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Grass Routes News

In this issue

  • ONE.
  • TWO.
  • THREE.
  • FOUR.
  • FIVE.
  • SIX.
  • SEVEN.
  • Leadership through collaboration: The Canadian beef industry has achieved 75% of its sustainability strategy goals since 2016
  • New grain dryer program for farmers hit with tough harvest
  • AFAC Awards of Distinction
  • The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off
  • Time to recycle those empty grain bags in Alberta; Cleanfarms’ collection sites are ready and waiting
  • We're hiring - Alberta Beef Producers career opportunity
  • ABP Loyalty Program - Corteva Agriscience

Leadership through collaboration: The Canadian beef industry has achieved 75% of its sustainability strategy goals since 2016

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) has released a report outlining progress against its 2016 National Beef Sustainability Strategy, with 86% of the environmental, 75% of the social and 83% of the economic action items completed or in progress.

“We are extremely proud of the work that our multi-stakeholder membership and industry stakeholders have accomplished together over the past three years, which demonstrates the value of collaboration in achieving our continuous improvement goals, says Anne Wasko, Chair of the CRSB and rancher from Eastend SK. These achievements have established Canada as a global leader in beef sustainability, and we look forward to continuing to work together to build trust and transparency about practices that enhance the environmental, social and economic sustainability of beef production in Canada.”

If 100% of the activities were completed at the halfway mark it would indicate that the goals set were not ambitious enough. This Interim Report provides an opportunity to re-focus efforts to ensure all goals and activities are fully completed by 2023, in time for the next full National Beef Sustainability Assessment. Some areas that can use more partnerships and collaboration include: communicating the role of technology and innovation in relation to the environmental, social and economic benefits to the beef industry; research and adoption of packaging that enhances product life and reduces food waste; dialogue regarding how label messaging can enable reductions in food waste; and further awareness of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle.

The CRSB has built a trusted go-to forum on beef sustainability that focuses on three main pillars: Sustainability Benchmarking, a Certification Framework and Sustainability Projects. Multi-stakeholder partnerships have been key to achieving progress against sustainability goals and fostering continuous improvement. These include programs such as the “Species Habitat Assessment and Ranching Partnerships” and others that provide resources and expertise to producers on range, riparian and wildlife assessments, and habitat enhancement project implementation. They support research that increases the understanding of the relationship between beef production and water. Several members are involved in the Canadian Wetlands Roundtable that is committed to the creation of a national wetland inventory.

“Beef raised in Canada is done using the best practices in the world and Ducks Unlimited Canada recognizes the role ranchers play in sustainable agriculture every day, says Emily Lowe, Regional Agrologist – Beef Industry at Ducks Unlimited Canada. We will continue to support and work with the CRSB and others in the Canadian beef industry to emphasize the importance of having cattle on the landscape for the betterment of our wildlife, our water, our grasslands and our overall environment.”

Check out the report’s Executive Summary that summarizes key progress on the sustainability strategy’s action items in environmental, social and economic sustainability. A full report is available at detailing how CRSB and the commitment of its members and stakeholders to continual improvement is positively impacting the sustainability of Canadian beef.

New grain dryer program for farmers hit with tough harvest

A new grant program is now available to help grain farmers upgrade their grain handling systems. 

The Efficient Grain Dryer Program is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and will help cover costs for eligible grain dryer improvements. Applicants will be able to choose equipment that makes sense for the size and volume of their agri-business and improve energy efficiency within their operations.

“I have a deep appreciation for the efforts being made by Canadian farmers to care for the land and environment. It is their legacy to their children. A sixth generation farmer recently told me, 'if you don't care for the land, you're not in business.’ We all know how hard 2019 was for many farmers, and that weather is increasingly unpredictable. Our government is listening and finding solutions for farmers.”

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Last harvest was one of the toughest for Alberta farmers. Poor weather, trade irritants, rail strikes and a carbon tax have all hurt farmers through no fault of their own. This new program will help farmers remain competitive and keep producing the best high-quality food in the world.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

The program will be retroactive to April 1, 2018 to accommodate almost 100 applicants who have been waiting since that time and for those who may not have known about the program and purchased eligible equipment in the last two years.

AFAC Awards of Distinction

The Alberta Farm Animal Care Awards of Distinction were initiated in 2001 to recognize individuals or groups who have made exceptional contributions in the field of livestock welfare.

These individuals or organizations work hard to advance the mandate of AFAC and the welfare of livestock in Alberta. They apply new, innovative ideas and management practices to improve and ensure high standards of animal wellbeing. They understand the public’s need for assurance that farm animals are raised humanely.

They can be held up as examples of those who are making a difference.

These awards are presented at the 2020 Livestock Care Conference during the lunch session. If you want to nominate an individual, organization or company, you can through an online form here, or by emailing

Take a look at past winners here, or find more information here.

