Manitoba Beef Producers 2018 Annual Report

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Gord Adams

Nancy Howatt

Peter Penner

Rob Kerda

District 1

District 3

Ramona Blyth 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

Larry Gerelus

Tom Teichroeb

Dianne Riding

Mike Duguid

District 7

District 8

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT.............................................. PAGE 3 MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER.............................. PAGE 4 2018 MBP YEAR IN REVIEW.............................................. PAGES 5 - 10 FINANCIAL REPORT................................................................. PAGE 11

District 9

District 10

REPORTS FROM: CANADIAN CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION................................ PAGE 12 NATIONAL CATTLE FEEDERS’ ASSOCIATION........................... PAGE 13 CANADIAN BEEF CHECK-OFF AGENCY................................... PAGE 14

Robert Metner

Kris Kristjanson

Ben Fox

Jade Delaurier

District 11

District 12

CANADIAN CATTLE IDENTIFICATION AGENCY........................ PAGE 15 BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH COUNCIL ......................................... PAGE 16

District 13


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District 14



This past year has been both busy and rewarding. Significant challenges continued to test our resolve in 2018, however, livestock producers are resilient and continue to be up to the task. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help you meet some of these challenges and serve you as president of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) for the final few months of 2018. It is your commitment and loyalty to MBP that makes us relevant as an organization. It is a privilege and an honour to represent such an amazing organization. With direction and collaboration from the board of directors and staff, we will continue to strive for excellence for beef producers in Manitoba and the entire beef industry. As most of you are aware, Ben Fox, director of District 13, was MBP’s president until mid-summer when he resigned to pursue a federal political nomination. I would like to recognize Ben for his exemplary dedication, leadership and passion for the beef industry. I would also like to acknowledge and give credit to Ben for the shared responsibility of being MBP president in 2018. It is equally important to recognize the board of directors for their passion and commitment to MBP. There are an endless number of initiatives with which directors are tasked. Our directors attend monthly board meetings and various committee meetings as well as assume other industry and national commitments, all while continuing to manage their own businesses. For that reason, I believe they deserve to be recognized. I truly admire and value their dedication to MBP. I would also like to thank the board of directors for their confidence in me as president and spokesperson for MBP. I sincerely appreciate your support. MBP staff also deserve recognition and a heartfelt thank you for their efforts, hard work and commitment to the organization. Over the years MBP has grown as an organization and with that growth there are additional demands. Their excellent work for the livestock industry and specifically MBP is very much appreciated. In 2018, the restructuring of agricultural Crown lands (ACL) has been one of the key initiatives on which MBP has been working. In 2017, the Manitoba government made regulatory changes and enacted a new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation. These changes were in large part initiated by the signing of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement. The province defended these regulatory changes by stating that the existing ACL policies were outdated and that they also posed potential countervailing issues. One of the key changes will be the manner in which ACL are leased. Rather than lease fees being based on a calculated formula, ACL parcels which become available will be leased under a tender process involving an auction. In light of this major change there is a great deal of work to be done on ACL policies and regulations which will help shape the new process. MBP is hopeful that the province will continue to consult with producers and the industry on all changes regarding ACL leases and how those changes will impact the viability and growth of the beef industry. An inclusive consultation process will prove to be beneficial in creating affordable, sustainable and dependable policies and regulations that encourage new and existing entrants to invest in and grow Manitoba’s beef herd. Another welcome and exciting development in 2018 was the joint federalprovincial commitment of funding for the construction of an outlet channel from Lake Manitoba to Lake St. Martin. Together, the two levels of government announced a $540 million project that will provide flood protection not only for beef producers but other industries and residents around Lake Manitoba. The devastation and duration of the 2011 Lake Manitoba flood crippled livestock producers in the flooded regions and many never recovered. In 2014 Lake Manitoba residents once again experienced significant flooding. Thanks to the continued lobbying efforts of MBP, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA), local governments, and other affected sectors and stakeholders, the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels will now become a reality. Beef producers bordering Lake Manitoba as well as the surrounding regions can be reassured that they will eventually have permanent and reliable flood protection to safeguard them from catastrophic flood events.

conditions. Feed stuffs proved to be expensive and very difficult to source. Some producers paid as high as $0.10/pd for average first cut forages. Water also became a scarce resource for some. Dugouts, marshes and sloughs dried up in many areas and some producers were forced to drill wells and dig new dugouts. Unfortunately, some producers were forced or chose to liquidate some or all of their livestock. MBP sought initiatives to help affected producers. The Manitoba government responded by providing producers access to Crown land leases and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) which are normally restricted areas. Unfortunately, the full benefits of the grazing and haying leases were never fully realized because the announcements came very late in the growing season. Later in the year, the province also made funding available for Beneficial Management Practices to assist producers in developing and renewing livestock watering options. And, the federal government announced the livestock tax deferral provision for producers impacted in identified drought-stricken regions who were forced to sell off breeding stock. MBP continues to lobby for various Business Risk Management (BRM) tools and other options to help deal with drought conditions and water shortages. MBP's mandate is to help find sustainable, long-term solutions that will encourage growth and stability in the livestock industry. One such option would be timely and frequent access to restricted Crown land leases and WMAs which are currently managed by Sustainable Development. This would make it economically viable for producers to capture the entire growing season. This would be an extremely useful resource when considering droughts like the one we experienced in 2018. Finding strategies with respect to predation caused by wolves, coyotes and other species has proven to be a challenging issue to advance. In 2018, MBP continued to lobby the provincial government to implement an effective wildlife management strategy to help alleviate predation-related challenges. MBP co-chairs the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group with Sustainable Development. This multi-stakeholder group is seeking ways to tackle this issue. It has long been recognized by MBP, as well as other affected groups that the province needs to develop and implement an effective wildlife management strategy in a timely manner. This is critical for the expansion of Manitoba’s beef herd. MBP will continue to lobby passionately on this issue to ensure that a solution for impacted producers is realized. Even though the Manitoba livestock industry faced some significant challenges in 2018, I continue to sense a tremendous amount of optimism. There have been a significant number of new entrants into the beef industry in my district, District 8. It is encouraging that most of the new entrants are young producers as well as entrepreneurs. I'm pleased to represent an industry that is so amazingly resilient despite its challenges. I'm extremely proud to say that we produce the best and most nutritious beef in the world. When I reflect over the last 15 plus years, I can't think of another industry that has not only overcome some of the most significant challenges, but has survived and continues to grow in spite of the odds. Once again, it is a tremendous privilege to be a Manitoba beef producer. In closing, I would like to thank my wife Michelle and my two daughters for their patience, generosity and understanding. With their support I have been able to participate as a director and now president of MBP. They have been very understanding and supportive of my commitments to the CCA as well. Over the course of the last five years I have spent a significant time away from home and without their support this would not be possible. My heart is filled with love and gratitude for all the opportunities they have unselfishly given me. May you and your families be safe and prosperous for years to come. Kind regards, Tom Teichroeb

Unfortunately, every year brings its own unique set of challenges. Manitoba, like other provinces, experienced significant to severe drought conditions in 2018. Locally the Interlake region experienced some of the worst drought MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




MBP’s annual report is a chance to look back at the past year, to think about the successes and challenges, and also to think about priorities for the upcoming year. The story of 2018 will be a story dominated by the effects of weather, particularly drought. As producers you manage all sorts of risks on your operations and hedge your bets, plan and use your experiences to minimize risk and ensure the best possible outcomes. You are incredibly resilient and resourceful and always seem to find ways to make the best of situations. Weather is the one unpredictable risks that no amount of planning can completely avoid. The drought conditions in 2018 certainly required many difficult decisions and forced producers to consider all sorts of solutions to provide feed for their herds. That said, I continue to be amazed by the resourcefulness and resilience of our producers to make the best of the difficult drought conditions and to manage their affairs professionally and with a passion for their animal care, the environment and their families. MBP is a grassroots membership-based organization whose job is to represent and advocate for the interests of our beef producers. We rely on our members’ support and on members choosing to support our efforts through their check-off dollars. It is certainly an easy thing to say, but it is also very true that the staff and directors do not take the support for granted and we work hard to ensure we continue to have the support of producers in everything we do. Now that isn’t to say that we expect to make everyone happy all the time. We recognize there may be some producers who will take exception to something MBP did (or didn’t do), but we do hope that we are given the chance to explain our reasoning and that the greater good is being served. Equally, we hope that those producers who choose to give up their membership by requesting a refund of their check-off also give us the chance to understand why they don’t believe we are providing value to their industry. Key files this past year included our ongoing efforts to develop workable strategies related to predation, as well as resolution to the requirements for herd testing for bovine tuberculosis in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). These files have long been persistent irritants to our producers and progress has been very slow. It hasn’t been for a lack of effort on the part of MBP’s board and staff, but these are complicated files that involve multiple departments, and in the case of bovine TB, multiple levels of government. We did have a significant win on the bovine TB file this past year when the US Department of Agriculture announced that ― through discussions with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, they were lifting the last of the federal import restrictions on Manitoba cattle. With this announcement, Manitoba cattle are now free to enter the US without TB testing. There may still be individual state-level testing requirements, but this was a huge win for producers in the RMEA who had been testing cattle for over 20 years. MBP has sought Agriculture Canada funding going forward to ensure that we can continue to support producers in the area to make sure the disease never returns to the cattle herd. MBP also worked on many other important issues and government changes affecting our sector. These ranged from transportation rules (hours of transport, use of electronic log books), to traceability regulations, Canada’s proposed new Food Guide, provincial/municipal planning procedures, drainage regulations and agricultural Crown land allocation changes. All these are important and can directly impact our efforts to grow the sector and make producers profitable. Looking ahead to 2019, these and other issues will continue to make the role of MBP, working as your advocate, very important. The beef sector’s Verified Beef Production Plus Program (VBP+) continues to evolve. The program, initially developed as the sector’s ability to recognize sound on-farm food safety practices, has added new pillars related to animal care, the environment and biosecurity. VBP+ is the way the beef industry recognizes that our producers are “doing the right things for the right reasons.” It is the way we demonstrate to our consumers and the public that our producers deserve the

