Industry News

November 2016 >>  Artisan Farms sponsors and supports the Queens Guineas Sale with the purchase of SIX (6) steers. 

Highland Country Market of Stoney Creek, Ontario buys the Grand Champion again this Year !!!!!!  Many thanks to the De Jonge family again this year ....  

Cargill Beef Ltd of Guelph, Ontario buys the Reserve Grand Champion steer and carries bids for Cargill Melboune and Cargill Animal Nutrition ( Purina) ...... so many thanks to Cargill for their unwavering support of the Ontario Beef and Ag industry ...  

Thank you to all the kids for participating and all the bidders and buyers this year !!!

Click here for the FB photos.

Canadian beef industry ‘Puts It Together…’ with strong national conference
August 12, 2016

CALGARY, AB — The rising momentum toward a fresh era of national connectivity, teamwork and success for Canada’s beef industry took a major step forward with the successful delivery of a sold-out, progress packed inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference, August 9 – 11 in Calgary.

The event drew a diverse participation of over 650 producers, industry members and supporters from across the country and all beef producing provinces, including a strong representation of young participants representing the industry future. It featured a dynamic and broad-spanning agenda rich in ideas, knowledge, insights and inspiration for moving the industry forward, including many buzz-generating topics that propelled the conference’s “#CBIC2016” hashtag to become a top trending Twitter topic in Canada.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better first time experience delivering this new national conference for Canada’s beef and cattle industry,” says Rob Smith, Canadian Angus Association Chief Executive Officer and co-chair of the conference.  “The theme was ‘Putting It Together…’ and that’s exactly what happened. The response has been absolutely amazing. It bodes well for making this an annual event and that’s what we’re talking about now.”

The conference met its core objectives to create a truly national meeting place to bring together all facets of the industry involved in beef production, from the grass roots level through all parts of the supply chain – including everyone from the producer with 20 cows to the feeder with 20,000, head – and to help move forward the opportunity represented by the National Beef Strategy.

“We have a lot to celebrate,” says Virgil Lowe, conference co-chair and also an Associate with Dentons Canada LLP. “The momentum and strengthened connections established here will help drive ahead the National Beef Strategy and all of our interests for years to come. The event was also designed to be an enjoyable event with a strong social side that people could build in around their summer vacation plans, and that was achieved as well. There were a lot of great discussions and strengthening of relationships that took place informally. Already we have received a lot of feedback that this was a very positive event and step forward for our industry.”

The conference exceeded expectations in registrations and sponsorship support, with over 60 major sponsors contributing, as well as in proceeds raised through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Foundation Golf Classic. 

Among many highlights, the conference speaker agenda featured entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den star Arlene Dickinson, along with keynote speakers on each of the National Beef Strategy’s four pillars: connectivity, productivity, beef demand and competitiveness. In addition to covering a wide range of important developments, issues and hot topics, the event also recognized several outstanding contributors to the industry.

The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) was presented to Anderson Ranch Inc. of Fir Mountain, operated by Miles and Sheri Anderson. Since 1996, TESA has recognized producers who go above and beyond in exemplifying significant innovation and attention to a wide range of environmental stewardship aspects in their farm operations. These innovations extend beneficially to areas far beyond their land, including water, wildlife and air.

The Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation was presented to Dr. Tim McAllister, a long-time outstanding research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada based in Lethbridge. This award is presented by the Beef Cattle Research Council each year to recognize a researcher or scientist whose work has contributed to advancements in the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry.

The inaugural conference was a joint collaboration of four organizations – the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), Canada Beef, the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). Visit for more information. Follow the Canadian Beef Industry Conference on Twitter and Facebook.

More information:

Rob Smith, CBIC 2016 Co-Chair
C: 403-861-6884

Virgil Lowe, CBIC 2016 Co-Chair
C: 403-681-5398

CBIC 2016 Keynote Speaker: Arlene Dickinson

CBIC 2016 Co-Chairs Virgil Lowe (left) and Rob Smith (right)

August 9 to 11, 2016 >> Artisan Farms Direct management will be attending the first annual Beef industry event !!   

This August the Canadian beef industry is about to embark on a new opportunity for all stakeholders to congregate and exchange strategies. Enabled by the national beef strategy, a new national meeting is being organized and it will take place August 9-11 at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in Calgary, Alberta.

Shaun Haney had the opportunity to chat with conference co-chair and Canadian Angus Association CEO Rob Smith about the conference and why he thinks if you are in the beef industry you need to consider attending this inaugural event... read more

January 6, 2016 >> Antibiotic resistance threat demands curb on use in animals, Canadian doctors say
Antibiotic use in livestock spurs resistance in human germs
By Amina Zafar
Read More

McMaster University scientist Gerry Wright is among the Canadians studying the MCR-1 antbiotic resistance gene. (Kelly Crowe/CBC)

Superbug bacteria in Canadian samples dating back five years that were discovered during recent tests serve as a wake-up call to stop adding antibiotics to animal feed, and to boost surveillance, doctors and microbiologists say.

