for beef producers. MBP cautioned that the changes were inconsistent with other federal economic policies, and could lead to a retraction of the beef industry as they would make the sector less competitive in the international marketplace. MBP asked that the government consider exempting agriculture corporations, and individuals and families from these proposed changes. MBP was pleased when the federal government announced some changes that reflected concerns from the agriculture sector. Other key issues on which MBP engaged with the federal government included: proposed changes to the animal transportation regulations that could impact hours in transit; traceability requirements; movement reporting; The Fisheries Act; and, changes to Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations and Health Canada’s policies in this area related to how veterinary products are used, prescribed, and imported for own use. Building sectoral capacity: research Among MBP’s strategic objectives are building Manitoba’s cattle industry through innovation, improved economic competitiveness and profitability. Investments in research, innovation and knowledge transfer are integral to the industry’s future success. Producers, through their check-off dollars play a key role in this area. In 2017 14.5 cents of every national check-off dollar collected in Manitoba went to research. MBP directs the specific projects for 7.5 cents of this, with the other 7 cents determined by national priorities through the work of the Beef Cattle Research Council. Each year MBP also makes significant investments in research from your provincial check-off. In 2016/17 MBP budgeted to invest approximately $155,000 in research. Some recent areas of research focus include: fetal programming, forage variety trials, needle-free injection systems and bovine tuberculosis. As well, 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, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association and Ducks Unlimited Canada. MBFI

MBP continued its involvement with Great Tastes of Manitoba in 2017. MBP Meat Expert Adriana Findlay and Dez Daniels presented six dishes over two episodes. The 2017 episodes will be replayed on CTV Manitoba in the spring of 2018. also receives input and leadership from producers, academia and other industry stakeholders across Canada. MBP strongly believes that the type of applied research and knowledge transfer activities being undertaken through MBFI will play a critical role in advancing Manitoba’s beef and forage industries, ensuring they are well positioned for future generations of producers. MBFI is a centre of agricultural innovation engaging in science-based applied research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve producer profitability and build social awareness around the beef and forage industry. MBFI provides a key venue to demonstrate new technologies and practices for producers, policy makers, the private sector, and the general public. It provides valuable opportunities such as the ability to: • test foundational research concepts at the field level and produce tangible results; • demonstrate to producers innovative and sustainable practices in a practical and hands-on way; • provide training grounds for students and new professionals entering into the sector; and • improve the industry’s connectivity and build a trusting relationship with the consumer and public. MBFI’s research priorities focus on forage and grassland productivity, nutrition and feed efficiency, environmental sustainability, animal health and welfare, beef quality and food safety. In 2016-17 there were 22 research and demonstration projects, some led by Manitoba Agriculture staff and some by researchers from various institutions including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Assiniboine Community College, Brandon University, the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. Recent research activities have focused on areas such rotational grazing, soil health, shelterbelts, riparian area management, extended grazing, weed control, pest management and forage selection. Demonstration projects are another important component of MBFI’s work. Several well-attended knowledge transfer events were held in 2017. These included the 1st Street Pasture Day, a hands on soil health workshop, Brookdale summer pasture tour, and low stress cattle handling workshops. In 2017 construction began on a learning centre at the Brookdale site that will host groups, students and special events. It is targeted, targeted to open in spring 2018. MBP continues to provide financial, administrative and governance support to MBFI. Organizationally the direction and activities of MBFI are overseen by an elected board of directors. Management of the MBFI is led by a board of directors bringing producer perspectives and partner representatives. MBFI’s president is Ramona Blyth, who is also vice-president of MBP. A Communications Committee is tasked with raising public awareness of the research and extension work being undertaken at the farm sites. A Research Advisory Committee, comprised of partner representatives as well as academic and producer representatives provides guidance on the establishment and execution of MBFI’s research priorities. MBFI receives significant funding through Growing Forward 2, as well as financial, land, cattle and gift in kind contributions through its partners. MBP thanks our MBFI core partners, MA, DUC and MFGA and all our other generous partners (including corporations, companies and academic institutions) for the significant roles they played in envisioning this important initiative, doing the legwork to take it from conception to inception and for their ongoing commitment to its success. Private stakeholder interest and support for MBFI’s work continues to grow and is greatly appreciated. Together we are creating a vibrant, prosperous and world-leading beef and forage industry in Manitoba. Visit to learn more. MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S