Brian Lemon

General Manager 4

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Maureen Cousins Policy Analyst

public’s trust. In late 2017 Cargill launched its pilot to pay premiums back to cow/ calf producers whose cattle went all the way through the supply chain in VBP+ certified operations. In 2018 the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable (CRSB) launched its retail certification logo. The CRSB has said that VBP+ production meets their protocol requirements for application of the CRSB logo. Companies such as McDonalds jumped on side, recognizing our production methods as a marketing tool to be promoted on their products. All these changes will no doubt force some further changes to the VBP+ program and the way its delivered, as VBP+ changes from a program that producers use to document their onfarm practices to a program that Canadian (and global) retailers use as a way to promote their products. I believe there is nothing more important to the long-term growth of our sector than our ability to maintain and grow our public trust. I tend to think that our politicians, who make the regulations and rules that impede or promote our sector, are representatives of the public and respond to their concerns. Thus there is a direct linkage between the level of public trust we enjoy and the level of regulation that politicians believe they need to impose on our industry to protect the public’s interests. We need to have the public trust if we hope to reduce the regulatory burden on our industry. Public trust is gained in many direct and indirect ways. Increasingly the conservation community in Canada is recognizing the value of working with cattle producers. There was a time not long ago where some conservation groups looked to displace agriculture to try to achieve their objectives. Many are now seeing that the best way to achieve their objectives is to work with cattle producers. These same groups are increasingly becoming some of the best advocates for the sustainability of our production practices. These relationships will assist the beef industry with our public trust and pay dividends to our sector. A sign of this is the Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference being held February 19-21 in Winnipeg. The organizers asked MBP to co-chair the conference, highlighting the growing importance of the relationship between cattle producers and conservation. These types of relationships will also hopefully bring benefits to discussions about the predation issue, as well as to the concerns regarding regularized access to important wildlife lands. Important gains were made in 2018 on trade. Our sector exports approximately 45% of our production, and approximately 75% of that goes to the US. Trade is critical to our industry and efforts to grow the sector. The federal government managed to get agreement on a NAFTA renewal which brought more security to our relationship with our most important trading partner. Canada was also an initial signatory to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the CPTTP). This brought significant and immediate tariff reductions into key markets such as Japan. These markets will be critical to our sector’s growth in that region. Finally, Canada is putting in place the program compliance at home to access the European market under CETA. Late in 2018, MBP worked with the Manitoba Veterinary Medicine Association to encourage local veterinarians to get accredited to assist producers in getting certified under the EU program to ensure their production is free of growth promotants. This is another high-value market that will offer significant opportunities to Manitoba’s producers. In closing, 2018 certainly had its share of ups and downs, but through them all the one thing that persists is our producers’ commitment to their animals, their industry and to the future. It seems the harder things sometimes get, the higher our producers rise to meet the challenges. I very much enjoy working on your behalf and trying to advance and grow the sector. On behalf of our staff (Maureen Cousins, Keith Borkowsky, Kate Cummings, Tanya Michalsky and Deb Walger), I can say we all take it very seriously and are privileged every day to work on behalf of Manitoba’s producers. I look forward to working with you and on your behalf in the coming year. Thank you.

Keith Borkowsky

Communications Coordinator

Tanya Michalsky Admin Assistant

Kate Cummings Beef Specialist

Deb Walger Finance



Tom Teichroeb – President (Ben Fox until early-August) Gord Adams - Vice President Kris Kristjanson – 2nd Vice President Peter Penner - Treasurer Dianne Riding - Secretary


Gord Adams – Chair Robert Kerda – Vice-Chair Mike Duguid Jade Delaurier Kris Kristjanson

A G M / N O M I N AT I O N S / RESOLUTIONS Dianne Riding – Chair Ramona Blyth – Vice-Chair Jade Delaurier Robert Metner


Dianne Riding – Chair Nancy Howatt – Vice-Chair Peter Penner Robert Kerda Larry Gerelus


Robert Metner – Chair Larry Gerelus – Vice-Chair Mike Duguid Dianne Riding Kris Kristjanson


Jade Delaurier – Chair Gord Adams – Vice-Chair Larry Wegner Mike Duguid


Peter Penner – Chair Tom Teichroeb – Vice-Chair Ramona Blyth Gord Adams Mike Duguid


Kris Kristjanson – Chair Tom Teichroeb – Vice-Chair Robert Metner Nancy Howatt Jade Delaurier

PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Tom Teichroeb – Chair Larry Wegner – Vice-Chair Ramona Blyth Robert Kerda Robert Metner


Larry Wegner – Chair Larry Gerelus – Vice-Chair Peter Penner Nancy Howatt

WHO IS MBP? Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is the exclusive voice of Manitoba’s cattle industry, representing approximately 6,300 producers involved in various aspects of the beef cattle industry. This includes the cow-calf, backgrounding and finishing sectors. MBP is a non-profit organization with a producerelected 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) and the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA). MBP’s levy is collected under the authority of the Cattle Fee Regulation under The Cattle Producers Association Act, a piece of provincial legislation. As well, a mandatory non-refundable $2.50/ head national check-off (NCO) is collected on all cattle sold in Manitoba. The purpose of the NCO is to promote sales of domestic and export beef and also to find better and more efficient methods of producing beef and beef cattle. To achieve this, NCO funding is used support activities of the Beef Cattle Research Council and Canada Beef. At MBP’s 37th Annual General Meeting in February 2016 the membership voted in favour of increasing the NCO from $1/head to $2.50/head marketed to help achieve the goals set out in Canada’s National

Beef Strategy, which covers the period 2015-2020. MBP worked with staff from the Canadian Beef Check-off Agency to make the updates needed to the provincial agency agreements to enact the proposed increase to the NCO from $1/head to $2.50/head. This change took effect April 1, 2018. For additional information about MBP’s 2017-18 budget, see page 11. HOW ARE MBP’S ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED AND EXECUTED? MBP’s activities are guided by the board of directors’ broad direction and executed by 5.5 staff members and MBP’s Executive and Committee members. In 2018 the staff included General Manager Brian Lemon; Policy Analyst Maureen Cousins; and, part-time finance person Deb Walger. Communications activities were led by Chad Saxon for the first part of the year and later by Keith Borkowsky. Elisabeth Harms filled the role of Administrative Assistant for the first half of the year, with Tanya Michalsky later taking on that role. Kate Cummings joined MBP as the Beef Specialist in April. MBP also employs contract staff from time to time to deliver initiatives such as the Verified Beef Production+ Program. MBP also has two wholly owned subsidiary corporations – 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 and regularly report information to MBP. MBP directors each sit on internal committees where they provide input and help develop positions around specific types of issues or opportunities. In some instances topics overlap between committees, such as those related to water management which can have both production management and environmental impacts. Some committees serve an organizational function, such as helping to organize the district meetings and annual general meeting or planning MBP’s participation in events and communications activities aimed at promoting the industry.

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

Assiniboine River Basin Initiative: Gord Adams and Maureen Cousins Association of MB Community Pastures: Brian Lemon Beef Cattle Research Council: Larry Wegner Bovine TB Taskforce Committee: Kris Kristjanson, Larry Gerelus, Brian Lemon, Maureen Cousins Beef Value Chain Roundtable: Brian Lemon, Maureen Cousins Canadian Cattlemen’s Association: Gord Adams, Tom Teichroeb, Ramona Blyth Canada Beef Inc.: Heinz Reimer Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef: Brian Lemon, Maureen Cousins Canadian Cattle Identification Agency/Cattle Implementation Plan (CIP): Larry Gerelus, Maureen Cousins (CIP) Invasive Species Council of Manitoba/Leafy Spurge: Mike Duguid Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Board: Ramona Blyth – President, Larry Wegner Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee: Robert Metner Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association: Mike Duguid Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance: Peter Penner, Larry Gerelus, Larry Wegner, Tom Teichroeb, Robert Kerda National Cattle Feeders Association: Brian Lemon, Ben Fox, Larry Schweitzer Motor Carrier Consultative Committee: Maureen Cousins MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




STRATEGIC DIRECTION MBP’s activities focus around three strategic objectives: telling the industry’s story via advocacy and enhanced communications; building the industry with innovation, improved economic competitiveness and profitability; and, serving MBP’s members by developing the organization and its capacity. These strategic objectives dovetail with MBP’s mission to strengthen the viability of Manitoba’s beef sector and to ensure a sustainable future for our province’s beef industry.

