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NEWSMAKERS – for Oct. 19, 2009

A former contributing editor to CANADIAN CATTLEMEN, and field editor with COUNTRY GUIDE magazine, Cliff Faulknor of Calgary and Cochrane passed away peacefully Sept. 24, at the age of 96. He joined the staff at Public Press which published the CATTLEMEN and GUIDE, in 1954, and retired in 1975. He later served for 10 years on the Alberta Land Compensation Board, relying on skills gained in an earlier career as a land inspector in B.C. He is the author of two adult books, six novels for juveniles including the WHITE CALF, winner of the Little Brown Award, and many short stories. At age eighty-five, Cliff turned his hand to painting and turned out a number of fine pictures.

The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency funded 30 new projects for the livestock industry last month. The beef projects include $310,600 to employ a co-ordinator for the provincial intensive livestock working group; $20,000 to document the economic impact of the cattle feeding industry; $190,000 to evaluate new sainfoin germplasm; $249,000 to develop DNA panels to predict feed efficiency and beef tenderness in cattle and $139,000 to study the impact of season, trip distance, age and loading density on the spread of disease during transport.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has entered into an agreement with Pfizer to purchase certain assets of Wyeth Pharmaceutical’s Fort Dodge Animal Health unit upon closing of the merger between Pfizer and Wyeth. The Wyeth line includes Triangle, Pyramid and Presponse vaccines as well as Synovex implants. In Canada, several swine vaccines are also part of the package.

Alberta Veterinary Laboratories of Calgary launched its first pharmaceutical product with the introduction of generic Ivermectin Pour-on for Cattle last month. AVL is a joint venture of Bow Valley Research and Chief Medical Supplies of Calgary. AVL will manufacture the product at the Chief Medical facility. Dr. Merle Olson, a part owner and director of research and technical services for AVL says their intent was to produce a product that could be price competitive with similar U.S. generic ivermectins. Initially the product is being distributed by UFA in Alberta, Compass Animal Health, Bio Agri Mix and some large Alberta feedlots but is available for distribution across Canada. For further information call the company at 1-877-456-2755.

The top end of the board of directors for the Canada Beef Export Federation is unchanged in 2010. Quebec producer Gib Drury continues as cha i rman and feedlot operator Ben Thorlakson is past chairman. All three vice-chairman spots are filled by packers: Jeff Cline from Cargill, Willie Van Solkema with XL Foods and Arthur Batista representing Quebec veal processor Ecolait Ltee. B.C. producer Roland Baumann moves up to finance and audit chairman and Alberta producer Chuck MacLean is the new promotion chair. Wayne Porterfield of Sunterra Meats is membership chairman and Christoph Weder of Prairie Heritage Producers Ltd. chairs the technical committee. The remaining producer members are: Brian Ross, Saskatchewan; Dane Guignion, Manitoba; Paul Shape, Ontario and Kevin Boon representing the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Gordon Cove has been named president and chief executive officer for the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA). He’s held the post in an acting capacity since Sept. 1 when he replaced the previous interim CEO Ken Moholitny, who in turn replaced CEO Jeff Kucharski. His resume includes stints as general manager of Fletcher’s Fine Foods (later called Premium Brands) and Olymel when the Quebec company took over Premium’s fresh pork operations. He joined Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 2003 rising to branch head for livestock products before moving over to ALMA as director of corporate services.

Lauren Stone is the new policy analyst with the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association. She is from Winnipeg and joined the MCPA in mid-July fresh from graduating from Queen’s University in Kingston where she majored in politics and business.

Southwestern Saskatchewan ranchers and farmers working on water infrastructure projects under a 2008 program have been granted an extra year to finish the work.

The federal and Saskatchewan governments extended the deadline to complete projects approved under the 2008 Saskatchewan Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP), from Nov. 1, 2009 to Nov. 1, 2010. The 2008 FRWIP was budgeted for over $29 million in AgriRecovery funds to support eligible projects such as wells, dugouts and pipelines. The application deadline for the 2008 FRWIP was Dec. 3, 2008, and no new applications are being accepted. However, Saskatchewan producers are eligible to apply for the provincewide version of FRWIP announced in April.

An animal welfare task force established by the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada has published a number of fact sheets to supplement the new national organic standards adopted by government in June. Copies can be found on the OACC web-site at www.oacc.info/AnimalWelfare/aw_welcome.asp.

The value chain Canada Gold Beef completed one year of operation on July 31.

The producer-run company began receiving cattle October 2008 and selling finished cattle in April of this year. A test slaughter was conducted in June with meat products sold to some select food service and retail customers in Western Canada. To date Canada Gold has purchased 47,401 head — 5,400 of them the fully certified, profit-sharing Class A cattle — and sold 28,952 head, leaving18,000 plus on inventory awaiting sale.

Sandra Gruber has joined Elanco as benchmark analyst and technical service associate in support of the benchmark program for feedlots dealing with the company. She’ll also provide tech support for products like Optaflexx, Component implants, Rumensin and Micotil. Sandra holds a Master of Science and PhD in Agricultural Sciences from Colorado State University, specializing in meat science. Her area of expertise is on the interactions of growth performance products on beef carcass quality grade and beef tenderness

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s online general store has a new directory of Alberta Feed Suppliers available. To get information on Alberta’s feed manufacturers and suppliers, as well as contact information and details on available feeds. Go to www.agric.gov.ab.ca,click on the information tab, and look for the general store.

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