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Assurance System Producer Program - Sheep Stream

“Ewe” Don’t Want to Miss Out

By Rachel Kraynick, P.Ag., Agriculture Programs Specialist, Yorkton

November 2020

Sheep with a weigh scale
Katelyn Haynes of Ituna, SK purchased a weigh
scale through the Assurance System Producer
program –Sheep Stream

Tristan and Katelyn Haynes of Ituna, Saskatchewan have been in the sheep business for the past four years and operate as Haynestock Farms. Although they own some commercial stock, they mostly raise purebred Canadian Arcotts. Previously, Tristan and Katelyn had cattle but wanted to explore alternative livestock options and became interested in sheep.

Sheep are a very manageable, profitable and growing industry in Saskatchewan. After researching and touring a large sheep operation, the Haynes’ decided to invest in their own flock. After hearing about the sheep stream of the Assurance System Producer Program, they spoke with their local agriculture programs specialist in Yorkton to learn more about this rebate program prior to applying.

The Assurance System Producer Program is one of the many programs offered under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). Having owned cows and pastureland prior to purchasing the sheep, Tristan and Katelyn were able to meet the $15,000 gross farm income eligibility requirement for the sheep stream of the program. They also updated their account status with the Saskatchewan Premises Identification (PID) system to reflect the addition of sheep to their operation.

Training First

Being relatively new to the industry, the Haynes’ wanted to learn as much as possible about the production and management aspects of the sheep industry. That was one of the reasons they wanted to take the online Canadian Verified Sheep Program training through the Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board. This training was not only an educational opportunity for the Haynes’, but they also knew it was needed to access funding through the sheep stream of the Assurance Systems Producer Program. The training, which is offered either in person or online, focuses on good production practices designed to minimize food safety risks, maximize animal care and reduce biosecurity risks. The training uses the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points approach, meets the Canadian Food Inspection Agency requirements and is based on the National Farm Animal Care Council’s Sheep Code of Practice. Katelyn said she feels confident that the knowledge obtained through this training has improved their understanding of flock management and hopes it will increase consumer confidence in the safety, quality and consistency of the lamb products they supply.

Veterinary Assessment Next

Sheep in a scale
Weigh Scales allow producers to get accurate
weights of animals for improved management
practices.  This is one of the items producers
can access through the Sheep stream of the
Assurance System Producer program.

Next, Katelyn contacted Dr. Zach Johnson, their local veterinarian from the Melville Veterinary Clinic, to conduct an on-farm assessment and complete the Biosecurity/Animal Welfare Equipment Recommendation Report based on the assessment, which is another program requirement. Dr. Johnson spent a morning at the Haynes’ farm discussing codes of practice and what equipment could be accessed to improve animal welfare and biosecurity on the farm. Dr. Johnson recommended several pieces of equipment including segregation pens, a weigh scale, a loading chute and video surveillance equipment for lambing, all of which the Haynes’ decided to purchase. The Assurance Systems Producer Program rebated 50 per cent of the cost of the identified equipment, including half of the cost of the vet visit. From a program perspective, it is important to note that the veterinarian assessment and the Biosecurity/Animal Welfare Equipment Recommendation Report must be completed prior to the purchase of any equipment and is valid for two years from the date of the veterinarian assessment. Approved eligible costs are funded at 50 per cent to a maximum program payment of $15,000.

Apply to the Program

If you would like to learn more about the program, please contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 to speak to a regional agriculture programs specialist near you.

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