Risk management, trade and the environment are at top of mind for the Manitoba Beef Producers as provincial and federal elections loom.
The organization released its election wish list in a news release on August 7, which encompassed both federal and provincial elections.
“It is important that there is a policy and regulatory environment in which the industry can thrive,” said MBP president Tom Teichroeb in the release.
MBP policy priorities include:
- Equitable, effective business risk management;
- Sound water management strategies;
- Recognition for the sector’s work to steward the environment;
- Exploration of new trade avenues and maximization of current agreements;
- Strategies to tackle labour shortages; and
- Investments in beef and forage research and innovation.
In an interview with the Manitoba Co-operator, Teichroeb explained that MBP is looking for fair treatment across the commodities, not just for beef producers. He gave the example of recent cash advances offered to canola producers after China closed its doors to the oilseed earlier this year. The same opportunity was not afforded to struggling beef producers.
Teichroeb said that big-picture water management strategies are needed to tackle both wet and dry years. He pointed to producers in southern Manitoba whose wells are running dry because of tile drainage.
He said governments need to think in terms of larger watershed management.
“Who is draining the water and why is it being drained?” he said.
On grassland management, Teichroeb said governments should recognize the work the beef sector does toward soil stewardship, water management and carbon sequestration.
He said ranchers understand how important it is to maintain a functioning ecosystem but need policy that gives them opportunities to deliver.
“It’s everyone’s responsibility,” said Teichroeb.
He added that to maximize opportunities in agriculture, all sectors need adequate, qualified labour.
He encouraged members of the Manitoba Beef Producers to engage candidates.
“It is important our voices are heard by the people who could be shaping policies and programs affecting agriculture for years to come,” Teichroeb said in the release.