The government of Alberta has announced a new partnership in agriculture that will see $406 million dollars over 5 years worth of support. The new Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a federal-provincial-territorial agreement that will focus on increasing trade, expanding markets and supporting innovative and sustainable growth in the sector while creating jobs and strengthening the middle class. The plan takes over from the previous agreement, known as “Growing Forward 2”
Gordon Graves is a producer in the Lakeland region. He says the new partnership has a positive goal in mind for farmers and ranchers.
“Much like the previous programs, there’s lots of things in there that will hopefully expand agriculture and create an atmosphere of confidence in it.”
Graves highlights the new research money and tackling of import/exports as a step in the right direction, but says some questions will have to be answered in time when it comes to seeing results.
“I do applaud the fact that all the provinces and the territories and federal government have recognized that agriculture is important (in this plan). Is it perfect? Hell no. Is it the worst thing that could have happened? same answer. Given the diversity of Canadian agriculture and the differences between the Maritimes and BC and the little parts in the Territories, we have to accept that they do what can be put on with a broad brush stroke rather than a fine artists stroke on an easel.”
When it comes to things he’d like to see as a farmer in the area, Graves says he has two ideas for what the government needs to hear from food producers.
“First thing would be transportation. Our railroads are failing the grain sector dismally. The highways are getting beat all to hell because we don’t have enough railroads, so I think
infrastructure in total would be one thing that should be part of any plan for the future of agriculture in Canada.”
Graves also says he’d like to see a component for market security for producers, especially with the recently unpredictable US markets in mind. More information about the partnership can be found by clicking here.