MFGA eBulletin - Feb 2019
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association takes great pride working to open doors with our work, supporters, collaborations and the like-minded. And when the Manitoba Bison Association (MBA) came forward wondering about joining MFGA's board, we couldn't open our door fast enough to welcome the group into our fold (more info below). Welcome to MFGA, Manitoba Bison Association, welcome! 
     In other news, I had a chance to drop off MFGA's $400 donation from the speakers and attendees of our 2018 MFGA Regenerative Agriculture Conference to Janet Smith, manager, Counseling Services (Farm, Rural & Northern) & Suicide Prevention Coordinator at Brandon's Klinic Community Health office last week. While there, I had a chance to visit with Janet and staff members for some informal chit chat around each of our organizations.
On the heels of well-known TSN personality and #sicknotweak advocate Michael Landsberg's talks at the Keystone Agricultural Producers AGM that detailed Landsberg's own personal struggles and the high incidence of mental health issues among us, I was super impressed with Janet and team. They are warm, knowledgeable, interested, welcoming and compassionate and if anyone needs someone to talk with in addition to family and friends or is shouldering their thoughts and feelings solo, Janet's team wants to listen. Please, don't ever hesitate to call the support line at 1-866-367-3276 or visit for free and confidential phone and online counseling. 
     And finally, by the time our next MFGA bulletin rolls around in March, chances are that MFGA board member Ryan Boyd will be off on his Nuffield Scholarship travels learning more about Grazing Ruminants, Regenerative Ag, grasslands and carbon while travelling the world researching grazing systems. MFGA is currently working on details with Ryan as to how we can keep all informed on his journey. Stay tuned for more information on that front. We are quite excited about our plans ahead for our globe-trotting scholar and board member.
   Muchos grasses all! 
   Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   
WANTED: Hay Fields for Green Gold Testing
The MFGA Green Gold Program (Optimum Alfalfa Harvest Date or "Hay Day") represents one of MFGA's longest-standing, most successful services to Manitoba forage producers and this can only continue through producer involvement. Green Gold is seeking producers with hay fields that are mostly alfalfa, fairly new, and in good condition for testing through the May/June growing season.
THE BENEFITS: You will receive results from those fields twice a week from the beginning of sampling until first cut, providing you with some real time information on how the quality of your alfalfa is declining.
ELIGIBILITY: You must agree to sample your field twice per week (Monday & Wednesday) and submit to Central Testing via courier. (Costs covered by MFGA). If interested please email John McGregor, Green Gold Program Coordinator.
Manitoba Bison Association joins MFGA Herd  
Manitoba Bison Association has thundered into the MFGA ranks. 
   As a result of the MFGA board's recent vote of acceptance, MBA now sits as one of five commodity group members on the MFGA Board, joining Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Hay Exporters, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba and Manitoba Sheep Association. According to Darren Chapman, MFGA chair, MFGA tries to represent all our livestock producers and it's nice to have MBA at the MFGA table. "We are excited to have the MBA join MFGA," said Chapman, MFGA chair. "Not only does it continue to promote MFGA as the connector for agriculture, government and conservation groups interested in grasslands and forage crops to work together, having the MBA onside also brings their expertise to the table. It's very exciting times for MFGA to add a valued like-minded partner like MBA to our board." MBA will be represented by Brooks White on the MFGA Board. Brooks & Jen White run their family's bison operation Borderland Agriculture near Pierson, MB and were named Manitoba's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018. Besides representing the MBA on the MFGA Board, White shares a strong interest in regenerative agriculture with many of the existing MFGA board members. 
   "The Manitoba Bison Association is excited to enter into this new venture with the MFGA ," said White, who presented the MBA to the MFGA board with Robert Johnson, MBA president. " I see many opportunities for our organizations to benefit from working together. The prairie grasslands and the bison have a deep history of evolving together in North America and it is only fitting to bring these two groups together." White was particularly keen that MFGA supporters be aware of the upcoming MBA conventions (below) featuring Steve Kenyon and Leslie Kelly that are free to attend and all are welcome. Registration on
MBP announces 2019-20 executive 
Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) recently announced it's new executive for 2019-20  at the MBP AGM in Brandon. President - Tom Teichroeb; 1st Vice-President - Kris Kristjanson; 1st Vice-President - Dianne Riding; Treasurer - Peter Penner; Secretary - Mike Duguid. Congratulations to our friends and partners at MBP! MFGA would also like to congratulate retiring MBP directors Ramona Blyth - who MFGA worked closely with on Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives - and former MBP President Ben E. Fox for their successful terms.
MHHC working on cattle and forage lands 
The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation owns and manages approx. 14,000 acres of land in Manitoba. In 2018 MHHC installed infrastructure on 6 new parcels and made land available for grazing by neighboring beef producers in Manitoba. The goal of this initiative is to use cattle to manage the habitat for the benefit of the wildlife and to provide a sustainable grazing system on an annual basis to help avoid emergency drought grazing situations like this past summer.  Read the full article here.
Soil temperature update
Barely a year goes by that a producer doesn't get the question on whether or not their alfalfa stand will survive the winter. The answer is always "maybe". The reason for that is there are a number of factors that go into whether or not your stand has a chance of surviving. Some but not all of them include: * Nutrient storage in the root * Fertility (especially potassium for winter hardiness) * Age of stand * Snow cover * Soil temperature.  Read on....
Managing grasses
"Vibrant grasslands and prosperous forage crops on Manitoba's agricultural lands" is MFGA's vision statement. We see grasses as the dominant plant in most forage-based enterprises throughout Manitoba. Whether it's native rangeland, tame pastures or hay field, grasses usually are the basis of the energy and nutrients for animal growth and maintenance. Effective grazing management not only ensures high forage yield, sustainability, animal health and productivity, it also benefits the pasture ecosystem and gives producers greater control to support the environment (e.g. biodiversity) while allowing them to better use pasture resources for food production.  Read on....
Governments invest in on-farm beef verification program 
The Canadian and Manitoba governments are providing $350,000 over five years to the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) to deliver the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced recently. Read the full Government of Manitoba media release.
Record coverage for 2019 AgriInsurance Program 
Manitoba farmers will see enhancements to coverage through AgriInsurance in the upcoming year, federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced. The ministers noted total AgriInsurance coverage for 2019 is expected to exceed $2.8 billion on 9.5 million acres in Manitoba, the highest level of coverage on record. With premium rates down by an average of more than seven per cent compared to last year, and dollar values up slightly,  producers will receive more coverage for less premium in 2019.  Read the full Government of Manitoba media release.
MBFI hiring full-time Farm Technician 
Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI) is seeking a highly motivated Full-time Farm Technician to lead farm operations and support research and extension activities. The position includes a competitive salary and benefits package. MBFI is a centre of agricultural innovation engaging in science-based research and on-farm demonstration to support the beef and forage production sectors. Further details here.
Deadline to apply: Feb 22, 2019.
MAAS Manitoba Open Farm Day - Host Sites sign up
Applications are now open for Open Farm Day Host Sites to register for the upcoming Manitoba Open Farm Day September 15, 2019. Go to, click on "Register Your Site", scroll down and "Click Here" to continue to read information and fill in the application. Deadline to register is Tuesday April 30, 2019. Help us celebrate 10 years of Open Farm Day in Manitoba! #agriculture #OpenFarmDay2019.

