Verified Beef Production program continues in Saskatchewan

August 31, 2013 Written by WCABP

August 26, 2013. Canada's on-farm food safety program for beef cattle, the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program, continues to offer delivery services for beef cattle producers in Saskatchewan. The multi-stakeholder working group that oversees delivery in the province has hired a new provincial coordinator, Mr. Coy Schellenberg of Beechy, Saskatchewan.

"Participation in this national producer-led program in Saskatchewan is important," says Kim Hextall, Sask VBP working group chairperson. "Understanding food safety risks at the farm level contributes to our effort to enhance customer and consumer confidence in our product."

The multi-stakeholder group is pleased that Mr. Schellenberg has joined the group in capacity as provincial VBP coordinator. Coy has direct practical and business experience as a cow-calf producer himself, in addition to experience in delivering programs to producers. "Being raised and living on a cow-calf operation and with a forage and beef industry background, he brings first-hand knowledge of the issues that producers face," adds Hextall.



Coy's background includes beef production, forage and rangeland management, environmental stewardship, and delivery of extension programs. Prior to this position, he has worked with various producer and industry led groups in furthering knowledge of forage and livestock production and invasive plant species management. He was also asked to participate on the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Youth Advisory Committee. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan in 2008.

"The VBP program is easy to participate in and provides producers with a level of recognition for what they do," says Coy Schellenberg. "Most producers are doing many of the practices, so this just explains the outcomes the industry is aiming for and provides recognition for doing so. All cattle that go into food production spend approximately half of their life on cow-calf operations. Everything we do at the cow-calf level is as important as the rest of the beef chain. We all contribute to the end food product."

Support for delivery of workshops, communications and assisting producers to implement VBP is provided by programming through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Coy's role will be to build participation from the cow-calf sector in a manner that is easy for producers to do so. He plans to update the Saskatchewan VBP website as an information source, and to increase program exposure across the province.

The effort to build VBP participation in Saskatchewan is part of a national plan led by the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. A multi-sector stakeholder group developed the Verified Beef Production™ program to uphold confidence in the practices of Canada's beef producers. The program has undergone two Technical Reviews by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and maintains its technical status. It is a low-cost practical program which outlines industry sanctioned practices.

Numbers show there is overall growth across Canada with over 17,100 beef operations trained in VBP. Two thirds of Canada's beef production now comes from VBP-trained operations. Percent of cow-calf production from VBP-trained operations is at 33 percent and feedlot, 83 percent.

Coy's work is directed by a multi-stakeholder producer advisory group called the Saskatchewan QSH/VBP Working Group Inc. This group sets policy and direction for implementation of the national beef on-farm food safety program in Saskatchewan. It is comprised of producer representation from Sask Cattlemen's Association, Sask Stock Growers Association, Sask Cattle Feeders Association, Sask Ministry of Agriculture, and other interested stakeholders. All members are producers or those with a beef production background.

More information on VBP is available at www.saskvbp.ca

For more information contact:

Coy Schellenberg, PAg
Provincial Coordinator, Verified Beef Production™ program
Saskatchewan QSH/VBP Working Group Inc.
Phone: 306-859-9110
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.saskvbp.ca (under construction – come back soon)