Sask. producers urged to register in beef program

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Saskatchewan participation in the Verified Beef Production program could be better, says provincial co-ordinator Coy Schellenberg.

As of last fall, 4,079 producers in the province had been trained in the on-farm food safety program, but only 71 operations had been audited. Audits are necessary for producers to be considered registered.

Nationally, 17,100 producers have been trained and 1,004 registered.

“We need more to register,” Schellenberg told the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association’s annual meeting.

“Most producers find they are already doing most of the practices.”

About 240 workshops have been offered in the province since 2005.

The workshops are free and funding is available to help those who want to buy equipment to help them improve their practices.

The program covers half the cost, up to $750. It also covers half the cost of on-farm audits.

Schellenberg said a biosecurity module is in development, as are animal care and environmental stewardship programs.

These will be added to the current focus on standard operating procedures that lead to on-farm food safety.