Volume 5 Issue 6 • August 2, 2011

In This Issue ...


2011 CYL program underway

The 2011 Cattlemen's Young Leaders (CYL) Development Program is off to a great start, with candidates and their mentors ready to embrace the opportunities afforded by the eight-month mentorship program.

Knowledgeable mentors from across the country have volunteered their time in order to better enable and prepare the CYL candidates to lead the beef industry into a prosperous future. Mentors and mentees come from a wide array of backgrounds and careful thought was given to the pairings, said CYL coordinator Fawn Jackson.

"The level of resources available to the CYL candidates is amazing due to the mentors that have stepped up and volunteered their time," she said. "We can expect great things out of our candidates and for our industry as the youth become more informed and well connected. I think it is very admirable that the mentors are willing to take the time to mentor these young people; that said the mentors will likely get a lot out of the experience as well as the positive energy of the CYL candidates is infectious," Jackson added.

A few examples of the pairings:

CYL Candidate: Lyndsay Smith
Mentor: Owen McAuley, Producer and industry advocate
Lyndsay Smith runs her own consulting business, Prime Analytics, out of Taber, AB. Interested in learning more about Canadian agriculture and politics, Lyndsay was paired with mentor Owen McAuley, a producer from McAuley, MB who has a long list of credentials in this area. McAuley was involved in safety net design and implementation as well as involved in the report card on NAFTA. Through McAuley's connections Lyndsay has already scheduled meetings to speak with Ralph Goodale and Preston Manning.

CYL Candidate: Christy Goldhawk
Mentor: Dr. Owen Roberts, University of Guelph
Christy Goldhawk, a Ph.D student in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary, is interested in learning ways to bridge the gap between research, producers and the general public. Her mentor is Dr. Owen Roberts, director of research communications for the University of Guelph and an adjunct professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science. As founder of the University's student research-writing program called Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge (SPARK) and the agri-food columnist for the Guelph Mercury daily newspaper, Dr. Roberts is an ideal mentor for Christy.

CYL Candidate: Virgil Lowe
Mentor: John Weekes, Bennett Jones LLP
Virgil Lowe grew up on a ranch in Nanton, AB and is beginning his first year of law school this fall at the University of Calgary. He was paired with John Weekes who is a veteran of 40 years in the field of trade policy and negotiations and a senior business advisor with Bennett Jones in Ottawa. Virgil plans to utilize this mentorship opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the regulatory and business environment in which the Canadian beef industry operates and what can be done by industry stakeholders to promote its long term sustainability. This valuable knowledge will provide insight into how he can utilize his law degree to protect and enhance the Canadian beef business environment.

The 2011 CYL mentorship program began in June and runs until February 2012. To see the full list of 2011 mentors and mentees and for more information, please visit: http://www.cattlemensyoungleaders.com/participant_spotlight.html

Launched by the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) in 2010, the CYL Development Program provides industry-specific training and mentorship to assist the beef industry into the future. This program provides a combination of formal and informal opportunities to learn from existing beef cattle industry leaders. Watch for features on CYL candidates from our official magazine supporter, Canadian Cattlemen.


Travel precautions to safeguard against FAD rooted in biosecurity

Summer vacation is a time to unwind and get away from it all but that doesn't mean letting ones' guard down about the precautions required to prevent a foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreak from occurring at home.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reminding travellers of the precautions they can take to protect Canada's animals, agricultural sector and economy from serious foreign animal diseases.

CanFax Market BriefsTravellers should be extra vigilant at the border in light of recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Asia, classical swine fever in Europe, and African swine fever in Russia. These particular diseases pose no risk to food safety or to people but can have devastating effects on animal health and the economy, the agency said.

The precautions include the requirement that travellers entering Canada from any country declare all animals and items derived from animals. They must also report if they have been on a farm or have been exposed to animals while in another country, or if they will be going to a farm while in Canada.

Travellers should always disinfect footwear they wore when in contact with farmed animals abroad. They should also thoroughly wash clothing and dry it at a high temperature. Anyone who has been in a country where a serious animal disease has been detected should not go to a farm in Canada for 14 days, the CFIA said.

These basic precautions are already practiced by many Canadian beef cattle producers through an on-farm biosecurity practices as part of their overall management plan.

Controlling traffic on and off the operation, assessing the risk level of visitors -- particularly high risk visitors from FAD infected countries that have contact with livestock -- and sanitation practices are among the recommended biosecurity practices included in the Canadian beef cattle Biosecurity Standard.

The Standard is intended for 'on-farm' application on all beef cattle operations. The voluntary Standard is a set of principles that, properly implemented, will reduce the chance of an FAD outbreak, like FMD, or the impact if one occurs. In addition, a biosecurity program provides ongoing risk management for endemic diseases like IBR virus, BVD virus, Johne's Disease and calf scours within individual operations and within the industry at large. As these diseases exist endemically throughout most of North America – although they may be eradicated from a particular herd -- there is an ongoing risk of re-occurrence that needs to be managed through biosecurity.

