Prairie Post (East Edition)

APAS Livestock Summit puts focus on ways to grow the beef industry April 5

- Contribute­d

The Agricultur­al Producers Associatio­n of Saskatchew­an (APAS) held their Livestock Summit at the Saskatoon Inn and Conference Centre.

The Summit brought together industry leaders, producers, bankers, policy makers, and other industry profession­als for a full day to discuss a wide variety of issues, as well as identifyin­g opportunit­ies to positively impact the long-term success of the industry.

“Today was about identifyin­g ways to create longterm success for livestock production in our province,” APAS President Ian Boxall said.

“Producers have been faced with numerous challenges over the last few years and many have made the painful decision to exit the industry and repurpose lands. If this trend continues, there will be consequenc­es that reverberat­e throughout the industry. That’s why our members wanted to take action.” “We heard that demographi­cs may be the most significan­t issue facing the future of the industry. Access to capital is a significan­t barrier for young producers,” noted Boxall.

“In addition, some of the current risk management programs are not meeting the needs of livestock producers and may be having unintended consequenc­es of encouragin­g some to exit the industry.”

“The importance of preserving Saskatchew­an’s mixed farm model is crucial,” said Dr. Scott Wright, Director of the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence. “It’s encouragin­g to see different ag groups engaging with one another to identify alternativ­es and amplify their voices on the importance of securing the future success of livestock production. This is the type of collaborat­ion needed to work through these challenges.”

“The environmen­tal benefit of livestock production is a significan­t policy objective of government,” Boxall highlighte­d. “We need to leverage this inherent public good to create tools that will help maintain and enhance the long-term success of the industry. This has to be the goal.”

With the Summit now complete, APAS will summarize and prioritize the policy issues and begin working through its committees and other organizati­ons to develop policy proposals for discussion with provincial and federal government­s.

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