Volume 8 Issue 2 • October 22th, 2012

In This Issue ...


CCA welcomes JBS USA in Canada

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) is pleased with the arrival of JBS USA in Canada. The U.S. arm of JBS S.A., the world's largest protein company, took over management of XL Foods Inc.'s Establishment 38 on Thursday. Operations of the Brooks facility have been suspended since September 27, 2012 while corrective actions have been undertaken following a beef recall. The agreement with XL also gives JBS USA the exclusive option to buy other XL properties. Read our news release here.

On Friday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said the change in management at Establishment 38 will not affect its assessment of the plant. The CFIA said the facility's operating license will not be returned until the CFIA is completely satisfied that this plant can produce safe food.

To that end, the CFIA also announced that all test results of the meat from the carcasses processed at XL as part of its assessment were negative for E. coli. The CFIA said it would next be reviewing its observations of deboning and cutting activities, specific E. coli controls, meat hygiene, sampling techniques and overall sanitation in the plant. These findings, including a plan for next steps, would be finalized over the weekend, the agency said.

The CCA will continue its efforts to restore normalcy to the Canadian industry on behalf of Canada's 83,000 beef cattle producers.

The CCA would also like to thank consumers for their continued support of Canadian beef as the industry moves forward from this event. Cattle producers strongly support the ultimate objective of reducing, and if possible eliminating, E. coli related illness associated with beef.


CCA addresses political rhetoric

The political rhetoric in Ottawa around Canada's food safety systems continues to concern the CCA. Many of the remarks volleyed back and forth during heated debate may make good political theatre but in the CCA's view they inadvertently undermine consumer confidence in Canadian beef and cast a negative light on the industry.

While the CCA understands that Parliamentary oversight of issues is an important part of democracy, we ask that all statements made in this regard be factual, unexaggerated and kept in perspective. We in the beef industry know well that unjustified hyperbole has a way of lingering in the marketplace long after the politicians and media have turned their attention elsewhere.

The CCA has asked key ag Members and staffers of all official parties, Government and Opposition alike to consider carefully the comments they make in the political arena and ensure that they are based on facts. In particular, in the CCA's view there has been an over exaggeration of concern attributed to beef consumers related to the event at Establishment 38. We feel that unqualified statements that Canadians are 'scared' or 'worried' about consuming beef are well out of context. A list of examples that the CCA wants politicians to consider can be found here.


Alberta Beef Producers on Parliament Hill

Canfax Market Briefs

Long before XL Foods Inc. hit the media, Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) planned on sending a group of producers to talk to Members of Parliament (MPs) in Ottawa on October 16.  That forward planning did not keep XL from being a part of each discussion with MPs and their staff. The Alberta group included ABP Chair Doug Sawyer, Greg Bowie, Judy Fenton and Bryan Chomlak.

Meetings were held with 14 MPs including members of the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats.  The discussions included XL Foods and the need to get the plant back to full operation as soon as possible.  The group cautioned MPs about rhetoric that questions the excellent reputation of Canadian production and safety systems and asked them to keep the focus on the plant and getting it back up and running.

Trade opportunities were also discussed.  MPs can help to motivate U.S. lawmakers to make the legislative fix needed to address the World Trade Organization's ruling against the U.S. Country of Origin Labelling rule.  MPs were briefed on the need for substantial and real market access in order to gain the beef industry's support for the pending Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.  The need to complete a Canada Korea free trade agreement was also stressed to MPs.  The Korea-U.S. agreement reduces tariffs for U.S. beef exports to Korea every year.  If Canada does not complete its own deal with Korea, Canadian beef becomes more uncompetitive every year in this valuable market.  MPs were also told about the potential opportunity in free trade with Japan.

MPs were briefed on the labour challenges faced by cattle producers, including the bureaucratic challenges of accessing foreign workers and the time limits on their work terms. Recognizing and providing for accommodation of the special skills needed in agriculture would improve the Canadian immigration system and supply of workers for farmers and ranchers. There continues to be a shortage of capable, willing workers in Canadian agriculture and improving the system should help the industry take the necessary steps to meet the opportunities coming in the near future.

Finally the group reiterated the focus on research and market development as presented the day before to the House Finance Committee by CCA President Martin Unrau. This presentation is part of the Committee's pre-budget consultation. The CCA continues to stress the need for long term, stable and systemic investment in research and development to improve the competitiveness and responsiveness of Canada's beef and cattle industry.

Saskatchewan will be sending a group of producers to Ottawa later this month and Ontario is due to arrive in November.  These 'fly in days' are part of CCA's ongoing efforts to ensure the beef cattle industry's needs are understood and advanced by decision makers and influencers in Ottawa. Producers can help these efforts by meeting with their MPs in their ridings and ensuring they know what is important and what they can do to help.


