Technology investment touted at ag ministers' summit

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1. Anything Canada claims to invent through new technologies, production and business practices along with research and labour investments, can be or has already been invented in the U.S.A or E.U.
2.The other competitive factor the ministers conveniently left out again, as per usual is the simple fact the U.S.A. and E.U. invest heavily in a competitive safety net to give their producers a leg up on everyone else in the world. Instead, Canada invests in so called miracle elixar "Growing Forward" which has already and is being done in the U.S.A. and E.U.
3. So, folks unless the Canadian government comes to terms with the competitive factor called safety nets and what commodities other countries are investing their chips, we are "toast" in the export marketplace.

Being "innovative" by definition involves a higher degree of risk. Always being the safety net poor cousins to US and EU producers means that we will always be behind the curve in fully implementing innovative practices. "Innovation" talk coming from these politicos is soooooo 1980's and get rather pointless! Especially when SM is trotted out again....still forced to buy square milk cartons for cup holders...such an innovative industry!!

Right on! What will it take before Canadian politicians,Bureaucrats and some has been think tanks to understand that in an Export marketplace the main innovative concept of a "Level playing Field" involves competing against other countries subsidies? The agriculture reality means ignoring those subsidies is tad bit like trying to increase yields by reducing most fertilizers and most pesticides.

It will take a firm voice & strong representation from our GFO reps and the backing and support from GFO members .

I guess Supply Management should no longer be looked at as part of "mainstream agriculture " any more since it is not part of the bigger ag picture and not an agriculture export commodity . It is a much as any thing a niche market . Hence SM should not have even been mentioned at this meeting .

"We have a close partnership with Quebec on this file" - ya think. Considering that Quebec has the most quota in ratio to its population, that is no surprise.

Raube Beuerman

Quebec will always do as it wants . The problem is that no one from Ontario understands that being close to Quebec on issues hurts Ontario . When it comes to some thing like countervail a province does not get named . It is the Country that gets called out . So that then leaves Quebec to do what ever it wants for it's farmers at the cost of other provinces farmers .

There was a time when 80% of all Fed agr money was spent on prairie grain farmers so l don't think we need to whine about Quebec!

All governments and farm leaders seem to want to ignore the recent series of comments by Kevin Grier of the George Morris Centre to the effect that statistics show that major branded food product manufacturers can, and increasingly do, serve Canada from plants in the US - meaning that Canadian food processors are going to increasingly be private brands and/or house brands sold by major US food chains.

A case in point would appear to be the Heinz plant closing in Leamington only to re-open as a private brand manufacturer.

Grier's point would seem to be intuitively obvious - we don't have the population base in Canada to support the size of major-brand food processing operations necessary to be economically-viable. With about 10% of the US population, Canada's food products could be processed, and packaged, in the last half of the third shift at US plants, rather than taking all day to do the same thing at a plant in Canada.

While Ritz exhorts us to put our efforts into "growing forward", he studiously ignores Grier's observations to the effect that the market is already two-steps ahead of where Ritz seems to think we should be going - as well as already having driven, for once and for all, a stake through the hearts of those hapless wretches who still believe in the fairy-tale of "food security".

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Even more obvious is the fact of the rest of Canada having lower hydro rates which will mean that an innovative companies will not be locating in Ontario unless they are given a subsidy . This leaves Ritz open to say what ever he wants an knowing full well that it won't matter because Ontario won't get and can no longer afford to buy jobs away from other provinces .

Absolutely correct as is always the only option for your iron-clad logic and flawless economic thinking.

In fact, the same inescapable logic would extend to almost all Canadian farms. With about 10% of the US population, Canada's farm production can be replaced by American farmers producing a 10 % surplus. Plus that production will be closer to the U.S. food processing operations that are the only one's that are now economically-viable. The exception would be the huge volume of western Canadian grain production. Plus Quebec since it will protect or match subsidies for its farmers of course.

And so, for once and for all, a stake through the hearts of those hapless wretches who still believe in the fairy-tale of "Canadian agriculture". Of course, some will still subsidize their farm fantasies with off-farm jobs and pretend to be viable.

The fact still remains that Agriculture in this Country is propping up all other industries as being the economic leader .

The above comment is complete nonsense - for example, supply management isn't an economic leader because it is, by first principles, net-negative for jobs and economic activity, and, furthermore, supply managed agriculture isn't propping up anything because it is being propped up by consumers.

Therefore, it is misleading, and just-plain wrong, for farmers to point to the economic activity and jobs created by agriculture as "proof" that agriculture is an economic leader when the truth is that, in a significant way, agriculture is merely being propped up by others.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Exactly right . With all the Gov cheques that the livestock farmers get . Around here the saying has always been that the livestock farmers need a second mailbox for all the subsidy cheques .

Every year I get to prepare the income tax returns of livestock farmers, and every year proves you completely wrong about livestock farmers and subsidy cheques - what with:

(1) having to compete with supply managed farmers for land
(2) being hosed by mandates for ethanol which benefit grain farmers
(3) being on the receiving end of untruthful slurs about subsidies

it's a good thing you are too much of a coward to identify yourself.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

You may be right with the few farmers you do taxes for . Also since you have told your clients to not participate in RMP .

That still does not means Jack Scat in the real world because

1) even Sm farmers have to compete with livestock farmers to buy land .

2) Many livestock farmers are renting more land so ethanol must be helping them and they like it .

3) no slur about RMP payments since they have managed to mak the program not work for G&O farmers who by the way were first with the program and it was not contervailable before livestock got on the "ME TOO" wagon and screwed things up . A sunshine list for ag is needed to show who gets all the money that tax payers give in support .

4) most young guys can't compete with the livestock conglomerates when it comes to buying or renting land .

(1) In the real world, supply managed farmers get to use the purchasing power provided by 200% tariff barriers to bully everybody - You've got to be insane (and therefore all the more reason to stay anonymous) to think that, thanks to supply management, farmland buying in Ontario is on any sort of level playing field, or that livestock farmers have any bullying power at all.
(2) Your "logic" about livestock farmers renting more land makes no sense whatsoever - if they're renting more land, but not feeding any more cattle, it means they are climbing on the ethanol bandwagon rather than deciding to lose any more money on livestock. More to the point, I don't have any livestock clients renting more land or feeding more cattle - they're all so shell-shocked at having lasted this long after having to deal with supply management, ethanol, and BSE, that they just want to pay down debt and carry-on.
(3) Thank you for demonstrating that grains farmers not only don't care about livestock farmers, but they also disdain livestock farmers for somehow ruining RMP for grains farmers.
(4) Instead of blaming "livestock conglomerates" (whatever they are, and even the ultra-paranoid NFU doesn't normally include them in their roster of enemies) for the troubles young farmers have when it comes to buying or renting land, why not admit the truth which is that the problem is existing government legislation supporting supply management and ethanol?

In conclusion, today's "Jack Scat" award goes, as usual, to the paranoid, illogical, and dismissive drivel coming from the electronic pens of the anonymous rabble on this site.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

You can be in denial all you want, however, the proof is in a story in the Globe and Mail.
The following story states very clearly what other counties and Ritz think about Pork RMP being countervailable .
Ditto for other livestock RMP programs that aren't matched in other countries. See:

The undeniable fact of the matter is that the biggest problems facing Canadian livestock producers are problems created by stupid legislation right here at home - if livestock farmers weren't on the receiving end of financial bullying and trade talks double-standards being dished out by dairy and poultry farmers hiding behind supply management, and corn farmers hiding behind ethanol, things would be just fine.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Excatly how would different legislation help in preventing BST,PED or COOL?.How would different legislation help bring down the Canadian dollar value of a couple years ago which crippled trade.How would different legislation help to get it through some Livestock producers heads in this country that Hormones and ractopamine usage in this country is not welcomed by trade partners!