Other activities In January MBP hosted a well-received Canadian Cattlemen’s Association(CCA) Town Hall in Ashern. It was an opportunity for producers to hear a national perspective on topics such as trade, marketing beef to domestic and international markets, the labour supply, beef research, and sustainability. A market forecast was provided by Canfax staff. At its fall district meetings MBP partnered with 4-H Manitoba to hold Emerging Beef Leaders Forums at three locations, part of efforts to get more young producers involved with MBP. After the success with our Young Producers Forum at the 38th AGM, MBP felt this was another step in that direction. The year closed with a new producer engagement event, a National Checkoff (NCO) Town Hall in MacGregor featuring speakers from the Canadian Beef Check-off Agency, Canada Beef, the Beef Cattle Research Council and the CCA to explain to producers how the NCO is utilized on behalf of the industry. TELLING OUR STORY: COMMUNICATIONS Taking advantage of technology and continuing to broaden our audience were two of the highlights for MBP from a communications perspective in 2017. With more and more information available to the public it is critical that we strive to tell the industry’s story, especially around areas such as animal care and environmental stewardship. Fortunately for us the avenues we have to tell that story continue to expand. In 2017 MBP added virtual reality (VR) to its collection of display materials and the investment in the On the Ranch VR system has been very well received. The four videos in our library were shot by our friends with the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association who generously allowed us to use them. Filmed on a cow-calf operation similar to any we’d find in Manitoba, the videos take the public right to the ranch and allow them to stand in the pasture with the cattle. Each video was shot with a 360 degree camera giving the viewer an incredible immersive experience. People also hear a story about life on the farm and the pride and passion of Canadian producers. Not surprisingly the videos have proven popular at the events we attend. During Discover Ag in the City at The Forks Market, there were long lineups to try out the VR headset, including many who had never been to a ranch. The most common reaction to the videos was “that is so cool.” We also used the headset at other major events such as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, Red River Ex, Open Farm Day 2017 and during an evening at the Canada Games Cultural Centre. Looking forward, MBP is investigating options to expand our library with videos shot here in Manitoba and to acquire more VR headsets to allow more people to experience life on the ranch. Another highlight in 2017 was the installation of a new display at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. Located south of Winnipeg, this tremendous facility was unfortunately lacking a strong beef industry presence. Using funds donated by the Man-Sask Cattlemen’s Golf Tournament we created a new display that touches on areas of importance to the industry. The display is comprised of two panels, one with a focus on general Manitoba beef industry facts as well as information about the industry’s environmental footprint. The other looks at beef’s unique nutritional profile as well as the use of growth promotants in beef production (see accompanying photos). We have plans to add a VR headset to this display in 2018. Efforts to reach new audiences with our messaging received a shot in the arm in 2017 when MBP partnered with QX104 radio in Winnipeg, the city’s most prominent country music station and consistently a top two station in the ratings. Throughout the summer and early fall, MBP was featured prominently on the station, particularly on their noon hour show, with a number of radio spots promoting the provincial beef industry and dispelling myths about beef production. Along with the radio spots, recipes featuring beef were included in QX 104’s widely distributed electronic newsletter. The six radio spots rotated throughout our four month campaign included messaging on the environment, animal welfare, hormone and antibiotic usage, recipes and beef’s role in a healthy diet. Here is an example of one of the spots, this one focusing on the environment: Voice 1: Manitoba Beef Producers presents...MYTH BUSTED! Beef myth number seven: Voice 2: Greenhouse gas from cow

production is a disaster and it’s getting worse! Voice 1: Actually, it’s not! And it’s not! In Canada producing 1 kilogram of beef now creates 15 per cent less greenhouse gases than it did in 1981! So really, when you get to the meat of the issue, we have a shrinking environmental hoofprint! Another myth busted courtesy your Manitoba Beef Producers – find info, recipes and more – at! Overall, we were happy with the campaign on a number of levels. Thanks to the solid work of QX104 staff in creating attention grabbing spots, we received a great deal of positive feedback. We also received some negative comments which allowed us the opportunity to correct misperceptions held by members of the public. Additionally, partnering with QX104 helped us broaden the audience we are reach with our messaging as not only are they one of Manitoba’s most popular stations, but demographically they attract a vastly different audience than our Eat Like An Athlete spots on TSN1290 Radio. The station also has a strong geographic range, further increasing our reach. Speaking of TSN1290, MBP continued to promote the nutritional attributes of beef on the station throughout 2017 with our Eat Like An Athlete campaign. In the early months of 2017 MBP was featured on Winnipeg Jets broadcasts. We then moved to their Winnipeg Blue Bombers pregame and halftime broadcasts throughout CFL season. Our 30 second spots highlighted recipes that are quick and easy to make without cutting corners on nutrition. Aimed at busy families, athletes and anyone interested in an active lifestyle, the recipes are packed with all the nutrients we need to fuel our bodies for the big game or an evening walk. As the slogan states, If You Can’t Play Like An Athlete, You Can Still Eat Like One. MBP continued its involvement in the popular Great Tastes of Manitoba on CTV Manitoba, the longest-running television program in the province. As in past years beef was featured in two episodes. Keeping in theme with the Canada 150 celebrations, MBP’s Beef Expert Adriana Findlay used our first episode to present three unique Canadian dishes: beef tourtiere, pulled beef poutine and a whiskey maple Tbone steak. The second episode focused on meals for the family: corned beef cups, steak cobb salad and beef sirloin lasagna. Our member communications efforts remained a priority too. Our primary outreach vehicle continues to be our newspaper Cattle Country which enjoyed another strong year. Our biweekly E-Newsletter has proven to be a nice supplement to Cattle Country and the number of subscribers grows monthly. If interested in receiving the E-Newsletter contact MBP Communications Coordinator Chad Saxon at csaxon@ Serving our members: looking ahead In closing, MBP will continue to advocate on behalf our members as we work to advance Manitoba’s beef industry. Many familiar issues will be revisited in 2018, from growing the herd, to predation, to Crown lands and more. New issues and opportunities may also emerge and MBP’s board of directors and staff will be there to tackles them. 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 email at

MBP General Manager Brian Lemon addresses members during the District 8 meeting in November. The 14 district meetings were held throughout the province in October and November.

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2 017 R E P O R T TO M E M B E R S

Non-Consolidated Statement of Financial Position As at June 30, 2017

The information below is excerpts from MBP’s audited financial statement for the 2016-17 fiscal year as prepared by accounting firm MNP. To get a copy of the complete statement, contact the MBP office.




Capital assets (Note 5) 25,575 - - - 25,575 Investments (Note 6) 500,000 - - - 500,000 Due from Manitoba Livestock Cash Advances Inc. (Note 7) 35,000 - - - 35,000 Due from General Fund (Note 8) 86,792 4,448 4,355 95,595 2,038,092 86,792 209,140 4,355 2,338,379 Liabilities Current Accounts payable and accruals (Note 9) 244,366 - - - 244,366 Deferred contributions (Note 10) 148,249 - - - 148,249 Due to other funds (Note 8)

Net Assets


919,688 250,000 108,086 14,464 1,292,238 34,292 500,000

45,000 99,102 1,970,632

236,064 -

392,615 95,595 - - -

392,615 95,595

236,064 99,102













2017 1,479,164 (28,043) (161,194)








Non-Consolidated Statement of Operations For the year ended June 30, 2017

General Fund Industry Fund Contingency Fund Research Fund Revenues Support Fees collected from producers under regulation 1,479,164 - - - Dealer commission (28,043) - - - Fees refunded (161,194) - - -

