For Immediate Release
June 15, 2017
The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA), welcomed today’s announcement that the province has decided to offer Saskatchewan Pasture Program (SPP) patron groups the first opportunity to lease the lands.
“We’re happy we were consulted along with other stakeholders, and we think the decision strikes the right balance,” said SSGA President Shane Jahnke. “Our main recommendations, especially giving existing patrons the first opportunity to lease, were adopted by the government.”
Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced the decision today. Patrons will be able to enter into 15-year leases under the pasture divestment, which will see management transfer from the provincial government to non-government lessees.
“It’s similar to federal process we went through five years ago,” Jahnke said. “The Saskatchewan government has kept the best aspects of the PFRA divestment and implemented some ‘lessons learned’ as well.”
SPP patrons will be eligible for the same level of transition support that was extended to PFRA patrons. This includes up to $120,000 to cover legal costs and business plan development. This will be funded under the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 program and its proposed successor. Fixed assets on the land will transfer to the lessees at no additional cost.
Jahnke said the province’s decision addresses the SSGA’s top priorities: that livestock grazing is maintained on the SPP lands, that patrons be given the first right to lease the SPP lands, and that the ecological integrity of the land is maintained.
The SSGA believes beef producers are in the best position to manage the pastures and protect fragile wildlife habitat. Important species at risk, including the Sage Grouse, depend on healthy grasslands and the beneficial effects of cattle grazing.
For more information contact:
Chad MacPherson, General Manager, SSGA
(306) 541-5023 | firstname.lastname@example.org