Coming out from winter Spring 2017

Coming out from winter
    A story on the radio last week was upsetting. A child was taken from its home by some agency because he, or perhaps she, was overweight. Anyone in the livestock business knows the waste and general health issues that go with over-finishing. That’s an understandable concern. But equally concerning to the agency was the presence of mice in the house. 
    Imagine. They’ll be coming to take me away any day now. My trapline can’t keep up with the invasion of Deer mice, shrews, and ermine that come seeking refuge from snow and wintery gales each fall in this old farm house with its dry rock wall for a foundation. Visiting a friend recently, I spied a mousetrap in the corner of the kitchen and felt instantly at home.

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TB fall-out? Thanks anyway... Winter 2016

TB fall-out? Thanks anyway...

    Atlantic Beef & Sheep has kept pretty close track of the Bovine tuberculosis story as it unfolds in Alberta and Saskatchewan (see “TB Investigation continues,” by Heather Jones, page 4), through reports from Agriculture & Agrifood Canada, CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), and accounts on-line and in the mainstream press. By chance we had the opportunity to sit down with Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef in the organization’s sumptuous, well-positioned digs, down the hall from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s Calgary office and within sight of “Cow Town’s” airport. 

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Atlantic Beef & Sheep has company Fall 2016

DvL Publishing takes on farm trade title

    “Farm Focus on the move” was the headline for a press release August 10 announcing transfer of ownership of the Farm Focus farm trade journal from TC Media to DvL Publishing Inc. 
    With the addition of Farm Focus, our staff in the Liverpool office and working from home offices will be responsible for five publications and associated websites. In addition to Rural Delivery, which celebrated its 40th birthday in June, there are Atlantic Forestry Review, Atlantic Horse & Pony, and Atlantic Beef & Sheep magazines. 
    Taking on the publication of Farm Focus represents opportunity and challenge. “A huge and humbling responsibility,” we said in our press release. And so it is. But the region needs a comprehensive farm newspaper and we intend to try our level best to provide it.
    Up to now we could leave hard farm news to others, if we wished, while focusing our own sights on whatever drew our attention.
    That is not good enough for a paper of record. Our goal with Farm Focus is to be where one looks for news about government programs and policy, about new research, matters of controversy – of giving all sides a fair shake, and about people who have been, or are, influential in the farming community. 
    There is a lot of responsibility in this undertaking. Fortunately, it is going to be shared. Already we have received encouraging assurance from many with a stake in agriculture that they look forward to working with us in the revitalization of Farm Focus.
    For the time being I will be serving as editor and publisher of Farm Focus, with substantial help from Heather Jones as assistant editor.
Welcome aboard.  DvL

No more mystery steaks FALL 2015

No more mystery steaks
Meat cutting course returns to the Agricultural Campus
    Meat cutting short courses are returning to the Maritimes thanks to concerted efforts of Dalhousie University (Agriculture) Extended Learning staff led by Program Manager Ashley Coffin.
    Can’t wait. Opened a package of our own beef marked “strip loin” to throw on the grill this past weekend and yes, it was a steak, and a strip of something, but it never was close to the loin. Very discouraging.

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Are we cutting ourselves short? Summer 2015

Are we cutting ourselves short?
The need for good butchers

    There was a time in living memory when a meat cutting course was regularly offered at the old Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now Dal Faculty of Agriculture). For many years, the course was taught by John Avery. It was well attended and jobs awaited graduates at grocery stores throughout the region. “Boxed beef” pretty well put an end to that. No longer were stores receiving sides and quarters, let alone whole carcasses of chicken, lamb, pork, or beef. It came from abattoirs ready-cut.

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