View it online >

Volume 22 Issue 09 • August 19, 2019

cows in field

CCA 2019 Semi-Annual wraps up

CCA Trilateral Meeting Canfax Manager Brian Perillat provides a market outlook

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) had a successful 2019 semi-annual meeting, held last week in conjunction with the fourth annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary, AB. The joint event provided plenty of opportunity for attendees to partake in workshops, presentations, information sessions from CCA divisions, keynote addresses and formal meetings of industry partners and stakeholders.
Separately, CCA leadership and staff participated in a bilateral meeting with their U.S. counterparts from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and a trilateral meeting with leadership from NCBA and the Mexican producer organization, the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG). Trade, animal health, and other issues of common interest were among the topics discussed. Canfax presented a market outlook that was well received.
With the federal election slated for October 21, the CCA promoted its federal election priorities document. Available online, this document outlines the issues and policies of importance to the Canadian beef sector. CCA encourages producers to familiarize themselves with the document and CCA positions on issues including trade, labour, research, regulatory burden and Business Risk Management (BRM).

CCA presented the 2019 The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) to B.C.’s Clifton Ranch, owned and operated by Wade and Sandra Clifton and family (see story below).
The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) presented the 2019 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation to Dr. John Campbell. Dr. Campbell is a professor and researcher at the University of Saskatchewan in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. His work focuses on clinical research in beef cattle health management and the epidemiology of infectious diseases. Find the BCRC news release here .
The BCRC General Session gave attendees the opportunity to meet internationally recognized Canadian researchers who presented the latest on antimicrobial use and resistance, the monitoring of animal health and productivity in cow-calf herds across the country, and the environmental hoofprint of Canadian beef production. Economic and science-based decision-making tools for producers were also demonstrated.

The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program had another strong presence at CBIC. The opening reception highlighted the semi finalists’ group, along with the graduates and celebrated many of their accomplishments over the course of the year. The program was also excited to present a new video, Beef Brings Us Together, profiling the CYL Beef Experience. CYL’s came together with the Hawksworth Scholarship Finalists, to explore a chef-producer relationship and how Canadian beef, as a product, brings two vastly different demographics together. The event was also highlighted on the demo stage on, where CYL Amy Higgins and Chef Ben Miller recreated the event while sharing their experiences. 

The Young Cattlemen’s Council (YCC) presentation was also focused on the future. YCC Board Member Cody Renz had the opportunity to moderate the Emerging Leaders panel, which explored succession and transition planning, and business expansion on farm. YCC was very excited to participate in the conference in a larger role, aside from their always well attended annual general meeting.

The CCA board meeting was held on Friday. Discussions included how best to manage trade disruptions such as the current suspension of access for Canadian beef to China - which of course stopped accepting imports of Canadian pork and beef in late June and earlier halted exports of Canadian canola seed and soybeans.

To manage such events, CCA has made proposals to further diversify and secure market access and has formally asked the government to support an export diversification funding request to assist in further market development. Export diversification is an essential tool for industry to manage closures when unexpected trade issues arise. CCA has also requested the establishment of a meat market access group (like what was formed for canola) and for the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) to be permanent and expanded beyond the western provinces.

The CCA believes market diversification can help Canada’s beef industry navigate its way through the temporary market interruption with China in a reasonable manner.

The 2020 CBIC will be held in Penticton, B.C.

Animal Health and Care Committee meeting Networking and meeting up with old friends is part of CBIC.
Back to top

B.C.’s Clifton Ranch named recipient of the 2019 The Environmental Stewardship Award

The CCA is pleased to announce Clifton Ranch, near Keremeos, B.C., as the recipient of the 2019 The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA). Clifton Ranch is owned and operated by Wade and Sandra Clifton and Brad and Dianne Clifton.

Duane Thompson, chair of the CCA Environment Committee, said the TESA judges recognize all the nominees as exceptional stewards of the lands they manage. What set Clifton Ranch apart for the judges was their work with the Nature Trust to restore and preserve the grasslands and ecosystems of the ranch, conserve species at risk habitat and preserve spawning grounds and habitat for songbirds – all the while using innovation and creativity to raise beef in a challenging natural landscape.

“The practices in use at Clifton Ranch embody the very essence of environmental stewardship,” Thompson said. “The Clifton family uses ingenuity to provide healthy range and a watering system for their cattle while being conscientious of the need to protect water sources and habitat for the multitude of species that co-exist with cattle on their land.”

