I could write something very wise, but when I have a choice between being insightful or having a good chuckle, well….let’s just say I’m lazy.
THAT EXPLAINS IT…
After their baby was born, the panicked young father who farms near Homewood Manitoba went to see the obstetrician. “Doctor,” the man said, “I don’t mind telling you, but I’m a little upset because my daughter has red hair. She can’t possibly be mine!!”
“Nonsense,” the doctor said”. “Even though you and your wife both have black hair, one of your ancestors may have contributed red hair to the gene pool.”
“It isn’t possible,” the man insisted. “This can’t be, our families on both sides had jet-black hair for generations.”
“Well,” said the doctor, “let me ask you this. How often do you have relations? “
The young farmer seemed a bit ashamed. “I’ve been working very hard for the past year. We only made love once or twice every few months.”
“Well, there you have it!” The doctor said confidently.
Now we can get down to some serious stuff.
Lee Hart Editor
Grass finds its voice
After more than a year of meeting with key forage industry stakeholders and collaborating with producers, a new organization has been established which will represent an estimated 30,000 individuals involved in forages in Alberta.
The Alberta Forage Industry Network (AFIN), through its various member-driven committees, will establish a productive dialogue amongst producers, industry representatives and various levels of government. It is the goal of the fledgling network to bring issues of importance regarding economic and environmental impact of forages to the attention of funding bodies and policy-makers throughout the province.
During its inaugural Annual General Meeting in February, stakeholders gathered to discuss topics of concern to the industry and to elect the network’s first board of directors. Leading the team as chair will be Doug Wray, a rancher from southern Alberta who has long been behind the charge to give forages the profile he feels it needs and deserves.
The hub for AFIN members will be its website, soon to be launched at www.albertaforages.ca.The website will include information on forage news and events, will host a discussion board that gives members an opportunity to discuss and collaborate on emerging issues, and will provide links to organizations providing leading-edge forage research and extension. Membership in AFIN is open to anyone involved in forages –producers, industry representatives, post-secondary institutions and local agricultural/forage associations.
For more information, please contact: Doug Wray (403) 935-4642 or cell (403) 850-7643 or email: [email protected]; or Grant Lastiwka with the Agricultural Research and Extension Council at (403) 227 6392 or cell at (403) 350 6394 or email [email protected]
YOU GO RANDY
Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament for Prince Albert, Sask. has publicly called representatives of the National Farmers Union to task for aligning themselves with American protectionist organization R-CALF. Speaking to the Standing Committee on Agriculture Hoback said “What has been recorded and what has been quoted by R-CALF is not anything on captive supply. It’s very blunt. That you’re looking like you’re aligning with R-CALF; and by doing that you’re giving an organization that we say has no credibility -you’ve given them credibility. And you’ve actually undermined our position with COOL in the U. S. You did it at such a time when things are sensitive. The damage you’ve done to the Western Canadian industry is huge. The damage you’ve done to the Canadian industry is huge.”
In a recent R-CALF press release, the NFU was quoted as saying that both it and R-CALF shared common interests against packer concentration and the negative effects of trade deals such as NAFTA. Although Hoback, may be a bit partisan, a release from his office went on to say, the Opposition’s overt favouritism toward the NFU was exemplified by the Official Opposition’s Critic for Agriculture, who showed amazing arrogance by publicly boasting about his former presidency of the NFU in his support for granting the NFU three times the usual presentation time. It should also be noted that the NDP also continues to refer to the NFU as its political arm in agriculture. For further information contact Richard Fromm in Hoback’s office at (613) 291-7076.
The Manitoba Forage Council is planning a Forage and Grassland Strategic Workshop, April 8, at the William Glesby Centre in Portage La Prairie. The workshop, which gets underway at 9:30 a. m. will help producers learn more about forage and grassland issues, but also gain input from producers on their forage and grassland concerns. Ian Wishart, a forage producer and KAP president will speak. The workshop is free, but they would like people to register by March 31 by calling (204) 726 9393 or by emailing [email protected]
HELP FOR ALBERTA
Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has announced livestock producers in Alberta will be eligible for tax deferrals on livestock sold due to drought in 2008.
Producers from Birch Hills County and Municipal Districts of Fairview and Spirit River, in addition to the Counties of Grande Prairie No. 1, Saddle Hills a nd Clear Hills, who were forced to sell all or part of their herd due to drought conditions, will be eligible for a one –year tax deferral on 2008 income from these sales. Producers who reduced their breeding herds by at least 15 per cent are eligible.
Thirty per cent of income from net sales can be deferred if the herd has been reduced by at least 15 per cent, but less than 30 per cent. Where the herd has been reduced by 30 per cent or more, 90 per cent of income from net sales can be deferred.
The deferral allows eligible producers in designated areas to defer income tax on the sale of breeding livestock for one year to help replenish breeding stock in the following year. In the case of consecutive years of drought designation, producers may defer sales income to the first year in which the area is no longer designated. Eligible producers will be able to request this deferral when filing their 2008 income tax returns. Livestock producers are advised to contact their local Canada Revenue Agency Tax Services Office for details on the income tax provisions.
WILLABAR SALE RESULTS
A standing room only crowd packed the sale barn at the tenth annual Willabar Ranch Ltd. Long Yearling Black Angus Bull Sale held at the Claresholm, Alta. hosted by Andy and Ramona Hart. The sale, held at the ranch in mid-February, followed in the path of last year’s successful inaugural video auction sale.