MFGA eBulletin - December 2017
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
    It's that happy, hectic, holiday time of year again where we all reflect on the year that was. Our biggest story here at Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association (MFGA) in 2017 is momentum. Bigtime. Momentum. 
   Early in 2017, our MFGA Board of Directors finalized a series of meetings with Building Up consultancy (special thanks to Manitoba Agriculture for critical funding for this update via Growing Forward 2) and refreshed our bylaws, updated our governance and identified the core foundations of our MFGA strategic plan going forward. 
   Concurrent to that, we continued to make beyond-imaginable strides with our programs and projects led by the MFGA Aquanty Project, and bolstered by our other great efforts with groups like the Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiatives, our provincial profile and our organization's alignments and our growing roster of awesome partnerships - all supported by the hard work MFGA has been doing day in and day out. Indeed, MFGA is super pleased about our work year and our great year was based on the clarity of our work, the success we realized and the momentum we are riding. We owe a great deal of the momentum we have achieved to the dedicated time our MFGA Board took to map out these key elements that bring focus to every MFGA work day, project and program:
MFGA Vision Statement: Vibrant grasslands and prosperous forage crops on Manitoba's agricultural lands
MFGA Mission Statement: 
MFGA works towards and promotes the economic prosperity and environmental benefits of forages, grasslands, cover crops and healthy soils. These healthy and prosperous lands will benefit forage and grassland producers, local communities and society as a whole.
Wishing you all and all of yours a very happy and Merry Christmas and a fantastic 2018, Muchos Grasses all,
Duncan Morrison, 
MFGA Executive Director   
MFGA's Aquanty Workshops draw great interest
The MFGA Aquanty project management team recently hosted three workshops and one class seminar that gathered more than 100 key decision-makers and Manitoba leaders and 25 students and instructors to learn about our exciting Aquanty model that's right on schedule for completion in spring 2018. Below, Dr Steven Frey, the project's lead scientist from Aquanty Inc., speaks to the attendees at the Brandon workshop held at Assiniboine Community College. The Brandon workshop was preceded by one session with the Land and Water Management Students at ACC and two stakeholder workshops in Winnipeg earlier in the week. Watch for more news on the MFGA Aquanty model soon as we continue to present the model to our stakeholders. Big thanks to Manitoba Conservation Districts Association for inviting us to update delegates on the model progress at their annual convention this week in Brandon. We were grateful to have the opportunity.

December Hay Situation & Price Update
The December hay situation indicates the forage supplies are still adequate to above. A few hay marketers are reporting they are sold out of hay and/or straw. With winter settled in, we may see an increase in sales and possibly prices as we get closer to spring and producers get a better handle on forage usage thru the winter.
Read on for prices and full details...
Farm Credit Canada Steps Up for MBFI
Brookdale MBFI Learning Centre receives $25,000 in valuable funding
Construction of the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives (MBFI) Learning Centre has received a boost with the generous donation of $25,000 from Farm Credit Canada (FCC). "Through FCC's AgriSpirit Fund, we are proud to be a partner in the construction of the Learning Centre," said Wilco van Meijl, director of FCC's Brandon District office, at the recent cheque presentation that took place at the farm. "As a beef producer myself, I am looking forward to the great things that will come out of this facility."