Fortunately for the livestock industry there will always be someone on the other side of the fence to blame for troubled times.

No Canadian hog subsidies eh? Denial just gets you in deeper. Want more proof of Canadian Hog subsidies?

Quote: over a dozen federal or provincial subsidies that impact hog production were identified. Quote: U.S. pork producers also consider federal risk management programs AgriStability, AgriInvest and AgriRecovery as subsidy programs that benefit hog producers.

Now let the denial begin.

It would appear from the above that other livestock groups in other counties such as Australia, NZ and the U.S. are upset about several Canadian livestock subsidies. It would also appear that we in Canada would prefer to continue to deny those subsidies exist.

I can certainly understand the U.S. hog producers frustration at not having all these dozen or so Canadian programs. It would therefore appear the Canada U.S. pork playing field is not level at all. I can perhaps understand one program but 12? Really? After all, we all know from the comments on this site Ontario pork producers don't get subsidies.

Funnuy the article does not mention SM or ethanol . Yes you are correct that the problem is caused in Canada because of subsidies paid to livestock farmers .
For all of the talk you smack on about hiding I think it was you who said certain things don't get discussed . Is it because you are hiding behind your position ?From your position ? Or just can't puffery yourself to do the right thing ?

Let me see if I've got this straight - according to the anonymous rabble and riff-raff on this site, it's perfectly OK to subsidize dairy and poultry farmers via transfers of wealth from consumers, and it's perfectly OK to use ethanol to subsidize corn farmers via transfers of wealth from people who feed corn to animals, but Heaven forbid any livestock farmer who is hammered-down by supply management and/or ethanol, from taking a penny of government money as compensation for the abuse he/she receives at the hands of supply management and/or ethanol. There is, for example, great truth in the claim made by some that RMP for livestock is little more than an ethanol injury assistance program.

And, I mean, come on really - any imbecile can see I am hiding nothing whereas every member of the anonymous rabble on this site is hiding everything especially, it would appear, their identities and their ability to think.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

If the numbers are real as you suggest then absolutely no need to be shy about revealing the livestock numbers is there. We will let the U.S., NZ and Australia and Ritz determine if they are countervailable. Then we can start working on the Livestock, Agristability, AgriInvest etc. #'s. Some in the world suggest they also encourage production.

The fact is that every sector of agriculture get some form of protection or support from the government. There are also any number of programs that can be accesed by everyone. Just because you can sign your name doesnt make any of you right
Anonymous Rabble

When you sign your name to something you write, you're confident enough about what you have written, that you're prepared to stake your reputation on it.

Nobody in the peanut gallery known as the anonymous rabble can do that, and that's why the evidentiary value of anything coming from that source is zero, as well as a complete waste of time and electronic ink.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Canadian livestock- hog subsidies are countervailable. That is what Ritz, Australia, NZ and the U.S. says. What part of their position don't you comprehend?

Lets get it staight, the Beef and Pork sectors were offered Supply Management as well at a time,they turned it down for the simple reason they thought they could do better without it,turns out they were they cry!

Worse yet they whine about Government protection for SM but depend on that same Government to scour the world for trade partners for them at a cost in jobs to other Canadian businesses.Some of those partners we are finding out don't believe our Pork and Beef free market system is what it claims it is.

If pork and beef had supply management, both industries would be skeletons of what they are now - and that's because without any exports to contribute to their fixed costs, and with cost-of-production pricing driving up the costs of producing for only the domestic market, retail demand would plummet, thereby further ratcheting up per-unit costs of production, and so on, ad-infinitum.

This is only common sense and basic economics, yet too-many farmers can't seem to and/or don't want to, grasp the concept of either - it really is a scathing indictment of how little farmers understand, that even when they think they have it straight, they don't.

