R-calf and canadian owned cattle

Help Support CattleToday:


Well-known member
Feb 21, 2004
Reaction score
I just read an article that had to do with something about R-calf throwing a fit and saying that several members in MT own Canadian cattle. That they bought them dirt cheap and are feeding them in Canadian feedlots waiting for the border to open and cash in on the high prices. I was wondering what all of you Canadian folk think, or if it is even true. Have at it CRR, cattle Annie and Vickie the Vet. Yell at me if you need to. I'm just being nosey! :?:

I just read an article that had to do with something about R-calf throwing a fit and saying that several members in MT own Canadian cattle. That they bought them dirt cheap and are feeding them in Canadian feedlots waiting for the border to open and cash in on the high prices. I was wondering what all of you Canadian folk think, or if it is even true. Have at it CRR, cattle Annie and Vickie the Vet. Yell at me if you need to. I'm just being nosey!

Well, I live this every day.

I am not interested in "Having at" or "Yelling"

I live it every day.

I am not happy about it as it - at least to me - makes me wonder about the truthfulness of the R-CALF organization. I certainly understand it from a business sense - these animals get bought cheap, boxed, exported and the profits due to the currency exchange are enormous. At the same time it destroys the fabric of the cattleman, the farmer, the social family structure and brings to an end all that we hold close and near to our hearts.

Yes, what you have written is true.

What you did not write about - my information from listening to the Farm Show last Saturday morning with Eugene Whalen (retired Canadian agriculture minister) is that U.S. of A. owned Cargill plant in Canada had a "U.S. of A. owned only" kill at their plant. Angering more than a few western Canadian rancher. There is more than one conspiracy theory going around about this as I write.

Our organizations that exist here for the various farm, ranch and cattle organizations are toothless wonders. Many people that work in these organizations are good people, but there are also those who love the first class travel and so on.

I put it to you this way:

Let's just suppose the shoe was on the other foot - just for a moment. You want to ship to Canada and a group of cattlemen prevented this from happening - claiming your animals are a health hazard.

Suppose all the kill plants in your country were foreign owned - by Canucks.

Suppose those very same people who prevented your cattle from entering Canada were now in your country - buying your cattle for pennies on the dollar.

Suppose those foreign owned kill plants in your country then refused to process your cattle - and instead processed the cattle bought by those who previously claimed American cattle were a disease risk.

What would you think / how would you feel?

I'm breaking a personal rule in my response and letting you see more than perhaps you should - so ... Answer this one honestly.

There are many remedies to this. We have been caught with our pants down. It will take - in my opinion - at least another 5 years to get out of this. We will - and it will be at the expense of a lot of good people.

This happened to me today - I posted it on another site, but will put it here as well >>>>>

"My neighbour - 50 years old and a long time farmer - 4'th generation on the same place - lost it all today.

As he said to me - "I'm just waiting for my eviction notice".

The final phase of his three year expansion program - completed exactly 2 months before BSE announced a year ago last May was fully approved by the banks. His business plan was extensive and complete. His own personal money was right up front to attract additional financing. Hired consultants and his bank all believed it to be a sound proposition.

Then prices dropped - commitments could not be met - assets started being sold off. And so on ... and so on .....

All land, animals, equipment, buldings, tools and the house are now property of the bank.

They all want to lend you money when times are good .......

Sad day in this neighbourhood."

We are very close ourselves - hope to get through this year and may last most of next - time will tell.

As a final note, I very helplessly watched my wife of 26 years and his wife sit on the tailgate of my truck - have not seen my wife cry like that in a lot of years. Not since someone very special to us died at far too young an age.

Yeah, I live this every day.


I know how you feel. Watched almost the exact same thing happen to a brother.............. The only difference is He is young enough to start over at something else..
I've tried three times to respond to this post, but I'm just so ticked off about the whole thing, I'm having trouble responding without going on a big tirade against R-CALF and all who support them. I always thought I would like to buy more land and have a few more cattle. My brothers 1/2 section came up for sale last week, but I imagine I can buy it cheaper when the bank takes it in a few months. :mad: :mad: :mad:
I do not support R-calf. And I'm sorry for all your hardships. Please do not think that I started this thread to stir trouble and bring out horibble memories. I feel really bad for all the good Canadian folk that are struggling. I do not support R-calf. I read the article and instantly got mad. And thought there might be a slim chance that it was all hogwash and not true. Hang in there, most of us are rooting for you!

Well, as I said - I am not going to yell. There is little that can be done to change things at this time.

You asked and probably most in your world only hear what is reported by your media. When you live it - it is not always as reported. And, you deserved a response.

Be that as it may I have deveolped into a very different person.

My oldest daughter has told me I have become very much like the fellow in the song "Live Like You Were Dying". Good, bad or indifferent I am a much quieter person and I certainly do not judge like I once did. I am now walking that mile in someone elses boots.

We might still pull out of this uncontrolled dive towards the ground - it will be close either way.

In the end I am in good company - lots of others are experiencing the same thing.

Count your blessings that you have what you have - it could all be gone tomorrow.


R Calf is the biggest f#&&# piece of dung. They are greedy and don't care about anyone else but themselves. They are taking advantage of the current Presidential race as leverage to get their way.
Ticked, Cattle Rack Rancher and frenchie:

You may have read some of this - I posted it all on another site - but as I am the author I have pasted it here as well.

The big problem as I see it is that people spent far to much time spinning in anger against something they have no control over - in this case it is R-CALF.

Far better to spend that energy in other areas.

In my opinion we caused part of this as well. Never again - once this is over I will never sit back and let foreign interests in kill plants become an accepted fact.