TELLING OUR STORY: ADVOCACY ACTIVITIES 2018 IN CONTEXT The operating environment affecting cattle production – be that driven by natural or economic factors or public policy, helped shape MBP’s activities in 2018. From a production perspective, 2018 proved to be challenging in many parts of the province. As of August 31, 2018 the Canadian Drought Monitor showed much of southern Manitoba to be facing conditions ranging from abnormally dry to the moderate or severe drought stage. Throughout the production year Manitoba Agriculture’s weekly crop reports repeatedly highlighted problems associated with the lack of rainfall, including poor pasture conditions and vastly diminished forage yields in some regions. Water supplies were another key area of concern with some producers forced to haul water for their livestock as their dugouts and wells dried up. Some were also forced to start feeding cattle up to a month early as pastures died off, although rains in September helped to green up the pastures a bit. Facing potential feed shortages or affordability questions related to the available sources of feed, some producers decided to downsize their herds and others chose to permanently liquidate their herds. Others had to seek alternative feed sources to see them through the winter of 2018-19. Cattle numbers continued to fluctuate. According to Statistics Canada’s Livestock Estimates, as of January 1, 2018 Manitoba had 1,060,000 head of cattle, up 1 per cent from January 1, 2017. As of July 1, 2018 there were 1,120,000 head of cattle in Manitoba, down from 1,135,000 head on July 1, 2017 – a 1.32% decrease. The number of farms reporting cattle and calves in Manitoba as of July 1, 2018 was 6,290, with the average number of cattle and calves per farm being 178 head. By way of historical comparison, on July 1, 2003 there were 11,010 farms in the province reporting cattle and calves, with an average of 144 head of cattle and calves. Within this context, helping to ensure there is a climate in which the province’s beef industry can grow and thrive remained a MBP priority. Throughout the year there were extensive interactions with both provincial and federal elected officials and public servants on an array of issues and opportunities facing Manitoba’s beef industry. The following are some of the highlights of MBP’s advocacy work in 2018. GROWING THE HERD MBP believes there are tremendous opportunities to build the province’s beef herd if there is a regulatory, policy, economic and infrastructure environment that provides stability and promotes confidence in the cattle sector. MBP continued its discussions with the Manitoba government about its stated goal to grow the beef cattle herd to pre-BSE levels. In speaking with producers and value chain members several common themes emerged in terms of the types of conditions required to see the herd expand. These include: sustainable growth needs to be based on market signals; producers will be more inclined to expand in an environment of predictable economics at the farm gate; and, producers and value chain members need a business climate that will lend itself to future investment and growth. MBP provided Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture with a series of recommendations focusing on four key areas aimed at creating an environment conducive to growth, including: the regulatory environment; economic conditions; infrastructure/capacity to produce; and, public trust. MBP believes both the industry and government will need to commit energy and resources towards addressing the unique challenges the beef industry faces if it is to profit from future opportunities. MBP also raised concerns with both provincial and federal officials about the negative impact of the drought conditions and its effect on herd growth if producers were forced to downsize their herds. The focus of MBP’s concerns were on feed availability and affordability, water supplies, as well as whether the federal Livestock Tax Deferral Provision would be triggered to assist producers looking at downsizing their breeding herds. The Manitoba government announced two initiatives. First, in late August Sustainable Development allowed producers to temporarily cut hay and graze animals on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use, such as wildlife management areas. MBP believes that being able to graze and hay 6

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these lands can be a valuable strategy not only during times of feed shortages, but it could also deliver important conservation benefits if they are utilized by beef producers on an ongoing basis. Going forward, MBP will continue to engage with the province about how to best utilize these lands in the future for grazing and haying, as concerns were raised that they were not utilized to maximum effect due to the short access period and some infrastructure-related challenges. Second, in mid-September the province announced 50:50 cost-shared beneficial management practices funding through the Ag Action Manitoba Program to assist with the development of wells and dugouts. This initiative was well received by producers and MBP sees merit in its continuation. While some producers wanted feed or freight assistance, the province chose not to go in that direction. As well, the federal government identified 80 designated regions in Manitoba where producers could access the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision. MBP believes this tool could 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. CROWN LANDS Throughout 2018 MBP was involved in extensive discussions with the Manitoba government related to agricultural Crown lands (ACL). Beef producers make extensive use of provincial agricultural Crown lands for both pasture and forage purposes. Ensuring these lands remain available to beef production is essential for future growth in the sector. In late December 2017 the province had released its new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation. This provided for an amalgamation of the two separate regulations related to forage leases, hay and grazing permits, and cropping leases, with several changes. The province had also announced that as part of Manitoba’s entry into the New West Partnership Trade Agreement a change was required to Crown lands regulations, specifically that non-Manitobans will now be allowed to apply to lease agricultural Crown lands in this province. In February 2018 the Manitoba government announced public consultations on ACL as part of its stated goals of modernizing the policies and improving fairness and transparency in the system. The consultations build on changes the government announced in 2017 whereby agricultural Crown lands for grazing and haying will be made available through a tendering system. MBP’s comments focused on areas such as the merits of an auction system versus a closed tendering system for forage leases, the need for informed access to ACL, eligibility policies, forage lease terms and renewals, transfers, casual permits, and how to deal with improvements producers are making to leased Crown lands. Bill 35 – The Agricultural Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management of Community Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands) was introduced October 4 by Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. Bill 35 made changes to the Act to allow for fees or rent for leases and permits for ACL to be calculated in one of four ways: setting out or prescribing the amount of method/formula to determine rent in regulation; having a public tender; having a public auction, or, a combination of the aforementioned methods. This legislation also allows regulations to be made around reserve bids and other terms and conditions that may apply in a public tender or public auction. MBP made a presentation on this bill at the Legislature. MBP indicated that it supports the auction approach in principle. The previous points-based allocation system was often frustrating for producers, creating confusion and leading to appeals. MBP has stated there should be no minimum prices for ACL as this could interfere with the market forces and artificially raise the price to producers. MBP will continue to engage with the province about how the auction process will work, as well as on other ACL matters, such as unit transfers, the rental formula for forage leases and permits, and, informed access by people wishing to enter ACL used by cattle producers. MBP’s goal is to see the most effective utilization of ACL to benefit the province’s beef industry. In its discussions with the province about ACL, MBP has repeatedly stated the importance of Crown lands being distributed in the most predictable and transparent manner possible and that their use be both effective and efficient for the sector. MBP also identified that much of the negative experience and dissatisfaction that cattle producers have had with the Crown lands program had been based on policy interpretations and implementation by provincial officials going beyond the regulatory requirements, such as the relation between animal unit months and the ability to lease lands. There have also been concerns about the lack of monitoring and enforcement. Another element of Bill 35 pertains to Manitoba’s community pastures, allowing the province to designate certain lands as community pastures and to regulate their use. MBP sees considerable value in this approach as access

WWW.MBBEEF.CA to community pastures is very important to the beef industry’s success. MBP also stated it sees merit in the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures (AMCP) continuing to managing these pastures. In 2019 MBP will continue to engage with the province about the regulatory framework that will accompany the changes being made to the Crown Lands Act, as well as other topics such as unit transfers, ownership requirements, improvements to agricultural Crown lands, and lease and permit lengths. MBP also looks forward to participating as the government undertakes a fulsome review of the Act in the coming year. LIVESTOCK INSPECTION At MBP’s 39th Annual General Meeting in February 2018 a resolution was narrowly passed by the membership to recommend that Manitoba Beef Producers lobby the provincial government to implement mandatory livestock inspection in Manitoba. The resolution was subsequently discussed several times by MBP’s board of directors and a motion was passed that MBP would engage with the Manitoba government about the structure required to implement a livestock inspection program that is viable, which does not impede commerce and which contributes to a functional traceability system. Discussions continue with the provincial government in this regard. WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT Negative interactions with wildlife continue to pose a very serious threat to Manitoba’s beef industry. Associated challenges include: injuries to and harassment of cattle by predators and birds; the potential for disease spread between wildlife and cattle; damage to crops, forages and stored feed; and, flooding and infrastructure damage caused by beavers. MBP had discussions with Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) about the need for compensation for damages caused by species such as ravens and magpies. MBP also requested that consideration be given to providing coverage for wildlife damage in the winter months for feed used for bale grazing or swath grazing. MBP recognizes that producers are frustrated by the slow rate of advancement on the predation file. MBP has repeatedly advised government officials that herd growth is being limited by predation and that swift and meaningful action is needed. MBP continues to co-chair the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group. It includes representatives from Sustainable Development, Manitoba Agriculture, MASC, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Manitoba Trappers Association and the Manitoba Sheep Association. The group submitted a report to provincial and federal ministers and officials with recommendations related to on-farm responses, building local capacity, improving support frameworks, and enhancing knowledge related to predation management. In October MBP received funding through the Ag Action Manitoba Program toward the design and development of a pilot project to address wildlife/livestock conflicts in Manitoba. MBP provided comments on Bill 29 − The Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared Management). This legislation includes a general prohibition on night hunting, except in specified situations with respect to aboriginal hunters. In recent years several resolutions have been carried at MBP Annual General Meetings related to safe hunting practices as well as hunting at night. Past instances of dangerous hunting at night have placed people and livestock at risk, and damaged property. MBP has asked the province to engage all land users as regulations under these new legislative provisions are envisioned. MBP has sought clarification about when it will be legal to discharge a firearm at night, as from time to time it is necessary to humanely dispatch cattle due to illness, injury or a devastating predator attack. In its written comments on Bill 29 MBP also discussed the concept of informed access with respect to privately-owned and agricultural Crown lands. 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 agricultural Crown lands. MBP believes that these rights need to be strengthened to protect livestock, producers and the public alike. Unauthorized access can lead to significant biosecurity issues, can endanger livestock and producers, can endanger the public, and can lead to litigious liability concerns. INSURANCE AND LENDING TOOLS Each year MBP provides input to the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) about its programs as effective business risk management programs and lending tools are very important to the beef sector. Finding ways to make cattle farming more economically predictable is seen as the single biggest hurdle to future growth. MBP has repeatedly advised MASC and Manitoba Agriculture that risk management tools available to the cattle sector have not necessarily kept pace with changes in production practices over the past few decades. A principle of

