Prairie Livestock Expo
Be sure to stop by the Prairie Livestock Expo, formally known as Hog & Poultry Days. Prairie Livestock Expo the full one day show will take place Wednesday December 10th  from 9 am – 6 pm at the newly renovated and built Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre, Winnipeg MB.
All the industries servicing the livestock sector are invited to participate.
Although the name has changed much will remain the same including the highly anticipated carcass competition.  •

Banff Pork Seminar
Plans are complete for the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar taking place January 20-22, 2015. Registration is now open. Register 5 delegates, receive the sixth registration FREE! Group registration is available until December 29, 2014.
Plenary session speakers include Charlie Arnot Glynn Tonsor,Kevin Grier, Howard Hill. While Richard Taillefer, William Herring, Egbert Knol, Hanneke Feitsma, Julie Menard, Luc Dufresne, Tom Graydon,  Doug MacDougald, Eduardo Beltranena, John Patience, Hans Stein, Christian Blais, Egan Brockhoff,  Mike Brumm, Ryan Martin,  LeeAnn Peters, Leigh Rosengren,  Marsha Van Dinther  and Kase van Ittersum  tackle the break out sessions.
In addition the FX Aherne and RO Ball  Awards will be presented.
For details or information contact Marliss Wolfe Lafreniere, Conference Coordinator online at or call 780. 492.3651 email  •

Manitoba Swine
The 29th Manitoba Swine Seminar will once again be held at the Victoria Inn & Conference Centre in Winnipeg.
The dates for 2015 are February 4 and 5th. The theme is Sharing Ideas and Information for Efficient Pork Production. Featured speakers include Ron MacDonald, Dr Jennifer Brown, Eric Spell, Dr Sue Burlatshenko, Andrew Dickson and Dr Madonna Benjamin.
Highlights this year are new reproductive technology, raising pigs without antibiotics and optimizing market weights plus other presentations.
For details or information contact co chair Robyn Harte at 204.945.5402 or Dallas Balance at 204.475.8585 or email  •

Cramer Livestock Expo
Cramer Crop and Livestock Expo is back for its fifth consecutive year and will be held Thursday February 19th in Swift Current, SK at Kinetic Park.
The show continues to grow each year, in addition to the one day trade show will feature the Cramer Cup series – awards presented in various categories; hog, forage, baking and egg competitions.
Online registration is now open, show is 50% sold out. For details or information contact Caitlyn tradeshow co ordinator at or call 403.244.7821 •

No COOL Fix, Says Top U.S. Official
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he lacks authority to change Country-of-Origin Labeling regulations to bring them into line with World Trade Organization standards.
And he says the United States has not yet decided whether it will file an appeal of the latest WTO ruling in favour of complaints about COOL by Canada and Mexico.
Vilsack told the National Association of Farm Broadcasters that USDA doesn’t see a regulatory “fix” to U.S. country-of-origin labeling law.
In a weekend press conference at the NAFB’s convention in Kansas City, the Secretary said, in response to a question, “We have looked at this from every different angle. I can tell you we do not think there’s a regulatory fix that would allow us to be consistent with the law … and to satisfy the WTO.”
Vilsack said on the broadcast he sees only a couple ways to solve the problem. Either Canada and Mexico can more clearly direct what if any variation would work for them, or Congress will have to provide “different directions” that would allow the agency to satisfy WTO obligations and prevent trade retaliations.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office is considering an appeal of the WTO ruling, Vilsack said.
“I have not asked my team how strong the appeal might be,” he added.
A recording of the entire press conference is posted on the website.  •
— By Jim Romahn

