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New Packer Announced

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Jason

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Canada


New beef plant to take 52,000 head a year

Tue June 14, 2005 5:29 PM GMT-04:00
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - A new beef processing plant in the province of Saskatchewan opened on Tuesday and will process 52,000 head of cattle per year, according its owners, who are primarily farmers.

Natural Valley Farms is part of a wave of expansion in Canada's cattle slaughter capacity, sparked by a U.S. ban on live cattle imports after Canada found its first case of mad cow disease two years ago.

The company is running a federally inspected beef processing plant at Wolseley, Saskatchewan, near the capital of Regina.

Livestock are currently being slaughtered outside the province, but the owners said in a news release that construction of a feedlot and slaughter plant in nearby Neudorf, Saskatchewan, will begin immediately.

The two plants will cost more than C$15 million ($12 million). The owners expect gross sales of more than C$50 million in the first year of operation.

Most of the cattle delivered to the new Saskatchewan plants will be raised without hormones and antibiotics, and the meat will be targeted to export markets, the owners said.

More than 1,200 farmers have committed cattle to the operation. A group of farmers in central Manitoba is also raising money to build a sister slaughter plant.

Canada used to ship about 1 million head of live cattle to U.S. slaughter plants each year. Prices have slumped since the U.S. import ban because there are not enough domestic plants to handle all the production.
 

rkaiser

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Good news Jason. BIG C supports any packing initiative that adds COMPETITION to the marketplace.

I hope these guys don't chase your Cargil buddies out of the country LOL.

:roll:
 

Kathy

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I wonder what would happen to our exports if we ALL STOPPED USING HORMONES, and only used antibiotics on individual animals that really required it (instead of mass distribution of antibiotics in feed or water).

Don't yell at me for suggesting this. If you have what the vets call a blow-out of disease, do what you have to do to get the cattle healthy. But growth hormones are absolutely, positively UNNECESSARY.

I'd be truely amazed to see such a plant open up in Alberta. Thanks for the update, Jason.
 

BRG

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Kathy, I have to disagree with you on the growth hormones not being necessary. If that is the market you are looking to get, great don't use them.

But this winter I fed 1500 head out and a bunch the last few years. In order to get the cheapest and quickest gain, those are needed. Even if you have the best genetics in the world, it still does it. The price you get for natural raised cattle doesn't cover the money you loose from not getting the quicker, cheaper gain from the growth hormones.
 

Border rancher

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Hi, Here in southern Alberta, some of our neighbours and ourselves have never used any type of growth hormones. One year a group of us did half the calves, some big and some smaller ones, just gate run. At weaning time the groups were weighed separately, just out of curiosity. The animals with no hormones averaged 2 pounds heavier than the ones that had the implants.
I am certainly no scientist, but I have always wondered about something. If hormones do cause cattle to gain faster and grow more, would they in turn cause cancer cells that might be present in the person ingesting the meat to grow faster as well?
Since our calves are sold as grass cattle each spring, I don't know what they are fed when they reach feedlot stage. I know the ones we eat at home have no hormones and are always in good shape to be butchered.
 

Kathy

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If everyone was forced to stop using the hormones, possibly we could get the price necessary to produce the meat and still make a living? Right now, with some using and some not, IF there is indeed an advantage in their use (ie faster weight gain), the non-users need to promote their product better. UK banned them in 1986 and EU banned them in 1989.

We don't use them either. When we sell our backgrounded calves, we always have the auctioneer announce that they have had no growth promotants and no antibiotics (the one animal we had to treat last fall with an antibiotic, was tagged so it could be identified as the one we treated). The rest were natural and healthy. Lots of CLA in that meat.

I too worry about the effects of the hormones, for many reasons. There have been a few reports of studies which I have come across investigating BSE. They stated that breast cancer cells when exposed to these same hormones, grew faster. It didn't say it caused them, just that exposure of these cancer cells to them caused them to multiply faster than those not exposed to the growth hormone. It makes sense to me.
 

Northern Rancher

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I wonder if you are making money without them why you'd use them. The most RETARDED thing ever is guys implanting breeding females-why would it matter if a heifer thats going tobe arund for ten years is a bit heavier at weaning. Invariably when we run into a conception problem in a synchronization program it's with implanted heifers-researcgh might say otherwise but I've seen too many cases first hand not to believe it.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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I'm with you on the hormone issue, Kathy. We stopped using them 5 or 6 years ago after my sister mentioned the same concern re:cancer connections. What made her question a good deal more substantial was the matter of her own survival of breast cancer.

I'm not sure how it has affected our bottom line since we haven't done any side by side comparisons, which is the only way one will discover the difference it might make.

