Beef Industry News
100th Anniversary SK STOCK GROWERS AGM
The 100th Anniversary convention of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers is scheduled for June 9-11 in Moose Jaw, where it all began. For information, visit skstockgrowers.com.
MANITOBA YOUTH WIN PUREBRED HEIFERS
Jared Preston, a 17 year old from Ste. Rose du Lac, Kolton McIntosh, a 17 year old from Eriksdale and Rachel Howatt, a 15 year old from Manitou, were the 2012 recipients of the Grant Moffat Herdbuilder Award. >> Read more . . .
Manitoba’s Kemp wins Canadian National Judging Competition
It was an eventful week for Megan Kemp at Canadian Western Agribition; Kemp won Grand Aggregate in the 2012 Canadian National 4-H & Youth Judging Competition.
>> Read more . . .
Canada’s Beef Industry at “Profound Tipping Point” Report Says
Canada’s beef industry is at risk of becoming a net importer of beef according to a new study released by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI). The study says that the beef industry is at a “profound tipping point” and concluded that corrective action is needed in order for the industry to become a leading provider for a much needed protein – beef for a growing world population. Read the news story HERE - the complete report is available on the CAPI website HERE (click on the report cover).
SK PCAP Hires new Manager
Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan (SK PCAP) is pleased to announce the hiring of Natasha Wilkie as the new Manager for the organization. Read more . . .
NEW SINGLE NATIONAL TRACEABILITY SERVICE CREATED
The Harper Government has announced an investment in the new Canadian Agri-Traceability Services (CATS) during the Calgary Stampede. CATS will bring together the combined experience of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ) to reduce costs and simplify data reporting. Once established, the new, independent CATS organization will provide traceability data services for the CCIA, ATQ, and other stakeholders. Read more on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website.
CANADIAN BEEF SUPPLIES LIKELY TO CONTINUE SHRINKING
A recent article at droverscattlenetwork.com predicts continued shrinking beef supplies in Canada over the short term as we keep more females to replenish the herd. It goes on to say "A recovery in demand combined with the smaller supply will likely underpin significantly higher beef prices both in the US and Canada not just in 2012 but in the next few years." Some interesting facts quoted are:
• Shipments of slaughter cows to the US in 2011 were down 24% from the year before;
• Canadian cow slaughter (based on weekly data) declined about 13% from the previous year
• Producers on January 1, 2011 indicated heifer retention for beef cow replacement was up 2.9% from the previous year and in the Jan 1, 2012 beef cow replacements were up 4.3%.
Read the complete article from CME Group HERE.
GENEX MARKETS PREGNANCY TEST
Genex Cooperative, Inc. is marketing the DG29™ bovine pregnancy test in Ontario, Western Canada and the Maritimes. DG29 is an easy-to-use blood pregnancy test allowing producers to draw blood samples from their cattle on the farm or ranch, forward samples to a certified laboratory, and receive pregnancy diagnosis results quickly and accurately via fax or email. Read more . . .
$750,000 INVESTMENT in QUANTUM GENETICS
The Agri-Opportunities program is investing $750,000 in Quantum Genetics Canada Inc. to commercialize a new technology that is now helping producers send their cattle to market at the optimum time. The project will create 30 jobs in Saskatchewan, generating new revenues for the Canadian-based company and reducing operating costs of feedlot operators. >> Read more . . .
US BEEF CHECKOFF GOES DOWN MEMORY LANE
Do you remember when a movie ticket cost under four bucks? It was 25 years ago when the US National Beef Checkoff first started at $1/head (and still is). Read the new series featuring the successes and challenges of the program since its inception HERE. Note that beef is the #1 selling protein in the US at 64.1 lbs./person - latest statistics from Statistics Canada (2009) put beef consumption at around 50 lbs./person per year.
SIMMENTAL AWARDED $1.7 MILLION RESEARCH INVESTMENT
The Government of Canada has announced an investment of $1.7 million to the Canadian Simmental Association from the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). Using DNA and other genetic data, this three-year project will help cattle breeders identify, select and breed cattle that have higher fertility and mothering ability, growth and feed efficiency, and produce a more desirable beef product. Under CAAP, projects can receive up to 85% funding. Read the news release HERE.
NEW STUDY FINDS STAPH IN ALMOST 50% OF US MEAT
A new study by Dr. Lance Price, director of the Center for Microbiomics and Human Health at the Translational Genomic Research Institute, reports finding Staphylococcus aureus in almost 50% of US meat. The study tested 136 samples of meat and poultry from five cities nationwide, finding that 47 per cent were contaminated with Staph and that more than half that Staph was of the drug-resistant variety. Their results were published recently in the journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases. Anti-meat bloggers are now having a hayday despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documenting a 20% reduction in illnesses caused by the pathogens it tracks over the past 10 years.
