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Newsmakers – for Jun. 13, 2011

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association was obviously pleased with the reappointment ofGerry Ritzas agriculture minister in the new conservative majority government. “Minister Ritz has worked tirelessly to improve market access for Canadian cattle, beef and other agricultural exports and we appreciate his efforts,” said CCA presidentTravis Toews.“The CCA will continue to press for improvements to our competitiveness both on the trade front and at home in our regulatory and business environment.” Another key figure on the CCA lobbyists’ list of people to contact will be Fraser Valley, B.C. lawyerEd Fastwho replacesPeter Van Loanas international trade minister. In his new role Fast will be at the centre of Canada’s ongoing trade negotiations with Europe, South Korea and Japan. Environment MinisterPeter Kentwill also be down in the CCA’s appointment book for discussions on the role beef producers play in providing habitat for wildlife and migratory birds and sequestering greenhouse gases through grassland management.

Beef-producing MPsLarry Millerfrom Ontario andJames Bezan,a former manager of the Manitoba Beef Producers, were also re-elected along with fellow farmersTed Menzies, Chris Warkentin, Randy Hoback, David Anderson, Rob MerrifieldandBev Shipley.

The Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan’s We Care campaign was launched on 36 billboards across the province last month. Producers representing the beef, dairy, bison, egg, chicken and pork sectors are being rotated through the billboards from May to November promoting the same message, On Our Farm…We Care. The 35 billboards and one superboard are located in and around Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, North Battleford and rural areas. Details are can be found at www.facs.sk.ca.

Adele Buettnerhas been re-elected president of Prairieland Park Corporation, the non-profit body that operates the Saskatoon Trade and Convention Centre. Buettner is the founder and president of AgriBiz Communications, a company that contracts management and communication services to agriculture oraganizations such as the Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan where she serves as executive director.

Rhett Parkswon the 2011 Manitoba/ Saskatchewan Livestock Auctioneer Championship last month in Weyburn. Parks operates Whitewood Livestock Sales in Whitewood, Sask., and is the current president of the Livestock Marketers of Saskatchewan (LMS). The competition attracted nine competitors from Saskatchewan and six from Manitoba.Brock Taylorof Taylor Auctions in Melita, Man., was runner-up while Farron Ward of Candiac Auction Mart in Glenavon, Sask. finished in third place.Rick Wright, of Virden, Man., andTyler Cronkite of Heartland Livestock in Moose Jaw rounded out the top five finalists.Joey Chescuof Russell, Man., won the Rookie Award.

Parksadvanced to the Canadian championships of the Livestock Markets Association of Canada in Kitchener- Waterloo being held June 8 to 10.

Fawn Jacksonhas been appointed program co-ordinator for the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Program operated by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. She was raised on a cattle operation at Inglis, Man., and is a graduate of the University of Alberta with graduate studies in international agriculture at Oklahoma State University.

Amanda Hughesof Calmar is the recipient of the 2011 Alberta 4-H Premier’s Award. She has participated in a variety of projects from crafts, market/ewe lamb, light horse and market steer to canine, photography, performing arts and foods. Earning top honours at 4-H’s provincial Horse Classic program last year, she was awarded a trip to Denver in 2011 as a member of Alberta’s Hippology team to compete in an international judging competition.

Feedlot veterinarianDr. Craig Dorin from Airdrie, Alta., andDr. Harold Fastof Fast Genetics were recently appointed to the board of directors of Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc., the animal health laboratory based in Saskatoon. They joinDr. Doug Freeman, the dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and Godwin Pon, a livestock policy analyst with Saskatchewan Agriculture, the other first-time board members.

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council now has its publication AGRIGUIDE: THE DIRECTORY OF CANADIAN AGRICULTURE ASSOCIATIONS available online in a searchable database format at www.agriguide.ca, or from the main website at www.cahrcccrha.ca. The directory includes contact information for not-for-profit and publicly funded national, provincial and territorial farm-related organizations and commodity groups across Canada.

Compensation is available for Manitoba producers hit by unprecedented flooding or a pre-flood snowstorm this spring. The province will pay up to $100 per cow-calf pair to replace feed, pastures or transport feed and livestock to farms flooded by Lake Manitoba. Damaged livestock facilities and pasture will be repaired or replaced. Compensation is also available for some 2,000 animals killed by a late-April snowstorm with purebreds valued at 1.5 times the commercial value of eligible livestock up to June 30. Another $22 million has been budgeted over three years to compensate producers in the Shoal Lakes area for flooded hay and pasture lands. The province is also paying for livestock buildings, lost crop and cleanup costs in areas flooded when a dike near Portage was deliberately breached to ease flood pressures on the Assiniboine River. These are all part of a $175-million federal/provincial farm compensation and flood protection plan announced byPremier Greg Selinger.

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