The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, concluded productive meetings with key industry and provincial agriculture and agri-food stakeholders during his outreach to Saskatchewan and Alberta this week.
During his visit to Saskatchewan, Minister MacAulay delivered remarks during the official opening of the thirty-second meeting of the Tri-National Agricultural Accord, which was held in Saskatoon from August 14-16. The accord brings together state and provincial agricultural officials from Canada, the United States and Mexico to exchange perspectives and work collaboratively on agricultural trade and development issues. The Minister reiterated Canada’s commitment to continue working with global partners to strengthen international food networks and shared Canada’s views on the importance of achieving more sustainable, resilient and inclusive agri-food systems.
On the margins of the Tri-National Accord meeting, Minister MacAulay met with Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture, David Marit, to discuss the priorities for Saskatchewan’s agricultural sector, including challenges related to extreme weather. The Ministers also discussed the importance of domestic and international to tackle issues of animal and plant diseases and climate change, ensure strong supply chains and favor trade based on rules and science.
Minister MacAulay also met with representatives from the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) where they shared their perspectives on opportunities and challenges for the region, with a focus on climate change, resiliency and sustainability, while providing economic growth and stability for the sector.
In addition, the Minister toured a local farming operation, Stone Farms, established in 1904 which has grown into a 9,000 acre operation producing mainly wheat, canola and lentils. They discussed the importance of innovation and technology and sustainable agriculture and their efforts to remain productive in an unpredictable climate and amidst ever-changing global demands.
During his visit to Saskatchewan, Minister MacAulay took the opportunity to announce an investment of up to $4 million to the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) under the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, part of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP).
Minister MacAulay continued his outreach with a visit to Calgary, Alberta, where he met with producers and stakeholders, including Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR), a delivery agent for some Sustainable CAP programming and On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) in Alberta. While there, he toured a local ranch and saw firsthand how OFCAF funding is helping Alberta farmers adopt and implement on-farm beneficial management practices that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases in the areas of nitrogen management, cover cropping, and rotational grazing.
Minister MacAulay also toured SixRing Inc., a biofuel company that converts agricultural and other waste into renewable fuels. This company recently received investment through the Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program – Research and Innovation Stream of up to $1.4 million. With ACT support, the company has established and tested its scaled-up technology, which could provide additional revenues to producers and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To conclude the outreach, Minister MacAulay delivered remarks during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference. The conference brings together more than 700 international beef producers with government and industry representatives to share ideas and support growth of the sector.
This is the first ministerial outreach to Saskatchewan and second visit to Alberta by Minister MacAulay since his reappointment as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on July 26, 2023. The visit marks the continuation of strong partnerships with sector leaders and stakeholders in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
(Government of Canada news release)