Beef testing stations future uncertain

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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province fails to allocate funding for facility

The only beef testing station in the Maritimes could close if the Nova Scotia government fails to come through with crucial funding.

Operation of the Maritimes Beef Testing Station in Nappan is at a standstill, according to manager Bernadette Hoeg, who said she is still awaiting further word from the provincial government on the $25,000 grant that had been received in previous years.

Beef testing stations future uncertain

The only beef testing station in the Maritimes could close if the Nova Scotia government fails to come through with crucial funding.

Operation of the Maritimes Beef Testing Station in Nappan is at a standstill, according to manager Bernadette Hoeg, who said she is still awaiting further word from the provincial government on the $25,000 grant that had been received in previous years.

Each year the station depends on grants from each of the three Maritime provinces to help cover its operating costs from year to year - $25,000 from Nova Scotia, $15,000 from New Brunswick and $4,500 from Prince Edward Island. Communications from Nova Scotia have indicated that the funding was not allocated in this years budget, according to Hoeg, who said she was floored by the news.

Cumberland North MLA Ernest Fage could not be reached for comment.

The testing station is in Nova Scotia, and we have to fight with them every year, she said. You just kind of get really tired of it. How important is the beef industry in Nova Scotia? Apparently its not as important as it should be.

The station determines the best bulls that convert feed into weight through a testing process, and then sells the tested bulls at the annual spring auction, which draws buyers from all over the East Coast, Quebec and Maine.

Losing the station would be a major blow to the industry, according to Hoeg.

(The government) realizes the importance of keeping genetics in the herd, but if the genetics are not there and the test station closes down, then theyre going to backtrack to square one, she said. At least when you know these bulls and heifers have been tested, you know what you have to start with.

Without the government funding, Hoeg said the station cannot survive.

The testing station cannot sustain itself, she said. The only thing we can do is pass the cost on to farmers, and farmers cant afford to pay it.



awagstaff@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritimes Beef Testing Station

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Maritime, Nappan New Brunswick Prince Edward Island East Coast Quebec Maine

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