Milk Producer

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THE POLITICS OF DAIRY ISSUE

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS WITH AGRICULTURE MINISTERS

Marie-Claude Bibeau and Lisa Thompson starting on Pg 9

THE VOICE OF ONTARIO DAIRY PRODUCERS • LATE SPRING 2022

DAIRY DIPLOMATS Glen McNeil and Ontario DPCs usher in a grassroots political movement

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Late Spring 2022 | Vol. 98 No. 3

PUBLISHED BY DAIRY FARMERS OF ONTARIO 6780 Campobello Road Mississauga, ON L5N 2L8 EDITOR Theresa Rogers theresa.rogers@milk.org

CONTENTS

ADVERTISING Pat Logan pat.logan@milk.org 519-788-1559 GRAPHIC DESIGN Katrina Teimo CONTRIBUTORS Dairy Farmers of Canada, Harold K. House Sheila James, Jason Killoran Jana Manolakos, Robert Grant Price Lilian Schaer

ON T HE C OV E R

Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No.40063866. Return postage guaranteed. Circulation: 8,000. ISSN 0030-3038. Printed in Canada.

12

SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscription changes or to unsubscribe, contact:

Grassroots GR

MILK PRODUCER 6780 Campobello Road Mississauga, ON L5N 2L8 Phone: (905) 821-8970 Fax: (905) 821-3160 Email: milkproducer@milk.org Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or editor and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of Dairy Farmers of Ontario. Publication of advertisements does not constitute endorsement or approval by Milk Producer or Dairy Farmers of Ontario of products or services advertised. Milk Producer welcomes letters to the editor about magazine content. WEBSITES & SOCIAL MEDIA www.milkproducer.ca www.milk.org Facebook: /OntarioDairy Twitter: @OntarioDairy Instagram: @OntarioDairy LinkedIn: dairy-farmers-of-ontario

T HE P OL I T IC S OF DA IR Y

RE SE A R CH

9

EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau

38

20 24

Your Dollars at Work

26

EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Minister Lisa Thompson Analysis – The Urban/Rural Divide

FA RM M A N AGE ME N T 34 36

Asphyxiating Gases Ventilation in Calf Barns

34

Disruptors

DE PA R T ME N T S 4 6 31 40 42

Editorial The Explainer – Supply Management Dairy News Ad Index Back40


E DI T O R I A L

COMMUNICATIONS LEADERSHIP By Murray Sherk • CHAIR, DAIRY FARMERS OF ONTARIO While our mission at DFO is to provide leadership and excellence in the production and marketing of Canadian milk, communicating all that we are doing is an ever-changing dynamic. The ways in which we connect and speak to issues has evolved over time as technology and needs have advanced. Your Board and staff are continually evaluating how best to keep you informed. We are now communicating directly with most producers each week though the Dairy Farmer Update and the newly launched monthly Dairynomics market report. We have also been evolving the role of the Milk Producer magazine, as other forms of communication have been brought into the mix. We are glad to present a new format with this edition. Editor, Theresa Rogers, is providing leadership to this endeavour, and she articulates below some of her vision for the publication in the days ahead. I hope that you will enjoy this fresh approach and find value in the content of each publication.

Theresa Rogers

YOU’RE CONNECTED, BECAUSE WE’RE CONNECTED By Theresea Rogers • EDITOR WELCOME TO THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE “NEW” MILK PRODUCER! We’ve been working since the Fall to bring this evolution of the publication to life. Not only do we have a fresh, new look, we’re approaching our editorial content in a new way as well. In this issue, we delve into the politics of dairy with a mix of grassroots stories you can look to for inspiration, as well as interviews with some of the major players shaping Ontario agriculture. For the first time ever, we connect you with both the provincial and federal ministers of agriculture, Minister Thompson and Minister Bibeau, who appear in these pages. I love taking a subject and connecting the dots. Whether it’s the story of DFO and what we do, or the stories of our producer farms and families, the real heart of every magazine are these dairy moments and the expertise that we share in our pages. We weave together the words and photos and package it for all of you to enjoy and learn from. Without you, we can’t be who we are. This is a major milestone in Milk Producer’s history. We’ve undertaken some bold changes and I’m confident you’re going to like them. It’s refreshing to work for an organization that is both creative and progressive while still holding dear its history and traditions. In fact, the mission of serving the milk producer has not changed since the very first issue was published in June of 1925. The magazine’s “earnest desire is that every milk producer in Ontario should feel that this is [their] own publication, standing behind [them], advocating improvement, suggesting new lines of action... and advancing [their] best interests,” states the message on the cover. In this issue, we hope to do the same by giving you simple, actionable items in advance of the provincial election in June. If you don’t have any political inclination, however, you can rest assured that you are already connected because we’re connected.

Murray Sherk

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Connect with me any time. Send your feedback, questions or ideas to theresa.rogers@milk.org


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T H E P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: T H E E X P L A I N E R

HOW DOES SUPPLY MANAGEMENT BENEFIT CANADIANS? Consumers get a constant supply of high-quality milk at reasonable prices.

SUPPLY MANAGEMENT Supply Management is the policy that regulates the production of certain food products such as dairy, poultry and eggs in Canada. It looks to align supply with demand through regulatory bodies which set quotas for farmers. The result is a steady and sustainable supply of milk at stable prices.

Dairy processors get a steady supply of high-quality milk at stable prices.

Dairy farmers get a stable, sustainable market for their milk, and a fair income.

WHAT IS QUOTA? To manage production, each licensed dairy farm holds an established share of the market, referred to as “quota”.

FROM FARM TO TABLE

Estimating Demand

MANAGING QUOTA Quota is based on demand and constantly monitored with the potential for adjustments at any time to meet market requirements.

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To balance supply, demand is estimated by forecasting domestic milk and dairy product consumption, assessing existing dairy product inventory, calculating import and export volumes and considering potential changes in market conditions.

Setting Supply Target Requirements Once domestic requirements are determined, supply targets are set to meet demand. Shares of the target are allocated to each province in the form of quota.


