Nathan Phinney of New Brunswick has stepped into the role as the president to the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA).
This appointment comes after the sudden passing of previous president in December, Reg Schellenberg.
Phinney — the first president of the CCA from the Maritimes in 90 years — previously sat in the role as vice president of the organization, and prior to that was very involved in cowboy politics.
“I got thrown in the wolves early on, I was probably in my early 20s. It didn’t take very long to assume the chair role of the New Brunswick cattle producers — our provincial organization. And then that moved into the chair position at Maritime Beef Council, which is a collaboration between Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick, and from there I moved to CCA. I have been there for eight years, now,” Phinney explains.
Phinney attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) conference at New Orleans, Louisiana, last week to continue work on the relationship between the U.S. and Canadian beef industry, as the countries continue to become more and more integrated — even though policies can sometimes differ dramatically.
One of the big sticking points right now between the Canada and the U.S. is new regulation in Canada on electric logs for drivers — in a time where finding drivers to haul cattle is becoming increasingly difficult.
“We’re trying to align ourselves with our government model, what the U.S. has for exemptions. We’re not against it. We want safety for our drivers, we want safety of cattle. That’s our number one priority,” he explains. “We do have our transportation regulations that were reformed and put in place in February of last year, in full scale in Canada. Now we’ve got another layer of regulation that is almost working against each other.”
“We’re relying heavily on cattle south of the border right now coming up for feed, and it was big this fall with the drought that was in the U.S. [It makes it difficult when] you get to the border, and nope, because the regulation, you’re coming into a part of the country that doesn’t recognize or give that [same exemption]. It’s making things extremely tough.”
Check out the full conversation between Phinney and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney, recorded at NCBA, below: