Local woman heads up Ontario Pork.
It's a first for Ontario Pork.
For the first time in the organizations 63 year history, a woman has been elected the head of the group that represents 28 hundred farmers who market hogs in Ontario.
Wilma Jeffray of Belmore at the southern tip of Bruce County was elected as chair earlier this month.
She, along with vice chair Mary Ann Hendrikx from Middlesex will lead the 2009 Board of Directors.
Jeffray says one of the challenges the industry is facing is one shared with other sectors of agriculture, and that is low returns and high imput costs.
She says producers in the hog industry have been suffering from an economic downturn of sorts long before this recession took hold world wide.
Jeffray says the hog industry already had begun to restructure before the economy turned sour so is in better shape to weather this downturn and should be one of the first groups to recover when the markets begin to go up again.
She says another opportunity for the industry is to tap in to the huge ethnic market in the GTA which are big consumers of pork.
Jeffray says they must do extensive market research to find out just what cuts of port they want and how to best package it so they will purchase it, rather than some other source of protein.
Another area that the hog sector needs to work on is public education and environmental issues.
Jeffray says the industry has been mislabled when it comes to environmental issues and infact are good stewards when it comes to protecting the land and water and in fact are a green industry.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning people with allergies not to consume Choripdong brand Biscuits or Rice Puffs.
The product from Korea contains peanuts and sesame seeds which are not declared on the label.
All codes of the biscuits sold in 280-gram packages are affected by the alert.
There have been no reported illnesses so far.
The North American meat market is seeing dramatic decreases in the supply.
Steve Meyer, who writes a daily report from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, says the American chicken industry is cutting back by unprecedented amounts -- down six per cent in production so far in 2009.
Cattle and pork numbers are also down; however, Meyer says the decrease in pork is being offset by productivity gains.
He says cuts across the board are occurring as producers strive to get profitable prices.
Meyer believes cattle producers are the most exposed to the economic downturn due to the role of beef in high-end food services.
Some Manitoba farmers are starting to wonder whether they will be able to plant crops this spring because of flooding.
Time is already tight because of Manitoba's short growing season.
Manitoba Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said farmers can draw on excess moisture insurance if their fields remain flooded.
But she is confident seeding will go ahead.