On the other hand, Ontario Pork "had it straight" when at a recent annual meeting, they voted, about 68 - 13, to urge government to place trade ahead of protectionism - but, if the anonymous rabble and riff-raff on this site are to be believed, the results of this vote would have been simply "whining".

The simple fact of the matter is that Ontario's pork and beef industries are, because of their emphasis on exports, net-positive for jobs and economic activity, whereas supply management is net-negative for both.

If beef and pork farmers are "whining" about anything, it's for:
(1) always being shoved aside at trade talks, and Federal/Provincial ag ministers meetings, in favour of supply management
(2) being victimized by ethanol policies
(3) being victimized by the financial bullying dished out by supply managed farmers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

That's Garbage and always has been.Look at the current retail prices of Beef and Pork and there has been no drop in demand,if fact just the opposite,the same was back when BST hit, there was actually an increase in consumer demand for Canadian beef, showing consumers supported the Industry.
I suggest to you that Supply Management in the Beef and Pork Industries is at the moment in effect.A rather unintentional unforced fashion but still the supply and the demand is closer than maybe at any other historic point.I would love to ask some Pork or Beef producers would they rather go back to 2008 or 2009 and losing money with every animal? Mainly due to overproduction worldwide,along with a host of other reasons.
Consumers and retailers alike will tell you that consistency in prices wins the day.Its the whole reason why there is not a lot of whining about gas prices till they are jacked up prior to a long weekend.

Even as we speak Supply Management price increases(1-2%) are well below the current Ontario inflation rate,where Pork and Beef are well over (9-10%) It wouldn't be that way with SM in place.

But l think we all understand,it's why even with high farm beef and pork prices farmers are still adamant about higher Government support and Insurance programs because they are aware that 2008 or 09 may be just around the corner.I guess if you're a young Pork or Beef farmer thinking of taking over the family farm you're thinking of heading upslope rather than skidding down the other side.

Maybe at the Annual Pork meeting they should have taken a vote on something they actually can control..their future and that of their children's future as well.Something Dairy producers did a long time ago!

When people are willing to pay effectively $40,000 for quota in whole-farm purchases, simply so they can get a bigger share of a declining market for milk and dairy products, a market in which even the Dairy Farmers of Ontario admitted, in late 2010, saw Ontario consumers paying almost 38% more for milk than US consumers, and the Ontario farm gate price of milk within pennies per liter of the US retail price, this isn't doing anything for the children of dairy farmers except inflicting a financial form of child abuse on them, as well as prolonging the financial abuse dairy farmers are able to inflict on non-supply managed farmers.

Or, in other words, dairy farmers should be, but won't, be guided by the adage - "pride goeth before a fall"

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Some of these farms are either so far in debt, or so far from affordable for the next generation, that a popular option has been to insure the parents to the moon.

This insurance is about $13,000 per million, ensures that all siblings are paid out equally and somebody gets the farm.

LifeCo's love it.

Only problem is the parents get nothing, except six feet of topsoil.

Raube Beuerman

Got news for you, that option has been around for decades and has been applied on all types of farms.

Same goes for all ag farms/families . Is there a difference between insurance for an SM farmer and a hog farmer .

Your piont is moot at best and really rather piontless .
One more ship sunk !

The post that Mr.Thompson replied to(pork and beef farmers had the choice) was extremely disturbing to say the least.

This insurance I refer to is only possible thanks to the premiums that are paid, invested in the market; publicly traded companies that succeed thanks to, gasp,-capitalsim.

There will be a much higher percentage of SM farmers that carry this type of insurance, since pork and beef farmers don't have to pay for the legislated ability to take from consumers.

Raube Beuerman

Mr. Beuerman's posting pointed out that instead of providing financial stability for the next generaton of dairy farmers, supply management is actually increasing the financial fragility of quota-based dairy farming.

