Purebred Beef Spotlight: Jan. 18, 2022
Sales and shows
- Canadian Cattlemen spoke to Leah Jones about her new role as director of Farmfair International. “When the opportunity came … I was very intrigued and very passionate to get back to Farmfair and working with the people that I know in the industry that I love,” she said.
- China, the Philippines, and South Korea have suspended importing Canadian beef after atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was reported in an Alberta cow in mid-December. Dennis Laycraft, executive vice-president for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, expects the ban to be temporary. “Finding a case of atypical is really a great indicator of countries that are doing a really good job of surveillance,” he said.
- Bob Lowe, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, has been named vice-president of Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s executive committee for 2022.
- The Hay West program resulted in feed for just under 17,000 cows by the end of 2021, with another 100 million more pounds of hay from Eastern Canada planned for delivery. “If you were one of the people that got some hay it may have made the difference between selling off part of your herd or all of it,” said Bob Lowe, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
- Melanie Wowk, president of Alberta Beef Producers, told Postmedia that cattle producers were hit especially hard in 2021 with drought, supply chain issues, and rising costs. “A lot of these older producers, I think this could be the final nail in the coffin for them,” she said. “The sad thing is, there is no young people wanting to come up and replace them.”
- The Alberta Beef Producers interviewed Dr. Surya Acharya, who has been recognized with the 2021 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation.
- The Alberta Beef Producers profiled Bob Hahn of Hahn Cattle Co. in the November installment of its trailblazers series. “Building a successful beef business allows Hahn to give back to his community through providing an authentic experience and providing protein to those who need it most,” they wrote.
- Karin Schmid with Alberta Beef Producers told CBC News that cattle can handle the cold weather as long as they have the proper supports, such as windbreaks, and they are kept dry and well fed. She noted some farmers have had to downsize their herds due to dwindling feed supply and rising costs.
- BETSY, which stands for Bovine Expert Tracking and Surveillance, uses artificial intelligence and vision technologies to identify beef and dairy cattle from almost any angle and at a considerable distance. The company is now working with the Canadian Angus Association to develop “unbiased and automated scoring of phenotypes to optimize herd decisions.”
- Flokk Systems, a digital beef herd management and traceability system that was selected as a finalist in the “AgTech Meets BioTech” category of the 2021 Inventures Startup Pitch competition, expects to be available for purchase in spring 2022.
- The three new directors of Beef Australia are Adelaide McDonald, director of beef cattle enterprise MDH Pty Ltd; agribusiness lawyer Trent Thorne; and Cattlesales.com.au co-founder Alisha Parker. Bryce Camm will continue his tenure as chair for the next three years.
- Alberta’s Spruce Ranching Co-op is the subject of a University of Wisconsin study on how to manage wolves without killing them. Ranch manager Joe Engelhart’s methods appear to work, despite being met with skepticism from the industry.
- Jack Daines, who was in charge of the Innisfail Auction Market from 1967 to 2015, passed away on Dec. 28 at the age of 85.
- The Canadian Hereford Association has launched its new brand, “Better Your Beef,” after consultation over the past 18 months with various members of the industry. The organization is also investing in a new breed strategy.
- According to a new Farm Credit Canada report, Canadian meat consumption and demand are declining due to rising prices, lower incomes, and the struggling restaurant industry.
- Agri-Visions is back in-person this year at the Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Association on Feb. 9 and 10. Beef nutrition and management consultant Barry Yaremcio will speak about feeding cattle in a feed shortage.
- Applications are now open for Phase 2 of the 2021 Canada-Alberta Livestock Feed Assistance AgriRecovery initiative. Producers can apply online through the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation.
- More than 3,700 people livestreamed the 50th Canadian Western Agribition‘s livestock shows and sales, and video content was viewed more than 31,000 times. “There is a different story to tell this year, but a successful one nonetheless,” said CEO Chris Lane.
- Seed germination and vigour testing from Alberta samples this fall are “surprisingly good” given last year’s drought, according to Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley.
- Alberta Barley delegates voted in favour of a merger with Alberta Wheat at last month’s AGM. The next step is for Alberta Wheat members to vote at its AGM on Jan. 26. The proposed merger began as a resolution nearly three years ago.
- More than 450 firefighters completed training through the BeGrainSafe initiative in 2021, which trains individuals on how to respond to grain entrapment. The training, organized by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, is supported by Alberta Canola and many other groups and associations.
- Lots of people started keeping chickens in the first year of the pandemic due to concerns about food security, said Cassandra Kirkpatrick, program lead for the Alberta Farm Animal Care Association‘s urban hen and small-flock program. “A lot of people were home more and had more time, so they thought, ‘OK, this could be a good family thing.'” This year, fewer people entered the program.
- Calgary Stampede Agriculture & Western Events CEO Joel Cowley, who recently stepped into the role after serving as president and CEO of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, said the pandemic resulted in a $26 million loss in 2020 and a $16 million loss in 2021. Planning for Calgary Stampede 2022 is underway but Cowley doesn’t expect to host pre-pandemic-sized crowds.
- Canadian Grain Commission chief grain inspector Derek Bunkowsky spoke about his role in a year-end interview. “Shortly after I started as an assistant grain inspector at the CGC, and I saw how things worked, I said to myself, ‘someday I would really like the opportunity to be the chief.’ It took a lot of hard work and determination to get there.”
- Ron Lemaire, president of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, said Canada’s requirement for truck drivers to show proof of vaccination when crossing the Canada-U.S. border is pushing up freight costs and could lead to a reduction in fruit available. “I have heard anecdotally that truckers are looking to stop hauling perishable products as there are too many risks if they are delayed in their delivery,” he said.
- The Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition may be cancelled for the third year in a row due to safety issues with the Stetson Bowl. “It’s not looking good right now for the rodeo,” said president Gerry Spielmacher. The organization said the Country Fair will still go ahead.
- TrustBIX has engaged Lethbridge-based P&C Ventures Inc. to advise on growth opportunities and “the deployment of existing and future technologies across key industries.”
- Farm Credit Canada has expanded its young farmer loan, young entrepreneur loan, and starter loan. “We just want to ensure that additional capital is available to young farmers and entrepreneurs and ensuring that the industry continues to remain strong, vibrant and innovative so we can continue to grow in a competitive global market,” said Curtis Grainger, FCC’s director of lending products and sustainability.
- Federated Co-operatives Limited and AGT Foods have announced plans for a $2 billion integrated agriculture complex in Regina. The facility will include a $360 million canola crushing plant.
- Farm technology programs at Lakeland College and Olds College are critical to train farm technology integrators that can help producers take advantage of the new digital services and data analytics that are available, said Robert Saik, CEO of AGvisorPRO.
- Lethbridge College has partnered with Hanlon Ag to provide high-precision, real-time kinematic navigation systems, used to support precision agriculture, for students.
- A research project at Olds College‘s Smart Farm has evaluated five soil sensors for accuracy and ease of use. The key learning is that connectivity is key.
- The National Western Stock Show, on until Jan. 23 in Denver, is “back in full force” after being cancelled last year.
Opportunities and invitations
« Round-Up – December 2021
Round-Up – February 2022 »