These diseases and others like them are a significant cost to producers, whether that is measured in terms of dollars and cents, lowered productivity, or animals lost.

Created with input from producers, industry experts and government, the Standard enables producers to contribute to the profitable production of healthy animals and safe food by reducing the potential for introduction and spread of disease.

The Standard will be finalized later this summer and awareness and education will be rolled out this fall. Tools will also be developed, including a Producer Manual, that enable producers to meet guidelines in the Standard and effectively identify ways and means of reducing animal health related risks within their operation and industry. The initiative was undertaken by the CFIA and the CCA with funding provided under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Growing Forward.


BCRC Call for Proposals - 2011

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), a division of the CCA, invites proposals for research. Research proposals will be evaluated for their likelihood to help the Canadian beef industry remain competitive and sustainable over the short and long-term based on the following four criteria: relevance to the identified research priorities; scientific merit; a clear communication and technology transfer plan to facilitate the uptake of research results by the beef industry; and significant leveraging of BCRC research funds with other industry and government research funds.

The BCRC welcomes any proposal that aligns with the 2011 core research objectives to: reduce costs of production through enhanced feed and forage production, increase feed efficiency, and decreased impact of animal health and welfare issues; and to improve beef demand and quality through improved food safety; defining quality and yield benchmarks supporting the Canadian Beef Advantage; and improved beef quality.

The priority areas to support these objectives include beef quality, food safety, feed efficiency, forage and grassland productivity, animal health, production limiting diseases and animal care.

The deadline for proposals is September 30, 2011. Preference will be given to projects that will be completed in three years or less. For complete information on the 2011 Call for Proposals, visit: http://www.cattle.ca/information-for-researchers-essential-documents. Additional information, including information on projects currently funded, is available at: http://www.cattle.ca/research


Species at Risk

The CCA represents the Canadian beef cattle industry on many levels. Participation in affiliated industry groups enables the CCA to provide input into important initiatives which directly or indirectly affect the industry and to clearly articulate our position on issues to a broad audience.

The Species at Risk Advisory Committee (SARAC) provides advice to the Minister of Environment and to Parks Canada Agency, and to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA); including the effective stewardship of Canada's biological diversity; federal programs and activities related to species at risk so as to achieve the purposes of SARA.

SARAC advice is discussed by individual committee members with a view towards collegiality, cooperation and consensus. However, in recognition of the diverse nature of SARAC membership, which includes World Wildlife Fund Canada, Nature Canada, and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers; consensus is not a pre-requisite to providing advice.

SARAC activities include: (1) Reviewing operational policies and guidelines to promote and encourage efficiency, clarity and consistency; (2) Providing advice on and participating in reviews of SARA and the development of associated regulations, guidelines, policies and programs; (3) Identifying and providing advice on resolving issues associated with the implementation of SARA; and, (4) Exchanging information and advice with stakeholders concerning issues associated with the protection and recovery of species at risk.

The CCA's participation on SARAC is important as cattle producers are often part of the solution, particularly in providing habitat and buffer zones for species at risk. The cattle themselves have become an integral part of healthy grassland ecosystems, which evolved under the presence of grazers such as bison. Cattle now provide the disturbance necessary to drive ecological cycles and support biodiversity

National Recovery Teams
Under the SARA all animals "at risk" must have a recovery strategy developed. These strategies are developed by National Recovery Teams. According to Peggy Strankman, the CCA's Environment manager, "it was recognized early on by some of the recovery teams, the value of having the land stakeholder involved. Cattle producers bring the expertise in management practices which increase the knowledge on the biological interaction between the animal at risk and the bovine." The CCA was invited to sit on five national recovery teams: the Burrowing Owl, Swift Fox, Sprague's Pipit, Native Prairie Plants and Eastern Loggerhead Shrike, where their hunting grounds are grazed grasslands.

The CCA's involvement with the National Recovery Teams enables the CCA to identify common ground with conservation and environmental groups while at the same time giving them a connection to the cattle industry. Through collaboration and cooperation both groups can achieve their goals and objectives.

For more information go to: http://www.cattle.ca/biodiversity-species-at-risk


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CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: Fawn Jackson, Andrea Brocklebank, Brenna Grant
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Tracy Sakatch

To sign up for CCA's “Action News”:
Visit www.cattle.ca and click on “Sign-up for Action News”.

For more information, contact:

CCA Communications at feedback@cattle.ca or visit our website at www.cattle.ca

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is the national voice for nearly 83,000 Canadian beef cattle producers.

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