The BULL SHIPPERS Blog

It ain’t easy….

We all have problems-bad weather causes a bad bug to go through freshly weaned calves which makes for a challenging week to 10 days of temping and treating calves. Not fun.
But in reality this is such a minor blip in our operation- Nothing that tight management and a few thousand dollars in drugs like Draxxin and ResFlor can’t handle. But what our operation, and so many other ranches in Western Canada can’t handle, is one of the major players in this crazy business of beef, being benched for who knows how long.
With the closure of XL Foods at the end of September, one of only two packers in Alberta, back came the market uncertainty in the Alberta cattle business. I will not defend any of the players because there likely were issues needing to be addressed.
I would like to point a few fingers though:
1) CFIA-XL Foods employs approximately 40 CFIA people…..what the heck were these guys doing when they were supposed to be doing their jobs and ensuring these ‘levels’ didn’t get out of hand? One heckofa coffee break I am thinking….
2) Our federal politicians: who were so busy running around pointing fingers and railing on one another, totally missing the whole point of the closure and it’s effects on thousands of people’s livelihoods. Stephen Harper was busy giving away tens of millions of dollars to other countries in aid. Awesome-thanks Stevie, and here I thought you called Cow-Town home.
3) The provincial government-again alot of finger pointing and no action. Yup, I do believe Alison Redford is going to teach rural Alberta a thing or two for going with the Wild Rose this last election-Alison we got it- you don’t like us out here in the sticks, but get this-it’s mutual.
4) XL Foods. Could you please say………..anything?? Good grief, nothing is more damning than your silence, speak up, either admit your wrongdoings or defend yourself and your product.
5) Last but not least, the media…..Never in my life have I been so disgusted with the media as I have when they have been covering this story: there are radio stations I have totally boycotted due to their sensationalism of this story, which was blown so far out of proportion-660 Newradio Calgary, you know who you are.
I have heard it said over the last few weeks that this crisis at XL is the best case scenario of what not to do. I have also heard that with the tens of millions of dollars that this debacle has cost XL, they likely won’t be killing cattle anytime soon, if at all unless they can get a partner with endless cash, maybe a new name, and a more pristine reputation.
Which brings me back to the ranch. It hasn’t been easy to be in the cow business lately, but I think it’s easier than being in the cow killing business.

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One Comment

  1. Paul Abrams
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Amen to that sister!

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