Cana­dian forage and grass­lands look to be ex­port ready

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Farm News - CON­TRIBUTED

Live­stock pro­duc­ers across the coun­try and abroad de­pend on the high qual­ity hay pro­duced by Canada's forage and grass­land in­dus­try in or­der to de­liver safe, nu­tri­tious, and sus­tain­able food.

In­creased forage ex­ports, val­ued at $360.8 mil­lion for 2017, are help­ing the agri­cul­ture sec­tor reach its po­ten­tial to be an even stronger eco­nomic en­gine for the econ­omy, driv­ing to­wards our tar­get of grow­ing an­nual agri-food ex­ports to $75 bil­lion by 2025.

On June 28, Agri­cul­ture and AgriFood Min­is­ter Lawrence Ma­cAulay, an­nounced a fed­eral in­vest­ment of $98,950 for the Cana­dian Forage and Grass­lands As­so­ci­a­tion (CFGA) for a project funded through the AgriMar­ket­ing pro­gram un­der the Grow­ing For­ward 2 agree­ment.

The in­vest­ment is help­ing the sec­tor in­crease ex­port ca­pac­ity and strengthen aware­ness of Cana­dian forage prod­ucts tonew and emerg­ing mar­kets. In ad­di­tion to par­tic­i­pat­ing in internatio­nal trade ex­pos in the United States, the CFGA de­vel­oped ex­port readi­ness train­ing for their mem­bers and de­vel­oped strate­gies for emerg­ing mar­kets.

A fur­ther in­vest­ment of $16,000 was pro­vided to CFGA to hire a stu­dent in­tern un­der the Agri­cul­tural Youth Green Jobs Ini­tia­tive to help farm­ers in­te­grate en­vi­ron­men­tally ben­e­fi­cial man­age­ment prac­tices into their crop plan­ning.

The ini­tia­tive has cre­ated 591 youth jobs na­tion­ally, both on the farm and with or­ga­ni­za­tions en­gaged in the agri­cul­ture and agri-food sec­tor.

June 28's an­nounce­ment is part of Min­is­ter Ma­cAulay's ‘Grow­ing Cana­dian Agri­cul­ture' tour, where he will meet with farm­ers, pro­ces­sors and in­dus­try lead­ers, as well as par­tic­i­pate in ru­ral agri­cul­tural events across the coun­try, to hear ideas on how to cap­ture new growth op­por­tu­ni­ties for the sec­tor.

"Our Govern­ment has a strong agenda for growth in agri­cul­ture and agri-food and is com­mit­ted to

sup­port­ing our farm­ers, young and old, with strate­gic in­vest­ments and op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­pand

growth, de­liver pros­per­ity and cre­ate well-pay­ing mid­dle class jobs," ex­plained Ma­cAulay in a state­ment.

"Canada's forage sec­tor is the largest land-use type in Cana­dian agri­cul­ture and is ex­cep­tion­ally di­verse, cov­er­ing over 72-mil­lion acres coast to coast. The forage sec­tor gen­er­ates an an­nual value of $5.09-bil­lion as the back­bone of the ru­mi­nant live­stock sec­tor, and serves an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in feeding live­stock around the world. Forage ex­porters from across the coun­try are ramp­ing up pro­duc­tion to ser­vice grow­ing mar­kets in China, the Mid­dle East, United States and Cen­tral Amer­ica. AgriMar­ket­ing pro­gram fund­ing pro­vides an im­por­tant cost­share for our in­dus­try part­ners to lever­age their mar­ket growth ac­tiv­i­ties around the world," ex­plained Cedric MacLeod, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Cana­dian Forage and Grass­land As­so­ci­a­tion .

Quick Facts

• The Cana­dian Agri­cul­tural Part­ner­ship is a five-year, $3-bil­lion in­vest­ment by fed­eral-provin­cial and ter­ri­to­rial gov­ern­ments (FPT), which will strengthen the agri­cul­ture, agrifood and agri- based prod­ucts sec­tor, en­sur­ing con­tin­ued in­no­va­tion, growth and pros­per­ity. The Part­ner­ship re­placed Grow­ing For­ward 2 (2013-2018) in April 2018.

• The CFGA pro­vides a na­tional voice for all Cana­di­ans who pro­duce hay and forage prod­ucts and for those whose pro­duc­tion is de­pen­dent upon forage and grass­land pro­duc­tion. Their main role is to up­hold the ro­bust forage in­dus­try and re­al­ize the po­ten­tial of the do­mes­tic and ex­port forage mar­ket.

• The Agri­cul­tural Youth Green Jobs Ini­tia­tive was an­nounced as a one year pro­gram in April of 2016 and then ex­tended for 2 years for 2017-18 and 2018-19 for a to­tal in­vest­ment of $5.2 mil­lion. The ini­tia­tive fol­lows through on a Govern­ment of Canada com­mit­ment to help cre­ate good, well­pay­ing jobs and to sup­port young Cana­di­ans as they tran­si­tion into the work­force.

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