Cattlemen Thankful for Support but Help Still Needed During Cost-Price Squeeze



    Ontario Cattlemen's Association Holds Barbecue at Queen's Park to Thank
    MPPs for Support

    GUELPH, ON, June 4 /CNW/ - Yesterday the Board of Directors of the
Ontario Cattlemen's Association (OCA) was pleased to host a barbecue on the
South Lawn of the Main Legislative building at Queen's Park in Toronto. It is
estimated that between 500 and 600 people, including MPPs, their staff, and
the Queen's Park Press Gallery turned out to enjoy smoked Ontario Corn-Fed
Beef tenderloin. The day also provided an opportunity for the OCA Board to
meet with MPPs from all parties.
    For Ontario beef producers, 2007 was a year that many would rather
forget. A combination of factors, including newly-implemented processing
regulations, a rising Canadian dollar, lack of access to key markets and high
input costs are currently forcing many producers to question their future in
the beef industry. In 2008, the beef industry continues to face a number of
challenges which place producers at a competitive disadvantage.
    "We have enjoyed a great relationship with The Honourable Leona
Dombrowsky and the Liberal government," says Gord Hardy, OCA President.
"Yesterday gave us a chance to thank the Minister for her assistance and to
seek continued support. The OCA Board remains committed to working toward a
better beef industry in Ontario."
    OCA's priorities over the next few months will be focused on
profitability and reminding Ontario consumers to eat and ask for local and
Ontario product. As well, cattlemen will be lobbying and working with
government to improve and create effective programs that will help move the
industry forward. To do that, OCA is involved in the following initiatives: an
Ontario beef strategy to complement the government's Buy Ontario campaign;
support of Ontario Corn-Fed Beef; a market development partnership program, an
industry development fund; the Verified Beef Production-Quality Starts Here
on-farm food safety program; an age verification program; an abattoir
expansion program; management benchmarking; a young farmer strategy; the
Ontario Beef Breeder Loan Co-op Program; the Ontario Feeder Cattle Co-op
Program; and producer and consumer education.
    Culinary activist, Anita Stewart, joined the OCA Board during the
barbecue to offer her support in promoting beef as part of a healthy diet.
Stewart has been holding up a mirror to Canada and its people for over two
decades, and she has published several books to promote Canadian cuisine. Her
latest book is entitled Delicious: Anita Stewart's Canada ~ The Food, The
Recipes, The Stories. This pan-Canadian odyssey traces the history of our
major ingredients while peeking into dozens of multi-ethnic home kitchens.
    "There is no doubt in my mind that we are probably in one of the most
difficult times in our lives," says Hardy in conclusion. "I know it is not
going to be easy moving forward but the worst is behind us. Through events
like this, where we bring public focus to our situation, and with continued
government support, I know that we can bring profitability back to our
industry."

    The Ontario Cattlemen's Association is a grassroots organization, formed
in 1963, that represents the interests of Ontario's 19,000 cattle producers.




For further information:

For further information: Gord Hardy, OCA President: (519) 227-1113;
Lianne Appleby, OCA Communications Manager: (519) 767-8634

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Ontario Cattlemen's Association

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