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Thread: Effect of beef industry slide on one local livestock auction enterprise

  1. #1
    Dennis Lapierre
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    Effect of beef industry slide on one local livestock auction enterprise

    Interesting article in the Okanagan Advertiser (March 31/10). In it, Don Raffan, partner in Valley Auctions, Armstrong, BC reportedly observes that from 1980 to 2003, their weekly cattle auction put through 500-600 head. During those times 200-300 people crowded the bleachers around the auction ring.
    Through the last three fall sales, half that number of cattle were put through the auction, and the bleachers held maybe 45-50 people at the beginning of the sale, with the crowd tapering off to around 15 by the end of the sale.
    Don's perspective is that the beef industry is no longer driven by supply and demand but is instead ruled by the Canadian dollar, rules and regulations and politics - factors the industry cannot influence or control.
    And, the article suggests, while Canada's beef is subject to the most stringent inspection standards in the world, we bring in meat from other countries that don't have the same standards or follow the same practices.

    The effect on the small producer? Don reportedly observes that two decades ago many more people in the Okanagan Valley raised beef cattle. Most worked off the farm but still could make a few dollars raising beef. When their jobs began having to pay for their cattle, the cattle went.

  2. #2

    Establishments falling under this classification are primarily engaged in buying and/or marketing cattle, hogs, sheep, and goats. This industry also includes the operation of livestock auction markets.


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