1,359,882 (26,456) (160,604)

1,289,927 - - - 1,289,927 Other revenues Annual meeting 45,430 - - - 45,430 Interest and sundry 30,911 - 2,968 - 33,879 Newspaper revenue 122,950 - - - 122,950 Project income 159,668 - - - 159,668 Verified beef program 1,765 - - - 1,765 1,162 Cattlemen’s golf tournament 5,750 - - - 5,750






1,172,822 39,632 29,821 104,435 69,508 244,558

Total revenues 1,656,401 - 2,968 - 1,659,369 Expenses Amortization 9,334 - - - 9,334 Board meetings 3,818 - - - 3,818 Canadian Cattleman’s Association fees 266,949 - - - 266,949 Canadian Cattlemen’s Association special assessment - - - - - Demonstration farm expenses (Note 11) 10,928 - - - 10,928 Directors’ expenses (Note 12) 119,174 - - - 119,174 General manager 13,695 - - - 13,695 Information technology 2,673 - - - 2,673 Insurance 10,317 - - - 10,317 Memberships in other organizations 50,026 - - - 50,026 Needs assessment project - - - - - Office equipment, supplies and postage 13,086 - - - 13,086 Producer communications 187,243 - - - 187,243 Professional fees 17,319 - - - 17,319 Provincial promotions 38,567 - - - 38,567 Rent 67,496 - - - 67,496 SARPAL project 71,951 - - - 71,951 Salaries and benefits 412,525 - - - 412,525 Special projects 12,682 - - 38,975 51,657 TB testing project 38,158 - - - 38,158 Telephone 6,061 - - - 6,061


Total expenses







Excess (deficiency) of revenues over expenses before other items 304,399 - 2,968 (38,975) 268,392 Other items Loss on disposal of capital assets (1,139) - - - (1,139) Cash contributions to MBFI (Note 11) (52,550) - - - (52,550)






10,621 5,568 237,640 68,226 17,306 133,000 37,322 2,256 10,014 50,269 4,151 15,846 189,068 12,924 30,520 63,728 376,446 27,500 36,972 6,372


(100,000) (100,000)

Excess (deficiency) of revenues over expenses 250,710 - 2,968 (38,975) 214,703 (18,369)


General Fund Industry Fund Contingency Fund Research Fund 2017 Assets Current Cash and short term investments (Note 3) 1,057,325 - 204,692 - 1,262,017 Marketable securities (Note 4) 250,000 - - - 250,000 Accounts receivable 155,701 - - - 155,701 Prepaid expenses and deposits 14,491 - - - 14,491




CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION Dan Darling President Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

I am pleased to provide you with this final report as President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the interests of Canada’s beef producers as President and Vice President of this organization. I am extremely proud of the achievements and progress achieved during my term that support the long-term competitiveness of the industry going forward. Public trust initiatives including the launch of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, the National Beef Strategy and the industry issues management position will provide a solid, science-based foundation for the Canadian beef industry to thrive on. The CCA’s written submissions defining the potential harm to industry of regulatory change proposals including Canada’s Food Guide and the Food Labelling Modernization Initiative, deserve recognition, as do the ongoing efforts in sustainable beef production, climate change and verification frameworks. Approval to permit irradiation of raw fresh and frozen ground beef was finally granted after nearly two decades of effort. The CCA addressed areas of vital importance to the viability of beef production itself, securing revisions to harmful provisions within Ottawa’s proposed Tax Planning Using Private Corporations changes. Advocacy efforts resulted in tax relief measures for producers affected by bovine tuberculosis (bTB), and drought, flood or excess moisture conditions, and tax relief and other disaster relief measures for producers impacted by the B.C. wildfires. We progressed files on traceability and labour shortages and, with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) secured the elimination of an outdated requirement to prove that live cattle exported to the U.S. are born after March 1, 1999. Much effort was expended on our trade and market access priorities, including liberalizing trade in the Asia-Pacific through the new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (aka TPP11), and progressing market access expansion in China. These developments, along with ongoing efforts with the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), will help to manage the possible risk of U.S. withdrawal from North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Here are a few highlights on CCA’s top files. NAFTA The CCA’s participation at all rounds of the NAFTA modernization and re-negotiation process will continue in 2018 with the next opportunity being the sixth round of formal talks in Montreal in late January. While it remains unclear whether or when the U.S. might commence procedures to withdraw from the NAFTA, CCA’s presence, to provide Government of Canada negotiators with expertise and ensure the interests of beef producers are preserved in the ongoing trade talk, will be as necessary as ever. The talks resume following a great deal of progress in 2017 to modernize a range of non-controversial technical issues. However, this positive progress towards modernization has largely been overshadowed by several regressive proposals tabled by the U.S. and subsequently rejected as unacceptable by Canada and Mexico. Canadian beef producers strongly support keeping the existing NAFTA provisions on beef trade intact. The CCA and its U.S. and Mexican beef cattle producer organization counterparts are united in their support that the terms of trade remain unchanged in the renegotiations. Our united priorities for the beef sector include: continued duty-free and quota-free access for beef and live cattle trade with the NAFTA tariff preference for beef based on the current rule of origin; opposing the return of a trade disrupting mandatory country of origin labeling regime; maintaining dispute settlement mech12