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EXCLUSIVE THE POLITICS OF DAIRY

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MARIE-CLAUDE BIBEAU, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD MARIE-CLAUDE BIBEAU was an entrepreneur in the tourism sector prior to being elected Member of Parliament for the rural Quebec riding of Compton-Stanstead in 2015. She was appointed Minister of International Development but made headlines in March 2019 when she became the first woman in Canadian history to be appointed federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Bibeau says her enthusiasm for agriculture and background in dairy farming – both her uncle and grandfather were farmers – drew the notice of Prime Minister Trudeau and won her the job. Bibeau’s role is to ensure the well-being of farming families, the prosperity of rural Canada, and the protection of the environment. She says she is committed to ensuring women and youth are better represented in agriculture, and works with international partners to grow agricultural exports, while protecting supply management. We caught up with her in February. Following are edited highlights of the conversation.

W H AT E X PE R I E NC E DI D YOU B R I N G F ROM YOU R WOR K I N T OU R I S M A N D I N T E R NAT IONA L A F FA I R S T H AT H A S H E L PE D YOU I N T H I S M I N I S T RY ?

I come from a rural but agri-tourism region where I had the opportunity to work closely with farmers who were welcoming tourists to their farm – whether apple orchards or cheesemakers. I had the chance to visit quite a few of them on a regular basis and work in partnership with them. I was always impressed, just driving through the country, seeing them working every day and sometimes at night, driving the tractor with the light on. I was telling myself that I had a crazy life on a seasonal basis but they were working all year long and animals do not take a break for Christmas. I have a lot of respect for them.

I S DA I RY A P OL I T IC A L T OPIC ?

The industry is very well organized to defend and advocate for themselves, that’s for sure. It’s also a very delicate topic for international trade. It’s not as we say, partisan politics, but definitely it’s a sector that requires a lot of attention from a minister of agriculture.

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T H E P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: Q & A

W H AT AT T E N T ION A R E YOU G I V I N G DA I RY ? W H AT I S YOU R M A I N FO C US A S M I N I S T E R?

“It’s a sector that requires a lot of attention from a minister of agriculture.”

Wow, it’s quite a challenge being the Minister of Agriculture. When I came, the free trade agreements were signed so it was more a matter of finding the right way to walk the talk and proceed with full and fair compensation for our dairy farmers and all of the supply-managed sectors, and I think we did it right with the collaboration with the Canadian Dairy Commission. Obviously, I know farmers would have preferred not to give away market share but starting from there I think we’ve done a good job and I’m still very committed with the whole government to proceed with the compensation.

W H AT A R E YOU R T HOUG H T S ON S U PPLY M A NAG E M E N T ?

Not everybody has a rural and agricultural background so we have to take the time to explain properly the importance of supply management for the vitality of our rural regions. Also, it is a social contract that we signed with the producers 50 years ago and the industry has developed with confidence, knowing that producers

can trust that our government will protect the sector so this is something that I truly believe in that I can advocate very strongly here in Canada, in the United States, and anywhere else.

W H AT A N NOU NC E M E N T S A R E T H E HOR I Z ON T H AT W I L L A F F E C T T H E DA I RY S E C T OR?

Obviously, the compensation for the [Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement] but also our agri-environmental programming. We are investing $200 million in our On-Farm Climate Action Fund and famers will be able to apply to benefit from financial incentives if they adopt good practices. I was extremely proud when I learned that Dairy Farmers of Canada announced their commitment to zero emissions by 2050. They are showing leadership and that’s great.

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“We have been using Udder Comfort™ for 10 years. We use it on all fresh animals after each milking for a week after calving,” says Scott Stempfle after being notified as one of our World Dairy Expo ‘gallon winners.’ Scott and parents Paul and Jody have a 750-cow dairy near Maynard, Iowa. Many of their registered Holsteins go back to Butlerview Roy Glamorous. As herd manager, Scott enjoys seeing the progression from calf to milk cow. “Transition at calving is the most important part of a cow’s lactation. Udder Comfort is an important tool to get her through that transition and into her milk faster,” says Scott. “We stick with what works, and we have always had really good results with Udder Comfort. It softens udders to milk faster and easier so cows get a better start in their lactations.”


I think as ag ministers we truly believe in the importance of the sector and we truly care for our farmers. I had the chance to meet with her in person last November when we co-chaired the federal-provincial-territorial meeting in Guelph. That was the first opportunity to really work together and I think we did well. Looking at the Guelph statement, we found a way to get all ministers on board for a common vision around making sure that Canada will remain a leader in sustainable agriculture and that we will make sure that our farmers are supported in a way that they can remain competitive.

WHAT DO LIKE ABOUT YOUR PORTFOLIO?

I would say I am a field minister. I like to be in the field with people, I like to understand what they are really going through, and I am always trying to find concrete solutions to make things happen for them. They feed us and they work so, so hard to provide us with very good food. They are so proud of their work, they care for our environment, they care for their animals, and I think people do not realize that enough. They definitely deserve more respect and people should be more

some farms that still look like my grandpa’s farm and others that were highly technical. I’m thinking of the dairy farmers I met in British Columbia recently who were affected by the flood. So many mixed emotions… It was heartbreaking. These men and women care so much for their animals so seeing the devastation and listening to them face-to-face was hard.

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T H E P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: C OV E R S T O RY

FROM FARM TO FRONTBENCH

Three dairy producers sow the seeds of grassroots government relations By Jana Manolakos

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Glen and Vanda McNeil run Heather Holme Farms in Huron County.

