Improved trade access could mean $100/head

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is hopeful the new federal export market-access secretariat and other initiatives will significantly increase trade over the next few years.

CCA President Brad Wildeman says, creating the new market-access secretariat to work full-time on aggressively and strategically pursuing international markets could add $100 per head to the value of a beef animal for Canadian producers. “With the co-ordinating efforts of the secretariat’s trade experts, industry and government trade initiatives will work cohesively to promote agricultural exports worldwide and work effectively to eliminate any technical barriers to Canadian exports,” says Wildeman. The move is one of several key industry recommendations developed by CCA and its seven industry partners.

CCA Foreign Trade Chair, Travis Toews of Beaverlodge, AB, says, “If our full recommendations are adopted, by 2015 it could result in up to $6.3 billion in additional exports and employ up to 93,000 Canadians, annually contributing $300 million in federal tax revenue and $3 billion of labour income.”

Only two of Canada’s top 10 markets, pre-BSE, have fully lifted market restrictions, despite the fact that the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines clearly states full trade in all beef products should resume provided that specified risk materials are removed. The comprehensive 25-point strategy, presented to the federal government at the fall meeting of the Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT), focuses on enhancing Canada’s market access negotiating capabilities to restore and secure economically-meaningful access to foreign markets lost to BSE.

For information on the proposed agricultural market access strategy, presented by the CCA and its partners at the BVRCT meeting, as well as link to the federal government’s announcement, visit our website at www.cattle.ca.

BLESSED CANADA

On the sixth day God turned to the Archangel Gabriel and said: “Today I am going to create a land called Canada. It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty. It shall have tall majestic mountains full of mountain goats, and eagles, beautiful sparkling lakes bountiful with bass and trout, forests full of elk and moose, high cliffs overlooking sandy beaches with an abundance of sea life, and rivers stocked with salmon.”

God continued, “I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the inhabitants prosper, I shall call these inhabitants Canadians, and they shall be known as the most friendly people on the earth.”

“But Lord,” asked Gabriel “don’t you think you are being too generous to these Canadians?”

“Not really,” replied God “just wait and see the winters I am going to give them.”

U OF C CHAIR

The University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) has announced the first research chair to be held in the faculty. The Simpson Ranch Chair in Beef Health and Wellness is named for John Simpson, a local rancher, business owner and supporter of UCVM.

UCVM will be recruiting for a professor to hold the Simpson Ranch Chair in Beef Health and Wellness. The successful candidate will be involved in developing UCVM’s research program related to beef health and wellness; seeking to build strength in important areas, including surveillance and control of production limiting and zoonotic diseases, reproduction, and beef quality and safety.

“This faculty was established to respond to the animal health needs of Alberta. Clearly, an area of critical importance to Alberta and consequently to UCVM, is the beef industry,” says Alastair Cribb, faculty dean. UCVM has committed $1-million over the next five years to launch and develop the chair. Simpson ranching is contributing the first $1-million to launch this endowment and additional funding is also being sought.

DEADLINE EXTENDED

Cattle and hog producers facing hard financial times now have until September 30, 2010, to repay cash advances under the Advance Payment Program (APP). The extension of the repayment deadline for livestock advances was announced today by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. In addition, the first $100,000 of each producer’s advance will continue to be interest-free.

“This extension assists Canadian hog producers to cope with the current financial crisis,” said Jurgen Preugschas, of Alberta President of the Canadian Pork Council. “We are pleased that the Government recognizes the financial difficulties hog producers are experiencing in these tough economic times.”

“This is the breathing room Canadian cattle producers need to put their bottom lines back into the black,” said Brad Wildeman, of Saskatchewan, President of the Canadian Cattlemen. “We are going to keep working with the Government as we continue to improve programs to make sure they work for Canadian producers.”

The extension of the repayment deadline applies to regular and emergency loans taken by cattle and hog producers during the 2008-09 production period. The Stay of Default covers more than $450 million in advances to the livestock sector. Producers can still apply for APP emergency advances until March 31, 2009. Regular APP advances will continue to be available. Beginning in April, producers who meet eligibility criteria will be able to apply for 2009-10 regular advances.

GROUCHY HOUSEHOLD

A fifth grader asked her mother the age-old question,

“How did I get here?”

Her mother told her, “God sent you.”

“Did God send you, too?” asked the child.

“Yes, dear,” the mother replied. “What about Grandma and

Grandpa?” the child persisted. “He sent them also,” the mother

said.

“Did he send their parents, too?”

asked the child. “Yes, dear, He did,” said the mother patiently.

“So you’re telling me that there has been NO sex in this family for 200 years? No wonder every-one’s so damn grouchy around here.”

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