Having a specific plan in place to move the Canadian beef industry forward was a top priority for beef producers at the SCA’s annual general meeting Jan. 21 in Saskatoon.
Producers who attended the meeting voted unanimously to increase the national beef check-off to $2.50 per head, up from the current $1, to support the National Beef Strategy. A collaborative effort of national and provincial beef sector organizations, the strategy provides the framework for how the organizations can work together to best position the Canadian beef industry for greater profitability, growth and continued production of a high-quality product.
“We heard a lot of support for the check-off increase at our district meetings in the fall,” says Ryder Lee, CEO of the SCA. “Now that we have a unanimous vote from the producers at the AGM, we have a solid mandate to actively support the strategy in any way we can to ensure it’s implemented.”
Lee says the national check-off increase has also been supported by other provincial check-off agencies, but has yet to receive official support nationwide.
“This is a step in the process, but we have a ways to go yet before we can implement the increase and move forward with the strategy,” he says. “But the vote at our AGM was a clear sign that Saskatchewan’s beef producers recognize the importance of the strategy and how it will ultimately benefit them and the entire beef industry in Canada.”
The Annual General Meeting, which came on the heels of the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference in Saskatoon last week, also saw the election of Ryan Beierbach as the new chairman of the SCA Board of Directors, replacing outgoing chair Bill Jameson. Beierbach, from Whitewood, operates a ranch and a ranching supply store, and has served as vice-chair of the SCA for the past year.
“There’s a lot coming down the pipe this year with the repeal of COOL and the advent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” says Beierbach. “It’s a critical time for the Canadian beef industry and the SCA has a lot of work ahead of us.”
The SCA AGM also saw the appointment of Chad Ross of Estevan to the Board of Directors as a representative from the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association.
For much more information on the National Beef Strategy, visit www.beefstrategy.com.