Manitoba Beef Producers 2019 Annual Report

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Gord Adams

Nancy Howatt

Peter Penner

Rob Kerda

District 1

District 3

Steven Manns District 5

District 2

District 4

Larry Wegner District 6


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

Tyler Fulton

Tom Teichroeb

Dianne Riding

Mike Duguid

District 7

District 8

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT.............................................. PAGE 3 MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER.............................. PAGE 4 2019 MBP YEAR IN REVIEW................................................ PAGES 5 - 9 FINANCIAL REPORT................................................................. PAGE 10

District 9

District 10


Robert Metner

Kris Kristjanson

District 11

District 12 (Until June)

Mary Paziuk

Jade Delaurier

CANADIAN BEEF CHECK-OFF AGENCY................................... PAGE 14 CANADIAN CATTLE IDENTIFICATION AGENCY........................ PAGE 15 BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL ......................................... PAGE 16

District 13


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District 14



Although 2019 was one of the most difficult years in recent history, I am convinced the best is yet to come because the cattle sector has some of the most driven and resilient producers in agriculture. I thank each of you for your commitment and dedication to Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). Ongoing initiatives and advocacy efforts by MBP’s staff and directors are possible because of your membership and participation in informing our policies and direction. This is truly appreciated. Changes to the Manitoba government’s Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) regulations consumed much of MBP staff and directors’ time in 2019. Government consultations with MBP and producers were held through 2018 and into spring 2019. MBP provided its position on possible changes to the province in April 2019 after a thorough review and due diligence in terms of getting feedback from a significant number of producers, and our directors and staff. The new ACL regulation was announced in September after the provincial election. Although MBP was pleased with some of the changes like improved enforcement, and transparency around the auction and bidding process, others were extremely disappointing. MBP stood firm behind its members in defending both family and unit transfers, first right of renewal, as well as informed access. The province later committed to amend the regulations regarding the first right of renewal. This will require a public comment period. An inclusive consultation process will prove to be beneficial in creating affordable, sustainable and dependable polices and regulations that encourage new and existing entrants to invest in the Manitoba beef industry. I would be remiss not to mention the predation file. The livestock industry needs a timely solution to this very serious challenge. MBP cochairs a Livestock Predation Protection Working Group which has reps from the government and the livestock sector tasked with addressing this longstanding issue. Many years of lobbying by MBP for a workable strategy may finally result in a predation management pilot project in 2020. I look forward with anticipation that the hard work, patience and resolve will finally bring hope to those producers who have been negatively impacted. None of us will forget the challenges successive droughts have caused. I am still confused as to why the Manitoba government did not declare an agricultural disaster for 2018 or, more importantly, 2019. Parts of Manitoba recorded either the driest or the second driest year on record, yet the Manitoba government did not seek an AgriRecovery initiative. Feed prices were outrageous and in many cases unaffordable, or distances made hauling feed economically unfeasible. This resulted in significant culling and some producers were forced to exit altogether. Manitoba’s beef herd will most surely contract for the second consecutive year. At the national level, the federal government is enacting new livestock transportation requirements in February 2020 that will require livestock transporters to unload cattle for a rest period after 36 hours. Even though cattle have been transported safely and humanely for decades with tremendous success rates (shown by the government’s own research), these changes were announced. Late in 2019, the federal Agriculture Minister announced the enforcement of the new regulations will be delayed for two years. This is important as this will allow for the completion of added research on beef cattle transportation, as well as work to address the need for more rest stops due to the shorter transit period. On the trade front, China closed its borders to some Canadian commodities, including beef. Canada had a significant increase in beef exports to China in 2018, and 2019 was looking promising until the situation arose. In November news came that meat export certificates will resume. Canada is hopeful beef exports will rise to the volumes prior to the trade disruption. Canada boasted increased beef exports to Japan due to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Tariffs exports prior to the CPTPP trade agreement were at 38.5% and are coming down over time, making Canada more competitive in this key market. Japan also lifted its over 30-month (OTM) age restriction for Canadian beef exports.

More highlights from 2019 are found in MBP’s year in review. Now it’s time to refocus for 2020. Some projects will include negotiating more sustainable and predictable use of the Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for grazing and haying. Even though the provincial government made some of the WMAs available in 2018 and 2019, this proved not as effective as needed. Not only was access granted too late in the year but it was very costly usage because of the short season. Many are overgrown from years of standing idle, and there are fencing and water challenges. I believe there is a mutual desire between government and our sector to develop sustainable and affordable grazing and/or haying options that will be beneficial for both producers and wildlife habitat. MBP will continue its focus on the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Project. The federal and provincial governments have committed more than half a billion dollars to this critical project to provide flood protection for not only beef producers but all other industries and residents around Lake Manitoba. Unfortunately there was little progress on this project in 2019 and MBP is calling on both governments to address issues holding up the work. It will be important for MBP as well as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) to lobby both governments to ensure this project is delivered as soon as possible. Business Risk Management (BRM) options are another area of concern for our industry. The Select Hay Insurance program as well as the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program have proven useful. However, many other BRM tools fall short. The Basic Hay option has not responded adequately for most producers. Pasture BRM tools have proven largely ineffective according to many producers. In light of their ineffectiveness, the uptake has been extremely poor. Thus far there are very limited options for corn silage, as well as damage by blackbirds to standing corn crops. A sound BRM option is needed for polycrops. One of the most frustrating, complex and ineffective BRM tools for the cow/calf sector is AgriStability. Changes made to AgriStability in recent years have discouraged producers from investing in it. MBP has had annual consultations and meetings with government as well as Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to help address many of the shortcomings. Affordable, effective, predictable and responsive BRM programming is essential for financial sustainability of all producers and MBP will endeavour to achieve that. Looking ahead, I am excited for MBP because I believe the organization has an extremely capable and confident general manager, Carson Callum, leading the way and an excellent group of seasoned and more recently-hired staff. Maureen Cousins, policy analyst, has served MBP with distinction for more than 10 years and I am hopeful she will continue with MBP for years to come. Deb Walger has provided MBP with nearly 20 years of accounting expertise. David Hultin, communications coordinator, joined MBP in September and has been an excellent addition. Tanya Michalsky is the office assistant and does a great job of directing your calls and questions. It gives me great confidence MBP is poised to have an excellent year knowing that we have directors and staff that do exemplary work for the membership each day. Finally, I would to thank the membership, the MBP directors and staff for the privilege to represent you as the president of Manitoba Beef Producers. To deliver on all of the initiatives, programs and policies that I have identified, MBP needs the help of its members. I have appreciated interacting with you at events like the MBP fall district meetings and the Annual General Meeting. Events like these are not only excellent for networking and gleaning industry knowledge, but your input is invaluable in helping MBP focus its advocacy activities. It has been an honour to serve an industry that has given me so much. I can only hope that I represented MBP and its membership with leadership that exemplifies respect, dignity and humility to the best of my ability. In closing, I would like to once again thank my wife Michelle and my daughters, Madison and Regan. Their sacrifices, love and commitment have allowed me to serve MBP and CCA for six years. Thank you. MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S





Looking back on 2019, I am encouraged by the resilience and optimism of the great producers in this industry. It had been a tough year. Whether it is pressures from weather, regulations, or market challenges, the industry continues to push forward as best it can. The Canadian beef industry is an excellent industry to be a part of, and I am honoured to be representing the Manitoba sector. It is hard to believe I have only been on the MBP team for less than a year, but I have gained so much knowledge and respect for many new areas of the industry that I did not have before. At MBP, our mission is to represent Manitoba beef producers through communication, advocacy, research, education, and leadership within the industry, to governments and the public. This mission drives the organization. As I think about the past few months since I joined the team, there has been a number of areas that MBP has put major efforts towards, driven by our overall mission. Some of these files are covered in more detail further on in the annual report, as well as many other topics MBP has been focused on. In 2019, one of the major challenges producers faced here, and frankly across Canada, were poor production conditions. In Manitoba, this started as an extreme drought throughout most of the growing season, followed by excess moisture during the harvest timeframe. These drought conditions, in back-to-back seasons, greatly diminished forage stands and winter feed reserves. Then the excess moisture in the fall also impacted producers’ ability to get off their annual feed crops, such as corn silage. MBP strongly advocated for multiple avenues of assistance for producers, such as AgriRecovery. It was unfortunate the provincial government did not pursue AgriRecovery, but MBP will continue to work on ways to help producers out in tough production conditions, such as improvements to the current Business Risk Management (BRM) tools. Another key file in 2019 was the changes to the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) leasing regulations. For more than a year, MBP had been providing feedback to the Manitoba government during its consultations around the modernization of the ACL program, but we are disappointed these new regulations did not incorporate various aspects of our April 2019 ACL position paper. This topic was a major concern for many of our members, and MBP will continue to advocate our position to the province, and to stress the importance of regulatory amendments to the recently-announced program. Negative livestock-predator interactions are an ongoing concern. MBP continuously raises this issue with the provincial government, and has developed a pilot project that would engage producers in targeted areas where predation losses are most prevalent. Its major goal would be to test the effectiveness of prevention tools and predator removal mitigation actions. A submission has been made to the province for funding towards this pilot project, and MBP will continue to engage with stakeholders to drive this forward. MBP is encouraged by the changes to the new department of Agriculture and Rural Development that may allow for a positive development related to this pilot project as wildlife management now falls under its purview. Another area I feel was of great importance in 2019, and will continue to be moving forward is public trust. I have been a part of