Steaks for Soldiers visits CFB Shilo

The CCA was on hand for the October 13 Family Day event at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Shilo in Manitoba to present another Steaks for Soldiers meal. The CCA and Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) welcomed the opportunity to serve a great steak dinner to soldiers and their families. The troops were treated to a delicious 10 ounce-New York Medallion steak and all the trimmings, served by representatives of the CCA, MBP and a special guest: Ross Mitchell of Douglas, MB, who served as a paratrooper over Germany in 1945.

The CCA has supported the Steaks for Soldiers campaign since 2007, when the first troop rotation came back from Afghanistan. The campaign was devised as a way for Canada's beef producers to honour soldiers and their families. This was the second time the Steaks for Soldiers campaign visited CFB Shilo. The event was very well-received and more than 800 steak dinners were served to soldiers and their families.

The event was opened by Lieutenant -Colonel Richard Goodyear. Steaks for Soldiers campaign leader Harvey Dann received an award for his vision and commitment to the Steaks for Soldiers effort from the very beginning. Dann accepted the award on behalf of all the contributors to the campaign over the years, including media, provincial cattle associations and the CCA. CCA director and MBP President, Ray Armbruster thanked Dann for his commitment and support for soldiers and for the opportunity for cattle producers to interact with the armed forces family, who share many of the same values.

The next Steaks for Soldiers at CFB Shilo is slated for the fall 2013 and CCA and MBP look forward to participating again.


CCA youth mentorship program accepting applications for 2013-2014

The Cattlemen's Young Leaders (CYL) program is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 mentorship program. Young producers and beef enthusiasts between the ages of 18 and 35 are encouraged to apply prior to January 25, 2013 and can do so through the CYL website.

The CYL program offers young producers high quality mentorship and leadership training opportunities. Through coordination with the CCA, CYL participants are given the chance to work one-on-one with beef cattle producers and industry leadership. Participants can work alongside professionals in the areas of animal health, marketing and promotion, research, veterinary medicine and many other fields. Those with an interest in leadership can pair up with a CCA board member in areas including international trade, environment, and advocacy and policy development. CYL participants have an opportunity to participate in international events like the International Livestock Congress and the Five Nations Beef Alliance as well as local events like the CYL Fall Forum, which took place last Thursday and Friday in Calgary, AB.

The CYL Fall Forum is a two day networking and learning opportunity for program participants. This year's forum brought together CYL participants and beef industry leadership from across Canada. The 15 CYL participants in attendance took in presentations from the CCA, CYL, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), Canadian Beef Grading Agency (CBGA), Canada Beef Inc. (CBI) and Canfax, the market analysis division of the CCA. CYL participants also visited the Cargill Meat Solutions plant in High River, the Cargill Animal Nutrition facility and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Centre in Lethbridge, the Kasko Feedlot and Kolk Farms and AdFarm, an ad agency with a focus on agriculture. The tour also welcomed industry representatives from ALMA, Cattlemen Magazine and Alberta Cattle Feeders Association (ACFA). CYL would like to extend a special thanks to its Foundation Partners; Cargill, ALMA and CCA as well as the 2012 Forum Sponsors, Cattlemen Magazine and ACFA for their support.

CYL heads into the 2013 season with a new program coordinator, Jolene Noble. Jolene ranches with her family near Manning, AB and is a graduate from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in Range and Pasture Management. After completing her degree, she travelled to Australia to explore their agriculture industry with a special emphasis on the beef industry. Once back in Alberta she continued to help manage the beef herd at her parent's farm.

The CCA welcomes Jolene to the team. Jolene can be contacted at 403.275.8558 ext. 403 or noblej@cattle.ca


The importance of having feed supplies analyzed

To determine the nutritional quality of hay and forage, producers often evaluate the colour, plant species, leaf content, and when the feed was cut to judge its quality, but these indicators can be very misleading.  For example, high-yielding hay crops, or crops that experienced a temporary drought followed by heavy rain, can have low nutritional content.  That's why feed testing is a must.  A basic feed test costs $25-$50.

Having feed supplies analyzed is critical to developing a successful feeding strategy.  Delivering a balanced ration throughout the winter will help to achieve production targets, save on supplemental feed costs and maintain the success of a breeding program.  If pregnant cows have inadequate feed quality or quantity, it can lead to calving difficulties, an extended breeding season, an increase in the number of open cows, and reduced weaning weights in next year's calf crop because of later calving.  Nutritional requirements of bred heifers and mature cows are different, and change during each trimester of pregnancy.  Read more…


CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: Ryder Lee, Jill Harvie, Tracy Sakatch
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Matthew French

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

Head office:
Ste. 310, 6715 8th Street NE, Calgary, AB   T2E 7H7
Phone: 403.275.8558   Fax: 403.274.5686

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