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Details on the Beef Emergency Feed Maintenance Initiative (Set-Aside Program)

Beef Emergency Feed Maintenance Initiative (Ontario Beef Cattle Set-Aside Program)

Ontario beef farmers can apply for funding through the Canada-Ontario COVID-19 AgriRecovery Beef Emergency Feed Maintenance Initiative to help cover increased costs of feeding and setting aside market-ready cattle due to COVID-19 related processing delays.

Due to the backlog that is resulting from a reduction in processing capacity at livestock processing plants, beef farmers can apply to keep their feedlot cattle or cull cows on farm for an additional 63 days.

Intake for the initiative will be assessed on a weekly basis. Information will be posted on agricorp.com when each intake opens, and will include any additional details.

Program Guidelines and Application Form

December 19, 2020 - Tip Sheet: Resources for Beef Farmers During Market Disruptions

Ontario Beef Cattle Set-Aside Program Activated for Beef Farmers

December 18, 2020 (Guelph, Ont.) – The Canada-Ontario COVID-19 Beef Emergency Feed Maintenance Initiative, also referred to by industry as the set-aside program, can now be accessed by Ontario farmers to help mitigate the impact of the temporary closure of Cargill Meat Solutions in Guelph. The temporary plant shutdown is a result of a number of positive COVID-19 cases detected among employees at the facility. 

Earlier this year, the governments of Ontario and Canada committed to providing up to $5 million in immediate support to help beef farmers manage costs associated with the impacts of COVID-19 should the sector be faced with processing disruptions. The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and the Ontario Cattle Feeders’ Association (OCFA) worked together with government to develop the program guidelines earlier this year in the unfortunate event that it would be needed by the industry. 

As announced by Minister Bibeau and Minister Hardeman, effective Monday, December 21, 2020, Ontario beef farmers can apply for funding to help cover increased costs of setting aside and feeding market-ready cattle. The Canada-Ontario COVID-19 Beef Emergency Feed Maintenance Initiative is being offered through AgriRecovery, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. 

The program will be administered by Agricorp and we anticipate program guidelines and applicant forms to be available on their website on Monday with further details on how to apply.  

In addition to urgently requesting that the set-aside program be triggered, BFO, OCFA and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association are working collectively with both levels of government on other potential short-term measures to help mitigate the fallout from the current situation.

BFO encourages members impacted by this situation to begin by contacting their financial institution to discuss options for short-term support. Members should also consult with their nutritionists and veterinarians to discuss animal health recommendations.  

As always, if farmers are in need of a safe and judgement free space to talk, we encourage them to call Crisis Services Canada (1.833.456.4566) where trained responders are available round the clock.   

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BFO Responds to Temporary Closure of Cargill Meat Solutions

December 17, 2020 (Guelph, Ont.) – Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) is aware of the temporary closure of Cargill Meat Solutions in Guelph, eastern Canada’s largest federal beef processing plant. The closure, announced late yesterday, is a result of a number of positive COVID-19 cases detected among employees at the facility. 

On behalf of Ontario’s beef farmers, our highest priority is to acknowledge the health of the employees and their families, and we sincerely hope all affected individuals recover well from the virus. Our provincial and federal processing plants have been working hard throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety of their employees and to keep cattle volumes and beef moving through their plants.  

We understand that the last twelve months have been a tumultuous time for our members as we continue to navigate the lack of processing capacity in the province which has been compounded by the pandemic. In this situation, we have been working closely with Cargill and both levels of government over the last several days to find ways to support the facility, its workers and beef farmers. 

As part of this support, we immediately requested that the Ontario Beef Cattle Set-Aside Program be activated for our members. This program was announced early this year by government to help manage potential backlogs in processing due to the pandemic.  We will be communicating details of the program as soon as they are finalized.  The program may be triggered as soon as next week.

BFO, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and the Ontario Cattle Feeders Association are working collectively with both levels of government on other potential short-term measures to help mitigate the fallout from the current situation.

BFO encourages members impacted by this situation to begin by contacting their financial institution to discuss options for short-term support. 

As always, if farmers are in need of a safe and judgement free space to talk, we encourage them to call Crisis Services Canada (1.833.456.4566) where trained responders are available round the clock.  

The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) represent 19,000 beef producers in Ontario by advocating in the areas of sustainability, animal health and care, environment, food safety, and domestic and export market development. BFO’s vision is to help foster a sustainable and profitable beef industry, and have Ontario beef recognized as an outstanding product by our consumers.

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For more information
LeaAnne Wurmli, Director of Communications, BFO
519.824.0334 
leaanne@ontariobeef.com


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