Mission Statement

To initiate, support and conduct programs and activities designed to stimulate and improve the economic well-being of all segments of the Manitoba sheep industry.


Minutes of Annual General Meeting

March 5, 2016

Holiday Inn Airport West, Winnipeg

10:00 a.m.

Herman Bouw introduced the Board of Directors before announcing Dr. Reuben Neumier, who spoke on “Practical Farming from a Vet’s Perspective”.

12:00 noon

Herman Bouw welcomed Jennifer Peters, outgoing Executive Director of the MSA and presented her with a gift certificate in recognition of her past service to MSA.

1:00 p.m.

      1.Call to Order.

Herman Bouw re-introduced the Board of Directors, and Linda Hazelwood, new Association Manager.

He then introduced Marni Donetz, MAFRD representative, who is part of the Market Intelligence Branch which collects prices and other information to build a database in order to ascertain adequate compensation for breeding stock lost to predators, etc. She stated that currently information was collected from livestock auctions but this did not reflect the best animals. The lower auction prices reflected on policies, insurance, programs, national accounts, risk management and predator control, and made it difficult to set adequate compensation levels.

MAFRD is now willing to collect data from producers, brokers and packing plants with verified stock. Templates are available to record information and send to MAFRD. Privacy is assured. MAFRD has sourced a new junior research assistant to work on the program and hopes that all producers will participate.

2.New Business

Brian Greaves asked to add “Beef Research Industry” under #14, New Business.

Randy Eros moved that the agenda be accepted with the above change, seconded by Gerry Oliver. CARRIED.

3.Approval of the minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting

There were no comments on the 2015 AGM minutes.

Brian Greaves moved that the 2015 AGM minutes be adopted as read, seconded by Jonathon Nichol. CARRIED.

4.Business Arising

There was no business arising from the minutes.

5.Report from the Chair – Herman Bouw

Herman Bouw reported that there had been eight Board meetings by conference call, and three face-to-face meetings.

Committees and other activities:

  • Adam Donohoe had attended the Provincial Animal Care Committee four times during the year, and had written a well-received article on predation published in the Sheep Canada Magazine.
  • Herman Bouw had represented MSA at the Livestock Predation Protection Group four times in the year.
  • Sarah Lewis and her family again attended the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair on behalf of MSA, and Herman Bouw commended them for their 11-year commitment to the project.
  • MSA had organised Farm Tours to Pat Smith’s operation at Sarto (inside operation) and Wayne McDonald’s in Cartwright (outside operation). More than 70 people attended. In February a Symposium was held in Portage la Prairie and more than 60 people attended to hear veterinary speakers on sheep diseases, marketing etc. Both these activities were 75% funded by a grant from Growing Forward 2.
  • The All Canada Classic Sale was organized by Sarah Lewis, Neil Versavel and Randy Eros, and Herman Bouw thanked them for their skills. The sale was successful.
  • The Annual Show & Sale was again hosted by MSA; thank you to Sarah Lewis and Colin Hunter for their efforts. Prices were comparable to normal. At the same time as the Show & Sale, a Shearing School was put on at Tony Atkinson’s, led by Brian Greaves and assisted by Jonathan Nichol.
  • MSA sponsored the Manitoba Fibre Festival at the Red River Ex. Twelve rare and commercial sheep breeds were shown, and a Rare Breed fleece competition took place, organized by Gerry Oliver.
  • Too much bureaucracy in Growing Forward 2. At 65/35 the incentive is lost and the uptake drops compared to 90/10.
  • A Livestock Insurance program for sheep would be taken forward to Federal ministers
  • Requested support for guard dogs as sheep producers have good results with them.
  • The unavailability of certain drugs. Other countries have better access with less red tape.
  • COOL. Since the discussions, the US have lifted COOL on beef and pork but not sheep. Efforts are being made to meet with the Federal Agriculture Minister to lift COOL on lamb.
  • Sheep is a growth industry in Manitoba. Asked that the department direct more attention to sheep in their extension work.

Representatives of MSA met with the Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn in mid-December. Some of the topics discussed were:

Herman Bouw made the announcement that at the last Board meeting, MSA directors voted to support a research project by Dr. Paul Luimes of the University of Guelph to determine the fibre content needed for sheep to maintain a healthy rumen pH. $3,000 will be contributed to the project.

