The spring of 2018 Summer 2018

    People will be talking about the spring of 2018 for a long time to come. Floodwaters along the Saint John River dominated the news as they threatened agricultural operations, businesses, homes, and cottages. But the water has receded, assessments are underway on each farm (page 5), and beef herds should soon be grazing (page 51) on island community pastures.
    Cattlemen won’t soon forget Temple Grandin. The autistic Colorado State University professor captivated producers at this spring’s Maritime Beef Conference in Moncton, New Brunswick. They listened carefully as she offered sage but practical advice (page 18) about the fundamentals of humane and efficient livestock handling.
    This spring the Maritime Beef Sector Development and Expansion Strategy took a step forward. Federal funding (page 40) is in place to allow the Maritime Beef Council to explore livestock price insurance options to protect producers from volatile market conditions.
    John Masswohl of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association urged regional farmers to lobby provincial governments to get behind the beef strategy. He told the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers (page 47) there are a number of trade opportunities for the industry, and that the Atlantic provinces should push “to get your share of increased exports.”
    Spring was filled with successful shows and sales. The season unofficially opened April 7 as breeders gathered for the Maritime Beef Testing Society’s 45th annual breeding stock sale in Nappan, N.S. (page 28). Totals were up this year as 56 bulls sold for $229,400. A Simmental bull consigned by Bill and Richard Armstrong of Spa Springs, N.S., was the top seller. It was purchased by Jacob and Lacey Fisher of Timberwood Farms in Amherst, N.S., for $7,500.
    And while Nova Scotia producers did not have access to a provincial breeding stock program, they were among the buyers willing to pay premium prices (page 40) at the sixth annual Balamore Farm “Thickness Sells” bull and heifer sale. 
    Businesses stepped up again to support the beef industry at steer shows and sales in Carleton County, N.B. (page 25), Amherst, N.S. (page 27), and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (page 30).
    Spring also brought members of the Canadian Sheep Breeders’ Association (CSBA) to N.B. for their annual meeting (page 20) where the increasing demand for lamb meat, land prices, and provincial reports were discussed.
    Jocelyne and Jacques McGraw welcomed CSBA delegates to La Bergerie McGraw Sheep Farm (page 22) in Cormier Village, N.B., and spoke about their 30 years in the sheep industry.
    And a crowd of sheep enthusiasts from the Annapolis Valley and beyond turned out this spring (page 34) to hear Perennia beef and sheep specialist Jonathan Wort talk about how to improve lamb survival rates. He discussed the basic kit and emergency items to have on hand before lambing begins, various problem scenarios, and when to ask for help.