At the December National Sheep Network meeting, Ryan Greir from the Alberta Lamb Producers was acclaimed chair for his second term, and Pierre Lessard from Les Eleveurs d’ovins du Quebec was acclaimed as vice chair.
In March, the NSN held the first ever all directors meeting. All members from each of the provincial boards met for an initial discussion geared at building stronger relationships between the participating organizations and to enhance effectiveness through thoughtful collaboration. A summary report of this meeting will be circulated shortly.
Advancing our business opportunities: A market intelligence project has been submitted to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to investigate how the industry can mitigate the risks of how market prices are currently established, their unpredictability and lamb supply and demand. The project is still under review by AAFC.
APF: The NSN continues its membership to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and actively participates in discussions on the next policy framework, along with addressing issues surrounding labour and the environment.
BRM: This means continuing to work with the CFA and AgGrowth Coalition and its focus on the need for meaningful reform to the national suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs.
CFA The NSN’s membership in the CFA not only provides the opportunity to give the sheep industry voice on the BRM file, but also files related to labour, farmer mental wellness, sustainability, and the next Agriculture Policy Framework.
Environmental Stewardship: The NSN is working with the Delphi Group to look at ways that the sheep industry can capitalize on nature-based solutions and environmental goods and services. As part of this work, the NSN will be creating a survey to circulate to Canadian sheep farmers on their views on the environment and what environmental measures they are currently adopting on-farm. A draft survey has been finalized with a target to circulate it in early April.
The NSN is also a member of the newly formed Agriculture Carbon Alliance (ACA). The goal of the ACA is to ensure that Canadian farmers’ sustainable practices are recognized through a policy environment that maintains their competitiveness, supports their businesses, and leverages their role as stewards of the land.
Promoting Smart Animal Care: As an active member of the Animal Health Canada (AHC) Working Group, the NSN was also pleased to hear the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ag Ministers endorse the progress that has been made. The purpose of AHC is to enhance stakeholder collaboration to implement actions to prevent, prepare and respond to animal health emergencies.
NSN also sits on the Food-and-Mouth Disease Working Group, which brings together federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and industry representatives to develop a business case for a Canadian vaccine bank.
Darlene Stein, an NSN member from the Alberta Lamb Producers has been invited to sit on AAFC’s Consumer Demand and Market Trends roundtable. She will be representing the sheep industry at this table.