I

N THE LATE SPRING OF 2016, a dramatic scene unfolded on Parliament Hill. Three thousand dairy farmers from Quebec and Ontario gathered at the doorstep of Canada’s government with their tractors and cows to protest cross-border trade agreements. It wasn’t the first time a groundswell of support had occurred in the dairy community. Dairy producers are not shy when it comes to defending their industry. When you speak to Glen McNeil, a Huron County dairy farmer, you get the sense that they’re both complex and simple at the same time: fiercely proud of their industry, yet personally humble; strong enough to sway politicians, yet deeply caring of their cows and their community. McNeil, who is also the Mayor of AshfieldColborne-Wawanosh and Warden of Huron County, is a third-generation dairy farmer of Scottish decent. He owns and operates Heather Holme Holsteins and is a Master Breeder with a successful embryo merchandising business that at one point grossed $100,000 annually. He also owned the nation’s first Canada Health Accredited

Herd (CHAH) pronounced negative for bovine leukosis. A year before he got married in 1978, McNeil purchased half his father’s herd and a nearby farm, beginning his own dairy business with a newly built barn and 30 cows. Today, that number has grown to 200 head, with approximately 100 cows and 100 young, filling a quota of about 103 kilos of butterfat per day. When he’s not in his barn, the devoted family man can be found in the local municipal council chambers addressing issues affecting his constituents. But you don’t need to run for council to give dairy producers a voice at Queen’s Park or Ottawa, he says, “because the dairy industry is very highly respected by our government and by our consumers. And, life is all about relationships, building bridges before you need to cross them,” he adds. As much as milk producers like the McNeils are the picture of wholesome family values: honest, hardworking and neighbourly, they are also supported by an intricate system of commissions, boards and associations applying sophisticated strategies to inform

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T H E P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: C OV E R S T O RY

and influence government policies and regulations and protect the industry. Afterall, milk production in Ontario is big business, and it’s complicated, technical and political. Grassroots initiatives like local farm tours and discussions among producers through their associations and committees, collectively contribute to educating both consumers and elected officials. “It’s raising awareness and that’s so important. It’s a two-way street,” says McNeil. In McNeil’s community, dairy producers enjoy a congenial working relationship with Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for Ontario, who is also the MPP for Huron-Bruce. On occasion she will call them to get more information or they may contact her if they have a concern. It has been a trying couple of years for the dairy industry, peppered with rising costs and market volatility, continued uncertainty over trade compensation, increased grain prices, and labour issues. COVID didn’t make it any easier. But life is like that, says McNeil. “In the last 12 months, we have probably seen feed cost go up 23 per cent. It reminds us of the need to have a land base to grow our own forage, to be self-sufficient.” He says the higher costs are partly due to clogged west coast ports which last year resulted in an acute disruption to the flow of containers of Canadian grain to China. Drought and labour shortages didn’t help. McNeil adds that consumers expect their food is ethically and sustainably produced. “As an industry, we are very conscious of our environment. We want to care and sustain it for future generations. It’s the lens we use when looking at our agricultural practices and adopting new technologies.” Ontario dairy farmers are also profoundly committed to their animals. “We treat them in a way that consumers would admire. Our herd is like family to us. When one of our animals gets sick or dies, it really hurts,” says McNeil. “It is important that we are in control of our

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“We need to continue to advocate on behalf of the dairy industry to our consumers and our politicians, so that everyone is aware of the benefits of having access to safe food.” —Glen McNeil


own destiny, to feed our people with quality food produced in Canada,” he says. “We need to continue to advocate on behalf of the dairy industry to our consumers and our politicians, so that everyone is aware of the benefits of having access to safe food. Not all countries can say that, and its something we should never take for granted.”

SIX TIPS TO LAUNCH A GRASSROOTS INITIATIVE The notion of government relations can be daunting but dairy farmers like Glen McNeil and Greg Fentie say you don’t have to be a policy wizard to pull it off. Here are some of their top tips to getting started: •

No man or woman is an island. Call on the experts for advice. Speak to the communications and policy folks at Dairy Farmers of Ontario or the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, for example.

Build bridges, not walls. Listen to people, treat them fairly and understand where they’re coming from. Government officials are inundated with hundreds of requests, draft policies, committee reports, and thick binders of information to digest and understand daily. Make it easier with clear and direct communication to help them quickly understand your issue and your ask.

Temper your passions. Going in hot and heavy rarely works when presenting to politicians. Be calm and confident, and have your facts lined up.

Know your audience. Research politicians’ backgrounds through bios and news media to get a sense of where their focus lies. You can follow what they’ve said during government debates through Hansard in the House of Commons at www. openparliament.ca/debates, and at Queen’s Park at www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/housedocuments.

Think before you leap. Once you’ve established your objective and know who your elected representatives are, you can determine the best way to reach them. Some options include face-toface meetings, emails or letter-writing campaigns. Don’t miss opportunities to engage such as at all candidates’ meetings or during election tours.

Take baby steps. Change happens incrementally and begins with building a positive working relationship with government representatives at various levels.

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T H E P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: C OV E R S T O RY

EMILY DEN HAAN: VIRTUAL FARM TOUR FOR NINE When 20 animal activists show up without warning at your barn door, lobbing accusations at the operation, it feels like a punch in the gut. It’s a scene that’s replayed far too often for farmers across Ontario: groups of activists trespassing with their cameras ready to show what they believe happens on farms. In one case at a Waterloo region dairy farm, after “touring” the barn, the activists drove away with a lifeless calf. In response, the provincial government passed Bill 156 in June 2020, an act designed to protect Ontario’s farms and farm animals from trespassers and other forms of interference. It was welcome news for dairy farmers, but it also meant that politicians needed to gain a better understanding of the issues precipitating the Bill and how to respond to anti-legislation campaigning. For Emily den Haan, Herd Manager at Haanview Farms in Loretto, Ont., it’s an issue that puts the dairy industry at great risk, and one that she raised during a unique virtual farm tour a year ago. The

Emily den Haan

third-generation dairy farmer teamed up with members of her area Dairy Producer Committee (DPC) to host two tours in December 2020 that gave five federal and four provincial politicians a glimpse at the realities and issues facing dairy farmers. “It's important that these protests and these animal activists don’t just march onto our farms and come into our barns because there are so many risks. There are biosecurity risks, animal health risks, AGRI-TRAC Milled our dairy barn floorsheat in August • Increase milk production • Increase detection • Reduce hoof and leg injuries • Reduce cull ratesgives the cows AGRI-TRAC the Traction theythe need safety risks, and list goes on,” explains of 2000. 22 Years later we just had AGRI-TRAC without being too aggressive on their feet. We also den Haan. back to do them again. It lasted 22 Years! We chose AGRI-TRAC milled ourlike dairy barnthe floor is easy to scrape and clean. AGRI-TRAC gives the cows the traction how floors in August of 2000. they need without tooinstead aggressiveof grooving Over 25 Years Providing AGRI-TRAC bothbeing times Den Haan’s six-member years later we just had AGRIPermanent22Traction James Walker Walkerbrae Farms DPC, with on theiritfeet. We also howWe thehave floor is because works andlike lasts. experience, Providing TRAC back to do them again. easy to scrape and clean. for farmers Guelph, ON to meet local DFO support, volunteer grooving does NOT work! Thank you AGRI-TRAC. Itdecades! lasted 22 Years! James Walker, Walkerbrae Farms that lasts politicians, host lobby days and take Permanent Traction We chose AGRI-TRAC both times MarioGuelph, VriensON Friendly Farms 877-966-3546 on promotions at local fairs and hockey instead of grooving because it works Arthur,for ONfarmers www.agritraction.com and lasts. Thank you AGRI-TRAC. tournaments. “It’s very much a grassroots Mario Vriens, Friendly Farms, that lasts decades! committee,” she adds. Arthur, ON