Herman Bouw moved that the meeting accept the Chair’s Report. Seconded by Jonathan Nichol. CARRIED.

6.Report from the Treasurer – Kate Basford

Kate Basford offered her apologies and in her absence Linda Hazelwood, Association Manager, commented on the draft financial statements. It was noted that the statements were presented as draft only; in the Statement of Revenues and Expenditures some items had been combined which did not show a clear year-on-year comparison. For instance, the Classic revenue was all allocated to sponsorship, which was incorrect. In the Expense, membership communications had been incorporated in Advertising & Promotion, as had Sponsorships. The end result was the same, though. MSA has net assets of $74,747 ($50,793) with liabilities (accounts payable, GST and PST) of $2,337 ($3,762).

A proposed budget for 2016 was presented. Differences between 2015 actual – 2016 proposed

- Revenue: The Classic Show will not be repeated for 7 years.

- Revenue: The Growing Forward Grant and registrations appear in 2016 revenue but the expenditure occurred in 2015 (Farm Tours) and 2016 (Symposium).

- Revenue: It was requested that the Show & Sale sponsorship goes into that account not general funds.

- Expenditure: It was commented that the Educational Seminar budget should be spent in full.

- Expenditure: Sponsorship - It was confirmed that the Fibre Fest will again be sponsored in 2016.

- Expenditure: It was noted that the Scholarship amount had been doubled as the Scholarship had not been awarded in 2015.

- Expenditure: The capital expense (panels for the Classic show) would not be repeated.

It was moved by Heather Wilton that CgFARAD be sponsored in the amount of $500 in recognition of their work in the industry. Seconded by Jonathon Nichol. CARRIED.


It was moved by Sarah Lewis that the draft financial statements and proposed budget be accepted as presented. Seconded by Heather Wilton. CARRIED.

7.Report from the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited (CCWG)

Brian Greaves has been a CCWG representative for 17 years and stated he was proud to represent the province in the industry.

He noted that the company has been growing. He quoted figures from their 2014/2015 Annual Report (year end February).  Gross sales: $9,174,000+. Net profit $434,168. A 7% dividend was returned to all shareholders, which resulted from profit from the Stockman’s Supply. There was a loss of $156,000 in the wool market because wool sales had been withheld for a period due to a price drop.  Canadian wool is sold throughout the world. Twenty-five million pounds of wool was processed and shipped, to mainland China, USA, Uruguay, and India, and a new woolen mill in Bulgaria.

The gross income for year ending February 2016 is projected to be $10 million. One third of the current wool clip has already been sold on the futures market. The current initial price for wool is 75c for domestic and $1.75 on range wool.

Brian discussed the Wool Preparation Centre and the lack of fleece preparation by the majority of producers.  He wanted to make producers aware that CCWG pays a bonus of up to $0.08/lb. for wool that has been properly prepared and packed.

The Lethbridge branch attended the Classic and the Show & Sale in Manitoba. Greaves encouraged producers to buy stockman’s supplies when they attend these sales to save on freight.

 Last year, a new store and wool warehouse was authorized for Lethbridge and will be sited on a new industrial park.

Brian Greaves is producing a series of videos which will cover topics such as preparation of wool, bagging, etc. Also a virtual tour of the wool warehouse to see how the wool is processed and graded.

Another project taking place is the shearing of lambs, not only for wool profit but to encourage growth on lambs. Some slaughter plants and feedlots are paying a premium for shorn lambs because more shorn lambs can be accommodated on the truck, shorn lambs require less days on feed and slaughter plants find there is less chance of contamination with shorn lambs than those with full fleeces. Lambs should be shorn three weeks prior to shipping to allow the skin to thicken. Please note that in winter the shorn lambs must be provided with good shelter, and extra food and straw.

The 98th Annual General Meeting will be held in Winnipeg on October 22, the location is still to be decided. The 100th Annual General Meeting will be held at the Carleton Place, Ontario, Head Office.

The CCWG presents Certificates of Merit and this year two went to Manitoba. Firstly to Blaine Peel of Miniota, and secondly to Herman Bouw, Chair of MSA, who thanked Randy Eros and Solange Dusablon for their instruction, and Pauline Bolay, a shearer from the Interlake.

