Provin­cial govern­ment not lis­ten­ing to pas­ture pa­trons

The Southwest Booster - - OPINION - Bryce Bur­nett Swift Cur­rent

To the edi­tor: I am one of the many PFRA pas­ture pa­trons who the provin­cial govern­ment will not lis­ten to and ap­pears not to care.

The provin­cial govern­ment has been get­ting mis­lead­ing ad­vise from sec­tors of the Agri­cul­ture In­dus­try that do not have the best in­ter­est at heart for the ma­jor­ity of PFRA pas­ture pa­trons.

Since the provin­cial govern­ment has stated it wants the present pas­ture pa­trons to graze cat­tle on PFRA lands the govern­ment should be con­sult­ing pa­trons as to the most sat­is­fac­tory way for this to be ac­com­plished. This has been ne­glected.

Why does the provin­cial govern­ment not care what hap­pens to the fu­ture of the PFRA pas­tures and the fu­ture of many of our up­com­ing young stock­men who in the past have had the op­por­tu­nity of get­ting started in the live­stock in­dus­try through the PFRA pas­ture pro­gram?

At a meet­ing of pas­ture pa­trons in Saska­toon on Jan­uary 23rd where pa­trons from 56 of the 62 pas­tures were in at­ten­dance, the Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture stated he would lis­ten to pas­ture pa­trons. This has not hap­pened.

The ma­jor­ity of pa­trons would like the op­tion of a de­lay on the first 10 pas­tures so that due dili­gence can be done on set­ting out a sus­tain­able pro­gram for pa­trons, pas­ture man­agers as well as con­ser­va­tion­ists, first na­tions, and those in­ter­ested in con­serv­ing our her­itage and grass­land vi­a­bil­ity. A pas­ture sys­tem sim­i­lar to the one al­ready in place should be the ul­ti­mate goal and can be ac­com­plished.

The present pas­ture pro­gram has taken decades to de­velop and be­come a show­case to the world, we need not hastily dis­man­tle it in mere months with no sus­tain­able goal for pas­ture pa­trons, the live­stock in­dus­try and in­ter­ested par­ties.

The provin­cial govern­ment needs to lis­ten to the ma­jor­ity of pas­ture pa­trons who have a di­rect vested in­ter­est in the PFRA pas­ture pro­gram — we are still a democ­racy.

Con­tem­plate the con­se­quences when you en­joy the beer made from our bar­ley as your T bone steak siz­zles on your bar­be­cue this sum­mer. The pas­ture pa­trons and live­stock in­dus­try are at stake!

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