Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia
Workshops completed, research projects underway
by Fred Hamilton
Summer has been busy on the farm getting pastures ready and making hay. It has also been a busy time for the Sheep Producers’ Association of Nova Scotia (SPANS) – completing workshops and starting several research projects for the year ahead.
First, I would like to thank everyone who attended the health workshops in June at my farm as well as the Super 8 in Windsor. These workshops featured Dr. Gwyneth Jones and Dr. Paula Menzies and addressed several flock health questions and concerns. Along with the Truro workshop, SPANS also hosted a special members’ meeting to make a bylaw change, which will allow us to hold our annual general meeting in the fall rather than during the winter.
This year’s AGM will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro. We are hoping to build on last year’s annual meeting by including several speakers who were not able to attend due to weather.
This spring we were successful in securing funding for several research projects. Jones will be continuing her work related to the Barberpole worm, and we will be completing a project related to carcass quality prediction using ultrasound technology. The third project will focus on improving wool marketing through several fibre makers.
We are also pleased to announce that the Safe Handling of Sheep and Parasite Control and Elite Ram Program is available again this year. There have been some small changes made to the program, which now includes: scales, scale heads as handling equipment, as well as assistance with the costs associated with importing ram semen. Please be sure to read your most recent newsletter or check the website for further details. Applications are due back to the SPANS office by Oct. 11, 2016. Late applications will not be processed. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact the office at 902-893-7455.
(Fred Hamilton is the president of SPANS. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the SPANS office at 902-893-7455.)
PEI Cattle Producers
P.E.I. Certified Beef Brand producers recognized
by Rinnie Bradley
Old Home Week in Prince Edward Island ran from Thursday, Aug. 11 to Saturday, Aug. 20. This provincial exhibition is noted for its midway, agricultural shows, and harness racing, but also for the distinct change that occurs with the weather as soon as it is over. This year was no different, the temperature change was notable. With summer coming to a close, our attention is refocused on Fall Flavours, Open Farm Day, and many other events that will carry us through autumn.
The Prince Edward Island Certified Beef Brand held its annual recognition dinner July 20, at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown, to celebrate producers’ accomplishments in 2015. This year we extended the invitation to our brand distributors and supporters. More than 60 people attended, including representatives from the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sobeys, and Atlantic Beef Products, Inc. We saw significant growth in recognition in the marketplace in 2015 for the brand. During the celebration, the Producer of the Year award was presented to Colwill Farms – John and Libby Colwill of Tyne Valley. This award is presented to the feedlot producer who has shown the greatest improvement in the number of animals finished under the brand, who completes his or her records and submits them to the plant, and who follows all of the brand standards and reporting requirements.
On June 1, the P.E.I. Certified Beef Brand (CIB) opened the brand up to feeders born in the Maritime provinces and finished at Certified Island Beef feedlots. We have seen good uptake and have had positive feedback from this change. Accepting feeders for the CIB brand requires some reporting on the part of the cow-calf producer. Their animals must meet the brand specs, be Age Verified, and have a traceability form submitted to the PEICP signed by the feedlot operator. This must be received before payment of premiums will be issued. Don’t let these requirements scare you off. We are only a phone call away and are ready and able to assist you in meeting these requirements. Ask any of our current cow-calf suppliers, they will tell you that the requirements are minimal and can be easily completed.
Verified Beef Production is ongoing; however, the inclusion of the biosecurity, environmental, and humane handling modules have been launched and will be added to any future delivery of the VBP+ program. Amanda Miller, our VBP and CIB Coordinator, will be off for a year on maternity leave and has been replaced by Jena Nicholson. Jena has some experience on-farm, and extensive experience working in an office setting and working with producers. She is ready and willing to assist producers with their questions or concerns relating to VBP+ or the CIB brand. We wish Amanda all the best and welcome Jena to the PEICP.
Looking further ahead, the PEICP will continue to work on the levy increase and make necessary changes to the Levy Order in order to implement it in early 2017. We have been accepting applications for the Beef Industry Initiatives Program and we have several other projects on the go. The winter is definitely shaping up to be another busy one.
(Rinnie Bradley is Executive Director of the P.E.I. Cattle Producers. She can be reached at 902-368-2229 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
NS Cattle Producers
Beef strategy and workshops
by Larry Weatherby
Another summer has come and gone by in a flash. It seems to have been a very busy summer on the farm and in the office of the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers (NSCP). The weather was good for making forage and growing grain crops – the rain always seemed to come when it was most needed. The NSCP spent the summer wrapping up some winter projects as well as continuing to work on projects and programs for the fall.
After our membership voted to support the National Beef Strategy by increasing the check-off, we worked very diligently with the Natural Products Marketing Council to update regulations. The regulations were approved by the board and then by council in June and will come into force on Jan. 1, 2017. We also continue to redraft the Marketing Plan after receiving feedback from the zone meetings. We expect to call a special meeting in November for members to vote on final approval.
In late spring and early summer we co-hosted a number of workshops. In May, Russ Mallard and Bruce Andrews from Atlantic Beef Products (ABP) visited Truro and Berwick to talk to producers about supplying the Island packer with animals. The following week a small group of farmers travelled to P.E.I. to tour ABP and further discuss marketing opportunities. This was very timely because there have been changes to the Certified Island Beef (CIB) program to allow mainland animals into the program – as long as they meet the standards.
