Care for your cows; care for your industry

Well, our last sale of the season is in the books. We sold 1221 head for $1,609,625.05. Cow prices were a bit lighter but normal for the market and time of the year. We had another group of excellent quality calves. The calves are looking really sharp right now with the start of their winter coat. At this sale we also sold some bred cows. This is an area that I think the board needs to work on. We will have to develop some protocol on preg. checking, what the cattle are bred to, vaccination/deworming programs etc. You really do need to be careful when adding new animals to your farm so information like this will help with selling. The other thing is we want bred cows that are worthy of being sold as such. I am not saying ANY of these cows were not worthy of being sold as a bred cow, but we should not confuse a bred cow as way to get something off your farm that was perhaps miserable or not milking etc. This is all coffee shop talk, but it certainly made me think that we have some work to do. The other thing is preg. checking. If the checks are not done at the Sales Barn, it must be made clear when the checks were completed on farm. This doesn’t happen often, but a cow can slip her calf and it needs to be clear that she was pregnant on a certain date. The other thing that needs to be addressed going forward are compromised or unfit animals. Animals that are not fit to be loaded, (sore feet, legs, sick, thin – this can be easily found on-line) CANNOT be loaded and dropped off at the Sales Barn. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) fines are large, and no one wants to be a part of anything like this. If you have animals like this DO NOT PUT THEM ON A LIVESTOCK TRAILER. We will not accept these animals at the sales barn, and you will have to take them home. CFIA does inspect our barn and we want no part of this situation. There is a lot of pressure and regulation on the livestock hauler these days and there are no exceptions for the Rainy River District. If you want any literature on this, I would be more than happy to pass it along to you. These items will be added to future discussion of the board of RRCA, and our AGM will happen is January and we are open to opinions and ideas.

A horrible fire destroyed one of our newest Dairy Farms on Saturday. We got the message Saturday during the sale. A fire had started in the older barn and spread to the new barn at the Carl Martin farm North of Stratton. Thankfully there were no people or animals hurt. Some of our Sales Barn staff went to help mainly to keep the cattle from running too far away. One of our buyers was able to send his semi-truck and four local producers hauled the milk cows to Thunder Bay and they were being milked before we even left the Sales Barn that very evening. The community was gathering to help with clean-up this week. Thank you to all those that have been helping and supporting the Martin family.