Carson Callum General Manager


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Maureen Cousins Policy Analyst

the agriculture industry my whole life. Throughout my career I have seen how much it can impact the industry as a whole. Whether we are talking about pesticide use, GMOs, or concern about livestock’s impact on the environment, public trust can be positive or negative to the agriculture industry. Negative opinions around beef production can impact consumers’ purchasing decisions, as well as government regulations being developed, which can affect the primary producer. The beef industry has made multiple leaps forward in ways that will improve its public trust. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), in conjunction with Verified Beef Production Plus Program (VBP+), is a prime example of an industry-led initiative that can impact the value chain. Another top of mind example is a very important initiative started by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) to assist with public trust efforts – the Public and Stakeholder Engagement group (PSE). Funded from national check off dollars, PSE is tasked with tackling some of these negative opinions and misinformation around beef production. For example, they develop content to demonstrate how beef cattle are important for the environment, based off of excellent research being conducted by groups such as the Beef Cattle Research Council. Keep an eye out on our social media for a video produced by PSE entitled Guardians of the Grasslands. From my perspective, MBP will need to continue to focus on the main areas moving forward that relate to our overall mission: advocacy, research/education, and public trust. In 2019, these areas were a key part of our efforts, and I see them continuing to be important in 2020. Whether it’s advocating to governments for beneficial regulations and programs like BRMs, or ensuring we continue to innovate in the industry through research, our hands will be full at MBP. The public trust effort will be a priority, but we have the tools to tackle it head on. I also encourage all producers to tell their story to the public, as farmers are one of the most trusted members of the food value chain for consumers, and your voice is the best advocate we can have. Before I close, I want to mention that one of the best parts of joining the team this past year are the people with whom I get to work. The staff, which includes Maureen Cousins, David Hultin, Tanya Michalsky, and Deb Walger, are very professional folks who are working hard on our members’ behalf to advance the industry within Manitoba and at a national scale. Also, the board of directors are very caring, progressive producers who work tirelessly for their industry. I truly thank them for giving me this opportunity to represent beef producers across the province. I greatly look forward to the coming year, to work as a team for the betterment of Manitoba’s beef sector. Finally, I just want to take a quick opportunity to thank my wife Britni, son Cohen, and greater family for their love and support over the past few months. It has been a very busy time to say the least, with moving back to Manitoba from Alberta to start my role with MBP. Their encouragement is not overlooked, especially after my wife had just given birth to our son. I am very happy to be back in the area of agriculture industry I enjoy, and look forward to continued work on behalf of producers in Manitoba. Cheers to a new year. Carson

David Hultin

Communications Coordinator

Tanya Michalsky Admin Assistant

Deb Walger Finance



Tom Teichroeb – President Dianne Riding – Vice President Tyler Fulton – 2nd Vice President Mike Duguid – Secretary Peter Penner - Treasurer


Gord Adams – Chair Robert Kerda – Vice-Chair Mike Duguid Steven Manns Mary Paziuk

A G M / N O M I N AT I O N S / RESOLUTIONS Dianne Riding – Chair Larry Wegner – Vice-Chair Tyler Fulton Nancy Howatt Steven Manns


Dianne Riding – Chair Nancy Howatt – Vice-Chair Peter Penner Robert Kerda Steven Manns


Robert Metner – Chair Mike Duguid – Vice-Chair Mary Paziuk Steven Manns


Gord Adams – Chair Tyler Fulton – Vice-Chair Larry Wegner Mike Duguid Robert Metner Mary Paziuk


Peter Penner – Chair Mike Duguid – Vice-Chair Gord Adams Mary Paziuk


Nancy Howatt – Chair Jade Delaurier – Vice-Chair Robert Metner Dianne Riding

PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Tyler Fulton – Chair Robert Kerda – Vice-Chair Larry Wegner Gord Adams Robert Metner Mary Paziuk


Larry Wegner – Chair Tyler Fulton – Vice-Chair Peter Penner Nancy Howatt Jade Delaurier

Who is MBP? Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is the exclusive voice of the province’s cattle industry, representing approximately 6,300 producers in the cow-calf, backgrounding and finishing sectors. MBP is a nonprofit organization with a producer-elected board of 14 directors representing different geographic areas of the province. Its vision is a vibrant, prosperous, respected, sustainable beef industry in Manitoba. MBP’s mission is to represent the province’s beef producers through communication, advocacy, research, education, and leadership within the industry, to governments and to the public. These efforts take place to strengthen the sector’s viability, improve prosperity and ensure a sustainable future for the beef industry in Manitoba for the benefit of our beef producers and all Manitobans. How is MBP’s work funded? MBP’s activities are funded through the collection of check-off dollars. Two check-offs with a combined total value of $5.50/head are levied at the point of sale on all cattle sold in Manitoba. Of this, a $3/head mandatory, refundable provincial check-off goes toward financing MBP’s activities on behalf of the local beef industry, as well as its membership in organizations such as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) and others. MBP’s levy is collected under the authority of the Cattle Fee Regulation under The Cattle Producers Association Act, a piece of provincial legislation. As well, a mandatory non-refundable $2.50/ head Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off is collected on all cattle sold in Manitoba and the monies are transferred to the Canadian Beef Check-off Agency. Goals of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off are to increase sales of domestic and export beef and to find better and more efficient methods of producing beef and beef cattle. The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off provides industry funding for the Beef Cattle Research Council which is responsible for the industry’s national research program, as well as to Canada Beef for market development

and promotion. Funding is also provided for public and stakeholder engagement, administered by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in partnership with Canada Beef and under the oversight of the Canadian Beef Advisors. For additional information about MBP’s 2018-19 budget, see page 10. How are MBP’s activities organized and executed? MBP’s activities are guided by the board of directors’ broad direction and executed by 4.5 staff members and MBP’s Executive and Committee members. Staff include general manager Carson Callum who joined the team in July, policy analyst Maureen Cousins, office assistant Tanya Michalsky, and, part-time finance person Deb Walger. Communications activities were led by Keith Borkowsky for the first part of the year and later by David Hultin. Kate Cummings was MBP’s beef specialist for the first half of the year. MBP employs contract staff from time to time to deliver initiatives such as the Verified Beef Production+ Program or special projects. MBP also has two wholly owned subsidiary corporations – the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program Inc. (MLCA) and Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI), each with their own independent staff and governance structure, but which do report information to MBP. Both the MLCA and MBFI boards have representation from MBP’s board of directors. MBP directors each sit on internal committees where they provide input and help develop positions around specific types of issues or opportunities. Some committees serve an organizational function, such as helping to organize the district meetings and annual general meeting or planning MBP’s participation in events and communications activities aimed at promoting the industry. Strategic direction MBP’s activities focus around three strategic

MBP is also 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 management programs, traceability, animal care, research, trade, sustainability initiatives and many more. Examples include: • Assiniboine River Basin Initiative: Gord Adams, Maureen Cousins • Association of Manitoba Community Pastures: Carson Callum • Beef Cattle Research Council: Larry Wegner • Bovine TB Taskforce Committee: Mary Paziuk, Carson Callum, Maureen Cousins • Beef Value Chain Roundtable: Carson Callum, Maureen Cousins • Canadian Cattlemen’s Association: Gord Adams, Tom Teichroeb, Ramona Blyth (until March), Mike Duguid • Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency: Heinz Reimer (first half of year), then Mary Paziuk • Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef: Mike Duguid, Maureen Cousins • Canadian Cattle Identification Agency: Nancy Howatt • Feedlot Committee: Harry Dalke, Steven Manns, Robert Kerda • Invasive Species Council of Manitoba: Larry Wegner, Mike Duguid • Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Board: Ramona Blyth (until June), Larry Wegner, Tyler Fulton (beginning in June) • Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee: Tom Teichroeb • Manitoba Farm Safety Council: Peter Penner • Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association: Mike Duguid • Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance: Peter Penner, Jade Delaurier, Tyler Fulton, Nancy Howatt, Dianne Riding • Motor Carrier Consultative Committee: Maureen Cousins • National Cattle Feeders Association: Harry Dalke, Carson Callum • Verified Beef Production Plus Program: Dianne Riding MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




objectives: telling the industry’s story via advocacy and enhanced communications; building the industry with innovation, improved economic competitiveness and profitability; and, serving MBP’s members by developing the organization and its capacity. These strategic objectives dovetail with MBP’s mission to strengthen the viability of Manitoba’s beef sector and to ensure a sustainable future for our province’s beef industry. The following is an overview of some of the key activities undertaken by MBP in 2019. TELLING OUR STORY: ADVOCACY ACTIVITIES Production challenges In 2018 drought conditions were a problem in much of southern Manitoba, leading to forage production challenges. In early January 2019 Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) announced that the Hay Disaster Benefit had triggered for the first time since changes were made to forage insurance offerings in 2014. This was due to a severe provincial forage shortfall and benefits totalling $3.2 million were paid to 708 eligible forage producers across Manitoba. A second consecutive year of drought conditions hit in 2019. MBP was in regular contact with Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and departmental staff, as well as the federal government about the impact of the dry conditions and discussing what kinds of assistance might be available to help affected producers. This included asking both governments whether consideration would be given to an AgriRecovery initiative, such as the types of needs-based forage shortfall and transportation assistance programs used during previous disasters. MBP also asked the federal government to trigger the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision in a timely fashion. Challenges related to water supplies were raised as well. On July 5 the Manitoba government announced producers could graze cattle and cut hay in some wildlife management areas (WMAs). Unfortunately not all producers have access to WMAs. Moreover, there have been challenges with the condition of WMAs limiting their overall grazing and haying capacity (such as brush encroachment), as well as infrastructure issues (fences and water supplies). MBP is seeking a system whereby WMAs are grazed on a more regular basis. Not only would this benefit beef producers, the provincial government would benefit from the improved wildlife habitat and the reduced risk of fires in those properties. On July 22 the federal government identified 96 designated regions where Manitoba producers could access the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision, covering off virtually every municipal government in the southern and central part of the province. While this tool can be beneficial to some producers who had to sell off at least 15 per cent of their breeding herd due to feed and water supply concerns, producers have requested it be modified so that it is based on cattle inventories rather than breeding cattle. Industry is advancing this request with the federal government. MBP had sought programming to help producers dig wells or reservoirs or to rehabilitate existing reservoirs, as had previously been offered through the Ag Action Manitoba – Assurance program. This was eventually announced on September 12, two days after the provincial election was held. Also following the provincial election Minister Eichler indicated the province would not consider AgriRecovery. Instead producers were encouraged to avail themselves of business risk management (BRM) programs, such as pasture and forage insurance or AgriStability, or lending programs through MASC. Following a provincial cabinet shuffle, MBP met with the new Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development, the Hon. Blaine Pedersen and again requested that AgriRecovery be revisited. There was however no movement on this request. MBP discussed with Minister Pedersen the need for more effective tools to help mitigate risk and to reduce exposure related to varying climatic conditions, market volatility or other unforeseen events. For example, MBP is asking for consideration to adjust the insurance coverage associated with basic hay, or to create an index to accurately capture losses associated with a given forage stand to ensure payouts reflect the true extent of the losses. MBP believes enhanced coverage opportunities would better position producers to weather the associated losses and to be able to source alternate feeds. The effects of back-to-back droughts will be felt by producers and in the provincial economy. Statistics Canada’s latest livestock estimates showed the number of cattle on Manitoba beef operations fell by 38,200 head on July 1, 2019 compared to a year previous. Further reductions are likely looming 6

