Cindy Egg Farmerette: March Madness

Cindy Egg Farmerette: March Madness

In CP’s producer-written blog, Cindy Huitema shares her journey from a conventional to an enriched housing facility.

RWA in the U.K.

RWA in the U.K.

How a gut health program is helping producers.

What’s new with turkey?

What’s new with turkey?

An update on exciting new products and why year-round product sales are growing.

Promoting biosecurity compliance

Promoting biosecurity compliance

New research identifies factors critical to success.

DATE: April 16, 2018LOCATION: Sanov, Zlin, ZlinskyDETAILS: Information received from Dr Zbyněk Semerád, director general, State Veterinary Administration, Veterinary Administration, Prague, Czech Republic reports an occurrence of a listed disease in a backyard poultry flock.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5751461ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: April 16, 2018LOCATION: Hyde County, North CarolinaDETAILS: Through an abundance of caution, Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Indiana is voluntarily recalling 206 749 248 eggs because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Braenderup, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.The eggs were distributed from the farm in Hyde County, North Carolina and reached consumers in the following states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia through retail stores and restaurants via direct delivery.The voluntary recall was a result of some illnesses reported on the U.S. east coast, which led to extensive interviews and eventually a thorough FDA inspection of the Hyde County farm, which produces 2.3 million eggs a day. The facility includes 3 million laying hens with a USDA inspector on-site daily.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5748263ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: April 9, 2018LOCATION: Kun Lung Wai, Fanling, North District, Hong KongDETAILS: An intensive surveillance system is in place for all poultry farms, poultry markets, and pet bird shops in Hong Kong. The H5N6 infected wild bird was detected in the ongoing national surveillance program in wild birds. No spread of disease was evident. There are no poultry farms located within three km of where the bird was found. The Hong Kong Wetland Park and Mai Po Nature Reserve are not located within three km of where the bird was found. The date of end of the outbreak is the same as the date the bird was found; April 4, 2018.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5735715ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
Antibiotic resistance is real. In Canada and around the world, fewer antimicrobials remain effective in controlling infection as more microbes become resistant in both human and veterinary medicine.
DATE: April 7, 2018LOCATION: Zimnitsa, Straldzha municipality, Yambol districtDETAILS: A new outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza was confirmed at a duck farm in the village of Zimnitsa, Straldzha municipality, Yambol district, Bulgaria's Food Safety Agency said.There were 6,000 ducks on the farm and it was expected that the process of destroying them would be completed on April 5, 2018, the agency said.A three-kilometre protection zone and a 10-km observation area around the holding were set up, with a ban on the trade and movement of domestic, wild and other birds and breeding eggs, organization of fairs, markets, exhibitions and other clusters of domestic or other birds.The agency said that clinical examinations would be carried out at poultry establishment, along with a check on biosecurity measures at poultry establishments in the area.The announcement came a month after Bulgaria reported a bird flu outbreak at a chicken farm in the village of General Toshevo in the Dobrich district.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5731017ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: April 3, 2018LOCATION: Al-Kharj governorateDETAILS: The HPAI H5N8 event in Saudi Arabia, which reportedly started on Dec. 19, 2017, continues its spread; so far, 22 outbreaks have been reported to the OIE.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5725866ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: March 31, 2018LOCATION: Kralova, Galanta, Trnava and Parainen, Lounais-SuomiDETAILS: A white-tailed eagle unable to fly properly was found and delivered to wild animal shelter on [20 Mar 2018]. The swab sample was found positive for avian influenza type H5N6 on [29 Mar 2018]. The white-tailed eagle was euthanized because of its poor condition. The shelter had 5 other wild birds (whooper swan, rock pigeons, greenfinch) that were euthanized as well.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5721214ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: March 31, 2018LOCATION: Notre Dame du Pe, Notre Dame du Pe, SartheDETAILS: Suspicion based on a very light symptomatology (the laying phase did not start; prostration) in breeding turkeys ready for laying. The reference national laboratory confirmed the presence of low pathogenic H5N1 virus on March 27. All the animals were killed and destroyed on March 27 and 28.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5721140ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: March 29, 2018LOCATION: Kalmar, Stockholm, Varmland, Vastra Gotaland, Orebro, and Ostergotland countiesDETAILS: During the first months of 2018, many cats have developed salmonellosis. The disease has also been confirmed in small birds, which is the likely source of infection for the cats according to the Swedish Veterinary Medicine Agency (SVA). About 10 people have now been infected with Salmonella types common to small birds and cats. For some cases, there is also a confirmed connection to a cat with salmonellosis. The majority who have been infected are children in pre-school age.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5714468ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: March 28, 2018LOCATION: Boulders Beach, Western CapeDETAILS: In February, veterinarians detected H5N8 avian influenza virus in African penguins at Boulders Beach in the Western Cape. The African penguin is classified as endangered, and is one of a number of wild bird species affected. Others afflicted include terns, Cape cormorants and peregrine falcons. Although the virus is highly pathogenic to chickens and other poultry, its impact on wild seabirds is not yet well understood, according to a statement released at the time by the national-parks authority.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5716325ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
UPDATE: March 22, 2018LOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioThe FBCC is issuing an update to the March 16, 2018 Biosecurity Advisory relating to the diagnosis of ILT on a commercial broiler chicken farm in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region.WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:FBCC is coordinating efforts with Chicken Farmers of Ontario, the farmer, their veterinarian and industry partners to control spread and prevent reoccurrence of the disease on the index farm including: Extensive cleaning/disinfection/heating procedures once birds were shipped; Increased production downtime and postponement of placement; Inoculation of incoming chicks with a vaccine type approved for eradication; and Actively monitoring farms at highest risk. The Animal Health Lab at University of Guelph has determined that the virus strain associated with this case is indistinguishable from the ILT virus which caused a significant outbreak in Niagara in 2004.As your farm has been identified as being located within the 10km biosecurity advisory area, we recommend that you remain vigilant in following the enhanced biosecurity procedures that are in effect.Should you suspect any signs of health concerns in your flock, please contact your veterinarian as well as your Board. ILT is a serious, contagious disease caused by a respiratory virus. Signs to look for include: increased mortality, noisy breathing, head-shaking, off feed, decreased egg production, inactivity, ruffled feathers and conjunctivitis.Please advise any visitors to your premises of your biosecurity protocols because of this situation and keep a logbook of movement in relation to your farm. Minimize visits to other poultry production sites, avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites or ensure that it is washed and disinfected. Ensure all personnel in contact with birds wear boots, protective suits, head coverings and gloves/proper handwashing