CCA prepares to push environmental plan

Bob Lowe, a cattle producer from Claresholm, Alta., was recently re-elected as president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Reg Schellenberg of Beechy, Sask., was re-elected as vice-president.

Newly elected to the board are Linda Allison of British Columbia, George L’Heureux and Kelly Smith Fraser of Alberta and Matthew Atkinson of Manitoba.

Departing board members include Grant Huffman of B.C., Jodi Flaig and Stuart Somerville of Alberta and Gord Adams of Manitoba.

In a media briefing last month, Lowe said the CCA plans a major push to emphasize the role of cattle production in environmental protection.

“This is a major focus,” he said, adding the CCA is “basically trying to get a way to convince people and governments not only of the nutritional value of beef but of the need for cattle in the ecosystem, the environmental benefits that beef has.

“I think this is a major focus that should be expanded upon…. I think it’s necessary for our industry.”

Livestock in general and cattle in particular are often targeted as a major emitter of greenhouse gases. Environmental groups regularly call for lower intensity livestock production and promote such initiatives as “meatless Monday” as a way to reduce GHG emissions from livestock by lowering beef demand.

However, Lowe noted cattle are vital to maintenance of grasslands and preservation of species diversity.

That stewardship role is part of certification through the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which has environmental care as one of its core requirements.

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