Sask. cattle producers to double checkoff

Members of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association have approved a plan to double the provincial checkoff levy on cattle sales to $2 a head.

The decision came in the form of a resolution passed at the SCA’s recent annual meeting in Saskatoon, noting lobbying expenses and international marketing expenses "continue to increase" while the provincial checkoff hasn’t risen since it was doubled to $1 in 1987.

When the checkoff is formally raised, Saskatchewan will be "one of the last provinces to increase its provincial levy from $1 to $2," SCA past chairman Bob Ivey of Ituna, Sask. said in a release Monday.

Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario doubled their provincial levies to $2 in 2004, 2006 and 2008 respectively, Ivey said, noting those four provinces "make up more than 90 per cent of the cattle marketings in Canada."

Having spoken to the resolution with a presentation to that effect, Ivey said Saskatchewan producers will now be able to "carry our share of the load in helping open new markets, research new technologies, educate people on the value of beef and provide the services this industry needs."

SCA members, meeting in Saskatoon, also elected their five representatives to the board of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, including Brent Griffin, Pat Hayes and Reg Schellenberg, who will each serve two-year terms, while Lynn Grant and Kevin Woods will serve a year.

The association also introduced its new board of directors at the meeting, including its new chairman, Mark Elford, a cow-calf operator from Wood Mountain, about 165 km southwest of Moose Jaw.

District representatives to the SCA board include Ryan Beierbach, Bill Jameson, Larry Grant, Rick Toney, Fred Lansdall, Howard Toews, Paula Larson, Michael Spratt, Ryan Sommerfeld and David Stuart, plus Ryan Thompson and Brad Welter representing the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association, Lloyd Thompson and Doug Gillespie for the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and, in his role as SCA past-chairman, Jack Hextall.

The SCA was set up in 2009 as a checkoff-funded cattle industry development commission, endorsed by both the SCFA and SCGA as the umbrella group representing Saskatchewan cattle producers.

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