procedures. Ensure adequate control of vermin and wild birds.Initial alert:DATE: March 16, 2018LOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioDETAILS: On behalf of the four feather boards, the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) is issuing an ILT Biosecurity Advisory to all poultry industry service providers operating in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region. A Biosecurity Advisory Area map is being provided to assist with routing and enhanced biosecurity measures.FBCC has been notified by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), that Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) has been diagnosed on a commercial broiler chicken farm in the northwestern part of the Niagara region. All farmers and small flock growers within 10 km of the affected farm are being notified by board staff and advised to enhance their biosecurity and closely monitor flock health.This is the first diagnosis of ILT in an Ontario broiler chicken flock in several years. The high broiler chicken density in the area creates the potential for spread to otherunvaccinated birds. OMAFRA reports that the farmer is following proper biosecurity protocols and the situation is under control.Please reinforce your biosecurity protocols if working with flocks or travelling through this area of the Niagara Region. Suspend all non-essential visits. For essential visits, apply the following recommended biosecurity measures: wearing boots, protection suits, hats and gloves/hand washing. All deliveries/loading should be last on the route. Wash and disinfect the truck's undercarriage and steps before proceeding with any other delivery/loading. Do not go to another farm within 12 hours.Should you be aware of health concerns in flocks you deal with, please advise the farmer to contact their veterinarian as well as their Board.We anticipate this advisory status to last until at least late April.SOURCE:Feather Board Command Centre
DATE: March 23, 2018LOCATION: Dormaa, Brong-Ahafo, GhanaDETAILS: Notification submitted by Ghana's chief veterinary officer on Feb. 14, notifying an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza. The reason for notification was given as "new strain of a listed disease in the country" and the causal agent, "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, serotype H9N2". The outbreak was recorded on a farm with 16,822 susceptible "78 weeks old brown layers in deep litter" of which 4,225 cases (deaths) were counted. The remaining 12,597 birds were, reportedly, killed and disposed of. The diagnosis was performed by the Accra Veterinary Laboratory (national laboratory) applying real-time reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR), found positive.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5705853ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
Conventional cage laying barns have always been dusty, notes Harry Huffman, an agricultural engineer based in London, Ont. “Thus, I would assume the new floor and aviary style of housing systems will continue to be dusty as well.” Huffman notes that the more important ventilation design parameters in a layer barn hinge around the number and size of birds being housed, and how airflow should occur through the airspace to accommodate the building specs.
Raising broilers is much like building a house. A good deal of effort goes into planning and constructing the structure, but one also needs to be a bit of an artist to create the ideal end result. Experienced and knowledgeable growers are similar in that they follow recommended procedures while also being proactive in identifying issues before they can cause a problem.
Today’s poultry farmers are faced with the necessity of maintaining a profitable balance in managing their livestock facilities. This ongoing challenge, coupled with keeping up with new regulations and animal welfare concerns, add to the complexity of managing a healthy and well-performing flock.
The Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council have developed a guide to assist municipalities incorporate emergency deadstock disposal provisions into their existing municipal emergency response plans.The main objective of the planning guide is to provide municipalities with a systematic approachto: Identify the available disposal options Profile the municipality to determine the extent of any potential disposal problem(s) Select an appropriate disposal method(s) Implement a process to develop and maintain a mass carcass disposal plan. Ontario Pork and OLPC are partnering to offer workshops with municipalities to walk them through the process of completing a mass carcass disposal plan for their municipality utilizing the Mass Carcass Disposal Guide for Municipalities. While pork is being used as the example, the planning template applies to all livestock and poultry species.An electronic version is available at http://www.ontlpc.ca/pdfs/downloads/MassCarcassDisposalGuideRevisedMay2017.pdf
3M Food Safety recently announced its new 3M Molecular Detection Assay 2 – Campylobacter with 3M Campylobacter Enrichment Broth, providing more efficient testing for a key pathogen associated with poultry production. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Campylobacter causes an estimated 1.3 million illnesses each year in the U.S. 3M’s new assay and simplified enrichment broth helps customers safeguard against this pathogen while increasing laboratory productivity. The testing process is significantly faster than alternatives like PCR, immunoassay and culture methods, and having a streamlined protocol for Campylobacter and Salmonella means the system is able to perform up to 96 tests of multiple types in one 60-minute run.“We are providing the poultry industry with a complete solution that is simplified to achieve fast, highly accurate results,” said Christopher Somero, 3M food safety marketing manager for new products. “While this product was developed to give our customers an easier workflow, an additional benefit is increased protection of their products and brands from the threat of this pathogen.”Unlike traditional Campylobacter enrichment protocols that can take 11 or more steps, the 3M Campylobacter Enrichment Broth requires only five steps. This frees up poultry testing labs to keep their focus on what matters most. The 3M Campylobacter Enrichment Broth eliminates the need for expensive microaerophilic incubation, supplements, blood, organic solvents or autoclaving the broth, only requiring the addition of sterile water.The award-winning 3M Molecular Detection System platform is used by food processors, universities, governments and contract testing laboratories in more than 40 countries. It is powered by a combination of advanced technologies—isothermal DNA amplification and bioluminescence detection—to provide a pathogen testing solution that is fast, accurate, easy to use and affordable. The new assay for Campylobacter joins, and can be run concurrently with, molecular tests already offered by 3M for Salmonella, E. coli O157 (including H7), Cronobacter, Listeria and Listeria monocytogenes.For more information, visit: www.3m.com/foodsafety/poultrytesting
The recently updated Canadian code of practice for the care and handling of broilers includes new requirements regarding lighting. The code takes into consideration expertise from a committee of researchers and specialists, and also considers several studies out the University of Saskatchewan, conducted by poultry researchers Karen Schwean-Lardner and Henry Classen in collaboration with Aviagen. Schwean-Lardner presented her findings at a recent Poultry Industry Council broiler meeting.
While on a recent farm visit, a poultry producer said something that really resonated with me. We were talking about lighting and he referred to the use of incandescent bulbs as “the good old days.”
Nesting behaviour in laying hens is complex, and according to poultry scientists such as Dr. Michelle Hunniford of the department of animal biosciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario, there’s a lot left to discover.
Although it has improved over the years due to the availability of better genetics and better diets, eggshell quality remains a concern. “When you look at the Canadian market information tables for Canadian egg production in 2017 (from Egg Farmers of Canada), approximately seven per cent of all eggs were down-graded as either grade B, C, nest run or other reject eggs,” notes Dr. Kayla Price, Canadian poultry technical manager at Alltech Canada. “Eggs with cracks would make up a portion of these down-graded eggs.”