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because of the number of producers downsizing or exiting outright due to the 2019 drought. Agricultural Crown Lands Leasing Program Cattle producers make extensive use of provincial agricultural Crown lands (ACL) for both pasture and forage purposes. Since 2017 the Manitoba government has been working to modernize the Agricultural Crown Lands (ACL) Leasing Program, rolling out legislative and regulatory changes to accomplish this. Ensuring these lands remain available for beef and forage production has been a priority area of advocacy for MBP. During these consultations MBP’s comments focused on areas such as: the importance of the continuation of family and unit transfers; the right of eligible producers to be able to renew leases; the move to a system of allocating ACL leases by way of a public auction; leasing eligibility requirements; lease lengths; compliance monitoring and enforcement; how to value lease hold improvements; whether there should be an increase to the number of Animal Unit Months; recognition of the ecological goods and services provided by producers in managing ACL; and the need for informed access, among others. On September 27, 2019 Agriculture Minister Eichler announced changes to the ACL Leasing Program. Considerable concerns followed from beef producers in areas such as affordability (increase in the rental formula), predictability (changes to lease lengths and transfers, and no first right of renewal), the new system for valuing improvements, and more. MBP has firm positions on various aspects of the ACL Leasing Program and is continuing to pursue their inclusion in the government’s policies. This includes allowing existing lease holders to have the first right of renewal upon expiry of their lease if they can demonstrate that they meet the program terms and conditions. MBP also strongly believes that this first right of renewal should be allowable for new lease agreements as well, as the 15-year term length does not allow for sufficient time to make investments on the land, nor do short-term leases provide financial institutions with the security they seek to make capital available to lessees. Following pressure from MBP and other stakeholders, Minister Eichler announced on October 11 that producers will be given the first right of renewal for existing leases on Crown lands. Another public consultation process on the regulation will be initiated around this change. MBP will participate in this process and strongly encourages all lease holders to provide their input as well. MBP’s position on renewals was also advanced with the Hon. Blaine Pedersen after he became agriculture minister in late October. Other ACL matters on which MBP has advocated with him include having a rental rate formula that is fair, easily understood, that recognizes market conditions and does not place an undue financial burden on the producers during the transition to the new rate. The rental rate increase that will be implemented in full by 2021 is a huge financial concern for lease holders. With two years of challenging production conditions, MBP strongly believes that the transition to the new rental rate needs to be phased in over a longer period. MBP recommended there be a minimum period of five years to transition to the new rate to allow producers time to adjust. Regarding transfers, MBP asked for the continuation of both family/legacy and unit transfers. MBP believes both types of transfers align with the ACL program’s stated mandate of supporting “the sustainable expansion of the livestock herd in Manitoba, contributes to ecological goods and services, and provides mitigation and adaptation to climate change.” MBP is pleased that family/legacy transfers will continue under the new system. MBP also strongly supports the continuation of full unit transfers. MBP notes that producers who have maintained ACL lands over generations should receive some form of recognition/compensation for their landscape stewardship work, so the continuation of unit transfers is important. MBP suggested to Minister Pedersen that the government consider analyzing whether a higher unit transfer fee should be paid to ensure some form of public compensation for producers’ use of these lands, and that it consult with producers in this regard. MBP has long sought informed access by members of the public wishing to access ACL and is very disappointed this request was not addressed. MBP believes that public access must be limited to those circumstances where the public has prior authorization from the lessee or permit holder to access the ACL. MBP believes this is needed to protect livestock, producers, the public and the environment. In the absence of a move toward informed access, MBP asks that consideration be given to setting aside a portion of lease revenue into a dedicated fund that lease holders could access to pay for damage caused by public access.


MBP YEAR IN REVIEW Producers are also concerned about the new approach to valuing privatelyowned improvements to ACL. The Crown has removed itself from all involvement in this process. Rather, the negotiations will fall between the two parties involved in the transfer, and go to an arbitration process if an agreement cannot be made. Lease holders are concerned the process will be cumbersome, lengthy and costly. MBP had suggested having an independent, third-party assessment done when the parcel comes up for auction so the producer knows what they will be paid for their improvements. MBP believes this needs to be revisited. MBP believes that if the beef cattle sector is to grow it is essential that ACL be allocated, priced and managed in the most predictable and transparent manner possible. This will help ensure their use is both effective and efficient for producers, and also help meet the stated objectives of the ACL program which include supporting the sustainable expansion of the livestock herd in Manitoba, contributing to ecological goods and services, and providing mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Discussions will continue with the provincial government in 2020 regarding the ACL leasing program. Manitoba Protein Advantage In early January the Manitoba government announced consultations on its sustainable plant and animal protein strategy aimed at making the province “North America’s protein supplier of choice.” Key areas of focus in the strategy include: research, innovation and commercialization; sustainability; investment attraction and growth; industry and market development; and profitability and competitiveness. One of the stated priorities is increasing the beef-breeding herd. MBP’s comments on the strategy focused on policies and strategies important to Manitoba’s beef sector such as: the need for effective business risk management programs; the importance of maintaining agricultural Crown lands for beef production; finding ways to reduce the risk of livestock predation; the value of investments in research; the impact of labour shortages; and, the need to reduce regulatory burden, among others. The Manitoba Protein Advantage was announced in September. Stated goals include: a 35 per cent increase in both animal protein processing and animal protein production; a 15 per cent reduction in carbon intensity per kilogram of animal protein; and, a 15 per cent increase in productivity of agricultural Crown lands and privately-owned grassland and forages. MBP will continue to engage with the province about the protein strategy, including increasing the productivity of ACL. The provincial government and society both reap environmental benefits from maintaining cattle on ACL. MBP has cited the benefits in having continuity of landscape stewardship over ACL for extended periods of time. If ACL lease holders are assured they will have the first right to renew their leases there will be increased confidence in making long-term investments in stewarding the lands that will help increase their overall productivity and provide valuable ecosystem services. This will in turn help the province meet stated objectives of its Manitoba Protein Advantage, as well as its Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan such as “the potential for agriculture to contribute to the provincial goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon in soils, and enhancing our agro-ecosystems.” Additionally, MBP has suggested that some of the monies generated through the ACL auction process, leases and permits be put into a designated ACL sustainability fund. Producers could access the fund to implement cost-shared beneficial management practices that would enhance the carrying capacity of the land or provide environmental benefits, such as fencing, off-site watering systems or other initiatives. Wildlife management MBP continues to strongly advocate for strategies to help reduce the risk of losses associated with predation. MBP co-chairs the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group (LPPWG). It includes reps from Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (MARD), MASC, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Manitoba Trappers Association and Manitoba Sheep Association. MBP received funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) toward holding a facilitated workshop in early January involving LPPWG members led by Dr. Alistair Bath of Memorial University. Bath has expertise related to wildlife management. The workshop’s purpose was to understand and address the key issues involved in the design and development of a pilot project to reduce wildlife/livestock conflicts in Manitoba. In 2019 a pilot project – the Manitoba Livestock Predation Prevention Project was jointly developed by members of the LPPWG with MBP identified as the lead

