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December 28, 2022

Checking in with government relations

Over the fall producer bottom lines have been a focal point for government relations. Although calf prices are outstanding, input costs have cut into any profit the producer could have captured from the margin.

This scenario highlighted the need for a business risk management program that considers the costs of productions, production risk, and price risk. Cow-calf producers do not have such a program, which has been a main push through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (S-CAP) consultations.

Conversely, in August there was substantial concern that the federal government would restrict fertilizer use. ABP started working with the provincial government to identify the massive industry impacts. Much of this issue came from poor communication of the objectives; however ABP still notes that crop production is an essential part of our industry and any changes to their production impacts us. 

ABP executive met with ABVMA executive to discuss mechanisms to tackle the veterinary shortage. It is an undeniably complex issue, being felt across many developed countries but certainly in rural areas. Both organizations recognize the beef industry is the most impacted industry and will work in unison going forward to ensure sustainable solutions. 

In September, ABP led a campaign to lobby the provincial government to support the livestock industries in securing permanent access to a larger Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank. Currently, Canadian producers have access to a very small amount of FMD vaccine, which would be unlikely to control an outbreak. ABP worked with Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, Alberta Goat Association, Alberta Lamb Producers, and Alberta Pork requesting the provincial government to pressure the federal government to invest $3.2M annually into an effective vaccine bank. 

ABP has also been working alongside Western Stockgrowers’ Association and Alberta Grazing Leaseholders Association to bring changes to recreational use of undeveloped road allowances in the province. Currently every municipality creates their own bylaws (or does not) regarding road allowance use, leading to conflict between landowners and recreationalists. ABP met with Rural Municipalities Association and a representative from the provincial Ag Service Board to discuss the issue. This will be an ongoing project as many council members have a poor understanding of the issue.

This article was first published in Volume 2 Issue 5 of ABP Magazine (December 2022). Watch for more digital content from the magazine on ABP Daily.

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About the Author

Mark Lyseng
Mark Lyseng was raised on a fifth-generation cattle operation near Armena, AB, where he continues to raise cattle with his brother. He previously worked with the Government of Alberta as a Public Land Specialist and has a strong understanding of how government and stakeholder groups work together. Mark has a Master’s Degree from the University of Alberta in range and wildlife management and is a graduate of the CCA mentorship program, Cattlemen’s Young Leaders.

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