In livestock farming – or really, in any complex endeavour – a good start is critical. With raising broilers, deficiencies in starting care have often been overlooked in years past for several reasons, according to Dr. Stewart Ritchie, a poultry veterinarian and owner of Canadian Poultry Consultants and S. J. Ritchie Research Farms Ltd. in Abbotsford, B.C.
As the Canadian egg industry phases out conventional cages, most farmers will decide to install free-run or enriched cage housing. For its part, poultry housing maker Big Dutchman is presently seeing a 50/50 split on its Canadian sales of the two housing types, but sales lead Ron Wardrop says he’s recently seeing a little more interest from producers in enriched cages.
The environmental impacts of livestock and poultry production are a challenge for agriculture. Ammonia, along with greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane, are key areas of concern.
At end of February, we had just surpassed what proved to be a big stumbling block and holdup for us...the big pour of the concrete floor.After letting the concrete floor cure for almost a week, the pads were poured.We decided to put cement pads under each row of hen housing and these were one-and-a-half inches in depth on the edges and two inches in the middle. This is to make it easier when the barn is cleaned each year so that the water runs away from under the housing. Also, floor drains were put in place on the far end of the barn.A few days of curing occurred for the pads, and we were eager to get the construction of the Farmer Automatic Enriched Housing started.We had a couple different work stations—constructing frames, assembling plastic housing doors, and all of the webbing inside the frames was put together.We have lead man, Dennis and another employee, Josh from Clark Ag Systems.Nick has been the general contractor for the building of the barn and has good knowledge of the conventional housing that is in our present barn. He has been an asset with his experience. We also have the rest of the family to help when available and some other workers.The construction of the housing is a huge job and there are many layers to the process. Frames are constructed and assembled with vertical braces that end up being the skeleton of the row. The dividers between each colony are put place and the floor clips and perch holders.The wires for the cage doors, middle divider, and thicker cage floor support wire are fitted out next. Our nephew Jason was wired for these tasks. We decided to use stainless steel wire instead of the galvanized that was supplied, as Nick found that this was a weak area in our present conventional housing.The cage floors, white PVC perches, white PVC waterlines, water cups, re-plastic scratch pads, and nesting boxes with curtains are installed a systematic order. I nicknamed our daughter Stephanie, “Scratch Pad Steffy” as she efficiently put in all the red plastic scratch pads in the first and second levels of rows one and two.Farmerette can proudly say that she put all the perches in for the first and second levels, with some help from daughter Stephanie and Jake, and glued the joints and caps for the ends. I prefer to leave the third and fourth level work to others!We were able to get lots of work done on the Saturday and Easter Monday with it being a school holiday.I hung red nest curtains around the next boxes. There are four nest boxes back-to-back as the nest areas have no lights. The hens prefer to lay their eggs in a dark, sheltered area.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleria28185ca18e Manure ends are of course extremely important as the removal of manure keeps the air quality good for the hens and ourselves, keeps the eggs clean, and provides a good environment for the hens. The Clark guys handle these areas.Another area that is a little more complicated is the egg elevators that will take the eggs from the egg belts and transfer them to a conveyor that will go into the egg packing room.There were still a few skids of equipment outside and these would have to be brought in the barn when needed. Also, there is room in the barn for a fourth row of housing, but this is not being done now, and is there for any future growth of the egg business. This area has actually turned out to be very beneficial for storage and assembly of parts before they are installed on the housing.Construction of parts also occurs as many of these parts come in pieces that need to be put together. For example, the cage doors have a white plastic centre, then a red left and red right hinge that must be hammered in with a mallet. We need approximately 1,800 of these. Our daughters Nicole and Charlotte did many of these. I also put together the 24 egg belt rollers that go at the far end of the barn.We took black plastic waterline connectors to the house and put a clamp on each end in the evening with the TV to break up the monotony of the job. The warmth of the house made the plastic more pliable when putting the clamps on.March turned out to be a very busy month. We were relieved and happy to see the construction team finish off a back area beyond the main barn that is manure storage as they were here since November. Yippee!!!We have made it to Easter with the hen housing well underway and will hop into April being able to see the finish line for this stage of the process.CLICK HERE  to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
Dalaine FarmSector - BroilersLocation - Shakespeare, Ont.
February turned out to begin very cold, more snow and windy. Any work that could be done inside the new barn building was done when temperatures were not frigid. Some days were too cold to get any work done.Electrical lines for lights got installed on the ceiling and the baffle on the west side. Any work that had to be done on the ceiling or high areas had to be done before the scissor lift got picked up.The arrangement with the scissor lift was that you pay a weekly rate, and when you have it for three weeks, you get the fourth week free. This is what worked for us.From February 4 - 6, the insulation got put in the attic. The first day was very mild with the snow melting on the roof causing a steady stream of dripping off the steel roof. This job had two fellows who were experienced in insulating attics completing the work.We had two overhead doors to be installed – one for the cooler for Burnbrae Farms to do their weekly pick-up of eggs, and the other as a big entrance to the main barn when the birds arrive and then depart after 51 weeks.Timing for this had to be when the interior was completed so that the doors could be fastened to completed walls and ceiling.Again, working in a freezing temperature environment had to be avoided.Both doors got installed February 11 and finishing these up occurred the next weekend.For the entire month, we were anticipating getting the concrete for the floor poured.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleria2000b1d26d I have never watched the weather forecast so diligently, and part of frustrating February was that we wanted the concrete floor to get poured.Nick chose a warmer stretch of weather later in the month to start using propane to run the heater to begin thawing the ground.Preparation work to level the floor for concrete took place on February 23 and continued early in the next week. The weather forecast had sun and mild temperatures for that week.Once again, loads of stone were brought in, a bobcat brought stone inside, and a roller flattened out the floor to make it level with the help of laser level that was set up on a tripod in the corner of the barn.February 28 brought a 13-degree day, and the concrete floor was finally poured.There were a dozen guys doing the pour, running the concrete pumping truck, and spreading and levelling the concrete.The first concrete truck came by 8:00 A.M. and the last truck load was done by 12-noon. A truck came every half hour. All of this activity brought curious neighbors to sneak a peek at all the action going on.The next couple days were filled with finishing the concrete with power trowels to give it a smooth finish.March came in like a lion on the 1st with a snowstorm in Haldimand County, about 15 centimeters of snow, and the first snow day for school kids.... so, we were glad that this big job was done.Cindy Egg FarmeretteCLICK HEREto read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
Archer's Poultry Farm Ltd.Sector - Layer, hatcheryLocation - Trenton, Ont.
