• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

US plant travels to new home in Canada

Help Support Ranchers.net:


Feb 11, 2005
Reaction score
nw manitoba
U.S. Cattle Plant Travels to New Home in Canada

Fri March 11, 2005 3:11 PM GMT-05:00
By Roberta Rampton

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - The first load of equipment from a U.S. cattle plant was slated to cross into Canada on Friday, where the farmers who bought it hope to make the best out of being shut out from the U.S. cattle market.

Rancher's Choice Beef Co-op Ltd. is moving the plant about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) to Dauphin, Manitoba, from Ferndale, Washington, where it had been mainly idle since May 2003.

That's when Canada found its first native case of mad cow disease, prompting the United States to ban imports of cattle, which both the plant and Canadian farmers relied on.

"It's a great feeling of satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment starting to set in," said Frieda Krpan, a farmer from St. Laurent, Manitoba, who is on the board of directors of the project.

Krpan said the group of 3,100 farmers from three provinces who comprise Rancher's Choice is determined to find ways to make money from cows and bulls that currently sell for a pittance.

"When this is so out of their (farmers') own control, there's a feeling of stubbornness starting to set in that we're going to make this work, come hell or high water," Krpan told Reuters as she drove toward the border to meet the first shipment of plant parts.

The project will cost C$16 million ($13.3 million), Krpan said. Manitoba's government has pledged C$11.5 million to the plant.

Rancher's Choice hopes to be running by fall, with a goal of processing 250 cattle per day, or about 65,000 per year.

The plant will provide at least 70 jobs and will give its owners a share of the profits from the meat sold, Krpan said.

The group has been flooded with calls since a Montana federal judge extended the ban on Canadian cattle imports last week, Krpan said.

The ban on young cattle was supposed to be lifted starting March 7, but an activist rancher group called RCALF obtained a preliminary injunction against it.

Canadian cattle industry leaders have said the border could remain shut for another year or more, depending on legal machinations.

A group of U.S. meatpackers filed an emergency appeal of the Montana decision on Thursday, explaining they faced "imminent economic collapse" without access to Canadian cattle.

Until the trade bans, Canada shipped about 70 percent of its processed beef to the United States, as well as 1 million head of live cattle per year.

Canada's beef industry has said it wants to become less reliant on the U.S. market in the future.

It has boosted domestic slaughter by 10 percent since the trade bans to 3.9 million head in 2004.

Expansions at large plants in Alberta as well as new, farmer-owned plants like Rancher's Choice could boost capacity as high as 4.6 million head by the end of 2005, industry analysts have said.

Latest posts