Posted April 12, 2017

WINNIPEG  – Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is pleased to see the provincial government’s commitment to a Livestock Growth Strategy and to investments in water-related infrastructure in the 2017-18 budget.

Although details on the Livestock Growth Strategy are still forthcoming, the announcement follows Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler’s comments in 2016 that the government would like to see the provincial beef herd restored to pre-BSE numbers.

“It’s encouraging to see the government is committed to growth in the province’s livestock sector,” said MBP President Ben Fox. “Since Minister Eichler’s comments about growing the provincial beef herd, MBP has been hard at work gathering the thoughts of our members on how best to achieve that goal. We recently sent a letter to the minister that outlined the steps our members feel are needed to grow the industry. We now look forward to working with the government as part of this new strategy.”

Fox noted that among the highlights in the letter to Minister Eichler were: the importance of strong business risk management tools; a regulatory environment that encourages growth; the needs for sound Crown land policies; opportunities to restore acres to cattle production and to provide it at economically feasible prices; the need for improved wildlife management; and, the need for robust water management strategies to help reduce risk. The renewed commitment to completing the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlets project is welcomed and MBP encourages the province to speak with producers who could be affected by the route selection to ensure impacts are mitigated.

“We fully recognize that growing the herds in Manitoba’s livestock sectors will be challenging,” said Fox. “Having the support of the provincial government will go a long way in helping us achieve long-term sustainability and profitability in the provincial cattle industry.”

MBP notes the province did elect to eliminate three tax credits used by the agriculture sector – the Riparian Tax Credit, Nutrient Management Tax Credit and Odour Control Tax Credit. However the news that there are no new taxes or tax increases in the budget is welcomed by our membership. As well, the borrowing limits for individuals and associations through the Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee program have been maintained.                                                                                                                                       

Manitoba Beef Producers is the exclusive voice of the beef industry in Manitoba. Our role and mission is to represent our beef producers through communication, research, advocacy and education. Manitoba Beef Producers represents 7,000 beef producers across the province.