Surveillance recently began at hospitals across Canada and at the National Microbiology Laboratory following last November's report of resistance to an antibiotic of last resort in China.

In the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers reported finding resistant bacteria in pigs, meat and a small number of hospital patients in China. Since then, scientists in England and Wales, Denmark, Thailand and Laos among others have published similar findings.

The antibiotic, colistin, was approved in the late 1950s but rarely used because its side-effects are so toxic. For instance, colistin in inhaled form is reserved for patients with chronic lung infections to avoid its toxicity elsewhere in the body.

A patient with an intrabdominal infection at the Ottawa Hospital was a carrier for bacteria with resistance to colistin but it's unlikely they're the cause of the infection, said Marc Desjardins, a clinical microbiologist at the hospital's diagnostic lab.

 'One has to assume without some very concerted efforts, during my career I'll start seeing patients that I cannot treat at all.'
- Dr. Michael Gardam, Toronto University Health Network

"Testing we had done had indicated that colistin probably wouldn't work with this organism," Desjardins said. "We just basically found it on the individual."

The infection was treated successfully and the patient made a full recovery.

Now, Dr. Michael Mulvey at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and his team's detective work has searched out the resistance mechanism, on a gene called MCR-1.

They found the MCR-1 gene in three cases among 1,600 reviewed. One was from the Ottawa patient and two were in E. coli samples from ground beef sold in Ontario in 2010  —  a year before the original example in China.

Antibiotic resistance

The latest concern in the field of antibiotic resistance is bacteria can easily swap resistance genes like MCR-1 that are found on plasmids, circular pieces of DNA.

For Desjardins, one major culprit driving such antibiotic resistance is the use of livestock antibiotics in animal feed.

"When you use antibiotics in agriculture in feed to promote growth and improve economic returns, the problem is that you also put selective pressure on these organisms to develop resistance and these organisms get introduced into the food chain," he said. "They go from the animals to the humans. When they start getting introduced to humans you start to getting into problems."

Pound for pound, the majority of these antibiotics, known as polymxyins, are used in animals, said Dr. Andrew Morris, director of antimicrobial stewardship at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

"That separation between animals and humans or lack thereof is a real problem when antibiotics are used so widely," Morris said.

Suppliers such as KFC and A&W have pledged not to use antibiotics in feed, but use of the drugs to promote animal growth hasn't been abandoned as it should be, Morris contends. Compared with countries such as Spain that have already clamped down on such antibiotic use, Canada hasn't taken the problem as seriously, Morris said.

When resistance turns up in both the food supply and in humans, that's a smoking gun for microbiology sleuths who aim to stay a step ahead of the resistant bugs, said Morris, also director of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Canada.

Bacteria only win if they're constantly bathed in antibiotics, said Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network.

What's more, reserving antibiotics for patients does pay off. At Toronto hospitals, Gardam said they've seen how making a concerted effort to control use of the drugs slashed resistance rates among pseudomonas bacteria. They've achieved similar success as a U.S. teaching hospital, with resistance dropping from 90 per cent to about 50 per cent. 

Apocalyptic scenario 

Gardam said that when he started his infectious disease training, it was unusual to see bacteria resistant to more than one antibiotic.

"Infectious diseases have gone from having a real plethora of options to having extremely limited options for many patients. One has to assume without some very concerted efforts, during my career I'll start seeing patients that I cannot treat at all."

The apocalyptic scenario could occur if bacteria evolve resistance through multiple means unchecked and promiscuous superbugs become resistant to all classes of antibiotics by swapping resistance genes widely.

Gardam likens resistance to the tip of iceberg where the tip grows every year, limiting the antibiotic options for infections in patients needing surgery such as hip replacements, people with infections during chemotherapy or those receiving organ transplants.

Morris hopes a more sophisticated and co-ordinated national surveillance for drug-resistant microbes in hospitals, long-term-care homes and in the community could help.

Current infection prevention and control steps worked in the Ottawa patient's case, Desjardins stressed. The individual was isolated to avoid putting others at risk. Such measures work not only for this latest  type of antibiotic resistance but others, too.

"This is like you're on a long trek and this is just like another vista that we're getting to see there's a real problem," said Morris. "Eventually, we are going to get to the point where we have no solution. … This is not the end of the world as we see it but we are getting there. We are on our way unless we do something pretty significantly."


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