There are three categories:

  • The Award of Distinction for Innovation 
  • The Award of Distinction for Communication 
  • The Award of Distinction for Industry Leadership 

Nominate someone today

The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off

This article was written jointly by the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency and the Beef Cattle Research Council. 
If you sell cattle in Canada, you pay check-off. Your beef check-off funds beef market development, promotion and research.
The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is deducted on every head of beef cattle marketed in Canada. While the provincial check-off or service fee can vary by province, the national portion of the check-off, most commonly referred to as the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off or national check-off, is $2.50 per head in all provinces with the exception of Ontario, currently at $1.00 per head.
Continue reading and watch the video here.

Time to recycle those empty grain bags in Alberta; Cleanfarms’ collection sites are ready and waiting

It’s winter on the prairies, so it’s time to empty grain bags to move last fall’s harvest to dryers and then to market. For growers who use grain bags, that means recycling them instead of landfilling, storing or worse, burning them. For some Alberta farmers, this year could be the first time they’ve had an option to recycle. That’s where Cleanfarms comes in.
Under the newly minted ‘Alberta Ag-plastic. Recycle It!’ program led by the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group (APRG) and operated by Cleanfarms, farmers will find it more convenient to locate places that will take empty grain bags and twine for recycling.
For year one of this three-year pilot, Cleanfarms has established 20 collection sites throughout the province. Most are currently taking rolled, tied grain bags of any size, and twine for recycling. Some, however, just take grain bags and a few take only twine. The full roster of collection locations and what they take can be found on
According to a recent survey conducted for Cleanfarms, 92% of Alberta farmers (growing crops or livestock) would be very (68%) or somewhat (24%) likely to participate in a recycling program for grain bags if a collection site was in their area. Similarly, 86% said they would be very (56%) or somewhat (30%) likely to participate in a twine recycling program if a collection facility was in their area.
Farm plastic waste studies undertaken by Cleanfarms estimated Alberta farmers generate as much as 2500 tonnes of low-density polyethylene grain bags and up to 3000 tonnes of polypropylene twine annually, and all of this is available for recycling.
“Alberta farmers are ready and willing to recycle used grain bags and twine, and with approximately 5500 tonnes of viable agricultural plastic available to be recycled, that’s an unbeatable combination for a successful program. Plus, those recovered resources will be made into new products for farm use. This new Alberta recycling program is a win for everyone,” said Cleanfarms General Manager Barry Friesen. Recycled twine is used in many different applications, including roofing tiles and new twine. 

Farmers preparing to recycle grain bags should know they need to shake them to remove debris, roll and tightly secure them with twine. Some collection sites have rollers and compactors available so farmers should contact sites for information beforehand.
Twine should not be mixed with any other plastics and needs to be shaken to remove debris, placed loose in a Cleanfarms recycling bag and tied closed. Cleanfarms recycling bags are available at rural municipalities and ‘Alberta Ag-plastic. Recycle It!’ collection sites.
Farmers should contact collection sites for hours of operation and to schedule a drop-off time if assistance is required for unloading. Information is provided at
The pilot is being funded through a grant from the Government of Alberta and administered by Alberta Beef Producers.

We're hiring - Alberta Beef Producers career opportunity

If you are passionate about leading a fast-paced provincial organization, we have an excellent opportunity for you! Alberta Beef Producers is looking for an experienced General Manager to lead their team. Reporting to the Chair of the Board, you will manage staff and work closely with the Board of Directors and Sub-Committees. The ideal candidate will be someone within the farming, food production, or ranching/ cattle community that has previous experience executing a strategic plan and knows how to motivate and hold staff accountable. This opportunity requires an excellent communicator and is well versed with all aspects of human resources and financial management.

More information is available here

ABP Loyalty Program - Corteva Agriscience

Effective. Reliable. Sustainable Pasture Management Solutions.

Corteva Agriscience™ Range and Pasture products are an effective and reliable solution to help you improve grass production and achieve your long-term sustainability goals by controlling unwanted trees, brush and invasive weeds in pasture.

2020 Early Commitment Range & Pasture Stewardship Rebate Program

Through the 2020 Early Commitment Range & Pasture Stewardship Rebate program, Corteva Agriscience provides you with the opportunity to earn up to a 10% rebate on your purchases of Restore™ II herbicide, Reclaim™ II herbicide, and Grazon™ XC herbicide. To participate contact your local authorized Corteva Agriscience range and pasture retail by March 15, 2020 to register for the program. Customers who register on the program and purchase a minimum $1,400 of Restore II, Reclaim II or Grazon XC between April 16, 2020 and July 31, 2020 will receive an 8% rebate cheque in the fall of 2020 from Corteva Agriscience. For an additional savings opportunity, customers who register for the program and purchase the minimum $1,400 of qualifying products prior to April 15, 2020 will be eligible to obtain an additional 2% savings for early purchase and receive a total of 10% rebate in the fall of 2020.

Talk to your range and pasture retailer to learn more about the Corteva Agriscience Early Commitment Range & Pasture Rebate program or if you need help choosing the right product solution for your pasture. Or for further product information visit us at

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