The Canadian Cattle Association’s (CCA) Environment Committee held their Semi-Annual Meeting in beautiful Penticton, British Columbia on August 16. Outgoing YCC member Holly Sparrow and I were very fortunate to attend and take part in several important and informative discussions around issues and developments within our industry.
During this meeting we had an informative presentation from Stacey Domolewski, the Extension Coordinator of the Beef Cattle Research Council, outlining their 5-year funding plan, and highlighting the allocations for environment, forage, and grassland productivity research. Stacey also went over the findings from a project based on the impacts of Canadian beef production on biodiversity, and an integrated forage, cattle, and timber management project. These results were very interesting to hear and continue to support the story of how cattle have a positive effect on our environment.
We also received an update from Larry Simpson, from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Larry provided an overview of a draft initiative which would conserve native grassland by working with ranchers, land trusts and conservation organizations. The NCC, along with members of this environment committee, has come up with a few options for ranchers.
Any of these would be voluntary, with the purpose being to provide ways to protect native grassland by providing revenue to encourage the successional transfer of ranches to our generation; therefore keeping these ranches and their landscapes intact.
Larry Thomas, Environment Manager, updated us on the federal government’s recent announcement of the Resilient Agricultural Landscapes Program, which we are very grateful for. The CCA and this committee will continue to work with them to make sure the program is accessible and fits producers’ needs. I look forward to hearing how this, and the other initiatives have progressed by our next meeting at the Canadian Cattle Association’s Annual General Meeting in the new year.