Agriculture and Food Processing - Commodities: Livestock


About the Industry | Genetics | Export | History | Contacts

cows and calvesThe Manitoba Advantage

Manitoba has several natural advantages that make it one of the best places in Canada to raise beef cattle.

An abundance of vast grasslands and clean, accessible water are two of Manitoba's natural strengths important to the production of top quality beef cattle.

Other strengths include a large supply of high quality, locally grown feed supplies and a central location with excellent transportation connections to major processing plants in North America.

Due to the increased utilization of these natural strengths, Manitoba has a dynamic beef cattle industry with the third-largest beef cowherd in Canada.

About the Industry

There are approximately 1.3 million beef cattle on Manitoba farms, which is approximately 10% of the total Canadian beef herd.

While most of Manitoba's 11,333 beef producers are cow/calf operators, approximately 2% operate feedlots, ranging in size from 80 to 6,500 head.

Since the early 1990s, the number of cattle on these feedlots in Manitoba has been steadily growing as producers capitalize on the province's strengths.

Despite the growing feedlot industry in the province, Manitoba still exports a large number of feeder cattle and calves to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan for finishing, due to their proximity to major slaughering facilities.


Manitoba is a noted world leader in beef cattle genetics.

Purebred beef cattle producers, private companies and beef breed associations promote and market live animals of wide-ranging genetic stock -- from purebred feeder cattle of the highest quality to sound-performing crossbred heifers -- semen and embryos across Canada and around the world.

Manitoba producers are also leaders in several industry-wide programs that monitor herd health and ensure the quality and safety of the beef they produce for national and international markets. For further information please see Beef Genetics.

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At one time Manitoba was the capital of the livestock industry in Canada.

However, in the late 1980s the aging Manitoba slaughter facilities were replaced with newer plants located closer to other beef centres outside the province.

Today, Manitoba has only 2 small federally inspected plants as well as 25 provincially inspected abattoirs that process approximately 16,000 head per year. The majority of the processed beef products are destined for local markets, with one-third exported primarily to the United States. calf

If Manitoba can sustain continued growth in the feedlot industry, the possibility for expanded processing capacity could be a reality, as Manitoba currently exports the majority of its slaughter cattle (approximately 200,000 in 2001) to the United States or to other Canadian provinces.


Manitoba has a long history of raising and producing cattle -- a history that spans nearly two centuries.

Skills and proficiency learned from the ground up and passed from parent to child, generation after generation, Manitoba families that raise cattle know the commitment it takes to succeed in the ever-changing industry.

These producers perpetuate a way of life that commands education, insight and tradition, and are prime example of has a solid reputation for sound management and quality beef production.

Contact: Address: Other Links:

Mila Ruiz Turiaf

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Tel:  204-945-2466
Fax: 204-957-1763
Toll free in Canada and the U.S.

Manitoba Trade & Investment
1100 - 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada R3B 3P4

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