agency to deliver it. There are three main aspects to the proposed program: On Farm Predation Risk Assessments; testing the effectiveness of Risk Management Practices (on-farm predation prevention practices and predator removal mitigation practices); and, communication of livestock-wildlife risks and management practices. The pilot would be delivered in targeted rural municipalities where losses due to predation are most severe based on MASC statistics of claim “hot spots.” The proposal was submitted to Manitoba Agriculture (now MARD) in June 2019 for funding consideration and a decision is pending. MBP wants this pilot project to move forward as soon as possible. Business risk management tools Each year MBP provides input to the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) about its programs as effective business risk management (BRM) programs and lending tools are very important to the beef sector. Finding ways to make cattle farming more economically predictable is seen as the single biggest hurdle to future growth. It has been MBP’s longstanding position that the BRM tools available to the cattle sector have not necessarily kept pace with changes in production practices over the past few decades. Further, there have been concerns that BRM tools are more responsive to the needs of the crop sector than the livestock sector. At MBP’s 40th Annual General Meeting in February a number of resolutions were carried related to BRM programs. For example, producers want blackbird damage to become eligible for claims under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Crop Damage. A challenge in achieving this is that damage must be caused by a protected species, which blackbirds are not in Manitoba. Another resolution called for changes to this same program to ensure that any feed that remains on fields for use as part of an extended feeding regime becomes eligible for compensation related to wildlife damage and/or pig damage. Discussions will continue with MASC about the challenges that various wildlife like these can create for beef producers and how to have effective tools to address them. Another resolution dealt with a request for MASC to have their prices for the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (livestock predation component) based on the value of a five weight animal in October, not on the value of a five weight animal based on prices in July and August. MASC is considering the implications of this proposal and continues to engage with MBP about it. Other topics of discussion with MASC have included alternative silage corn coverage methodologies and how to provide coverage for innovative cropping systems such as polycrops. MBP also provides feedback to provincial and federal officials on BRM programs such as AgriStability and the shortcomings that have arisen with them. For example, the Canadian cattle industry has called for the elimination of the Reference Margin Limit under AgriStability as it has led to inequitable treatment of the cow-calf sector under the program. Water management Effective water management continued to be a key area of focus for MBP in 2019. Although much of the concern was focused on the drought, the prospect of future flooding is an ongoing concern, particularly for producers affected by devastating floods around Lake Manitoba. In 2018 the federal and provincial governments committed to the construction of outlet channels at Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. These channels will help draw down water levels on Lake Manitoba and allow for better management during future flood events. MBP has long lobbied for the timely completion of this much-needed project. Unfortunately there was very limited work on it in 2019 as the two governments were engaged in discussions around the environmental approvals process and consultative processes required to move the project forward. MBP continues to advocate for the outstanding matters to be resolved so this project can be completed. MBP provided comments to Manitoba Sustainable Development as it consulted on a new regulation under The Water Rights Act which focuses on surface water management. MBP is supportive of the expected outcomes, including the streamlining of drainage applications and approvals, the provision of consistent regulatory regimes for drainage and water control works and improved surface water management and coordination. Drainage projects will either undergo a registration or a licensing process depending on their complexity. The ability to have an eligible project registered within 14 calendar days could be beneficial to the agricultural community. As well, the recent amendments to The Water Rights Act include a provision for offsetting the loss or alteration of prescribed wetlands with a goal of no net loss of wetlands. Altering or draining these wetlands would come with certain requirements on the part of the applicant, such as mitigation initiatives, or the MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




possibility of having to pay compensation for the loss of wetland benefits. MBP’s reiterated its longstanding position that Manitoba needs a wetland policy that also includes an incentive strategy to restore and protect wetlands. Many cattle producers are protecting the environment and providing storage capacity on their lands by retaining wetlands. This provides considerable societal benefit, but there is no direct monetary benefit to the producers such as payment for the provision of these valuable ecosystem services. In early July the Manitoba government announced that a new $52 million endowment fund will be created for the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Program. This province-wide program will be based on the Alternate Land Use Services model with the aim of supporting the enhancement of ecological goods and services (EG&S) on private lands. This could include monies from the GROW fund being used to help producers with “small water-retention projects, natural habitat restoration and enhancement including wetlands, riparian area management, soil health improvements, and shelterbelt and eco-buffer establishment.” MBP provided comments to the provincial government in 2017 when it was consulting about a prospective GROW program, and had indicated at that time as well that there should be financial recognition of EG&S being provided by the beef industry. These include protecting habitat, providing biodiversity, preserving wetlands, and sequestering greenhouse gases, among others. Environmental Matters In February MBP, along with Manitoba Sustainable Development were the co-hosts for the 12th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference held in Winnipeg. The conference, held once every three years had the theme Working Landscapes. It brought together landowners, cattle producers, scientists, consultants, educators and nature enthusiasts to talk about ways the environment, wildlife and working farms are linked in the preservation of biodiversity across the prairie grasslands. More than 330 people from across Canada and the United States attended the event. It included five talks on grassland bird population trends, diversity indicators, abundance indices and habitat consideration. All of these talks related to cattle or bison grazing. Other topics covered included regenerative agriculture. MBP received $750,000 in funding over three years (2017 to 2019) from Environment and Climate Change Canada for a Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) project. The aim of the “Manitoba Mixed-grass Prairie Species at Risk Enhancement Project” was to help protect important habitats for at-risk plant and animal species. Some of the targeted grassland Species at Risk include: Sprague’s Pipit, Ferruginous Hawk, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Loggerhead Shrike, Burrowing Owl and Baird’s Sparrow. MBP was pleased to work with the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) on the delivery of the project based in southwestern Manitoba. The intent was to encourage the stewardship of grassland habitat by promoting proper grazing techniques and funding livestock and range management practices that are compatible with the needs of grassland birds and the needs of the rancher. This successful project effected the enhancement of 6,498 hectares of grassland habitat, almost double the original objective of 3,300 hectares. This was achieved through the completion of 21 agreements with participating landowners. The enhancement of grasslands - and the associated species at risk habitat - was achieved primarily through the implementation of enhanced livestock grazing systems. These systems were designed by the ranchers, in consultation with MHHC staff. Landowners invested significant in-kind time and resources into the implementation of these 21 projects, with funding from ECCC supporting the purchase of grazing infrastructure, such as fencing, and the installation of watering systems.

domestic livestock herds from 2003 to 2016, including more than a decade of negative surveillance since the last infected herd was detected in 2008.” Further, the CFIA noted that “post-mortem testing of approximately 18,000 wild cervids from 1995 to 2018 showed that the prevalence of the disease has declined since 2006 to levels that are undetectable today, with the last infected cervid detected in 2014.” Other major milestones in recent years included the end of mandatory on-farm testing of domestic livestock in 2016, and the 2018 decision by the United States Department of Agriculture recognizing the RMEA as officially free of bovine TB. The elimination of the RMEA was made possible through the efforts of key partner organizations including MBP, Parks Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, CFIA and provincial government departments (Agriculture and Sustainable Development), First Nations and the Manitoba Wildlife Federation. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association also provided assistance with advocacy efforts at the federal level. MBP also notes that critical to this was the ongoing participation of producers in the RMEA in surveillance and prevention activities. It is a testament to the diligence of the producers in the RMEA, as well as the efforts of the other stakeholders that Manitoba has achieved this long sought-after result. MBP will continue to impress upon both the federal and provincial governments the importance of ongoing disease surveillance, including slaughter inspection, as well as mandatory sample submissions by hunters for analysis in the designated game hunting areas. MBP notes there is value as well in biosecurity activities which reduce the possibility of interactions between livestock and cervids, such as the use of barrier fences. In May MBP took part in the CFIA consultations regarding proposed changes to registration requirements for mycotoxin detoxifying agents (MDAs). MBP believes the proposed changes should positively influence the beef industry. It will allow producers and feed companies to administer detoxifying agents with confidence that the products are as marketed, therefore maximizing productivity. From a local perspective, ergot is mycotoxin that is a major issue for beef producers in the prairies. The persistence of ergot provides a unique set of challenges. Ergot alkaloids are diverse and as a result, have variable toxicity, hence the importance of MDAs should be emphasized. Not only is it important for product promoters to stand behind their claims but it is equally as important to have MDAs readily available to producers. Without MDAs there is no reducing the effects the toxicity can have on cattle. The repercussions of the prolonged ingestion of mycotoxins are detrimental to both livestock health and to a producer’s bottom line. Livestock transportation MBP conducted its annual fly-in to Ottawa in late April. Among the topics discussed with Members of Parliament and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials is the effect of the federal changes with respect to feed, water and rest (FWR) requirements during transport that are to take effect in February 2020. These changes will have an impact on Manitoba’s cattle industry as significant numbers of feeder cattle are shipped east into Ontario and Quebec and having an additional FWR station in Ontario (besides Thunder Bay) will become necessary. MBP expressed concerns that by reducing the hours in transit it means that cattle will have to be unloaded more frequently for rest, feed and water, potentially increasing the risk of injury and illness during the loading/unloading process. MBP also stated more research is required before regulatory changes are contemplated.

This project demonstrated that species at risk conservation and agricultural production can coexist. With the majority of native grasslands in Manitoba being managed by private landowners, this project provided these land stewards with tangible evidence that the public is willing to support, and invest in the public good that results from their land management. MBP is engaging with Environment and Climate Change Canada about what a second phase of a SARPAL initiative could entail.

The Canadian cattle industry wants to see best outcomes for livestock and a regulatory environment which is evidence-based. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s own research has found that 99.5% of cattle on long hauls more than four hours and 99.98% of cattle on short hauls of less than four hours arrive at their destination in good condition. Outcome-based guidelines are required that are founded in science and which take into account Canada’s climate, geography and transportation system. MBP welcomed news in late 2019 that there will be a two-year transition period for the cattle and dairy sectors to adapt to the new transportation regulations before hard enforcement will begin. This will allow for the completion of additional research into livestock transportation in Canada. Work by MBP, other provincial associations and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association will continue on this file.

Animal health There was a major development on the bovine tuberculosis file in the fall of 2019. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) informed MBP and other stakeholders in early November that the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) is no longer required for the management of bovine TB in domestic livestock in the vicinity of Riding Mountain National Park. The CFIA explained that the decision to end the RMEA is based “on the testing of approximately 240,000 animals in 2,600

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. MBP strongly supports research. Twenty three cents of every Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off (national check-off) dollar collected in Manitoba goes towards conducting and promoting research