Third generation poultry farmer Don Sundgaard says when it comes to succession, be patient, encourage off-farm experiences and welcome both formal and informal discussions.
Do you know a standout up-and-coming producer, vet, researcher, industry member or advocate in the Canadian Poultry industry? Canadian Poultry magazine’s Who’s Who issue is released every July with the goal of shining a light on stand-out members of the Canadian poultry industry.The theme for the 2018 Who’s Who issue is up-and-comers and we want your help in finding the best candidates.Nominate rising stars today to potentially have them recognized in our Who's Who issue this summer!
My fifth blog starts off at the New Year.Christmas gives those of us in agriculture time to enjoy faith, family, friends and farm. As holiday festivities took over between Christmas and New Year’s, we had minimal time to make any progress.Many businesses have limited holiday hours, and employees take time away from their jobs, including our construction crew. It ended up being too cold to work anyway.But we continued to care for our hens 24/7. Our kids, Charlotte and John, returned home for the holidays and they helped out as well.Back to our new enriched housing project.Last April, we met with Harold Meadows of Clark Ag Systems. Together, we decided to go with the Farmer Automatic Enriched Colony Housing system for our new layer barn.At that time, you must decide on a date to have the equipment arrive at your farm.It comes from Laer, Germany packed in Maersk containers, travels by ship to Montreal, by rail car to Brampton, Ont. and then goes through customs. Finally, it arrives at your farm via transport truck.We had originally (optimistically and probably naively!) picked a delivery date in December, but later changed that to January 2nd.In November, we realized that we would not need the layer housing equipment until perhaps February and wanted to postpone the date.This was impossible. The company in Germany is very organized in filling the order and the container had already been loaded and was en route on the high seas.Rarely are they wrong about timing, unless Mother Nature interferes!We received one day’s grace and the first container arrived January 3rd.Of course, this turned out to be one of the deep freeze weeks, with temperatures plummeting below -18°C.Our loader tractor was first used to take each box, which sits on a pallet, to flatbed trailers that Nick had arranged to temporarily put the various packages on.The loader tractor was having trouble working, and we started using the “Gradall” machine that B. Jorna Construction had on site to move lumber, etc. for the construction tasks.The second container arrived in the late afternoon.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleriacd5774338b Between loads, the Masterfeeds truck brought feed and Nick came in for a break. I told him he was talking funny and asked him what was the matter. He said, “My face is frozen!” A hot chocolate helped to warm him up so he could smile again.Charlotte and John cleared out what will be the new cooler in order to make a temporary holding place for all of the parts. This also gave the equipment a place to be protected from winter weather.The various skids then got moved on January 4th to the cooler area.The week of January 8th brought many visual advances: the Tile Red steel getting put on the east and west sides; insulation and white plastic was put on pack room walls; the scissor lift arrived to be used for high jobs; a vapour barrier was put on the barn ceiling below trusses and walls; and hurricane clips installed (did you know that each clip can withstand 1,100 pounds of uplift pressure?).Our daughter Nicole helped install them – at least eight nails each on the base of the barn, lots of squats and no blue fingers when she was done.During the rest of the month, insulation was placed on all walls, white vinyl planking was installed everywhere except the cooler and three to five lighting rows were installed.As I write this blog, the facia, soffit and some electrical are in the works.With insulation and walls of the large main barn almost completed, we moved all of the skids and boxes of housing equipment from the cooler to the back of said barn.This was done on a warm, sunny day before snow returned near the end of January. The cooler still needs to be insulated, and its walls finished.I repeat a previous comment that the animal care and egg gathering must still be carried out in the old barn.Additionally, yearend arrived and this brings extra bookwork. I got a good start on the last quarter at the beginning of December, but then had to finish in January. I also am keeping track of the new barn costs separately for our own records.I finished this on January 22nd and filed my HST rebate at 2:50 pm. This filing included the many barn build expenses thus far and was, of course, more work for me in a quarter than ever before. Our rebate was $17,000-plus higher than our usual filing with Revenue Canada.We were having afternoon break and at 3:20 a Canada Revenue HST office employee called to inquire about the large jump in our rebate filing.I explained what we were doing, and I believe initially he would have wanted me to forward some proof to him of our venture.However, I also told him about the coming changes in the egg industry with respect to the deletion of conventional housing by 2035.I told him he could read about what we were doing in my blog! He was very interested and was going to check it out. No further documentation was required of me. Yippee!So, with Jack Frost nipping at our noses, we hope February sees less of Old Man Winter – not holding my chilly breath!CLICK HERE to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
January 19, 2018, Kelowna, B.C. – As a leading Canadian expert in sustainability, Dr. Nathan Pelletier has been awarded a prestigious Industrial Research Chair by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The award will advance Pelletier's research activities focused on sustainability measurement and management, life-cycle thinking and resource efficiency, with a focus on the Canadian egg industry.Pelletier has collaborated with Egg Farmers of Canada since 2016 as their Research Chair in Sustainability, exploring opportunities to improve resource efficiencies and reduce the environmental impact of egg supply chains."Food systems sustainability is a subject of increasing importance. Egg Farmers of Canada strives to promote innovation and the continuous improvement of egg production through the latest scientific research," Tim Lambert, CEO of Egg Farmers of Canada, said in a press release. "Dr. Pelletier's work helps us understand the link between environmental sustainability and egg production, while developing processes and technologies with environmental and social impacts in mind."Only a handful of researchers are awarded an Industrial Research Chair from NSERC each year, making it a great honour for Pelletier. NSERC's support will allow for Pelletier to grow his research program as the first-ever NSERC/Egg Farmers of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Sustainability."NSERC's Industrial Research Chair program provides for dynamic R&D collaborations between Canada's brain trust and partners. "We are proud to support this Chair, which is developing the knowledge and supporting innovation necessary to advance the success of the sector and improve the sustainability of that production," said Marc Fortin, VP, Research Partnerships at NSERC. "The results this team will deliver could have broad benefits across Canada."Local MP Stephen Fuhr also wanted to highlight the significance of the partnership and the good work coming out of UBC Okanagan, saying, "Food systems and sustainability are two topics that are very important to our government. We know that partnerships like the one between UBC Okanagan's Dr. Nathan Pelletier and Egg Farmers of Canada, supported by organizations like NSERC, lead to discoveries that benefit all Canadians"."Pelletier is an assistant professor at UBC's Okanagan campus, working in both the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and the campus' Faculty of Management. He has spent roughly a decade researching the science of sustainability, with a focus on food systems."I am passionate about the development of food systems that are environmentally sustainable, economically viable and that contribute to our health and well-being," Pelletier said. "Achieving this in modern food systems requires considering food supply chains in their entirety, from the beginning of production to the consumer's end use of a product – in other words, a truly holistic evaluation of sustainability risks and opportunities.""We are very proud that Dr. Pelletier is doing his innovative work at UBC Okanagan," Phil Barker, Vice-Principal and Associate Vice-President, Research at UBC's Okanagan campus, said. "His insights on sustainability and agriculture are benefiting industry, our community and the environment. This cutting edge and relevant research will have direct impacts on our region and also on global production methods. "Dr. Pelletier's work is a wonderful example of the outstanding and impactful research performed at UBC's Okanagan campus."