Beef Production Specialist job opportunity
Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is seeking a Beef Production Specialist, responsible for providing technical support and strategic direction to MBP in all areas of beef production, providing project support, and guiding extension and tech-transfer activities. The role is a permanent full time position working out of the Winnipeg office. Applications will be accepted until January 26, 2018. The opportunity and work description can be viewed here.
MFGA has been in the News...
Floods one year, drought the next. As we've seen this year, it's a fact of life for residents of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but a project led by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) may help reduce the extremes. It's being conducted by Aquanty, a Waterloo, Ont. company that has developed a HydroGeoSphere (HGS) modelling system to measure and predict how water flows on the landscape. It's being applied around the basin of the Assiniboine River, which starts in Saskatchewan and then runs through North Dakota and back north into Manitoba. The project is focusing on the role of forages and grasslands in times of flood and drought in the area, referred to as the Assiniboine River Basin (ARB).  Read the full Canadian Cattlemen Article here
Visit  our media page to view all MFGA news articles and media releases.
Free infrared barn inspections
The Manitoba Farm Safety Program is offering a free infrared barn inspection to help you determine where the hot spots are in your barn. The focus is on electrical wiring, motor and fan bearings, and anything else which may be a potential source for ignition. For questions, or to set up an appointment, call Keith: 204-293-9646. 
Winter feed supply
With at least four months of winter still ahead, you need a strategy to manage your feed and cattle. This strategy begins by knowing the nutritional value of the various feeds you have available. The two (main) purposes of hay testing are to formulate rations and determine economic worth. Testing your feed and knowing its value allows you to feed the right plane of nutrition so as to avoid future issues and maximize economic value. Read on...
Introducing Manitoba's First Bioeconomy Atlas
Manitoba's first Bioeconomy Atlas has just launched! As a decision-support tool the Bioeconomy Atlas can help make better decisions to grow our province's biomass-based economy. If you are a biomass producer, it can help you work out how much biomass you have and how much it is worth. If you are a biomass consumer, it can help you source biomass, calculate how much it costs and learn why using biomass is the environmentally friendly and economic choice. The bioeconomy is the segment of our provincial economy that uses renewable products and services from our natural environment. Come and explore the Bioeconomy Atlas and learn the landscape of Manitoba's biomass resources and how this province can develop a sustainable economy for the 21st century.   Explore the Bioeconomy Atlas here!
Producer Events & News
Manitoba Agronomists Conference Dec 13, 14, 2017 in Winnipeg, MB
Theme: "Managing  Crops to Maintain Markets" will be held in Room 172 Agriculture Building and via webcast. The cost is $225. Registration closes December 8. Graduate students are invited to attend as well as submit posters. Inquiries: Rachel Sydor at or 204-474-8473.
The 22nd Annual Fields on Wheels Conference - Dec 14, 15, 2017 in Winnipeg, MB
Themed "NFATA 2018: Implications for Agricultural Trade and Transportation", this one-day conference will take place at the Four Points South Hotel, Winnipeg. Registration $345 plus GST.  A special seminar in advance of the conference (Dec 14) will feature Mr. Mike Gifford, Former Chief Agricultural Trade Negotiator for Canada, at 12 noon in 307 Tier Building. His topic is "What does NAFTA mean to Western Canada?". 
Manitoba Ag Days - mark these dates! - Jan 16-18, 2018 in Brandon, MB 
The Manitoba Ag Days show, held at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, is an exposition of agricultural production expertise, technology, and equipment that attracts exhibitors and visitors from across Canada and the United States of America. Schedule a drop by to the MFGA booth into your MANITOBA AG DAYS!!!
Beef & Forage Week Seminar Jan 29 to Feb 2, 2018 in various MB communities 
Dates/towns planned:  Mon, Jan. 29 - Eriksdale; Tues, Jan. 30 - Ste Rose; Wed, Jan. 31 - Minitonas; Thurs, Feb. 1 - Holland; Fri, Feb. 2 - Vita. Exhibitors registration forms found here and are due by Dec 1, 2017. For more info, contact the Mb Agriculture Vita Office at 204-425-5050.
Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association AGMFeb 9, 2018 in Brandon, MB 
A 7am breakfast meeting, our AGM is held in conjunction with the MBP AGM. Stay tuned for further details. Coffee and pastries will be served.
Manitoba Beef Producers AGM -  Feb 8-9, 2018 in Brandon, MB 
Whether you are a beef producer or in the feedlot sector, this event is geared to you. The Manitoba Beef Producers 39th Annual General Meeting is an opportunity to engage with MBP directors and fellow producers, debate issues that affect your bottom line, and set policy which will impact the future of your industry. We encourage all producers and beef industry stakeholders to attend.
Manitoba Farm Safety Tip of the Week 
When moving round bales with a tractor, carry your load low to reduce the risk of a rollover, backwards flip (especially if on an incline), and to prevent the load from potentially falling back on to the cab. Your line of sight must always be over the bale, not under it.

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