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anisms, both within NAFTA (Chapters 19 and 20) and external dispute settlement tools at the World Trade Organization. Furthermore, we believe it is possible to improve bilateral cattle and beef trade through greater regulatory cooperation and elimination of some obsolete regulatory border requirements. China Late in 2017, China signalled it would allow the importation of Canadian fresh-chilled beef in a pilot project, and establish the documentation to enable bone-in beef trade. The next priority for CCA in China will be to obtain access for offals, gain full system approval of Canada’s federal meat inspection system and negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) to eliminate the current 12 per cent duty on Canadian beef. CCA’s objective under a FTA would be to eliminate the Chinese tariffs on Canadian beef as well as regain parity with our Australian and New Zealand competitors who already have FTAs with China. Japan Work continues a to secure a trade agreement with Japan through the new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (aka TPP11). Japan is very eager for this agreement to be in place by 2019; unfortunately it remains unclear whether the Government of Canada will sign on. If Canada continues to balk at an agreement, the other countries may move forward without us. CETA CETA came into provisional effect on September 21, 2017. The CCA continues to work with government and the Canadian Meat Council to produce the research data necessary to gain European approval for Canada’s meat safety procedures. While this research is proceeding, producers can enroll their herds in the CFIA’s ‘Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products for Export of Beef to the EU’ to be eligible for the EU market. Resources to help cattle producers understand the requirements of this program, are available on CCA’s website under the Market Access tab. Canadian Agriculture Partnership Replacing Growing Forward 2 on April 1, 2018, the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) is a 5-year, $3 billion-dollar investment designed to bolster competitiveness, growth and innovation in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. In addition to some changes to Business Risk Management (BRM) programming, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Agriculture Ministers will undertake a comprehensive review of BRM programming to investigate the types of risks producers face presently and in the future, and assess the effectiveness that BRM programming has on growth and innovation in the industry. CCA has expressed that cattle producers need to be meaningfully engaged as contributors throughout this process to best address the risk management needs of the sector. Climate change CCA appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry in 2017 to illustrate how ssustainable beef production can continue to be an effective partner to achieving Canada’s economic and environmental targets. Priorities here include the continuation of the Beef Science Cluster and further investment in programs that support research, innovation and knowledge transfer regarding practices that reduce the environmental footprint of beef production; and the creation/further development of payment for ecosystem services programs that will provide incentives for best land and water management practices. In 2017 the draft regulatory framework was released for a Clean Fuel Standard with a comment period open until early 2018 followed by the Gazetting process in 2018. Additionally, in 2018 the provinces will be expected to continue to move forward their carbon pricing plans to meet the set price of $10 per tonne

MBP members of CCA board: Heinz Reimer Tom Teichroeb Ramona Blyth

in 2018 and $50 by 2022. Draft federal regulations are expected to be released in 2018 as a backstop to the provincial pending regulations. CCA, in partnership with provincial members, is engaged in discussions surrounding this topic and have undertaken a study to assess the impact of carbon pricing on the Canadian beef sector to help better inform these discussions. Transportation of animals The proposed changes to Transportation of Animals regulations reduce the maximum time mature and fed cattle will be allowed to be in transit without feed and water to 36 hours from 52 hours, and to 12 hours from 18 hours for ruminants too young to be fed hay or grain. Changes to some definitions, rest stop duration and transfer of responsibility requirements have also been proposed. CCA’s position is that any regulatory change needs to be based on scientific evidence conducted under Canadian conditions and wherever possible, use outcome -based guidelines that focus on the animal. Given the high prevalence of positive outcomes delivered by industry today - it is crucial that any regulatory change also contribute to real welfare improvements. CCA appeared before the House Agriculture Committee in second quarter 2017 to outline aspects of the regulatory proposal of concern to industry and provided recommendations, that ensure regulations are consistent with an outcome based approach. Traceability In October, the CCA hosted CFIA officials on a traceability tour of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta to enable CFIA senior staff to experience first-hand the practical realities of tracking cattle from ranch to auction market and feedlot during the business of the fall run. Ideally, the CFIA will use the information and insights gathered from the experience to ensure any regulations are in line with the Cattle Implementation Plan supported by industry and outcome-based. The CFIA expects to publish the regulations in Canada Gazette Part I in by mid-2018, followed by the Gazetting process. CCA continues to urge livestock operators to ensure they have a valid Premises ID number well in advance of the final version of the proposed regulation, anticipated to be implemented in 2019. Animal health The CCA advanced its objective of revising the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) criteria for countries to achieve BSE negligible risk status at the OIE’s annual general assembly in 2017. Progress was made including the assembly’s agreeing to create a working group to draft a significantly revised BSE chapter. CFIA’s epidemiological investigation into the 2016 case of bovine tuberculosis will stretch into 2018. At year end, incident numbers remain unchanged. We continue to communicate with CFIA on a regular basis and will update members of any developments impacting Canada’s trade status. Canada is a member of a global community addressing the issue of antimicrobial resistance in human and animal medicine. Regulatory and policy changes made by Health Canada’s Veterinary Drug Directorate will support Canada’s efforts; producers can contribute to the effort in the daily management of their herds through stewardship and good production practices. Mentorship The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program celebrated its fifth graduating class in 2017. Already we are seeing graduates of our youth mentorship program actively involved in their provincial associations. Finally, the Canadian Beef Industry Conference will take place August 14-16, 2018 in London, Ontario. I hope to see you there.