January 15, 2018, Sheffield Mills, N.S. - Dozens of eagles dot the branches of tall trees overlooking a snow-covered Nova Scotia farm field, a bitter wind cutting through their wings as they take turns leaving their perches to swoop through blue skies.A photographer snaps a photo from the edge of the quiet country road in Sheffield Mills, where roughly 150 eagles and other birds of prey convene to take advantage of the region's chicken farms, of which there are dozens.The rural farming community, located roughly 100 kilometres northwest of Halifax, has become a destination for shutterbugs, wildlife enthusiasts and tourists looking to take in the impressive sight.``The birds are gigantic and beautiful,'' said Megan Hodges, a member of the Sheffield Mills Community Association and a local councillor.``They really don't congregate like this in many other places, in Canada or the world, so it's very cool that they are here. They're so healthy and happy and inspiring.''Michael Gautreau, a local resident and member of the organizing committee for an annual bird watching festival, says it's the largest eagle population in eastern North America.Every day between late December and late March, resident Malcolm Lake picks up a bin full of chicken carcasses - left for him by area farmers - and brings the scraps to the field.He then flings them across the ground, far enough away from the corner of Bains and Middle Dyke roads so that the eagles are not disturbed by humans during their meal.The feedings - of which there are two or three per day - are one reason the eagles are drawn to the region, as well as the Annapolis Valley's slightly milder climate, which motivates birds from places like windswept Cape Breton to migrate there during the winter months.``Many years ago, all the farmers used to just chuck out the chicken scraps on their property, so there was all sorts of availability. That stopped largely because of scares of bird flu,'' said Lake, who moved to Sheffield Mills about six years ago.Feeding the eagles during the winter is a tradition that goes back decades, and one marked each year by the Sheffield Mills Eagles Watch, which throws the annual festival.This year's event, the 27th annual, is being held over two weekends - on Jan. 27 and 28 and on Feb. 3 and 4.More than 1,000 people from across Canada and the U.S. descend upon the sleepy countryside each year for the event, braving chilly temperatures to watch the majestic birds in flight, screeching as they snatch up the free food - sometimes clashing with each other over the scraps.``We're always praying to the weather gods that they will send us clear, cold weekends. The eagles love it when it's cold and they're really active at that time,'' said Hodges on the edge of the field, as eagles floated through the air behind her.Pancakes made with locally-sourced ingredients are served each morning of the event at the historic Sheffield Mills Community Hall, a century-old two-room schoolhouse.New to this year's festival is a partnership between the community association and the Glooscap First Nation, located roughly 35 kilometres southeast of Sheffield Mills.An eagle watch kickoff party dubbed ``Kitpu'' - the Mi'kmaq word for eagle - will be held at the community hall on the evening of Jan. 26, with local food, wine and entertainment, including the Eastern Eagle Drummers. Trevor Gould of Glooscap First Nation will be outdoors by a bonfire spouting Glooscap legends and lore.The birds are fed around 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. each day of the event.Gautreau noted that a common misconception is that chickens are being sacrificed to feed the eagles, but they're only fed the scraps that are leftover after processing.``They would scavenge for that no matter what, so we're just feeding them when the ground is snow-covered so they don't have to hunt,'' said Gautreau. ``It's a tradition and the eagles love it.''
In September 2014, A&W Foodservices of Canada announced itself as the first national quick service restaurant chain in North America to serve eggs from hens fed a vegetarian diet. A month later, the chain became the first in North America to serve chicken Raised Without the use of Antibiotics (RWA). In terms of the response to the chicken and egg campaigns, Susan Senecal, the chain’s chief marketing officer at the time and now president and chief operating officer, stated in late 2014 that, “Canadians are voting with their stomachs and the response has been fabulous.”
This is my fourth blog in regard to our journey from conventional housing to enriched housing.Of course, each week brought deadlines and we always had to keep an eye on the weather forecast. We were hampered once mid-December with lots of snow that stayed for a week, but that all disappeared until December 22.We completed the cooler and pack room concrete work and framed these areas. The vast size difference between the new barn and our present one is now obvious.The enriched colony system has a few unique features. First, there can be up to 35 hens in each living area. We will likely have around 30 due to our quota and leasing numbers, leaving us with room for future expansion.Second, the larger area allows for a few different things. The hens can roam about within their living quarters. There’s space for a curtained nesting area for privacy when the hen lays the egg. It also has two perches that run the entire length of all housing units and scratch pads to cater to a hen’s natural instincts.When explaining this system to consumers and urbanites, we tell them that this would be like you going from your average car to a limousine! Then and now Then and now The whole gang The whole gang Checking things out Checking things out   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleria203f4ea3c6 Because the space for the hens is so much larger, the barn is, thus, larger too.The barn needed more stone around it, and after we framed all the walls it was time for the trusses to go up.This occurred on December 12, and although it was not sunny, it was nicely above freezing and not cloudy or rainy.A crane operator from Vic Powell Welding proved to be an expert at moving the trusses and the main barn had three-quarters of them up before the workers’ lunch break.They did the remainder of the main barn quickly after lunch and then the smaller trusses for the cooler and pack room at the front.The shape of the barn structure was now easily visible to us, and I can better visualize what I will see from my kitchen window.Once all of the bracing was put in place, the steel went on the roof next. It took two days with no wind. All of the screws were put in place and the ridge cap was installed.We put particleboard on the front of the barn and installed the windows so that it was at least closed in for the winter weather over the Christmas holidays.In December, Nick sought more pricing and quotes. This included getting a price on a scissor lift for the packing room. This will be used in the pack room and will be level with the floor.That said it could be lowered below floor level to make it easier for taller people to place stacks of eggs. Nick is 6′1″ and I am 5′1 ½″ (sorry, but to me that extra half inch is important!) so this will come in handy.We wrestled a bit with whether we needed the scissor lift or not. In the end, this is a family egg business and we considered the next generation in making it more convenient to operate the packer.We know two other egg farmers in our immediate vicinity that want to order scissor lifts too.Therefore, we had a meeting at our place with a salesman from the Kitchener area to go over size and weight specifics, our needs and pressed for the best price with having a quantity of three in such close geographical proximity. This decision was still pending at blogging time.As the year-end approached, the deadline to pay invoices that came in came as well. We want to split the expenses between the two calendar years to spread this out for our tax situation.We’ll plod through and are aiming to have the entire barn insulated and concrete floor poured in January. Hopefully the weather cooperates!Till next time,Cindy Egg FarmeretteCLICK HERE to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
January 9, 2018, Delft, Netherlands – Another global retail giant has come out with new chicken policies.
