The impact of the coronavirus is one subject members of the beef industry will have on their minds this week.
More than 600 people are attending the 17th annual Alberta Beef Industry Conference from Wednesday to Friday at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre.
The event brings all facets of the beef industry together under one roof to network and connect on industry issues, said Jennifer Brunette, Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association events and member services manager.
“The COVID-19 is an issue on the markets, and I’m sure a lot of people will be discussing that. Trade is obviously important to the industry, so we’ll be talking about that as well,” said Brunette.
“We’ll be bringing in Peter Zeihan, who’s a geopolitical scientist. So it’ll be interesting to hear his perspective on Canada’s and Alberta’s role on the global stage.”
Zeihan is one of many guests who will speak throughout the event, which is typically held in Red Deer each year.
“Red Deer is easy to access from all areas of the province. But not only Albertans are here. We have people visiting from B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec – we have people from Argentina and the United States,” said Brunette.
The event features a trade show and silent auction. One new part of the conference will see the launch of videos featuring Toronto residents’ opinions on beef.
“It went over really well and we’re launching those videos (Thursday). It should be pretty interesting,” said Brunette.
Premier Jason Kenney had a message for attendees in the conference program.
“Alberta beef is known worldwide for its quality and we owe that reputation to the hard work and dedication of the province’s producers and suppliers,” the premier’s message said.
“This convention and trade show is a wonderful opportunity for members of the beef industry to gather to discuss the issues that affect them. There have been many challenges in recent years and I hope you will be energized by the opportunities that lie ahead.”