Brian Greaves showed a new guide for preparing and packing wool.

He noted that the CCWG is a producer-owned company and shares are distributed in blocks of 5 to 10 shares at $10/share. Shareholder discounts are given at their stores (apart from the RFID tags) and incentive awards are given out.

Brian Greaves added that he is a judge for shearing competitions, and will hold Shearing Classes  - Intermediate or Senior - if there is enough interest.

8.Report from the Canadian Sheep Breeders’ Association

Neil Versavel was unable to attend and Sarah Lewis presented his report.

“The 2015 All Canada Classic held in Winnipeg was a success.  I received numerous comments on how well organized and smooth the event was.  We did a fantastic job showcasing Manitoba and it was great to see both commercial and purebred members of Manitoba’s sheep community come together to host such a great event.  The 2016 All Canada Classic will be in Richmond, Quebec July 7-9.

The CSBA is solely funded through the registration and transfer of purebred sheep by its membership.  The CSBA uses this money not only in the promotion and advancement of purebred sheep, but also for the betterment of the Canadian sheep industry as a whole.  Some of the highlights include:

  •      Funding 2015 to date: 

–     $10,000 in the support of GenOvis, Canada’s national record of performance database (matching funds will be used for research at the University of Guelph)

–     $1000 for SheepBytes ration verification study in Alberta

–     $1000 for hormone research on out-of-season breeding in ewes at Nova Scotia

–     $5000 for developing new growth curves at CEPOQ for the betterment of GenOvis

–     $8000 for developing a pneumonia vaccine through the Veterinary Infectious Disease    Organization

  •      Promotional expenses in 2015:

–     $500 annual scholarship, winner announced in January

–     $1,500 for Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

–     $500 for Agribition

–     $2250 for Provincial level 4-H Sheep Events

–     $2500 for videos on tattooing, dual tagging and tail docking

–     $2000 to align ON’s and QC’s Maedi-Visna programs

–     $1000 for an additional set of retractable banners

  •      Under development:  junior membership, new member registration incentives and photo contest.


The $8000 dollar commitment per year for 3 years towards the development of a pneumonia vaccine is a fantastic investment in the Canadian sheep industry.  Lamb losses from pneumonia in feedlots can be up to 6% and these losses are ultimately passed right on down to the primary producer and affect the price for lambs at the auction mart.  Investing in a papered purebred ram is not simply an investment in your flock, but an investment in the Canadian industry.

The CSBA 2016 AGM will be held in Winnipeg this year March 19.  Guest speaker will be Mr. Glen Parker of Parker Stock Farm on marketing purebred sheep.  CSBA members may then join us on an afternoon tour of two purebred operations.  I hope to see a number of CSBA members in attendance.

This concludes my report.  Good luck in 2016!

Neil Versavel”

9.Report from the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF)

Herman Bouw commented that all provinces pay the 26c tag levy except Quebec.

Please read the December edition of Sheep Sense for an update of highlighted CSF activities.

One key issue is that TRACE Canada RFID tags are recorded in a national database, but nationally the East and West have yet to finalise joint activities. This would give full traceability for all animals.

It was moved by Herman Bouw that the report from the Canadian Sheep Federation representative be accepted as presented. Seconded by Randy Eros. CARRIED.



Resolutions had been distributed with the proposed agenda.


Resolution # 1 Motion made by Virginia Fox, seconded by Ken Maclaren

Manitoba Sheep Association should have a member only component to the MSA website.

WHEREAS many other provincial sheep associations have a members only access to their website, which enables their members to have access to information that non- members and the general public do not have.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Manitoba Sheep Association develop a member access section on the MSA website.

The discussion resolved that as Manitoba Sheep Association was open in all elements of its activities, and there was a cost attached to adding the page to the site, there was no need to have a member-only section.

All opposed. The motion was defeated.


Resolution # 2 Motion made by Clifford Flynn, seconded by Pat Flynn

Manitoba Sheep Association should lobby Canadian Wool Growers to continue to have a sufficient supply of long round tube bags.

WHEREAS there is limited access to wool packers for the New Zealand square bags in the Province of Manitoba and many producers have wool packers or access to wool packers for the long round bags.

