Letters — for 2012-08-16 00:00:00

Not impressed with sheep industry coverage

In the past I have been impressed with your coverage of the sheep industry. All that changed a few weeks ago.

I read the article “Heady lamb market crashes to earth” several weeks ago. I was upset, because it was scary to read how I wouldn’t “even be able to give them (my lambs) away,” according to the Hutterite sheep boss, and how there are too many lambs in Canada, according to Roy Leitch.

Since I believe Canada still imports a lot of lamb because we don’t have enough in Canada, you can imagine my confusion. I am fairly certain there were other factors at play in the situation described in this article. I can sell my lambs right now to our local buyer. I won’t get the prices I was getting earlier, but prices go up and prices go down. That’s the industry, right?

We have been in the sheep industry for less than four years, and we have always heard that prices were very high during these past few years. We always knew not to expect it to last forever. It is also summer; prices are always lower in summer. Every sheep producer knows that.

Now, in the last edition of Manitoba Co-operator you have another article about the terrible state of the lamb market titled “The reasons behind the lamb market collapse.” It’s just more trashing of the sheep producers by your newspaper. I have read this article in its original form, and it did not have this title. Are you trying to sabotage our industry on purpose?

The lamb market has not “collapsed!” Prices are low right now, maybe lower than at this time last year. Maybe prices won’t rise as high as they did earlier this year. That’s hardly a “collapse.”

We are trying to grow the sheep industry in Manitoba, and it seems to me that you’re doing what you can to destroy it. Maybe your choice of headings was just an editorial decision to enhance dramatic effect, but you really need to consider the effect these decisions have on your readers. If I had been thinking of getting into the sheep industry, these two articles would really give me pause. They shouldn’t, because raising sheep is great.

The Manitoba Sheep Association is having its annual show and sale on Aug. 17 and18 in Rivers. Come out and meet people in the industry and see the different breeds. It’s very interesting, I promise!

Diana Neuman

McCreary, Man.



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