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BC Bison Association: BCBA Update – November 2022

Dear Members,

After such a beautiful and prolonged autumn, the inevitable has happened. I hope you’re all ready for another “white” season.The timing for the conference and AGM in Kamloops was perfect with rich autumn colours setting the backdrop. However, the cold wind on the high hills and plains at Big Valley Bison Ranch made us appreciate the dining tent and heaters.

We had two new ranches join us at the conference this year (Baxter Bison Ranch and VKD Ranch) rounding up a total of 7 ranches represented out of 22 member ranches in our association.This is the first time since 2019 that we were able to hold an in-person meeting which felt pretty good. Offering the option of a Zoom link for the AGM unfortunately couldn’t help boost those numbers.

The conference speakers provided an interesting mix of topics that engaged attendees to share their own experiences and insights. Topics included dealing with animal health emergencies, climate emergencies, animal science and hot topics such as the state of the abattoir industry in BC. We were fortunate to have CBA President Les Kroeger join us from Saskatchewan to update us on what is happening at the national level.The ranch tour and field dinner up at High Valley Ranch hosted by Chris Kayat and his ranch manager Francois Grimbeek was the highlight of the meeting. The catered dinner featured bison smokies and braised bison roast with all the fixings.

One timely topic brought up by BC agriculture representative, Jackie Cushing was that of the currentpressures on government and industry towards ensuring animal welfare practices are followed.This is being driven by recent actions by activists on other agricultural sectors, mainly the hog and poultry producers.

Our sector is not immune from this intrusion and we are fortunate to have a Bison Code of Practice to show that we are ahead of the curve. I was recently interviewed by a SFU PhD student who was working on her dissertation on this very topic. I have not heard of any bison producers being harassed by activists in BC but if you have, she would be interested in hearing from you. I have included her project description and a brief survey if you have a few moments to contribute to this important work on the impacts on animal rights activism on agriculture.

Other topics the were discussed that should interest you are:

  • New Chief Provincial Veterinarian announced – Dr. Theresa Burns
  • Difficulty in finding veterinarians who have bison experience – do you have a name that you can share with the association?
  • Proposed Game Farm Regulations changes are at a standstill within government bureaucracy – Are you ready to start contacting your MLA?
  • State of the abattoir industry and how are we going to deal with it. On farm slaughter?
  • Improving regional representation within the BCBA

As an FYI, the BCBA does have a presence on the CBA website that includes a section on where to buy meat. Please use this site as it is there to serve you. We also have a Facebook (Meta) page hosted by Bernie Vere if have something to share.

In closing, please welcome your new Board and say thank you to those who have stepped down for their dedicated service to our association.

Your 2023 Board of Directors are:

  • Conrad Schieb el—President
  • Steven Boyd – Vice President
  • Isobel Vere – Treasurer
  • Sandra Marascio - Secretary(sandra(at)dlc.ca)
  • Bernie Vere – Past President(pentanglev(at)gmail.com)
  • Cyndy Donally – member at large
  • Chris Kayat – member at large
  • Sharif Fahmy – CBA rep
  • Kim Grimwade - member at large (new)
  • Danica Vere - member at large (new)
  • Francois Grimbeek – member at large (new)

Board members stepping down:

  • Bill Bouffioux
  • Tyrol Forfar

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AGM PP- 2022 Presentation (PDF)

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Sincerely,

Conrad Schiebel (BCBA President)
Turtle Valley Bison Ranch
conschiebel(at)gmail.com
(587) 336-3537