As it did for most livestock species, substantial genetic improvement in turkeys started in the 21st century. In the 1960s, hybridization of turkey varieties began, followed by the development of pedigree programs for large white turkeys in the 1970s.
With the use of antibiotics for growth and performance promotion phased out in Canadian poultry production, boosting support for overall health is critical. Indeed, overall health is closely related to gut health in chickens and turkeys – the better the gut health, the better the chances of avoiding necrotic enteritis and other diseases that can lead to poor performance and mortality.
Currently, more than 90 per cent of broiler chicken feeds contain enzyme supplements, which have a direct positive effect on animal performance.
When it comes to disease diagnostics, time is of the essence. And yet there is currently no commercial, on-farm detection technique for poultry diseases like avian influenza (AI).
The Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network (CAHSN) was originally an initiative of the Department of National Defense. The idea was to utilize and connect laboratories across Canada in order to have standardized methodologies, to create networks and to improve bio-containment. In their estimation, it didn’t matter so much how an outbreak of foot and mouth got into the country – whether it was accidental or intentional – they realized it would have the same impact no matter how it got there.
In the egg business, incubating male eggs and infertile eggs is a colossal waste of resources. Right now, chicks are sexed a few weeks after hatching, and the subsequent slaughter of male chicks is a significant animal welfare concern. The process is also labour intensive. It’s no surprise, then, that technologies are being developed to prevent all of this.
Laying hen nutrition, while relatively complex, has seen little major innovation in the past 20 years or more. The majority of new developments have largely been refinements to precision on nutrient levels in response to differing production systems (e.g., cages versus aviary/free-run) or to specialty eggs (e.g., omega-3 enrichment). However, an innovative new split feeding program bucks this trend.
The red junglefowl was first domesticated about 7,000 years ago. This small, colourful bird is the wild ancestor of our domestic chickens. While they are both omnivores, both dust bathe and both have males that like to cock-a-doodle-doo, when it comes to meat and egg production our modern commercial bird bears little resemblance.
December 18, 2017, Tucker, Ga. – Researchers at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., have developed a practical solar heater for poultry houses.The low-cost solar collector is made from perforated pond liner and heated by the sun.Air coming into the poultry house is warmed as it passes through the solar collector, supplementing heat provided by propane heaters, thus reducing the potential propane usage.“We tested it in a turkey brooder room and got a maximum temperature rise of 25.4°C,” explains research lead Dr. Sanjay Shah, “though the average was 8.1°C.”The study shows that solar heaters are both economically and technically feasible for use in poultry houses, the researchers conclude.The initiative was funded by USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation and is part of the association’s comprehensive research program.For the complete report on the study, click here.
December 13, 2017 - According to new research, eating whole eggs versus an egg-white-only meal does a better job of stimulating muscle-protein synthesis after resistance training.For the study, the results of which were published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fed 10 healthy resistance-trained young men 18 grams of protein from either egg whites or whole eggs (three eggs worth of protein) immediately after a strength workout.Blood and muscle biopsy samples were collected to measure muscle-protein synthesis.One to two weeks later, the participants who consumed the egg whites were tested again after eating whole eggs, and vice versa.Muscle-protein synthesis for 3.5 hours after exercise was greater after eating whole eggs compared to egg whites, despite each egg meal being matched for protein content.For the full story, click here. For the full study, click here.
December 13, 2017 - Over the last five years, researchers from the University of Georgia University and Georgia Institute of Technology have been using machine learning technology to understand and analyze patterns in chicken speech.Georgia Tech research engineer Wayne Daley and his colleagues studied the effects on six to 12 broiler chickens of moderately stressful conditions and recorded their vocalizations.The conditions included increased ammonia levels in the air, minor infections and higher temperatures.The resulting audio data was fed into an AI learning program that enabled it to learn the difference between contented and distressed birds through their vocalizations.The scientists hope to use their findings to better inform farmers about the health and happiness of their poultry.For the full story, click here.
October 12, 2017, Calgary, Alta. – The Alberta government is bumping up funding for more spaces at the University of Calgary's veterinary medicine program.Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt says the province will reallocate $4.7 million per year to the Calgary program beginning in 2020.However, the move is accompanied by a decision to withdraw more than $8 million in annual funding to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.The dean of WCVM, Douglas Freeman, says he is ''deeply disappointed'' with the move, saying it severs a 54-year-old partnership that began in 1963 when the Saskatoon institution was jointly established by the four western provinces.Freeman says losing that large chunk of funding beginning in 2020 will ''certainly have an impact'' on the WCVM's programs and services.Alberta hopes to add 80 additional positions to the Calgary program by 2023, bringing its capacity to more than 200 veterinary students.''The University of Calgary's veterinary program has grown into a world-renowned institution, and with this new funding we will now have the capacity to train all of our students right here in Alberta,'' Schmidt said in a news release.''The partnership with the other provinces worked for many years, but by focusing our support on one Alberta-based program, we will achieve provincial cost savings and increase access. This will make life better for students, families, and communities.''Dru Marshall, academic vice-president at the University of Calgary, said the government investment cements the province's support for the Alberta livestock industry.Freeman, meanwhile, said the WCVM will soldier on without Alberta's participation.''One province's decision doesn't erase all that we have built and accomplished together in the past five decades,'' he said. ''The WCVM will continue to be Western Canada's veterinary college, providing quality veterinary education, research and clinical expertise to the region. We will not let the loss of support from one partner jeopardize our college's value to all western Canadians.''
