Saluting Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Industry
Canadian Western Agribition is underway in Regina. Growing up on the farm, I enjoy the atmosphere that promotes agriculture throughout the province during this time. There is an air of excitement and celebration walking through the barns and looking through the displays. The event is an international hub of agriculture excellence, hosting over 1,250 international guests from over 86 countries. Agribition is the largest livestock show in Canada. The livestock producers of Saskatchewan are showing their best, which is noteworthy on the world stage. The main focus is beef cattle but the show also features horses, bison, sheep, goats, and, this year alpacas are also being featured. The show also includes displays of agriculture equipment and apparatus.
The festivities and entertainment are a delight for everyone; including those not directly involved in agriculture. It is a very educational experience for over 8,000 students who attend the event. The milking demonstrations, as well as cattle dog and sheep dog demonstrations, are popular with the school groups. This year the familiar face of former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall was there in a new capacity, as part of a panel on “Fuel, Food and Free Trade”.
The Government of Saskatchewan knows how important it is to work with and invest in the livestock industry. Last year, our government announced a renewed $200,000 partnership with Canadian Western Agribition that will provide $50,000 in funding annually until 2021.
The 2018-19 Saskatchewan Budget invested $378.6 million to help ensure a strong agriculture sector, including a record investment in agricultural research and continued strong support for business risk management programs such as Livestock Price Insurance and Crop Insurance.
Innovation has always been a key to the success of the livestock industry, and innovative initiatives continue. Last month, representatives of the federal government, the University of Saskatchewan and the agriculture industry gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, a world-class research and teaching facility funded in part by the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 agreement. The $38 million Centre of Excellence includes the Beef Cattle Research Teaching Unit and the Forage Cow-Calf Research Teaching Unit, both located south of the community of Clavet.
Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s leading agri-food exporters with international sales of $13.6 billion in 2017. This revenue accounts for 47 per cent of the province’s total exports.
We salute our industry partners and Canadian Western Agribition for all they do to promote the agriculture industry. Most importantly, we salute farmers and ranchers as they do the hard work of growing our food, caring for the land and growing our province.