Protecting Ont. cattle farmers

Protecting Ont. cattle farmers
Jan 07, 2019

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Agricorp’s Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program began Jan. 1

Staff Writer
Ontario cattle sellers will receive financial protection from a new program delivery agent when a licensed dealer defaults on payment. 
The former agent, the Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program Inc. (Beef Inc.), along with stakeholders in the province’s beef industry, suggested Agricorp should deliver the Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program due to the agency’s “industry knowledge, program delivery expertise and quality customer service,” a Friday Agricorp release said. 
The program has financially protected cattle sellers for 35 years and Agricorp took over program delivery on Jan. 1. 
Beef producers, licensed dealers and auction markets can all be covered as sellers, and dealers include packing plant operators, abattoir operators, auction market operators and country dealers. All dealers must be licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), its website says. 
The recent administrative changes to the Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program will not affect how the existing program operates, LeaAnne Wuermli, Beef Farmers of Ontario manager of communications and marketing, told today.
“The program will continue to protect cattle sellers provided they sell to licensed livestock dealers, auction markets and packing plants, and follow the appropriate steps to submit a claim,” she said. “When cattle are sold, a compulsory ten cent per head deduction is collected in a designated fund. A claim can be made against the fund if an eligible cattle seller has suffered a default in payment.
“The Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program has been a valuable tool for beef farmers for many years,” she added.
Agricorp is ready to deliver the program, Doug LaRose, Agricorp’s CEO, said in the release. 
“We are committed to providing excellent customer service with efficient and effective operations,” he said. “We thank OMAFRA, Beef Inc., and the Livestock Financial Protection Board for their support during the transition of program delivery to Agricorp."
The government agency also delivers the Grain Financial Protection Program, which is comparable to the Beef Program. And Agricorp licenses and collects check-off fees for the Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Fund.
The Livestock Financial Protection Board will continue to monitor the fund and “determine if claimants are eligible for payment,” the article said. OMAFRA will oversee program policies, licensing decisions, mailing renewals to licensed dealers, as well as enforcement and investigations. 
Cattle sellers looking to make a claim, and livestock dealers looking to possess a dealer license, should call Agricorp at 1-888-247-4999.
For further information about the program, as well as a list of licensed dealers, click here has reached out to Beef Farmers of Ontario for comment. 
PrairieArtProject/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo


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