Dollars for equipment purchase available to beef producers
Beef producers who have participated in a Verified Beef Production (VBP) workshop are now eligible for up to $750 per purchase for equipment that assists with food safety practices.
March 3, 2008 By Canadian Cattlemen's Association
February 29, 2008
Calgary -Beef producers who have participated in a Verified Beef Production (VBP) workshop are eligible for up to $750 per purchase toward equipment that assists with food safety practices.
The funding is available from the On-Farm Implementation (OFI) fund of the Canadian Food Safety and Quality Program. This program has been extended to March 2009.
"What I like about the equipment fund is it has a very real impact," says Manitoba beef producer Betty Green, who helps deliver the program as part of her role as a VBP coordinator. "Equipment can make a big difference. It not only helps make the work easier, but it makes sure a job is done the right way."
Examples of equipment that may be purchased include: hand-held RFID tag readers, computer software to track medication withdrawals, extension for chutes to facilitate neck injections, scale/calibration device for medicated feeds, and disposal containers for used medical bottles.
"The producers who purchase this equipment do so to improve their technique or improve their procedures at the farm level," says Green, part of the Green family operation near Fisher Branch, which includes a 1,000-head cow-calf operation and a feedlot. "It’s always nice when you’re rewarding the producers who are doing things right. That’s what the equipment funding is set-up to do."
VBP is Canada's recognized on-farm food safety program for beef – a program designed to uphold consumer confidence in the products and good practices of this country's beef producers.
By attending a VBP workshop – any one of several held regularly across the country – producers help keep up to date with standard operating procedures that support on-farm food safety. They also have the option to complete additional steps to become VBP registered, which can bring marketing advantages by providing verified assurance that the operation’s practices meet recognized VBP standards.
The equipment available for purchase through OFI is not required to meet VBP standards, but it can help producers meet those standards and do their job more effectively, says Green. "Good tools can go a long way to help. With the equipment funding, producers can get those with less of a dent to their pocketbooks."
For producers who haven’t participated in the VBP program, the first step to become eligible for the funding is to sign-up to attend a VBP workshop. Information on workshops is available through VBP provincial coordinators, who are listed on the "VBP Across Canada" section of the VBP Web site, located at www.verifiedbeef.org.
Producers can also get contact information by calling their provincial cattle association office.
Producers who have attended a VBP workshop can apply for equipment funding by contacting their provincial VBP program coordinator ahead of purchase. The coordinator will then assist the producer with an assessment of equipment eligibility and provide a Producer Declaration form to use in the process of obtaining funding.
More information on the OFI program, including further perspective from Green, is featured in a new article, "Equipment funding pays off," now available on the VBP Web site.