Thompson and Stuart Person, Senior Vice President of Agriculture with MNP, TESA’s Platinum sponsor, presented the Clifton family with the 2019 TESA July 14 at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary, AB.

In accepting the 2019 TESA, Clifton said his family feels “very fortunate to receive this award.” Like most in the industry, he said, “when you are working hard you keep your head down, and we’re probably one of those that never look up at what we’re really doing, we’re just doing our everyday thing. And as time goes on, the way our industry is going, I think we need to look up and talk to some people and try to spread the word” about the positive impacts of cattle production to the land and the ecosystems, habitat and biodiversity that coexist with livestock.

Clifton also acknowledged the contributions of his brother, Brad, who passed in February, to ensuring the ranch made its sustainability vision. It is thanks to his efforts, in part, that the Clifton family is recognized with the national TESA, he noted.

Clifton Ranch is in B.C.’s Similkameen Valley, where a hot, dry and sunny climate creates challenges for beef producers. Steep terrain and lack of water sources require additional innovative management, and particularly so given the Clifton family’s long-term goal to make the environment “better.”

Clifton Ranch runs 500 cow-calf pairs and has 50-70 bulls on test. The cattle are grazed on about 60,000 acres of owned, leased and crown grazing lands. The ranch has a calving ground, feedlot, riparian areas and irrigated hay land.

Rotational pasture grazing is managed with the use of multiple float troughs and range fencing, and thousands of feet of pipe. Existing water is successfully managed with a creative series of about 100 water troughs. Feed production is maximized by growing forage varieties suited to the Keremeos climate with the help of irrigation. Hay is cut three times per year, allowing for the removal of the forage crop and resumption of irrigation and plant growth which, in turn, minimizes drought stress and maximizes growing potential.

Wade Clifton grew up understanding the benefits of environmental stewardship, and today continues to share that knowledge. Recipient of the B.C. Cattlemen's Association 2019 Ranch Sustainability Award, Clifton shares their range grazing best practices with fellow ranchers and government staff. Education is ongoing with the public and non-ranching community about the importance of range health and protection of biodiversity and habitat.

Clifton Ranch, in partnership with Nature Trust of British Columbia, was key in the establishment of the White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch. The aim of the program was to showcase species at risk management by conserving and restoring natural grassland and associated ecosystems. This led to another project to fence a stretch of Keremeos Creek and the development of alternate cattle watering facilities to protect sensitive spawning habitat for Rainbow and Brook trout and enabling recovery of habitat for yellow-breasted chat, a songbird.

The CCA thanks Norine Ambrose with Cows and Fish and Karli Reimer with Ducks Unlimited Canada for joining the TESA judging panel.

The CCA’s national annual award, TESA has recognized the outstanding stewardship efforts of Canadian beef producers since 1996. For more information about TESA, click here.

Back to top

Cows are part of the climate change solution

Canada’s beef industry is the most sustainable in the world. Canadian beef cattle help to preserve one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems on this planet. Grazing cattle is also a recognized practice to help mitigate the risk of wildfires, and is currently used as such in the U.S. and in B.C.

The B.C. Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) recently received a $500,000 wildfire management grant from the province to develop projects that will reduce fine fuels through intensive grazing in high risk areas. The program will see BCCA work with the ministries of Agriculture, Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Wildfire Branch, local governments, First Nations, ranchers and other stakeholders to identify critical areas.

“This is an excellent opportunity to show society the value of cattle and the very positive affect that they have on our environment making that beautiful landscape what it is because of our management practices, not in spite of them,” said Kevin Boon, General Manager.

Find out more information on the BCCA project, click here:

Back to top

Canfax 50th Anniversary

Canfax is a cornerstone of Canada’s cattle industry, providing expert analysis of markets and trends in the North American beef industry and delivering timely and accurate information to cattle industry professionals. Canfax is proud to celebrate its 50th year of serving the Canadian cattle industry in 2019. The Canadian cattle market experienced numerous highs and lows and structural changes over the past five decades, and Canfax expanded, modernized and innovated to stay ahead of the curve and ensured its offering remained relevant. In this final installment of a four-part series, we look at the people behind Canfax’s success.

