MFGA eBulletin - January 2018
From the Desk of MFGA Executive Director
    From what we can see, the Year 2018 came in at full speed, full throttle. We knew that going in, though. The Year 2018 is going to be a doozy for the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA). Here we are mid-January and things are popping with meetings, workshops and plans to help us maximize our programs, successfully launch our MFGA Aquanty Project, host our AGM and set out on our annual supporter campaign as well as develop critical proposals, letters of support and key partner outreach. 
   2018 will also see a continuation of our MFGA Board governance implementation and as a result, we will see some new roles and new faces on our MFGA Board after our MFGA AGM February 9, 2018 in Brandon. We will have all the news to share of that next month, we are super excited with what lies ahead and where we are headed. 
   With new faces coming in, though, comes the need to say so long to some long-time MFGA board members. Glenn Campbell, an outstanding cattleman, bed and breakfast host, friend to pollinators and wildlife and soil health advocate from Onanole, MB will be stepping down from the MFGA Board. Glenn is quite active up in his neck of the woods, we all know he will keep his days busy, that's the way Glenn rolls. The groups and areas around Riding Mountain will benefit - just as MFGA did - from Glenn's sage input and ideas.
   As well, Jim Lintott will be stepping off our MFGA Board at our 2018 AGM. Jim has been on the MFGA Board since 1992 and was very active on the forage front years before that. During his tenure at MFGA, Jim put in more than a decade as MFGA Chair where his insights and expertise as one of Canada's most passionate forage leaders helped raise the profile of forages and grasslands and healthy soils in Manitoba and all across our country. Jim leaves MFGA in a very good place and we are humbled to have had the benefit of his knowledge and leadership on all things forage and grass for so many years. 
   We wish Glenn, Jim and their families all the best. On behalf of MFGA, thank you very much.
Muchos Grasses all,
Duncan Morrison,  MFGA Executive Director   
Volunteers make Ag Days happen
Barely a wheel would turn at the Keystone Centre later this month without their efforts
Forty-one years ago, on a crisp and cold winter morning in 1977, Hans Rindlisbacher packed up his own handmade forage display and headed off to the Brandon Weed Fair. He did know he hoped to educate farmers in attendance on the different varieties of grass common to Manitoba. What he didn't know was that this would be the first of what will be 41 annual pilgrimages to what later became Ag Days. Read the full Manitoba Co-operator article here.
Province reports what they heard during consultation on Manitoba Watersheds
MFGA recently encouraged our supporters and provided our own feedback on Manitoba's Watershed-Based Policy Framework. Three summary documents highlighting what the Province heard during this consultation process is  posted here.
Critical soil temperature concerns
The variability of snowfall this winter and the recent "Polar Vortex"cold weather snap has many forage producers expressing concern with the survival of their alfalfa stands. As soil temperatures drop, the risk of winterkill to alfalfa greatly increases. Adding to this worry is the variability of snowfall accumulations on alfalfa fields potentially triggering the temperature of the crown to drop below the critical level. Alfalfa, once dormant, can survive in soil temperatures up to -12 degrees Celsius. Below this temperature, water left within the alfalfa taproot and crown cells freezes and forms ice crystals that puncture the cell membranes. When the alfalfa roots thaw, the plant dies because water and cell contents leak from the cell. Read on...
Interpreting forage quality of grass hay with RFQ
As a dairy farmer, have you ever had two lots of alfalfa with the same relative feed value (RFV) and different results? On one lot, the cows ate the alfalfa like candy and milked great and on the other lot, the production dropped and the cows didn't seem to like the forage? For years, RFV has been widely used to determine the quality of forage and therefore add some objectivity to determining a market value for forage. While RFV has been very valuable for marketing alfalfa hay, it has not been as useful or reliable as would be desired in predicting livestock performance and or building rations, especially for grasses. A new test has been developed called Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) that measures the actual digestibility of the fiber, thus providing a better index of how forage will perform in an animal diet.   Read on...
Producer Events & News
Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association AGM -  Feb 9, 2018 in Brandon, MB 
A 7am breakfast meeting, the  MFGA AGM is held in conjunction with the MBP AGM. Come out and enjoy coffee and pastries - hope we see you there!
