Gov­ern­ments re­spond to beef in­dus­try’s safety needs

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY DAVE MATHIESON

NAPPAN - The Nova Sco­tia Cat­tle Pro­duc­ers has re­ceived gov­ern­ment money to support a safe han­dling pro­gram.

Dur­ing a visit to the Mar­itime Beef Test­ing Sta­tion here on Satur­day, both the fed­eral and provin­cial gov­ern­ments an­nounced a com­bined con­tri­bu­tion of $89,100 to the Safe Han­dling of Cat­tle Pro­gram cre­ated by the Nova Sco­tia Cat­tle Pro­duc­ers.

“I’m glad the gov­ern­ment is start­ing to lis­ten to what the pro­duc­ers want,” said Larry Weatherby, chair of the Nova Sco­tia Cat­tle Pro­duc­ers, and a beef farmer in Har­mony. “We’ve been push­ing for it now for five years and they kept putting it aside say­ing, ‘we have no money.’”

Along with the fund­ing as­sis­tance from the gov­ern­ments, the Nova Sco­tia cat­tle in­dus­try is con­tribut­ing an ad­di­tional $130,000 to the pro­gram.

The pro­gram will pro­vide 40 per cent, to a max­i­mum of $1,000, to­wards the cost of new han­dling equip­ment such as chutes and cat­tle squeezes. Beef farm­ers will need to come up with the re­main­ing 60 per cent.

Brian True­man, a beef farmer in True­manville, at­tended the an­nounce­ment.

“The big­gest thing I saw (Satur­day) is that the Nova Sco­tia Cat­tle Pro­duc­ers has had an in­flu­ence on the gov­ern­ment,” said True­man. “They talked and worked some­thing out to­gether.”

True­man says he has an­i­mal han­dling equip­ment and will not ap­ply for the pro­gram.

“If you have han­dling equip­ment now you won’t uti­lize this pro­gram but for somebody who doesn’t have the equip­ment it will be a big help.”

True­man says beef farm­ing can be dan­ger­ous and the new equip­ment will help with safety.

“There’s prob­a­bly not an in­dus­try that’s more ac­ci­dent prone than agri­cul­ture be­cause you’re deal­ing with the un­pre­dictabil­ity of an­i­mals,” he said. “Some­thing like this is needed and the gov­ern­ment ac­tu­ally lis­tened to them, so that’s nice, that’s en­cour­ag­ing.”

He also says new equip­ment will help with an­i­mal safety.

“One of the things men­tioned was that 30 per cent of the males go­ing through the sales barns th­ese days are un-cas­trated bull calves be­cause peo­ple don’t have the fa­cil­i­ties, so that should help that a lit­tle bit and im­prove the bot­tom line.”

True­man un­der­stands gov­ern­ment fund­ing is limited.

“There’s a mil­lion dif­fer­ent places a farmer needs to put money,” he said. “I have a whole lot of equip­ment at home, so I’m in the process of putting up a ma­chin­ery stor­age.

“Every­body’s needs are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent,” he added. “It’s hard for the gov­ern­ment to be all things to all peo­ple.”

The Safe Han­dling of Cat­tle Pro­gram was funded un­der Grow­ing For­ward 2, which is a cost-shar­ing pro­gram be­tween the provin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments.

Cum­ber­land-Colche st er -Musquodoboit Val­ley MP Scott Arm­strong, who was on hand for the an­nounce­ment, hopes beef farm­ers con­tinue to make their needs known.

“We want to lis­ten to the in­dus­try to see how that bud­get is al­lo­cated to support the in­dus­try, so we’re look­ing at more and more (Grow­ing For­ward 2) ap­pli­ca­tions to come,” said Arm­strong.”

Nova Sco­tia Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Keith Col­well echoed those words.

“We’re go­ing to do more and more things di­rected at the in­dus­try that meets re­quests rather than putting pro­grams to­gether that don’t fit what the in­dus­try needs,” said Col­well. “At the end of the day we have to grow agri­cul­ture in the prov­ince.”

Weatherby says Nova Sco­tia beef farm­ers need to have ap­pli­ca­tions in for the Safe Han­dling of Cat­tle pro­gram by Dec. 31.

DAVE MATHIESON  CIT­I­ZENRECORD

Nova Sco­tia Agri­cul­ture min­is­ter Keith Col­well (from left), Cum­ber­land-Colch­ester-Musquodoboit Val­ley MP Scott Arm­strong, and Larry Weatherby, chair of the Nova Sco­tia Cat­tle Pro­duc­ers, dis­cussed cat­tle Satur­day morn­ing at the Mar­itime Beef Test­ing Sta­tion in Nappan.

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