WHERE’S THE PROFIT, MINISTER WANTS TO KNOW No money without a business plan

Source: Atlantic Beef & Sheep
Nova Scotia farmers wanting to tap into Department of Agriculture funds will have to show how it will make their businesses more profitable, says Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell. Speaking Feb. 22 at the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers’ annual meeting in Truro, the Minister said that if an ask for financial assistance does not include a business plan spelling out how an “innovative” improvement will make the applicant’s farm more profitable it won’t make it past his desk, “and I will look at every one of them.” The Minister told his audience he grew up on a farm in New Brunswick, and lamented the fact the land is no longer in agriculture. Today he is owner of a highly profitable Dartmouth manufacturing company turning out components for. among other things, cruise missiles and F18 fighter jets. It’s a no-nonsense company where anyone caught wasting time with games or other distractions on their computer is “fired on the spot.” The message between the lines? No-nonsense farmers who turn assistance into greater profitability will enable Colwell to go back to his cabinet colleagues for more farm aid. The Minister also spoke of a need for more meat processing capacity, calling the current situation a “major deterrent” to industry growth. In answer to a question following his address he said his department was taking a look at regulations around provincial abattoirs and on-farm slaughter, pointing out the devastation of markets that could follow sickness being traced back to improper killing or processing of cattle in the province. As part of an overhaul of provincial oversight, some form of inspection of on-farm slaughter is coming, Colwell indicated, saying, “We're going to improve the whole process (and) make it more efficient.” In other business at the AGM, Boyd Crouse, Charolais breeder from Lunenburg County was elected to a three year term as a director-at-large on the NSCP board replacing Terry Prescott who, in addition to serving in that capacity, has been chair of the organization. Crouse joins Ralph Thompson (Zone 3) and Vlad Mudra (Zone 1) as new members of the board. Jim Fraser (member at large) is the new NSCP chair. There was unanimous approval of a move to institute a one-time licensing fee of $100 for livestock dealers in Nova Scotia, to take effect October 1, 2014. A resolution presented by the North Nova Cattle Producers Association calling for implementation of a program of financial assistance toward the purchase of tested bulls and support for a heifer retention program was defeated.