Organic trade: U.S. and Canada take step toward full equivalency Canada and U.S. organic dairy, beef, sheep, goat and bison producers exporting products can now benefit from more streamlined trade. In the U.S., these animals, referred to as ruminants, must receive 30 percent of their feed during the grazing season from organic pasture and must be out on pasture at least 120 days per year.

In addition to these pasture requirements, operations must provide adequate space and living conditions which accommodate the natural behaviour of livestock. This includes year-round access to the outdoors.

Canada now considers these U.S. requirements as equivalent to its standards for ruminant stocking rates, or the number of animals in a given area.

This change reflects efforts by both countries to harmonize standards and move toward full equivalence.

Products from non-ruminant animals, such as poultry and swine, must still verify that they meet the Canadian stocking rates for those species.


—From USDA news release

Jacques Laforge appointed new CEO of Dairy Commission
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the appointment of Jacques Laforge as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC).

Laforge hails from New Brunswick, where he and his wife Patsy have operated a 1,000-acre mixed farming operation since 1980.

He served as an executive on the Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick board of directors for 10 years before taking on the role of chairman from 1995 to 2000.

He also served as chairman of the Atlantic Dairy and Forage Institute from 1997 to 2000. Having served on the board of directors of the Dairy Farmers of Canada since the 1980s, he joined the executive in 1999. In 2004, he took on the role of president, a title he held until 2011.

Laforge will work with producers, processors, the restaurant industry, and consumers to build a long-term vision for the CDC and its stakeholders that will include innovative ways to continue to build a strong, sustainable dairy industry.

Laforge’s appointment is effective immediately for a term of three years.

—From Marketwire

Ann Louise Carson new Holstein Canada CEO
The Holstein Canada Board of Directors announced that Ann Louise Carson will become their chief executive officer effective June 4.

Raised on a Holstein Master Breeder farm (Carsondale) in Québec’s Eastern Townships, Carson earned her bachelor’s degree in agriculture at McGill University.

Her professional career has spanned government (executive assistant to Québec’s Minister of Agriculture), embryo transfer (general manager of Boviteq Inc.), milk recording (senior manager at Valacta) and the processing industry (international manager at Groupe Lactel).

She was general manager of Eastern Breeders Inc., where she played a major role in the merger with Gencor and the formation of EastGen.

Self-employed since July 2011, Carson facilitated the cross-Canada member consultation of the Holstein Canada and Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) Boards of Directors in the fall of 2011 and is currently conducting strategic planning work for a prestigious Canadian Holstein farm.

Until Carson moves to the Brantford, Ontario, area and during her early transition to the Holstein Canada team, Brian Van Doormaal will continue his dual CEO role with Holstein Canada and Canadian Dairy Network (CDN).

—From Holstein Canada news release


2012 Alltech Symposium to envisage the world of 2050
During Alltech’s 28th Annual International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium May 20-23 in Lexington, Kentucky, presenters will cover many topics related to feeding the world now and in the future.

In addition to general sessions, the symposium will provide opportunities for professionals to attend breakout sessions in areas such as aquaculture, beef, dairy, equine, poultry, pig production, pet food and regulatory along with new focus areas offered for this year on food quality, traceability, crop science, legal, marketing, information technology and designer food.

To learn more about the symposium and to register to attend, visit or contact

—From Alltech news release

Four students receive Westgen Education Awards
Westgen announced the four recipients of its inaugural Westgen Education Awards. A contribution from the Westgen Endowment Fund made it possible to double the size of the previous scholarship program, to provide four $2,000 awards in 2011.

Beverly Chard from Dewdney, British Columbia, is in her first year of an animal science degree at the University of Saskatchewan with plans to continue on to study veterinary medicine.

Brittney Schurmann, a University of Saskatchewan animal science grad originally from Abbotsford, British Columbia, has recently begun her Masters project on ruminant nutrition at the U of S.

Danielle Saelman of Abbotsford is in the third year of an animal science degree at the University of Saskatchewan.

Lorene Vanderwal of Abbotsford is completing her final year of an agricultural economics degree at the University of Guelph.

Applications for the 2012 awards will be available in August. Students enrolled in post-secondary agriculture or veterinary medicine programs are eligible to apply.

—From Westgen news release

BCF takes over Canadian Easi-Scan market
BCF Technology announced it will be managing the Canadian Easi-Scan market in-house, effective immediately.

In order to offer the best customer service, sales, training and repairs from one location, all communications for Easi-Scan will go through the U.S. headquarters.

There is no longer any other distribution channel for Easi-Scan or other BCF products in Canada.

Canadian Easi-Scan owners will receive a free gift when they call and register their contact information with the U.S. office.

Those who are not an Easi-Scan owner but live in Canada and want to learn more can also call and receive a free gift. The free gift is a choice of battery or shoulder protector to use during pregnancy checking.

For more information, visit or call (800) 210-9665.

—From BCF news release

Westgen and Conception sign partnership agreement
Westgen and Conception – Animal Reproduction Technologies report they have signed a partnership agreement to promote and sell a suite of test products including the pregnancy test called DG29.

Conception, based in Beaumont, Quebec, specializes in developing, producing and marketing new animal reproduction technologies.

Westgen, based in Milner, British Columbia, is a leader for bovine genetic and reproductive technologies in Western Canada and is thus a logical strategic partner for Conception.

—From Westgen news release

Saputo CEO sees global opportunity
Montreal’s Saputo Inc ., Canada’s leading milk processor and the 12th biggest worldwide, wants to become “a little more aggressive at being an international player,” CEO Lino Saputo Jr. said.

That means it will look for acquisition and export growth in North America and from its major low-cost milk platform in Argentina, he told analysts.

Saputo, best known for mozzarella and other cheeses, milk, yogurt, grocery products and snack cakes sold under such brands as Armstrong, Baxter, Dairyland, Dragone, Nutrilait, Stella, Frigo and Vachon, has become a multinational with operations in Canada, the U.S., Germany and Argentina.

—From The Montreal Gazette

World Dairy Expo announces complete slate of judges
A slate of 16 official judges will evaluate more than 2,500 head of the finest registered dairy cattle Oct. 2-6 during the 2012 World Dairy Expo.

The following list of judges has been named:

International Ayrshire Show: Lynn Harbaugh, Marion, Wisconsin; Associate Judge: Chad Ryan, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

International Brown Swiss Show: Curtis Day, Burnsville, Minnesota; Associate Judge: Brian Schnebly, Hagerstown, Maryland

International Guernsey Show: Adam Liddle, Argyle, New York; Associate Judge: William Peck III, Schuylerville, New York

International Holstein Show: Michael Heath, Westminster, Maryland; Associate Judge: Dave Dyment, Dundas, Ontario

Central National Jersey Show: Mark Rueth, Oxford, Wisconsin; Associate Judge: Cathy Yeoman, Dover, Oklahoma

International Milking Shorthorn Show: Steve White, New Castle, Indiana; Associate Judge: Ken Empey, Dorchester, Ontario

Grand International Red & White Show: Justin Burdette, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania; Associate Judge: Steve Shaw, Williamsburg, Pennsylvania

International Junior Holstein Show: Chris Lahmers, Marysville, Ohio; Associate Judge: Pat Conroy, Angola, Indiana PD

—From World Dairy Expo news release