Newfoundland seeks beef cattle breeder

(Photo courtesy Canadian Hereford Association)

The Newfoundland and Labrador government’s plan to build up cattle breeding within the province is advancing a step as the province seeks a farmer to mind a small Hereford herd.

The province on Tuesday put out a call for proposals from farmers to take on a five-year contract handling a herd of five breeding cows for “research and development purposes.”

The request seeks proposals from “existing commercial farmers or new farmers who have had past experience in raising beef cattle (and) who would like to help advance the genetic diversity of the beef industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The deadline for proposals is 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 23.

Rising beef prices have boosted interest in the beef cattle industry in the province, the government said in a release.

The province said it hopes to “expand the level of breeding available so that there is less need for producers to acquire superior-quality, purebred beef cattle from outside the province.”

Bringing in purebreds “will eventually allow producers to look within the local industry to acquire breeding stock and to produce quality beef without the additional high costs of transportation from outside the province.”

The province’s fisheries and land resources department, which oversees support for the ag sector, last year partnered with a Daniel’s Harbour dairy farm to raise five beef cattle.

“Initial assessments of the growth and health of this herd at Spruce Grove Dairy Farm have been positive to date,” the province said Tuesday.

Spruce Grove Dairy Farm’s Shawn Perry said Tuesday the project has “resulted in significant growth and development in our operation” and that “as opportunities to improve the genetics of provincial beef herds arise, this will be a game changer for the beef industry.”

Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture president Mervin Wiseman said the move “represents a significant building block in the establishment of a viable beef industry for the province.” — Network

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