Read stories in the Los Angeles Times including response from the meat industry (pointing out the study's flaws) along with a follow up on the author's recommendations on TheBeefSite.com. Even though the study concludes that animals are the predimonant source, the cause of Staph in meat appears to be unclear and highly debatable.
LESS THAN 12% OF US FOOD DOLLAR REPRESENTED BY FARMS
The newest figures from the USDA show that farms and agribusinesses now represent less than 12% of every US food dollar. This handy chart from US National Corn Growers Association Blog (click chart to enlarge) asks when will consumers realize higher food prices could be caused by the other 88% of costs involved? More information here from the USDA's website.
Can Canada's be much different? Statistics Canada shows that even while beef prices were at their lowest over the past few years, the average retail price increased - view their figures here. This year Food Freedom Day was February 12th - marking the calendar date by which the average Canadian earned enough to pay the entire year's grocery bill. Charts comparing commodity and retail prices in Canada from 1979 to 2009 (apparently the latest data available) can be found on the Canadian Federation of Agriculture's website here (fresh and frozen beef chart on the right).
WHOLE FOODS ADOPTS ANIMAL WELFARE RATING
If you want to have a look into the where the future of livestock food production is heading read about the "5 step" rating system newly adopted by Whole Foods Market in the US. Whole Foods, a retailer specialising in organic and high-welfare foods, has a significant following (even if not everyone can afford the prices) and is regularly featured on Top Chef and similar programs on The Food Network. The Animal Welfare Rating System is the signature programme of Global Animal Partnership, a non-profit organization "that facilitates and encourages continuous improvement in animal agriculture." Full story on TheBeefSite.com HERE.
'SPONSOR A STEAK FOR A SOLDIER' NEEDS YOUR HELP
Harvey and Jackie Dann of Alert Agri Distributors Inc. in Manitoba are asking for help to "Sponsor a Steak for a Returning Soldier & Their Loved One". The idea is to supply a great Canadian steak for servicemen and women returning from active duty at homecomings held at bases across the country. Over 12,000 steaks will be required over a two year period with ribeyes and New York strips on the menu. This is being organized to show the beef industy's recognition and appreciation for service while deployed in Afghanistan and other locations throughout the world as members of the Canadian Military. To learn more about the program or to contribute, CLICK HERE.
CATTLE NEED A RIDE? CHECK OUT Cowpool.ca
In all aspects of the purebred cattle business, efficient management practises have become a necessity of survival. One of the noticable expenditures is delivery of animals across the country. All too often, cattlemen are seen on the highway with half a load, or worse still, an empty back haul. Out of a brainstorming session with cattleman, came an idea to raise efficiency with no cost to producers - cowpool.ca.
Cattlemen are invited to go on the site and enter information and read what is already there. It is hoped it will encourage efficiency and help everyone save a few dollars. "During the busy bull sale season, I always get calls from producers wondering if I know of anyone hauling cattle one direction or another. We try to help guys get their loads together instead of everyone making individual trips, but you always hear of someone who just made the trip and could have taken a few more head. We thought by putting it on the net, we would be able to broaden the scope for longer hauls and access a larger pool of producers. I usually know what is happening in a few breeds, but if all breeds participate, the benefits will multiply," says Helge By, co-owner of By Livestock, the company behind the idea. "It just seemed a natural extension of the services we provide. We're always looking for ways to help." For further information contact: Helge By 306-536-4261.
(We think this is a terrific idea and fits right into the EverythingAngus philosophy. Be sure to visit cowpool.ca before you head out on that next long haul.)
Are you buying Canadian Food?
According to the video "Choose Canadian" produced by the makers of Hellmann's Mayonnaise the chances are slim unless you make a conscious effort. Did you know that over a 15 year period our food imports have risen 160% while Canada's population only rose 15%? That includes a 600 (yes, I said 600) per cent rise in red meat imports over the last 40 years. That might just explain the current state of the beef industry in Canada.
To view the video, CLICK HERE or visit EatRealEatLocal.ca (newest version of Flash is required to view the Hellmann's site.) The video has been making the email rounds and is definitely worth passing on to all your city friends and contacts. To insert a link to the video in an email, link to the EverythingAngus "Where's the Beef" blog named Angus Beef Canada HERE: http://www.angusbeefcanada.blogspot.com (copy and paste). And remember to pass on your local sources of Angus Beef so city folks know where to find the good stuff.
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