The National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) represents Canadian cattle feeders on national policy and regulatory issues, and collaborates with other cattle organizations to strengthen Canada’s beef industry. Established in 2007, NCFA enables the country’s cattle feeders to speak with one voice on the challenges and opportunities facing the fed cattle production chain. NCFA membership is comprised of provincial beef organizations from the major cattle feeding regions of Canada, each of which contributes funding based on provincial fed cattle populations. Provincial member organizations appoint a Director to serve on the NCFA Board, as well as a staff representative. NCFA maintains its presence in Ottawa through a team of experienced consultants that provide advice, assistance, and expertise on our key political, regulatory, and trade issues. Opportunities and Challenges Both the 2017 Federal Budget and the Barton Report identified the agriculture and agri-food industries as primary growth opportunities with significant potential to increase their national economic contribution. As a result, Budget 2017 set the goal of achieving $75 billion in agriculture and agri-food exports by 2025. Our consistent message to government has been that informed policy choices, strategic investments, and deliberate action in several areas are essential if Canadian agriculture is to reach that goal. • Labour: The recommendations of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan and the HUMA Committee Report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) need to be implemented. NCFA was successful in ensuring that the TFWP review currently underway at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) considered not just the needs of seasonal agriculture, but those of primary agriculture and meat processors as well. • Rural Infrastructure: Only a small portion of federal funding for infrastructure flows to Canada’s rural communities. Since 2016, NCFA has been making the case for an ongoing stream of meaningful funding for rural infrastructure. Our advocacy partially paid off in Budget 2017, which announced an additional $2 billion for rural infrastructure. • Taxation: Maintaining a competitive tax regime is critical to future growth. NCFA communicated clearly to the Department of Finance and Minister Morneau the negative consequences of proposed changes to the taxation of family-owned corporations. As a result of our efforts and those of others, some of the more problematic proposals were dropped. • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): Throughout 2017, NCFA was an active participant in ongoing government-industry strategic discussions to secure our NAFTA goals. These goals include “doing no harm” to the integrated North American beef market, eliminating export impediments such as the CAN brand and re-inspections, and embedding a commitment for regulatory cooperation into the agreement. • Access to China: In June 2017, the US and China signed an agreement that widely expanded US access into the Chinese market and also provided full systems approval for US processors. NCFA has been very active on this file, working with the Ministers of Agriculture and International Trade, the Parliamentary Secretaries, and staff at Global Affairs Canada. Recently, the Canadian and Chinese governments announced that bone-in beef will soon be moving into China and a new pilot project will be initiated for the export of Canadian fresh and chilled beef. NCFA will continue to press the federal government to secure equal access for Canadian beef. • Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP or TPP-11): NCFA continues to send the message that the Canadian beef industry is heavily

MBP Members of NCFA Board: Brian Lemon - Staff Rep Larry Schweitzer

dependent on expanding international market access and exporting high value product offshore. The rapidly developing markets of the Asia Pacific region offer enormous opportunities, but only if access can be negotiated similar to our competitors. NCFA has urged the federal government to implement the CPTPP without changes to any of the negotiated market access provisions. • Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA): The European market has great potential, and the recent opening of Harmony Beef in Alberta has enlarged Canada’s processing capacity to meet EU needs and specifications. However, real access still depends on EU acceptance of internationally recognized interventions in Canadian processing plants. NCFA continues to send the message that non-tariff and technical barriers must not restrict access and CETA administration (e.g., quota system, import licensing permits) must provide Canadian beef producers with real access. • Public Trust: Consumer education and public trust are paramount for growth of the agriculture and agrifood industries whether the issue in view is environmental impact, health, or production methods. As a trusted source, the federal government is uniquely positioned to engage in consumer education but has largely abandoned this role. NCFA has been calling for its return, particularly as a key component in several new agriculture and food initiatives such as the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, the new Canadian Food Policy, and the new Canada Food Guide. • Regulatory Barriers: Federal regulations must keep pace with technological change and ongoing innovation, and they must also reflect the day-to-day realities of beef production. NCFA is pointing government to consider the regulatory alternatives proposed in our 2016 Competitiveness Report. We continue to work with the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) to improve Canada-US alignment and harmonization. Government Relations Building national political champions for the beef industry and advocating with the federal government on behalf of the interests and concerns of Canada’s cattle feeders comprises a large part of NCFA activities. At the beginning of each year, the NCFA Board and our provincial staff representatives build out an Ottawa Engagement Strategy that sets out specific goals for our most important policy priorities. Along with our team of political, regulatory, and trade consultants in Ottawa, NCFA then executes on the strategy by lobbying for policies and programming that will grow and sustain our industry. In 2017, NCFA organized and rolled out a series of four week-long engagement events in Ottawa during the months of April, May, September, and November. As a result of this engagement, NCFA held some 50 separate meetings with over 100 MPs, Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, political aides, public servants, and government regulators on the priorities of Canada’s cattle feeders. Highlights of this year’s Engagement Strategy include participation in a Roundtable with Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay in May 2017, a “top-to-top” meeting with CFIA President Paul Glover and his Executive Team in September 2017, and another successful MP Breakfast and Lobby Week in November where Directors and staff met with over two dozen MPs. Parliamentary Committees In 2017, NCFA appeared as a witness before two Parliamentary Standing Committees to provide expert testimony on issues impacting cattle feeders: • House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food: NCFA appeared before the Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee to share our perspectives on a new National Food Policy. NCFA pointed out that agricultural producers must be the foundation of any food

policy. In addition, the federal government needs to ensure that its whole basket of public policies on agriculture are aligned. The 2017 Budget, the Barton Report, the new Canadian Agriculture Partnership program, the new Canada Food Guide, and any new National Food Policy must work together. NCFA closed by stating that a National Food Policy should include a fifth pillar that speaks to education, information, public trust, and social license. • House Standing Committee on Finance: For the second year in a row, NCFA was invited by the Finance Committee to share its perspectives on the next federal budget. NCFA urged the Committee to consider what is required in Budget 2018 to achieve the goals set out in Budget 2017. NCFA urged action on five items including labour, rural infrastructure investment, taxation, trade, and regulatory impediments. Policy and Regulatory Submissions In 2017, NCFA staff made numerous submissions to federal authorities and agencies on a wide range of policy and regulatory issues. Examples include submissions on the National Plant and Animal Health Strategy, the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, the Canada Food Guide, and the National Food Policy. Other 2017 submissions addressed the CFIA’s ongoing feed regulatory modernization initiative and its cost recovery initiative, Health Canada’s new regulations on the usage of antimicrobials, and proposed changes to livestock transportation under the Health of Animals Regulation. NCFA also made submissions to Employment and Social Development Canada on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, proposed changes to the Income Tax Act, and the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on livestock transporters. Research and Industry Development Improving the profitability, efficiency, and sustainability of beef production requires investments in research and industry development. In 2017, work continued on aligning the Canadian Feedlot Animal Care Assessment Program with other industry programs and initiatives such as the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) and the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) programs. NCFA also developed a proposal to create an FMD Secretariat to further the industry’s emergency preparedness. Cattle feeders also committed $150,000 in funding over the next five years to the Beef Science Cluster III projects to be carried out by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC). Collaborative Partnerships NCFA believes that the entire beef value chain benefits when multiple organizations work together and speak with one voice. To that end, NCFA maintains membership in the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) and the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), and engages with the Market Access Secretariat (MAS), the Beef Cattle Trade Advisory Group (BCTAG), the Beef Cattle Policy Advisory Committee (BCPAC), and the Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT). Collaboration with other beef industry partners such as the CCA and CMC has helped propel movement on several important issues such as NAFTA and beef access to China. I am proud of NCFA’s accomplishments in 2017. With our dedicated Board of Directors, our provincial staff representatives, and our team of consultants, I am confident about even greater successes in 2018.

