Head Office Atlantic Beef Spring 2018

PEI Cattle Producers
Keeping producers informed
by Rinnie Bradley
    The Prince Edward Island Cattle Producers held their spring district meetings in February. These meetings provide an opportunity for producers to meet with their representatives. A review of the anticipated expectations of the new traceability regulations as well as the changes to the use of antibiotics in animal health care were some of the topics covered. It is our objective to keep producers informed about changes that could affect them. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to get the latest available information. 
    The Certified Island Beef brand is growing consistently. Cow-calf producers from Nova Scotia or New Brunswick who are interested in participating in the brand, or who are currently selling to P.E.I. feedlots on the brand, are encouraged to contact Jena Nicholson, the CIB coordinator at 902- 368-2229. She can explain the premium and walk you through the process to become audited under the brand.
    Jena is also the coordinator for the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) in P.E.I. and N.L. The VBP+ program provides the national beef industry the opportunity to enhance consumer confidence in the beef they produce. This pilot program out of Cargill in Alberta aims to build industry momentum for beef sustainability in Canada. Please contact Jena for more information on the VBP+ program.   
    We have had great uptake on the Agriculture Livestock Enhancement Program Beef Project 2017-18. The details for the next round of these programs are not available yet. Please stay tuned.  
    April 1 will mark the first anniversary of the new levy for the PEI Cattle Producers. Producers are reminded that levies are payable on every sale of cattle at the rate of $6 plus HST. 
    This applies to the sale of all types of cattle including bob calves. Remittance forms, found on the “Levies” tab on the PEICP website, must accompany your payment. Thanks to those of you who have submitted levies so far. The PEICP will be pursuing unpaid levies through audits and cross-compliance of programs. For those who have not remitted their levies, please be aware of the impact this has on your organization’s ability to offer programs and services provincially, regionally, and nationally through our partners. If you have any questions on levy remittance, please contact the PEICP office or refer to our Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Levies document on our website.
    March 29 marks the launch of the eighth annual P.E.I. Burger Love! Which restaurant will you visit this year? Make sure you plan to try one or more of these culinary creations available during the month of April.
    All producers are encouraged to attend the Maritime Beef Conference in Moncton, N.B., on March 16 and 17. A Young Beef Farmers’ session, “Financing Options” takes place on Friday afternoon from 1-5 p.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear a terrific line-up of presenters, including world renowned animal handling specialist, Dr. Temple Grandin. We hope to see you there!
    April 4 has been set aside for the PEICP’s AGM. It will be held at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown beginning at 6:30 p.m. Details will be available shortly. Resolutions must be provided to the board a minimum of two weeks prior to the meeting. 

(Rinnie Bradley is the executive director of the PEI Cattle Producers. She can be reached at 902-368-2229 or by email at cattlemen@eastlink.ca.)

NS Cattle Producers
Big turnout for zone meetings
by Larry Weatherby
    Shubenacadie Sam told us that we were in for an early spring and judging by the recent weather he may just be right. For most of Nova Scotia, the winter has been warmer than usual and we have had very little snow. I am just hoping this doesn’t lead to water issues as we move into spring and summer.  The Nova Scotia Cattle Producers has been busy preparing for winter and spring workshops, meetings, and events since our last meeting and it looks like it will be a jammed spring.
    I want to start off by thanking everyone who attended the zone meetings during the early part of January – we had the best turnout in several years. I also want to thank Dr. Claire Windeyer who joined us on our cross-province tour and spoke at each of the meetings on early calf health and the importance of colostrum to newborn calves. If you were unable to make the meetings, please let us know and we can provide a copy of her presentation.  
    In NSCP elections this year, Danford Murphy was re-elected in Zone 1, Larry Weatherby was re-elected in Zone 4, and Bert Meyer was elected as the dealer representative. As the result of the changes to our marketing plan, there will not be an election for a director at the 2018 AGM. I would like to thank Curtis Moxsom for his commitment and input on the board over his three-year term.
    I also want to thank everyone who attended the annual general meeting that was held on March 3 in Truro. I hope everyone enjoyed the revised format with the business meeting in the morning and guest speakers in the afternoon. For those who couldn’t make the meeting, we want to thank John Masswohl, from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, who provided an in-depth overview of the changing trade landscape and an update on several trade negotiations, as well as Duane Ellard, from Canada Beef, who explained several of the domestic promotional campaigns.
    At the AGM, we also presented the Kings Mutual Producer of the Year award to K.B. Kinsman and Son Farm Limited from Port Williams. Keith and Diane Kinsman have been farming cattle for more than 40 years. Keith works in the barns every day alongside longtime employee Cody Legge and his grandson Kameron, who helps when he is not in school. Diane plays an important role keeping everyone organized and also does the bookkeeping. Congratulations, Keith and family.  
    By the time you are reading this it will be almost time for the Maritime Beef Conference. You still have a couple of days to register and attend what will be the biggest event of the spring. It has a great line-up of presentations and speakers, featuring Dr. Temple Grandin.
    Another mark of spring is the arrival of bull sale season. We encourage anyone looking to improve their genetics to attend the Balamore Farms Thickness Sells Bull and Heifer Sale on March 24, starting at 2 p.m. at Atlantic Stockyards, as well as the Beef Test Station Breeding Stock Sale on April 7, starting at 1 p.m. in Nappan.
    Make sure you checkout our newsletter later this month for upcoming spring workshops as well as more information on the 2018 Canada Beef Industry Conference to be held in London, Ontario. As always, if you have any questions or comments or suggestions for workshops, don’t hesitate to contact the office. We have recently joined Facebook and Twitter to make connecting with producers much easier.

