At the first Annual General Meeting of its second century, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association had its focus firmly fixed on the future.
“Emerging Market Opportunities” was the theme of the SSGA’s 101st AGM, which was held in Moose Jaw June 8 – 10. Beef producers at the meeting expressed optimism about new opportunities for Saskatchewan ranchers including expanding international free trade agreements and niche markets for specialized products.
Members also looked at challenges on the horizon and addressed ways of dealing with them.
The meeting included information sessions and lively discussions, recognition of exemplary environmental stewardship, and election of the SSGA’s new Board of Directors.
Delegates at the AGM passed a resolution supporting a reformed temporary foreign workers program that protects Canadian jobs while addressing chronic labour shortages. Among other resolutions was the establishment of a fund to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of cattle rustlers, and a call for the federal government to retain the Animal Pedigree Act.
The Burgess ranch of Big Beaver won the prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award. The award is presented annually to an operation that shows exemplary and innovative care of the natural environment.
SSGA President Harold Martens is stepping down after three years. Doug Gillespie of Neville was elected as the new President.
“It was an exciting and productive AGM,” Gillespie said. “The SSGA is over a century old, but you don’t stick around that long unless you’re a forward-looking organization. The work we did this week, and the new Board we have in place, will keep our focus where it belongs – on the future.”