Head Office Atlantic Beef Summer 2016

NS Cattle Producers
Cattle prices cooling down
by Larry Weatherby
    Although the weather is starting to warm up we are starting to see cattle prices cool down.  Feeder prices are starting to settle back after climbing over the past year. We have also seen fat cattle prices drop off with futures prices almost flat for the remainder of the spring and summer.
    It has been a very busy spring for the new board of the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers. I want to start by thanking Rose MacDonald and Randy Neily for serving as directors of the NSCP. They have represented their zones very well over their terms. I would also like to welcome Alicia King and Dean Manning from Zones 2 and 5, respectively as well as Victor Oulton, director-at-large, who will be joining the board for the upcoming year.
    At our annual meeting in February, members voted to increase the provincial portion of checkoff to $3.50 and the national portion to $2.50. This means that starting on Jan. 1, 2017 the total checkoff will be $6 plus HST each time an animal is marketed. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have also voted for the same increase, meaning that we are one more step closer to harmonizing our regulations. Other provinces are also in varying stages of the approval process and we expect all checkoff increases to be implemented in early 2017.
    In March several Nova Scotia producers participated in the second annual Maritime Beef Conference in Moncton. The conference focused on growing healthy forages, healthy cattle, and healthy profits, and featured many speakers from across the Maritimes and Canada. There was also a strong focus on youth leadership and the young speaker panel was a highlight of the weekend. NSCP is very pleased to announce that we will be hosting the 2017 Maritime Beef Conference on March 17 and 18 at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro and our annual general meeting will be held at the same time.
    The first beef industry event of its kind in Canada, the Canadian Beef Industry Conference will be held Aug. 9-11 at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in Calgary, Alberta. The CBIC is a joint collaboration by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), Canada Beef, the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC), and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). For more information, please visit: www.canadianbeefindustryconference.com/wordpress.  
    2015 was the second year for the Safe Handling of Cattle Program, which had more funding available to individuals than in 2014. We were also very happy to add the Elite Sire Program, which helped level the playing field with our neighboring provinces. We expect that these programs will be available this year, with some slight modifications. Once we have the details finalized, we will be sure to send guidelines and applications to all producers.
    From Aug. 25 to 27 we will be hosting the second annual Nova Scotia Elite Beef Expo as part of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Truro. The format of the Expo will be the same as last year, though we are hoping to expand the number of exhibitors and the number of animals that participate. Additional show information will be available in the next newsletter as well as at www.nscattle.ca/expo. 
    It looks like we will have a much better spring than last year. Here’s to hoping that fencing will be done, cattle will soon be on pasture, and it won’t be long until we are making hay. 

(Larry Weatherby is the chair of NSCP. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the NSCP office at 902-893-7455 or office@nscattle.ca.)

Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia
Future annual meetings will be held in the fall
by Fred Hamilton
    Spring has sprung, the days are longer, the sun is warmer, the grass is greener, and most lambs are now on the ground and hopefully doing well. It won’t be long until flocks go to pasture and the hay season is upon us. Since the annual meeting in January we have been busy planning spring workshops, completing last year’s research projects, and getting proposals in for funding for this year.
    At this year’s annual meeting, the membership elected Joseph Leck and re-elected Marc Pyle and myself to the board for three-year terms that will end in 2019. I am much honored to have been re-elected as president and will be joined by Vice President Matt Lynch and Secretary-Treasurer Marc Pyle on the executive. We continue to struggle with attendance at the SPANS annual meeting, mostly related to the time of year. This year we faced yet another snow and ice storm which kept both speakers and members from attending. To help with this situation we will be proposing a bylaw change to shift our fiscal year-end to September 30. This will allow us to hold our AGM in the fall.
    Dr. Gwyneth Jones continues to be a Canadian leader in parasite control research and we are very pleased to participate in her research projects. She has completed a third season of sampling and we have applied for this research to continue in the coming year. SPANS has worked with two additional project leaders to submit funding applications. The first is a carcass quality and evaluation project and the second is a fleece value-adding and marketing project. With approval we will be looking for some producers to participate, so please be open to working with the various project coordinators. 
    On June 3 and 4 SPANS will be hosting parasite control and flock health workshops with special guest presenters Dr. Gwyneth Jones and Dr. Paula Menzies. These workshops will provide an opportunity for producers to be updated on the research conducted over the past three years. It is also an opportunity to ask flock health-related questions to two of the Canadian leaders in parasites and sheep health. On June 3 the workshop will be hosted at my farm in Lower Onslow starting at 6 pm and on June 4 at 1 pm at the Super 8 in Windsor.
    2015 was the second year for the Sheep Handling and Parasite Control Program, which had more funding available to individuals than in 2014. We were also very happy to add the Elite Ram Program that provided funding for improving flock genetics by purchasing rams. We expect that these programs will be available this year, with some slight modifications. Once we have the details finalized, we will be sure to send guidelines and applications to all producers.
    Over the past couple of months Brad has been working with Select Nova Scotia to develop and print a new recipe card. I encourage you to contact Brad if you are looking for printed resources like fact sheets, recipes, cut charts, or other marketing materials.

(Fred Hamilton is the president of SPANS. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the SPANS office at 902-893-7455.)

