Cliff Graydon, MLA for Emerson



The livestock industry in Manitoba is disappearing according to P.C. Agriculture Critic Cliff Graydon.

Graydon says flooded cattle producers need help immediately. "We're at half-past eleven, quarter-to-twelve right now. It is already too late for many producers," he says. "I'm personally disappointed with the Minister of Agriculture. He has not made one move to give them any optimism or any hope. We're losing a lot of the cattle industry. Meanwhile, we watch Saskatchewan and Alberta make announcements."

Saskatchewan announced a 30 dollar per acre pasture/grassland restoration program and funding for transporting feed last week.

Graydon says many rural communities depend on it. "Quite frankly, we in the south are insulated from the true impact of this. When we go into the Interlake, West-Interlake, Swan River Valley and Dauphin-area, a lot of small communities have only one thing to depend on, and that is the cattle industry," he says. "Those communities are suffering as the cattle industry melts and goes away. Those communities are drying up."

The Manitoba Beef Producers (formerly known as the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association) have been lobbying the government for excess moisture support since late spring. MBP now says its frustration has culminated to exasperation with the announcement of help for flooded producers in Saskatchewan. " What’s hard for many of our producers is that they’ve been experiencing flooding hardship over the last number of years," says Jay Fox, MBP president. "The crisis in Manitoba must be viewed at a national scale as ‘unique’. Our situation is nothing like Saskatchewan. We have been hit hard this year, but for many of our guys, they’ve been hit hard for 3 or 4 years in a row. They have exhausted every avenue and this year will bust them."

MBP will be meeting again with representatives from both the provincial and federal governments on Wednesday.

~ Monday, November 15, 2010 ~