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That December morning, with their phones on selfie sticks, den Haan and


BLUEPRINT FOR A VIRTUAL FARM TOUR Politicians and policy-makers don’t have much time to travel and tour Ontario dairy farms, and recently, pandemic social distancing rules added to that challenge. How do you overcome the distance and time barriers? In Emily den Haan’s case, Farm Manager at Haanview Farms in Simcoe County, it began with a virtual farm tour. At a local Dairy Producer Committee (DPC) meeting, discussion around trade agreements, labour shortages and animal activism, turned into a plan to host local MPs and MPPs virtually. Working with the communications team at Dairy Farmers of Ontario, the group sketched a blueprint: 1. Choose spokespeople who can speak to key messages. Offer them a short list of easy-to-remember talking points. 2. T oday’s online video conferencing programs are an easy way to get people together virtually at little or no cost. There’s a ton of information online that can help you get started. Consider www.zoom.us, www.webex.com or www. microsoft.com/en-ca/microsoft-teams. 3. Plan the tour on one farm with one smartphone on a selfie stick for a greater allround view. It’s critical that the phone’s reception is in excellent working order in all areas you’re touring. 4. K eep it brief. Set a time limit and stick to it. 5. H ighlight key areas on the tour like the barn, milking parlour, robotics, milkhouse, and tanks. 6. Ahead of the tour, make sure your farm is in top condition. Ensure there’s good lighting in featured areas. 7. Practice. Practice. Practice. Do a dry-run individually and as a group. Run at least two to three rehearsals.

fellow DPC members, Steve Jones and Eric Wright, trudged through the barn and milk house, highlighting advancements in dairy production. “We were able to walk around the barn and show them where the cows calve, how all the cows roam around, and how if somebody who didn't know how to work around cows came into this barn, even just one person, let alone 20 protestors, it could really affect the farm, the cows, the safety of the cows, and the safety of those protestors,” recalls den Haan. Aside from Bill 156, the group talked about trade issues, supply management, economic impacts, and the labour shortage. It's important dialogue den Haan says builds trust and open communication, and dialogue that must be continued so that whenever trade deals come up, or issues like Bill 156, politicians know who to call to learn more.

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T H E P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: C OV E R S T O RY

GREG FENTIE: MIXING PUPPIES AND POLITICS There are puppies mewling in the background as Greg Fentie, a fifthgeneration farmer, meets with a prospective buyer interested in one of the whelps. The pups are the result of an amorous affair between Fentie’s Australian shepherd-cross and another shepherd down the road. “I haven’t met the father yet, but I think he’s a deadbeat dad,” quips Fentie. The pups may also grab the limelight in an upcoming farm tour he’s hosting with a group for local MP, Karen Vecchio. Fentie met the politician at an all candidates meeting during last fall’s federal election. A brief discussion about U.S. export markets resulted in an invitation to enjoy a milkshake on his farm and meet the new puppies when they’re born. There’s a hint of excitement in his voice as he explains, “We've had Karen out to our AGMs before but that’s in front of an audience of producers with [a prepared speech].” This time, he’s hoping for a deeper, more comfortable dialogue – especially if there’s a puppy in her arms. His story, like many others, began generations ago and today, the married father of three hopes it will continue with his children. At Fentcrest, his 400-acre farm outside Springfield in Elgin County, Ont., there’s an automated barn for his herd of 50 milking cows. He owns 300 acres and rents another hundred, an impressive amount of space for the size of his herd. Fentie is the vice president of the Elgin Federation of Agriculture, the Policy Advisory Council (PAC) representative to OFA from Elgin County, and the current chair of the Elgin Dairy Committee. At its next meeting, PAC will be looking at labour issues. The gap between labour demand and the domestic workforce in agriculture has doubled in the past 10 years and by 2025, the Canadian agriworkforce could be short workers for 114,000 jobs. It may also be among the issues he’ll be raising with Vecchio when she tours his farm, but so will trade compensation. When the federal government signed the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), it said dairy farmers would be compensated for any losses in market share as a result of the trade agreement. “But there's been no specifics around

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that. We need to continue to hold them to it. We want to ensure that the dairy industry will not lose market share through trade or new trade deals.” Fentie plans to speak to the proposed national Grocery Code of Conduct which is supposed to addresses issues related to the treatment of suppliers by large grocery chains such as when a store cancels an order of milk the day before it’s due for delivery and it's already on the trucks, unfairly transferring the cost to farmers.

“We want to ensure that the dairy industry will not lose market share through trade or new trade deals.”

He knows it may take multiple speeches and visits with politicians like Vecchio to achieve something tangible. “We don’t need to hammer home all these points,” he says. “We just need to continue building a relationship with her. And what better way to do that than to let her play with puppies.”


DAIRY MOMENT

When my son turned eight, I gave him a bull calf and the condition was that we would provide the feed as long as he came out to the barn to feed it along with the other calves. He’s 11 now. He’s been going to the barn every night for three years and feeding the calves. I would say we’ve planted the seed fairly effectively for him [to take up dairy farming], but at the end of the day, it’s his choice.

Greg Fentie, Elgin DPC

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T H E P O L I T I C S O F DA I RY: YOU R D O L L A R S AT WOR K

A SEAT AT THE TABLE Effective government relations strategy will give dairy influence on public policy OUR OBJECTIVE TO ENGAGE MORE CLOSELY, and regularly, with all levels of government took a very strong start in 2022. A variety of activities have been initiated with the provincial and federal governments. These conversations are essential for the future success and growth of producers. We’re grateful for the support and participation we’ve had from many of you across the province. A key priority for Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) is to ensure we are regularly engaging with municipal, provincial and federal politicians from all political parties regarding issues of importance for producers.

