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frenchie

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Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004
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this document web posted: Thursday, September 30, 2004 20040930p62

By Ian Bell
Brandon bureau

A group of Manitoba producers hopes to build its proposed slaughter plant for cull cattle in Dauphin, Man.

The Rancher's Choice Beef Co-operative wants to begin pouring concrete for the foundation and floor this fall and to have the plant operational early next spring.

The co-op is also negotiating to buy an existing plant and water treatment facility in Washington state that it could move to Dauphin.

"It's a good deal," said Garth Lussier, Rancher's Choice treasurer and a cattle producer from Reykjavik, Man.

"That plant has the technology we were looking for."

The Washington plant was built in the late 1990s, began operating in 2000 and was shut down last year because of its dependence on cows and bulls from British Columbia and northern Alberta, which can no longer be sold to the United States because of BSE concerns.

"That's not the only plant that has been closed in the United States," said Lussier. "There are several other plants that are running well below capacity or are closed."

Because of its design, the plant can be taken apart, moved and re-assembled.

Rancher's Choice is negotiating with a group of credit unions for part of the required financing. It has already raised close to $1 million through the sale of shares to producers and is counting on the province to commit at least $2.5 million.

"We're still trying to raise further funding from producers," Lussier said.

"I hope that the federal government comes along, but I'm not going to hold my breath for them."

Dauphin was one of three Manitoba locations that Rancher's Choice was considering after it abandoned efforts to buy and overhaul a hog slaughter facility in Winnipeg.

Dauphin and the surrounding rural municipality offered free land and other incentives. The 15 acres are located in what will become an extension of the city's industrial park.

Dauphin and the Rural Municipality of Dauphin will spend more than $1 million on water and sewer services if the plant is built. Incentives also include the equivalent of three years' grace on the municipal portion of property taxes.

Dauphin deputy mayor Jim Puls said the Rancher's Choice venture offers a chance to bring at least 70 jobs to the community, with the potential to add many more.

"The city of Dauphin used to be 10,000 people back in the early 1980s. Now we have 8,300. Anything we can do to encourage industry or business or anything that will help increase our population and create jobs is of the utmost importance."

Puls has toured the cattle slaughter plant in Washington state that Rancher's Choice wants to buy. He said he was impressed, noting the facility is state of the art.

"There's equipment in there you just won't find in many plants, especially the disinfecting. It's just above and beyond."

At one time, the Washington plant employed 110 people and processed 300 head per day, Puls said. It cost $14 million US and was designed to handle animals up to 3,500 pounds.

"They could even do large bulls and buffalo if they wanted to
 

CattleAnnie

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Two thumbs up on that news, Frenchie! The more competition the better.

The Peace Tender Beef Co-op is slated to go ahead with their opening in northern BC, however still battling it out with CFIA over testing of animals. No faith left in CCA for me. Holdback program a joke. Imagine having to hold your calves for a year and not being able to sell them until then, and getting another bandaid of UP TO $200.00 a head (yeah right, like the $80.00 a head we were supposed to receive last year) to carry those calves for that period of time and make the ranch payments. These programs are not set up for the 95% of producers (people who might keep back 10% of their heifers for replacements and lack the land base, feed, infrastructure and cash flow to utilize that stupid program)...just the 5% big boys that background not only their own calves but hundreds upon hundreds of others. If I sound bitter, it's because I'm so disillusioned about the people that are supposed to be representing the ranching industry and the periphreal businesses that thrive off of them.

Honey's parents just sent a liner load of 600 weight calves to Clyde and received $477.00/head after deductions for those excellent Char/Sim calves. Scary times.

Honey's cattle come out of pasture on Saturday and mine on Sunday. Will ship early in the week if I can get trucks lined up and a brand inspector booked. No idea how the payments will get made this fall with prices like this. Looking any better at your end of the country? I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the prices are sunnier in your province.

Take care. God bless you.
 
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frenchie

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CattleAnnie....... Looking any better at your end of the country? I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the prices are sunnier in your province.

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No prices are no better here then, there.I know what you mean about the bills.They keep coming every month.
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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Honey's parents just sent a liner load of 600 weight calves to Clyde and received $477.00 after deductions for those excellent Char/Sim calves. Scary times.

Ouch. Prices looked to be going up a bit, but now with the Cdn$ so high compared to the US$ I'm thinking that it just might stall out. I'm very afraid that by the end of November when I go to ship my calves, they will be about worthless.

Good news about the plant in Dauphin, though. If we can get a decent price for some of these darn cull cows, that might ease the burden a little bit. My herdsire went in about a month ago. 12.5 cents/lb before deductions. Just nasty.
 

Bez

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Got you beat CRR - and I have to admit I beat you in a way that I was not happy.

Pure bred Shorthorn bull - not quite 6 years old - just around the 2000 pound mark - sold for 4.8 cents a pound.

And he was in good shape - should have kept him.

Bez
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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Pure bred Shorthorn bull - not quite 6 years old - just around the 2000 pound mark - sold for 4.8 cents a pound.

I think with prices like that you'll see alot of bull swapping going on. Hard to justify paying a couple of grand for a bull that you're only going to get $100.00 for in two or three years when you're done with him. I'd have swapped you, but my bull had lost his concept of fence and he spent his winters being bored and wrecking everything he could so he wouldn't have been a good swap for anything.
 
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frenchie

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BEZ.....Pure bred Shorthorn bull - not quite 6 years old - just around the 2000 pound mark - sold for 4.8 cents a pound.
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Man thats cruel ouch.
 

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