(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.)

NB Cattle Producers
Levy increase, VBP+, and CAP
by Allison Finnamore
Legal issues resolved
    The New Brunswick Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of the N.B. Cattle Producers, clearing the way for a levy increase from $3 to $6 per head. The decision is good news for the organization, which can now focus 100 percent on its plans to strengthen and expand the province’s beef industry.
    The NBCP held a plebiscite vote in 2016 in which members agreed to a levy increase from $3 to $6. The plebiscite process was challenged in front of the N.B. Farm Products Commission. Its ruling, in favour of the NBCP, was appealed, and that landed the matter in front of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal. The appeal court’s decision was rendered in January.
    As well as the levy increase, five organizational changes that have been on hold since the legal proceedings began in 2016 are also now in effect. They are:
1. Eligible producers must hold a current NBCP license.
2. The NBCP regions would be reorganized.
3. The board of directors would now include members-at-large.
4. The NBCP would begin holding annual meetings.
5. The NBCP board would have authority to remove a member if required.
    “Our goal with these changes has always been to improve producer representation at the board level and producer engagement in our industry,” says NBCP chairperson Nathan Phinney.

    Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) is a nationally recognized program for beef operations, recognizing producers for good on-farm practices that they follow every day. The program was developed to give consumers and retailers confidence that producers are adhering to the highest standards for food safety, animal care, and environmental stewardship.
    “Consumers are concerned about how their food is raised, which is driving changes to regulations and policies,” says Ellen Crane, industry coordinator at the Maritime Beef Council. “New Canadian beef export markets such as China and Europe will require good record keeping. VBP+ can verify responsible management practices.”
    Training workshops have been held in Miramichi, Dieppe, Sussex, Woodstock, and Fredericton and a total of 24 New Brunswick farmers received VBP+ training, which is a requirement of the program. To become a fully registered VBP+ operation, the operation must also complete the audit. For additional information visit the Verified Beef Production Plus website (verifiedbeefproductionplus.ca) or contact Ellen Crane by emailing maritimebeefcouncil@gmail.com or phoning 902-969-1632.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership
    On Canada’s Agriculture Day, Ottawa launched its six federal programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial, and territorial governments to strengthen the agricultural sector. They are: AgriMarketing, AgriCompetitiveness, AgriScience, AgriInnovate, AgriDiversity, and AgriAssurance.
    Continuing to move the organization forward to meet the goals as set out by the Maritime Beef Expansion Program, NBCP is applying to these CAP programs for the year ahead. Watch for program announcements in upcoming newsletters, on the NBCP Facebook page (@NewBrunswickCattleProducers) and on Twitter (@BovinsNBCattle).

(Allison Finnamore, based in Moncton, N.B., is the editor of FCC Express, a publication of Farm Credit Canada. She is also a partner in Cultivating Communications, an agricultural communications company, and she is an executive member of local, national, and international farm journalist organizations.)

Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia
Survey part of SPANS production strategy
by Fred Hamilton
    Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring and so far it looks like he may be correct, let’s hope the good weather continues into summer. By this point most of us are well into lambing season and those who aren’t will be starting in the coming weeks. 
    Meghan Spares has joined the board of the Sheep Producers’ Association of Nova Scotia. At the SPANS annual meeting, Fred Hamilton was re-elected as president, Joseph Lech was elected vice-president and Canadian Sheep Federation director, and Meghan Spares was elected secretary-treasurer for the coming year. 
    I would like to thank all producers who have agreed to participate in SPANS’ research initiatives, whether it was the carcass ultra-sounding with CDPQ (Centre de développement du porcs du Québec), the maedi visna research coordinated by Cathy Vallis, or the ongoing Haemonchus research that Gwyneth Jones is working on. We are very fortunate to have these dedicated project leaders working on our behalf. As all of these projects will be coming to an end over the next month, and we will post results and reports on the website. On March 20, CDPQ will be holding a webinar to review the results. More details are available in the most recent SPANS newsletter.
    I would like to encourage all sheep producers to attend the 2018 All Canada Classic being held from July 5-7 at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Complex in Truro. This is a spectacular event that will bring sheep breeders from across the country together for a show, sale, and hospitality. For more details and a complete list of events, please visit www.sheepbreeders.ca.
    Recently the SPANS board has starting working on a strategy to improve and increase sheep production in the province. As part of this, we are conducting a survey of producers to gather baseline information on production and marketing. This information is very important so we can understand the complex structure of the industry and it can be used as we move forward. To participate in the survey, please visit www.nssheep.ca/survey. As part of this process we will also be reaching out to producers to provide feedback on the strategy.
    Make sure you check the newsletter and website for a full listing of upcoming meetings and workshops. As always, if you have any questions or comments or suggestions for workshops, don’t hesitate to contact the office. We have recently joined Facebook and Twitter to make connecting with producers much easier.

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