The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) wrapped up its 104th Annual General Meeting in Moose Jaw on Tuesday.
“Our theme was Change, Challenge, Opportunity,” said SSGA President Shane Jahnke. “That pretty much sums up ranching life right there.”
Members attended learning sessions that will equip them to deal with evolving markets and changes to production practices. They also passed 11 resolutions brought forward by the grassroots membership.
“The resolutions are important,” Jahnke said. “They are how members direct the SSGA to represent their interests.”
This year’s resolutions reflect members’ concerns regarding the environment, labour shortages, control of noxious weeds on pastures, purchase and leasing of agricultural lands, and monitoring deer and elk for tuberculosis.
One important resolution calls for the federal and provincial governments to explore a conservation banking system. This would allow producers to earn credits for expanding wildlife habitat, and sell them to industries that cause unavoidable damage.
“The system is proven to expand habitat. Ranchers are conserving and expanding natural habitat in the normal course of doing business, so this will reward them for their efforts and encourage them to do even more,” Jahnke said.
A highlight of the convention was the awarding of The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) to the Box H Ranch – Mark & Laura Hoimyr family of Gladmar. They will now represent Saskatchewan for the national TESA award, the winners of which will be announced at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in August.
The SSGA filled one vacancy on its Board of Directors at the convention. All of the sitting executive members were re-elected by the board.
“We’re all grateful for that vote of confidence,” Jahnke said. “Our industry has had its ups and downs in the past year, and the Board has had a lot on its plate. Every one of us is committed to serving producers’ interests, and I think our members appreciate that.”