One thing is absolutelycertain in my mind.:I KNOW that I am not contributing to anyone's ill health when I'm not using supplemental hormones.

How does one put a value on that?
 

Jason

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A few years back I had a chance to attend a small gathering where some feedlot owners were and also a couple packer buyers. The issue of implants came up and the packers complained that the hot hormones made the beef less marbled. The feedlot guys said it was a $60 feed conversion advantage to use them and they weren't at the time getting any bonus for a better marbled animal.

There is always more than one side to a story.
 

Jason

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rkaiser said:
Good news Jason. BIG C supports any packing initiative that adds COMPETITION to the marketplace.

I hope these guys don't chase your Cargil buddies out of the country LOL.

:roll:

Why is Cargill my buddy? Just because I refuse to buy into the evil packer scenario?

I hope these guys make a go of it. They have a steep road ahead of them but they aren't asking for a gov't handout to get rolling either. That was the point of my posting it. Do it with a good plan not a subsidy.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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In my feeding regimen, $60 would equate to a 30+% feed savings. I have a great deal of difficulty believing that to be even a remote possibility. I think that would be hard to acheive even with grains at high prices.
 

Border rancher

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After reading some of the previous posts after my last one, maybe I won't even order beef in a restaurant! I know what we eat at home has had no hormones. However, it is probably a case of "moderation in all things".

Possibly a small amount of the hormone doesn't cause the cancer to grow faster. I think if a small amount did cause accelerated growth of the cells, there would be many more people suffering from breast cancer as well as other types of the disease.

MLA, I believe that you and others in your business (I know from personal experience as we fed cattle in custom lots for many years) will continue using the hormones as long as possible to gain more profits. That is only human nature. Maybe if the problem (Hormone implantation)causes enough concern someday the practice will be banned and made illegal.

Do you and your family eat the implanted beef or do you keep some "natural ones" for your own use?
 

Kathy

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from Wikipedia on-line encyclopedia:

Acrylamide
In April 24, 2002, swedish Livsmedelsverket (National Food Administration) alarmed that acrylamide may be a carcinogen, and concern was raised as it can be found in small quantities in baked and cooked foods, such as potato chips and breads. It is believed to be created in foods when starches and other carbohydrates are overheated far past 100°C. Some sources claim that people in the modern world consume daily on average around 25 micrograms of acrylamide, and that this accounts for a significant number of cases of cancer.

However, since then, further research has not revealed any connection between acrylamide intake via food and cancer in the large intestine, rectum, bladder, or kidneys. And in 2005, in a cooperation between Harvard School of Public Health and swedish Karolinska Institutet, researchers were seeking a connection between acrylamide and breast cancer, but could not find any in that case either, as revealed in a press release published March 15, 2005. The current opinion among most researchers is therefore that former acrylamide reports have been exaggerated by media, although with the caveat that any substance in "astronomical doses" can still be dangerous to any organism, including humans. However, in the case of acrylamide, such doses are currently believed to be far greater than the acrylamide intake from food. Unfortunately, warnings by media had sometimes been misunderstood. For example, there were earlier reports of 200-700 swedes dying annually due to acrylamide intake via food; however these results were in fact based on lab rats.

However, acrylamide may still be a carcinogen if exposed to it in larger doses. There are limited evidence large doses can cause damage to the male reproductive glands. Direct exposure to pure acrylamide by inhalation, skin absorption, or eye contact irritates the exposed mucous membranes, e.g. the nose, and can also cause sweating, urinary incontinence, nausea, myalgia, speech disorders, numbness, paresthesia, and weakened legs and hands.

Polyacrylamide
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Polyacrylamide is an acrylate polymer formed from acrylamide subunits that is readily cross-linked. Acrylamide needs to be handled using Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) to avoid poisoning since it is a neurotoxin.

Polyacrylamide is not toxic, but un-polymerized acrylamide can be present near the polymerized acrylamide. Therefore it is recommended to handle it with caution. It is highly water-absorbent, forming a soft gel used in such applications as polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and in manufacturing soft contact lenses.

It has also been advertised as a soil-conditioner called Krilium by Monsanto in the 1950s and today "MP", which is stated to be a "unique formulation of PAM (water-soluble polyacrylamide)".
Ionic substances like salt cause Polyacrylamide to release its absorbed substance.

General Mills (NYSE: GIS is a corporation, mainly concerned with food products, that is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The company markets such brands as Betty Crocker, Nestlé, Yoplait, and Pillsbury, as well as numerous well-known breakfast cereals.

