The YCC board joined the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in Ottawa for their AGM, where we are pleased to have a member sit on each CCA committee to provide input and work with industry leaders at the highest level of governance and policy development. Reports from each committee meeting are below:
Animal Health and Care
Council Member Representative: Rae-Leigh Pederzolli
In regards to our BSE surveillance, Canada is falling short on our targeted numbers of animals to be tested and this issue is being addressed. We will not be eligible to be categorized under Negligible Risk until 2020 from Case 19.
The design of loyalty programs from veterinarians or veterinary medical companies was discussed in regards to the possible influence resulting on producers for what products to use due to cost and brand name. This is being looked into to ensure the best information is being provided to producers.
The time it takes for import/export certificates was another issue discussed with a presentation from Michael Hall (Canadian Livestock Genetics Association). Strategies were designed and will soon be implemented to reduce the amount of time needed and advance the capability of e-certificates for the future.
Traceability is a hot topic in Canadian beef. Tag retention in animals can be an issue and design of the back was suggested to change to rubber to mitigate this problem from Martin Unrau, past CCA President. The Cattle Implementation Plan was also greatly discussed, with consideration for how the program works and the technological advances available, as well as how to provide these services in areas where there is no power or cellular service.
Council Member Representative: Brett McRae
After a brief update from all of the provinces about their local ag policy and regulations issues, there was an update given on the WLPIP Insurance Program. From there, the committee was joined by Rosser Lloyd from AAFC for an update and lively discussion about price reporting.
After a short mid meeting break, YCC presented the Ag Policy Framework paper (Growing Forward 3) that was started at Agribition to the committee. It was very well received, and the committee said nothing but positive comments about it. It was very interesting that 3 of the 4 main “asks” in each paper were almost identical to the paper that the CCA had drafted. Later in the Board of Directors meeting, a motion was made to send the YCC’s paper along with the CCA’s Ap Policy Framework pair to the new government. It was great to see the input of our members and that the hard work of our Council Members paid off!
Council Member Representative: Daniel Muir
Carbon retention on Native grassland is still the best source of carbon sequestration versus non native grasslands in Canada. Unfortunately our Native grasslands are down to approximately 25%. Beef grazing production is important for biodiversity as grasslands play a host to many different animals and organisms, most importantly the bee population.
The Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association is holding a conference this November in Winnipeg. Click here for more information.
A study was done on beef production over the last 30 years. From 1981 – 2011, to produce the same quantity of beef Canadian farmers need 29% fewer cattle in their herds, and 27% fewer slaughter cattle. The amount of land required to produce that same amount of beef is down 24% as well as the carbon footprint from beef production is down 15%.
With the Paris Agreement, Canada is looking at reducing our overall Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions. Globally, Canada only accounts for 2% of global GHG and Canadian agriculture accounts for 12% of Canada’s overall emissions (this is not including machinery and transportation). GHG is calculated in C02 equivalents, and methane production with cattle production is calculated at 25x 1 C02. These conversations are to continue at the next Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
Value Creation and Competitiveness
Council Member Representative: Shane Klepak
Mark Klassen, the Director of Technical Services for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association did a research study on selling packaged beef inside of 70 different grocery stores. The 21,000 packages of beef that were sold were comprised of steak, roast, and ground beef. Of the 21,000 packages sold 52% were steak, 20% were ground beef and 9% were beef roasts. The study revealed that only 44% of the steaks sold are labeled Canadian beef. Mark believes more than 44% of the steaks are Canadian steaks and this leaves an opportunity to brand more packaging as Canadian beef.
If you are in need of a quick meal desiring beef, a frozen burger from the freezer is always a quick and delicious choice by many Canadian’s. Here is the trick to cooking a safe, E. coli free beef burger in the BBQ! If two burgers from the freezer are put on the BBQ, cooking both burgers to the same internal temperature, the amount of flips changed the level of E. coli in the burger. If you flip one burger once and the other burger twice, the burger that you flipped twice will have a lower E. coli level. To substitute a fresh burger compared to frozen burger, a fresh burger will have lower E. coli level from the start of cooking. FRESH IS BETTER THAN FROZEN.
Jolene Noble and Jill Harvie, the program coordinators for the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Program, were proud to announce the program is in its 5th year of operating and has a strong future within the Canadian Beef Industry. The current CYL’s graduation will be in August at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary, Alberta.