Canfax staff recognize needs, keep service current

By Lee Hart

Any beef producer or agricultural service sector that wants to know what is happening in the cattle market today — join Canfax.

While it started simply 50 years ago with a few cattle feeders reporting largely to each other the market price they'd received for cattle that day, Canfax has evolved into the go-to market information source covering the current Canadian cattle market and markets around the world.

Cattle feeders of the late 1960s who pioneered Canfax were just looking to establish an independent cash price discovery mechanism (to find out what others were being offered or paid for cattle) that could help the then emerging Canadian cattle feeding industry with marketing decisions. Canfax still provides that service, along with much more, said Brian Perillat, Canfax manager and senior analyst.

It's been a crawl-walk-run process over the past 50 years for the market information service, which is a division of the Canadian Cattleman's Association (CCA). As technology improved, as the database grew, as marketing needs became more sophisticated, experienced professionals, over the years, expanded Canfax services. Today, Canfax services are delivered by a team of four livestock market specialists as well as two members of its research division, Canfax Research Services.  

"Canfax has built a brand around the collection, aggregation, analysis and dissemination of timely cattle market information," said Perillat.  Cattle feeders and auction markets still connect with Canfax on a daily or weekly basis to report current prices for all classes of cattle. That data is compiled and analyzed along with a wide range of other national and international information to provide a variety of reports available to members online, through the Canfax mobile and desktop app, as well as through one-on-one conversation with an analyst.

Services and reports include cash cattle prices for fed cattle, feeder cattle and calves, slaughter cows and bred stock — including local prices as well as prices across the nation and the U.S. For those interested in the fed-cattle market information includes up-to-the-minute prices and volumes, expected offerings, feedlot currentness, exports, packer activity and inventory as well as contracting activity.

For cow-calf producers information includes feeder prices and trends, feedlot profitability, cattle movement, buyer demand, inter-provincial and international trade, as well as contracting information. And Canfax also updates members on information that has a direct or indirect affect on the cattle market such as industry news, weather events, feed grain information, hog and poultry prices and supplies, and exchange rates as well as future quotes.

"While cash price information is still important, an increasing number of producers are also using marketing techniques that include forward pricing and the futures market," said Perillat. "So, an educational component of our services also helps producers better understand the role of basis in both fed cattle and feeder markets."

The evolution of Canfax has been piloted over the half century by several industry experts in livestock marketing. The late Bill Hartell was the first Canfax manager followed by Don Robins, Dennis McGivern and Harvey Dann.

Anne (Dunford) Wasko led the marketing services through a significant growth period in services during her 20-year stint as senior market analyst from 1985 to 2006.

Brian Perillat
Brenna Grant
"Canfax has always strived to develop and expand services to meet industry needs," she said. It has been a solid information source as the industry grew and faced challenges. She recalled the impact of the market collapse during the BSE [Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy] crisis of 2003.

"Producers were just in shock," she said. "There was still some trade in cattle following BSE, but it was limited. Producers would call, but often it was just that they needed someone to talk to. One of the strengths of Canfax has been to remain accessible to the industry."

Perillat said the industry appreciates the expertise and continuity of the Canfax service. Perillat, who was born and raised on mixed farming operation at Duck Lake, SK has been manager for nine years. Scott McKinnon, market analyst, with 25 years of feedlot experience, has been with Canfax for 10 years, while Dallas Rodger, market analyst specializing in feeder markets, cattle on-feed reports and feedlot demographics has been with Canfax for eight years. Janet Hovis, market communications coordinator, who helps manage the Canfax database, publications and the members' website has been with the organization for more than 20 years.

Canfax Research Services, launched in 1990, is currently managed by Brenna Grant, who, along with Huiting Huang as research analyst, provides contract services to all sectors of the agricultural industry as they analyze Canfax data to provide comprehensive statistical and market information on domestic and global beef trends. Their analysis of Canfax data is instrumental in helping private industry as well as agencies such as Canada Beef and initiatives such as the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef develop marketing plans, guide research and aid in policy development.

"Canfax is always working to remain current with beef marketing trends," said Perillat. "While cash trades are still important, at the same time more transactions are being conducted through the futures markets, formulas and grids which perhaps offer less transparency and price discovery, so it is important to improve reporting on these marketing tools as well, and to try and bring such a wide array of market information and factors into understandable and usable information for the industry."

