It is time for the federal and provincial governments to step up to the plate and fix the deplorable crisis in the cattle industry.
Manipulation by packers and retailers leaves no money on the table for farmers and ranchers.
Our returns need to come from the marketplace, but we have no market power.
Packer manipulation through captive supply and ownership of auction markets, feedlots and packing plants creates a no-win situation for farmers and ranchers.
The focus of governments and beef organizations has been on increasing exports.
This has been good for packers and exporters. But we can export every last cow out of Western Canada and not one more penny will find its way back to the pockets of farmers and ranchers.
Cows are heading for the auction markets by the thousands every week, and auction markets are cautioning farmers and ranchers to call first.
In Central Alberta, we are in a severe drought situation, with little or no runoff, no grass and no hay crop. Governments point us toward Agri-Stability and Agri-Recovery, but these programs won’t even pay the bills.
Our governments need to follow the lead of the northern U.S. senators and introduce a Livestock Marketing Fairness Act.
We realize that governments cannot fix the weather, but they can help to fix the marketplace.