In late 2004, the company transitioned its entire breakfast cereal line to whole grain. This was partially due to the low-carbohydrate diet craze that had been sweeping the United States in the early 2000s decade, but was also influenced by research indicating that highly-refined grains can have detrimental health effects. Also, in 2004, General Mills was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mothers magazine.

If you go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page you can look up almost anything you want, and really educate yourself on a subject by jumping to links connected to the various subjects, and seeing how things link together.

Our talk on breast cancer, popped up in the search I started with “Pillsbury” then led to “General Mills” which led to “health effects”, which led to “synergistic health effects of pesticides”, which complimented my other search on “polyacrylamide”, which led to “polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis” used in BSE test kits, which led to “acrylamide”, which led to “neurotoxin”, which led to ….

I think you get the picture. This is a fantastic website. Wikipedia on line encyclopedia!!

How does it link to our Rancher’s thread? Just read what’s above (link to cancers), then go to Wikipedia and search out more answers.
 

rkaiser

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Keep on rolling Jason. BIG C is not asking for a government handout, only a loan. You have got such a wealth of knowledge but must not be able to read.

If you want to call me a packer blamer, why can't I call you a packer buddy?

Nothing you say ever challenges the motives or actions of the packers.

Somewhere in your so called reserved jugdment world that involves questioning everyone, you have no room to judge the packers.

They are not the big bad guys that you say I am saying. They are currently essential for the survival of the industry. But that is not to say that by taking advantage of the opportunity they have been handed, that they are good community citizens either. Any change to the current "salmon run" of packer profits has been opposed by these angels from heaven including one of the most important things that must occur to create market for Canadian Beef. BSE testing.

As far as Cargil and Tyson receiving no government support - Give your head a real good shake Jason. That has to be the most lame statement you have come out with yet!
 

Border rancher

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Back to the "big packing plants" and their profits.
I read that when the Ab. gov. did their audit(reluctantly) of the plants and their profits, it was cited that the costs had risen so much that they needed more money. SRM removal and disposal was the big one mentioned. The rest were the same as the rest of us face every day. Rising fuel prices, labour costs were 2 that I remember.

I then read,and I can't even remember if it was in the same article, that the packers profits were up something like 300% over a couple years ago.(good old boxed beef going south, I guess) Isn't profit what you have left after expenses?

However, we citizens did this to ourselves! Before Cargill and Tyson came into our country even Lethbridge had 3 packing plants. There were
Canadian Dressed Meats, another big one whose name I can't recall right now and CIty Packers,( who could be counted on to take your substandard animals.) That made some competition for our market area, and I am sure others centres also had their local plants. Before US packers came into Lakeside in Brooks, many smaller plants weren't able to compete with that large plant and closed. Any that were left disappeared when Cargill built in High River. Then when US Tyson bought out Lakeside there were only 2 plants left. Most of the producers seemed to think that because large plants could bid higher, and made more profit for us they had to be better. Look what has happened since. We have 2 US plants now. They do provide jobs for many immigrants and a few locals in our province. But NOW THEY CAN PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER AND PAY AS LITTLE AS THEY LIKE FOR OUR PRODUCT because we have nowhere else to go with it!

Hindsight is always better, but I bet I am not the only one wishing I had had more foresight when these big plants "took over" and at least tried to stop it.
 

Bill

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Jason said:
rkaiser said:
Good news Jason. BIG C supports any packing initiative that adds COMPETITION to the marketplace.

I hope these guys don't chase your Cargil buddies out of the country LOL.

:roll:

Why is Cargill my buddy? Just because I refuse to buy into the evil packer scenario?

I hope these guys make a go of it. They have a steep road ahead of them but they aren't asking for a gov't handout to get rolling either. That was the point of my posting it. Do it with a good plan not a subsidy.

Jason maybe you should do a bit of research and see what gov't handouts enticed the big two to Alberta in the first place and what they have recieved since. Far more than what BIG-C has asked for. I get more than a little tired of beef producers and industry leaders saying that we can't be picking winners and losers in this mess. Guess what! It's done in other industries all the time such as auto plants, Air Canada, CN,CP, Bombardier. One mega cow plant that was producer owned would have a far greater chance of succeeding than all these small plants. I am afraid it is too late and this will be is mainly due to inaction by producers and the CCA.
 

RobertMac

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Border rancher: "But NOW THEY CAN PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER AND PAY AS LITTLE AS THEY LIKE FOR OUR PRODUCT because we have nowhere else to go with it!"

USA producers are in the same situation except these same packers don't have your cattle to push down the price of USA live cattle and that is the only reason they want the border opened...the increased cost of purchasing Canadian cattle(and don't expect much) would be nothing compared to the increased savings from a reduction in USA prices.