Canada is a leading producer of high-quality, safe agricultural and food products. Agriculture is a major contributor to Canada's economy, and the sector is expected to prosper throughout 2018. A growing world population, the rise in disposable income in developing nations, and increasing trade in farm products present opportunities to further grow the Canadian agriculture sector, creating more jobs for the middle class.Canadian exports of agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood to all countries in 2017 rose to $64.6 billion, a $2 billion increase from 2016 exports. Canada is the world's fifth highest total exporter (by value) of agricultural and food commodities. Maintaining and enhancing the strength of our exports is vital to achieving the Government of Canada's trade target of growing agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025.Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recently released the 2018 Canadian Agricultural Outlook with analysis on the economic state of the agriculture and food sector. The Outlook report provides a forecast of farm income for 2017 and 2018, and looks ahead to longer-term trends that could impact the agriculture sector.According to the report, Canada's producers are forecast to see record farm income levels in 2017 and near-record levels in 2018. Crop and livestock receipts are both set to increase in 2017 and 2018. Net cash income is forecast to reach a record level in 2017 and remain high in 2018. At the same time, continued growth in asset values is expected to raise average farm net worth to $3.16 million by 2018.Budget 2018 takes the next steps towards building a gender equal, competitive, sustainable and fair Canada – where science and innovation spur economic growth.Budget 2018 contains many initiatives that will build on the ambitious growth agenda for agriculture set out in Budget 2017, which included many significant ongoing investments to help our farm families and agri-food processors excel, including the $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, $950 million Innovation Supercluster Initiative including the Protein Industries Supercluster, $1.26 billion Strategic Innovation Fund, $70 million for agricultural science, and $2 billion in rural infrastructure.Together, these investments will build on the Government of Canada's strong agenda for agriculture and help ensure Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector remains a leader in job creation and innovation, and a continued engine of economic growth."Strong international demand for Canada's safe, high-quality agricultural products has helped make the sector a key driver of the economy. The Government of Canada is working hard to ensure farmers and the agriculture and food system as a whole, are prepared to meet global needs, helping to strengthen the middle class and keep Canada on the path to prosperity," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Many of you are aware that the Federal Government recently introduced tax legislation that affects farm business owners all over Canada. Because of the rapid way in which things progressed, there is a lot of confusion as to what legislation was proposed, modified, or simply dropped altogether.I have attempted to outline the “evolution” of these tax changes in this article, from early 2017 to where we are today.I wish I could tell you that the tax changes create a better tax environment for business owners, but in my opinion the opposite is true – business owners now face more complexities and uncertainties then ever in managing their tax affairs and trying to comply with tax legislation.On that positive note, let us start with a quick history lesson:Background/TimelineMarch 22, 2017 – Budget 2017Finance signals its intention to address specific tax planning strategies employed by business owners.July 18, 2017 – Finance releases the ProposalsFinance releases the consultation paper, and unexpected draft legislation and explanatory notes (“the Proposals”).The Proposals target the following strategies: Income splitting (“Income Splitting Proposals”): Income splitting is redirecting taxable income between the family so that the family “unit” pays the least amount of income tax. This includes allowing more than one family member to access the Enhanced Capital Gains Exemption (ECGE). Private corporations investing in passive assets (“Passive Investment Proposals”): Canadian-controlled private corporations carrying on an active business in Canada (which includes farming) have the ability to pay a low rate of tax on the first $500,000 of corporate business profits. Corporations can invest the after-tax business profits in rental property, stocks, bonds, etc., and delay triggering personal tax until some later date. Surplus stripping (“Surplus Stripping Proposals”): Converting what would otherwise be a taxable dividend from a company to a capital gain, which are currently taxed at lower rates. July 19, 2017 – October 2, 2017 – Reaction to the ProposalsOutrage within the business and tax community ensues.The business and tax community identify a significant number of issues with the Proposals, including but not limited to:Income Splitting Proposals: Too complicated for business owners, let alone professional tax advisors, to understand, increasing tax compliance costs. Significant concern that the Proposals will result in CRA challenges to what should be a relatively simple business decision, i.e. how much can I pay my family members and myself. The cost of incorrectly applying these rules is significant – income is taxed at the highest marginal tax rate for the province of residency. In Ontario, this can be as high as 54%. Farmers and their family members may not be able to access their ECGE. Passive Investment Proposals: Business owners will pay extremely high rates of tax on investment income earned in a corporation and paid out to the owner as a dividend. In some cases, the rate of tax could be as high as 73%. The sale of land or quota within a corporation, or the rental of land owned by a corporation, is treated as investment income, which would specifically affect farmers. Surplus Stripping Proposals: Estates could face significantly larger tax burdens if a business owner passes away. Tax costs to transition incorporated businesses to the next generation increase significantly, providing a tax incentive to sell the business “outside” the family. October 16, 2017 – October 19, 2017 – Finance Takes a Step BackFinance makes a number of significant announcements regarding the Proposals: October 16, 2017: Finance announces it intends to proceed with the Income Splitting Proposals, however They intend to simplify them; and Restrictions on the ECGE will be dropped altogether. October 16, 2017: Finance announces it will reduce the small business tax rate to 10% effective January 1, 2018 and to 9% effective January 1, 2019. This affects CCPC’s carrying on an active business in Canada. This announcement is a surprise, albeit a welcome one. October 18, 2017: Finance announces it intends to proceed with the Passive Investment Proposals, however current investments will be “protected” from the new rules, as well as corporations earning less than $50,000 of investment income in any given year. October 19, 2017: Finance announces it is going to drop the Surplus Stripping Proposals altogether. December 13, 2017 – Finance releases “Version 2” of the Income Splitting ProposalsThe revised Income Splitting Proposals are simplified, and a number of exclusions to the rules are introduced.The Income Splitting Proposals are to be effective January 1, 2018.February 27, 2018 – Budget 2018Finance releases draft legislation regarding the Passive Investment Proposals.These rules are simpler and less complicated compared to what Finance was originally proposing.March 27, 2018 – Bill C74 – Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 (March 27, 2018)“Version 3” of the Income Splitting Proposals as well as the Passive Investment Proposals are introduced in this Bill.Where are We Now?Income Splitting ProposalsWe are in a completely different world now when it comes to income splitting.A family business carried on through a corporation, partnership, or trust must consider the new rules when any family member is paid from that business.Generally speaking, if you pay a family member income from a family business, that income will attract the highest marginal tax rate for your province. This concept is known as “tax on split income,” or TOSI.Thankfully, there are exceptions to the TOSI rules. Some of the more notable ones are as follows: TOSI does not apply to a wage or salary – which have always been subject to a “reasonability” requirement; TOSI does not apply to income from an “excluded business” – this exception looks at the level of involvement of the family member in the business, both in the current year and throughout the history of the business; TOSI does not apply to income from “excluded shares” – this exception is only relevant for incorporated businesses, and looks at the nature of the business being carried on in the company, the source of its income, as well as the type and number of shares owned; and TOSI does not apply to a capital gain from the disposition of “qualified farm property,” which can include shares of a family farm corporation, however you still have to be careful if a minor shareholder is involved. There are other exceptions to TOSI as well which might be relevant for your situation.Passive Investment ProposalsEffective January 1, 2019, if a corporation earns in excess of $50,000 of investment income in the prior year, access to the low small business tax rate in the next year is affected.This will apply to the corporation earning the investment income, as well as any other corporations “associated” with that corporation (essentially a group of corporations with common control/shareholders).“Investment income” will not include the sale of assets that are used in an active business, such as farmland or quota.Next StepsConsult with your tax advisor immediately to: Determine the impact of the Income Splitting Proposals on the current business structure/remuneration plan for family members; Consider the impact of the Passive Investment Proposals and whether access to the low small business tax rate is affected, assuming your business is incorporated; and Determine whether any planning or restructuring is required because of these new rules. In the meantime, we anxiously await more direction from Finance and CRA on many of the issues, uncertainties, and complexities relating to the legislation in its current form.
