Beef Cow-Calf Vaccination Resources Now Available

In response to a request from BCRC to improve strategic vaccination in Canadian beef herds to reduce disease risks and antimicrobial use, an expert team with broad experience in western Canadian beef production, veterinary medicine, research, and extension was assembled. The group surveyed beef producers and veterinarians, identified “core” and “risk-based” vaccines for western Canadian beef herds, and created a range of extension materials for use by beef producers and veterinarians, including disease infographics, vaccination decision trees and guidelines, written articles, as well as podcasts, webinars, and training videos on the subject.

All extension materials can be accessed here.

 

The project was funded by BCRC, ACFA, SCA, MBP, Boehringer Ingelheim, Elanco, Hipra, Merck, and Zoetis. We acknowledge and thank the members of the team that built these extension tools for the beef industry:  Drs. Joyce Van Donkersgoed (Project Coordinator), Claire Windeyer and Eugene Janzen (UCVM), Barb Wilhelm (WeCAHN), Bill Newton, Blaine Pickard, Tim Nickel (Boehringer Ingelheim), Dan Shock (Hipra), Nataska Kutryk and Sam Wauer (Merck), Lacey Fowler (Elanco), Dorothy Erickson and Bruce Kostelansky (Zoetis), Colin Palmer and Scott Wright (University of Saskatchewan Livestock and Forage Center of Excellence), and Marianne Possberg and Glen LaPointe (SCA), and various members of Saskatchewan Agriculture.

Alberta Election 2023

The Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) is well positioned to influence the political narrative during the upcoming provincial election on May 29, 2023.

ACFA has developed key messages that will serve as the foundation of our election engagement. You can find the key messages here.

Members are encouraged to attend local candidate debates, invite candidates for feedlot tours or roundtable discussions with local feeders, use social media to promote priorities and seek opportunities with traditional media to raise the profile of our issues.

The Alberta beef industry also prepared a joint document that covers several priorities for the entire beef value chain. You can find this document here.

Important Foreign Labour and Immigration Updates

A number of federal and provincial updates to labour and immigration have been announced in recent weeks.  A summary of those announcements include:

Government of Alberta – Changes to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program

Federal Immigration and Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Updates

Engagement Opportunities for ACFA / NCFA and Feedlots on Labour Issues

Read the full update here

Alberta Beef Competitiveness Study

Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA), Alberta Beef Producers (ABP), and the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA) are pleased to announce the completion of a resiliency report for Alberta’s meat processing sector as well as the completion of a feasibility assessment of wholesale beef price reporting as part of the Alberta Beef Competitiveness Study. The study was released on March 14, 2023.

Read the full report here.

Press Release: Industry Partners Announce the Completion of Report on Resiliency in Alberta’s Beef Processing Industry

Press Release: Industry Partners Announce the Completion of Wholesale Beef Reporting Feasibility Assessment

 

Campus Energy Market Update – September 2022

August has stunned power industry professionals and consumers alike. This month is surely one for the record books! At $257.75/MWh the month averaged more than $100/ MWh higher than any previous month in Alberta’s 22 year deregulated history. In contrast, August 2021 settled just $82.25 or less than 1/4 the price of August 2022. One weather observer noted that it was the hottest August Calgary has had (in terms of daytime high average) since August 1971. Demand in the province was strong with load averaging 9839 MW—6% higher load than we saw in August 2021. In previous letters we’ve highlighted that very hot (and cold) periods rarely have high wind speeds so the extreme temperatures exacerbated what was already a seasonally low wind month. With very little wind generation, thermal generation was left to make up the difference which resulted in materially higher prices.

This offers no consolation to Alberta electricity consumers who have an abundance of natural gas within their borders, but European countries including Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Denmark, France and the U.K who are suffering from potential gas shortages, all saw certain daily prices in August settle over 600 Euros/MW.
The heat of August 2022 in Alberta caused a re-pricing of risk with the market believing this scenario, or something akin to it, could hap-pen again. Prices for future terms are up dramatically as a result. From late July to late August 2022, power prices for the 2023 term rock-eted up 10%, and 8 %, for 2023 and 2024, respectively. In early September, this trend upward has continued.

Read Campus Energy’s market update for September here.

Beef Organizations Lobby Ministers for Funding of Canadian Foot & Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank

Canadian livestock industries are calling for funding of a Canadian Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine bank. This is a key priority for Canadian beef producers to ensure economic viability in the future.

Canada participates in the North American FMD vaccine bank (NAFMDVB) with Mexico and the United States. Canada’s contribution entitles us to 330,000 doses of vaccine. This is a fraction of the 2.5 million doses required for an FMD outbreak in a livestock dense area of Canada. Vaccination was historically considered a tool of last resort. However, experiences from FMD outbreaks in Japan and the Republic of Korea have led to new epidemiological models and changes to the World Organization for Animal Health (formally the OIE) guidelines. Vaccination would now play a central role in any large- or uncontrolled outbreak in Canada.

For the long-term success of the industry, there is an urgent need to address Canada’s shortage of FMD vaccine. Foot and Mouth disease remains common in Asia, the Middle East, South America and parts of Africa. Additionally, Indonesia is actively fighting and outbreak with over 3000 cases reported since detection in May 2022. In July, Australia increased its domestic biosecurity for travelers returning from Indonesia and Bali and reported the detection of non-viable FMD viral particles in legally imported food products. The elevated risk in Australia serves to remind us that the threat of FMD is very real.

