Program protects cattle sellers

By Gary Sliworsky
Ag rep, Emo

The Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program is established through provincial legislation and regulation to provide protection to cattle sellers against default in payment when cattle are sold to a licensed dealer.
The program, administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, consists of the licensing of livestock abattoirs, associations, auction markets, country dealers, and packing plants. A fund is established from a compulsory five cent per head deduction when cattle are sold.
A claim can be made against the fund if an eligible cattle seller has suffered a default in payment.
Claims are adjudicated by an industry board appointed by the minister according to a set of program criteria.
Any producer who sells cattle to an unlicensed livestock abattoir, auction market, country dealer, or packing plant is not covered under the program. Therefore, it is important to sell cattle to a licensed livestock abattoir, auction market, country dealer, or packing plant.
If a seller is in any doubt whatsoever regarding the current status of a prospective purchaser, he/she should telephone the number listed below.
If you have any questions, contact Jim Wideman at the Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program at 1-888-466-2372 ext. 6-3886 or directly at 1-519-826-3886.
He also can be reached by fax at 1-519-826-4375 or via e-mail at Jim.wideman@ontario.ca
A producer should make smart decisions and take other steps to protect themselves, as well.
One of the easiest ways is to have weights on your cattle when you sell them. This is especially important if you are selling directly off the farm.
This then allows you to negotiate, or know, the price you are getting per pound.
Generally when you sell to an abattoir, auction market, or packing plant, you get an invoice (and a weight) for what you deliver. But this may not always be the case when selling to a country dealer.
Before the truck leaves your yard with the cattle, you should take additional measures to protect yourself.
Your invoice for the load should include the weight of the animals, the number of animals, animal RFID tag numbers, the price per pound (or per head or per load), the licence number of the truck, and the date.
Remember that there is a regulation in the Beef Cattle Marketing Act regarding licence fees (checkoff). Every cattle seller has an obligation to pay the $2.25/head (plus GST) checkoff fee.
The regulation requires that auction market operators, packing plant operators, and livestock dealers deduct the $2.25/head checkoff from the proceeds payable to cattle sellers. They then are required to remit the checkoff fees they have deducted to the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association.
As a seller, any invoice you receive on the sale of cattle should indicate if the price includes payment of the OCA checkoff.
Dates to remember
•April 16–Vegetable production and storage information meeting, 6:30-10 p.m., Emo Curling Club (register by calling 482-1921); and
•April 25—Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association’s spring sale, Stratton sales yard.

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