Letters To The Editor – for Nov. 23, 2009

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The Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) has had its head in the sand for some time now. The refundable checkoff mandated by the provincial government is the result. It failed to come up with new ideas.

Instead producers were told to wait for the U. S. border to reopen. Now the ABP says depend on trade with foreign countries, but wait until 2012 for Europe to take our beef. This is old news. The CCA and then the ACC has tried for over 20 years to get beef into Europe – they don’t want our beef or need it. Quit wasting producers’ money over such things.

Age verification is more paperwork for nothing and more regulations. SRM regulations are a farce that has put our cattle industry at a disadvantage compared to our competitors. Yet ABP delegates let this all pass. Importing countries want cheap beef and will go where they have to find it.

Why not have a checkoff check box on livestock manifests to minimize paperwork? This was suggested by a producer at the local zone meeting. This idea would not be heard by ABP brass in attendance. Instead ABP is trying to minimize the refunds by creating more paperwork. Anything to keep the checkoff money they have not earned in some time, if ever.

If ABP had done anything useful for cattle producers we would be happy with its checkoffs. Perhaps if it had any teeth like R-CALF, producers would be happy to belong to ABP, even send them donations as well.

Jim Muzychyn Sunset House, Alberta

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