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MBP YEAR IN REVIEW activities re: beef cattle, beef and beef products. See the Beef Cattle Research Council at for additional details. A further 6.5 cents of every national check-off dollar collected in Manitoba is retained for Manitoba projects that reflect MBP’s research priorities and which align to national priorities. For example, MBP investments have gone towards research projects such as: strategic supplementation to improve beef cattle performance in grazing systems, evaluation of forage varieties, perennial forage grains for fall grazing of beef cattle, assessing the impact of grazing annual forage cover crops in an integrated crop-livestock system, an economic impact analysis of Manitoba’s beef industry, and, a project related to producer mental health and how it affects farm business management. MBP remains a key partner in Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI), the collaborative beef and forage research and demonstration farm at three sites in the Brandon area. The other partners are Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association and Ducks Unlimited Canada. MBP strongly believes that the type of applied research and knowledge transfer activities being undertaken through MBFI can play a critical role in advancing Manitoba’s beef and forage industries, ensuring they are well positioned for future generations of producers. Core funding for MBFI is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. As well, 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 strategic leadership. MBP thanks the core partners and all the other generous partners (including corporations, companies and academic institutions) for the significant roles they are playing in envisioning this important initiative, doing the legwork to take it from conception to inception and for their ongoing commitment to its success. For a more detailed overview of MBFI’s activities over the past year see page 11 or visit to learn more. TELLING OUR STORY: COMMUNICATIONS, OUTREACH AND SPONSORSHIP MBP participates in a variety of activities throughout the year aimed at communicating with its members, and well as engaging with the general public to help inform them about beef production practices, and also to address any misconceptions they may have about the sector. To this end MBP contracted Tripwire Media, a local production company to produce two videos related to animal care and the environment. One video involved cow-calf producer Melissa Atchison speaking about the animal care practices used on her family’s beef operation. Another featured bird expert Dr. Christian Artuso visiting one of the beef operations that participated in the Manitoba SARPAL project. He talked about the importance of maintaining beef production as the preservation of grasslands provides critical habitat for species at risk such as a number of threatened birds. These videos are being used at various events to help increase the public’s understanding of how cattle are raised in Manitoba. They were also rolled out to producers attending MBP’s fall district meetings. The development of these videos is part of an overarching strategy to modernize MBP’s presence at public events such as fairs and trade shows and to make the public’s experience more interactive. This includes the use of virtual reality headsets featuring beef production content which is quite popular with headset users. MBP was also pleased to participate in the well-received Manitoba premiere of the Guardians of the Grasslands documentary in November at The Pavilion at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg. Created in collaboration with Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada as well as the Waldron Grazing Co-op and local ranchers in Alberta, the film explores the vital role cattle play in preserving and maintaining one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems – the native prairie grasslands. MBP General Manager Carson Callum, Kristine Tapley, Regional Agrologist with Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Tim Sopuck, Chief Executive Officer of Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation led a question and answer session to add more context and perspective to the film. For more information about Guardians of the Grasslands, please visit the website https:// MBP’s longstanding involvement in the Great Tastes of Manitoba (GTOM) cooking show on CTV Winnipeg continued in 2019 with the addition of a third beef-focused episode on a one-time basis. In celebration of the 30th anniversary season of GTOM, a special series of webisodes was created showcasing Manitoba farmers. This included a visit with beef producers Andre and Katie Steppler of

Steppler Farms of the Miami area. The theme of this webisode was nurturing nature and it showcased the priority that the Stepplers place on environmental stewardship at their operation. Public reaction to the webisode was extremely positive. Access Great Tastes of Manitoba episodes, recipes and the webisodes at GTOM is Manitoba’s highest-rated food show, of any food or cooking show broadcast into Manitoba. The addition of the web content has helped to expand the show’s reach to new and different audiences. Other familiar promotional activities were undertaken by MBP in 2019. For the 2019-20 hockey season, MBP partnered with the Brandon Wheat Kings for jumbotron advertising space during its Western Hockey League game intermissions. MBP’s relationship with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers continued, which involved sponsoring the Family of the Game. MBP took part in the pre-game tailgate festivities during the Calgary Stampeders game in early August. MBP again had a presence at Ag in the City and the 10-day Red River Exhibition, both in Winnipeg, as well as at Ag Days, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, MooMania and Manitoba AG EX, all of which take place in Brandon. MBP was also involved in a number of successful activities held at the University of Manitoba’s facilities south of Winnipeg. This included the new Farm and Food Awareness Week event targeted at senior years students, and a very well-attended Open Farm Day. Collaboration is very important when it comes to MBP’s ability to engage with diverse audiences. For example, MBP has a longstanding relationship with Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba (AITC-M) and was a patron level supporter of the organization in 2019. Its work focuses on providing accurate, balanced and current information for use as education resources in school curriculum and on enhancing awareness of agriculture in schools. Examples of AITC-M activities in which MBP directors and staff participated in 2019 included the Amazing Ag Adventure and Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month. MBP is also a supporter of the Manitoba 4-H Council as 4-H activities are important to the children of many Manitoba cattle producers. MBP was able to provide resources to the Manitoba Home Economics Teachers Association’s professional development conference in October in Winnipeg. The event attracted more than 200 Human Ecology educators and it was a valuable opportunity to share beef-related nutritional resources and recipes with the teachers. MBP participates in a number of producer-focused activities each year. This includes making a presentation at each of the Beef and Forage Week stops. In midsummer MBP helped sponsor the two-day Manitoba Agriculture Livestock Tour 2019 along with Manitoba Agriculture and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. MBP sponsored a Safe and Low Stress Cattle Handling Workshop organized by the Manitoba Farm Safety Program in October at the MBFI Brookdale site. MBP provided support to promote a series of fall workshops organized by Manitoba Agriculture related to stretching feed supplies as a result of feed supply issues arising from this year’s drought. And MBP was a sponsor of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association’s 2nd Annual Regenerative Agriculture Forum in Brandon. As part of the communications outreach in 2018, MBP representatives were featured in several dozen interviews/stories with media outlets from Manitoba and beyond, and MBP issued several news releases and statements as well. Topics covered through these activities ranged from the drought, to agricultural Crown lands, livestock transportation, trade, beef’s place in an increasingly competitive protein market, the environment, public trust and many more. Our member communications efforts remained a priority too. Our primary outreach vehicle continues to be our newspaper Cattle Country which is distributed to members, value chain members, government officials and others eight times annually. Subscribers to our biweekly e-newsletter continue to grow. If interested in receiving the e-newsletter contact MBP Communications Coordinator David Hultin at Follow MBP through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter via @ManitobaBeef. 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 2020, from agricultural Crown lands, to livestock predation, water management, business risk management tools, public trust and more. New issues and opportunities may also emerge and MBP’s board of directors and staff will be there to tackle 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 MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




Non-Consolidated Statement of Financial Position As at June 30, 2019

The information below is excerpts from MBP’s audited financial statement for the 2018-19 fiscal year as prepared by accounting firm MNP. To get a copy of the complete statement, contact the MBP office.

2019 2018 Assets Current Cash and short term investments (Note 3) 1,402,969 1,302,969 Accounts receivable 316,410 182,959 Marketable securities (Note 4) 250,000 250,000 Prepaid expenses and deposits 14,637 14,637 2,017,203 1,750,565 Internally restricted cash (Note 5) 204,692 204,692 Capital assets (Note 6) 18,300 19,721 Investments (Note 7) 505,640 500,000 Due from Manitoba Livestock Cash Advances Inc. (Note 8) 20,000 25,000 2,765,835 2,499,978 Liabilities Current Accounts payable and accruals (Note 9) 590,670 320,574 Deferred contributions (Note 10) 16,210 178,710 596,889 499,284 Net Assets Internally restricted (Note 5) 204,692 204,692 Unrestricted 1,964,254 1,796,002 2,168,946 2,000,694 2,765,835 2,499,978

Non-Consolidated Statement of Operations For the year ended June 30, 2019

Revenue Support Fees collected from producers under regulation 1,631,526 1,510,264 Contract Rebate 5,784 Dealer commission (28,851) (27,146) Fees refunded (170,570) (207,058) 1,437,889 1,276,060 Other revenues Annual meeting 53,125 50,043 Interest and sundry 49,338 44,053 Newspaper revenue 102,037 122,989 Project income 450,476 415,284 Verified beef program (2,652) 3,937 652,324 636,306 2,090,213 1,912,366 Expenses Amortization 10,964 8,816 Bad debts (13,830) 292 Board meetings 4,859 5,785 Canadian Cattleman's Association fees 258,001 238,502 Canadian Cattlemen's Association special assessment - 22,551 Demonstration farm expenses (Note 11) 3,352 5,816 Directors' expenses (Note 12) 164,562 135,681 Donations - 50,000 General manager 15,460 18,576 Information technology 5,120 1,350 Insurance 9,130 10,113 Memberships in other organizations 50,093 50,059 Office equipment, supplies and postage 10,838 13,303 Producer communications 286,971 234,601 Professional fees 15,920 8,028 Provincial promotions 40,582 49,162 Recruitment 38,115 - Rent 69,084 66,196 SARPAL project 350,000 295,841 Salaries and benefits 482,348 388,730 Special projects 33,000 33,500 TB testing project - 68,103 Telephone 7,393 5,986 1,841,962 1,710,991 Excess of revenue over expenses before other items 248,251 201,375 Other items Cash contributions to MBFI (Note 11) (80,000) (50,850) Excess of revenue over expenses 168,251 150,525 10