Ryan Thompson NCFA Chair MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S





The Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency (the Agency) manages and administers the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, which is collected on each head of cattle sold in Canada. The provincial checkoff also collected on each head, is earmarked for provincially-focused advocacy, policy, trade, research, market development and promotion initiatives, where the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is invested into national research, market development and promotion activities on behalf of all Canadian beef producers. By working with service providers, the Agency ensures that national check-off dollars are invested into research, market development and promotion programs that deliver measurable value to the Canadian beef industry. The Agency is responsible for communicating the value of the check-off investment, as well as training and education of producers and funding partners, regulatory management, collection and administration of check-off dollars. This past year, the Agency continued to focus on transparency and the distinct management of the Agency’s business operations from that of the marketing operations. With support from our provincial funders, separation between administration and marketing has continued to evolve. Our Board of Directors have proven to be an engaged group, and have driven positive discussion and movement for the Agency, to ensure continued distinct separation. The Agency’s focus on transparent administration has allowed the Agency to maintain positive working relationships with the provincial cattle organizations, Canadian industry partners and the Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC). The Agency’s relationship with FPCC has grown more positive and productive, and FPCC leadership continue to tout the Agency’s appointment of dedicated staff and quality of information as a benchmark for agencies which they oversee. The level of engagement between the Agency and provincial cattle association partners continues to strengthen and grow. Progress continues around the increase of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off to create valuable returns for Canadian beef producers. The progress made on administration and management of internal processes have been monumental. The development of policy manuals, business plans, reporting tools, tracking of costs and other operational practices has intensified this past year, and will continue to grow as the Agency evolves. The organization continues working with provinces to simplify the reporting and remittance processes, and engaged with many on reducing slippage and missed collections. It was through the provincial cattle association partners that the Agency could reach out across the country to ensure that each province was getting the support and dedication that was needed. The Agency had the privilege to be invited to five provincial annual meetings, four provincial board meetings and held countless calls with organizations from coast to coast through the last fiscal year, not only to communicate the Agency’s evolved role, but to better understand the unique challenges and nuances associated with check-off collection and remittance in each province. 14

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MBP member of Agency board: Heinz Reimer January 1, 2017 was an exciting day as the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers enacted an increased Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off from $1.00 to $2.50 per head marketed in their province. This is an incredibly large and positive step forward for not only Nova Scotia and the Agency, but for the country as a whole. The positive trend continued in June, when Prince Edward Island became the second province to increase the national check-off to $2.50.

National Check-Off Agency General Manager Melinda German was among the speakers at the first National Check-Off Town Hall Meeting which was held Dec. 7 in MacGregor. The check-off is invested on behalf of producers in Canada into research, market development and promotion by the Agency’s three service providers: Canada Beef, the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), which currently houses Issues Management. These organizations continue to bring value to Canadian producers for their Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off investments. Market development and promotion efforts undertaken by Canada Beef focused on enhancing and leveraging the Canadian Beef brand story both around the world and here at home in Canada. The Board was thorough in the creation of a new leadership role for Canada Beef, taking extra time to ensure that both the role and a newly selected leader were a fit for the organization and the industry. Francis Andres joined Canada Beef just after the close of the last fiscal year and has already been a positive force for the organization. As the leader in national beef cattle research, the BCRC played an important role in supporting the Canadian beef industry’s research priorities and influencing public sector investment in beef cattle research. The BCRC facilitated and encouraged

collaboration and coordination among researchers, other funding agencies and industry partners in order to maximize the benefits obtained from all investments in beef cattle research. The Agency entered into a new service agreement with CCA to execute Issues Management. The main focus of the Issues Management hub is to develop stronger industry relationships and networks, and increase and maintain public confidence in our industry. Issues Management ensured that the focus, strategies and resources put in place were of benefit to the entire industry to support the National Beef Strategy’s call for increased focus on this area. Expanded information outlining the increased check-off investment strategy of all three service providers above can be found at A targeted communications strategy is always instrumental in times of change, and the Agency’s plan to reach out to both provincial cattle associations, and their constituents directly, proved to increase the understanding of the value of Check-off in Canada. With new tools like the Gatepost newsletter, our social media outreach and the growth of relationships, the Agency’s message of the value of check-off has continued to spread. By engaging with producers at a grassroots level, we can encourage them to stay connected with us on a national level. It remains a priority to show a more defined internal structure, and streamlined and separate operations. We will continue to work in tandem with our provincial cattle association partners, and strive to deliver measurable value for Canadian beef producers. Many producers will still have questions about the pending Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off increase, funding allocations, return on investment, and how the check-off is administered. First and foremost, we encourage you to talk to your provincial cattle association, or your provincial association representative to the Agency, about how your province is looking at the checkoff increase, the timelines and how your province plans to allocate the check-off between research, market development and promotion. We also encourage you to sign up for our monthly newsletter at, or following us on Facebook and Twitter at @cdnbeefcheckoff to stay engaged and learn how the Canadian Beef Cattle CheckOff continues to bring returns for producers. The Agency will continue to provide measurement and report on progress so the return on investment for an increased Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off will be clear to producers across Canada. Looking forward, the Agency will remain focused on meeting the goals of our provincial partners, and continue to drive value for industry check-off investment.

