The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) wrapped up its 106th Annual General Meeting and Convention yesterday in Moose Jaw after two days of educational speaker sessions, meeting deliberations and networking.
“We had a very productive AGM adopting some timely resolutions, and we had a tremendous turnout for our convention with excellent presentations on a wide range of topics important to the livestock industry in Saskatchewan,” stated SSGA President Bill Huber. Presenters spoke on a variety of topics from sustainability and beef in the Canadian diet to irrigation opportunities and animal welfare.
At the AGM, members brought forward and adopted eight resolutions. These resolutions reflect core issues the livestock industry faces today. Some resolutions called on the Government of Saskatchewan to include two targeted grazing passes as an eligible expense under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP); to address the shortage of rural large animal veterinarians in the province by funding additional seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine; and to remove funding limits in CAP forage programs.
Other resolutions lobbied the federal and provincial governments to include cash grazing rent as an eligible expense under the AgriStability program, and for the federal government to delay implementing revisions to transportation regulations until Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research has been completed. The membership also resolved to lobby the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to allow the Verified Beef Plus program (VBP+) to certify beef operations for European Union requirements.
The membership voted on a new slate of Directors-at-Large electing three new directors to the Board of Directors, Aaron Huber (Lipton), Murray Linthicum (Glentworth) and Rob Selke (Morse) and the executive members were re-elected to their positions.
“The key issues right now for producers are getting the right regulations in place to facilitate market access, providing effective risk management supports for the industry and regulatory issues surrounding transportation,” the SSGA president noted.
The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) was presented at the convention to Randy and Terry Stokke of Willow Creek Ranch from Govenlock, SK. The Stokkes are long-time advocates for prairie conservation and preservation of species at risk. They have implemented far-sighted conservation practices to preserve their native grass pastures. They will now represent Saskatchewan for the national TESA award, which will be presented at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary in August.