Congratulations to Canadian Angus personality Bob Prestage, who was one of three men inducted into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame on October 7. Prestage has been dedicated to beef cattle-breeding and genetic programs in Alberta for more than 50 years. His commitment to the industry is evident through his sustained work in marketing and exports, and international and community programs. Early in his career, he distinguished himself by developing the progeny test program for beef cattle, significantly improving the genetic pool of the Canadian cattle industry. Founding Wicklow Angus in Camrose, he raised the profile of Angus beef in Canada and internationally. Prestage selected, processed and exported thousands of cattle to more than 20 countries, including marketing the first cattle to Russia to support the Alberta cattle industry’s recovery from BSE. Prestage has supported Alberta breeders in selling cattle around the world, generously sharing his marketing expertise, hosting numerous international delegations, and judging at international cattle shows. A former reeve of Camrose County, Prestage has made many contributions to youth and community organizations and has received numerous industry and community awards including induction into the Alberta Angus Association Hall of Fame as a Breed Builder.
Canadian Angus Association CEO Rob Smith says, “Bob is exceptionally well known in our fraternity and is as highly respected as anyone in Canada. As a breeder, a volunteer, a fieldman, and as a mentor and coach, his voice is always heard and his guidance and leadership always appreciated. CAA is extremely proud to see Bob in the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame.”
Lakeland College in Vermilion has started another academic year and this year it would like to introduce the Purebred beef team for 2016-17 on the student-managed farm powered by New Holland. This year’s beef team (see photo at top): Teresa Mann, Carson Rodgers, Cole Dodgson, Cheyenne Catley, Marissa Campbell, Taylor Black, Taylor Kalbfleisch , Sadie Luba, Nora Lazurko, Tateum McPherson, Kate Laycraft, Devon Fox , Brooke Palfenier, Kally Parker and adviser: Leila Hickman.
The program is run by second-year students who manage a Black Angus operation culminating in an annual beef day and bull sale in March. For details go to www.lakelandcollege.ca.
The Young Canadian Simmental Association is pleased to be hosting a Leadership Conference February 23-25, 2017 in Calgary, Alta. It is open to all youth 16-25 years of age as of January 1, 2017. Conference features include speakers Marty Seymour, Jill Harvie, a True Colours Personality workshop, tour of the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence and a visit to a local feedlot. Like the YCSA Facebook page (@Young Canadian Simmental Association) for more details and registrations in the next couple of months!
Online livestock marketer AgriClear has entered into a collaborative marketing arrangement with the Canadian Angus Association. Any Angus or Angus-tagged cattle listed with AgriClear will also be promoted on the CAA website in the very near future. AgriClear’s unique online platform offers cattle buyers and sellers the highest level of security and assurance. Through a partnership with TMX Group and NGX, a wholly owned subsidiary of TMX Group, AgriClear leverages a wide range of knowledge and expertise. Backed by the financial support and clearing expertise of these two entities, clients are assured of receiving payment for delivered cattle and receiving cattle as negotiated. It is easy to use and provides a way to reduce costs for producers who want to capitalize on a broader market, and still do business on their terms. Buyers and sellers only pay $6/head for a completed transaction. There is no cost to register and list cattle on its broad network of Canadian and U.S. cattle buyers and sellers. The site allows breeders to provide value-added attributes for their cattle and negotiate directly with buyers online. Payment is made prior to shipment but the money is held until both parties are satisfied. AgriClear is backed by a $9-million (USD) bond, assuring payment. There is an option to work with an independent sales representative, who can help with describing, sorting, estimating weight and pricing your cattle for an additional fee.
By the time this issue reaches your mailbox producers attending Northlands will have had an opportunity to attend the first BeefTech held November 7-9 in advance of Farmfair International. BeefTech was designed to allow producers to explore and experience emerging technologies and innovative management practices. Perhaps some of you who took in the hands-on workshops and labs and technology demonstrations will drop me a line with your impressions.
Just a reminder that the early-bird deadline of Dec. 9, 2016 is fast approaching for getting material into Doug and Linda Henderson for the Canadian Angus Foundation’s new history book. Everybody sending in stories and pictures by Dec. 9 will have their name thrown into the hat for a chance to win a copy of the new history book, when it comes out. Doug and Linda can be reached at 403-782-3888 or email at [email protected].
There has certainly been a lot of interest and buzz over the article “Birth Weight’s Effect on Profit — Part 1” put together by Candace By of the Canadian Charolais Banner, featuring Kevin Woods, Westwood Land & Cattle, Adam Doenz, Doenz Farms and Andy Hofer, Spring Creek Colony. This article focuses on birth weight in a commercial herd setting. Watch for Part 2.
Dr. John Crowley, the University of Alberta geneticist and Canadian Beef Breeds Council director of scientific and industry advancement gave an interesting rundown last month of his September trip to China in the CBBC newsletter. During his visit he spoke to China’s National Cattle Industry Development Conference. His trip was initiated by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and hosted by Alta-Agricorp, a joint venture of Alta Genetics in China. Before the conference he flew to Shenyang to visit Alta clients.
“With China being one of the largest milk-producing countries in the world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a lot of the cattle in their feedlots are culled Holstein bulls. The majority of these bulls is left intact and fed out with the absence of a defined grading system meaning these lean animals are profitable. However, most feedlots were looking to source beef animals for their pens and in parallel, dairy farmers were looking to add value to their operations in the midst of a current low point in milk price. To this, I gave a simple solution; utilize sexed semen for the replacement dairy females and put easy-calving beef bulls into the rest. Dedicated beef farms supplied a limited-quantity pure beef stock of local Flower and Yellow cattle breeds. On both the dairy and beef operations, Alta-Agricorp are currently marketing Canadian semen and there is definitely a huge interest.
“One of the biggest feedlots we visited was in the final stages of development and aims to finish 70,000 cattle a year at the one venue. It has its own commercial operation of 10,000 beef cows and buys in the remainder. A striking feature of this feedlot was the installation of solar panels in the pens for the dual purpose of providing shade and generating electricity.
“After Shenyang we flew to Chongqing where the conference was taking place. I spoke in the international section with four other speakers, all Australian and all of them strangers to one another. Live cattle exports introduce a large injection of Australian genetics to China as well as the shipping of meat and dairy products.”
Crowley says the revamped website of the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) is well worth a look at www.icar.org. In this era of data collection and analytics, he says this collection of guidelines, standards, accreditations and services is exciting to see.