And although he didn't come right out and say so, his message made it rather obvious that the future of inter-generational dairy farming, and the continued ability of dairy farmers to be financial bullies in the farm community, would seem to be inextricably linked to dairy farmers restricting themselves to having only one child per family.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The difference is sm have a pay check to cover the payment every time every one else in the world has a time when they can't make the payment and also keep the electricity on so the policy lapses

How do you figure it is a shrinking market when the population keeps growing ?
If in fact that is the case then why worry about it ? It will just come to an end . Why be so determined to get rid of SM so young farmers can participate in a shrinking market that will fail and fade off into the sunset as a has been ?

It is very good to see that you admit to there being skeletons in the pork and beef closets . Kind of scary isn't it . The worst one being the OCHHP program that really screwd the you farmers that needed the help the most .
Oh well now that other countries have opened the closet door maybe now things will be corrected .

Yep and livestock farmers want to collect the RMP on grains and on their livestock . What RMP program do the US livestock producers get ? Level playing field ! Is all corn feed ? Is that what you realy believe ? If so you just doubled up on your own Jack Scat award ! Just because you sold all of your corn to the local SM feed market does not mean that is the only market . Can't understand how you could sell your crop to a market that you detest so much .

I sunk your battleship !!

And yes you are still hiding behind by saying certain things do not and should not be discussed by you as an OFA PAC rep at a PAC meeting . Were you not elected to represent or just sling stones from the side lines ??? Silence at the meetings is as good as voting to support or agreeing with how things are .

As for my box I already gave it away . It was giving me tunnel vision on issues just like you are suffering from .

How is it you took an article from globalmeatnews, and claimed it was from the Globe and Mail? The funniest part is you then stated that "the following story states very clearly".- lol

Apparently being anonymous does have it perks, like saving face, as this person has proven.

Raube Beuerman

You can deny the links below all you want but that doesn’t make them go away. The livestock subsidy programs named in the articles clearly impact export trade. Production subsidies such as (RMP for livestock, Agristability, and AgriInvest etc.) related to livestock especially pork are real. They have caught the attention of the U.S., New Zealand and Australia. Furthermore, the fact that Ritz claims pork subsidies especially Pork RMP are countervailable is real. As a result, it puts the whole group of commodities under the RMP umbrella in jeopardy. If there is nothing to hide, and to be completely open, honest and transparent why not come out from under the umbrella and call it the Hog Support Program (HSP) and publish who got what for the world to see.
More links to deny.

For every single article you can scrape up to support your claim, there are 10 more to show that SM is the single biggest hindrance in Canada gaining accesss to more trade.

In addition, Mr.Thompson is entirely correct to point out that if SM and ethanol did not exist, any support money that pork does/did receive would not be needed.

Don't be shy, if as you imply the livestock numbers exist, there should be absolutely no problem in revealing them. I am sure NZ, Australia and U.S. livestock groups would be interested in seeing them. Why the big secret?

Pork producers in peticular never had much foresight when it comes to good management,there was no need of it, we had the good old US of A to depend on.

I knew of at least 2 cash croppers that were leasing land longterm at a loss solely because they knew that Ethanol subsidies were coming in the US and Canada would follow,something Pork people never seemed to catch onto and then they blame SM and whine about land being to expensive and benefiting grain farmers.They had their chance and now think the Government should support them with more handouts.

You're a bright man so you probably read the Financial Post.They reported in May that Canadian taxpayers money helped dole out 684 Billion in Business subsidies in the last 30 years in this country,averaging over 3,000/yr. per taxpayer.

Supply Management depends on consumers the same way many of those major businesses do without the millions/billions in Government handouts.We truly live in a "Corporate Welfare" country and l am glad that Supply Management is not one of those corporate beggars.

If supply management is not a "corporate beggar", then why does it hide behind 2-300% tariffs?

Raube Beuerman

And the others will subsidize their farm fantasies with consumer funded subsidies thanks to the government enforced monopoly. And pretend to be viable.

Raube Beuerman

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