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Focus on Farming

MLA Warren Michelson's column for the week of March 20, 2019
Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson

Agriculture is a most significant sector of the provincial economy and for the economic balance in the Moose Jaw area. This month agriculture is at the forefront for a number of reasons. Last week was Agriculture Safety Week in Saskatchewan, expressing the importance of safety as we begin to prepare for the busy season ahead.

The much-appreciated warmer weather makes the growing season seem much closer. This is calving season for many in the cattle industry while organizing and planning for seeding will soon be underway. Agriculture is also brought to the forefront as this is Agriculture Literacy Month and Rural Women’s Month in Saskatchewan.

At one time, many had family connections to farming. This is less and less the case, which increases the importance of communicating where our food comes from, and the process that gets it to the grocery store. Agriculture Literacy Month addresses this by bringing agriculture to life in classrooms around the province. Farmers, ranchers and members of the agriculture industry work to help students learn about, connect to and understand the industry. Agriculture in the Classroom aims to connect kids to agriculture, by delivering agriculture education opportunities to Saskatchewan schools. This month, Agriculture in the Classroom will work with schools to explore the theme of “Food Waste”. Students will learn about the food production process and how everyone plays a role in reducing the problem of food waste.

The province has recognized women in the agriculture industry for many years by annually proclaiming March as Rural Women’s Month. According to the 2016 Canadian Agriculture Census, one in four farm operators in Saskatchewan is a woman. The number of women graduating from the College of Agriculture to take up related careers is increasing. Rural Women’s Month is a time to recognize the impact rural women make on agriculture and our economy as a whole.

Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison was on a trade mission in Southeast Asia last week to showcase Saskatchewan’s agri-food strengths. He promoted Saskatchewan’s leadership in agricultural biotechnology and life sciences, and profiled the province’s strong ties through immigration with the Philippines, encouraging companies based in Singapore and the Philippines to invest in Saskatchewan.

Planning for safety is essential in planning for the growing season. It was timely that last week was proclaimed Agricultural Safety Week. It was an important reminder to take care of ourselves by getting adequate rest, taking breaks and being aware of dangerous areas where we work.  Safety practises may be unintentionally overlooked when hurrying in those peak times that have such an impact on making a living. March is a good time to plan ahead to include safety practises throughout the season and to make sure equipment is in safe condition. Please visit for valuable information about farm safety and for access to the Farm Safety Guide.

It will be a few weeks yet, but I look forward to seeing agriculture equipment working in the fields on my drive to Regina. There is a sense of anticipation and optimism as the seed goes into to ground. I pray for a safe and successful season for all involved in our valuable agriculture industry. 

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