Volume 8 Issue 12 • March 11th, 2013

In This Issue ...


CCA 2013 Annual General Meeting

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) 2013 Annual General Meeting was held in Ottawa last week and much work was accomplished during three days of action-packed meetings.

CCA President Martin Unrau and Vice President Dave Solverson were re-elected to their positions for a second, one-year term.

The CCA welcomed four new members to its board of directors: Howard Bekkering (AB); Perry Rasmuson (SK); Ramona Blyth (MB) and Joe Hill (ON). These directors replace outgoing board members Erik Butters (AB); Kevin Woods (SK); Ray Armbruster (MB), and Matt Bowman (ON) who have served out their terms. The CCA thanks the outgoing directors for their contributions to the industry. Additionally, board members Rob Somerville, Bob Lowe, Pat Hayes and Bob Gordanier were elected to the CCA executive committee.

CCA leadership met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and talked about the importance of market access. CCA shares the Prime Minister's hope that there will be a new free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union to celebrate soon. The EU is a market that consumes over 8 million tonnes of beef per year. With the right terms of access, the CCA hopes to be a strong supporter of a Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe.

In related news, CCA's director of government and international relations John Masswohl was named to the Hill Times Top 100 lobbyists list – this time for 2013. Masswohl was recognized for his ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of Canadian beef cattle producers. Masswohl has been involved with the CCA since late 2004. This is the third time Masswohl's work has been recognized - in 2010 he was named one of Embassy Magazine's top 60 Foreign Policy influencers.

Masswohl is an important member of the CCA staff and gives a voice to beef cattle producers across the country. In fact, he was in Brussels during the AGM, representing the interests of Canada's beef producers at the latest round of CETA negotiations. The CCA congratulates him on this achievement.
Click here to view http://www.hilltimes.com/100-top-lobbyist/2013/03/04/top-100-lobbyists-2013/33876


CCA VIP reception


The CCA reception enjoyed a robust turnout of Members of Parliament, Senators, industry stakeholders and other key influencers. Approximately 200 people attended the event and enjoyed delicious slow-roasted beef on a bun with all the trimmings. Special guest speaker International Trade Minister Ed Fast highlighted the importance of trade to the beef industry and reiterated his government's commitment to seeing current trade files through to their conclusion. Minister Fast and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz in particular have worked in a highly collaborative manner with the CCA on many important market access files.

Indeed CCA President Unrau had just returned from Japan, where he had helped Minister Ritz to celebrate the expansion of beef access in that very important market. In Japan, Unrau and Minister Ritz met with Japanese meat importers, retailers and other beef customers. Japan is an important market for Canadian beef with huge growth potential under the expanded market access announced in January by Minister Ritz that enabled Canadian beef from cattle aged over 21 months and under-30-months to be eligible for shipment there for the first time in a decade. Previously, since 2005, Japan had accepted Canadian beef only from cattle under 21 months of age.


Minister Fast also acknowledged participants in the CCA's youth mentorship program, the Cattlemen's Young Leaders. Graduates of the 2012 CYL program were on hand, as well as the 22 semi-finalists vying for the 16 spots in the 2013/14 program year.

The Canadian Meat Council is the primary sponsored the reception and the beef that served there was enjoyed by all. The CCA also thanks MNP for their support of this important event.


CCA monitors U.S. sequestration for impacts to Canada's beef industry

Canfax Market Briefs

Trade is among the key areas that may be affected by the U.S. sequestration, or mandatory budget cuts, that impact the border. Although full details of the anticipated furloughs are unknown at this time, the biggest impact at this moment is the uncertainty over what could potentially happen to services provided by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS).

Possible cutbacks in these areas create the potential for delays in transporting Canadian meat and meat products into the U.S. (FSIS); for sales of Canadian exports of food products to the U.S. market (FDA); and in import of agricultural products and livestock from Canada (APHIS, CBP).

The early signal is that the USDA has to cut nearly 8% out of its budget and this likely means FSIS meat inspection will be affected if an alternate budget plan is not worked out. This does not mean all meat inspection will cease, but the estimates mentioned have been in the neighbourhood of 15 days of unpaid vacation time to each FSIS meat inspector over the next six or seven months. This roughly equates to one missed shift out of every 10 for every inspector over that time period. Before anything is implemented, USDA will need to consult with the meat inspectors union, which we understand has not occurred as of this writing.

CCA will monitor the situation and report further in an upcoming edition of Action News.


The CCA thanks its Prime Partners

The CCA recognizes and appreciates the continued support of the Canadian cattle industry by Prime Partners: Merck Animal Health, Scotiabank and Farm Credit Canada. To learn more about the CCA Partners Program, visit www.cattle.ca/cca-partners-program.


Using RFI to select for feed efficiency

Efficient feed conversion has always been a priority to cattle feeders, and is increasingly on the minds of cow-calf producers as record high feed costs and conversion of grassland to crop acres substantially increase winter feeding costs. Feed efficiency is heritable, so by selecting feed efficient sires and dams, feeder offspring will consume less feed to reach a finished weight, and seedstock offspring should require less feed to maintain a healthy body weight. In addition to lower feed requirements, improved feed efficiency will also have environmental benefits through reduced manure and greenhouse gas production.

Residual feed intake (RFI) is a tool to identify feed efficient seedstock. RFI is the difference between actual and expected feed consumption for an animal's given growth rate. An animal that consumes less feed than expected will have a negative RFI value, which indicates better-than-average feed efficiency.  Continue reading and watch video…


The CCA 2012 Annual Report is now available

The CCA 2012 Annual Report is now available and can be viewed online through the CCA website at http://www.cattle.ca/cca-annual-reports.



CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: John Masswohl, Tracy Sakatch
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Matthew French

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.

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

Ottawa office:
1207, 350 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON   K1R 7S8
Phone: 613.233.9375   Fax: 613.233.2860