A Video on Sow Housing Launched
After dozens of the largest pork retailers have succumbed to pressure from the Humane Society of the United States to agree to bans on housing sows in gestation crates, the American Meat Institute has come out with a video to educate the public.
This latest installation of the MythCrusher video series “seeks to clarify controversy and confusion over modern sow housing by taking viewers on a tour of a sow housing operation and explaining the humane handling considerations that go into housing systems for pregnant sows,” says Meatingplace Magazine.
The video features Stacy Scramlin, assistant professor of animal science at South Dakota State University, and Janet Riley, AMI senior vice president of public affairs and liaison to the animal welfare committee, touring a modern, biosecure hog facility where visitors must shower in and out.
“Housing for pregnant sows is a complex issue that can be complicated by emotion and misinformation,” said Riley.
On the video, Scramlin discusses several issues that must be considered when selecting the best sow housing for a particular farm, including management of feed and water as well and protection of sows from one another.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, welfare is determined by several factors, not just the housing system.
“Regardless of the system, as long as it is managed properly, that is the most important thing for the wellbeing of the animal,” said Scramlin.
The Meat MythCrusher video series is produced by AMI in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association.
The series, now in its fifth year, includes 39 videos. Topics include antibiotic use, “superbugs” in meat, Meatless Monday, hormone use, ammonia in ground beef and grass-fed beef.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Alberta Detects
Hog Virus
A positive test for swine delta coronavirus at an Alberta hog-handling facility is “a shot across the bow” for pork producers, says Alberta Pork president Frank Novak.
The virus was found at a site that in mid October, but no pigs have turned up.
This coronavirus is a member of the same family at Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus which has caused alarm across Canada because 70+ herds have been infected, most of them in Ontario, and thousands of farms in the United States have lost eight per cent of the nation’s piglets to the virus this year.
“The problem is people either get tired or they get complacent or both, and the reality is, that bug’s going to be around for multiple years, probably, and we just absolutely cannot afford to drop our guard,” said Novak.
In late October  during the ongoing surveillance activities being conducted by Alberta Pork in collaboration with the Alberta government, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) had been detected at a pig-handling facility in Alberta. This environmental sample was not taken from a farm or a sick animal. There are no reported cases of PED in pigs in Alberta. The positive sample was taken from an office space. Other samples taken in high pig traffic areas at the same site, such as the loading dock and scales, came back negative.
The same sites had been retested and all tracebacks tests have been confirmed negative.  •
— By Jim Romahn

FCC Report Shows Canada is World’s Top per Capita
Agriculture Trader
Canada is the world’s top agriculture trader when compared to all other countries on a per capita basis, according to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) annual report on global trade.
The report takes the combined value of all agriculture exports and imports from each of the major agriculture trading countries and divides that number by each country’s respective population.
In 2013, the value of Canada’s agriculture imports and exports was more than US$2,100 per person, followed by Australia at about US$1,900 per person.
The report shows Canada as the fifth largest agriculture exporter in the world – behind the European Union, United States, Brazil and China – and the sixth largest agriculture importer. Canada’s imports are mainly driven by relatively high household incomes and a year-round demand for fresh fruits and vegetables, which is partly met by foreign exporters.
FCC has produced a four-part video series on international agriculture trade and Canada’s place in the world markets. To view these videos and read the full report, visit or read the latest FCC Ag Economist blog post at  •

Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network Announces New Coordinator
The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) announced in September that Dr. Egan Brockhoff had been selected for the term position of coordinator for the CPC’s national animal health initiative.
Dr. Brockhoff is a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to being a practising veterinarian (and a partner) with Prairie Swine Health Services in Red Deer, he is the current president of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association.
He is also associated with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary, providing instruction and mentorship to undergraduates. Earlier this year, Dr. Brockhoff received the Alberta Pork Congress Industry Ambassador Award.  •

New Partnership in Enzyme Development
Elanco and Concordia partner in enzyme development effort, targeting efficiency and sustainability 3-year project–one of the company’s first major development projects–highlights commitment to animal ag leadership in Canada and globally
The Honorable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), has announced a three-year project collaboration between Elanco Animal Health and Concordia University to develop new enzyme combinations for Canadian pork and poultry producers. The goal of the project is to create commercial enzyme products for pork and poultry feed that significantly improve feed conversion, thus improving producer profit margins.
The project will be funded by Elanco ($3M), the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations du Québec through Genome Quebec ($1M) and the government of Canada through Genome Canada ($2M).
Dr. Adrian Tsang from Concordia and Dr. Paul Matzat from Elanco will lead the project. The work will involve screening proprietary enzymes for digestibility of common ingredients found in Canadian pork and poultry feed. Commercial products suited for the Canadian feed market are expected to result in significant improvements in feed conversion.   •

