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Immediate Release

For Immediate Release

September 10, 2004

Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association and Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association Welcomes Federal Government Support for the Recovery of the Beef Industry.

REGINA - The Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association (SCFA) and The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) welcomed the announcement today by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Andy Mitchell regarding support for the beef cattle industry.

“This announcement is welcome news to Saskatchewan’s cattle producers and the beef industry that has been devastated since the BSE crisis struck on May 20, 2003” says SSGA President, Brian Ross. “This is no doubt a trade issue. We believe our provincial government is right when they say it should be 100% funded by our federal government.
However, this program cannot be funded on the backs of producers so either the Federal or Provincial governments must fund this program 100%. Our Saskatchewan producers must be treated fairly.”

The federal government plan focuses on 4 main issues
· Continuing efforts to re-open the border to live cattle
· Expansion of Canada’s packing sector
· Sustaining the beef and cattle industry until planned increased slaughter capacity comes online
· And increasing international market share

Provisions include an advance for cattle producers under the Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization (CAIS) Program and set aside programs for fed and feeder cattle.

Measures announced by Minister Mitchell are consistent with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) Strategic Plan that was unanimously approved by the CCA Board of Directors at the Semi Annual meeting in Calgary on August 20. The SCFA and SSGA have been working closely with the Saskatchewan BSE Advisory Committee and the CCA on the development of the contingency plan.

“These measures will reposition the industry in the long term because of increased packing capacities and marketing overseas” says Brad Wildeman, SSGA Director and Chair of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) Contingency Plan. “In addition, these measures will not negatively impact the industry when the borders re-open”

“The details as well as the level of provincial support are yet to be determined” says Bob Ivey, President of the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association. “However, there is no doubt this program is headed in the right direction”.

For more information contact:
Bob Ivey - President, SCFA: (306) 795-2856
Jamie Blacklock - General Manager, SCFA: (306) 382-2333
Brian Ross - President, SSGA: (306) 634-4330
Sheila Fishley - General Manager, SSGA: (306) 757-8523