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NEWSMAKERS – for Nov. 9, 2009

Representatives of Maruha-Nichiro, a Japanese import company that deals mainly in seafood, have been in meetings with represenatives of the PEI Cattle Producers and the Atlantic Beef Products plant at Albany, PEI to test the interest in an Anne’s line of beef products. According to the producer’s October newsletter, “both parties agree that there is a tremendous opportunity to market Anne’s beef to the Japanese because 98 per cent of all Japanese are familiar with Prince Edward Island and anne of Green GaBles.” The troubled Atlantic Beef Products plant also recently added a grinding program to its fed-beef lineup and is buying well-conditioned cull cows on a trial basis at premium prices. For details local producers can call 902-437-2727, ext. 224.

Kevin Boon, the Tomahawk, Alta., rancher and-vice chairman of Alberta Beef Producers, has sold his cows and is moving to Kamloops to become the general manager of the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association, in place of the retiring Bob France. In the process of becoming a staff person he will have to resign his seat as a director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. He’s a past chairman of the Beef Information Centre, and currently a director of the Canadian Beef and Cattle Market Development Council and the Canada Beef Export Federation. For the past couple of years he’s also been working part time as a commercial fieldman for the Canadian Charolais Association. His new appointment becomes effective Nov. 15.

We were saddened to note the passing of former Charolais breeder Alfred Trescher of Brisco, B.C. on Sept. 23. Readers may recall Alfred, his wife Hedi and son Peter from articles in this magazine dealing with the family’s Brisco beef herd management and accounting software designed by Heidi. The family started breeding Charolais cattle in the mid 60s and moved to a commercial Red Angus cow herd bred to terminal Charolais bulls in 2000.

Pfizer Animal Health completed its purchase of Wyeth and its Fort Dodge Animal Health subsidiary last month. The merger enhances Pfizer’s position with the addition of Factrel and the recognized line of Synovex implants

to complement a current cattle portfolio that includes Draxxin, Dectomax, Excede Excenel, Bovi-Shield Gold and Lutalyse. Pfizer Animal Genetics also continues to explore opportunities to apply genomics technology to livestock health and management solutions.

Gregory McKelvey was recently convicted in the Ontario Court of Justice in Orangeville for one count of violating the Health of Animals Regulations and fined $1,500 for causing the receipt of 19 head of cattle without the approved tags between March 1 and April 19, 2007. CFIA enforces national identification and movement reporting requirements for cattle and bison under the authority of the Health of Animals Regulations.

The Calgary Stampede crowned their royal ambassadors last month, naming Katie Rochon as its 2010 Stampede Queen. Originally from Ottawa she is currently a student at the University of Calgary and an avid rider who favours show jumping competitions. The Stampede princesses are Kirstie Rougeau from Gleichen and Janelle Phillips from Cochrane. The 2010 Indian Princess is Sahvanne Weasel Traveller, a member of the Piikani First Nation, located near Pincher Creek.

Paul Laronde has been hired by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency to co-ordinate their new traceability efforts. He’ll be dealing with producers and the tag companies to solve problems showing up on the new RFID complaint forms the agency recently made available. He has 15 years of experience working with tags and readers from the research end to sales, so he should be well positioned to help smooth out some of bumps that are inevitable when you introduce a new system.

In late November CanFax, the marketing arm of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, will be offering the 2009 edition of its seminal publication on tracking cattle cycles, Trends, Cycles and Seasonality in the Beef Industry. The first edition of the book authored by former CCA general manager, Charlie Gracey, was published in 1981. The latest updated version is available for $15 from Brenna Grant with CanFax Research Services. She can be reached at 403-275-8558, or through the CanFax website at www.canfax.ca.

Not too bad. For all the fuss and bother we devote to cattle disease these days the actual results are pretty darn good, when you consider that we are dealing with millions of heads of animals. To the end of September the Canadian Food Inspection Agency 2009 list of reportable diseases recorded nine cases of anaplasmosis (all but one in Manitoba), seven cases of anthrax in Saskatchewan; two cases of bovine cysticercosis (caused by the larvae of human tapeworm); and of course our one case of BSE so far this year in an Alberta dairy cow.

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