To further this development we co-hosted a safe handling workshop with Perennia, Farm Safety Nova Scotia, and Integrity Livestock. Farmers who attended were given a certificate, which is one of the requirements for the CIB program. We hope to host more of these workshops later in the fall and into the winter so that more farms can participate in the program. Thanks to Richard Armstrong for opening up his doors and hosting us at Melvern Simmentals.
August was also a busy month for members of the board. Seven people from Nova Scotia participated, with more than 600 others, in the inaugural Canada Beef Industry Conference in Calgary. It coincided with the Canada Beef annual forum and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s semi-annual meeting. This was a great event, which focused the four pillars of the National Beef Strategy.
Later in August we hosted the second annual Nova Scotia Elite Beef Expo. This year’s show featured more than 130 animals exhibited by more than 27 farms. Martin Bohrson did a fantastic job judging the show and had his hands full selecting champions. We would like to congratulate Windy Knoll Farm from Kingston, and their yearling bull, WKF Cleatus 10C, for repeating as Supreme Male Champion as well as DJ Farms and the cow-calf pair, JEM Classy Lady 4X, for being named Supreme Female Champion. During the show we were pleased to present the Nova Scotia 4-H Royal Beef Team with a $500 donation to help cover their costs to attend this year’s Royal. A special thanks to all of the exhibitors and sponsors, especially ABP, for making this year’s Elite Beef Expo a success.
Last but not least, we are very pleased that the Safe Handling of Cattle and Elite Sire Program is available again this year. There have been some changes to the program to include: scales, scale heads, locking head-gates, and alley-ways. Make sure to check your newsletter or the website for applications. They are due back in the office Oct. 11, 2016. Late applications will not be processed.
(Larry Weatherby is the chair of NSCP. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the NSCP office at 902-893-7455 or email@example.com)
NB Cattle Producers Association
Propelling NBCP forward
by Allison Finnamore
Fall district meetings are coming up. Dates will be announced in the fall newsletter. New Brunswick Cattle Producers (NBCP) members have submitted their mail-in ballots for the plebiscite vote.
The NBCP board of directors proposed revision of the current administration and regulation of New Brunswick Regulation 2001-47 under the Natural Products Act filed June 27, 2001-Cattle Plan Administration Regulation. Improved producer representation on the board and producer engagement in industry will help propel the NBCP forward. The change would also include an annual meeting, where, along with sharing ideas and planning and learning about the industry, three members at large will be elected to the board.
At the same time, licensing of producers will begin with the change – creating a current list of eligible producers who may vote at annual district meetings and the new AGM. All of the details are posted on the NBCP website, www.bovinsnbcattle.ca, and in the Spring 2016 newsletter.
There’s still time to apply for the 2016 Beef Cattle Handling and Weighing System Initiative. Assistance of up to half of the cost of the purchase of animal handling facilities and/or weighing systems is available, up to a maximum of $3,000. The application form and program details are in the “Members/Programs” section of the NBCP website. The application deadline is Sept. 30.
The same deadline is in place for the 2016 Beef Enhancement Herd Health and Quality Initiative, where up to $32 per beef cow-calf pair may be available to help with costs associated with implementing a comprehensive herd health program.
Plans are underway for the 3rd annual Maritime Beef Conference, which will be held in March 2017 in Truro, N.S. Stay tuned for details.
(Allison Finnamore is the editor of FCC Express/Agribusiness and Agri-Food Weekly, publications of Farm Credit Canada. She is also an executive member of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation and the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.)
(For more information on the N.B Cattle Producers please contact Brenda MacLoon at 506-458-8534.)
Prince Edward Island Sheep Breeders Association
Opportunities for producers
by Claude Gallant
The PEI Sheep Breeders Association (PEISBA) board of directors continues to support Island sheep farmers by working with provincial and federal departments through the Growing Forward 2 program. Producers are advised to review the recently revised Agricultural Livestock Enhancement Program for Small Ruminants (Sheep and Goats) distributed to all sheep farmers, and apply for approval under the following initiatives: Genetic Enhancement, Flock/Herd Health Initiatives, and Feed Efficiencies Initiatives. Producers are eligible for assistance provided they meet the following criteria: be a paid PEISBA member, have a premises identification, have attended sponsored training sessions, and own at least five breeding ewes.
According to Statistics Canada, sheep and lambs estimates collected on July 1, 2016 show there has been a modest increase in the Island flock. It has grown 1.5 percent to 6,800 head from Jan. 1, 2016. There are two milking flocks presently making milk and cheese; their products are being sold at Island farmers’ markets and exhibitions.
Under the Growing Forward 2 program, the PEISBA received a training budget allowing Island producers to receive training from Dr. Paula Menzies, DVM, a professor at the University of Guelph, Department of Population Medicine, on Monitoring Udder Health in Sheep and Goats, and on Sheep Parasites and Health. Dr. Menzies will once again be visiting P.E.I. to deliver seminars at the Atlantic Veterinary College on such topics as Putting the NFACC Code of Practice into Action (Friday evening, Sept. 30). She will also be part of an all-day workshop, Saturday, Oct. 1, with Dr. Michael Cockram and Andrew Hebda. For more information please visit www.upei.ca/awc to register, and the link to Recent Notices section-Animal Welfare in Practice 2016-Sheep Welfare.
Claude E. Gallant, P.Ag., Program Coordinator
PEI Sheep Breeders Association