NB Cattle Producers Association
Plebiscite vote soon
by Allison Finnamore
    New Brunswick Cattle Producers’ board of directors proposes revisions of the current administration regulation: NB Regulation 2001-47 under the Natural Products Act Filed June 27, 2001-Cattle Plan Administration Regulation.
    The goal is to improve producer representation on the board and producer engagement in the industry. If approved, NBCP will hold an annual general meeting where producers, dealers, and industry partners will have the chance to share knowledge and brainstorm on ways to grow the beef industry. At the new AGM, three members at large will be elected to the board. Also, districts will be reworked from eight to five. The number of board members will remain at eight. 
    Licensing of producers will also begin with this change, which ties in with NBCP Cross Compliance and Member in Good Standing Policies. The current annual Producer Registration form remains the same. This will help create and keep a current list of eligible producers for voting at annual district meetings and the new AGM. 
    Complete details, mailed out earlier this spring, are also posted on www.bovinesnbcattle.ca. Producers will receive the plebiscite voter card soon, and have until Aug. 31 to vote and return it. 
    2016 Beef Cattle Handling and Weighing System Initiative
    Financial assistance of up to 50 percent towards the purchase of animal handling facilities and/or weighing systems is available to NBCP members through a 2016 initiative. The maximum assistance is $3,000 per farm. Funds are limited, and on a first-come/first-served basis.
    Application deadline is Sept. 30, 2016. Claim form deadline is Dec. 9, 2016. The application form and program guidelines are available at www.bovinesnbcattle.ca.
    2016 Beef Enhancement Herd Health and Quality Initiative
    Producers can receive financial assistance to a maximum of $32 per beef cow-calf pair for costs associated with implementing a comprehensive herd health program. Funds are paid out on a pro-rated basis per cow-calf pair.
    Deadline to apply is Sept. 30. Claim form deadline is Jan. 6, 2017. The application form and program guidelines are available on www.bovinesnbcattle.ca.
    Garvie Mountain Angus is Beef Producer of the Year
    Trevor Welch of Garvie Mountain Angus is the 2015 N.B. Cattle Producers Beef Producer of the Year. The award was presented at the 2016 Maritime Beef Council’s annual conference in Moncton in March.
    Welch is the third generation on the Glassville land that he now farms with his father, Fred, and son, Taylor. They raise purebred Angus cattle and are New Brunswick’s only Verified Beef Production operation. The family has a comprehensive crop and pasture management plan. They have also an excellent relationship with the region’s potato growers. Welch hired agronomists to develop crop management strategies and sought support to develop a strategic rotational grazing program. 

(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.)

PEI Cattle Producers
New Levy Order being written
by Rinnie Bradley
    It’s great to see the farmers out in full swing tilling and planting the land. While the winter was manageable (compared to the previous one) most are anxious to get outside and get things done. This results in less time for meetings and provides an opportunity for staff to roll up our sleeves and get some tasks done. One such task is the development of the new levy system that was approved during the PEICP’s annual general meeting in April. The new levy will increase to $6 and will be collected on every transaction. A new Levy Order has to be written that will reflect the method of collection, as well as the increase in the amount. The implementation date for the new system is Jan. 1, 2017. Over the next few months we will be reviewing every detail to ensure the process is well presented and seamless to follow. While that is our goal, the reality is that this will be a learning curve for all involved including the PEICP, and we ask producers for their patience and understanding. 
    David McCloskey was recognized during the AGM for his six years of dedication to the beef industry where he served on the PEICP’s board of directors. David served as the secretary-treasurer during his last term and represented the PEICP on the Maritime Beef Test Station board. “Thanks David for your commitment and dedication to the industry, we wish you all the best!” We also welcomed a new member to the board. Peter Dixon from the Bannockburn Road will replace David. We welcome Peter, and look forward to working with him for the betterment of the industry.
    The Certified Island Beef brand continues to do well in the marketplace. The CIB Committee is looking at expanding the brand to include calves from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, however, this can’t happen overnight. These calves still must be finished on P.E.I. in a Certified Feedlot. As many of you know, CIB is a “certified brand” which requires all animals to meet the brand requirements before they qualify for the premium. Certification goes beyond the animal and involves an on-farm audit. CIB producers must attend a Humane Handling Workshop and all animals must be Age Verified and traced. It has taken countless hours of planning and a three-year implementation period to get where we are today. The expansion into our neighboring provinces is necessary for the growth of the brand, but will take some organization and cooperation with our counterparts in N.S. and N.B. It’s our intention to implement this change as soon as possible.   
    P.E.I. Burger Love just completed its sixth successful season. The winner this year was the The Brick-inator from the Brickhouse Kitchen and Bar. More than 163,000 burgers were sold during the month of April! That’s a lot of beef for this small province, but while it doesn’t translate into a major impact on the industry, it certainly puts the P.E.I. beef industry in the limelight for the month of April. Thanks to all our suppliers, restaurants, and consumers for taking part in this year’s campaign and supporting Island beef!

(Rinnie Bradley is Executive Director of the P.E.I. Cattle Producers. She can be reached at 902-368-2229 or by email at cattlemen@eastlink.ca.)