Stock Growers Confront Current Beef Issues

Members of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) kept on top of some of the beef industry’s hot issues at their semi-annual meeting on Wednesday.

“There’s a lot going on in the beef sector, and it’s important for producers to get together and give the issues a full airing,” said SSGA President Shane Jahnke.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) brought the members up to date on their investigation into a bovine tuberculosis outbreak in Alberta. The discovery of the disease has led to quarantines of premises and herds on both sides of the provincial boundary.

Members passed a resolution stating their opposition to a carbon tax, stating that such a tax would put Canadian beef at a disadvantage on ultra-competitive international markets.

Beef producers’ organizations have argued that CO2 reduction programs, including carbon taxes, ignore the progress the industry has made in reducing its environmental footprint since the 1980s. To that end, the SSGA passed a resolution calling on governments to recognize and fairly compensate landowners for the carbon sinks agricultural lands provide.

“Ranchers work like mad to conserve the natural grass prairie,” Jahnke said. “There’s megatons of carbon stored in those ecosystems, and that’s carbon that would otherwise be in the atmosphere.” Everything farmers grow, he said, pulls carbon dioxide out of the air.

“Canada leads the world in sustainable agriculture. We’d like to see our producers recognized and rewarded for their leadership in fighting climate change,” he said.

In other business, the SSGA announced partnerships with D3H hotels, OLS Tubs and Tru-Test group, with benefits for Association members.      

The meeting was held during the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference in Regina.

Click Here to Review the Resolutions