Linda Allison Chair Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency


CANADIAN CATTLE IDENTIFICATION AGENCY Mark Elford Chair Board of Directors Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) announced its board of directors and executive committee for 2017/2018 elected at CCIA’s Annual General Meeting and board meeting April 6-7/17, in Calgary, Alberta. At that time, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association representative Mark Elford was re-elected as Board Chair. Canadian Cattlemen’s Association representative Pat Hayes was re-elected as Vice Chair. Beef Farmers of Ontario representative Tim Fugard was re-elected as Finance and Audit Committee Chair. Livestock Markets Association of Canada representative Rick Wright was re-elected as Executive Director and Canadian Cattlemen’s Association representative Doug Sawyer was re-elected as CCIA’s second Executive Director. CCIA welcomed new Canadian Meat Council representative Alan Schlachter to CCIA’s board of directors for 2017/2018. Online • CCIA celebrated its third year as sole distributor for approved beef indicators/tags in Canada – reducing third-party data handling, maximizing data integrity, equalizing tag prices and making the full array of approved tags available online for nonbreed specific beef cattle. In 2017, CCIA customized another beef-breed specific section within the web store at for Canadian Simmental, which joins Canadian Limousin, Hereford and Gelbvieh producers as the site’s fourth breed-specific section. • CCIA became active online and welcomes everyone to follow CCIA on Facebook at facebook. com/CanadianCattleIdentificationAgency and Twitter at • CCIA re-launched the CLTS MOBO application – a free and portable version of the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) database, that allows users to submit birthdates, animal movement and retired events quickly and easily to the CLTS database using a mobile device. CLTS MOBO features Optical Character Recognition technology, which converts images of number lists into editable, searchable data for upload to a CLTS-user’s database account. Moving forward, CCIA’s IT group will continue to enhance the CLTS MOBO application by enabling more reportable animal events and an approved animal indicator/tag-ordering feature. Learn more at CCIA becomes administrator for goats CCIA continued its work with Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) to determine the details for a Responsible Administrator/Species relationship with CNGF ahead of proposed livestock traceability regulations that may include goats in the category of ruminants. By December, CCIA had customized a goatspecific section within the web store for goat producers while goat producers continued to prepare for the proposed animal identification and livestock traceability regulatory amendments by confirming/ setting up a CLTS database account, confirming/acquiring a PID from a provincial/territorial registry, voluntarily purchasing and applying pre-regulatory animal indicators to goats, and voluntarily submitting animal move in and move out events to the CLTS database. Preparation for proposed animal identification and livestock traceability regulatory

MBP member of CCIA board: Larry Gerelus amendments • CCIA continued to prepare for Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to announce the semi-final version of the proposed animal identification and livestock traceability regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette in Spring 2018, by recruiting and training additional technical and Information Technology team members. CFIA will provide industry with a comment period before drafting the final version of the regulations in Part II of the Canada Gazette, which CCIA anticipates being announced in Part II of the Canada Gazette in early 2019 when the proposed regulations will be implemented. • CCIA General Manager Anne Brunet-Burgess continued to be an active, instrumental member of the Regulatory Implementation Committee, which is the new industry-government advisory committee that is working together to ensure regulatory stakeholders are prepared to learn about and comply with CFIA’s proposed livestock traceability

how to reduce the administrative burden on industry members to report animal identification and movement events, including projects that: • Automatically send data to the CLTS database using the cellular network; • Address how granular data may be used to satisfy CFIA’s epidemiological standards; • Test readers with the ability to read multiple, different radio frequency identification animal indicators/tags, which may be more cost-effective than using wide alley readers; • Use a computer to learn the answers to the questions CCIA is most frequently asked. If the computer chatbot is unable to answer a caller’s question, the system would reroute the call to CCIA’s Call Centre for a live response; and • Use transponders on livestock conveyances to report data automatically to the CLTS database – rationalizing the tag numbers in a CLTS-user’s tag inventory with the animals/tags that are loaded

In direct response to producer complaints regarding material degradation, moving into 2018, CCIA will announce the results for the second phase of the Tag Retention Project, which explores how accelerated exposure to ultra-violet radiation affects material degradation. regulations ahead of implementation. • Having distributed more than 198,000 premises identification (PID) and contact reference cards to livestock traceability stakeholders across Canada by early 2017, and even producing a do-ityourself video tutorial to upload a valid PID into a CLTS database account, CCIA continued to encourage livestock operators to identify their premises by applying for/confirming a valid PID number with their local provincial/territorial premises registry in preparation for CFIA’s proposed animal identification and livestock traceability regulatory amendments, which may require all livestock operations to have a valid PID and use it to report animal movement data to the CLTS database. • CCIA’s IT team completed the programming for group-movement event reporting in preparation for the implementation of CFIA’s proposed livestock traceability amendments, which may require auction marts, buying stations and assembly yards to report receipt of animals as a group with source PID and time of loading. • On behalf of the Cattle Implementation Plan (CIP) Committee, CCIA recruited a project team of experts to perform an independent, third-party review of CFIA’s epidemiological report, CFIA’s proposed regulatory changes and the CIP’s recommendations. Research and development cluster In 2017, CCIA launched projects that explore

onto a conveyance. In direct response to producer complaints regarding material degradation, moving into 2018, CCIA will announce the results for the second phase of the Tag Retention Project, which explores how accelerated exposure to ultra-violet radiation affects material degradation. To complete this phase, CCIA retained a Standards Council of Canada (SCC)-approved, materials-testing laboratory to evaluate the mechanical performance of the full array of approved animal indicators for beef cattle, following various periods of Xenon Arc exposure (i.e., UV radiation produced by Xenon Arc exposure). At 250-hour intervals, the laboratory randomly selected seven specimens from each sample group of approved indicators, and visually inspected each of the seven specimens for evidence of damage, degradation and/or colour change. After which, the laboratory randomly selected three specimens from each sample group of approved indicators, to be subjected to a series of mechanical tests to determine the amount of force required to pull apart already coupled devices, following periods of Xenon Arc exposure. Though official project details will be revealed in 2018, unofficial findings indicate all specimens displayed varying degrees of progressive degradation and/or discolouration at 250, 500, 750 and 1000 hours of UV exposure. CCIA will release final results in 2018 – please stay tuned! MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S



