The federal government is spending $8.3 million to support six Canadian beef industry projects.
The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canada Beef, the Canadian Beef Breeds Council and the Canadian Angus Association will receive funds through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s federally delivered programs.
Announced by federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau at the Calgary Stampede July 10, the money will support international market development, animal welfare enhancement in the feedlot sector and research and domestic programs like Verified Beef Production Plus and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
“The investment will help Canada’s beef industry capitalize on the trade agreements we have signed with key markets including Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific,” Bibeau said.
“Since 2015 we have invested almost $40 million in your industry. To help grow your markets we have signed trade agreements with some of the world’s fastest growing economies.”
Beef industry representatives said the money is welcome.
“We are quite excited about the new amount that has come in to help with promotions. It is good stuff to help get our message out,” said David Haywood Farmer, president of the cattlemen’s association.
Money has also been earmarked for education and research.
The Verified Beef Production Plus program is voluntary and offers training to producers on biosecurity, animal health and welfare as well as environmental elements. They may then pay for a third party auditor to provide certification, which more companies are requesting.
More people are signing on, but more cow-calf producers are needed to join, said Cecelie Fleming, an Alberta rancher and part of the verified program.
The money will be used for database development and training, which is available in live sessions, webinars and online to get more people signed on with the program.
“People are doing it for the right reasons, and it gives us credibility and public trust, ” she said.
The funded programs are:
- Canada Beef receives more than $5.3 million for market development, hosting trade missions and attending trade shows.
- The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association receives up to $1.1 million to develop internationally recognized and assurance programs.
- The Verified Beef Production program receives $602,000 to advance the Verified Beef Production Plus program.
- The Canadian Beef Breeds Council receives $795,000 to build international markets for beef genetics in established and emerging markets.
- More than $250,000 to help the National Cattle Feeders Association further develop its animal welfare program and build public trust in beef production.
- About $238,000 to help the Canadian Angus Association use genomic tools to select for foot and leg health and improve animal welfare.