Milder temps are welcomed

I think we all are welcoming the milder temperatures these days, animals included.
The cows are taking their time walking across the open stretch coming home for water—instead of running and shaking their heads because the wind and air was bitterly cold.
The deer also are moving around—possibly because of the warmer weather or maybe the wolves are moving them around. Meanwhile, the sheep (even though it’s hard to believe they would ever be cold with all their wool) are spending more time outside these days.
I hope I can keep these temperatures once my cows start calving. My heifers that I bought in Manitoba are starting to show signs of calving, so now I start to think about bringing them into the yard earlier just in case!
• • •
The Rainy River Regional Abattoir is pleased with screening pellet sales and are welcoming a small source of other revenue.
I’ve been spending the week brainstorming about other revenue sources. Despite the increase in slaughter numbers, we still are having trouble to make ends meet.
It would be such a shame for us to lose this valuable piece of infrastructure. It adds value to every farm in our district–whether you use it or not.
It also adds value to every individual in this district (it is your link to having safe, clean, and “green” Rainy River-raised food).
If anyone has any other brainstorming/suggestions to increase our revenue, I certainly would like to chat about it.
• • •
The Rainy River Stewardship Council currently is looking for some new board members.
This requires very little time–most project work is completed by the Stewardship Rangers who work on projects every summer (we are the group that brings in tree seedlings every spring).
If you care about the environment in Rainy River District and would like to be a part of this board, get in touch with me.
We also are in the process of updating our webpage (you can view it by searching for Rainy River Stewardship Council).
• • •
I will be looking to see many members of the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association at its annual meeting this Thursday (Jan. 22) at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Way School in Stratton.
If you would like to view the beef symposium being held this Saturday (Jan. 24) at the University of Guelph, you can join us at the Chapple municipal office at 8 a.m. (we are hooking up via Web-Ex).
The first topic is the northern beef herd expansion and one of our local farmers is part of the presentation.
Call me if you need more information.
• • •
The Rainy River Hereford Association, meanwhile, is hosting its annual meeting and potluck on Friday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Stratton seniors’ centre.
We will supply the roast beef and you can bring along your favourite potluck dish—and a few stories.
It is a night of eating and visiting, and everyone is welcome no matter what colour your cows are (even if you don’t have cows!)
• • •
The main reason I wanted to write my “Moos” column each week is to promote agriculture and how great the agriculture industry is, especially right here in Rainy River District.
Lately, I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading (I am reading magazines that I received all last summer) and I came across some neat facts that should be passed along.
Farming is unique—it’s both a business and a way of life. In Canada, agriculture and food is a big deal, providing one-in-eight jobs, employing 2.1 million people, and contributing $103.5 billion to Canada’s economy in 2012.
And farming is still a family business–more than 97 percent of Canada’s farms are family-owned.
In 1900, 50 cents of every dollar earned was spent on food. Today, Canadians spend just over 10 cents of every dollar we earn on food and mark “Food Freedom Day” (the day the average Canadian has earned enough money to pay for a whole year’s worth of food) in early February.
By comparison, “Tax Freedom Day” happens sometime in June!

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