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On February 1, DFO participated in the annual Dairy Farmers of Canada “Virtual” Federal Lobby Day. Meeting with Ontario MPs and senators was a chief goal. Our government relations consulting firm, Wellington Advocacy, arranged 36 meetings with politicians from across the province. In total, 12 DFO Board members participated and were supported by seven DFO and two Wellington team members. We met with MPs who represented rural and urban ridings in every region in Ontario and from all major political parties. We emphasized the government should not make any further concessions on dairy in trade agreements and the need for clarity

FEDERAL LOBBY DAY On February 1, DFO participated in the annual Dairy Farmers of Canada federal Lobby Day. Meeting with Ontario MPs and senators was a key priority, with virtual meetings taking place with MPs from ridings in every region in Ontario and from all major political parties. • 36 meetings with politicians from across the province • 12 DFO Board members • 7 DFO staff and 2 Wellington Advocacy team members supported the meetings


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T H E P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: YOU R D O L L A R S AT WOR K

on United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) compensation. We also raised the importance of ensuring Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) inspection of dairy products crossing the border to ensure compliance and progress toward the Grocery Code of Conduct. In many of our meetings, Board members were speaking with politicians whom they already knew from their ridings or previous Lobby Day meetings, which was very impactful. As we look toward the Ontario provincial election in June, we are focused on ensuring the priorities of DFO will be reflected in the major political party platforms. Over the past few months, we have been working with political staff and government officials to ensure the government understands the important role dairy plays in Ontario’s economy and how we can continue economic growth as we leave the pandemic behind. As we prepare to support producers who want to engage with local candidates in the upcoming election, we are looking at focusing on what the next government can do to increase investments into critical infrastructure and find ways to help address the current labour shortages for dairy. The pandemic has shifted much of our government relations activities from in-person to virtual, but as health restrictions are lifted, we look forward to more in-person meetings and events. The best way to further DFO’s government relations efforts is through your engagement directly with MPPs, MPs and other levels of government. Building strong relationships with your local elected representatives is crucial to ensuring the government understands the perspective of our sector. This also includes engaging and developing relationships with elected representatives from outside of your communities and in urban Ontario. If your DPC is planning meetings with elected officials, we would love to help. Email Constantin Urtilescu, Senior Government Relations Specialist, at constantin.urtilescu@milk.org.

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ELECTION PRIORITIES Government should: • Avoid further concessions on dairy in trade agreements. • Provide clarity on USMCA compensation. • Ensure CBSA inspection of dairy products entering Canada. • Understand the important role dairy plays in Ontario’s economy and support its growth. • Increase investments into critical infrastructure such as processing capacity. • Help address labour shortages.


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EXCLUSIVE THE P O L I T I C S O F DA I RY

LISA THOMPSON, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS, ONTARIO LISA THOMPSON, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS, has a rich personal and family history in farming. Born and raised in Huron County on a beef cash crop farm, but now living in Bruce County on a farm that has been in her husband’s family for 120 years, she is a graduate of the University of Guelph and an alumnus of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program at the Rural Ontario Institute. Before entering politics, Thompson was General Manager of the Ontario Dairy Goat Cooperative (ODGC), Chair of the Ontario 4-H Foundation and Vice-chair of Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. (now Agscape). We spoke with her in early March. Following are edited highlights of the conversation.

W H AT I S YOU R G OV E R N M E N T D OI N G T O E NA B L E FA R M S T O T H R I V E ? Very early on in coming into this role, I had the Premier’s support and the Minister of Finance’s support to introduce in the fall economic statement in 2021, a $25-million strategic processing fund to enable adding value right here in Ontario and extending it throughout the supply chain, bringing it closer to home.

DA I RY FA R M E R S H AV E B E E N A S K I N G FOR I NC R E A S E D AC C E S S T O PRO C E S S I N G C A PAC I T Y I N O T H E R PA RT S OF T H E PROV I NC E . A R E YOU AWA R E OF T H AT ? We’re certainly open and I can tell you in that the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, is over the moon when he sees more investment coming into Ontario and I look forward “We need the dairy industry to seeing more in Ontario to continue to be investment to address strong and viable so we need bringing that to look positively toward processing closer to the the future with regards to farmer.

modernization and embracing new technologies.”

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It is something that we need to be addressing across the province but being mindful of the needs in northern and rural areas for large animal vets. In the spirit of innovation and technology, we need to be enabling everybody in the industry to take a look at new technologies so services to our Ontario farmers can be easily accessed and reflect the modernization that’s happening throughout that entire chain. I do hope vets see the support that’s coming their way to modernize and enable them to support the local farmers as best they can.

two years have taken their toll. Overall, we need the dairy industry in Ontario to continue to be strong and viable so we need to look positively toward the future with regards to modernization and embracing new technologies. People need to have confidence that I will be at the front of the line fighting for Ontario agriculture every step of the way.

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YOU R E C E N T LY A N NOU NC E D F U N DI N G FOR I NC R E A S E D AC C E S S T O V E T E R I NA RY C A R E . I S T H I S A PROV I NC EW I DE N E E D ?

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T H E P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: A NA LYS I S

WANTED: IDEAS FOR BRINGING THE NEW TWO SOLITUDES TOGETHER By Robert Grant Price

CANADA’S TWO SOLITUDES are no longer French and English but urban and rural.

That’s one possible explanation why rural concerns get so little attention from politicians and the public.

In Canada, votes are in the big cities, not the breadbaskets, but it hasn’t always been this way. At the time of Confederation, roughly four-in-five Canadians lived in rural areas. Most people worked on, or grew up on, a farm. Rural issues were front-of-mind for every policymaker. They had to be.

As Henry Oosterhof, a producer near Brockville, Ont., and former Board member of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario explains, Canada’s farmers are savvy entrepreneurs. Their customers want quality and abundance at an affordable price, and thanks to advances in farming, processing, and transportation, that’s what Canada’s famers give them.

