Province adopts APAS recommendations for Provincial
June 15, 2017 – For Immediate Release - The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is pleased that the province has listened to its recommendations for the wind up of the Saskatchewan Pastures Program.
The 2017 Provincial Budget announced the end of program. The decision affects 50 pastures across the province, covering a total of 780,000 acres. In 2015, roughly 1,200 cattle producers were involved in the program.
Along with retention of public ownership, APAS responded with the following recommendations:
- Build on the experience of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration pasture transfer to improve the process.
- Work with patrons to provide producer run organizations on each pasture using the Federal Pasture divesture program as an example.
- Allow enough time for the transfer to take place to ensure proper implementation and consideration for a regional approach to ensure consistency.
- Recognition of the important environmental goods and services provided by community pastures.
“Community pastures have served the Saskatchewan agriculture industry well,” says APAS President Todd Lewis. “They’ve provided new entrants and mixed farmers with grazing opportunities that otherwise might not be available.”
“We would like to have further conversations on ways the pastures can continue to support access by beginning and young producers,” Lewis continues. “We are pleased to see that the consensus of producers and the public are reflected in the announcement, and that it was made early to allow patrons to plan for the future.”
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Background: APAS is Saskatchewan’s general farm organization – formed to provide farmers and ranchers with a democratically elected, grassroots, non-partisan, producer-run organization based on rural municipal boundaries. As the united voice of thousands of agricultural producers and ranchers in Saskatchewan, we strive to represent the views of a wide variety of agricultural stakeholders in order to form comprehensive policies that can benefit all sectors of society.