New Western Livestock Price Insurance Program payment option for Manitoba producers
Manitoba livestock producers can now defer their policy premiums for up to 30 days after the policy expires. Previously only available in Alberta, this new payment option gives Manitoba producers the same flexibility for settling accounts. Set up a WLPIP account, purchase a WLPIP policy and defer your premium payments for the entire length of the policy - up to 30 days after it expires! WLPIP policies for feeder cattle, fed cattle and hogs are available year-round. The next purchase dates for WLPIP calf policies are from February 5, 2019 to May 30, 2019. 
More information found here: 
Read the media bulletin:

Producer Events & News  
5th Annual ARBI Conference - Feb 20 & 21, 2019 in Brandon, MB
This year's theme is "Building Resiliency - Accepting Change - From Floods to Drought" and is held at the  Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre. Knowledgeable presenters include Bob Sandford, Danny Blair and Doug Griffiths and others on a variety of topics related to water management issues. Questions: Wanda McFadyen at 204-795-6672 or at Reserve at the Victoria Inn at 204-725-1532, quote ARBI block.
Holistic Management Course - Feb 23, 24 & March 16 & 17, 2019 in Cypress River, MB
Instructors Ralph and Linda Corcoran. For info, contact Ralph: 306-434-9772,, or Andrea:
Strategies for Managing Risk Seminars - March 6 in Carman, March 7 in Brandon,
Protect yourself and your organization Manitoba Agriculture is hosting seminars to help participants identify and assess risks in an agriculture organization. Register by March 1, $50 fee includes lunch. 
Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference - March 11, 12, 2019 in Calgary, AB
Held at the Hyatt Regency Calgary. Annemieke Farenhorst, Associate Dean (Research) will be participating in a panel discussion. 
Holistic Financial Planning Tuesdays, March 12 to April 16, 2019, Online 
Time: 1pm-2pm MST (also recorded for later viewing) Scholarship Deadline: March 5, 2019; Registration Deadline: March 12, 2019; Instructor: Holistic Management Certified Educator, Phil Metzger.
MBA's Great Spirit Show & Sale -  March 29 & 30, 2019  in Brandon, Mb
Register now for this Manitoba Bison Association event, which includes conference seminars, AGM, banquet and Kids Program. Sponsorship opportunities available. Tickets before March 15: $50 (16 years and up); $25 (6 -15 years); Under 5 is free After March 15th or at door: $60. Special room rates at the Clarion Hotel & Suites Rooms until March 18, ph: 204-728-5775 and quote "MB Bison 2019 Great Spirit Show & Sale".
MAAS Open Farm Day - Sep 15, 2019 in various farm sites across Manitoba
Mark your calendar now for this popular Manitoba ag event. Applications are being accepted for host sites until April 30, 2019.
Western Canada Soil Health & Grazing - 
Dec 10 to 12, 2019,  Edmonton, AB
Save the Date! More details to follow.


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