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Newsmakers – for Mar. 9, 2009

Amos and Heidi Brielmann of Pinewood River Ranch were awarded the Ontario Environmental Stewardship Award (TESAward) for 2009 at the annual meeting of the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association last month. The 5,000-acre ranch supports a 600-head Angus/Angus cross cow herd. They winter all the calves and graze them the following year. The Brielmanns have created riparian areas over 12 kilometres and expanded their wintering lots from 17 to 100 acres, reducing animal density to less than two per acre. Over 15,000 trees have been planted and low water cattle crossings have been created. The couple will represent Ontario at the national competition August 9 in Regina.

Ken and Rosemary Mitchell of Annan are the winners of the 2009 Ontario Pasture Award. They graze 120 cow-calf herd along with 40 to 50 heifers bred for sale on 400 acres of pasture and hayland spread over six different farms in Grey County. They also custom feed 50 steers every year. Three of the farms are less than 1000 feet from Georgian Bay and have some of the highest heat units in Grey County.

Several groups made changes to their boards of directors during the Alberta Beef Industry Conference in Red Deer last month. Rick Paskal of Iron Springs, Alta., remains chairman of the National Cattle Feeders’ Association but has a new vice-chairmen in Bill Jameson from JGL in Moose Jaw, Sask. Bill takes over from Marc Grimard of Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade, PQ. The three-year old group has a new website at www.nationalcattlefeeders.ca.

The Alberta Cattle Feeders Association re-elected their executive for another term led by chairman Jack de Boer of Lethbridge and vice-chairman Doug Price of Acme. Lloyd Sproule retired from the board and was replaced by Page Stewart of Highland Feeders from Vegreville.

Bill Hanson of Valleyview, Alta., was elected president of the Western Stock Growers’ Association. Moving up to first vice-president is vet consultant Larry Delver and second vice president John Simkin. Russel Pickett of Bassano moves to past president and Eileen McElroy-Clayton retains her position as treasurer. Among the issues discussed was the need to study profits earned throughout beef value chains to assist producers who are considering this option.

Jeff Warrack of Strathmore, Alta., succeeded Ed Miller of Acme as chairman at the Northwest Consolidated Beef Producers. Sam Buckle was reelected to the board along with new directors Barry Boghean and Robert Wolbert.

Dave Stuart of Edam is the new president of the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association with Bill Jameson of Moose Jaw shifting over to past-president. The other members of the executive are vice-president Ryan Thompson of Ceylon and finance chairman Jason Dean of Morse.

Trent and Carolyn Walls of Alameda were recognized with the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association’s Farm Family Award last month. Along with Trent’s parents, Doug and Arlene, the Walls have converted their cropland to forages for their growing cattle herd and are developing rotational grazing plans up to one year in advance to maintain their grass production.

Dave Millner of Dundalk returned to the board of Beef Information Ontario (BIO) for a three-year term in January.

Prairie Heritage Producers (PHP) is the first Canadian group to meet the certification standards for social and environmental responsibility established by the U. S. based nonprofit Food Alliance. The standards cover safe and fair working conditions, healthy and humane treatment of animals, reduction of pesticide use and toxicity, soil and water conservation, and protection of wildlife habitat without the use of hormone treatments or non-therapeutic antibiotics and genetically modified feed or livestock. PHP is a cooperative of 20 family ranches in Alberta and Saskatchewan who direct market branded beef products.

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