News Release Archive

Agriculture and Marketing Minister Ed Lorraine today released the
report of the Task Force on the Nova Scotia Beef Industry. 

The task force was announced last December as part of an overall
government strategy to support Nova Scotia's beef industry. The
12 member task force, representing all sectors of the beef
industry, was asked to make recommendations to the Minister
outlining future opportunities and challenges for the industry
and how to address them.

"Task force members have done an excellent job and have given me
a very thorough report," said Mr. Lorraine. "A number of the
recommendations can be tied into work already being done by the
department. However, we have established a departmental working
group to oversee what is needed to implement those
recommendations that may require legislative changes or that
impact the department's current budget."

Work already being done in the department that addresses specific
recommendations includes: reviewing options for a loan guarantee
program; establishing a marketing partnership with a retail
chain; developing an agreement on forage and ruminant research
with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Nappan, Nova Scotia; 
and, adherence to tariff and trade agreements regarding the
import of beef and beef products, which was brought to the
attention of the federal government at the last Agriculture
Ministers meeting in June and will continue to be monitored. 

The department is also exploring ways of incorporating the
$400,000 Net Income Stabilization Account (NISA) Deposit
Assistance Program for Beef, announced last December, into a
NISA-based Sustainable Performance Program, which was recommended
by the task force.

The NISA Deposit Assistance Program for Beef was created to
develop long-term industry stability and competitiveness. Under
the program, the department agreed to pay beef producers'
contributions to NISA for the 1995 stabilization year and half of
their contributions for 1996. The NISA program is funded by
provincial, federal and producer contributions. It enables
producers to draw on funds during periods of low prices or low

In total, the task force made 22 recommendations, including a
method to collect data on the yearly cost of production on Nova
Scotia beef farms, a survey on the usage of production technology
in the Nova Scotia beef industry, creation of a regional
cattlemen's association, and retention of the Nova Scotia Beef

"By working closely with the industry and the Nova Scotia
Cattlemen's Association, I am confident the industry will
stabilize, grow and create employment," said Mr. Lorraine. "We
need a beef industry that is going to be competitive over the
long-term and that is what we are working toward."

In releasing the report, Mr. Lorraine also responded to concerns
about the impact the dry weather is having on producers. He said
department staff from the Production Technology and Business
Development branches are working together to review options.

The department has already announced a toll-free feed listing
service to match feed and livestock producers. The toll-free
number is 1-888-423-1222. Information will also be available
Friday on the department's website at:

Nova Scotia's beef industry is a solid contributor to the
economy. Each year, the industry directly and indirectly employs
the equivalent of 900 to 1,000 full-time employees. The industry
is also a key economic support for many rural communities. It
contributed 10 per cent of the net growth experienced in Nova
Scotia's agriculture industry between 1991 and 1996. 

Task force members included:  Rick Williams, chair and
representative of the Nova Scotia Beef
Commission; Cal Ross, cow/calf operator, Falmouth and Jim
Lorraine, feedlot operator, Truro, representing the Nova Scotia
Cattlemen's Association; Gerry Fulton, dairy producer, Berwick,
Nova Scotia Milk Producers Association; John Pierce, O.H.
Armstrong Ltd., Kingston; Anthony Van Oostrum, Nova Scotia
Federation of Agriculture; Mary Elizabeth Stewart, consumer
representative and consultant, Beef Information Centre, Truro; 
Frank Berkalaar, Maritime Cattle Market, Truro; Dr. Dave Bailey,
Director, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Research Station,
Charlottetown; Jeanne Cruickshank, Canadian Council of Grocery
Distributors; Sean Firth, beef specialist and George Chant,
Department of Agriculture and Marketing.


Contact: Lynne M. Godlien
         Agriculture and Marketing

         Rick Williams
         chair, Beef Task Force

NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of the report, the executive summary
and/or the department's response to recommendations, are
available by calling 902-424-8963.

ngr                  August 13, 1997 - 2:35 pm