Source: Manitoba Beef Producers
Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) had its first in-person meeting with Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen this week to discuss matters such as changes to the agricultural Crown lands (ACL) leasing program, the adverse production conditions in 2019 and resultant effects on the industry, and challenges related to predation.
“It was very important to sit down with the new minister and his staff to discuss issues affecting the industry and to talk about potential strategies to address them,” said MBP President Tom Teichroeb. “Ongoing engagement will be key.”
“At our recent district meetings, ACL lease holders cited a number of concerns in areas such as affordability, predictability (lease lengths and transfers), the new system for valuing improvements, among others. We certainly share these concerns,” explained Teichroeb. “We had a frank discussion about these topics and will continue to do so with the provincial government to try to secure some changes.”
With respect to the modernization of the ACL leasing program, MBP will continue to advance matters such as:
- Allowing existing lease holders to have the first right of renewal upon expiry of their lease if they can demonstrate that they still meet the program terms and conditions;
- The need for a rental rate formula that is fair, easily understood, recognizes market conditions and which is transitioned in over a five-year period;
- The continued ability for producers to be able to utilize family transfers and unit transfers;
- The right to informed access whereby those wishing to access ACL would need to notify the lease or permit holder prior to entry;
- Government recognition of the ecosystem services lease holders provide in managing ACL; and
- Whether there may be opportunities for interested lease holders to purchase ACL in a more timely fashion
During the meeting MBP asked the provincial government to revisit its decision not to pursue an AgriRecovery initiative for beef producers affected by this year’s adverse production conditions, which has affected feed availability and affordability. As well, MBP made suggestions with respect to the need to make business risk management programs more responsive to the needs of the beef industry, and around improving access to haying and grazing of Wildlife Management Areas.
MBP also discussed its request for funding for a pilot project aimed at reducing the risk of negative livestock-wildlife interactions. Predation-related losses exact a heavy toll on beef production.
Manitoba Beef Producers is the exclusive voice of the beef industry in Manitoba, representing 6,500 producers across the province. MBP’s mission is to represent all beef producers through communication, advocacy, research, and education—within the industry and to governments, consumers and others, to improve prosperity and ensure a sustainable future.