The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) board of directors acclaimed Martin Unrau as president and Dave Solverson as vice-president at the CCA’s recent annual general meeting in Ottawa.
Unrau, from Manitoba, takes over from outgoing CCA president Travis Toews. Having completed a two-year term, Toews remains an officer of the CCA, and will serve as past president. Solverson is a CCA director from Alberta.
Unrau, who has been involved with CCA since 2007, said he intends to focus on maximizing the opportunities for Canada’s beef cattle industry and safeguarding infrastructure. Producers can expect a continued focus on market access and the rebuilding of the Canadian cow herd in order to become a solid player on a global scale. Maintaining the cohesion that CCA past presidents have built up between the sectors of the industry, particularly feeders and processors, is another key piece, Unrau said.
“I’m big on vision for the future. The Canadian cattle industry is in a really good situation right now, however, I am concerned about infrastructure dropping off because herd numbers are down. It’s one of those underlying issues that are always there when numbers are down,” he said. “I’m concerned that we might lose some slaughter and processing capacity, along with feeding capacity, in Canada and in the U.S. That’s a huge concern down the road, so we’ll have to look at that and deal with that.”
Unrau operates Bar 88 Ranch near MacGregor, Manitoba, along with his wife Roxie, and their son Garett, one of the couple’s four children. The Unraus calve 550 cows and background some calves, and grow grain crops including corn, canola and barley.
The CCA also welcomed the following new directors appointed by the provincial members to the board: Cathy Sharp and Pat Rutledge (Alberta); Brent Griffin and Kevin Woods (Saskatchewan), Heinz Reimer (Manitoba), Tom Wilson and Matt Bowman (Ontario); George Smith (Nova Scotia). New this year is Byron Templeton (Alberta) representing the Canadian Beef Breeds Council.