Nursery Barn in
Perth Has PED
There has been another breakout of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, this time hitting a nursery barn in Perth County.
The break is reported on the internet by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. There is no comment on what happened.
The Stratford Beacon Herald also carried a story this week quoting Dr. Doug McDougald cautioning farmers to be vigilant because the return of cold weather increases the risk of this deadly virus spreading.
It wipes out virtually all new-born piglets, but older pigs usually recover after flu-like symptoms for a week to 10 days.
The Stratford Beacon Herald says McDougald guesses there will be about 20 PED outbreaks in Ontario this year and says he’s optimistic the virus can eventually be eradicated from the hog industry in Ontario. •                                    — By Jim Romahn

Russia’s Catching Pork Smugglers
Since Russia banned pork from Europe in January, customs officials have found smugglers labeling pork as mushrooms, frozen fruit juice and bubblegum.
Smuggled pork has come from The Netherlands, but some has also come from Germany, Brazil, Poland and Belgium.
Rosselkhoznadzor reported 360 tons of illegal pork has been identified.
“They are party to the EU Customs Union, and so the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is directly responsible for the contents of the containers. As we can see, the EFSA has no control, and even facilitates, smuggling,” the head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Sergey Dankvert, told the TASS news agency.
“The Netherlands, for example, declared the goods as frozen mushrooms, jams, and marmalade,” Dankvert is quoted as saying.
This is the second instance of pork smuggling that Rosselkhoznadzor has discovered in the last month.
On October 13, the agency found that more than 60 tons of German and Dutch pork entered Russia labeled as mushrooms from China.
Rosselkhoznadzor began investigating the questionable cargo arriving at the Belarus border along with the Federal Customs Service (FTS) last month.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Thailand Takes
Canadian Pork Market
Thailand is poised to take over part of the Russian pork market that was filled with Canadian pork – until Russia banned meat imports from countries that imposed economic sanctions over the situation in the Ukraine.
Russia has signed an agreement to accept pork from two processing plants in Thailand.
Officials in Thailand say they believe they will be able to export about 50,000 tonnes of pork to Russia.
Russia was Canada’s second-largest customer for pork at the time the trading bans were announced.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Hemicell® HT-D Now Available in Canada
Energy-sparing enzyme offers heat-tolerant solution for swine and poultry diets
Hemicell HT-D is now available in Canada, providing Canadian producers with a heat-tolerant version of the energy-sparing Hemicell enzyme. Hemicell HT-D is available from Elanco sales representatives and distributors.
Hemicell is a unique and patented feed enzyme for swine and poultry that breaks down β-mannans in feed,1 minimizing the effect of the Feed-Induced Immune Response (FIIR) and sparing energy to support growth and performance.2 As much as 3% of total metabolizable energy can be lost as a result of the counterproductive and unnecessary Feed-Induced Immune Response.2 Improved performance with Hemicell allows for a reduction of dietary energy up to 88 kcals/kg.3
Heat-tolerant Hemicell HT-D has been specially formulated for pelleted diets to withstand internal and external threats. These threats include heat generated during the pelleting process, fluctuating pH levels as feed moves through the animal’s digestive tract, and the destructive forces of gastrointestinal proteases.  •

PEAK Launches
New Website
PEAK Swine Genetics is happy to announce the launch of their new website. Complete information on all the products and services they offer.  •