Canada's agriculture and food system is a leading producer of high-quality, safe products and a key driver of the country's economic growth. The Government of Canada understands the importance of this sector in creating good, middle-class jobs, while growing the economy, and is committed to working with farmers, ranchers and processors to ensure its continued innovation, growth and prosperity.April 1st marked the official launch of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a progressive $3-billion commitment that will help chart the course for government investments in the sector over the next five years. The Partnership aims to continue to help the sector grow trade, advance innovation while maintaining and strengthening public confidence in the food system, and increase its diversity.Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments have been working collaboratively since 2016 to develop the next agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. FPT governments consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and small and emerging sectors to ensure the Partnership was focused on the issues that matter most to them.In addition, under the Partnership, business risk management (BRM) programs will continue to help producers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage.Ministers of Agriculture will convene in Vancouver this July for the Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture."I am incredibly proud to announce that the Canadian Agricultural Partnership has officially launched and all that it promises for our great sector. Our goal is to help Canadian farmers, ranchers and processors compete successfully in markets at home and around the globe, through this strong collaboration between provincial, territorial and federal governments," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
How time flies – it’s been a year since two major fast food chains introduced all-day breakfast (ADB) in Canada.
Poultry groups have called it a giveaway, failure and deeply concerning. The reviews are in for the latest version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. They aren’t good.
Celebrating 25 years while pursuing opportunities to raise the bar. This was the focus of a broad contingent of livestock industry and farm animal care community participants who came together for the Livestock Care Conference, March 14-15 in Olds, hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC).AFAC marks its 25th anniversary in 2018 as an organization representing producers and others in the farm animal care community. AFAC works with this community to promote responsible farm animal care through various education, extension, research and communication activities. The Livestock Care Conference is AFAC’s signature annual event, offering special sessions and a main speaker agenda on important farm animal care topics.The 2018 conference was attended by over 200 participants, including a strong presence of 49 students, and was headlined by featured speaker Dr. Temple Grandin, the world-renowned livestock welfare and handling expert. The event also included presentation of AFAC Awards of Distinction. The award for communication went to the East Olds Dairy Farmers group for its Breakfast on the Dairy Farm initiative. The award for leadership went to Lakeland College for its high standards and ongoing commitment to animal welfare.“We have come a long way over 25 years,” says Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. “Animal welfare and handling have greatly improved. In many cases we have in fact seen huge improvements. We have done better at telling our story but still not enough people know about it. We need to keep communicating with the public about the good things that have been done.”Welcome messages at the conference celebrated the past while looking toward the future, by featuring Susan Church, the first and longtime manager of AFAC, followed by current AFAC Executive Director Annemarie Pedersen. “I am so proud to have been a part of this progressive and action-based organization,” says Church. “The future is bright as we look forward to another 25 years and beyond for AFAC.”Progress in farm animal care continues as a pivotal focus for industry progress and outreach, says Pedersen. “As we celebrate 25 years of AFAC, it’s a great time to take stock of where we are today and where we want to go in the future. It’s an exciting time to be in the livestock sector. As a group we have a real opportunity to do something important and special together.”The conference featured a Meet the Experts session connecting students with mentors, a Humane Handling Workshop, and an inaugural launch and feedback session for the new Livestock Welfare Engagement Project. Topics for the main speaker agenda also included “Pig Production: Changing Times and Changing Ways,” “Can Old School Farming be the Future of Food?” “Proactive Approach in the Poultry Industry,” “Cattle Research Panel: Progress in Beef, Dairy and Transportation,” “A Little Something to Ruminate on,” “Engaging the Public: How to Tell YOUR Story,” and more.Full details are available on the AFAC website, at www.afac.ab.ca, including conference photos and blog items.
The chicken industry, along with foodservice and retail, has been in the sights of vegan activists. Their mission, it seems, is to misinform and manipulate Canadians about how we do our work.
Last year the industry saw an irksome trend endure. Global food companies, in response to pressure from deceptive activist groups, continued to roll out different poultry welfare policies.
There is hardly a month that goes by without a new story on cultured meat or plant-based products that look, smell, cook and taste just like meat. Commercialization of both types of foods is moving forward.
With the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations on the table, there has been much concern that Canada’s supply management system will once again be on the chopping block. According to a recent survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, some Canadians think it should be.
Begin with the end in mind. This simple leadership mantra captures the essence of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) research on understanding Canadians’ expectations regarding trust and transparency in our food and how it’s produced. Before investing millions in changing farm and food production practices or in efforts to communicate with the public, it’s important to have a solid understanding of public perceptions and concerns. To be most effective, this investment should be part of a long-term game plan with proactive, collaborative thinking.  
More than ever, Canadians are talking about what’s on their plate and how it gets there. That being the case, the rally cries for producers to speak up and join these conversations are growing. But why and what does it mean for you if you are so far removed from consumers?

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