Having undergone recent changes by the former Liberal government, Ontario’s new government has announced its own changes for the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, with more consultation planned. “We heard livestock farmers’ concerns with the program so we’re making the first changes effective immediately,” says Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, in a… Read More

Cattle traceability platform BIXS is getting a rebrand ahead of its parent Business Information Exchange Systems (BIXS) moving forward on plans to go public in late 2018. BIXSco Inc. announced this month that the company has rebranded as BIX Systems, comprised of Viewtrak Technologies and BIXSco Inc., as they work on first round fund-raising with… Read More

Alberta-based Canada Gold Beef Ltd, owners of SunGold Specialty Meats Ltd., and the Canada Gold Lamb Lot have announced the merger of their lamb operations with that of Fresh Canada Meats Ltd, the majority shareholder of Manitoba-based Canada Sheep and Lamb Farms Ltd. Fresh Canada Meats is a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of Integrated Foods… Read More

There are likely few sentences that strike fear in the hearts of livestock producers quite like, “The CFIA called. They’re coming for a meeting.” That’s exactly what happened here last week, and, admittedly, my first inclination was to freak out. Fearing the worst (an audit on two days notice is the stuff of nightmares), I… Read More

A group of people concerned about the impact of Health Canada’s plan to revise Canada’s Food Guide and introduce new labels on food packaging have launched a campaign to raise awareness of and opposition to the government’s proposed changes. The campaign, which uses the slogan “Hands Off My Plate,” includes a website, a hashtag (#HandsOffMyPlate,… Read More

Livestock traceability requirements for sheep are about to get much more involved across Canada. While sheep producers have long been required to tag sheep ahead of movement, actual tracking of livestock movement has only needed to be recorded, not reported. That is going to change very soon, and there is concern that the existing infrastructure… Read More

While most pastures across Saskatchewan were blanketed with snow this past winter, the landscape will change quickly as warm weather arrives. Native prairie plants such as northern wheatgrass and needle-and-thread will soon spring to life, however their undesirable counterparts, such as leafy spurge, will too. Leafy spurge is a perennial invasive weed many farmers and… Read More

There’s a reason young and beginning farmers often choose to start a sheep enterprise — local demand for lamb is double what we produce, you can keep quite a few sheep on a limited land base, and they’re affordable livestock that reproduce quickly. There’s also a reason that many new sheep farmers don’t last more… Read More

A short-acting, oral drench offered by Zoetis — Startect— has received Canadian approval for use in sheep for treatment and control of a range of adult and immature worms, including Haemonchus contortus (barber pole), and nematode parasites including Teladorsagie and Trichostrongylus. Startect contains two active ingredients, abamectic and derquantel, in one product so as to… Read More

According to the dictionary, a sin tax is “a tax on items considered undesirable or harmful, such as alcohol or tobacco.” There is mounting pressure from activist groups to add animal proteins to that list of so-called “sinful” items. They argue meat creates added healthcare costs and negative impacts on the environment. It might sound… Read More

Flying, biting midges (Culicoides spp.) — sometimes called no-see-ums — are a scourge to wildlife. Hunters recognize their effects on deer in particular, which are highly susceptibility to a group of midge-transmitted viruses. But there are growing concerns about their potential effect on livestock, too. Here’s why. A midge swarm will blood-feed on animals, causing… Read More

My daughter and grandson share the same birthday, August 7. They’re part of a pork-and-grain farming operation near Thamesville. At their birthday celebration on the weekend, our family barbequed pork sausage from their farm on the campfire. There was no reason to doubt the quality of the sausage. We trust the meat packers in nearby… Read More