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Just rambling out the year

As we count down to Christmas and the end of 2015 it’s fair to say this year was overall a pretty good year. Apart from distractions like, beef bashing research, weather, land lease reviews, a new government, trade issues, looming farm safety laws, and other irritants, this year through it all, we saw cattle prices remaining high. This, above all else should at the very least cushion ill effects from the other issues that continue to challenge our industry. Here’s to 2016 being the same or wishfully, better.

Speaking of next year, there will be no Calgary Bull Sale on the Calgary Stampede and Exhibition grounds this coming March.

After 115 years this once benchmark bull sale is leaving town and moving up the highway to Balzac.The reasons behind this decision to break with tradition I can only think had something to do with the government cutting back grant money to the Stampede who infact recently announced layoffs. Regardless, it’s another brick removed from the foundation that build the Calgary Stampede and Exhibition – agriculture and in particular beef. It seems each year outside of the rodeo, there are fewer and fewer cattle related events there.

On the flip side, Agribition had another successful year and word has it [speaking of tradition], this is the last year for the Swamp. Like the dissapearing act of the Calgary’s bull sale, the Swamp is being demo’d and replaced with a new building. The Swamp was a great place that has for many people, fond memories attached to it.

On a somewhat comical note in my opinion, during Agribition there was a round table meeting hosted by the Saskatchewan Stockgrowers Association. Participating were local cattle producers and some from the U.S.. The purpose was to exchange ideas and concerns on both sides of the border as it relates to beef. In the press release they covered off the 5 w’s of the meeting. What I found comical how this years release was strangely similar to previous press releases about this annual meeting. Case in point is the following excerpts over the last few years.

2013 – “It’s good to hear these people want to comply with the WTO. That’s huge because it means we’re not dealing with radical people. They would like to see this thing resolved, just like we would,” said Mark Elford of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association following the meeting.

2014 – “The North American cattle industry operates as an integrated market and by working together on shared issued and eliminating trade barriers such as COOL both our countries can benefit greatly,” said SSGA President Doug Gillespie.

2015 – “The North American cattle industry operates as an integrated market and by working together on shared issued and eliminating trade barriers such as COOL both our countries can benefit greatly,” said SSGA 2nd Vice President Bill Huber.

Oh how the devil is always in the details. With that said, here’s to a wrapping up a great year and from all of us here at Alberta Beef Magazine, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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