Integration at the level we allowed in Canada put us at risk - a risk we could never have forecast. But having experienced I can assure you it will keep a bunch of us - those who survive (hopefully I am one) - on our toes.

I may be a small guy, but all of my animals now go to a non-foreign owned operation. Small operator - but he is hanging in. Yes he is at risk - but until he is forced to close I will support him to the max.

No order buyer - no selling to unknowns. I now demand to know exactly who is buying my animals and I demand to know exactly where they are going. Period. If I do not get the answers - nothing leaves the yard. If I am going to go down it will not be by supplying what I have now come to consider the enemy.

Sooner or later things will change - I know in my own heart I have a very large hate on for foreign ownership now that I never had before.

Simplistic? Yes. I am just a wave in the sea of humanity - but that's what I have started to do.

I have learned free trade is a one way street. I am now not so slowly becoming very adamant about NOT supporting U.S. of A. interests in my own country. Lumber, oil, natural gas, cattle, sheep, hogs, wheat .... and the beat goes on. Water is coming - mark my words. Tariffs, tariffs, tariffs - what the heck happened to free trade? It is well and truly dead in my opinion. Time to find other markets. Foreign interests are rapidly killing not only this industry, but others as well.

There will be those who detract from my statements but in the end our own people can find markets outside of our borders. Our biggest cattle problem is finding some place to kill and process.

And if I can find a place that keeps my money in my back yard then you can be sure I will not spend it elsewhere. I once let the dollars flow as they wanted - never again.

As I said, there will be capacity to handle our own animals eventually - that will remove a great deal of risk. During this time I would hope the great marketing gurus of the meat world recognize we have other markets that can eventually be developed other than our neighbour to the south. In fact let's steal some markets if at all possible.

If a market demands testing - then screw it and do it. Let's beat them at their own game. Period. Play hardball or go home.

Live cattle are - in my opinion - the largest issue at the moment. We solve this one we are on our way. It will happen and it will be painfull - but the folks south of 49 who rake in the daily profit do not care. so, I have begun my small mission of boycotting them wherever and whenever possible - when I cannot I hold my nose and pay.

Ever been to the States - of course you have - ever notice the "BUY AMERICAN" advertisements? Good for them - I support this attitude - in THEIR home territory. Time for us to do the same. Start small and let it grow.

I reiterate - as a small guy - I do not let anything off the property anymore until I know it's final destination. Money stays in my country - I am tired of feathering the nest of corporations that are south of 49 owned.

If my guy started killing U.S. owned cattle - which he will not because there are none here - we would shut him down - for weeks -not a day. Hit them in the bank account - hit them hard - not in the media - money talks and B.S. makes them smile.

Look up the Lanark Landowners Association on the net - we have mirrored their efforts locally - in 20 minutes there can be 40 people standing in my driveway - blocking anything or anyone you want. Gotta' love organized phone trees, no sh!t determined people (read desperate) and cell phones.

We let the big guys come in because we all thought bigger was better - looks like we were wrong. Centralizing the kill plants, going bigger and letting folks outside of our country control the situation is not the way to go.

We have a major production area - Manitoba - with no kill capability - I bet they're now doing some major thinking on that subject. Ontario is planning to open at least one new plant - hopefully two. Quebec is going at it strong. As well, even tiny Prince Edward Island is now in the business and branding it's home grown beef. It WILL happen given time.

We allowed our live cattle to go south of the border instead of value adding (tired but true phrase) on this side. It was cheaper to ship them and be happy with the trade.

Live trade allowed us to ignore slaughter capacity. It simply was not required in the then fully integrated market. Turns out WE were wrong. By not completing the process here we let money slip through our fingers. Folks are waking up.

It will take time - but capacity MUST be built on this side of the border - and markets MUST be developed away from the U.S. of A. Less we are dependent upon those south of 49 the stronger we will be.

No different than investing in the stock markets - diversification is the key to success.

While we are prisoners at this time, if we are able to withstand the next 5 years, and we can eventually kill 80% of our own production (large number out of my ass) or if time and money and luck allow - 100% of our capacity - and never be beholden to outside interests again I will be a very happy camper. I suspect more than a few others would agree.

Just my thoughts,

Excellent post Bez. Many good points. In the early 80's, we had 7 slaughter plants in Manitoba, enough to do all our own beef and then some.Now, becasue of free trade and other issues, we have none. All these plants were in urban areas, unfortunately, and now with the way things are, I fear that there would be alot of opposition from city people to re-opening them. Ranchers Choice Co-op had wanted to open up one of the old city plants but couldn't get enough financial support from producers or the government on that plan. They now plan to try a rural location which I think they will have more success with but all this finagling has cost valuable time.
You are right , we let control of our packing industry slide out of our hands and in to others .

The road out of this is going to be long . Sadly alot of Canadian producers will end up as wreckage along the way. :(

We need to get moving on these plants and marketing.
You all have great points. I believe the same, we sold some fat steers on Tuesday and recieved .65cents per pount for them. If we had a killing plant in Manitoba that was Canadian owned we would have recieved a lot more. As it is any cattle that are finished in Manitoba have to be trucked to Alberta to a "US" owned plant. I think our federal government should stand up and take a damn good look at things and start talking the reality of getting some more Canadian packing plants off the ground. Instead of talking about it they need to get to it. Its very sad to see what is happening. Farms and ranches that people have worked very hard for over the years are disappearing at a rate that is sickening. Something needs to be done to keep us all in business that are affected by BSE. If we were getting a fair price for our young stock we could handle the lower prices for older cattle (cows,bulls). But we cannot give the young ones and the older ones away for prices well below what it costs to raise them. :cboy:


Latest posts