Today, roughly four-in-five Canadians live in urban areas and rural issues often take a backseat to seemingly more pressing topics and world events. What’s lost in the noise is how these two solitudes form one important whole. When you do your job too well, people take you for granted.

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“In the cities, they’ve been so busy living, and it’s been so easy for them to find food in the store, that naturally they’ve given up the understanding what it takes to grow food,” says Oosterhof. Forgetting what it takes to feed a nation has consequences. Bad policy can destroy the soil of family, tradition, and technology that make farming possible. Ignorance can also breed another, more


Philosopher Carl Trueman, one of many philosophers puzzling over the deep divides in society, says our libertarian technologies delude humans into thinking we can control the natural world.

“Engagement with rural Canadians and the agricultural industry is the only way to bring city and country together.”

“The world,” he writes, “is just so much raw, plastic material from which we can make whatever meaning or reality we choose.With this delusion as a backdrop, why shouldn’t a suburban teenager, dedicated to “sustainability,” think a farm can switch from dairy farming to almond farming overnight? And how can dairy producers shatter this pervasive illusion?

—John Barlow, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security

serious problem: contempt for farming and the people who run them. It’s false narratives about farming that convinces youth across the world to demand plant-based diets. Roland Egger, a DPC member for Halton who farms on the crest of Milton, Ont., says a lack of education spun through tall tales told by the media and amplified by schools “hurt the ways we produce food.”

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P OL I T I C S O F DA I RY: A NA LYS I S

MP John Barlow, the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, AgriFood and Food Security, says engagement with rural Canadians and the agricultural industry is the only way to bring city and country together.

FIVE WAYS TO ENGAGE AND EDUCATE ABOUT AGRICULTURE

This is as true for average Canadians who learn about farming “from misinformation supplied by individuals or organizations with a vested interest in promoting alternate lifestyles” as it is for policy-makers, Barlow adds.

1. B reak bread. Break away from large group gatherings and engage individual politicians and policymakers in one-on-one meetings. 2. M ake bread. Invite influencers – policymakers, key social media people – to work on a farm for an afternoon. Allow them to experience everything firsthand.

“If a policy-maker has never spent time on a farm, witnessed firsthand the care and dedication of our farmers and producers, the stewardship and sustainability, or heard the personal stories of struggle and hardship of our farmers, how can they fully understand the impact of their policy on the sector? Conversations cannot be had in silos.”

Henry Oosterhof feeds a calf with his grandson on their farm in Leeds and Grenville County, near Brockville, Ont.

3. Say one thing, not everything. Urban-minded policymakers need to hear rural concerns but bombarding them with every issue could mean they will remember little. Focus instead on speaking about a single topic. An inch wide, a mile deep. 4. B e counted. Politics aren’t for everybody. Those who are gifted with language and charisma are an incredible asset to the agricultural movement and need to be heard. Run for office. Join associations. Leverage vendor and personal networks to educate on the issues. 5. L end your voice. Canada’s national media tend to ignore rural issues. Alert news editors to the issues, send story ideas, write letters to the editor, and for those with time and inclination, write columns or voice podcasts that inform urban audiences about rural life.

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DFC ALIGNS WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO REACH NET-ZERO GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY 2050 Meeting sustainability targets is a societal effort, says Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault By Dairy Farmers of Canada IN FEBRUARY, dairy farmers and stakeholders took part in Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC)’s annual Lobby Day, where approximately 120 meetings were held with ministers, MPs, senators and other government representatives to bring forward top-of-mind issues affecting the dairy industry. Key topics included mitigation for CUSMA, preventing further market access concessions, strengthening border enforcement, and supporting green technology on farms. It is in this spirit of working toward economic and environmental sustainability that DFC is committing to a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from farm-level dairy production by the year 2050. This objective, which aligns with the federal government’s commitment to carbon neutrality, was formally announced at DFC’s Annual Policy Conference (APC) in February. As Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, explained, “We are bearing witness to the impacts of climate change first-hand, on our farms and at our doorsteps.” It is no longer a question of how our livelihoods will be affected by climate change, Lampron said, but rather a question of how we will be affected if we don’t act now. Fortunately, our sector has a long history of environmental stewardship, and DFC’s net-zero goal is sending a clear message to Canadians, consumers and stakeholders: dairy farmers are leaders and we are part of the solution! Congratulations were extended to dairy farmers on this sizeable target during an APC fireside chat with Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

ACHIEVING THE OBJECTIVE To get us there, Lampron stressed that dairy farmers will not be alone in this effort: DFC will leverage partnerships and programs, as well as provide tools and support. “We must recognize that each farm is unique and a solution for one may not work for another,” said Lampron. DFC is working with federal and provincial governments, as well as industry experts to lay out different pathways to net-zero. Reaching this goal will be done through emissions reduction and GHG removal offsets. Best management practices on farms related to soil health, water, biodiversity, waste and energy will contribute to improve our sector’s environmental stewardship. The organization is also working with dairy farmers themselves to provide a basket of initiatives to choose from that will contribute to achieving the objective, with the intent to alleviate additional administrative work. One of the challenges in implementing new programs is the extra paperwork dairy farmers must contend with, and DFC will be assessing this burden with a subsequent goal of streamlining processes.

Jacques Lefebvre, CEO of DFC and Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change at APC 2022

“Our government deeply believes in the proactive role that the agricultural sector can play, and we want to be a partner to support you in this transition,” said Minister Guilbeault. “Reaching ambitious targets and goals in terms of net-zero and climate change is not just the business of the environment sector or agricultural sector – it’s a societal effort.”

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DA I RY N E W S

There will also be new opportunities to explore as net-zero should not come at the expense of our industry’s competitiveness. Dairy farmers can be both profitable and sustainable. In fact, more and more dairy farmers are adopting “green strategies” that contribute to environmental sustainability, while generating revenues through a circular economy. Generations of dairy farmers have been engaged in this kind of sustainable production even before the word “sustainability” was commonplace. “Then, it was called environmental stewardship,” said Lampron, adding that the goals behind the terminology remain the same as our sustainability targets today. This dedicated stewardship led to the adoption of improved techniques based on research and innovation, which is why it now takes six per cent less water and 11 per cent less land to produce a litre of milk than it did just a decade ago. Dairy farmers also lowered GHG emissions by seven per cent in that same timeframe. Few industries can report that kind of progress and we should be incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together.