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MARY-JANE ORR, MBFI GENERAL MANAGER Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) continues to build on the core pillars of Partnership, Research & Demonstration, and Communication. As MBFI matures as an organization we continue to refine our strategic priorities through our core partnership with Manitoba Beef Producers, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association, and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development. At MBFI’s Annual General Meeting in June a simplified organizational structure was adopted comprised of the Board of Directors, with Finance, Partner Advisory, Animal Care, and Research Advisory Committees reporting to the Board. We welcomed Tracy Gilson as our new President, Larry Wegner as our Vice-President, and new MBP Director Tyler Fulton as Treasurer in addition to Darren Chapman, Kristine Tapley, Don McIntyre, and Lawrence Knockaert representing the MBFI Board. We also recognized the service and dedication of out going President Ramona Blyth and wish her all the best in ‘just’ farming! Around the Farm In my first full season with MBFI, I continue to be impressed by the dedication and hard work put forward by the full-time staff that keeps MBFI going day in and out. MBFI welcomed two new full-time staff in April 2019, Jordan Dickson and Clayton Robins. The 2019 summer student cohort was fantastic and I look forward to seeing how their careers take shape through their education programs. The fall of 2019 saw the Brookdale Farm handling facility enclosed for more comfortable year-round livestock handling conditions. Renovations were also completed in the workshop creating a clean research work space. We are in the planning and design phase for integrating an elevated deck viewing over the livestock handling area to enhance educational opportunities. Water Infrastructure improvements are also underway at the Johnson Farm to increase livestock access to underutilized land and build capacity. Research & Demonstration MBFI continues to work toward its mission of being a centre of innovation founded in a scientific approach to improve producer profitability, ecosystem health, and increase social awareness of the beef and forage sector. Project ideas and proposals for the 2019 field season were submitted through a formal proposal intake in November 2018 and March 2019. Ideas developed into proposals were also brought forward through conversation between MBFI staff and a number of producers. All project proposals, academic studies and demonstration projects, were evaluated and prioritized by MBFI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC). The RAC ensures projects at MBFI continue to be relevant, innovative, industry led, and of benefit to Manitoba’s beef cattle and forage industries. Membership includes representation from all four core partners, members of the scientific community, and representative beef producers. Over the last year, there were 25 active projects over the three MBFI farm stations representing eight academic studies carried out by university researchers and 17 demonstration projects. A complete listing of active projects is shown in Table 1. The 2019 season marks the first year for MBFI staff led on-farm trials. In addition to facilitating academic and extension specialist led studies, MBFI was proud to advance and lead producer inspired innovation. Two MBFI led projects that stood out for me this year were the Pasture Cropping and Corn Intercropping trials. At the Johnson Farm Pasture Cropping trial we looked at either chemical or grazing suppression of forage stands and sod seeding a mixture of winter cereals and annuals. Despite the dry conditions we saw success in establishing all the plot areas and we plan to graze the winter cereal regrowth this coming spring. In the Brookdale Farm Corn Intercropping trial it was an engaging challenge to seed and a lot of fun to see develop over the season. A Thanksgiving snowstorm nipped our excitement in the bud laying flat and burying the still green intercrop forage. We measured the forage yield and quality of the corn and between row plants both with and without intercrop prior to grazing. The field was grazed in early January and we are evaluating preliminary results now. MBFI looks forward to new research opportunities and collaboration to align with the Manitoba Protein Advantage strategy goals of increased grassland productivity and reduced carbon intensity per lb of beef. Over the coming months I will also be working with staff reviewing and incorporating survey feedback from the 2019 MBP district meetings into ongoing or developing new project proposals.

Extension Communication A hum of activity has kept us on our toes at MBFI with over 800 visitors, including 178 students, using the newly-unveiled Brookdale Learning Centre and or also touring field sites. Activities involved MBFI and partner-led events, facility rentals for industry led workshops and meetings, and site tours by private and industry groups. One highlight was a site visit coordinated through MBP and Jill Harvie with Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, bringing climate change activist Steven Lee to Brookdale Farm. Steven was genuinely interested in beef production and it was a wonderful opportunity to throw open the doors to walk through what a cow-calf operation actually looks like on the ground. Off the farm we had the opportunity to engage with an additional 600 students fostering understanding of sustainable beef production through the Assiniboine Community College Capstone program, Ag in the Classroom, University of Manitoba Ag Diploma Boot Dip tour at Glenlea, and career fairs. Looking forward to 2020 MBFI is eager to continue engaging with the public through Ag in the Classroom opportunities, Open Farm Day, colleges, universities, and connecting directly with regional elementary and high schools. 2019 to 2020 Research, Demonstration, and On Farm Trials at MBFI Forage & Grassland Productivity

Long term impact of annual forage polycultures and fertility management on soil health and functioning

AAFC Swift Current – Luke Bainard

Assessing the impact of grazing annual forage cover crops in an integrated crop-livestock system

AAFC Swift Current – Jillian Bainard

Impacts of cattle grazing on the proliferation of foxtail barley in wet meadow rangelands

University of Winnipeg – Rafael Otfinowski

Perennial grains for fall grazing of beef cattle

University of Manitoba – Emma McGeough, Doug Cattani

Keep Grazing-Exploring cattle grazing as a riparian management tool

Brandon University – Alex Koiter

Planned Grazing – Brookdale Farm

MB Agriculture – Pam Iwanchysko

Extensive winter grazing – Brookdale Farm

MB Agriculture – Shawn Cabak

Alfalfa phosphorus ramp

MB Agriculture – Ray Bittner

Improving marginal pasture through planned rotational compared to high density grazing

MB Agriculture – Jane Thornton

Understanding and Manipulating Leafy Spurge Populations with Cattle Grazing and Biological Control Agents

MB Agriculture – Jane Thornton

AAFC Brandon – Mae Elsinger Using a novel seed mix to rejuvenate tame pastures and create pollinator habitat, duplicated

MB Agriculture – Kim Wolfe

AAFC Brandon – Mae Elsinger Demonstrating intercropping corn for beef cattle winter grazing


Fertilization comparison to increase rangeland health and yield


Pasture cropping comparison


Nutrition & Feed Efficiency Strategic supplementation to improve beef cattle performance in grazing systems

University of Manitoba – Kim Ominski

Demonstrating effects of bale placement and twine on bale grazing residue


Strategic beef cattle herd development


Environmental Sustainability Edge of field runoff

AAFC Brandon – Patsy Michiels, Henry Wilson

Response of rangeland ecosystems to extreme drought

University of Winnipeg – Rafael Otfinowski

Soil carbon monitoring to detect changes due to grazing management

MB Agriculture – Mathew Wiens

Wetland health assessments: Riparian health assessments for lentic wetlands at Brookdale Farm

MB Agriculture – Kim Wolfe

Operation pollinator

MB Agriculture – Kim Wolfe

Rodent control at Johnson Farm


Shelterbelt design and maintenance


Under development Fostering and enabling on-farm research to promote Manitoba Grown Innovation


Static compositing bioreactor construction


Demonstration of saline area management strategies






DAVID HAYWOOD-FARMER, PRESIDENT 2019 was an active year for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). On the foreign trade front, the CCA was pleased with the resumption of trade with China in late November. Following discovery of fraudulent pork export certificates on June 25th, 2019, Canadian exports of meat were halted. Since June, CCA has been actively engaged in discussions with government officials to help ensure Canadian beef exports to China would be eligible as soon as possible. The Government of Canada completed an investigation and submitted an Action Plan that supported the re-establishment of exports to China; all establishments eligible to export as of June 25, 2019 are once again eligible. CCA wants to thank all those involved in restoring this important trade relationship. Shipments of Canadian beef to China represented 2.6 per cent of Canada’s total beef exports in 2018. In the first half of 2019 exports to China were up 271% in value at 11,315 tonnes valued at $96 million and were on pace to reach 6.1% of total exports. The CCA was recently in China for meetings to further build the Canada-China trade relationship. In December, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland attended the formal signing of successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the CanadaU.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). This long-awaited trade agreement will ensure Canada has access to essential North American markets, particularly the U.S. The main objectives for CCA in the new NAFTA negotiations included maintaining access and ensuring mandatory Country of Origin Labelling remained out of the agreement. Further regulatory cooperation areas were also sought, however not fully attained in the agreement and remain areas for further improvement. Back in Canada, CCA representatives met with Beef Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Cattle Feeders Association in November to discuss challenges in Eastern Canada. Chief among these is the shortage in packing capacity, which has resulted in significant economic impact on both the dairy and beef industries. The extent of the situation is estimated at $174 million economic impact (if cattle prices were normalized to the five-year fall average price for fed cattle and cows in Ontario and Quebec from the 2018 eastern fall price lows). The problem is being further exacerbated by the closure of an Ontario processing facility. This cost estimate does not fully capture the extent of the hardship caused by the shortage of slaughter capacity in the East. Lack of processing capabilities increases other costs, for example, if cattle are being kept on feed longer than anticipated and often results in over-weight discounts. Furthermore, the processing shortages have ramifications extending beyond Ontario and Quebec, and into Manitoba and the Maritimes. The economic impact of these ongoing shortages is significant and warrants careful consideration and timely action. We at CCA foresee a number of solutions that would help alleviate these challenges, including the funding of an export diversification fund, a joint government and industry initiative assessing the need for a short-term assistance program, increasing access to labour through the temporary foreign workers program and recently announced pilot program, and undertaking a study to assess the regulatory competitiveness of Canada’s packing industry. As we head back to Ottawa this fall, this will be top priority for CCA working with the new government. Further East, the Maritime Beef Strategy covering New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island has a goal to expand cattle inventories and beef production. There is ample pasture for the cow-calf sector to expand and feed available with the region being a net exporter of barley. There is also growing demand for locally grown beef through the Atlantic Beef Products Inc plant. These signs all bode well for expansion of the Maritime beef herd, however, a lack of risk management tools available in the region increases the price risk and limits the options for young producers in accessing financial support. CCA met with Maritime beef representatives in the fall to assess some of these challenges. The Maritime beef and dairy combined cow herd of 100,800 head (as of January 1, 2019) typically ships over 50% of calves to Ontario or Quebec. Some feeders are backgrounded locally before being sold to Ontario or Quebec for finishing. The pinch point is at the finishing stage as packer demand is currently 650 - 1,000 head per week, with the shortfall being purchased in from Quebec. Atlantic Beef Products has plans to expand cooler and shipping space as well 12

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MBP MEMBERS OF CCA BOARD: Gord Adams, Tom Teichroeb, Mike Duguid as moving to full-day harvest and fabrication. There are currently 26,800 head of cattle on feed in finishing feedlots in the Maritime region that could be interested in price insurance as a risk management tool. With enhanced risk management solutions there is potential to retain more beef calves and dairy steers for finishing in the region, with additional supplies estimated at 70,000 head (depending on beef heifer retention percentages). Unfortunately, there is currently not enough price data in the Maritime region alone to support a Maritime Settlement Index like those in other provinces. However, there is a high correlation between cattle prices in Ontario and Quebec, as the local prices arbitrage to those larger markets. Maritime producers are willing to accept an out of province settlement index, through the creation of an Eastern Settlement Index, consisting of data from Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. CCA will continue to work with its Eastern members to advance this initiative in the new year. Changes to livestock transportation regulations brought in by the previous government have raised concerns for Canadian beef producers. The proposed changes would see feed, water and rest intervals for cattle drop from 48 hours to 36 hours and rest stop durations increase from 5 hours to 8 hours. In December 2019, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie Claude Bibeau announced that there would be a two year “transition period” for the cattle sector with regards to the regulations. While the Minister indicated regulations will still come into force on February 20, 2020, the transition period would provide flexibility to the industry and focus on soft enforcement measures such as education and awareness. CCA has heard similar messaging from CFIA and although on initial interpretation we are hopeful there is a willingness on behalf of CFIA to pause and take into account infrastructure needs and ongoing government funded livestock transportation research to ensure we get the regulations right, the CCA is still awaiting the specific details of the proposed transition period for the Canadian beef and dairy sectors. Looking forward to 2020, the CCA will continue its dedicated work on behalf of Canada’s 60,000 beef farms and ranches in order to realize the vision of a profitable Canadian beef industry with high-quality beef products recognized as the most outstanding by customers at home and around the world.



