The promise of a new beef year

Thoughts from beef producers to renew energy and ideals

Cows and calves in a fenced pen.

Verified Beef Production (VBP) – No time of year represents the hope of the beef industry like the arrival of young calves each spring on Canadian beef farms and ranches. It’s a powerful time, with emotional, personal moments that can find producers thinking about what’s really important.

One of the things that Verified Beef Production (VBP) program provides is an opportunity to learn directly with those beef producers. It’s a privilege to be able to hear that feedback.

Here are some of their best thoughts about success and how producers can contribute to the end product regardless of size or scale of operation.

Credibility starts at the beginning. It all starts with the cow-calf industry. Credibility begins here and producers want to contribute to a wholesome, healthy food product.

Do what’s right for your industry. People are watching and expect the best. Don’t let them down. Lead through behaviour. Leading by example helps and modelling industry practices can help others do the right thing.

Think like a consumer. How would you feel if you think someone is breaking the rules? They likely feel the same, so don’t push limits without being able to react to consequences. Think about how someone else would react.

Records anchor trust. Keep the important information. It helps you identify trends and it provides a backup if something unexpected comes up. Many animals will have three owners in their lifetime and records can link them together.

You don’t have to be big to be good. It’s proven every day across this country in the beef business. The most passionate and successful players are not always expansive operations. Cattle quality is not necessarily a function of herd size.

Get involved. Industry programs aren’t perfect but participation builds reputation and tells others our industry is strong. It also helps demonstrate to customers what matters.

Build your own reputation. Leaving it to someone else to enhance your reputation doesn’t work in the real world. It starts at home.

Producers care. It’s about proving that in real time. Stay in the game and like the Olympics, showcase your best for all to see.

Programming is low cost or no cost. Take a close look. The VBP program is designed to be built into your daily routine. Practices need not be complicated. Taking notice of a few key ones means one is ready in case something needs to be tweaked slightly. These actions are entry-level building blocks of a bigger opportunity.

Leadership means everything

As producers get their calves on the ground this year, there’s promise of a new year and another production cycle. Whether it is food safety, animal care or environmental stewardship, the ball is in our court.

We can play the “A” game ourselves or sit on the bench and let others determine the score. There’s a renewed interest in the power of positive actions. Help your industry thrive.

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