Quebec to deploy advisory team for beef producers

Quebec’s agriculture ministry plans to set up a team of 15 “front-line” advisors to provide consulting services to the province’s beef cattle producers.

The service, which provincial Agriculture Minister Pierre Corbeil announced Wednesday, is meant to focus on the technical, agronomic and genetic aspects of the business and help ranchers improve their operations’ effectiveness.

Such experts can provide information to help see producers through changes in how they’re expected to operate in the context of current market conditions, Corbeil said.

The ag ministry (MAPAQ) said the new beef industry advisors will operate through Reseau Agriconseils, an ag consulting network based out of 14 regional offices across the province.

But while the Reseau Agriconseils is backed by the federal/provincial Growing Forward ag policy funding framework, funding for the new advisors for beef cattle producers will come from MAPAQ’s five-year transition fund for farmers to adjust to changes in Quebec’s ag income stabilization (ASRA) program.

Part of that $100 million fund, pledged last October, was earmarked to support business counselling services for farmers and ranchers to improve their operations, business plans and finances.

The province also pledged part of the fund for financial analysis and development of business plans, to help farms modernize or improve their competitive position.

The new team of beef cattle experts will be gradually deployed into the various regions of the province, the ag ministry said Wednesday. Ranchers interested in the new service are asked to call MAPAQ toll-free at 1-888-830-6340.

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