MICHEL DAIGLE, NCFA CHAIR The National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) represents Canadian cattle feeders on federal policy and regulatory issues, and partners with other national organizations to strengthen the beef industry. Created in 2007, NCFA serves as a unified voice for cattle feeders on the challenges and opportunities facing the fed cattle production chain. Our membership is comprised of provincial beef organizations, each of which contributes funding based on their province’s proportionate share of Canada’s total fed cattle production. Each organization appoints Directors to the Board and a provincial staff representative. NCFA maintains a full-time presence in Ottawa with a dedicated team of consultants who lend their expertise and advice on our political, regulatory, and trade priorities. The NCFA team was kept very busy across 2019, and I am pleased to report on our achievements. Government Relations Nurturing political champions for the beef industry and advocating with government is a significant part of the NCFA mandate. Each year NCFA builds an Ottawa Engagement Strategy that sets out goals for our most important policy priorities and executes on the three elements of our Strategic Plan – growing and sustaining the industry, boosting international competitiveness, and delivering on NCFA’s reputation as a credible and solutions-oriented beef industry leader. In 2019, NCFA undertook a set of week-long engagements in Ottawa where NCFA representatives met with federal Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Members of Parliament, political aides, public servants, and government regulators. Sustaining these relationships is essential to moving forward on our trade, labour, infrastructure, taxation, and regulatory priorities. NCFA also appeared in front of the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food to give testimony on the urgent need to improve public trust and confidence in Canadian agriculture. The electoral map of Canada has changed dramatically as a result of the October 2019 federal election and the establishment of Canada’s 43rd Parliament. The election served as a unique opportunity to engage with political leaders. NCFA developed an Election Priorities White Paper that was sent to all political parties, and we communicated our issues with each party leader both before and after the election. Key messages and action tips were developed for our provincial member organizations to engage local candidates, and NCFA was active on numerous social media channels throughout the campaign. Regulatory and Policy Submissions In 2019, NCFA made numerous formal policy and regulatory submissions to various departments and agencies of the federal government on issues of direct impact to producers. These submissions included: • Improving Access to Generic Veterinary Drugs (Health Canada, Veterinary Drug Directorate) • Improving the Emergency Drug Release Program (Health Canada, Veterinary Drug Directorate) • Revised Cost Recovery for Veterinary Drugs (Health Canada, Veterinary Drug Directorate) • Food Nutrition Trends and Technologies (Health Canada, Food Products Branch) • Antimicrobial Usage (European Medicines Agency, EU) • CPTPP Accession (Global Affairs Canada, International Trade) • Open Work Permits for Temporary Foreign Workers (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) • Phase Two of Targeted Regulatory Review (Treasury Board Canada) • Mandatory Electronic Logging Devices (Transport Canada) • Proposal to Amend Export Certificates for Fed Cattle (CFIA, Animal ImportExport Division) Collaborative Partnerships The entire beef value chain benefits when multiple organizations work together. To that end, NCFA maintains membership in the Canadian AgriFood Trade Alliance (CAFTA), the Canadian Beef Advisors (CBA), the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), and the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC). NCFA also engages with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), the Market Access Secretariat (MAS), the Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT), the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), and

MBP MEMBERS OF CCA BOARD: Harry Dalke, Carson Callum the Canadian Meat Council (CMC). Examples of effective collaboration efforts in 2019 include: • Establishing a new director position on the NCFA Board for a CCA representative • Membership in the CFIA-Industry Working Group for application to the OIE for negligible BSE risk status • Participation on the CFIA-Industry Working Group on the new transport regulations • Membership on the CFIA Steering Committee for the new Digital Services Delivery Platform • Joint communications with CCA and CMC to Transport Canada and CFIA on transportation regulations • Hosting a session at the CBIC with Harmony Beef President Rich Vesta and CBGA Director Joe Jackson • Membership on the new Animal Health Canada Working Group Pilot Projects Over the past few years, NCFA has played a critical role in helping establish various pilot projects between the CFIA and USDA to smooth trade at the Canada-US border by testing new regulatory approaches and removing various export impediments: • Northern Border Ports Pilot (No unloading of Canadian feeder cattle destined to the US) • Digital Service Delivery Platform Pilot (Beta-testing of new electronic certification system) • Convoy Pilot (Exporting multiple loads or convoys of feeder cattle via one export certificate) Industry Development and Outreach NCFA facilitates various research and development projects as well as outreach activities designed to strengthen the cattle feeding sector and better position it for success. In 2019, NCFA helped secure funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership for continued work on our Canadian Feedlot Animal Care (CFAC) Assessment Program and funding to monitor antimicrobial usage at sentinel feedlot sites in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. NCFA also served as the host for a number of feedlot tours including one with 20 producers and livestock professionals from Interbev France (L’Association nationale interprofessionnelle du bétail et des viandes) and another with Mr. Luc Marchand, the new Director of the Animal Industry Division at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. International Trade Numerous trade developments emerged throughout 2019 including a temporary closure of China to Canadian beef and pork, the continued unfolding of the Brexit drama in the UK, the signing of a new US-Japan bilateral trade agreement, and significant tariff reductions for Canadian beef producers as a result of CPTPP implementation. An amended CUSMA deal was also signed. NCFA continues to advocate strongly for liberalized global trade and a rules-based trading system. To that end, we consult regularly with the Trade Agreements and Negotiations Directorate at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and continue to engage the expertise of Mr. John Weekes (Canada’s former Ambassador to the WTO and Chief Negotiator for the original NAFTA agreement) on our important trade files. Labour Shortages A shortage of over 16,000 workers continues to negatively impact agriculture and agri-food. This shortage is twice that of other Canadian industries and results in almost $3 billion in lost agriculture and agri-food sales annually. NCFA has continued to lobby for improvements in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and to develop better pathways to permanent residency for temporary workers. A key accomplishment was the announcement in 2019 of a new federal Immigration Pilot Program set to roll out in 2020 that will attract experience and non-seasonal workers to fill labour needs in agriculture and agri-food. Details are expected to be released in early 2020. NCFA had a banner year in 2019. This is a direct result of our dedicated Board of Directors, our committed provincial staff representatives, and the expertise of our consultants. I thank you all for working diligently to position our industry for success.





CHAD ROSS, CHAIR It is my privilege to have been elected Chair of the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency (the Agency) in August 2019 following our AGM. I am honored to lead such a dedicated group of producers and industry stakeholders, and work towards a unified and sustainable national funding strategy for Canadian beef cattle research, market development and promotion. The Agency manages and administers the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, which is collected on each head of cattle sold in Canada. The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, the $2.50 portion administered by the Agency, is invested into national research, market development and promotion activities on behalf of all Canadian beef producers, while the provincial check-off is earmarked for provincially-focused advocacy, policy, trade, research, market development and promotion initiatives. By working with service providers, the Agency ensures that the check-off dollars invested into research, market development and promotion programs deliver measurable value to the Canadian beef industry. We are responsible for governance, 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. I am encouraged by the strengthened relationships between our Agency and our provincial cattle association stakeholders. We have come a long way over the past few years, and it is our key priority to ensure the best use of the check-off dollars that the provincial associations allocate. The Agency continues to work together with the provincial associations in many aspects, and I am confident that a renewed commitment to strong partnerships will help us to deliver measurable value for producers in Canada. In 2018/19, the Canadian Beef Cattle CheckOff revenue totaled $18,300,229 on cattle marketed. Revenue was generated at $2.50 per head on cattle marketed across Canada, with the exception of British Columbia who increased in July 2018, and Ontario, who continues to collect $1 per head. Of the total net check-off funds collected of cattle marketings, 52 per cent was allocated to market development and promotion, 32 per cent to research, 12 per cent was retained by the provincial cattle organizations for regional marketing and research programs and four per cent was allocated to Public and Stakeholder Engagement (previously called issues management). The Import Levy on beef cattle, beef and beef products imported into Canada was also collected at a rate of $1 per head equivalent, for a total of $1,094,435. These funds, net administration, are allocated to unbranded, generic beef marketing such as nutrition marketing, recipe development and culinary skills education. 14

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MBP MEMBERS OF AGENCY BOARD: Heinz Reimer until August, then Mary Paziuk $629,683 was retained for the administration of the check-off, the Agency and the Board. Our Board of Directors expenses have been reduced by 10 per cent in the last year, and over 40 per cent since 2016. Canada Beef covered the additional costs for the Marketing Committee.

July 1 were supported by the Agency for a smooth transition. The Agency concentrated on education of proper remittances, mostly on interprovincial trade. The approach will continue going forward with the goal of reducing slippage and incorrectly levied sales.

The Agency Members approved an updated set of bylaws early in the fiscal year, just before our last AGM. The new bylaws set the stage for more independence for the Marketing Committee to oversee Canada Beef’s strategic and business operations, and include the election of four additional non-Agency committee members. The Agency continues to oversee the Marketing Committee from a governance perspective.

