Supporting beef production in Nova Scotia

Supporting beef production in Nova Scotia
Jan 23, 2024

The Nova Scotia Beef Initiative will bring together government, industry and other stakeholders to support the sector

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Nova Scotia’s provincial government is taking steps to support the local beef industry.

The Nova Scotia Beef Initiative will see government, industry and other stakeholders work together to increase the number of cattle raised in the province and to inform consumers about the high-quality beef local farmers are raising.

“Nova Scotia is in a great position to be competitive in the beef market. Consumers want high-quality local products, and our producers are ready to meet that need by innovating and increasing the number of cattle raised here at home,” Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow said in a statement. “That’s why we’re investing in new programs and projects to help beef farmers.”

A steering committee has been installed to provide support.

The eight-person committee, which includes farmers and department of agriculture reps, has identified five areas of focus:

1) New Extension Programs
This means working with Perennia, a Crown corporation dedicated to the food sector, to measure industry growth, provide up-to-date forage information and implement a feedlot pilot program.

This feedlot pilot program “will encourage producers to finish a portion of their cattle here to increase the amount of locally produced, high-quality beef available to Nova Scotia consumers,” a Nova Scotia Beef Initiative document says. “Pilot participants will be actively engaged in effective feedlot management and will have the chance to reach new audiences and consumers with their products.”

2) New Investment Programs
This includes increasing support for the Nova Scotia Cattle Producer’s Elite Sire Program while also exploring programs to support herd health, market development, community pastures and meat processing.

3) Training and Skills Development
To address labour challenges, the Nova Scotia Beef Initiative will engage with members of the academic and labour communities to take aim at the meat processing industry’s needs and to highlight opportunities to attract new people into the beef sector.

4) Climate Change Adaptation
Providing support to beef and sheep producers to help them be proactive in the face of climate change.

5) Developing New Markets
This means creating new retail, institutional and specialty markets while putting an emphasis on local Nova Scotia beef.

“Our goal is to make Nova Scotia beef an accessible “first choice” for consumers so that rural and urban communities can share in the economic and social benefits of supporting the beef industry,” the document says.

Nova Scotia is home to 380 licensed beef producers.

As of Sept. 30, 2023, the industry generated $33.5 million in beef producer income.

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