Alberta has just announced another $30 million to support its livestock and meat sector. Back in June of last year, Alberta announced a huge $356 million initiative. Livestock producers received $300 million of that in direct payments as long as they complied with mandatory traceability requirements. The other $56 million went to create ALMA, the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. This most recent funding of $30 million will be delivered by ALMA. The money will go to international market development, value-added market development, research, industry development, and on-farm technology adaptation. Applications for the funding will be accepted starting May 1. On one hand, it’s good to see this major investment in innovation and market development, but it’s also disconcerting that Alberta is taking the lead like it’s the only meat producer in the country. Alberta is the biggest cattle province and it has the lion’s share of beef packing. Still, a lot of the beef coming out of Alberta packing plants originates on Saskatchewan ranches and farms. We’re a big part of the value chain, but we’re stranded on the sidelines wondering how Alberta’s initiatives will affect our competiveness. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC