A question for the Canadians..

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Well-known member
Feb 14, 2004
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Central Texas
I've been wondering... do you know of, or do you suspect there are Americans that have come to Canada and are buying your cheap cattle in large numbers, paying someone there to feed them, in anticipation of the border opening?
It is true.

It has been reported by the Western Producer - a respected ag paper in western Canada - and those reports have been placed on this site before - by me and many others.

Names and locations have been confirmed.

Too bloody tired to be bothered to prove it - yet again - tonight. Unless someone is inclined to dig up the proof again, you'll have to take my word for it.


Yes, there were Americans that were gambling on the border opening and bought a fair bit on Canadian cattle - they were doing business here as they'd done for years. I'd imagine that they're kicking themselves in the behind...and have been for the last year or so.

If any Americans are buying our cattle right now, they must be either gifted with the knowledge that the border will be opening soon (yeah, right) or else suicidal. To put it bluntly, our market's currently in the "s"- hole.

Take care.
For those of you who missed it the first time, here is an article from the Western Producer at the beginning of June.

R-CALF supporter owns Canadian cattle
this document web posted: Friday, June 4, 2004 20040603p1

By Michael Raine
Saskatoon newsroom

Grant Nelson is tired of hearing about the threat Canadian cattle pose to the American cattle industry and public.

The cattle producer from Stirling, Alta., feels the Ranchers-Cattlemen's Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, is not frank when it opposes Canadian cattle imports, while some of its members are buying Canadian feeder cattle.

"How can you be buying cattle in Canada to hedge a market or border opening ... and preaching that Canadian cattle are a threat at the same time?"

Ron Axelson of the Alberta Cattle Feeder's Association said the issue is about business.

"This exposes those (R-CALF) members' real motive ... but as an industry it is hard to take a position on it. We've always had some American (feeder owners)."

Cindy McCreath of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association said it isn't known how many Canadian feeder cattle are owned by Americans.

"Feeders are traditionally pretty closed mouth about who owns the cattle in their pens," McCreath said.

Lloyd DeBruycker's family in Dutton, Montana, supports R-CALF and its position, but also owns 2,800 feeder cattle in the Picture Butte, Alta., area.

The U.S. cattle producer and feeder makes the trip to southern Alberta often.

He speculated last fall that the Canadian border would open this spring and bought cattle that are ready to slaughter this week.

"We thought the border would be open and business would get back to normal ... it's about making a dollar in this business and nobody should be apologizing for that," the American said.

DeBruycker said because the border remains closed, he won't be making the $300 US per head that is the difference between Canadian and American fat cattle.

But Nelson feels American buyers shouldn't participate in the Canadian industry if they are supporting R-CALF initiatives to keep the U.S. border closed.

"DeBruycker's not alone. There are lots of R-CALF members speculating on when our border is going to open. It makes me mad," he said.

Picture Butte area cattle feeder and feed supplier Rick Paskal agreed.

"This is the same organization that says Canadian cattle aren't safe," said Paskal.

"They say we have a poor regulatory system. Then they speculate on our cattle. They talk out of both sides of their mouths is what they do."

DeBruycker said the "whole issue is a mess. We need to get our markets back before we allow in any Canadian cattle."

DeBruycker blames U.S. agriculture secretary Ann Veneman and her department for most of the problem.

"If she had just said from the start this was an imported cow, instead of making this a North American thing, we'd have those markets back by now and the border would likely be open," he said.

Axelson said while it is frustrating for Canadian producers, the American buyers helped support prices for feeder cattle in the fall of 2003 and early winter of 2004.

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