Pork Producers
Welcome Canada-Honduras FTA
Canadian Pork Council’s Chair Jean-Guy Vincent was pleased to witness the signing of the Canada -Honduras Free Trade Agreement recently in the main foyer of the House of Commons.  The Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Ed Fast signed the Canada–Honduras Free Trade agreement on behalf of the Government of Canada that will help restore pork access to a market that could be worth an estimated 5 to 7 million dollars in sales in the first year of the FTA.
In addition to the FTA, CPC is pleased with Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz’s announcement that all pork from Canadian federally registered establishments can be sold into the Honduran market since Honduras has approved Canada’s pork inspection and certification system.
“We are extremely fortunate to have excellent animal health status, a good supply of high quality feed grains, a very low animal population density and a strong reputation all over the world as a supplier of safe high quality pork,” stated Jean-Guy Vincent. “Canada is a globally competitive and successful producer and exporter of pork and pork products. The key factor to sustaining our success is the ability to access a wide variety of markets.”
Canadian hog producers, pork processors and meat traders and the many other companies in Canada that provide inputs and services to our industry have a very strong interest in Canada aggressively pursuing further progress toward reducing agri-food trade barriers and trade-distorting subsidies, and achieving additional market access through the WTO, bilateral or regional trade agreements.  •

Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan
Introduces Consumer Website
Consumers in Saskatchewan now have access to reliable and credible information on food and farming via a new website:
The website answers questions related to farming and food production in Saskatchewan, and provides plenty of interesting facts for consumers to consider and digest. Topics range from why Saskatchewan is ideal for food production, to where our products are exported, to how farmers and ranchers care for their animals and the environment.
Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan is an all-encompassing organization that represents thousands of livestock, crop and horticulture farmers and related businesses. Its mandate is to foster a link between food producers and consumers, and create awareness and appreciation for food production and farming.  •

Lawsuit Filed vs.
A group of environmental and public health organizations is suing the United States Food and Drug Administration to over-turn its approvals ractopamine as a feed additive to bolster  weight gains for cattle and pigs.
The groups claim in two related lawsuits filed in federal court that the FDA failed to adequately assess environmental and health issues related to ractopamine. One of the biggest sellers is Paylean brand ractopamine.
It has been used for more than a decade in the U.S. and then in Canada.
Some countries, including China, ban import of meats that have been raised on rations containing ractopamine.
Last year China began requiring third-party verification that U.S. and Canadian pork products are free of ractopamine.
In the two lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for Northern California, the groups challenged the FDA’s approvals from 2008 through 2014 of 11 new animal drug applications.
The approvals allow use of ractopamine as the active ingredient, as well as paired with antibiotics, some of which fall into the same class of drugs deemed critical for human health.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Tribunal Upholds $6,000 Trucker Fine
An Alberta hog-trucker has lost his appeal of a $6,000 fine imposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The tribunal ruled recently that the government inspectors justified in fining Keith Stephenson, owner of Western Commercial Carriers Ltd., because he loaded too many hogs on his tractor-trailer on a hot day in the Peace River area of Alberta.
He loaded 271 pigs into a trailer with capacity for 288, but because the day was hot and humid, he should have reduced the number by at least 10 per cent and, as matters turned out, probably 25 per cent.
At 10 per cent below capacity, he should have loaded only 250.
Stephenson, who had more than 25 years of experience as a livestock trucker, said he left 10 to 11 market-ready hogs behind because he was concerned about the heat when he loaded the truck early on Canada Day, 2012.
He drove from Falher, Alta., and two Peace Pork Co. hog barns, towards Langley,B.C., stopping to spray the pigs to cool them down and continuing to drive at night to keep air moving through the trailer.
But the temperature spiked at about 40 Celsius that day.
He arrived at the Britco Pork packing plant between one and two a.m.
When the pigs were unloaded in the morning, 30 were found dead and one was euthanized.
The appeal was heard by David Buckingham of the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Smithfield Launches Specialty Pork
Smithfield Farmland is introducing PRIME, a premium, All Natural Fresh Pork line.
In a news release, the company says this pork will be 20 percent more tender than other leading brands of non-enhanced natural pork.
It says this tenderness comes from sourcing the PRIME products from market hogs sired by the Smithfield Farmland proprietary Duroc line and segregating the product from the general population during processing.
The PRIME line is produced under a United States Department of Agriculture Process Verification Program that ensures that no beta-agonist growth promotants are used.
In Canada, Maple Leaf Foods Inc. markets Signature Pork which is moist and tender because it is injected with a small amount of saline solution.  •
— By Jim Romahn