BRANDON—In remarks at the 46th annual Manitoba Ag Days today, Premier Heather Stefanson and Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson welcomed Manitobans and visitors from North America back to the exposition, commended the resiliency of Manitoba farmers, who have faced significant challenges in recent years, and re-affirmed the government’s commitment to continue supporting the growth and innovation of Manitoba’s agricultural industry.
“Ag Days is back, and better than ever,” said Stefanson. “Farmers are the backbone of our province — they work tirelessly every day, often in very difficult conditions, to feed the world. They are business owners, innovators and leaders, and they are key contributors to our provincial economy. I look forward to connecting with Manitoba producers and welcoming visitors from all over North America to Canada’s largest indoor farm show.”
Farmers and agri-businesses have recently navigated significant challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, high input costs and supply chain disruptions, noted the premier, adding that these challenges were exacerbated by drought in 2021 and excess moisture in 2022.
“A thriving and sustainable agricultural sector is important to Manitoba’s economic growth and prosperity,” said Johnson. “I extend my appreciation to our producers for leading the way in sustainable agriculture and growth across the sector, and for their ongoing efforts to build on this sector’s significant contributions to our province.”
In response to the impacts of these extremes of moisture, the Manitoba government implemented a temporary rent reduction on forage leases on agricultural Crown lands including a 50 per cent reduction in 2023, a 33 per cent reduction in 2024, and a 15 per cent reduction in 2025. To bring further assistance and relief, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation increased the dollar value of Excess Moisture Insurance coverage for 2023 to $75 for basic coverage, with higher coverage options of $100 and $125 per acre.
The minister noted the Manitoba government has also implemented proactive initiatives to improve sustainability in the province’s agricultural sector as it adapts to emerging climate conditions. These initiatives include the development of the online Environmental Farm Plan platform that integrates national and international sustainable sourcing standards and the renewed commitment to the 4R Nutrient Stewardship, a science-based nutrient management framework.
To advance profitability and competitiveness of producers and processors in the protein sector, the Manitoba government launched the Manitoba Protein Advantage Strategy in 2019 with goals to attract new investments of $1.5 billion and create 1,550 new jobs by 2025, the minister noted. Having already attracted over $823 million in new investments and created 912 new jobs, the strategy’s ongoing momentum has been very positive, added Johnson.
To address the critical need for rural veterinarians in large-animal practice, the Manitoba government increased its annual funding to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine to allow five additional Manitoba students to be accepted to the program each year.
“Ag Days is the premier event for agriculture in Manitoba and is one of the leading indoor farm shows in Canada,” said Johnson. “We are pleased to be here today to connect with producers, agri-businesses and industry professionals, and see innovation and expertise being shared.”
The minister noted this year’s Ag Days theme of farmer health, safety and wellness, with a focus to work smart, take care and feed the world is a great inspiration for all Manitobans.
For more information on Manitoba Ag Days visit: https://agdays.com.
News source: Manitoba government