risk management programming is to not distort the market, yet the imbalance of bankable risk management tools available to the cattle industry vis-à-vis the cropping sector has done exactly that, and has driven more and more producers out of the cattle sector into the cropping sector. Evidence of this distortion is the loss of acres to annual crop production. The cattle sector needs improved insurance programming. This relates to both insurance of cattle production, but also insurance tools that properly value producers’ feed production and pastures. MBP believes WLPIP needs to be enhanced to provide a risk mitigation strategy that producers see as equivalent to the type of coverage available to the annual cropping sector. Having this kind of equivalency will also assist with attracting new or returning entrants to help grow the Manitoba herd. With respect to the feeding industry, price fluctuations are challenging, and margins are very tight making the feeding sector very risky. Tools such as WLPIP certainly assist, but additional BRM options warrant consideration. Feeding strategies and grazing strategies have evolved significantly over the past several decades. MBP is seeking for BRM policies and programs to be updated to reflect changing production practices that have proven beneficial to the beef industry and which will be critical to its future success. Crop insurance products also need to evolve to recognize innovative new crop mixtures, to value their feed value properly as part of broader feeding strategies and to keep pace with the evolving varieties and practices being used by beef producers. MBP advised MASC that low interest lending programs, management skills training and assistance with succession planning are also valued by producers. MITIGATING OTHER POTENTIAL RISKS Effective water management continued to be a key area of focus for MBP in 2018. On June 18, the federal and provincial governments announced $540 million in funding for flood protection initiatives related to Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. Since the devastating floods of 2011 and 2014, MBP has strongly pursued and supported the construction of outlet channels at Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. Construction of these outlet channels will help draw down water levels on Lake Manitoba and allow for better management during future flood events, thereby reducing the risk of flooding around the lake which is an area well utilized for beef production. Affected producers have repeatedly sacrificed their valuable production land to protect their fellow Manitobans, especially in large urban centres like Winnipeg from catastrophic flooding. This has placed a heavy economic toll on the beef industry, forcing some producers to downsize their herds and others to outright exit the industry. Building the Lake Manitoba outlet channel will affect some beef producers’ operations, with the outright loss of productive land to the channel bed or the carving up of their sites to accommodate its route. MBP has asked governments to follow sound land valuation practices when expropriating land to ensure producers are fairly compensated for the loss of land, and also to recognize the production inefficiencies added to their operations due to the presence of the channel. A firm deadline for project completion has not yet been established. Environmental assessment processes are currently underway. The outlet channels will become a key component of Manitoba’s larger flood protection systems. MBP participated in a provincial Drainage Regulation Stakeholder Committee set up by Sustainable Development. Changes are being proposed to the drainage licensing process that would make it easier to register low risk minor drainage works (instead of licensing them). Larger works, such as major drainage or retention projects would still be licensed. The provincial government’s aim is to better coordinate water resource management and drainage with a goal of no net loss of wetland benefits. During the initial consultations on these changes MBP requested that approval from downstream landowners be required before a drainage or water control work project proceeds and the province was receptive to this request. MBP will continue to provide input on this in 2019. CARBON POLICIES There were several developments around provincial and federal carbon policies. MBP’s position is that on-farm agricultural emissions should be exempt from carbon taxes. MBP was pleased when the province announced an exemption from the carbon tax for fuel used on farms, as well as agricultural emissions. Manitoba’s $25/tonne carbon pricing was to take effect in 2018. However, in early October Premier Brian Pallister announce the province would not proceed with its carbon tax. Shortly thereafter the federal government announced it is imposing a price on carbon pollution (a fuel charge) in Manitoba and three other provinces effective April 2019. MBP is concerned this tax will negatively affect beef operations due to higher costs related to transporting cattle, inputs and many other products MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




and services needed on a daily basis. While there are exemptions proposed for on-farm use of fuels for tractors, trucks and other farm machinery, beef producers will still be affected by these types of pass-through costs. It is MBP’s position that consideration should be given under carbon policies to recognizing the varied ecosystem services cattle producers provide. A 2018 study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development found that pastures and grasslands utilized by cattle producers can sequester as much as eight tonnes of carbon per hectare per year. MBP has requested investments in research to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as improved forage varieties and grazing strategies. Investments in initiatives and tools to enhance producer resilience related to climate change and severe weather events is also very important to the beef industry. SARPAL MBP received $750,000 in funding over three years from Environment and Climate Change Canada for a Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) project. Throughout 2017 and 2018 MBP delivered voluntary, incentive-based habitat enhancement actions with beef producers in areas of southwestern Manitoba to 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. Eligible producers could undertake practices to enhance cattle production as well as habitats for specific species at risk. This included fencing that supports improved grazing, watering systems designed to improve cattle distribution, native pasture establishment and other practices. Cattle producers play a vital role in conserving species because their land management and grazing activities can co-exist and help meet the needs of many of those species. The program runs until March 2019. ANIMAL HEALTH There was significant progress on the bovine tuberculosis file in 2018. Effective July 1, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirement that breeding cattle and bison from Manitoba had to be tested pre-export for bovine tuberculosis was lifted. For years, producers in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA) around Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) bore a heavy cost in the yearly mustering and surveillance testing of their animals. This USDA decision recognizes the decades of hard work undertaken by MBP, producers, governments and other stakeholders on the bovine TB issue and is very good news for the cattle sector. This USDA decision is a result of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s detailed case outlining why pre-export testing for these Manitoba breeding cattle and bison is no longer required. Bovine TB had been detected in livestock and wildlife around the RMNP area, resulting in the establishment of the RMEA. Herds in Manitoba were subject to surveillance testing, which stressed the animals and placed them at risk for injury. The presence of bovine TB has also required producers to take special biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of the disease from deer and elk. These measures include barrier fencing to protect feed supplies, installation of special gates and the use of livestock guardian dogs. Manitoba’s last case of bovine tuberculosis was in 2008 and the USDA has recognized the province’s TB free status and all federal US restrictions on Manitoba breeding stock moving into the US have been lifted. Individual American states continue to have their own state-level bovine tuberculosis testing requirements. In addition to the producers, MBP has worked with many other stakeholders to address this issue, including: Parks Canada, Manitoba Sustainable Development, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Manitoba Agriculture, First Nations and the Manitoba Wildlife Federation. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association also provided assistance with advocacy efforts at the federal level. 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 soughtafter result. MBP and other stakeholders remain vigilant as the beef industry cannot afford a recurrence of this disease in cattle. Groups such as the TB Task Force and the Scientific Review Committee remain active. The emphasis is on continuing disease surveillance efforts and then shifting to prevention activities. MBP is pursuing funding through the federal AgriAssurance program for the continuation of the TB Coordinator’s position, as well as ongoing initiatives at the farm and ranch level aimed at limiting livestock/wildlife interactions. No live animal testing was planned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the 2018-19 season in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA). This was based on the assumption that wildlife submissions and domestic livestock slaughter data continue to be abundant and results consistently negative. Submission of hunter-killed samples to the provincial government 8

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for analysis remains key for achieving the needed level of wildlife surveillance. Elsewhere on the animal health front, MBP asked the federal government to review and revise the recommended tolerance levels of ergot allowed within the Feeds Act’s “RG-8 Regulatory Guidance: Contaminants in Feed”, published by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The persistence of ergot provides a unique set of challenges for producers. The repercussions of the prolonged ingestion of ergot alkaloids are detrimental to both livestock health and to a producer’s bottom line. MBP noted that the maximum tolerance levels provided in RG-8 Regulatory Guidance is outdated and does not reflect current research findings. Research has shown that ergot fed at concentration levels lower than the maximum causes irreversible damage. MBP argued the standard needs to be amended to protect industry productivity and the health and welfare of livestock. Further, MBP restated its concern that the absence of accurate labelling disclosing the level of ergot contamination presents unforeseen risks and challenges to producers. Labeling feed with toxin levels provides valuable information to producers regarding contaminant levels in feed deliveries would allow producers the opportunity to adjust feeding programs and make informed decisions. More cases of bovine anaplasmosis were discovered in southeastern Manitoba. It is a bacterial disease that attacks red blood cells. It has no impact on human health or food safety. It is no longer a federally reportable disease, so this changes how the CFIA deals with it in that there is no testing of imported animals for it, and no destruction of infected animals. MBP believes that, given the occurrence of anaplasmosis marginale in Manitoba and in neighbouring states, as well as the ability of individual producers to manage it within their herds, the disease is best managed by private veterinarians working with producers and through industry awareness. There were three reported cases of anaplasmosis in Manitoba cattle in 2017. Starting in December, cattle producers were required to have a veterinary prescription for some products they used to be able to purchase without one, specifically those containing a medically important antibiotic. MBP raised awareness of this federal policy change through articles in Cattle Country, as well as through presentations at the fall district meetings led by two former provincial government veterinarians who are also active beef producers. POLICES RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT OF LIVESTOCK OPERATIONS In early 2018 MBP provided feedback to the province as it revisited the Livestock Review Process, with the aim of shaving 100 or more days off the average existing length of more than 300 days. MBP welcomed improvements to the streamlining of the process. Delays in getting conditional use permits have been a concern. The beef sector often grows through the sale and acquisition of existing operations by new or expanding operators. A 200 plus day review process is still not conducive to allowing the timely sale/transfer of real estate conditional upon the property’s intended use being approved. Further, construction seasons are short and if projects can be approved within a shorter timeframe there will be both production and economic benefits derived by the producer. The province passed Bill 19 – The Planning Amendment Act (Improved Efficiency in Planning). It will allow a person whose application for a livestock operation is rejected by a municipal council to appeal to the Municipal Board. MBP supports this approach. Bill 19 allows municipalities to set their own animal unit threshold for a local conditional use approval and hearing. While MBP sees merit in this approach, it cautioned this has the potential to create confusion on the landscape. Having the 300 animal unit threshold as had been set out in The Planning Act helped clearly identify when the conditional use process was triggered in all Manitoba municipalities. The new approach may result in a wide variation in thresholds. MBP noted a potential new entrant seeking to establish a beef operation may have to invest considerable time investigating where a given municipality sits with respect to the conditional use threshold. As well, given the four-year municipal election cycle and potential changeovers in the composition of councils, thresholds could change on a regular basis, potentially adding to producer uncertainty. FEDERAL MATTERS In May, with the assistance of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), MBP conducted its annual fly-in to Ottawa. MBP representatives met with Members of Parliament and Senators, as well as a number of departmental officials to discuss topics of national scope. These included changes to animal transportation rules, movement reporting, the need for business risk management programs that place the beef industry on a level playing field alongside other agricultural commodities, front of package labeling, changes to Canada’s Food Guide, and changes to The Fisheries Act. The importance of trade to Manitoba’s beef industry was also raised, such as realizing the benefits associated with the Canada-European Union (EU)


Manitoba Beef Producers took part in a Taste of Trade event in downtown Winnipeg in November to promote the beef sector.

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The presence of a federally-registered harvest facility in Manitoba means the industry is poised to take advantage of marketing beef directly from Manitoba. During the Ottawa visit, MBP also raised issues of local importance to Manitoba’s cattle producers, such as growing the herd, bovine tuberculosis, funding for flood-related infrastructure, and the importance having access to an array of veterinary products in Canada to help deal with issues such as liver flukes. Another issue raised was proposed federal changes to regulations related to the transportation of animals, including the number of hours in transit. Cattle producers and transporters are committed to ensuring the health of the animals in their care. 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. Manitoba cattle are being shipped to destinations in both western and eastern Canada. 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. Outcome-based guidelines are required that are founded in science and which take into account Canada’s climate, geography and transportation system. Based on a resolution arising from MBP’s 39th Annual General Meeting, MBP worked with the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) to advance the in-transit issue with federal officials. MBP and BFO have been seeking to regain in-transit access for cattle transported through the United Stated en route from western Canada to eastern markets, as well as for cattle moving from northwestern Ontario to markets in Manitoba. Pre-9/11 cattle producers were able to move animals across Canada using certain U.S. routes in-transit. Livestock that moved in-transit were considered to be domestic Canadian goods and could therefore enter the United States with minimal documentation provided the truck was sealed by a border official. Post 9/11 in-transit shipments were treated as international loads subject to full documentation. While MBP and BFO are motivated to see in-transit access restored at Rainy River-Baudette, there is a broader need to conduct a more fulsome evaluation of other access point barriers preventing more efficient transportation of cattle and other livestock species in Canada and the US. Allowing cattle to be moved in-transit through the US saves time and money, and provides for improved outcomes for the cattle being transported with virtually no risk to either the Canadian or US industries. It also allows for contingency planning in the event of the loss of a major transportation route, such as the January 2016 closure of the bridge in Nipigon, Ontario which completely halted east-west commerce for almost two months. 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 national check-off (NCO) dollar collected in Manitoba goes towards conducting and promoting research activities re: beef cattle, beef and beef products. See the Beef Cattle Research Council at http://www.beefresearch. ca/ for additional details. A further 6.5 cents of every NCO dollar collected in Manitoba is retained for Manitoba projects that reflect MBP’s research priorities and which align to national priorities. For example, MBP investments have gone towards projects such as: forage evaluation, fetal programming, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s Verification Framework Project, strategic supplementation to improve beef cattle performance in grazing systems, and perennial grains research, among others. 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 (MB Ag), Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association (MFGA) and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). MBP strongly believes that the type of applied research and knowledge transfer activities being undertaken through MBFI will play a critical role in advancing Manitoba’s beef and forage industries, ensuring they are well positioned for future generations of producers. There were some exciting developments related to MBFI in 2018. Dr. MaryJane Orr was hired as MBFI’s General Manager in the fall and she will oversee all aspects of the three MBFI research and demonstration sites. She has strong interests in the intersection of agricultural industry and environmental stewardship. In August MBFI’s new Learning Centre officially opened and it will be a valuable addition when it comes to knowledge transfer activities. It includes a 2,200-square-foot classroom, internet access and audiovisual equipment for distance learning, and a food preparation area. Offices and an

MBFI President Ramona Blyth speaks at the opening of MBFI’s Learning Centre.

interpretive gallery are to be added at a later date. A variety of applied and academic research took place at the Brookdale, Johnson and First Street sites related to summer grazing management, forage and pasture rejuvenation, ecology and the environment, soil health, extended grazing options and feeding strategies. Knowledge transfer events were held on topics such as: immunology, vaccines, and vaccination protocols; long acting parasiticides; grazing systems; farmyard security and livestock monitoring; and, winter watering systems. 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. MBFI’s president is Ramona Blyth, and she also sits on MBP’s board of directors. A Communications Committee helps to raise public awareness of the research and extension work being undertaken. A Research Advisory Committee, comprised of partner representatives as well as academic and producer representatives provides guidance on the establishment and execution of MBFI’s research priorities. MBFI initially received significant funding through Growing Forward 2. Funding through the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership was announced by Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler in August. MBP thanks the core partners and all our 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 MA NITO BA BEEF P R O D UC ER S




Manitoba Beef Producers were a part of the agricultural exhibits at the Red River Exhibition in 2018.

and for their ongoing commitment to its success. Visit to learn more.


In 2017, MBP’s communications efforts focused on improving the use of technology. In 2018, MBP committed to building its content library to complement the technology. Early in 2018, MBP contacted Tripwire Media to produce a series of videos to help share the stories of producers on topics of concern to the general public. Animal care, public trust in the beef industry and the environment are among the topics to be covered. It is anticipated at least one of these videos will be shot in a format compatible with virtual reality, so as to increase MBP’s capacity in this area. Filming will commence in 2019. It is expected this phase of the project will be completed in 2019. This work 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. As part of the updates, capital equipment such as touchscreen TVs and the aforementioned videos will be purchased. MBP is also investigating the purchase of new VR headsets. In 2018, MBP used an IPad at events to showcase the Canada Beef mobile app. Ensuring that the communications activities and advertisements MBP undertakes to promote the industry and the association are effective is very important. In the past there was little to no information available to determine the effectiveness of MBP’s communications and promotions activities. To address this gap, in late 2018 MBP secured a market research study using eNRG Research Group. This is intended to be part of ongoing efforts to gauge the awareness and effectiveness of MBP’s outreach efforts. This is a first for MBP and the first study was completed in January 2019. The value of this investment will be revealed in other ways. Over time, MBP will gain important information about trends, which will be used to help direct producers’ checkoff dollars to communications efforts that generate the best possible impact. It was identified there was little advertising conducted in the Westman area to raise awareness of MBP to a non-producer audience. For the 2018-19 season, MBP partnered with the Brandon Wheat Kings for jumbotron advertising space during its WHL game intermissions. A video was shot in Brandon featuring Halli Krzyzaniak , a Canadian women’s national hockey team player whose Manitoba family are beef producers. As part of this strategy, MBP also partnered with Q-Country radio, the broadcaster of Brandon Wheat Kings games, to purchase advertising associated with its coverage of the team. MBP continued its Eat like an Athlete promotions on TSN 1290 and during Winnipeg Blue Bombers halftime shows on that station. This also included advertising on Winnipeg Jets programming on that station. The advertisements featured some recipes and messaging on fueling our bodies in a healthy manner through promoting the use of beef. MBP’s relationship with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers continued, which involved 10

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sponsoring the Family of the Game. MBP also took part in the pre-game tailgate festivities during the Hamilton Tiger Cats game in early August. This year, MBP added the Winnipeg Goldeyes to the Eat like an Athlete stable of advertising, as well as its broadcaster CJNU in Winnipeg. This allowed MBP to be part of a pre-game fan festival for a home game in late August, including the ability to hand out promotional items during the game and to receive in-game advertising mentions. As well, 100 game tickets which were handed out to youth. MBP’s successful involvement in the Great Tastes of Manitoba (GTOM) cooking show on CTV Winnipeg continued in 2018 with two episodes. GTOM is Manitoba’s highest-rated food show, of any food or cooking show broadcast into Manitoba. The audience has a higher percentage of female viewers. While the sports-related advertising has hit audiences that reach more men, GTOM is also a very important component of the MBP communications strategy. Access Great Tastes of Manitoba episodes at . For the 30th Great Tastes of Manitoba season, MBP will have an extra episode, increasing its total to three for the season. MBP participated in several other familiar activities in 2018, including Ag in the City and the Red River Exhibition, both in Winnipeg, as well as Ag Days and the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon. MBP was also involved in the Amazing Agriculture Adventure and other successful activities at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre at the University of Manitoba. There are ongoing discussions about improving MBP’s presence and display at that facility. Our member communications efforts remained a priority too. Our primary outreach vehicle continues to be our newspaper Cattle Country which enjoyed another strong year. Our biweekly E-Newsletter has proven to be a nice supplement to Cattle Country and the number of subscribers grows monthly. If interested in receiving the E-Newsletter contact MBP Communications Coordinator Keith Borkowsky at Follow MBP through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. MBP’s number of followers continues to grow. As part of the communications outreach in 2018, MBP representatives were featured in an estimated 200 interviews/stories with media outlets, and MBP released 31 public statements on its website in its news section. Topics covered ranged from the drought, to production practices, trade, agricultural Crown lands, the environment, public trust and many more. 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 2019, from Crown lands, to predation, to water management, growing the herd 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 .

As at June 30, 2018

The information below is excerpts from MBP’s audited financial statement for the 2017-18 fiscal year as prepared by accounting firm MNP. To get a copy of the complete statement, contact the MBP office.


Non-Consolidated Statement of Financial Position

2018 2017 Assets Current Cash and short term investments (Note 3) 1,302,969 1,057,325 Accounts receivable 182,959 155,701 Marketable securities (Note 4) 250,000 250,000 Restricted cash (Note 5) 204,692 204,692 Prepaid expenses and deposits 14,637 14,491 1,955,257 1,682,209 Capital assets (Note 6) 19,721 25,575 Investments (Note 7) 500,000 500,000 Due from Manitoba Livestock Cash Advances Inc. (Note 8) 25,000 35,000 2,499,978 2,242,784 Liabilities Current Accounts payable and accruals (Note 9) 320,574 244,366 Deferred contributions (Note 10) 178,710 148,249 499,284 392,615 Net Assets Internally restricted (Note 5) Unrestricted

204,692 1,796,002

204,692 1,645,477





Non-Consolidated Statement of Operations For the year ended June 30, 2018

Expenses Amortization Bad debts Board meetings Canadian Cattleman's Association fees Canadian Cattlemen's Association special assessment Demonstration farm expenses (Note 11) Directors' expenses (Note 12) Donations General manager Information technology Insurance Memberships in other organizations Office equipment, supplies and postage Producer communications Professional fees Provincial promotions Rent SARPAL project Salaries and benefits Special projects TB testing project Telephone

8,816 292 5,785 238,502 22,551 5,816 135,681 50,000 18,576 1,350 10,113 50,059 13,303 234,601 8,028 49,162 66,196 295,841 388,730 33,500 68,103 5,986

9,334 - 3,818 266,949 - 10,928 119,174 - 13,695 2,673 10,317 50,026 13,086 187,243 17,319 38,567 67,496 71,951 412,525 51,657 38,158 6,061



Excess of revenue over expenses before other items Other items Loss on disposal of capital assets Cash contributions to MBFI (Note 11)

201,375 - (50,850)

268,392 (1,139) (52,550)



Excess of revenue over expenses




Revenue Support Fees collected from producers under regulation 1,510,264 1,479,164 Dealer commission (27,146) (28,043) Fees refunded (207,058) (161,194) 1,276,060 1,289,927 Other revenues Annual meeting 50,043 45,430 Cattlemen's golf tournament - 5,750 Interest and sundry 44,053 33,879 Newspaper revenue 122,989 122,950 Project income 415,284 159,668 Verified beef program 3,937 1,765 636,306 369,442 1,912,366 1,659,369





I am pleased to report to you as President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The events of 2018 have created unprecedented global opportunities for producers as we head into 2019. CCA’s continued focus on trade and market access priorities again bore fruit in 2018 and set the stage for a sustainable future for Canadian beef production. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP) came into effect on December 30, 2018. Canada signed the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) on November 30. Once ratified via the legislative processes of the three countries, CUSMA will update, modernize, and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Despite some hoops, Canadian beef exports to the EU continued to grow in volume and value as the reciprocal two-way trade envisioned under the Canada – EU Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) began to take shape. The CCA’s advocacy efforts produced tangible results in these and other areas as well. The CCA was a leading voice for swift ratification of the CPTPP, working with partners to deliver that message to Parliament Hill. CCA returned to Japan in early December to promote Canadian beef. We know importers want a consistent supply of Canadian beef and expect that under the CPTPP, Canadian beef exports to Japan could double in 2019, up from the $160 million of beef exported to Japan in 2017 under the old tariffs. CUSMA importantly preserves dutyfree trade in live cattle and beef, and leaves key dispute settlement provisions intact; the agreement excludes any reference to country of origin labelling for meat or livestock. There is ongoing commitment to address regulatory matters affecting cattle and beef trade and to continuously improve the competitiveness of the North American beef sector, all outcomes the CCA advocated for. Many of the provisions in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement will be of benefit to Canada’s beef and agriculture industry. The new $1.1 billion Export Diversification Strategy will maximize opportunities for exporters in new markets through improved infrastructure and export market support, and a commitment of $25 million over the next five years to enhancing federal capacity to address non-tariff and other trade barriers specific to agri-food. This is excellent news as such barriers often prevent exporters from taking advantage of new export opportunities. The beef industry is in a perpetual state of forward motion and the CCA is working hard to ensure conversations around sustainable beef production 12

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and the healthfulness of beef are top of mind with key officials. The CCA was in Poland for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24). Our industry continually strives to partner in dually achieving Canada’s economic and environmental targets. Attending, observing and sharing the Canadian perspective on sustainable agriculture for the future at COP 24 is a big piece of that. Canada’s leadership in this area along with the nutritional benefits of beef to human health were the main themes of a meeting I had with Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor in Ottawa. CCA staff and I shared our perspective about the Food Guide and Front of Package labelling with the Minister, letting her know that red meat is an important part of a healthy and balanced diet, and of the need for Canadian health and nutritional policy to be based on sound and consistent scientific evidence. The perils of including misguided information in the Food Guide or on warning labels on foods high in saturated fat, like ground beef, could push people away from an affordable nutrient dense protein staple of benefit to human health. The CCA remains in close contact with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as they investigate a case of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in a cow from British Columbia. Although Canada enjoys bTB-free status, isolated cases do occur. The case, detected in late October, shows Canada’s surveillance system is working. The CFIA recognizes the serious impact of bTB on producers and the cattle industry and is working with the producers and provinces to take immediate action to control the disease and maintain Canada’s bTBfree status. We are pleased to see CFIA incorporating lessons learned from the Alberta case in 2016 and subsequent investigation, and work with B.C. Cattlemen’s Association. The CCA is communicating with CFIA on a regular basis and will update members of any developments impacting Canada’s trade status. CCA expended considerable effort on a number of regulatory matters. Key among these efforts was asking the Senate to remove a last-minute addition of a greatly expanded definition of fish habitat in the Fisheries Act that will make it nearly impossible for beef and agricultural producers to be compliance with the Act, as part of suite of recommendations regarding Bill C-68. The House of Commons had earlier passed Bill C-68 and amendments, including the addition of the subsection, were added late in the committee process with little debate or consultation prior to third reading and passage.


The CCA ensured cattle producers’ concerns and recommendations on Bill C-68 were raised with lawmakers in Ottawa during the Fall Session, as we await notification from the Senate of a date for presentation. The CCA submitted comments to Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) regarding its decision to remove the registration of Liquid Strychnine use for the control of Richardson ground squirrels. The CCA is asking for continuation of the registered use of the pest management control product until an effective alternative is in place. Liquid Strychnine is already highly regulated and there are no practical and effective alternative controls for Richardson’s ground squirrels. Until such a control is available, the CCA recommends the current pest control remain approved and available to bona fide farmers and ranchers and affected rural municipalities for the control of ground squirrels. Work continued on other matters of importance to industry competitiveness. The CCA remains committed to working closely with the Government of Canada and other agriculture commodities to address workforce shortages in the sector. On traceability, the CFIA revised the anticipated date for the publication of draft regulations pertaining to livestock traceability in Part I of the Canada Gazette to spring 2019 from fall 2018. The CCA will continue to work with CFIA to clarify definitions that may appear in the regulatory text and ensure that movement reporting upholds industry traceability principles and reflects the Cattle Implementation Plan (CIP). CCA continues to urge livestock operators to ensure they have a valid Premises ID number and record it in the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) well in advance of the final version of the proposed regulation, anticipated to be implemented in 2019. We continue to work on some longer term files. The Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) is a 5-year, $3 billiondollar investment designed to bolster competitiveness, growth and innovation in the Canadian agriculture and agrifood sector. In addition to some changes to Business Risk Management (BRM) programming, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Agriculture Ministers have undertaken a comprehensive review of BRM programming to investigate the types of risks producers face, and assess the effectiveness that BRM programming has on growth and innovation in the industry. CCA continues to explore these issues and has identified key areas it intends to advance while engaging in the BRM

review in the upcoming year, such as improvements to forage insurance, AgriStability and expanding the availability of price insurance beyond Western Canada. The proposed changes to Transportation of Animals regulations reduce the maximum time mature and fed cattle will be allowed to be in transit without feed and water to 36 hours from 52 hours, and to 12 hours from 18 hours for ruminants too young to be fed hay or grain. Changes to some definitions, rest stop duration and transfer of responsibility requirements have also been proposed. CCA’s position is that any regulatory change needs to be based on scientific evidence conducted under Canadian conditions and wherever possible, use outcome-based guidelines that focus on the animal. Research conducted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has found that 99.95% of cattle on long hauls over four hours and 99.98% of cattle on short hauls less than four hours reach their destination in good condition. We want to ensure that any amended regulations do not inadvertently move this number farther away from 100%. According to recent dialogue with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette Part 2 in spring 2019. The CCA itself underwent many changes in 2018. The CCA welcomed Quebec Cattle Producers/Les Producteurs de bovins du Québec as a provincial member. We look forward to their working alongside all our provincial association members in our efforts to represent Canada’s beef industry. On a related note, we continue to receive expressions of interest from industry partners and stakeholders about joining the CCA, and will explore this area going forward. This interest, along with all of CCA’s activities, dovetail nicely with the intended outcomes of the National Beef Strategy, namely, to position the Canadian beef industry for greater profitability, growth and continued production of a high quality beef product of choice in the world. An updated National Strategy covering the period 2020-2024 will be released in 2019. As chair of the Canadian Beef Advisors, which provides oversight to the Strategy, I’m confident both the progress captured in the recent status update and direction of the strategy going forward will provide producers with reason for ongoing optimism in the industry. Sincerely, CCA President, David Haywood-Farmer



MBP MEMBERS OF NCFA BOARD: Brian Lemon (staff rep) and Larry Schweitzer

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. Established in 2007, NCFA serves as a unified voice for Canada’s cattle feeders on the challenges and opportunities facing the fed cattle production chain. NCFA membership is comprised of provincial beef organizations, each of which contributes funding based on provincial fed cattle production. Member organizations appoint a Director to the NCFA Board and a provincial staff representative. NCFA maintains a full-time presence in Ottawa through a dedicated team of consultants that provide advice and expertise on our various political, regulatory, and trade issues. ACTION AND ACCOMPLISHMENT I am pleased to report on the successes posted by NCFA in 2018.

The 2018 NCFA Board of Directors. Back row from left to right are Jason Hagel (AB), Larry Schweitzer (MB), John Schooten (AB), Joe Heemskerk (BC), and President and CEO Bryan Walton. Front row from left to right are Michel Daigle (QC), Ryan Thompson (SK), and James Bekkering (AB).

• Growth and Sustainability: NCFA’s key messages continued to hit their mark as evidenced by the report of Canada’s Economic Strategy Table on Agri-Food. The recommendations mirror what NCFA has been saying for years—that reforming regulations, increasing rural infrastructure investment, expanding access to markets, resolving labour shortages, and creating a supportive tax and investment environment are all needed if agriculture is to reach its full potential. NCFA’s messages are being heard in Ottawa and are helping guide government decision-making. • International Trade: NCFA joined other stakeholders to advocate for a successful conclusion of the new Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and final parliamentary approval of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). As a result, Canada was one of the first six nations to ratify the CPTPP and will enjoy back-to-back tariff reductions for both 2018 and 2019. • Labour: In 2018, Service Canada initiated a review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). As a result of NCFA advocacy, this review was not restricted to the seasonal component of the TFWP but also included primary agriculture. NCFA had a strong presence at the consultation venues in Ottawa and across western Canada. • Regulations: At the request of NCFA, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) made several important regulatory changes to the Restricted Feeder Cattle Program that will smooth the trade of feeder cattle

across the Canada-US border. NCFA also secured the support of CFIA in pressing for regulatory change at the USDA for Canadian fed cattle exported south. • Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP): Funding has been secured from industry and the new multi-billion dollar CAP program for continued work on the Canadian Feedlot Animal Care Assessment Program, which is now part of the certification system for feedlots within the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). This fully auditable program demonstrates the cattle feeding sector’s commitment to world-class standards of animal care. • Exports of “Bone-in” and “Fresh or Chilled” Beef: Securing better access to the Chinese market has been a long-standing concern for NCFA. In 2017, the US won expanded beef access to China. In response, NCFA urged action by the government to press for better Canadian access as well. As a result, “bone-in” beef is now open for export to China and a new pilot program for “fresh and chilled” is in place as well. GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Nurturing national political champions for the beef industry and advocating with government on behalf of cattle feeders comprises a large part of NCFA activities. At the beginning of each year, the NCFA Board and our provincial staff representatives build an Ottawa Engagement Strategy that sets out specific goals for our most important policy priorities. Along with our team of political, regulatory, and trade consultants in Ottawa, NCFA then

executes on the strategy. In 2018, NCFA rolled out a series of five week-long engagement events in Ottawa during the months of March, May and September, culminating in our annual November Lobby Week. This engagement saw NCFA meet with five Cabinet Ministers, four Parliamentary Secretaries, seven Senators, 50 MPs, and more than 30 political aides, public servants, and government regulators. Sustaining these relationships is critical to maintaining forward movement on our trade, labour, infrastructure, taxation, and regulatory priorities. SUBMISSIONS In 2018, NCFA made over a dozen formal policy and regulatory submissions to government. Examples include Transport Canada’s proposal mandating the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on trucks, the work plan of the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), and Global Affairs Canada’s request for our perspective on the starting of potential FTA negotiations with the ASEAN bloc. Numerous submissions were also made to Health Canada on the new Food Guide, Front-of-Pack Labelling, and fees for veterinary drug registration. Two substantial submissions were provided to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The first was in reply to a wholesale review of agriculture and aquaculture regulations. The second was in reply to USDA’s request for ideas to smooth trade at the Canada-US border. PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES NCFA also made several submissions to various parliamentary committees,

including a “2019 Pre-Budget Submission” to the Standing Committee on Finance and another on CPTPP to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. NCFA also developed a “2019 Election Priorities” document—sent to all federal parties—on what should be included in an agriculture platform for the national vote expected next year. COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS The entire beef value chain benefits when multiple organizations work together. To that end, NCFA maintains membership in the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) and the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), and engages with the Market Access Secretariat (MAS), and the Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT). In 2018, NCFA, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), and the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) issued several joint communications on important matters such as the CPTPP and Canada-US tariffs. Collaboration was instrumental in reversing a proposed alteration to the CFIA’s Manual of Procedures (MOP) that would have made it very difficult for cattle feeders to serve the Chinese market. Our weekly “beef forum” calls between the staff of these organizations helps facilitate such cooperation. NCFA had a banner year in 2018. 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. Ryan Thompson, Chair






The Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency (the Agency) manages and administers the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, which is collected on each head of cattle sold in Canada. The provincial checkoff also collected on each head, is earmarked for provincially-focused advocacy, policy, trade, research, market development and promotion initiatives, while the Canadian Beef Cattle CheckOff is invested into national research, market development and promotion activities on behalf of all Canadian beef producers. By working with service providers, the Agency ensures that national check-off dollars are invested into research, market development and promotion programs that deliver measurable value to the Canadian beef industry. We are responsible for governance, communicating the value of the checkoff investment, as well as training and education of producers and funding partners, regulatory management, collection and administration of check-off dollars. The Agency’s last fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 with the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off revenue totalling $7,701,203 on cattle marketed. This income was received at $1.00 per marketed head in most provinces, except Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, who collected $2.50 per head for at least part of the 2017/18 fiscal year. Since then, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec have also come online with a national check-off increase to $2.50, and the Agency continues to work closely with the provincial organizations to facilitate the increase from a grassroots level. Of the total check-off funds collected of cattle marketings in the last fiscal year, 64 per cent was allocated to market development and promotion, 18 per cent to research and 17 per cent was retained by the provincial cattle organizations for regional marketing and research programs. Issues management, recently renamed Public and Stakeholder Engagement, continued as a pilot program last year under the Agency, for a total of $95,239. The Import Levy on beef and beef products imported into Canada was also collected at a rate of


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$1.00 per head equivalent, for a total of $947,730. These funds, net administration, are allocated to Canada Beef for the sole purpose of generic beef marketing such as nutrition marketing, recipe development and culinary skills education. A 2018 report showed that on average from 2014/15 to 2016/17, every dollar invested from the import levy resulted in a benefit cost ratio (BCR) of 6.42:1 or a $6 of benefit. In addition, domestic generic beef marketing activities funded by the import levy are currently providing a higher BCR than the average marketing and research activities. The average BCR for the import levy grew from 2.34 in 2014/15 to 9.92 in 2016/17. This implies that despite positive benefits, under-investment continues for the industry. Last year $600,611 was retained for the administration of the check-off, the Agency and the Board of Directors. The Agency continued its focus on transparent administration of the checkoff, communication and updating the agreements with our provincial cattle association partners. Collection and service agreements were updated with all provinces, which modernized language of the agreements to better align with each organization’s current structure. A focus on maintaining transparent and separate finances from Canada Beef was also a strong priority, with the Agency beginning to move towards a completely independent finances and accounts to conduct all levy and administration transactions through. We spent much of the year continuing to develop and refine a strengthened set of by-laws, which encourage a structure more aligned with the needs of the provincial cattle associations. The amendments have been driven by a desire for a more transparent separation of governance of the Agency’s administration and marketing programs. With the amended by-laws enabling a more robust Marketing Committee to oversee the strategies, business plans and operations of Canada Beef, the Agency continues to move towards the distinct governance that the funders have been seeking. It was through the provincial funders that we were able to reach out across the country to

HEINZ REIMER, CHAIR ensure each province was getting the support and dedication to check-off administration that was needed. The Agency had the privilege to be invited to four provincial annual meetings, six Check-Off Town Hall meetings and speak to over 600 producers and industry stakeholders regarding the investment of Canada’s national check-off. The Agency recently launched our first standalone check-off website at The website facilitates communication between producers, provincial and national partners and the Agency, and aims not only to answer some of the most frequent check-off questions, but ensure that stakeholders have a place to access frequently updated information regularly on how checkoff is being invested. The latest news section is dedicated to sharing up to date information on strategies, programs and activities that are supported by check-off dollars. Many producers will still have questions about the recent Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off increase that took place in most provinces, as well as funding allocations, return on investment, and how the check-off is administered. First and foremost, we encourage you to talk to your provincial cattle association, or your provincial association representative to the Agency, about how your province collects and remits the checkoff, and how your province plans to allocate the check-off between research, market development and promotion, and public and stakeholder engagement. We also encourage you to visit cdnbeefcheckoff. ca regularly for the latest check-off stories, and to sign up for our monthly newsletter, The Gatepost. Through these channels, our social media presence @cdnbeefcheckoff and through our provincial and national partners, the Agency will continue to provide measurement and report on progress so the return on investment for the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off will be clear to producers across Canada. Respectfully submitted, Heinz Reimer Chair Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency


CANADIAN CATTLE IDENTIFICATION AGENCY MARK ELFORD, CHAIR The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is pleased to report on another productive year 2018. The Board of Directors welcomed several new directors in 2018. The leadership positions remained unchanged with Mark Elford (Saskatchewan Stock Growers) as Chair and Pat Hayes (Canadian Cattlemen’s Association) as ViceChair, but the Executive Committee now includes Lyle Miller (Alberta Feeders’ Association) and Howard Bekkering (Alberta Beef Producers) while Doug Sawyer (Canadian Cattlemen) returned for a third year. The Board welcomes new representation from: • Canadian Veterinary Medical Association: Dr. Oliver Schunicht • Canadian Meat Council: Kim O’Neil (also represented by returning director Dan Gillis) • Livestock Markets Association of Canada: Ken Perlich • Canadian Sheep Federation: Corlena Patterson • Canadian Bison Association: Dean Andres • Dairy Farmers of Canada: Gert Schrijver • Beef Farmers of Ontario: Kim Sytsma • British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association: Duncan Barnett • Les Producteurs de bovins du Québec: Sylvain Bourque. Returning directors include Reg Schellenberg (Canadian Cattlemen), James MacLean (Canadian Livestock Dealers Association), Larry Gerelus (Manitoba Beef Producers) and Ivan Johnson (Maritime Beef Council). In September, the CCIA Board revamped the strategic plan created in 2015, to better reflect the current situation and prepare for the future of CCIA as one of three responsible administrators in Canada. With Canadian Agri-Traceability Services (CATS) winding down, their assets were divided up between CCIA and Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ), the responsible administrator in Quebec. Data center hardware was received in August and installed to add to the already existing Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) equipment. CCIA’s Communications department was restructured mid-year for a greater outreach. Under Patt Evans’ coordination, the team now includes a Business Content Writer: Tanner Holthe, and three field staff: Jenn Taplin, Jody Scheirlinck and Lisa Pawlick. The department continues to be supported by Zonita Salazar who has been in her administrative role since 2015. The Communications Team proudly launched the new restored CCIA website in September, alongside a much stronger social media presence and a new approach to print advertising. Several Canadian livestock events included the CCIA as speakers, workshop instructors or within tradeshow settings. We always embrace the opportunity to inform regulated parties on how to prepare for proposed regulatory amendments, how to use the CLTS and best traceability practices. Our American neighbours also turned to CCIA’s experience to learn more about the implementation of an animal identification program and the mandate of a responsible administrator in Canada. Lastly, our General Manager, Anne BrunetBurgess was honored to speak at the Technical Beef Symposium in Beijing, China as well as the Cross-Border Livestock Health committee during the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Summit.