Tapping into Canfax resources

At any time in the spring or summer what kind of price can you expect from your calves this fall? Or if you are planning to background, how does that feeding program pencil out?

Those are just a couple of the "what if" scenarios subscribers to the Canfax service using the Canfax mobile app can figure out pretty quickly on their Smart phone, tablet or office computer.
The app that has been available for a few years has recently been updated to work with all platforms as a mobile website, said Brian Perillat, Canfax manager. "It is a very handy tool for cow-calf producers looking to access price information and then use features to run through different scenarios based on their specific situation. It can provide some valuable information for producers ahead of buying or selling decisions."
The mobile app is just one of the ways Canfax subscribers can connect with the market information service, which is marking 50 years of operation in 2019. Canfax is an independent cattle market service that has stood on its own financial feet for the past five decades, said Perillat. "The service is a division of the Canadian Cattleman's Association, but it operates largely on subscriber funding and receives no funding from checkoff dollars or the government," he said. 
While the service that wobbled to its feet starting with a pretty basic price reporting system in the late 1960s, has been a reliable cattle market information source for the livestock feeding industry, it is also used widely by cow-calf producers as well as various sectors of the agricultural industry.
Wyett Swanson, who farms and ranches with family members near Provost in east-central Alberta and was involved at the start of Canfax says while the agriculture industry has more information choices today and is sometimes overwhelmed with information, Canfax remains a trusted source.
"We fed cattle for many years and in more recent years have been more focused on a cow-calf operation, but Canfax is just as relevant today as it ever was," said Swanson. "We can use the service to get an idea of what calf prices are like, but it is also valuable in giving you a sense of what's happening across the industry. What are some of the weather impacts, what are beef supplies like in Canada or around the world, or what's happening in the feedgrains markets? That type of information factors into herd management and marketing decisions."
While the Canadian livestock industry has expanded and contracted with beef production economics, Canfax maintains a solid roster of about 800 subscribers including cattle feeders, cow-calf producers and various other players in the private and public agricultural sectors, said Perillat.
With price insurance programs, and opportunities for cow-calf producers to market cattle through forward pricing programs and the futures market, Perillat said more producers are looking for timely and reliable information as they make use of more options in the marketing toolbox.  
Subscribers can connect with Canfax information and services in several ways including the members' only website, the Canfax app, by email, fax, and mail. All subscriptions also include phone-in privileges to speak with an analyst. Details are available by visiting the Canfax website at:

Back to top

Beef Researcher Mentorship Program 2019-2020 participants announced

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is pleased to announce the participants in the 2019-20 Beef Researcher Mentorship program. Following an open application process, four researchers from across Canada have been selected. Each has been paired with notable leaders in the Canadian beef industry and given a travel budget for the coming year, which will provide valuable opportunities for greater engagement with Canada’s beef industry.

2019/2020 Mentees:
  • Dr. Aklilu Alemu
  • Dr. Marianne Villettaz Robichaud
  • Dr. Matthew Links
  • Dr. Peipei Zhang

The Beef Researcher Mentorship Program provides upcoming and new applied researchers with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the needs of the beef industry in practical and meaningful ways. Participants are paired with innovative cattle producers and other industry professionals for a one-year mentorship along with a travel budget to attend industry meetings, producer workshops, and farm tours. The program complements similar programs in existence but for which some researchers may not be eligible. Funding is made available in part through the technology transfer initiative within the Beef Science Cluster.
Meet the 2019/2020 Mentees and their Mentors Here

Back to top

CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: Brady Stadnicki, Emily Ritchie, John Masswohl, Beef Cattle Research Council, Canfax

Contributors: Janet Kanters, freelance contributor, TESA

Edited, compiled and/or written by: Gina Teel

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is the national voice for Canada's beef cattle industry representing 60,000 beef farms and feedlots.

To sign up for CCA's "Action News:"

Visit and click on “Action News Signup”

Sign Up Now

For more information, contact:

CCA Communications at or visit our website at

Contact Us

Head office:

Ste. 180, 6815 8th Street NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7H7
Phone: 403.275.8558 Fax: 403.274.5686



Ottawa office:

1101, 350 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON K1R 7S8
Phone: 613.233.9375 Fax: 613.233.2860

Unsubscribe From This Mailing List >

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Canadian Cattlemen's Association · #180, 6815 8th St. NE · Calgary, Alberta T2E 7H7 · Canada