Winter 2015 – Jack Hextall, Chair, Canada Beef
Fresh off another successful Annual Forum, our Canadian beef industry has lots to be proud of.
The Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency has been on a journey of evolution this year. This summer, the Board created the National Check-Off (NCO) Committee to handle and oversee check-off management. In August, the long-awaited Proclamation became official, and a meeting was held with all of the provincial funder associations named in the Proclamation to address some key areas of NCO management.
In September, our Forum was held in Calgary and was well attended by over 150 funder representatives, key industry leaders and partners.
At the Forum we elected a new Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Trevor Atchison, who during his three years of service to our Board, brought a dedication and candor that will be missed. As Trevor leaves the board as the representative to Manitoba, we also would like to welcome Heinz Reimer who will now represent the province on our board.
Also at the Annual Forum, we announced a restructure of the Agency that will streamline operations.
There will now be a separate NCO division of the organization to look after all of the administration and regulatory aspects of the NCO. This division will be headed up by a new hire, and hiring this leader is a high priority for us. The internal Marketing division will remain as Canada Beef, be headed up by current Canada Beef President Rob Meijer and report to a marketing committee on the Board of Directors. The external research division as contracted to the Beef Cattle Research Council will remain the same.
The changes to the organization will provide improved services to stakeholders, and allow for more focused priorities by each division as we move through our new three year strategic plan and beyond.
The three year plan on the marketing side is set to deliver great value to Canadian beef producers. With our crown jewel, the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence, already meeting and exceeding many of our anticipated three year targets, we are poised to drive incredible, measurable results for the industry.
To continue achieving these results for the industry, our part in the five year National Beef Strategy is paramount. We need to maintain and grow our research and marketing opportunities, and that will require an NCO increase. Today, the value of the original one dollar NCO has eroded to be worth about 70 cents today. Changes to the industry, funding models and global opportunities have required the industry to come together and seek solutions since the inception of the check-off. Discussions with all partners of the National Beef Strategy are ongoing, and will be brought to regional producer meetings across the country this fall.
As we move through the fall run and into winter, there is lots of work to be done both on our cattle operations, and in our national organization. None of the success at Canada Beef or the Agency can happen without the dedication of the staff, and the leadership of Rob Meijer. As an industry, we thank you for working hard every day to bring so much value.