NEW EPISODES OF THE CANADIAN PODCOW NOW AVAILABLE DFC is proud to sponsor The Canadian Podcow, a podcast made by Canadian dairy farmers for dairy producers, the broader dairy community and their friends. Hosts Sarah Sache and Andrew Campbell explore issues and seek information, while guest experts provide analysis and offer their perspectives about dairy farming and the dairy value-chain both here in Canada and internationally. A French version of the podcast, hosted by Sabrina Caron and JeanFrançois Janelle, is also available.

The ongoing story of our stewardship needs to be told and that is exactly what is being done through expanding the meaning behind the Blue Cow logo in our marketing campaigns. Sharing the dairy sector’s efforts and engaging on the future sustainability of the planet will ensure that we maintain strong support with consumers and officials as industries across Canada commit to similar carbon reduction targets.

Check out current or past episodes on the DFC website, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Questions about DFC’s Net-Zero Roadmap can be directed to communications@dfc-plc.ca.

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FARM M C OV ANAGEMEN E R S T O RY T

PROTECTING YOUR TEAM FROM ASPHYXIATING GASES By Sheila James and Jason Killoran

YOU CAN’T SEE OR HEAR manure gas or silo gas, but the effects are as quick and deadly as being hit by a tractor. The effect of gases on farm operations can be devastating but some simple precautions can make a big difference.

chute. Prior to entering a silo during this time, ventilate it with a fan or blower for at least an hour. Use a four-gas monitor and a selfcontained breathing apparatus if gas levels are too high. Sheila James is Health & Safety Consultant, and Jason Killoran is Senior Health & Safety Consultant, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services.

M A N U R E TA N K E R WAG ONS Farms with manure lagoons may use an agitator for mixing the manure before it is loaded into a tanker wagon and taken to the field. If the agitator gets clogged, someone must enter the confined space to unclog it. Without proper attention to safety, this can result in asphyxiation and death. Use a large fan to ventilate the space first, use a fourgas monitor to confirm the air is clear, and wear a self-contained breathing apparatus. Even after a manure tanker wagon is emptied, manure gas can remain. If someone must go inside to unclog the tanker, the same precautions must be taken. Ventilation is critical. The person entering the tanker must also wear a harness and have a buddy who can not only monitor what is happening but hoist them out if they are overcome with manure gas.

SILO SAFETY Silo gas can accumulate and remain in an upright silo for up to four weeks after filling. It is a heavy gas and can travel down the silo

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For more information, view the Agricultural Topic Fact Sheet: Silo Safety at https://wsps.news/Silo . For concerns about silo or manure gas on-farm phone 877-494-WSPS (9777).

SIMPLE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS • When unclogging a manure tanker, use a large fan to ventilate the space. • Confirm the air is clear with a four-gas monitor. • Wear a self-contained breathing apparatus. • Wear a harness if entering the tanker. Work with a buddy who can monitor what is happening. • Prior to entering a silo, ventilate it with a fan or blower for at least an hour. Use a four-gas monitor and a self-contained breathing apparatus if gas levels are too high.



FARM M C OV ANAGEMEN E R S T O RY T

COMBINING NATURAL VENTILATION WITH POSITIVE PRESSURE VENTILATION IN CALF BARNS By Harold K. House, M.Sc., P.Eng. CALF BARNS OR ROOMS can be ventilated naturally or mechanically. Natural ventilation combined with a positive pressure ventilation tube system provides the best of both. From birth to weaning, each calf requires 17 m3/h (10 cfm) of fresh air in the winter to remove the moisture they produce and 170 m3/h (100 cfm) of fresh air in the summer to remove heat. However, the actual air exchange required is usually greater than the minimum ventilation requirements. In winter, calves need four room air changes per hour, and in summer 40 or more air changes per hour. The challenge with calves is to provide the small amount of winter ventilation evenly and without drafts.

of the room through the natural ventilation system, usually through the chimneys, or through gaps around the curtains. In an ideal world, a single-speed fan would be used where the fan capacity would match the minimum calculated ventilation rate. In practice it may be necessary to select a variable speed fan with a manually set controller. The speed should be adjusted to provide the calculated fan capacity and left at that amount. The number of holes, size and spacing in the air tube are designed for the geometry of the room. Tubes need to be located to best fit the size and layout of the room. Use a single tube if the room is less than

Natural ventilation makes use of natural air flow by wind and the fact that hot air rises. Barns or rooms should be oriented so that the summer winds blow across the narrowest width of the barn to make the most of what Mother Nature provides. Large, adjustable sidewall openings are used to deliver natural air flow through the barn or room for summer ventilation and chimneys are used in the winter to provide for air exchange and exhaust. It is best to automate the curtains to adjust for changing conditions. Natural ventilation works quite well for most of the year, but during cold weather, calves from birth to weaning do not produce enough heat to create thermal buoyancy to draw air in through the curtains and out through chimney openings. When the temperature becomes too cold to provide a good air pattern naturally, the sidewall curtains can be closed completely, and a positive pressure ventilation tube (PVVT) system can be used to provide the minimum amount of fresh air. It is the best method to supply the small amount of air required for minimum winter ventilation and distribute it evenly. A PPVT system consists of a wallmounted fan blowing fresh, outside air in. Attached to the fan is a distribution tube with equally spaced holes that runs the length of the room. The fan draws fresh air in from the outside, pressurizing the tube and blowing the air out of each of the holes to distribute it evenly throughout the room. The room is pressurized by the fan, and air finds its way out

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Calf barns or rooms can be ventilated naturally or mechanically. Natural ventilation combined with a positive pressure ventilation tube system provides the best of both.


9 m wide, and two tubes if the room is between 9 m and 18 m. The goal is to ventilate the entire space evenly. The hole location and pattern are important to match the shape of the room and pen layout. The hole location will vary depending on the mounting height of the tube. Hole location is usually stated to match the numbers on a clock face. For instance, if the tube is mounted 2.4 m to 3 m above the floor, holes punched at four and eight o’clock will provide a good distribution. If the mounting height is over 3 m, then punching holes at five and seven o’clock is better. Four rows of holes are often used to provide uniform air distribution. Lightweight plastic can be used for the ventilation tubes, but tubes constructed of woven polyethylene are more durable and hold their shape better. PVC pipe can also be used especially for smaller duct sizes. PPVT systems can be left running year-round to provide air circulation. In hot weather they do not supply sufficient ventilation for cooling, but on humid days when there is no wind, they will continue to circulate air. In the summertime the air should also be distributed evenly, and the goal is for air speeds of 1.3 m/s (250 fpm) for cooling. There are other environmental factors to be considered as well. It is important to provide lots of dry, long, straw bedding when it is cold. Bedding provides insulation for the calf. There should be enough bedding for the calf to nestle down in it for further protection from drafts. Good drainage is also important to keep the bedding and calves dry. When the temperature is less than 10 C, calves will also benefit from calf coats to provide insulation and to preserve body heat. Provide solid partitions between pens where appropriate. Solid partitions

4 REASONS TO VENTILATE There are four primary goals for ventilating calf barns or rooms. 1. Remove moisture in cold weather. 2. Remove heat in hot weather. 3. Provide fresh air uniformly. 4. P rovide fresh air without causing drafts.

should not interfere with ventilation, but they can provide further protection from drafts. Calves like to lie along solid partitions which includes outside walls that can draw body heat away. Separate the calves from outside walls wherever possible using alleyways or pen partitions. Providing the proper environment is only one piece of the puzzle when raising calves. Colostrum management, appropriate nutrition especially in cold weather, and the proper preventive health protocols are all important. Harold K. House, M.Sc., P.Eng., is Agricultural Engineer at DairyLogix. Calf Care Corner, by Veal Farmers of Ontario, delivers the latest information and ideas to help you improve the way calves are raised on your farm. For comments or questions email info@calfcare.ca. Follow Calf Care on Facebook and Twitter @CalfCAreCorner, and sign up for monthly e-blasts at www.calfcare.ca.

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R E S E A RC H

LOOKING SIDEWAYS TO EMBRACE DISRUPTORS By Lilian Schaer THERE ARE TWO CATEGORIES OF DISRUPTORS facing the livestock sector and the industry is encouraged to look outside of itself for solutions that will help it be on the right side of coming change. “We can look at disruptors in two ways: those that are nature-based events, and those that are based in innovation or social change,” says Dr. Deb Stark, Board member at the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute and former Ontario Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The world is so intertwined, and the big disruptors come and hit you sideways, so we need to look within the industry and to others for solutions.” Stark made the comments as the guest expert at the most recent Horizon Series webinar hosted by Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC). Nature-based disruptors include animal or human diseases, such as Foot and Mouth Disease or COVID-19, as well as droughts, fire, floods, and extreme weather events such as blizzards, tornadoes, or hurricanes. The livestock industry is used to dealing with disease threats, for example, both preventively and in response to outbreaks and emergencies. Widespread implementation of biosecurity measures in the dairy sector are an important example of proactive, preventive change driven by the industry. Responding to disruptors that stem from technology or societal change, such as cellular agriculture, advances in automation, or consumer pressure for more welfare-friendly production practices is more complex. There is less need for immediate and collective action, Stark notes, and yet those who don’t act risk finding themselves on the wrong side of the disruption. “Technology and the attitudes towards it are changing and some of the most interesting things are happening beside us,” she says. “In livestock, for example, we are moving towards gathering data on each individual animal instead of the herd or flock and developing precision management, which is coming from human medicine beside us.”

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Stark looks to the World Economic Forum’s annual risk report, futurist.com and the Betakit newsletter focused on Canadian startup investments to identify emerging trends with potential industry impacts. When it comes to looking sideways, she believes Ontario agriculture is uniquely positioned with abundant opportunity at its doorstep


in the southern Ontario technology corridor. It includes the Waterloo Technology Triangle, Toronto Region Human Health and Sciences Cluster, and Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster. “More could be done to build those relationships. We often look to what the Guelph [agriculture] grads are doing, but what are the [University of] Waterloo grads doing, for example?” she says adding that although foresighting to anticipate future scenarios takes time and resources, the industry should put a greater emphasis on it. LRIC has been leading the charge on behalf of the livestock industry to identify these emerging issues and disruptors, bring balanced perspectives to the discussion, and start to work collaboratively on the search for solutions rooted in research and innovation.

DR. DEB STARK’S DISRUPTORS WATCHLIST • Disease preparedness. Threequarters of new infectious diseases come from animals, so it is important to look at what could happen if livestock, poultry and humans are simultaneously at risk.

That includes its Horizon Series of whitepapers and webinars featuring guest experts, like Stark, to provide background on issues ranging from regenerative agriculture and water use to antimicrobial resistance, genomics and animal-free meat, dairy, and eggs.

• Water governance. As the world gets hotter and drier, water use is increasingly important.

Also helping LRIC keep its eye on the horizon are its Emerging Issues and International Advisory committees, whose members bring national and global perspectives to the table.

• Bioengineering and cellular agriculture. The ability to change or create genetic code could have farreaching consequences.

“These are all issues that are bigger than a single livestock commodity can handle on its own – both from the scope of the issues, as well as the fact that most organizations are busy worrying about the more immediate, but equally important ongoing issues that face their individual sectors,” says Mike McMorris, LRIC CEO. LRIC’s Horizon Series webinars and whitepapers are available at www.livestockresearch.ca/white_papers. This article is provided by Livestock Research Innovation Corporation as part of LRIC’s ongoing efforts to report on research developments and outcomes, and issues affecting the Canadian livestock industry.

It’s more than your livelihood, it’s your life. You deserve an advisor who really gets what’s on the line. Rick Hamilton, CPA, CA 519.245.4690 | rick.hamilton@mnp.ca MNP.ca/onag

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With the launch of the first issue of the “new” Milk Producer, a look back seems appropriate. Here, two covers from 1925 show how far we’ve come. One is very mission-driven, to both supply information and “obtain concerted action, when such is necessary in the producers’ interests.” The other, from August 1925, is a true pastoral scene. It is also the first photo published in Milk Producer and one where “The dog is worth mentioning too.” From the start, the magazine’s mission has always been, and will remain, to serve the interests of the Ontario milk producer.

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