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Stars Are Lined Up—at Least For Now

I wouldn’t say life is perfect in the beef world, but the grass is growing (in most places) and all indicators are that prices will remain relatively good/ strong into 2012, so at this point in midsummer that’s probably as good as it gets.

BE CAREFUL

A funeral service is being held for a woman who has just passed away.

At the end of the service, the pallbearers are carrying the casket out when they accidentally bump into a wall, jarring the casket.

They hear a faint moan. They open the casket and find that the woman is actually alive! She lives for 10 more years and then dies.

Once again, a ceremony is held and at the end of it the pallbearers are again carrying out the casket. As they carry the casket towards the door, the husband cries out, “Watch that wall.”

WATCH FOR ANTHRAX

A University of Saskatchewan veterinary professor is reminding livestock producers to protect their herds against anthrax. The naturally occurring illness can cause staggering, convulsions and rapid death in animals. Unfortunately, the wet weather this year is increasing the risk of disease.

Flooded land could be a problem for more than just raising crops. It could also mean a deadly season for livestock producers. Dr. Chris Clark of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine says that the first predictor for the potential of anthrax is a wet spring.

Despite a few isolated cases since, the last outbreak occurred in the summer of 2006. And so to avoid the necessary widespread destruction of animals, Clark says cattle, horses, bison and other grazing animals should be vaccinated. For more information contact Dr. Greg Douglas, chief veterinary officer, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Branch, at (306) 787-5547 or e-mail greg. [email protected]; or CFIA website at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/. Then click on Animals/Animal Diseases/ Anthrax.

SHORT RANT

Vicki Dutton of North Battleford, Saskatchewan sent in these few comments about the agriculture industry. “Not sure of you’re interested in this rant but I get a little tired of people chanting about food prices being high, when farm efficiencies have replaced higher costs for many years.

Higher costs have followed higher prices, and at this time I am not sure we can exist if prices go down much. Seems to me as a kid the following ratios were to apply: A combine is the same as a quarter of land. A barrel of oil is the same as a bushel of wheat.”

ILC CONFERENCE IN CALGARY

Come and join key beef industry leaders and stakeholders from around the world at this year’s International Livestock Congress — ILC Beef 2011, August 10 in Calgary.

The expert lineup of speakers will include Gilles Gauthier, chief agriculture negotiator with Agriculture Canada (AAFC), Ottawa. He will provide an update on the status of the Canada-EU negotiations towards a comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and highlight the implications of an agreement for the beef industry.

As well, Glen Hodgson, senior vice-president and chief economist with The Conference Board of Canada, will discuss the global economy and how the path to recovery is very different by region and sector. Hodgson will also give his perspective on the recovery in Europe and Japan, the growth in the U. S and Canada and the growing emerging markets.

Visit www.ilccalgary.com for

all the latest information and to register.

YOUNG GUNS

Three outstanding winners have been selected for this year’s Alberta Beef Producers Young Guns contest. Youth aged eight to 21 were asked to submit what ABP means to them. Entries ranged from essays to composed songs and videos, blog posts and posters. The Communications Committee judged the submissions and awarded $1,000 for first prize, $500 for second and $250 for third.

The winners are:

1.Amy Mayner, Bluffton

2.Dakota Wilson, Bashaw

3.Raymond Gallelli, Crossfield

FOOT IN THE DAIRY DOOR

The inaugural year of Alberta Milk’s New Entrants Assistance Program proved to be a successful one. Five new dairy producers across Alberta will be loaned quota to help alleviate some of the startup costs normally incurred when starting a dairy farm.

From all the applicants, five were chosen from an intensive process to help decipher the ones that would have the most success on the program. They all provided a two-year financial business plan, a 10-year implementation plan, a risk mitigation plan, and signed letter from the applicant’s financial institution agreeing to finance their operation.

One of the successful applicants was Alex and Alinda Bakker. “Before the New Entrant Program, it would have taken several years for us to achieve our dream of owning a dairy farm” say the Bakkers.

Following the submission of their documentation, they were interviewed by a committee comprised of industry experts and financial institutions to assess their application and determine the strongest applicants.

“A week after [the interview], we got the phone call that we were accepted, and we thought wasn’t possible for several years is happening. We are ready to pursue our dream as dairy farmers and want to thank everybody that helped us and supported us.”

In addition to the Bakkers the four other people on the program need to purchase quota. The quota purchased will then be matched with a loan of quota from Alberta Milk up to a maximum of 15 kg/ day at no cost to the new entrant. The quota loan would gradually expire starting the end of year six. At the end of year eight, the quota loan would reduce to zero. While using the program, new entrants can expand up to 60 kg/day of quota holdings.

Alberta Milk will continue to make this an annual program to assist those who need support entering into the dairy industry in Alberta. There have been improvements made to the program and Alberta Milk will be accepting applications for 2012 beginning in January.

RUTLEDGE HONORED

Saskatchewan’s Roy Rutledge has garnered national recognition for his decades-long contribution of time, effort and skill to improve livestock marketing in Canada. Rutledge was recently inducted into the Livestock Markets Association of Canada (LMAC) Hall of Fame.

Rutledge manages Assiniboia Livestock Auction and Weyburn Livestock Exchange while maintaining the family ranch and a farm sale auction business. To add to his achievements, at the same ceremony, Assiniboia Livestock Auction was also recognized as the Canadian Angus Association Auction Market of the year.

ALBERTANS HONORED WITH CREEK NAMES

The outstanding contributions of three Albertans were honoured earlier this year with the naming of two Alberta creeks.

Skrine Creek, located 24 kilo-metres west of Nanton, has been named in honour of Walter and Agnes “Nesta” Skrine. The Skrine family established the Bar S Ranch on Mosquito Creek in 1887, building and maintaining a herd of up to 700 cattle on nearly 16,000 acres of leased land. Bill Griffiths, a fisheries biologist with Alberta Fish and Wildlife, worked with local fish and game clubs to complete a fisheries enhancement program in the critical trout spawning waters of the newly-named Bill Griffiths Creek near Canmore. Those efforts helped make the Bow River one of the most important trout fisheries in Canada.

NEW MANAGER

Manitoba Beef Producers is pleased to announce the selection of Cam lead the organization as their new general manager.

“Mr. Dahl has garnered vast experience and exposure during his career. His extensive agricultural and professional background makes him a great fit to lead our team,” said Major Jay Fox, President of MBP. “The MBP Board is confident that he will meet the challenge of his new position with great success and trust that he will build on the success of MBP and its predecessors.”

Dahl comes to MBP most recently from Pronto Energy Group, a waste to energy company. Prior to this, he held positions as commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission, chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian International Grains Institute, executive director of the Grain Growers of Canada and spent several years working in Ottawa. He Degrees of Science, specializing in Agriculture Economics and his graduate research work involved cattle and deforestation in the western Brazilian Amazon.

The role of General Manager at Manitoba Beef Producers is a key position that reports to the board of directors. The core function of this position is to provide leadership and be responsible to implement the strategic direction as set out by the board and develop the annual operational plans that fulfill this direction. This includes initiatives and programs that positively influence and grows the beef industry sector and ensures a sustainable future for the beef producers in Manitoba.

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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