Roughly 35 local cattle producers gathered in Longview to learn more about the Verified Beef Production Plus program (VBP+).

The Longview 4-H Beef Club hosted the workshop at the Longview Community Hall on Friday, November 23.

Renewals Coordinator with Verified Beef Production, Ricki Fleming, taught the event, and says the program is a third party verification which allows producers to prove to consumers they're raising cattle to the highest animal care, food safety and environmental standards.

"As producers, we know that we're doing all the right things, but some of the things that we may lack on is the documentation and record keeping of practices that we're doing, so part of the training of this was helping remind people of the importance of record keeping and documenting important information."

Fleming says, VBP+ isn't about changing the way people raise beef, it's about documenting and taking credit for the work they're already doing.

She adds, the program is being used in the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration (CBSA) pilot where they've created a sustainable beef supply chain.

Producers are paid a credit on cattle which make it through the chain all the way to the plate.

"The CBSA pilot was initiated by Cargill to figure how they can build a supply for sustainably raised beef," Fleming says. "They've used verified beef plus as a model to be able to document and track the livestock that goes through a sustainable beef supply chain."

On the CBSA pilot website, they reported producers were paid $10.00 for every animal which made it through the supply chain in the first quarter. The credit increased to $20.11 per head during the second quarter of the pilot, and in the third quarter, the credit fell slightly to $18.52.

They say, payments will change because of factors like the total number of qualifying animals, beef demand and cattle weights.

Fleming says, about 75 per cent of cattle producers at the Longview workshop were interested in taking the next step in becoming certified, which is completing an on-farm audit.

For more information, you can visit the Verified Beef Production Plus website.

 

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