We continue to support increased communication and education activities around check-off and import levy compliance. Ensuring that all of our producers and beef importers are on equal footing strengthens our industry’s competitiveness, and supports the programs that drive value for stakeholders through the investment of those dollars.

The regulatory compliance of both checkoff and import levy administration included the updating of all agreements with the nine provincial cattle associations. By modernizing the language and refreshing the details, the Agency strengthened relationships and laid the foundation for most provinces to administer an increased check-off. As of March 31, 2019, eight of nine provinces have increased the checkoff to $2.50 per head. The increases in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba on April 1, and British Columbia on

Our Agency is strong because of those who come together to guide our organization, and because of the stakeholders who we represent. I am proud to be a voice for Canadian beef producers from coast to coast, and to work with our experienced Agency Members to deliver the measurable value for our industry. I am excited about the year ahead, and encourage everyone to connect with us any way you can, including through your provincial representative. You can find us online at, or on your favorite social media platform @cdnbeefcheckoff.





The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is pleased to report on another productive year.

UHF and Low Frequency (current approved tags) to all involved in livestock identification.

The Board of Directors underwent several personnel changes in 2019. Pat Hayes (Canadian Cattlemen’s Association) replaced Mark Elford (Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association) as Chair. Lyle Miller (Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association) was elected as Vice-Chair. The Executive Committee now includes Ken Perlich (Livestock Markets Association of Canada) as well as previous members, Howard Bekkering (Alberta Beef Producers) and Doug Sawyer (Canadian Cattlemen’s Association).

CCIA continues to place a high priority on improving tag retention. One ongoing study is focused on the plastic composition and its role on durability. We were pleased to help undertake a solution that will improve retention caused by plastic deterioration from manufacturers.

The Board welcomes new representation from: • Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association - Shane Jahnke • Beef Farmers of Ontario - Dan Darling • Manitoba Beef Producers - Nancy Howatt Regulations: Proposed amendments have been postponed until 2020. Earlier this year, CCIA and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) discussed with the federal government the financial impact of the proposed regulations. Industry urged government to make traceability a budget item instead of stakeholders having to apply for funding. Premises identification (PID) remains the building block for most of the proposed regulations. CCIA has received tremendous collaboration from many provincial governments whose PID numbers have been matched with CLTS accounts. CCIA continues to pursue collaboration with the remaining provinces. The Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) will be moving forward as the responsible administrator for the dairy sector. This new traceability database will be known as DairyTrace. CDN and CCIA intend to work closely to establish a smooth transition of data which will involve the historical data transfer as well as ongoing data capture. Communications: CCIA’s Communications team developed and executed an intensive rebranding of the organization in 2019. This was launched with the introduction of the new logo in the final quarter of 2018. The redesign incorporated practical fact sheets which were developed as visual aids on numerous topics over the year. The fact sheets were developed to further educate and create awareness through simple and digestible learning literature. They are posted to the CCIA website and have been featured on social media via the daily posts. A successfully commissioned digital marketing campaign provided valuable insights for the communication team to continue to promote the webstore from social media channels. CCIA was engaged at a variety of speaking engagements across the country. Delivered by CCIA staff, presentations were focused on how to prepare for proposed regulatory amendments and how to use the CLTS and the CLTS MOBO APP. We are always happy to attend various industry events and have a chance to meet producers and dealers in person. Webstore The CCIA Webstore gained momentum in 2019. The exclusive distribution of Angus tags and the addition of a Shorthorn tag helped drive traffic to the site. The webstore is now offering pre-regulatory goat and cervid indicators and tag readers. Increasing the range of products in the store, a user-friendly design and competitive prices have added more reasons for producers to take their shopping online and purchase digitally from our webstore.

Field Team CCIA’s National Field Services team was present all over the country; both by attending industry events and by conducting dealer verifications. The Field team put a heavy emphasis on educating dealers and producers on how to use the CLTS system and the value of the CLTS MOBO APP. In a combined effort with the Communications team, strategies have been developed to increase communications with dealers via newsletters and verifications. The team has completed 364 dealer verifications of 753 total and has been successful in performing virtual dealer verifications, which help save on travel costs. Client Support Our Client Support services was the focus of last year’s annual mandatory internal audit. The recommendations led to stronger delivery of services and better preparations for future needs for representatives. We have developed closer relationships with other regulated parties, including fairs and exhibitions, who are setting up CLTS accounts for the first time. A new Gift Certificate process was implemented. Gift certificates of any dollar amount are available for purchase and can be redeemed through a rebate process for any product in the CCIA webstore. Information Technology (IT) The IT department made major changes in 2019 to update digital security and protect sensitive data. Removing all physical servers and changing to virtual systems decreased the need for hardware and freed up maintenance costs. Major overhauls took place to upgrade servers and redesign network structures for increased performance, availability and redundancy. CLTS MOBO The CLTS MOBO APP received a complete revamp of the user interface, offering new features and a new design. Features include addition of practical events, an enhanced submission process and tag input via Bluetooth enabled tag reader. An Offline Mode was added to the APP, which allows users to store data and upload at a more convenient time, or when back in a service area. The CLTS MOBO APP offers the power of the CLTS at your fingertips. It is available as a free download, wherever you get your APPs. CLTS Enhancements CCIA continues to improve the functionality of the CLTS by making enhancements to various features such as support of customized herd management numbers, revamped event type permission logic and support to cross reference two USDA tags.

Technology Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) technology has become a frequently discussed topic over the last few years. The CCIA Board of Directors received a short training session on UHF technology in order to ensure an understanding of the benefits and challenges surrounding the adoption of UHF technology. A UHF project is being contemplated to allow CCIA to have updated information on the technology as it relates to animal identification and traceability. A fact sheet was developed to clearly compare the differences between MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




RYAN BEIERBACH , CHAIR 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. Following a transition year in terms of both funding and program administration, the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) has expanded and continues to advance its programming. National Beef Strategy The BCRC is a key partner in renewing and achieving the goals of the National Beef Strategy. Research and/or technology transfer outcomes in all four pillars of the 2020-2024 Strategy, those being productivity, competitiveness, beef demand, and connectivity, are addressed by the BCRC. BCRC programs are established to validate and enhance the Canadian Beef Advantage, to increase, maintain and enhance consumer confidence, and support public trust and sustainability. The BCRC works to increase productivity through investments in genetic selection, research, research capacity and technology adoption, enhance competitiveness through investments in surveillance and support an outcome/science-based regulatory system through targeted research funding. Canada’s Beef Cattle Industry Science Clusters The Science Clusters are a partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) that combines their strengths with the BCRC’s to make joint investments in a variety of research programs with the greatest potential to advance the industry. Beef Science Cluster III in Progress Funding for the current (third) Cluster was announced by AAFC in July 2018. Covering the period to March 31, 2023, $21 million has been directed to 26 research projects. The funding includes $14 million from AAFC, $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and $1.5 million in in-kind contributions from industry in the form of cattle, equipment, and materials. This Cluster will work to grow beef exports and supply growing global beef demand by supporting research and technology transfer that advances Canadian beef and forage production while enhancing industry competitiveness and the public’s trust in responsible production. Details on all 26 Cluster projects are available on Priority Research Projects In addition to the projects within the third Science Cluster, research aimed at achieving specific goals of high priority to the beef industry are sought. Since June 2018, the council has launched an annual targeted call for letters of intent. Applicants are required to source 50% or greater of project funding in order to leverage check-off dollars for a greater return on producer investment. Summaries of these research projects will be available on Proof of Concept Projects Also being funded are short-term (six months to one year) proof of conceptbased (POC) research to help inform whether a concept is worth pursuing as a larger, more defined research investment. BCRC approved funding in February 2019 for four POC projects. These POC projects were funded in large part by a private industry partner. A second call for POC projects was launched August 2019. Research Capacity The BCRC identified that gaps in research capacity are a high priority and in 2018/19 began the process of developing Research Chairs in partnership with key Research Institutions through a competitive call for proposals. The intent of BCRC investments is to leverage other funding to implement long-term research capacity in areas of priority to industry. From the proposals submitted in 2018/19, two concepts were selected for further development: 16

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MBP MEMBER OF AGENCY BOARD: Larry Wegner • A Beef Production Systems Chair is proposed to be established at the University of Alberta “to increase the competitiveness of those sectors of the Canadian beef industry that rely heavily on grazing-based forage resources, while maintaining a strong focus on beef production and market outcomes”. • At the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, a BCRC Chair in One Health and Production-Limiting Diseases is proposed to be established with the goal “to increase capacity for applied field research and surveillance in specific priority areas outlined by the beef industry including: animal health and welfare, antimicrobial use, resistance and alternatives, and on-farm food safety”. BCRC has conditionally committed $150,000/year for five years to each of the Chair positions outlined above, with commitment conditional upon the Institution securing matching funds. Efforts are currently being led by the institutions, supported by the BCRC, to secure matching funds through sources such as the NSERC Industrial Research Chair (IRC) program with the goal of matching funds and the new Chair positions being in place in 2019/20. Knowledge and Technology Transfer The BCRC continues to develop and distribute several extension resources for Canadian cattle producers, including interactive decision-making tools, videos, articles, webinars, and infographics. All are available on, and regularly promoted through various channels, including the BCRC Blog and the BCRC e-newsletter, The Wire. Advancement of the Verified Beef Production Plus program In addition to funding research, the BCRC is responsible for the delivery of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, which verifies on-farm practices related to food safety, animal care, biosecurity, and environment. Ongoing national industry investment will ensure the consistent delivery of the VBP+ program as it becomes a core pillar in verifying sustainable beef production in partnership with end-users. For More Information To learn more about BCRC initiatives and take advantage of our extension resources, visit our website at

Beef Science Cluster III Funding by Research Priority Area Animal Health, Welfare & Antimicrobial Resistance

7% 24%


Beef Quality & Food Safety Feed Production & Efficiency



Environment & Forages Management & Science Coordination


Technology Transfer

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