MBP MEMBER OF CCIA BOARD: Larry Gerelus The Tag Retention II followed up on the successful national field trial that was concluded in 2016. While the trial results were generally good over all with regards to retention and readability of the devices, complaints continued to be received by CCIA about poor retention, particularly with regard to deterioration of the male stud portion of the tag. Phase II investigated the premature failure of the plastic in the male back using accelerated aging of the plastic. Testing was conducted at a certified material testing laboratory. Samples from each brand were subjected to 2500 hours of UV light in an environmental chamber. At prescribed intervals, samples were removed from the chamber and the strength of the tag was tested using a tensile strength apparatus. At the conclusion of the testing, UV was ruled out as a factor in the premature aging and material failure of the male backs. Further testing is required, moving the project into Phase III. CCIA’s operations and supplementary activities such as Research and Development projects are funded through the sales of animal indicators (tags). Sales achieved directly from the webstore generate a more favorable margin, while allowing for retail price equality across the country, improved data integrity and the accessibility to all five brands. To date, direct-to-producers tag sales represent 5% of the total sales in spite of aggressive print advertising in most cattle publications over the last two years. In the last quarter of 2018, CCIA took a different approach to promote the webstore by launching a digital campaign directing cyber traffic to the store landing page. In July, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that the anticipated date for the publication of draft regulations pertaining to livestock traceability in Part I of the Canada Gazette had been revised from fall 2018 to spring 2019. However, the preparation measures did not slow down at CCIA. We continued urging regulated parties to obtain a Premises Identification (PID) from their respective provincial government and to follow with the additional step of updating their CLTS account to include their PID number. Aside from the many CLTS database enhancements and CLTS MOBO —the mobile phone application used to capture regulated data in a user-friendly, species specific fashion— CCIA’s preparedness also comprised Client Support Services. These services are currently delivered by six agents, half of them fluent in French. The department has been reviewed for service quality, staff performance, phone system and procedures. The audit report also suggested ways to efficiently expand the services when the need arises. CCIA reinforced its long-standing relationships with both the Canadian Bison Association and the Canadian Sheep Federation with the signing of updated long-term agreements for both bison and sheep. CCIA has been selected as the Responsible Administrator for cervid and goats, and agreements have been signed with Canadian National Goat Federation and Canadian Cervid Alliance in anticipation of new regulations coming into effect. CCIA has also spent considerable time transforming its existing relationship with the Canadian dairy sector as the sector’s proposal to have the Canadian Dairy Network become the responsible administrator and database service

provider, was retained by CFIA. Numerous discussions took place over 2018 to define a statement of work for dairy producers’ regulatory and voluntary data to be transferred from Canadian Livestock Tracking System to a new dairy database named DairyTrace, once complete. The ongoing flow of both beef and dairy livestock data captured at intermediate or terminal sites is under review with the common goal of reporting in the least disruptive manner for regulated parties.





The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. Our mandate is to • determine and communicate the Canadian beef cattle industry’s research and development priorities, and • administer the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds that have been assigned by producers to research The BCRC invites and funds projects and initiatives that have the greatest potential to benefit the sustainability and competitiveness of Canada’s beef industry. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle CheckOff. 2018 has been a transition year for the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) in terms of both funding and program administration. An increase in the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off from $1 to $2.50 per head in most provinces and revised allocations to research has grown the BCRC’s research budget from approximately 15 cents to approximately 75 cents per head. (More information on the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off can be found at In addition, the Beef Science Cluster II, under Agriculture and AgriFood Canada’s AgriInnovation Program, wrapped up March 31, 2018 and the Beef Science Cluster III program, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), has begun. CANADA’S BEEF CATTLE INDUSTRY SCIENCE CLUSTERS The Science Clusters are a partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that combines their strengths (including funding levels) and the BCRC’s strengths (including understanding of industry’s priorities) to make wise joint-investments in a variety of research programs with the greatest potential to advance the industry. The first Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster directed $10.5 million to 32 research projects between 2009 and 2013. Joint industry and government commitments to the second Cluster (April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2018) totaled $20 million, including $14 million in funding from AAFC, $1 million in provincial government investments, and $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and provincial beef industry groups. Funding was directed to 26 research projects. BEEF SCIENCE CLUSTER II OUTCOMES Research supported through the Cluster is developing solutions to issues of concern to Canada’s beef industry, governments, regulators, consumers and the public. Results include: • A factual understanding of the Canadian beef industry’s environmental footprint. In 2011, producing each kg of Canadian beef required 29% less breeding stock, 27% fewer slaughter cattle and 24% less land, used 17% less water, and produced 15% less greenhouse gases than in 1981. Optimal combinations of annual forage crops, agronomic management and grazing practices that improve forage productivity while providing economical and nutritionally appropriate winter feed for the cow herd. • Cost-effective, practical ways to manage the pain associated with castration in beef calves. The adoption by producers of pain control for castration has increased significantly in recent years. • A report on the changes in Canadian beef quality and consumer satisfaction over time. Attributes of quality and satisfaction have remained stable or slightly improved over the past 5 years. 16

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The BCRC’s research priorities focus on • improving competitiveness in the production of Canadian beef cattle, • supporting science-based policy, regulation and trade, • supporting science-based public education and advocacy, • supporting the Canadian Beef Advantage, and • accelerating the adoption of beneficial innovations by the Canadian beef industry.

• An understanding of the occurrence and severity of beef carcass defects to inform prevention strategies. Total losses due to carcass quality defects are approximately $200 million/year. Some defects, like bruises and horns, are becoming less common while others, like excess weight, fat, tag, liver health and injection site lesions require further investigation of nutritional and health management strategies to reduce losses. • New feed grain and forage varieties with superior yield and quality, including ten barley varieties approved for registration, and several lines of native plant materials, legumes, grasses and triticale with potential for commercialization. • Dry chilling methods to cost-effectively control microbiological growth on carcasses in small abattoirs. • The establishment of a veterinary and producer surveillance network to gather information on the prevalence of production limiting diseases and evaluate the adoption of and producer attitudes towards various management practices such as antimicrobial use, animal welfare practices and biosecurity practices. • Detailed metagenomic analysis of microbiological samples collected throughout cattle environments, soils, wetlands, rivers, municipal water, retail beef, human patients and sewage samples found no link between the use of antimicrobials in beef cattle and antimicrobial resistance in humans. BEEF SCIENCE CLUSTER III IN PROGRESS Funding for the third Cluster was announced by AAFC in July 2018. Covering the period to March 31, 2023, $21 million will be 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 inkind 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. Examples of Cluster III project objectives include: • determine how camera-based computerized carcass grading systems can optimize fabrication and direct beef products to the most suitable market to support market growth and trade; • measure and identify opportunities for further improvements in carcass and beef quality to support value-added product development; • expand production-limiting disease surveillance across Canada to anticipate, mitigate and respond to emerging disease threats; • enhance environmental sustainability and address climate change by evaluating carbon sequestration and biodiversity in Canada’s grasslands and identify strategies to increase the beef industry’s contribution; • reinforce public trust and support transport regulation development by determining optimal rest intervals

and durations for cattle in transit • support consumer confidence and demand by improving understanding of bacteria and cattle interactions to improve food safety, reduce the risk of E. coli O157:H7, and reduce the need for antimicrobials to treat bovine respiratory disease and digestive upsets; and • strengthen awareness and adoption of research results via the BCRC’s innovative knowledge translation and transfer team. Details on all 26 Cluster III projects are available on LEVERAGING THE INCREASED CANADIAN BEEF CATTLE CHECK-OFF The increased Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off enables the BCRC to continue to play an integral role in achieving several of the industry goals identified in the National Beef Strategy by maintaining existing programming and expanding in the following ways: Priority Research Projects: Increased funding will be allocated to research aimed at achieving specific outcomes related to beef quality, food safety, feed grain production, forage production and utilization, improved feed efficiency at both cow-calf and feedlot levels, and production-related priorities in the areas of animal health and welfare and antimicrobial resistance and use. The council launched a call for letters of intent in June 2018. Funding decisions on proposed projects will be made in February 2019. Summaries will be available on Research Capacity: Increased funding is enabling the reinvigoration of research programming in areas where research expertise has declined in Canada, such as beef production, and forage breeding, agronomy, and utilization. Many research funding agencies are limited in their ability to fund new research positions; the BCRC has the flexibility to fund this type of initiative and is looking to leverage producer investments with Institutional and Government funding opportunities that exist. The council launched a call for proposals for Research Chairs in August 2018. An announcement will be made in 2019. Knowledge and Technology Transfer: The BCRC continues to advance the implementation of its Knowledge Dissemination and Technology Transfer Strategy to drive broad and timely uptake of research results. Focus has been placed on developing and utilizing a Canadian Beef Technology Transfer Network to support the regionally limited, underfunded, and fragmented nature of beef extension across Canada. The BCRC is working to develop collaborative extension projects that bring together the expertise and resources of various groups in order to develop excellent extension resources together. Investments are also being made in economic-based decisionmaking tools and resources to help producers evaluate the relevance of adopting particular innovations on their operations. 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, including articles, videos, webinars, and calculators, visit our website at

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