Read the complete letter to The Honourable Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development, Government of Alberta here.

Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association Seeking Communications Manager

The Communications Manager is a full-time role with the overall responsibility to develop and manage the internal and external communications strategies for both the ACFA and the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA).  The manager reports directly to the President & CEO.

The candidate will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to multitask and adapt in a fast-paced environment; be creative, forward thinking and a team player. To ensure success, candidates should be innovative, organized, and self-motivated with a keen interest in driving strategic messages to key internal and external stakeholders.

Complete job posting and details here.

Alberta Cattle Feeders Call on Government for Immediate Action to Open Borders

Alberta’s cattle feeders need immediate action! Border crossings must be opened; federal and provincial governments alike NEED to enforce the law and ensure highways and border crossings are open!

Alberta’s cattle feeders, and the entire agricultural value chain, have been trying to inform protestors and government alike to the significant impact this ongoing blockade is having on our rural economy. While we understand the frustrations over remaining mandates and support the right to protest, this prolonged blocking of vital roads and borders is illegal and is having a significant negative impact on the important economic trade these locations support. On Saturday February 12, the Canada Border Services Agency suspended services at the Coutts port of entry. Trucks carrying live cattle across this international border are suspended. This will impact everyone along the beef value chain from cow-calf operators all the way to processors.

Our government needs to take immediate, tangible action to stop this illegal activity to restore trade and supply chain.

“The cattle industry has suffered already significant losses over the last year due to packing plant shutdowns, drought, feed shortages, and rail and transport issues; this industry cannot afford further, preventable losses,” says Greg Schmidt, local Alberta beef producer and Chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association.

Alberta’s cattle feeding sector generates $2.9 billion in economic output and $983 million in gross domestic product annually, directly employing ~20 000 people. Every day the border is closed, it is costing Alberta’s cattle feeders in extra feed, which is already in short supply, and in cattle prices. These losses will trickle down to calf purchases.

ACFA and its members ask the protestors to recognize the significant harm they are causing to their own neighbours, colleagues, and industry. We are not asking for protests to stop, rather that the approach is changed so not to further detriment trade and the agriculture and agri-food industry.
As protestors continue to block these borders, our provincial government must enact legal solutions to ensure the border is reopened before there are irreversible effects economically, on animal welfare, and human mental health.

For more information, please contact: 

Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association
403.250.2509
info@cattlefeeders.ca

Statement on Canada-U.S. Border Disruption

February 3, 2022

Calgary, AB – With the prolonged disruptions at the Canada-U.S. border crossing, Canada’s beef industry has serious concerns with supply chain challenges, including the lack of access to feed coming from the U.S. and impacts on cross border movement of cattle and meat products.

Alberta Beef Producers (ABP), Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA), and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) are calling for a timely resolution and the restoration of our essential supply chain.

ABP, ACFA, and CCA want to see the blockade resolved safely and effectively for truckers, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, producers, and all involved. In 2020, food and agriculture were deemed an essential service to continue moving supply chains during the pandemic, and it is critical agriculture continues to be able to operate without disruption.

The Canadian and American beef industries are highly integrated. Every day the industry is unable to move cattle, beef, or access feed puts the entire supply chain at risk. Canadian beef producers are already facing challenging supply issues from access to feed, following the devastating drought conditions in 2021, limited rail access, and trucking shortages.

Blocking the transport of beef to cross border consumers is slowing down processing in Canada and creating a backlog at processing facilities, feedlots and farms and ranches. The obstruction is also blocking the growing critical supplies of feed that are needed across western Canada.

ABP, ACFA, and CCA continue to monitor developments and work with the federal and provincial governments, and other stakeholders to keep all components of the beef supply chain functioning.

 

Quotes:

“The beef industry is aware of the situation evolving at the Canada-U.S. border crossing. Our focus remains on the people who are affected by immediate delays to the beef supply chain and ensuring the welfare of animals. Further impacts to cattle prices must be avoided.”

Dr. Melanie Wowk, ABP Chair

 

“The unintended consequences of these closures and delays further affect already existing shortages on products like animal feed that have been caused by drought, trade disruptions, and transport issues. Transportation delays can severely impact the beef supply chain from cattle feed to grocery shelves.”

Greg Schmidt, Chair, ACFA

 

“Maintaining a stable supply chain is critical to Canadian beef production. The evolving situation at the U.S.-Canada border and the transportation delays are resulting in major impacts for the entire beef supply chain.”

Bob Lowe, CCA President

 

For further information, contact:

 

Katelyn Laverdure
Lead, Stakeholder Communications

Alberta Beef Producers

403-451-0931|KatelynL@albertabeef.org

 

Megan Madden

Communications Manager

Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association

780-686-8807 | mmadden@cattlefeeders.ca

 

Michelle McMullen

Communications Manager

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

403-561-8578| mcmullenm@cattle.ca

 

 

Farm groups react to impending mandatory vaccine mandates for truck drivers

“With a large cross-border trade of incoming feeder cattle, and export of fed cattle, this will have an significant impact on our industry as a large number of drivers have not been vaccinated,” says Janice Tranberg, executive director of the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association.

The cattle industry is not the only sector that is concerned as can be read here in the complete article on RealAgriculture.com