THE BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. Its mandate is to determine research and development priorities for the Canadian beef cattle industry and to administer the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off funds allocated to research. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off. On average nationally, the BCRC receives approximately 18% of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off, and plays a key role in leveraging additional funding for beef cattle research. Recognizing this, the Council works to ensure the highest return on investment possible for industry contributions to research through ongoing consultation with other provincial and national funding organizations. Investments in beef research have several benefits, including an improved ability to meet increasing global food demand and supporting responsible production efficiencies and profitability of Canadian beef cattle producers. Advancements in the industry also positively impact the nation’s economy. Canada’s Beef Cattle Industry Science Clusters The first Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster directed $10.5 million to 32 research projects between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2013. Joint industry and

government commitments to the second Cluster (April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2018) totaled $20 million, including $14 million in funding from AAFC, $1 million in provincial government investments, and $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off and provincial beef industry groups. Funding was directed to 26 research projects. A summary of every Cluster-funded project can be found on The first and second Clusters have proven to be a very successful step towards improving coordination of beef research funding in Canada including AAFC, BCRC, provincial governments, provincial cattle associations, and other industry funders. The Clusters motivated a growth of industry investment in research and technology transfer. Funding was focused on a comprehensive out16

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come-based research program directly aligned with industry’s vision and priorities, including capacity development in critical areas. As a result, Cluster investments are generating meaningful, applicable knowledge and technologies for the industry, as well as extension tools to increase adoption of the innovations. The BCRC has worked extensively to renew the Cluster program under AAFC’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership and plan for the third Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster covering the period April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2023. AAFC launched the program and released application forms in November. Our full application, based on several years of planning and consultation with numerous consultations with experts and stakeholders, as well as economic and practical analyses, was submitted to Ottawa in December.

The proposed third Cluster, which builds upon Cluster I and II, aims to grow beef exports and supply growing global beef demand while enhancing competitiveness and public trust. Proposed activities will work to achieve priority objectives in the Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy that the BCRC is most qualified to deliver and do not duplicate activities already funded by other groups. The Canadian beef industry has a tremendous opportunity to increase productivity and grow Canadian beef exports to support broader economic growth. Activities proposed in the third Cluster are key to realizing that opportunity. Proposed activities will directly address climate change challenges, growing world population pressures, and knowledge gaps that impede public trust or the strength of regulatory systems. They will advance the science of past Clusters, address current and anticipated threats to Canadian beef production, benefit Canadian farmers and ranchers with access to new, practical knowledge and innovations that can improve their business and end products, and continue to improve the industry’s antimicrobial and environmental stewardship. AAFC’s funding commitments for the third Cluster are expected to be announced in early 2018. Following AAFC approval, the BCRC will initiate the new

MBP member of BCRC board: Larry Wegner Cluster research projects and announce project details on The National Beef Strategy The BCRC will continue to play an integral role in achieving several of the industry goals identified in the National Beef Strategy through strategic investments in research and extension. The proposed increase in Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off will be integral to maintaining existing BCRC research programming to ensure continued improvements are made in: • Forage and Grassland Productivity • Environmental Sustainability • Feed Grains and Feed Efficiency • Animal Health and Welfare • Antimicrobial Use, Resistance and Alternatives • Food Safety • Beef Quality Additional funding would enable an expansion of research programming into high priority areas, such as strategic investment in research capacity in meat science and forage utilization, and the expansion of research surveillance networks to monitor antimicrobial resistance, production limiting diseases and other animal health information. A domestic and international research liaison would look for practices and technologies from across Canada and around the world that have the potential to benefit more producers here and find ways to modify them so Canadian producers can use them on their own operations. Additional funding would also enable greater national and regional extension network support and ongoing delivery of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program. Technology Transfer The BCRC continues to advance the implementation of its Knowledge Dissemination and Technology Transfer Strategy, which is a core activity of the Beef Science Clusters. The Beef Researcher Mentorship Program, which launched in 2014, continues to facilitate and encourage new applied beef-related researchers, especially those from non-Canadian agriculture backgrounds, to attend industry events and network with producers and other industry professionals. The program is advancing researchers’ appreciation of industry needs and fueling their ambition to share their findings with a practical, solution-based focus. Another new extension video has been produced. ‘What Beef Producers Need to Know about Environmental Footprint’ has exceeded 35,000 views on Facebook and YouTube combined. Bov-Innovation sessions were held at the 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Conference. The sessions focused on economic and reproductive factors of replacement heifer development, using feed analysis

to balance rations and manage for mycotoxins, and how producers can leverage genomic technology on their commercial cattle operations. The BCRC website,, provides access to general information on research topics, summaries of in-progress and completed research projects, and information that helps producers make informed decisions on implementing innovation into their production practices. The website delivers various BCRC-produced and other valuable extension resources including articles, videos, webinars, and interactive decision making tools. Communications from the BCRC can also be found through various cattle organizations’ publications, and through a regular research column that appears in Canadian Cattlemen magazine. Advancement of the Verified Beef Production Plus program In addition to sponsoring research and technology development, the BCRC oversees and supports the beef industry’s on-farm food safety program, Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+). VBP+ has worked with industry stakeholders to develop additional modules for animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship that are now available to producers. These modules are an opportunity for producers to secure further recognition for credible production practices. The program is now working with Canada’s Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) in a process to determine equivalency of VBP+ and ProAction (dairy equivalent) with the CRSB’s sustainability indicators. A new VBP+ website,, launched in March 2017. It houses a wealth of information for consumers and retailers and is a great resource for Canadian beef cattle producers. It also includes a Feeder Cattle Listing for those VBP+ Registered operations signed onto the AgriClear platform. For More Information To learn more about BCRC initiatives and take advantage of our extension resources, visit our website at www. and join our email list at

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