Anytime any producers start selling our product, beef, to the consumer, I for it and wish this plant all the luck in the world...they are going to need it, especially if the border opens.
 

mrj

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Considering the possibile "additional" hormones in beef that is fed growth stimulants........do they even exist?

I've forgotten, but years ago when the hullaballoo over boys developing breasts, etc. if they ate red meat, especially beef, the naturally ocurring hormones in beef were blamed. Turned out they would have to have eaten huge amounts to equal hormones in a serving of broccoli which was/is touted as a health food!!!

With testing detecting parts per billion or more, surely it is known exactly what is in beef now, and whether or not feeding growth stimulants has any effect.

Sounds like more fodder for the mills trying to frighten people into vegetarianism.

If it affects tenderness, that may be the deciding factor that succeeds in eliminating their use.

Remember, part of the "plan" to eliminate use of animals for food is to make the cost of raising them so high that people can't afford to do it.......and to make the meat so expensive that few people can afford to eat it.

MRJ
 

Jason

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Border rancher said:
Back to the "big packing plants" and their profits.
I read that when the Ab. gov. did their audit(reluctantly) of the plants and their profits, it was cited that the costs had risen so much that they needed more money. SRM removal and disposal was the big one mentioned. The rest were the same as the rest of us face every day. Rising fuel prices, labour costs were 2 that I remember.

I then read,and I can't even remember if it was in the same article, that the packers profits were up something like 300% over a couple years ago.(good old boxed beef going south, I guess) Isn't profit what you have left after expenses?

However, we citizens did this to ourselves! Before Cargill and Tyson came into our country even Lethbridge had 3 packing plants. There were
Canadian Dressed Meats, another big one whose name I can't recall right now and CIty Packers,( who could be counted on to take your substandard animals.) That made some competition for our market area, and I am sure others centres also had their local plants. Before US packers came into Lakeside in Brooks, many smaller plants weren't able to compete with that large plant and closed. Any that were left disappeared when Cargill built in High River. Then when US Tyson bought out Lakeside there were only 2 plants left. Most of the producers seemed to think that because large plants could bid higher, and made more profit for us they had to be better. Look what has happened since. We have 2 US plants now. They do provide jobs for many immigrants and a few locals in our province. But NOW THEY CAN PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER AND PAY AS LITTLE AS THEY LIKE FOR OUR PRODUCT because we have nowhere else to go with it!

Hindsight is always better, but I bet I am not the only one wishing I had had more foresight when these big plants "took over" and at least tried to stop it.

Gross profits were up. Net is still fuzzy, no one knows for sure how much it is costing to process under these new realities except the packers themselves.

All the reports have concured that the industry needed a push to get things rolling again after May 20/03 The feedlot subsidy did that. But who stepped up to the plate and took the chance? The packers. Yes they did benefit, but what if they didn't get the beef moved? Even at 30 cents millions of pounds is a lot of money.

Go back to the time we had 3 packers in Lethbridge, Canada Packers set the market. They controlled 60% of the hook space by themselves. But the plants were not efficient, or clean for that matter. To rebuild would have cost millions. They wouldn't even bid on small numbers of cattle so left those up to the other plants to take at whatever price they offered.

Enter Lakeside and Cargill, they are not the only packers left, and it takes 2 companies in competition to control 60-70% of the kill. XL is still going strong, and Bouvry has federally inspected facilities as well. We have a jam because we built more cow capacity than hook space. We were at a 1.2 million head disparity just after May/03 We have seen increased slaughter capacity to the tune of 20% since. We still need more, but it has to come in an orderly manner so it lasts.

Things aren't the best, but I would rather work through this in good business manner than throw money at it hoping something takes.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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Border rancher said:
After reading some of the previous posts after my last one, maybe I won't even order beef in a restaurant! I know what we eat at home has had no hormones. However, it is probably a case of "moderation in all things".

Possibly a small amount of the hormone doesn't cause the cancer to grow faster. I think if a small amount did cause accelerated growth of the cells, there would be many more people suffering from breast cancer as well as other types of the disease.

MLA, I believe that you and others in your business (I know from personal experience as we fed cattle in custom lots for many years) will continue using the hormones as long as possible to gain more profits. That is only human nature. Maybe if the problem (Hormone implantation)causes enough concern someday the practice will be banned and made illegal.

Do you and your family eat the implanted beef or do you keep some "natural ones" for your own use?


Border rancher, I think if you re-read my post you will see that we quit using hormones several years ago. Consequently, all the meat we raise and eat has only its natural hormones.

And i'm a big meat eater. Honest to goodness, sometimes when I'm reading what others post on here about their recipes, I could go cook up a sirloin even if it's 11:00P.M.! And sometimes I do!
 

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