CANADA - A Manitoba company will receive C$825,000 to expand and redevelop its truck-washing facilities to improve biosecurity in the agricultural sector, said Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn and Member of Parliament Ted Falk, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.
"Biosecurity is critical to the long-term health of the livestock industry and these facilities will be the first of their kind in North America," said Minister Kostyshyn.
"This investment supports a Manitoba company making innovative changes that will benefit the provincial economy and the agricultural sector over the long term."
The funding will allow Blue Water Wash to upgrade both its Blumenort and Brandon facilities. Blumenort will add five state-of-the-art drive-through washing bays, a baking bay and an undercarriage washing system and Brandon will add a baking bay. These upgrades are expected to create 20 new jobs and respond to a growing demand for these specialized services.
"Canadian livestock producers work hard to provide high-quality products for consumers, while at the same time maintaining the highest standards in food safety, animal care and environmental protection," said MP Falk.
"Vigilance in biosecurity is key to reducing the spread of harmful diseases that can negatively impact the Canadian agricultural sector."
The wash bays ensure even the most hard-to-reach areas of trucks can be washed and sanitized in an environment that is safe for employees. The baking bay can reach temperatures of 71°C
(160°F) to sanitize vehicles, trailers and other equipment, which is the final step in an extensive sanitization protocol for transport.
"Our company is committed to being a leader in biosecurity, and the Growing Forward 2 program allows us to implement changes we wouldn't be able to implement ourselves," said Rick Peters, spokesperson for Blue Water Wash. "Our new facilities will help us stay competitive in the global market and promote responsible practices in livestock transportation."
Blue Water Wash is an affiliated company of Steve's Livestock Transport Ltd. Prior to the expansion, the facility in Blumenort featured four wash bays and two dry bays, which has helped reduce the risk of spreading viruses, bacteria, weed seeds and fungi. The company washes livestock trailers for more than 430 farm sites every week in its Blumenort and Brandon facilities and has seen demand for these services increase by 40 per cent annually. For more information about the company, visit www.bluewaterwash.ca.
Government funding is sourced from Growing Forward 2's Growing Value program, which provides financial assistance to existing agri-businesses to adapt to market forces and environmental considerations, and to increase competitiveness in domestic and international markets.
The federal and provincial governments are investing C$176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.
For more information on Manitoba's agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg.
TheCattleSite News Desk