Another meeting, same high engagement level at SCA townhall in Central Butte

Central Butte area producers met with delegates from Sask. Crop Insurance, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, and others at a townhall meeting on Wednesday.

CEO of the Cattlemen’s Association Grant McLellan says about 60 producers attended, and it was another engaging meeting about drought conditions and feedback on available support programs.

Representatives from the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), Ministry of Agriculture, and Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) were also there.

“The vast majority were producers. We did have some grain producers as well as a sheep producer come out, so it was good to see again a wide (range) of folks out there and we really do want to get that entire agriculture group out, not just limited to the livestock sector.” McLellan said.

He says they’re taking all the notes compiled from this meeting as well as previous meetings in Perdue, Kindersley, Cabri, and Cadillac, and making it into a letter that will be sent to Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit. McLellan says the letter will be sent sometime next week.

“We’ve been in constant contact with the Ministry as well as Canadian Cattle Association about what we’re hearing, what the concerns are,” he said.

AgriRecovery, SCI’s low yield threshold, and Forage Rainfall Insurance Program were some supports discussed.

“Walking people through that who may not understand, or people bringing forward concerns or challenges as to why that program isn’t making the feed available that they think it should,” he said of the low yield threshold program.

He says producers believe AgriRecovery should include coverage for hauling feed long distance, as freight is a significant cost.

Mental health was also highlighted in the meeting. McLellan says a representative from the Animal Protective Services of Saskatchewan made a presentation on animal welfare and challenges with emaciated or hungry animals.

“It’s typically an indicator of mental health challenges on the ranch for the producers themselves,” he noted. “We really did try to hammer home that message of the importance of mental health and looking after your neighbours and checking in, and really making sure that we’re taking care of our family members and ourselves as we go through these challenging times.”

In terms of future meetings, McLellan said SCA will be hosting a series of district meetings in October.

“We certainly want to keep the momentum and the conversation that we had at these meetings alive. We thought they were extremely valuable, they were informative for us, they were informative for producers that came out, and certainly informative for government officials and Crop Insurance officials to hear directly from producers about the programs they have.”

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