WHEREAS the cost of the wool packers for the New Zealand square bags is very expensive and producers are not apt to replace their current long bag wool packers for New Zealand square wool packers.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Manitoba Sheep Association lobby the Canadian Wool Growers to continue to have an ample supply of long round wool bags until there is at least one New Zealand wool packer at each wool depot location in Manitoba.

The discussion noted that square bags are easier and cheaper to transport. (45k lbs to a container with square bags, 35k lbs for long bags. At 28c/lb handling fee the cost difference is noticeable.) There is no intention to phase out the long bags. CCWG will finance packers for producers, and shearers supply packs. There is ample supply of the long bags, Tony Atkinson also has them in stock. Producers were also reminded to plan in advance.

All in favour.              The motion was carried.


Resolution # 3 Motion made by Clifford Flynn, seconded by Ken McLaren

The Manitoba Sheep Association continue to work toward acquiring New Zealand Wool packers for the four (4) Wool Depots located within the Province.

WHEREAS the New Zealand square bag is growing in popularity and the industry is having a preference to the NZ square bags for their ease of packing. With the ever increasing cost of transportation; the long round bags are becoming less desirable and eventually unavailable to producers.

WHEREAS it has been determined there is a need for NZ wool packers both within the industry but also as a safer alternative to the long round bag wool packers. By placing a NZ wool packer at each wool depot, all local producers would have access to a safer wool packer.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Manitoba Sheep Association continue to acquire 4 New Zealand wool packers and these be located at the 4 wool depots in the province.

Discussion centred on the liability issues of MSA providing design, and the liability issues of electronic shut-offs on the machines.  There are also maintenance issues. There are not enough sheep to justify the cost of an $8,000 press for 35 – 40 bags per year. The decision as a Board was that, until such time as round bags are no longer available, MSA will not buy NZ wool packers. CCWG offered to buy the round packers off the shearers and help them get the square packers. It was suggested that producers get together and pack their wool.

All opposed. The motion was defeated.


 Resolution # 4 Motion made by Linda Fox, seconded by Pat Flynn

 Manitoba Sheep Association provide a quarterly update on their activities to their membership.


WHEREAS Manitoba Sheep Association’s Board of Directors need to be communicating better to its membership as to its activities and how it is working for its membership to better the Manitoba sheep industry.

WHEREAS the MSA Sheep Sense is an excellent vehicle to disseminate this information and should include a board update, activities and industry issues in each Sheep Sense edition.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Manitoba Sheep Association Board of directors advise its membership on a quarterly basis on its activities and how it is working to better the Manitoba sheep Industry for small sheep flock operators and large flock businesses.

Until now SheepSense has only been available electronically, and as a link from the website. Extra notifications have been sent for events. Two issues of SheepSense were missed in 2015.

All in favour. The motion was carried.

Resolution # 5 Motion made by Linda Fox, seconded by Pat Flynn

Manitoba Sheep Association develop a new Strategic plan for the Manitoba sheep Industry, which will take sheep producers and the industry into year 2020.

WHEREAS the MSA business plan was last developed in 2013 and most of the items have been identified or achieved.

THEREFORE It is time for Manitoba Sheep Association to embark on the process to develop a relevant business plan for 2016 that will take the association and its membership into the year 2020.

The Board completed a business plan in 2014/2015 and will work on a new plan.

All in favour. The motion was carried.

Resolution # 6 Motion made by Linda Foxx, seconded by Kate Basford

Manitoba Sheep Association should promote research on Malignant Catarrhal Fever.

WHEREAS Sheep are known to be carriers of Malignant Catarrhal Fever, which is lethal to Bison.

WHEREAS Malignant Catarrhal Fever has the potential to limit areas that sheep are allowed to be raised in Manitoba as has been attempted in Saskatchewan by Bison Producers.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Manitoba Sheep Association promote further research to better understand the interaction and transmission of Malignant Catarrhal Fever.

The discussion was in opposition to the motion, citing that it was more relevant for bison producers to follow up. The information is already available, and it was not believed that it was an issue for sheep producers. In a study released in Saskatchewan on deaths of bison, sheep related deaths were less than 2%.

All opposed. The motion was defeated.


Resolution # 7 Motion made by Clifford Flynn, seconded by Lyall Fox

COOL (Country of Origin Labelling) continues to obstruct imports of Canadian Lamb into USA markets.

WHEREAS the COOL labelling has been lifted from the other livestock commodities in 2015.

WHEREAS the COOL labelling continues to obstruct the imports of Canadian Lamb into the USA and continues to create an unfair market.

WHEREAS the closure of the USA border contradicts the Strategic Plan for the development of the Manitoba Sheep Industry.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Manitoba Sheep Association aggressively pursue its strategic alliances with the Canadian Sheep Federation and other Provinces to aggressively lobby the Government of Canada and the Manitoba Government to activity work towards rescinding the COOL provisions on Canadian lamb, which is merely a protectionist movement by the American Sheep Industry.

Rescinding of COOL on lamb is being actively pursued. It was noted that the US is using COOL as their traceability system

All in favour. The motion was carried.


Any motion which changes a bylaw must be carried forward to the next Annual General Meeting. Resolutions # 8 through #10 are therefore reintroduced.



The MSA Board of Directors resolves that the wording in the MSA By-laws and Regulations regarding our year end financials be changed from,

  1. 07. Appointment of auditor. At each annual meeting of the association the members shall appoint by resolution an auditor to audit the books of the association, and if an auditor is not so appointed, the board of directors shall appoint an auditor.


  1. 07. Appointment of auditor. At each annual meeting of the association the members shall appoint by resolution an auditor to perform a financial review of the books of the association, and if an auditor is not so appointed, the board of directors shall appoint an auditor.

There was discussion on the terminology of “audit” vs “financial review.

All in favour. The motion was carried.



As per Resolution #11 of 2015 and amended by-law 2.04 to the following;

**MSA financial year-end be changed to the last day of July each year.

WHEREAS the current year end forces the MSA to hold the AGM at a time of year when many producers are busy lambing, changing the year end date would allow the MSA to move the AGM date to a mid to late fall time frame.

It was explained that the date will also fall just after the end of a check off period, so income is known.

All in favour. The motion was carried.



Jonathon Nichol moves that by-law 8.02, which reads "Associate Membership. Any person, firm, incorporated company, or department of the Government may become an associate member upon payment of an annual fee, the amount of which to be determined by the Board of Directors. In the case of a firm, incorporated company or department of the Government, such an organization may appoint one person in any one year as their representative or upon notice to the Association and upon acceptance may make one change of person as the representative during the term of the membership.", be left as is.

Sub-section 8.02.01 to be added to by-law 8.02, it will read: "an associate member will be given a vote at District or Provincial meetings when a person, firm, incorporated company, or department of the Government contribute a minimum of $5000.00 per fiscal year.", seconded by Sarah Lewis.

**Amended at the 2015 AGM to read "an associate member will be given a vote at Provincial meetings when a person, firm, incorporated company, or department of the Government contributes a minimum $5000.00 per fiscal year" – Carried

There was extended discussion on whether an Associate Member can sit on the Board of Directors,   and other ramifications of the single contribution giving membership of the Association. It was confirmed that producer members are the only people eligible to sit; Associate Members cannot.

In favour:    11.  Abstained:  3              The motion was carried.

 11.Election of a Director at Large

There were no nominations or offers from the floor. Herman Bouw asked for suggestions.

12.Appointment of an Auditor

The Board is to put this out to tender.

13.Announcement of research funding

(Appendix A)

As previously announced, MSA will contribute $3,000 to Dr. Paul Luimes’ research into how much fibre is required to maintain a healthy rumen pH in sheep. The request detail is circulated with the Minutes.

It was suggested that MSA advertise to producers to attend regional meetings. MSA to set up a travelling roadshow of experts with the educational budgets. Add the news to SheepSense. Use the research information as a learning experience.

14.New Business

Brian Greaves noted that he had been in discussion with Manitoba Beef Producers, who had set up a research farm and would like the sheep industry to be involved. There was discussion on pasture species, animal production, cost of fencing, and the fact that sheep need to be supervised 24/7.

It was decided that the discussion would continue at the next Board meeting. Herman Bouw to dialogue with Glen Friesen and Clayton Robbins.


Rozanne Nevakshonoff moved to adjourn and the meeting closed at 3:50 p.m.