41st Annual Manitoba Ag Days - Jan 16-18, 2018 in Brandon, MB 
This event is a three-day exposition focusing purely on agriculture -"100% Pure Farm" -attracting over 50,000 visitors. Visitors from all over Canada, the northern United States and overseas attend this world class event! This year's theme is "The Year of the Young Farmer!" and organizers encourage all young farmers to stop by the selfie station, post on social media with the hashtag #agdaysyf, receive a retro hat and enter into ALL-INCLUSIVE CUBAN FARM TOUR draw. Other additions for the young farmer include a luncheon with Hon. Ralph Eichler and a young farmer lounge.  Don't forget to drop by MFGA Booth #1338 in the MNP Hall!!!
FSP Emergency Planning WorkshopJan 23, 2018 in Winnipeg, MB
A FREE Farm Safety Program event at the Delta Winnipeg - you will walk away with a completed and practical plan for your farm with participation from the RCMP, Manitoba 911 Service, and Manitoba Medical First Responders. Registration deadline extended: Jan 18.
KAP annual meeting - Jan 24, 25, 2018 in Winnipeg, MB
MB Young Farmers Conference - Jan 25, 26 2018 in Winnipeg, MB 
All young farmers are invited to this free event at the Delta Winnipeg. Learn from farm leaders about how to talk ag policy, hear from a famous chef on how to connect with consumers, find out the latest on farmland values, learn how to "pitch" to the media, and enjoy Quiz Night at The Pint Public House. 
Benchland Annual Meeting - Beef & Forage Days - Jan 25, 2018 in Plumas, MB
The AGM includes workshops and a Roast Beef Banquet - $15, all welcome. Runs from 12:30 to 7:30. PRE-REGISTER BY JANUARY 19 by calling 204-385-6633.
Austin Production Day - Beef & Forage Days - Jan 26, 2018 in Austin, MB
Find out the latest news on research and production for beef and forage management at this one day seminar.
Beef & Forage Week Seminars Jan 29 to Feb 2, 2018 in various MB communities 
These beef and forage seminars are hosted in part by Mb Ag, MFGA and MBP and are packed with informative and innovative topics geared towards helping Manitoba beef producers best manage their cattle operations. Find out the latest news on research, production and marketing for beef and forage management at this one-day seminar. Everyone is welcome to attend. Dates/towns listed in the above ad.
The Manitoba Soil Science Society 61st AGM Feb 1-2, 2018 in Winnipeg, MB 
The focus of the 2018 AGM is "Remembering the Dirty 30's: Lessons learned, forgotten and rediscovery". Contact for more information. 
Western Canadian Holistic Management Conf - Feb 2-4, 2018 in Moosomin, SK
This year's conference, Learning from Regenerative Leaders, includes a presentation from  MFGA Board Member Kristelle Harper on Planned Grazing Demonstrations. Highlights include a free children's programming: bowling alley and sports simulator experience followed by sleigh rides, stock dog demonstration, and education portion on root structure, plant growth and a water infiltration table. Register by Jan 15.
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.
2018 ARBI Conference - Feb 14, 2017 in Regina, SK
This year's theme is "The Ripple Effect of Watershed Management Decisions in the Assiniboine River Basin" with a number of knowledgeable presenters giving talks on a variety of topics related to water management issues. Registration is open now. Contact Wanda McFadynen at 204-795-6672.
Prairie Organics Think Whole Farm Conf -  Feb 23-24, 2018 in Brandon, MB
This year's conference will highlight producers and researchers discussing livestock, horticulture, grains, pulses and oilseeds. Held at the Keystone Centre, it features a 26,000 sq ft tradeshow and business to business meetings, connecting buyers and sellers of organic grains and is FREE TO STUDENTS. Volunteering slots are available. Email: for more information.
2018 Annual Young Farmers Conference - Feb 26, 2018 in Saskatoon, SK
The annual conference brings young farmers of every commodity, from every province across Canada together to network with their peers and receive training and education on a wide variety of topics important to young farmers. The event includes a Kickoff Social, numerous guest speakers such as the Hunter Brothers, a virtual farm tour and optional on-site farm tours. Call 1- 888-416-2965 for info.
Manitoba Farm Safety Video 
Moving round bales to feed livestock can be an everyday task for many farmers. Learn how to do it safely - WATCH THIS VIDEO

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