The National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) recommends consideration of the following agricultural priorities for this election campaign. We believe that action on these priorities will strengthen the Canadian beef and cattle industry.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada’s beef producers has been significant, with 2020 losses reaching upwards of $500 million. Beef processors endured shut-downs and slow-downs, cattle backed-up on feedlots, and the cost of feed rose while fed cattle prices fell. And now a drought stunning in both scope and scale has arrived, causing feed grain shortages and wholesale decline in the national beef herd.
Even in the face of such challenges, Canadian agriculture remains poised as an economic driver of the nation’s post-pandemic future. Canada’s beef industry contributes $18 billion to the national GDP annually, and accounts for 228,000 Canadian jobs.
Both the COVID-19 pandemic and drought serve as stark reminders of the federal government’s responsibility to protect and preserve the nation’s food supply. This depends heavily on having the right policies, programs, and supports in place.