Cattlemen had a positive year overall
By Ken Johnston
General business at the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Annual General Meeting last Thursday was for the most part positive.
Outgoing President Murray McDonald said it was a challenging year for producers with a late spring and a wet and cold fall.
He thanked Leanne Mose and Phillip Krahn for their years of service as RRCA Treasurer and Sales Barn Manager, respectively. While there has been a candidate apply for the Sales Barn job, no one has applied for the Treasurer’s job.
He is hopeful that someone will step forward for the position and also encouraged new blood to get on the RRCA board.
Sales Barn Report
Krahn said that over 4,300 head went through the sales barn and that with lots of help from members the sales were successful and prices in the fall were very good.
He is hopeful that the same auctioneer will be back again this year and that the auctioneer felt selling simultaneously on the internet was a benefit to the sale. “He said he knew of people watching on line that called front row bidders and told them to bid higher so that they could get the cattle they wanted.”
Jo Bragg reported on another successful year for the feeder and breeder finance programs. The co-ops loan money to producers for their respective needs. Loans topped a million dollars in 2013; up from $930,000 in 2012. However, the outstanding loans at the end of 13 were down from 12 levels. “This is a tremendously beneficial program to the district and its producers,” said Bragg.
BFO Advisory Council
Kim Jo Bliss said that RRCA has sold 15,000+ tags for cattle now that have Rainy River Raised on them.
Other marketing efforts have evolved as well, including the recent starting of a facebook page and soon to be fully operational web site.
Tom Morrish said the program continues to be a success with two scales out in the district. 4-H members can use it for free to weigh their cattle. Otherwise it is $20 per day to rent.
Soil and Crop Improvement
Scott McNabb reported that they have had a good year but need new members on the committee.
Animal Inspection Facility
Steve Loshaw said that a long journey has finally been completed. After years of leasing the land the Animal Inspection Facility at the Rainy River border crossing, the RRCA now own the land under it. In 2013 they finally got the Ministry of Transportation to sell it to them for a little under $7,000.
One member of the RRCA asked if the facility has had any users. While the answer is “No” RRCA Vet Committee member Kim Jo Bliss said that a vet in Black Duck, MN is working on getting certified so that he will be able to come to Rainy River and inspect cattle destined for the US. Otherwise producers have to send them to Steinbach, MB, where they sit for a few days before being sent south. “This could save producers time and money,” said Bliss.
At present the closest federal vet would have to come from Minneapolis.
Mark Husser informed everyone that the new 1,500 acre community pasture is up and running. They had to move after Rainy River Resources bought their old pasture for mining activities. 430 head of cattle used it last year. Anyone wishing to use it this summer should contact his committee by the end of January.
Gary Sliworsky encouraged anyone planning to do tile drainage to get an application in as soon as possible. A new program has been announced to pay half the cost. With a possible spring election coming he urged producers to apply sooner than later.