The Manitoba Advantage in Beef Protein

Located in the heart of Canada, Manitoba has the ideal environment to build the beef protein industry. The province has efficient trucking routes making it an ideal hub for industry growth and has markets to the east, west and south. Beef operations are located throughout Manitoba, and there are abundant pasture, crown lands and forage acres to supply feed for cost effective, sustainable beef production.  

Manitoba’s Beef Industry

Manitoba's beef industry covers the full range of production, including cow-calf, feeder and stocker operations, feeding operations, and processing facilities.
  • Manitoba is the third largest beef-producing province in Canada with 404,600 beef cows on farms at July 1, 2020.
  • As of 2020, the province has about 6,405 farms reporting 1,055,000 head of cattle.
  • Seventy-seven per cent of beef cattle are on cow-calf operations, sixteen per cent are on backgrounding operations, and seven per cent are on feedlots. 
  • Ninety-three per cent of beef animals are on beef farms and seven per cent are on dairy operations. 

Beef farm gate receipts for 2020 were $619 million, 26 per cent of the province’s livestock farm cash receipts.

Beef producers market their animals though auction markets and licensed brokers, or by selling directly to other producers, feedlots and processors. While prices were down 2.1 per cent in 2020, the number of head marketed were up by 3.0 per cent.

There was one Federally Inspected processing plant and 16 Provincially Inspected plants for cattle and calves in 2020.


Industry Associations:

Market and Consumer Trends 

Retailers, restaurants and consumers are looking for sustainable sources of beef. 
Many Manitoba beef producers use national programs like Verified Beef Production-Plus (VBP+) and the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework. These programs certify industry standards for safety, quality, consistency and sustainability. 
There are more Manitoba producers participating in VBP+ than in any other province.

Industry Associations

The University of Manitoba has developed a multidisciplinary research program that focuses on productivity and environmental sustainability.

The Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) centre is an excellent location for innovation in agriculture and research. The goal of the centre is to use science-based research to benefit valuable ecosystems, improve profitability for beef and forage producers, and build public awareness and understanding of the beef industry. 

Manitoba Agriculture & Food Knowledge Exchange (MAKE) Podcast Series: